Issue 1 of Capricious, a new speculative fiction magazine edited by SpecFicNZ member A.C. Buchanan is now available for free download. The issue includes fiction by A.J. Fitzwater and Sean Monaghan, who are both New Zealand based, alongside work by Sabrina Amaya Hoke and Bogi Takács. This issue takes you through fairy tales and to other worlds in none of the ways you’d expect. The authors challenge and interrogate genre boundaries, exploring themes of consent, communication, and obligation. Their work is filled with the senses of exploration, danger, and ultimate success that characterise so much of the best speculative fiction.
Capricious is a new quarterly publication of literary/experimental speculative fiction and criticism, now open for submissions. We are based in the Wellington region, but publish writing from around the world for an international audience.
We’re now open for submissions and would love to see writing from SpecFicNZ members included in our (virtual) pages. Thanks to a generous grant from SpecFicNZ we’re able to ensure that issues 2 – 5 will all have at least one work by a writer from or in New Zealand, or an article about a New Zealand writer or writers. This gives us a great opportunity to showcase local writing alongside speculative fiction from all over the world.
Abandoned as a teenager on a strange planet, Casp Alkin earns a living transporting cargo through the ancient tunnels which lie beneath the rapidly industrialising Liquid City. It’s a dirty, dangerous game but one which affords them the independence they always longed for.
But the offer of a lucrative contract persuades Casp to break with their established routine and journey into the unexplored parts of the tunnel network, deep underground.
Accompanied by an ill-tempered cephalopod and the scientist daughter of their wealthy sponsor, Casp embarks on an increasingly dangerous journey. But they quickly find that success will mean an end to the livelihoods of the tunnel folk who have become their family, destroying the community which has relied on the tunnels for generations.
We’re back with another competition, and this time we’re thrilled to once again be working with Dunedin-based cover designer Kura Carpenter to give you an opportunity to win a beautiful (or scary, or exciting, depending on your preferences) new cover for your work. As her testimonials from clients around the world show, Kura has a keen sense for attracting readers with her design.
So if you have published, or will be publishing, a longer work (novelette, novella or novel) this competition is for you!
Congratulations to Mike Reeves-McMillan, who has been judged the winner of our Summer Review Competition. Mike reviewed Sir Julius Vogel’s Anno Domini 2000, widely considered New Zealand’s first science fiction novel.
David Larsen, judging the competition, described the winning review as follows:
“Entertainingly written, with the reviewer’s taste and preferences nicely foregrounded so readers can judge their likely level of agreement, and with a lot of interesting discussion of the book’s ideas. I would have liked slightly more on the actual story than “utopian; awful”, but the deep engagement with Vogel’s ideas makes it easy to accept that this is someone who’s given the book a decent chance, and concluded that the story really isn’t where the action is.”
We’re extending the deadline for the Summer Review Competition for another two weeks. The revised deadline is now 14th February – all other details remain as per the original post. We hope you’ve had chance to read some good books over this recent spot of sunny weather – now’s your chance to write about them.
Our next competition is all about crafting a review. Choose a work of speculative fiction – preferably with a New Zealand connection – that you enjoyed, and write a review of 500-1000 words. Entries will be judged by David Larsen, freelance journalist and regular contributor to the New Zealand Listener and Metro.
A successful review:
- Is clear and follows a well structured argument
- Gives the reader a sense of what the book set out to do and how successful it was
- Backs up claims made by the reviewer with evidence from the text
- Gives a sense of the plot without spoilers
- Is interesting to read
- Demonstrates the relevant degree of familiarity with the genre
- Comes to a clear conclusion, enabling the reader to decide whether they might like to also read the book.
This competition is open to SpecFicNZ members only – new members are always welcome. Email your review to specficnz.fiction(at)gmail(dot)com as a .doc .docx or .rtf file, no later than midnight on 14 February 2015. Include your name in the email but not in the attached document. Multiple submissions are permitted to a maximum of 3 – please send a separate email for each review.
This Halloween, we asked for your spookiest stories, and you delivered. Judged by author Alan Baxter, the calibre of entries was high enough that we awarded two first places, to ‘The One’ by Jo Tomlinson and ‘Bridge’ by Dan Rabarts. Third place was won by I. K. Paterson-Harkness with ‘Bad House’. Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to everyone who entered.
Read on for the winning stories, and for Alan’s comments.
Our winners are as follows:
Dan Rabarts – “The body fell, almost graceful, a teardrop falling into oblivion, an arc of red twisting across the desert sky”.
Darusha Wehm – “Condensation pooled on the plastic tablecloth at the base of the beer bottle”.
Summer Wigmore – “The man in the cell sat at the back, leaning calmly against the wall”.
With the start of November, we know many of you are kicking off your frantic plans to write a novel in a month with NaNoWriMo. Others will be continuing on with old projects, or using the improving weather to sit outside with a red pen and make a start on those edits.
So whatever you’re working on, let the rest of SpecFicNZ take a peek and share the first sentence. It can be a brand new work today, or the masterpiece you’ve been writing for years, flash fiction or a novel that never seems to end. We just want one sentence – and yes, we have prizes!
Two anthologies that may be of interest to SpecFicNZ members:
Accessing the Future from The Future Fire is an anthology of stories that “explores the future potentials of technology to augment and challenge the physical environment and the human form—in all of its wonderful and complex diversity”. The editors are looking for speculative fiction of 2500-7500 words that addresses “issues of disability (invisible and visible, physical and mental), and the intersectionality of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class—in both physical and virtual spaces”. Submissions close 30th November.
This Halloween, send us your spookiest specfic flash fiction of 300-500 words and be in to win. It’s the month for dark and scary stories, for writing about poltergeists and ghouls, ancient curses and some things which you just can’t explain…
Your work will be judged by Alan Baxter, author of the dark urban fantasy trilogy, Bound, Obsidian and Abduction (The Alex Caine Series) and the dark urban fantasy duology, RealmShift and MageSign (The Balance 1 and 2).
Winners will receive cash prizes of $30 (1st place), $20 (2nd) and $10 (3rd), and winning entries will be posted to this site.