Featured Work Kiwi Writers Reviews 

A Review of Quest by AJ Ponder

A Review of Quest: Book 1 of the The Sylvalla Chronicles by F Fraderghast (as reported to AJ Ponder)

By Lee Murray

YA science fiction and fantasy specialist, AJ Ponder, has done it again, this time with a story that is less science than her Lily Lionheart and Frankie Files titles and less interactive fiction than her Attack of the Giant Bugs adventure. Instead, Ponder has given us a narrative that is all fantasy (with a bit of alchemy thrown in). QUEST, the first book in Ponder’s Sylvalla Chronicles, is an irreverent and laugh-out-loud spoof on traditional fantasy in the vein of The Princess Bride. | Read More...

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Kiwi Writers Publication News Resources 

Putting the Science in Fiction

A great new resource for writers will be published next month by Writers Digest. Putting the Science in Fiction is a fabulous collection of articles about scientific topics of interest to authors. Topics are wide-ranging and include biology, medicine, computer science, geology, and space travel, among others. Each article is written by an expert in the field, many of whom also happen to be writers. The collection is edited by Dan Koboldt, and is based on his popular Science in Science in Sci Fi, Fact in Fantasy Blog. While many of the articles in the book are similar to the blog posts, they’ve all been expanded and updated for the book, plus there are some new articles as well. Best of all, New Zealand makes a great showing in Putting the Science in Fiction;four of the 59 articles were written by Kiwis! Christchurch-based authors Judy Mohr and Robinne Weiss each contributed two articles to the book. Way to go NZ! Putting the Science in Fiction is available for pre-order now, and will be released on 16 October.
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Into the Sounds In the News Kiwi Writers Reviews 

Into the Sounds by Lee Murray

Into the Sounds 

Into the SoundsNZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna is back again. This time, it’s not a military assignment, but a bit of R&R that draws him deep into the bush in New Zealand’s remote Fiordland. His girlfriend Jules Asher, always keen to save an endangered species, is on a conservation trip again – this time, culling deer. They helicopter in, rappel down into the bush and make a series of strange discoveries… a survivor from an ancient helicopter crash; poachers stealing rare New Zealand birds; an ex-US-military submarine lurking in the depths of a fiord; and a long-lost New Zealand race — the Tūrehu tribe. But there’s a primordial monster lurking beneath the depths, protecting the entrance to the Tūrehu hideout. | Read More...

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A view of a used and battered spaceship Kiwi Writers 

NZ Poetry Week: Members’ Poems (Part 3)

A view of a used and battered spaceship
Spaceship by Ian Brown – Creative Commons BY2.0

Here are some more of our members’ poems for you today!

Let There Be Stars – A Spacer’s Journal in 13 Parts
Grace Bridges

Day 1, January 9, 2193 (subjective Earth time)
crisp crescent moon dips towards unseen void
there is no horizon to stop the sky
Centers of gravity shifting, ever shifting
I tumble about in low-G and learn
my body is a stranger crawling the walls
This desert of night has stolen the world
and we the only oasis of light
hurled ahead into the endless night
In a shipload of partygoers
I dream alone | Read More...

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Paint bounces on a speaker Kiwi Writers 

NZ Poetry Week: Members’ Poems (Part 2)

Continuing our posting of members’ poems, here are some more for you to enjoy…

Dead Air
Grant Stone

If you have a speaker, copper wire, a handful of transistors
and the bones from a dead man’s ears
you can make a kind of radio.
Take it to the graveyard, up and down the dial-
-mostly static, but if you listen close
you can hear the whispers of those gone.
Do not cry
or speak
or make any sound at all:
if you can hear the ghosts, they can hear you too.

Your living voice will draw them like a flame-
they will follow you home to hear you talk | Read More...

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Globe suspended amidst rings and stars, Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida Kiwi Writers 

NZ Poetry Week: Members’ Poems (Part 1)

It’s NZ Poetry Week! Here are some speculative poems by our members. Enjoy!

Immi Paterson
Magnetic North

My entire life I had the feeling that I
had to arrive
here
at this precise point.
It’s not on a map, it slides about—
that’s something not often known—
but still, it is an exact location
at any given moment in time:
Magnetic North.

From the North Pole all roads lead south.
If you stand there, right on that spot,
the Earth spins at your feet.
That’s not where I am.
I’m on the ever-shifting position in which
Earth’s magnetic field points directly
downwards.
I’m at the mercy of the molten core
roiling away beneath me. | Read More...

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Book Launches Featured Work In the News Kiwi Writers Publication News SpecFicNZ 

Dunedin Author Kura Carpenter : The Kingfisher’s Debt (Urban Fantasy)

Dunedin author, Kura Carpenter’s Debut novel The Kingfisher’s Debt is available on preorder until the 10th August 2018 via publisher IFWG. The title will be on sale in Australia, UK and New Zealand on 28 September 2018.

The Kingfisher’s Debt is an Urban Fantasy set in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Magic isn’t real, right?

Within the small coastal city of Dunedin, local translator, Tamsin Fairchild has a reputation she hates. People think she’s psychic…

Always hovering around and interfering in Tamsin’s life, part father-figure, part thorn in her side, Detective Jackson, is an old-school cop. Childhood friend to her deceased mother, Tamsin wonders  could her mother have let an outsider in on the truth? | Read More...

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Anthologies Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Daniel Stride

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – An Extract from the Diary of Peter Mackenzie

By Daniel Stride An Extract from the Diary of Peter Mackenzie (which originally had “with the permission of the Hocken Library” in the title!) was born out of a desire to write a monster story. Not just any monster story: I wanted something with a decidedly New Zealand flavour, which immediately suggested the involvement of a taniwha. The big issue then was deciding where (and when) to set the piece. I did a fair amount of research on the traditions of the Whanganui River for that purpose, until I stumbled upon a completely useless little bit of trivia: there were plans over a century ago to expand the (now-closed) Kurow Branch of the New Zealand Railways inland. Those plans came to nothing, and the Branch terminus remained at Hakataramea… which inspired my idea of using a Waitaki taniwha to “explain” this mysterious failure. Having a background in academic History (and old-school horror) did the rest, so you end up with editorial commentary, “permission” from the Hocken Library (I’m a Dunedinite), and the allusion to Seacliff Lunatic Asylum – itself a creepy little bit of Otago history that I might do something with at some point. There is also an historical in-joke in the form of the horse being named Sir John (it is up to the reader to decide if the reference to the legendary Minister of Lands is affectionate or mocking). I went with a diary format because I felt a comparatively archaic mode was a good fit for the late nineteenth century, a time period not quite alien in its psychology, yet not quite modern. And it’s a horror story, damn it: a diary – the literary equivalent of a found-footage film – is a perfect way of covering a doomed protagonist. After that, the story rather wrote itself.
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Anthologies Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Darian Smith

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā

By Darian Smith

I’ve been thrilled to be able to participate in the creation of Te Korero Ahi Ka, and am very proud to show this collection of excellent New Zealand speculative fiction to anyone who might be interested in seeing what our country has to offer in the realms of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

There’s something unique about the voice of this section of the world and I love being part of it.

The story I contributed was a reprint which had won a competition SpecFicNZ in conjunction with www.wilywriters.com a few years ago. It’s one I’m particularly proud of and blends a multi-hued pasifika-style setting with the concept of magic as its own entity.  In this story, magic is an almost living thing – the star cloak –  that seeks the right person to wield it. The main character is a man who once wore the star cloak and controlled its magic but lost it. I wanted to explore the concept of power corrupting and that many of our best lessons in life are learned from loss and failure. | Read More...

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Anthologies Flash Fiction Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Ka – Matt Cowens

Te Kōrero Ahi Ka: The Iron Wahine

By Matt Cowens

I love the idea of giant bugs. The Mist by Stephen King is among my favourite stories, and I fondly remember a post-apocalyptic science fiction roleplaying game where the rag-tag gang I was part of was lead by a twelve-foot-tall cybernetic praying mantis. Te Papa’s recent Bug exhibit was a total delight. Closely behind the giant bug for entertainment value is the giant robot, the sword-wielding, flying, humanoid defender of humanity. From classic anime to recent blockbusters the giant robot has also been a source of joy for me. | Read More...

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Grace with a copy of Te Korero Ahi Ka Anthologies Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

TE KŌRERO AHI KĀ – A Dream Long Held

by Grace Bridges

For a number of years now, I have dreamed of making a SpecFicNZ anthology showcase. Although I’ve been on the Core committee for almost 6 years, and president for most of those, the time was not yet right to launch the project – so I honed my publishing skills and worked on other anthologies such as Aquasynthesis, Avenir Eclectia, and Alter Ego as well as editing dozens of novels in the intervening years.

Last year, when we discussed the idea, the Core was enthusiastic and committed to standing behind our members in this new, shared use of our assigned Publishing Grant fund. And so began the task of getting people into place. An early reshuffle meant that I was unexpectedly but not unwillingly handed the project management as a whole. Lee Murray stood ready, an ever-professional and reliable backup on the editing team; and Paul Mannering volunteered to herd the cats i.e. administrate the submissions and handle the financial side. It only remained to choose a mentee editor from the applicants, and for this Aaron Compton got on board. | Read More...

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Anthologies Kiwi Writers Reviews 

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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Anthologies Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

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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