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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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Matt and Debbie Cowens

Kapiti News, 15 Mar, 2018

By Rosalie Willis
 

Teachers by day, writers by night.

That is the reality two Paraparaumu College teachers find themselves living.

Husband and wife, Matt and Debbie Cowens, both part of the English department at Paraparaumu College have had their latest work published in Te Korero Ahi Ka: To Speak of the Home Fires Burning, a New Zealand speculative fiction anthology.

The book is the work of Speculative Fiction New Zealand (SpecFicNZ), an organisation formed in 2009 and is the brain child of editors Grace Bridges and Lee Murray with the help of Aaron Compton. | Read More...

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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Aaron Compton

By Aaron Compton It was an honour to help edit this collection. As mentee-editor it was an eye-opener on how the real pros do it– Lee and Grace were so great, being part of their team and the process was a joy. My motivation to apply for the position was simply to get some experience within the literature scene of Aotearoa, to learn about editing and to read some cool stories. Amazing stories. The whole experience has heightened my desire to gain more editing experience. I remember, as a child, being fascinated by a kuia who spoke to a carved ancestor on the marae and seemed to get answers from it. For years the idea of a carving talking to me rattled around in my head, until it fell out, in this story. Moa Love, occurs in an alternate history world that I began creating a couple of years ago when I decided to take fiction writing seriously. I had grand ambitions to write a couple of series of novels in this world, but after about sixty thousand words I realised that I didn’t quite have the skills to do the story justice– it just wasn’t working. I pulled back from that story and began writing short fiction in an attempt to build my skills. I listened to a lot of writing podcasts, and in one of them (The Story Grid Podcast) Shawn Coyne talked about the obligatory scenes readers expect to see in a love story. I decided to write a story that hit as many of those scenes as I could, within my created world. And somehow… it worked. It’s weird, but it works, I reckon. It might seem as if it is set in a future Aotearoa, but in fact the events of Moa Love occur in the 1950s. This isn’t explicitly stated in the text but if you think about what Boy says about the clothes the other characters are wearing, and the decades they come from, and when TripleG died… yeah, 1950s. This is because of reasons that are not part of this story– I’ll have to get back to those novels, someday. 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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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Jane Percival

The Mysterious of Mysterious Mr Montague

By Jane Percival

It’s funny how the senses can enhance memories. The addition of a taste, a smell, or a touch, makes the memory more stable, somehow, transforming it into an easy-to-access snapshot of a place and a time that you visited; able to be examined whenever you wish.

A butcher’s shop has a particular smell. And the smell of such a shop in the 1970s is nothing like the odour of the meat section of a supermarket. It smelled of blood and sawdust. Rattling plastic strips kept out most of the flies, and in Summer, a lazy ceiling fan would push the air around, just a little. | Read More...

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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – A Community Project

By Lee Murray

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā is a community building project instigated by SpecFicNZ as a key activity for 2018. Over recent years, initiatives such as writing competitions and one-off publishing grants had seen dwindling entries, so, in a bid to increase member engagement and awareness of our work at SpecFicNZ, the committee proposed a non-themed speculative showcase anthology where members could submit prose, poetry and artwork, including cover art, in return for a small fee.  The project was intended as a learning tool, the committee calling for applications for a mentee editor to work on the anthology with experienced editor and assessor President Grace Bridges, and myself. Member Aaron Compton won the bid and although he had never done any editing before, Aaron’s keen eye and quirky taste meant he quickly became a great asset to our editing line-up. | Read More...

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Anthologies Awards Newsletter 

SpecFicNewZ February 2018

SpecFicNewZ for Feburary, 2018.

Members, if you have news you’d like to share, we’d love to celebrate it with you. Please drop us a line at specficnz@gmail.com

 Te Kōrero Ahi Kā

We’re delighted to announce that our members’ showcase anthology, Te Kōrero Ahi Kā is now available for pre-order, including gorgeous cover art by Eve Doyle, a foreword by best loved New Zealand fantasy author Juliet Mariller, and stories, poems, and interior art by our members.

Here, between the realms of the Sky Father and Earth Mother, hellhounds race, ghosts drift aimless, and the taniwha stalks. Home fires drive them back, at the same time sparking stories and poems that traverse seconds, eons, and parsecs. Tales of gatekeepers, cloak wearers, and secret keepers. Of pigs with AK-47s or ruby-hued eyes, of love-struck moa, and unruly reflections. Stark truths, and beautiful possibilities… | Read More...

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Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Cover Reveal!

SpecFicNZ are delighted to reveal the fabulous cover of our inaugural showcase speculative fiction anthology Te Kōrero Ahi Kā –  To Speak of the Home Fires Burning, designed for us by Hawkes Bay artist, member Evelyn Doyle.

Eve is many things: INTJ. Multipotentialite. Graphic Designer. Reader. Writer. Lover of coffee and parataxis. At base, she’s a biological system that turns coffee into blog posts, stories, and visual designs…when she’s not homeschooling her two boys, or thinking about the philosophical complexities of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She lives in Hawke’s Bay with her husband, two small boys, one canary, and a partridge in a pear tree. | Read More...

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SpecFicNewZ for January 2018

SpecFicNewZ for January 2018

Members, if you have news you’d like to share, please let us know a specficnz@gmail.com

Bram Stoker Award Preliminary Ballot

Three SpecFicNZ members’ works have reached the Preliminary Ballot of this year’s Bram Stoker Awards for horror with Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray’s Hounds of the Underworld longlisted in the Superior Achievement in a Novel category alongside literary heavyweights like Stephen King, Christopher Golden and Steve Rasnic Tem, while Australian Alan Baxter’s novella The Book Club has been listed in the Superior Achievement in Long Fiction category, up against works by bestsellers Seanan McGuire and Jeff Vandermeer. There are still two rounds to go, nevertheless it’s great to see our members’ work represented in this international forum. Congratulations! | Read More...

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Rotovegas – a review

Earthcore Book 1: RotoVegas, by Grace Bridges

Reviewed by Jenn Rackham

RotoVegas is a fun book about the teen protagonist, Anira, visiting Rotorua and finding that the water gives her strange and unique powers. She sets out to find others like her and they form a team to stop others from using their powers for the wrong reason.

The title RotoVegas at first made me think it would be about gambling and casinos but I was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t. I felt the title choice was due to Grace highlighting the entertainment and tourism side of Rotorua in her usual visceral descriptions. | Read More...

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Wish Upon A Southern Star – a review

Wish Upon a Southern Star, edited by Shelley Chappell

Reviewed by Lee Murray

“Stories change, but fairy tales never go out of fashion. Like a basic item of clothing, they may be reshaped, trimmed, decorated with frills or remodelled altogether,” writes editor Shelley Chappell in the introduction to Wish Upon a Southern Star, a stunning new collection of fairy tales, freshly re-imagined by new and established writers from Australian and New Zealand. Chappell says, “the authors in this collection have run the traditional tales through the mill and come out with new cloth.” Indeed, some are barely recognisable, like Philippa Werry’s evocative and beautifully-crafted Snow from the South, a contemporary version of the Snow Queen, appropriately set in Antarctica at a time when ‘melt pools were forming in the sea ice”. New Zealand might have guardianship of only a small part of the frozen land, yet Kiwi readers will find a familiarity in this haunting retelling of the classic tale. | Read More...

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The City Builders, by Sean Monaghan

The City Builders, by Sean Monaghan

Review by Grant Stone

Desra’s in trouble. Her ship, the Leuwenhok was orbiting Mackelle, an uninhabited planet sixty light years from home when it was shot out of the sky. When she makes it to the surface it turns out the planet might not be as uninhabited as she’d expected. Now she’s trapped in the middle of a deserted and almost endless city that is being built, torn down and rebuilt by a fleet of robots. Help is on the way but it may not come soon enough. New models of robots are appearing, more humanoid in form and designed more for combat than construction. Meanwhile, the rescue ship faces challenges of its own. | Read More...

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Mariah’s Prologues, by Grace Bridges

Mariah’s Prologues, By Grace Bridges

A review by Jenn Rackham

Mariah’s Prologues is sixteen short stories of different characters living in a dystopian future in Ireland where food is scarce and corporations rule its famished citizens with an iron fist. Each short story focuses on one character and their relationship to their loved ones and to the world, like a piece of a jigsaw that completes the whole picture bit by bit.

Due to Grace’s brilliant and often visceral writing, many times I was uncomfortable reading such a dark and bleak world, yet I was encouraged to continue reading the stories as each characters were filled with emotions and hopes that were easily identifiable. I found myself rooting for the characters and eager to learn more about the world each chapter. | Read More...

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SpecFicNewZ

SpecFicNewZ for November 2017

Members, if you have news you’d like to share, please let us know a specficnz@gmail.com

Debut Release!

Congratulations to member Jenn Rackham, whose debut book A Dash of Belladonna was released on 31 October. Mike Johnson says, “Here is a book full of magic and awe, humour and excitement, brought to us through Lottie’s exuberant prose. A zany book, full of narrative zest and high adventure.” A Dash of Belladonna is available in ebook and print versions here. | Read More...

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SpecFicNooZ for October, 2017

SpecFicNooZ for October, 2017

Members, if you have news to share, please email us at specficnz@gmail.com. We’d love to hear about it.

New Signing! IFWG Publishing Australia has bought Wicked by Blood: The Kingfisher’s Debt by member Kura Carpenter. The novel is an urban fantasy set in Dunedin, and is a mix of fantasy, mystery, murder and satanic rituals. It’s scheduled for release in the second half of 2018. Read more about it here. Congratulations, Kura!

Core member Darian Smith is heading to Australia next month to share his expertise with Aussie writers. Please share this with your colleagues in Brisbane and Adelaide. Darian’s latest book, Starlight’s Children, the long-awaited sequel to Kalanon’s Rising was released on 8 October. Congratulations Darian, and don’t keep us waiting so long next time, please! | Read More...

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