The World Best Fans: Introducing New Zealand fandom.

In this series, we introduce some key players in New Zealand’s fan community, beginning with Lynelle Howell!

Lynelle, when did you get involved in science fiction and fantasy fandom?

I went to my first convention in 1993 – Defcon, with my then-boyfriend (now husband) John Howell. Since then I think I’ve only missed two NZ conventions.

Describe your involvement. In the past. Currently. Does that involvement spill over into your everyday life?

Wow? Where to start? I have chaired two conventions (Cond’Or in 2000 and Icon in 2005) been on the Phoenix Science Fiction club committee since about 2002, and produced the Phoenixine since 2005. I have been involved with SFFANZ since its inception, and administrator of the Sir Julius Vogel Awards since 2003. I guess you could say that with all that, it’s spilled into my everyday life | Read More...

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Interviews Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ Spotlight 

SpecFicNZ Spotlights: Your Time to Shine

Greetings, writerly and creative folks!

Here in the SpecFicNZ Committee, we’ve been hatching plans for how we can get to know you better as well as help you with publicising what you’re up to in your corner of the writing world. One way we want to do this is to feature our members here on the blog, with whatever you’d like to tell us about. Below are some questions you may use for inspiration if you wish. Please keep your total wordcount around 500 – no need to include the questions, only the answers. We may edit a little at our discretion. Send your interviews to specficnz at gmail dot com along with a photo of yourself and an image of your most recent book cover if you have one. We can’t wait to find out what makes you tick! | Read More...

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Interviews Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

SpecFic Spotlight: Rainer Süss

I loved creative writing in school and always tried to push the boundary with violence, horror and particularly plot twists at the end. I loved to try and cram as much as I could into the 200-300 words we were allotted during exams. The word limits were a challenge then; now I’m just too happy to be able to write something much, much longer.

Although I read plenty Stephen King and Dean Koontz in my high school days, I was mostly into action/spy thrillers then. In terms of plotting and action, Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy probably influenced me the most, right up to today. I think some of the content in PAWNS OF HEAVEN proves it, and it’s quite remarkable, considering I’ve only recently taken up writing again after almost 20 years. My reading tastes have, however, changed significantly over the years. Raymond E. Feist got me into fantasy when I was in university mid-to-late 90’s, and I think it’s just fantastic how his RIFTWAR CYCLE has evolved and expanded over two decades. Currently, however, I’m probably inspired most by the galactic sprawl of Peter F. Hamilton’s writing. His NIGHT’S DAWN trilogy is just so epic in scope, and such a fine example of speculative fiction. Ultimately, my reading experiences resulted in me writing PAWNS OF HEAVEN (now available as an omnibus of a trilogy I self-published in 2013), which is a thriller at heart, but set in a speculative universe with secret agents, mutants, Dyson Spheres, distant worlds, mental constructs – all in one story! | Read More...

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Interviews Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ Spotlight 

SpecFic Spotlight: Mike Reeves-McMillan

I recently released Beastheads, a prequel novel in my Gryphon Clerks series of lightly steampunked secondary-world fantasy (with an SF feel).

I’m taking a break from that series now to write a contemporary urban fantasy (more Jim Butcher than Charles de Lint) set in present-day Auckland. It’s called Blokes in Black, and features some underpowered magical practitioners who find themselves targeted by mysterious goons. I’ve lived in Auckland all my life, and know a bit about it, having worked for a travel guide and for the Council, so it seems like a good fit. It’s great fun setting action scenes in places that I walk past every day. | Read More...

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Interviews Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ Spotlight 

SpecFic Spotlight: Jan Goldie

Jan Goldie is the author of two YA speculative fiction books, A Mer-Tale (2014) and Brave’s Journey (to be published July 2015, IFWG Publishing).

She’s a communications and content writer by day, living in Papamoa by the sea with two children, two budgies and one ferocious little dog.
Tell us about your most recent release or current writing project.
A Mer-Tale is a story about a teenage mermaid. But before you screw up your nose and slam the door, it’s also a tale about an ancient alien race and their attempt to live beneath earth’s seas.
I wrote the novella for inclusion in the ‘Conclave’ collection of science fiction and Jan Goldie bookfantasy stories by Lee Murray, Piper Mejia and Celine Murray and myself.
Two of the stories, A Mer-Tale and Peach and Araxi, are nominated for best novella in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards this year.
I also decided to give the indie publishing route a go. My fellow writers kindly gave me permission to make A Mer-Tale into a separate book and so my huge self-publishing learning curve began! A Mer-Tale is now on Amazon, Smashwords and iBooks and I’ve held the glossy paperback in my hand! | Read More...

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Awards In the News Interviews SpecFicNZ 

SpecFicNZ sweeps the Shadows away

Shadows AwardSpecFicNZ was well represented at the recent Australian Shadows Awards, which recognise excellence in the Horror writing field in Australasia. Three of the top awards were taken away by SpecFicNZ members: Debbie Cowens won Best Short Story for her creepy-kid tale “Caterpillars”; Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray won Best Edited Work for Baby Teeth: Bite-sized Tales of Terror (Paper Road Press, 2013); and Marty Young won Best Novel with his debut novel 809 Jacob Street (Black Beacon Books, 2013). | Read More...

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Interviews Kiwi Writers Publication News SpecFicNZ 

Interview with member Alan Baxter

bound-cover-medSpecFicNZ member Alan Baxter‘s new book, Bound, is coming out in July 2014 from HarperVoyager Australia. We asked Alan a few questions about the book and his writing process.

Can you describe your writing for someone who is unfamiliar with it?

I write mostly dark urban fantasy, playing with magic, monsters, martial arts and mythology. Think Clive Barker meets Neil Gaiman, with doses of Alan Moore thrown in. Kinda.

Did you bring anything from your own life to this story? How did that work? | Read More...

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Interview: Max Brooks

Vulture interviews Max Brooks: Max Brooks is best known for writing World War Z, a fictional oral history of a zombie outbreak that sets itself apart from other undead lit via its detailed imagining of what geopolitics and military strategy might actually look like if a hellish plague of lurching, man-eating monsters overtook Earth. Brooks’s ability to mix the incredible and the plausible is on display again in his latest project, The Harlem Hellfighters, a research-driven graphic novel (illustrated by Canaan White) about the remarkable 369th Infantry Regiment, an all-black unit of the New York National… | Read More...

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Introducing Beaulah Pragg!

Our very own Beaulah Pragg is the guest this week on Helen Lowe’s ‘Meet SpecFicNZ-Christchurch‘ series. Beaulah talks about what inspired her to write her novel The Silver Hawk, and why she can’t imagine ever giving up writing!

“If I’d known what I was getting myself into, I might have been a bit overwhelmed, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Pop on over to Helen’s blog – Helen Lowe…On Anything, Really – to find out more.

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