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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – A Review

TE KORERO AHI KA

edited by  Grace Bridges, Lee Murray and Aaron Compton

Review by Simon Litten

Te Korero Ahi Ka is a collection of works by members of Speculative Fiction New Zealand. The collection is of both new works and reprints, but the new works predominate. This is neither a themed anthology nor a collection of one particular author, rather it is a showcase of the variety of short stories (and occasional art work) produced by the members of Speculative Fiction New Zealand. To that end the collection is a very mixed bag with science fiction, fantasy, horror, poetry and even to my eye at least a non-genre work. Given that breadth of content what can one say about such a collection? | Read More...

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Anthologies In the News Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā in the Gisborne Herald

Reporter Mark Peters of the Gisborne Herald talks with Te Kōrero Ahi Kā co-editor Aaron Compton.

Science fiction fans in for a treat with anthology featuring local author.

When people come to the end of their lives their brains are resurrected and preserved in bottles, in Gisborne writer Aaron Compton’s story Moa Love.

The story, in which the bottled brains rely on people in the real world for sensory experience, is Compton’s contribution to speculative fiction anthology, Te Korero Ahi Ka (to speak of the home fires burning).

The very New Zealand collection includes a zombie story written in colloquial Kiwi (“I eat heaps of burgers, so I’m slow as,” says the living narrator. “Now I have to be hardout cunning.”), a tale of madness and a taniwha, and another about pigs with AK-47s. Then there is Compton’s story about ancestors’ bottled brains who maintain their sanity by living vicariously through full-bodied people’s sensory experience. | Read More...

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Cons 

Conclave III – GoH Daphne Lawless

We’re delighted to present the full text of the speech of Conclave III Fan GoH Daphne Lawless, who talks about filking as a form of community building and the role of youth in maintaining our science fiction and fantasy community.

My name is Daphne Lawless and I AM NOT INSANE. Thought I’d better get that out there.

Warning: I use big words, abstract concepts, adult language, and have a habit of jumping from one subject to another like Catherine the Great. My apologies if it leaves you behind. Feel free to ask for clarification later.

I’m here to talk about 4 things in no particular order:

  1. Generational Change in Fandom.
  2. How I shouldn’t even be here.
  3. Filking and fan creativity.
  4. The politics of rrrrevolution.
  5. Cycle lanes
  6. Why science fiction at all?

To start, I don’t think I deserve to be FgoH.

Not that I’m ungrateful – I love having an audience to talk at. I’d talk at the opening of an envelope.

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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā and the Spec Fic Community in New Zealand

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā and the Spec Fic Community in New Zealand

By Sally McLennan

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā is a book born from a group. That group is more than our legion of writers, editors, fans and publishers. We are supported by families, film-makers who love our genres by association, and hoteliers who host our conferences. We are supported by those who work to make those conferences happen. I’ve been supported by a friend who came and did housework for me, and walked my dog, so I could write. We are supported by people in every trade and every part of the world: the poor souls who we email with random questions when formulating our work. What is the effect of two moons on a habitable planet? What do you consider the worst way to die? How would you get different coloured sky? These are questions I’ve asked total strangers. Though the work is utterly Kiwi in flavour, notice how gleefully we rope people from other nations into our work even while we invite them into our world. | Read More...

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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Grant Stone

By Grant Stone

When you spend a good number of years mowing an Auckland lawn you learn a thing or two. Like how quickly things grow. Grass, sure, but the weeds too. Skip a week or two and you have a jungle on your hands. Wait a month and you might want to skip the lawnmower and drive straight down to Hiretown for a chainsaw.

But you can’t complain. Drive an hour or so out of town and get out of your car. Walk for just a few minutes and you can really feel nature pressing in on you. You might think about friends and loved ones. The scar tissue of old arguments you lost, or worse, won for the wrong reasons. | Read More...

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Featured Work Kiwi Writers Publication News 

The Island

The Island by Nathan Rogers

“The Island” is a fun fantasy adventure for children set in a world of magic populated by goblins, trolls, fire-breathing drakes, and more.

The Island soars through the clouds keeping everyone safe, and the Lords and Ladies use its power to strike terror across the world. Their hounds also patrol the city, but Sky and the other imps chase and play in the narrow streets anyway, magnets for trouble.

Bored by her job helping to maintain the engine that keeps the Island flying, Sky longs for adventure and daydreams about the mysterious lands that lie below. But when an act of mischief goes terribly wrong, Sky is thrown from the Island into a strange new world. Hunted for reasons she doesn’t understand, Sky is forced to use every bit of her wit and cunning to survive. But even that might not be enough as the Island’s murderous hounds close in. | Read More...

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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Piper Mejia

Room Enough for Two

By Piper Mejia

Room Enough for Two explores the balance in relationships; where each person feels that they contribute the most to their shared life. As the protagonist actively improves their first home her hidden resentment towards the man she married grows. But what happiness doesn’t come with a little sacrifice? In a way, this story is a symbol of my own frustrations at the feeling I have too much to do, but never get anything done. My house is always needing repairs, yet I’m too tied to do them myself and economically unable to pay someone else to do them for me. At times, I think that perhaps the key to a happy life is to simplify, starting with the people I live with. | Read More...

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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Dan Rabarts

Story Origin: Mother’s Milk.

By Dan Rabarts

Long ago, in an old house on a hill, I remember a tree. It was vast, and full of shadows, and when the wind blew it moaned and creaked and spoke. When I tried to sleep, it was there outside the window, and when I dreamed, it knew. One Guy Fawkes night, there was a bonfire on the front drive, and the flames threw snarling lights among the branches and convinced me the tree really was alive. It loomed over the house, it whispered its hungers.

Below this tree, there was a hole, a former mine shaft, so deep the bottom was lost in shadow, even during the day. Here was a memory of a thing, a place, that scarred the sky and earth alike. A memory which three decades of living in other places and leading other lives had never erased. | Read More...

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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – I.K. Paterson-Harkness

By I.K. Paterson-Harkness


Both of my poems in Te Korero Ahi Ka began their lives as flash fiction. My stories have a habit of changing form in that way – from poem to song, from song to prose, from prose to poem – until they finally stick. I suppose the essence of a story can live on in any medium. I wrote Magnetic North for a flash fiction competition, with a “north” theme (didn’t win, obviously!). I remember being fascinated with the idea of magnets always aligning themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field. An uncontrollable tug, part of nature itself. So naturally I wanted to investigate the idea of a person being drawn the same way – how would it happen, and what would the consequences be? The other poem What you wish for was, in comparison, is just a silly idea I had about someone whose mind sometimes conjured what they desired at that moment. Poetry, I find, often shows just a snippet of a life, just a tiny window to look through into a particular moment or situation (as opposed to a full story, with a beginning, middle, end), and this poem is definitely that.

Amazon Paperback and Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079QHH1F7
Other ebook sites including Apple and Kobo: https://www.books2read.com/u/mgrdz6
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Featured Work 

Wish Upon a Southern Star

Wish Upon a Southern Star, edited by Shelley Chappell

The Southern Cross shines high above a fairy tale wood. Come step inside. Drink dew from the leaves with tiny Tommelise. Eat egg sandwiches with a toothy young troll. Escape with Rapunzel. Trick Rumpelstiltskin. Shiver in the snow. Climb the beanstalk. Pray to the Piper. Be a cat. In and out of the wood, whether in this world or another, these stories will take you to new places. Explore how far you can go in this anthology of twenty-one fairy tale retellings by New Zealand and Australian authors. | Read More...

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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Mike Reeves McMillan

by Mike Reeves McMillan

Gatekeeper, What Toll? is my attempt to write a six-volume epic fantasy in a thousandth of the wordcount, by only writing the scenes that are from the point of view of a key minor character, and implying the remaining 99.9%. After all, we know how these stories go, don’t we? It’s also a tribute to one of my favourite authors, Roger Zelazny, in that it’s set in a sprawling and varied multiverse and centres on characters who can travel between the worlds. Much as New Zealanders learn to travel between cultures, perhaps? | Read More...

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Anthologies SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Robinne Weiss

by Robinne Weiss I’m pleased to have two of my stories appear in Te Kōrero Ahi Kā. It’s always a pleasure to work with the folks at SpecFic NZ! I wrote Breach specifically for this anthology, but it was influenced by many ideas. Canterbury has experienced drought and higher than normal temperatures over the past two years—a pattern predicted in climate change models. My own struggles to raise vegetables and livestock under those conditions inspired me to write about a future Canterbury in which the worst-case-scenario climate predictions have come true. I wanted to show the complex and often ambivalent nature of our relationships with the future and the past. I wanted to show a grim future, but one in which people had adjusted and adapted to harsh realities, because that’s what humans do. Breach has since become the first in a series of short stories I’ve written looking at possible futures, and what the big changes (in climate, technology, society, etc.) might mean on a personal level. To the Centre of the Earth was a lark, written originally for a themed issue of a magazine (for which it was rejected with helpful comments that inspired revision). The scientific community was abuzz at the time with the start of a new project to drill to the earth’s mantle, and I couldn’t help but wonder, what if… I live and write from from my lovely office at Crazy Corner Farm. In addition to short stories, I write middle-grade novels, poetry, and non-fiction. Find out more about my books and stories, and check out my rural life blog at robinneweiss.com.

Amazon Paperback and Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079QHH1F7

Other ebook sites including Apple and Kobo: https://www.books2read.com/u/mgrdz6

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Anthologies SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Serena Dawson

by Serena Dawson While creating the fantasy world of my novels, it seemed natural to imagine trees that have been grown into buildings, including, of course, Inns. I based these living buildings on my favorite tree, the Pohutukawa. The dragon’s friend Inn was grown long ago, in a time before the Burning Wars, when dragons were allies, rather than enemies. But the exiled dragons are returning… Thanks again for including my art in the anthology, and the hard work of everyone involved. Amazon Paperback and Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079QHH1F7 Other ebook sites including Apple and Kobo: https://www.books2read.com/u/mgrdz6
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