Archive For The “In the News” Category
Review: Bound by Alan Baxter
Review by Nix Whittaker
Super action packed well-written story. Easy to read but a little darker than I like my books. Not just that but the swearing and other stuff though realistic to the character’s situation is not my thing.
The story is of Alex Caine a street fighter who can see more than meets the eye. A stranger arrives at one of his fights and we basically fall into a quest/the one trope. I like these kinds of tropes so I thought I would enjoy the story more, especially since it was beautifully written. Unfortunately, I also like my stereotypical completely obvious stories to be peppered with more comedy. Also, I like a story that leans more to being able to pass the Bechdel test. I did like Silhouette. She was fun and witty. I’d recommend this book for male readers though and I admit I like my books geared towards either women or at least gender neutral. This reminded me of Ian Fleming. On the outside the main character looks bad ass and cool but the more you delve into the character you realise that he is shallow. I believe the author was aware of this issue and did try to alleviate this as Alex really doesn’t want to be that stereotypical bad ass.
Night’s End, Book 3 in the Night’s Champion Series by Richard Parry
Review by Frances Duncan
Night’s End, the final in the Nights Champion trilogy, released the first day of Lexicon. I finished reading it the last day of Lexicon. This feels appropriate as the first two were shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel award for Best Novel.
The cast has grown over the series and it’s hard to keep track of everyone. At one point someone appeared and I had no idea who he was till the next scene. There’s someone for everyone; a tough female detective, a powerful young woman, a military woman…do you notice a theme here? There are some guys thrown in too; one of them is even a werewolf (don’t worry there’s a female werewolf too).
At the recent AGM, a number of our Core committee retired, including long-standing Treasurer Immi Paterson-Harkness and our hardworking Secretary, Jean Gilbert. Paul Mannering stood down from the role of President. The organisation would like to thank these colleagues for all the work they have done on our behalf. The incoming Core for 2017-2018 is as follows:
President: Grace Bridges
Treasurer: Paul Mannering
Secretary: Lee Murray
Webmaster: Dan Rabarts
Core: Piper Mejia, Grant Stone, Darian Smith, Woelf Dietrich, Mark English.
In recognition of the support of our fan community in encouraging and promoting New Zealand creatives ‒ writers, screenwriters and artists ‒ SpecFicNZ is pleased to announce that it will provide a grant of NZ$300 to the DUFF fund to support delegate Paul Weimer’s attendance at LexiCon New Zealand’s 38th science fiction and fantasy conference which will be held in Taupo from 2-4 June, 2017.
A further NZ$300 grant will go to the FFANZ fund to support New Zealand delegate Lynelle Howell’s attendance at Australia’s speculative fiction convention, Continuum 13, to be held in Melbourne in June 9-12, 2017.
Black Amber: A New Fate & Red Bullets
By Nathan Simpson
(Reviewed by Emma Hart)
For those of us who live in New Zealand, there’s both comfort and surprised delight in spec-fic set in our own country. Nathan Simpson’s Black Amber books start in a world of Vegemite and duvets that will be familiar to many.
Very quickly, however, we’re taken from that world to another, one of magic and medieval weaponry. The books’ central characters, brothers Ricky and Tylor, have come into possession of a mysterious magical artefact, which it appears will compel them to travel from world to world, seeking their own home, leaving every set of attachments they might make along the way. I was reminded of Diana Wynne Jones’s YA novel, The Homeward Bounders.
At SpecFicNZ it is our mission to promote speculative fiction. To this end, we would love to showcase reader reviews on our website. If you are an author who would like to have your work reviewed, or a reader who enjoys speculative fiction, then we would love to hear from you. General guidelines for the programme are as follows:
While we are happy to promote all speculative fiction, preference will be given to books/ebooks by our members. If you are not a member and would like to join, you can find information about joining here.
TWO BOYS LOVE HER.
TWO WORLDS NEED HER.
ONLY SHE CAN SAVE THEM BOTH.
LIGHT IN MY DARK
by Jean Gilbert & William Dresden
Series: Beyond the Wall book one
Genre: YA Fantasy
Stuck in the mountain town of Glen Eden, Harper Deveraux has longed for an adventure ever since the death of her mother. Even her mother’s journal full of incredible stories of a make-believe world called Non wasn’t enough to placate her restless spirit.
Jack Everett is content with life as it is, except for one thing- his ‘best friend’ status with Harper. With the Moon Dance coming up, it is his chance to make a move and ask her out as a date, a real date, if he can get up the nerve.
A steampunk adventure with a plot to take over the Empire and a kidnapped bride. Hara and Gideon have been asked to do a favour for the Emperor to return a runaway bride. Things become complicated when it is found out that the runaway bride has fallen into the clutches of an ambitious duke who is planning to commit genocide and take over the Wyvern Empire.
This story is a retelling of the classic tale by Shakespeare, Midsummer Nights dream so expect some Puckish antics and a touch of magic.
This is the second book in the Wyvern Chronicles series. Due to be released in the middle of October at Amazon. You can also read a sneak peek on my website.
Interspecies has had a good run thus far, reaching the top-ten of two Amazon bestseller lists and staying there for a couple of weeks, even becoming the number three hot new release in its category. Our collective smiles touched our earlobes as we watched our baby climb the charts.
And now, after so many requests, the paperback is also available. So, if you prefer a more tactile reading experience, click here . We’ve even lowered the price to $9.99 for a short time.
The Sir Julius Vogel Awards, New Zealand’s Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror awards, are named after Sir Julius Vogel, an early premier in New Zealand.
Earlier this month, London’s United Synagogue marked the life of Sir Julius Vogel as ‘‘a leading pioneer, advocate of universal suffrage and good community relations.” The service commemorated the 180th anniversary of Sir Julius’ birth and the 140th anniversary of his premiership.
The Otago Daily Times, which Vogel co-founded with W.H. Cutten, ran an article by Wellington writer Steven Sedley, examining the event and discussing Vogel’s novel Anno Domini 2000.
Steam Press Short SF Story Competition
Steam Press will continue to publish speculative fiction.
To celebrate Eunoia acquiring the company, Steam Press is running an international science fiction short story writing competition, with a prize of $USD500.00.
Entries must be 1000–1500 words, and should be science fiction, not fantasy. For more details and to submit your short stories go to: http://www.steampress.co.nz.
On Tuesday 21 June, Paul Mannering and Lee Murray visited Stephanie Soper and Catriona Ferguson of the New Zealand Book Council. The meeting was convened to discuss a recent article in Booksellers website (9 June, 2016) which said the Book Council would be sampling New Zealand print book sales on behalf of Creative New Zealand:
“As part of the New Zealand Book Council’s funding contract with Creative New Zealand we are collecting data on the readership and sales of NZ books within New Zealand. It is anticipated that this information will support Creative New Zealand’s decision making processes around where best to prioritise their resources for literature in the future.”
The 38th New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention is being held over Queen’s Birthday Weekend 2017 in Taupo.
Seanan is also Guest of Honour at the 2017 Continuum convention in Australia (Continuum 13: Triskaidekaphilia) and both conventions are looking forward to her visit to the Southern Hemisphere.
She is the author of the October Daye and InCryptid urban fantasies and the Newsflesh novels (under the pseudonym Mira Grant). She also records CDs of her original filk music and is creator of the autobiographical web comic “With Friends Like These…”.
Sir Julius Vogel Awards
At the recent National Science Fiction Convention (Au Contraire 3) held in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday Weekend, the winners of the Sir Julius Vogel Awards were announced. The Sir Julius Vogel Awards recognise achievements by New Zealanders, both amateur and professional, in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres.
SFFANZ (Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand) President, Norman Cates, prior to announcing the awards, commented that SFFANZ was “delighted with the level of participation and interest in the awards from an impressively wide variety of people.”
Christchurch based author of short fiction and Clarion graduate, AJ Fitzwater was a Guest of Honour at Au Contraire 3 over Queen’s Birthday weekend recently.
AJ has kindly allowed us to publish a transcript of their GoH speech, delivered on 5th June 2016.
Kia ora koutou katoa. Thank you for joining me today, distinguished guests. I hope you’re all enjoying Au Contraire. Thanks to all the volunteers putting in the time and effort to celebrate what we love here this weekend. And thank you to the concom for inviting me as a guest of honour. It’s a privilege to be one of many women representing New Zealand speculative fiction here and overseas.
Trigger Warnings for difficult and sensitive subjects here within.
Not that long ago, in a galaxy not that far away…
An orphan stands on the precipice of reckoning, looking towards the sunset, hoping for a better life out there amongst the stars. This orphan has MAD SKILLZ. They know something about survival and rebellion. The orphan quests with a mysterious stranger who offers a glimpse of a better life, and the possibility of find