For those living far far away from New Zealand, our country may sound distant, peculiar, full of mountains, tattooed Māori warriors, hobbits, rugby players and… what else, again? Stereotypes thrive out there, especially when writers look for Kiwi inspirations–only to find the same generic information over and over again. SpecFicNZ wants to change that, and you can help!
We are proud to announce the launch of the SpecFicNZ Cultural Wiki, a game-changing feature capable of influencing authors worldwide and, of course, making sure Kiwi speculative fiction writers showcase their work. What? How?
The SpecFicNZ Cultural Wiki will be a go-to asset for writers everywhere. We’ll compile an in-depth glossary of socio-cultural references, impressions, feelings, and perspectives usable by young local writers, curious authors abroad or anyone interested in understanding New Zealand, instead of just looking at pictures and saying “wow, that’s awesome”. We’ll fuel stories and dreams all over the world!
The first phase of SpecFicNZ Cultural Wiki is all about data gathering. We count on you to share some perspectives only you can have about events, places, and people in/from New Zealand. Then, we’ll organize all that info into a very nice looking Wiki page within our website, and, of course, make sure authors around the globe get to access it and use it in their stories. Different than generic wikis or reference sites, SpecFicNZ Cultural Wiki will credit every entry – if everyone helps with a few entries, we’ll have plenty in no time. We hope this will allow visitors to reach out to that specific author to get more info, therefore fostering relationships and a broader professional network.
Our other goal is to inspire more people to write about New Zealand. Everyone knows the horrible way in which Stephanie Meyer “researched” her setting for Twilight. In case you don’t know, she used Google Maps to visit Forks, Washington, and trusted it blindly. Needless to say, to this day, locals dread her inaccuracies and other misrepresentations. Do we want that to happen to New Zealand? Of course not!
So our Cultural Wiki will go beyond boring lists, bland references, and more stereotypical information. We’ll focus on gathering the feel, the mood, the soul of places and people, what it means to walk the streets, visit the sights and understand the country.
And who better suited to present it as awesomely as possible other than a bunch of speculative fiction writers? But remember, this is supposed to be a reference guide, not an experimental entry-oriented short fiction contest for non-Kiwis. People must understand, feel hooked and want to know more!
Since many of you have glossaries of your own and may feel inclined to amplify them a bit and share with the project, we’ll gladly accept heftier submissions.
How can I help?
This form has all the info we are looking for at this first stage. Click it, answer the questions and you can even volunteer to be one of the Cultural Wiki’s editors. Just let us know.
Hope you all like the idea and join us. We will all benefit immensely from this asset, and SpecFicNZ will grow so much with it!