Anthologies Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Grant Stone

By Grant Stone

When you spend a good number of years mowing an Auckland lawn you learn a thing or two. Like how quickly things grow. Grass, sure, but the weeds too. Skip a week or two and you have a jungle on your hands. Wait a month and you might want to skip the lawnmower and drive straight down to Hiretown for a chainsaw.

But you can’t complain. Drive an hour or so out of town and get out of your car. Walk for just a few minutes and you can really feel nature pressing in on you. You might think about friends and loved ones. The scar tissue of old arguments you lost, or worse, won for the wrong reasons. | Read More...

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Featured Work Kiwi Writers Publication News 

The Island

The Island by Nathan Rogers

“The Island” is a fun fantasy adventure for children set in a world of magic populated by goblins, trolls, fire-breathing drakes, and more.

The Island soars through the clouds keeping everyone safe, and the Lords and Ladies use its power to strike terror across the world. Their hounds also patrol the city, but Sky and the other imps chase and play in the narrow streets anyway, magnets for trouble.

Bored by her job helping to maintain the engine that keeps the Island flying, Sky longs for adventure and daydreams about the mysterious lands that lie below. But when an act of mischief goes terribly wrong, Sky is thrown from the Island into a strange new world. Hunted for reasons she doesn’t understand, Sky is forced to use every bit of her wit and cunning to survive. But even that might not be enough as the Island’s murderous hounds close in. | Read More...

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Anthologies Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Piper Mejia

Room Enough for Two

By Piper Mejia

Room Enough for Two explores the balance in relationships; where each person feels that they contribute the most to their shared life. As the protagonist actively improves their first home her hidden resentment towards the man she married grows. But what happiness doesn’t come with a little sacrifice? In a way, this story is a symbol of my own frustrations at the feeling I have too much to do, but never get anything done. My house is always needing repairs, yet I’m too tied to do them myself and economically unable to pay someone else to do them for me. At times, I think that perhaps the key to a happy life is to simplify, starting with the people I live with. | Read More...

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Anthologies Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Dan Rabarts

Story Origin: Mother’s Milk.

By Dan Rabarts

Long ago, in an old house on a hill, I remember a tree. It was vast, and full of shadows, and when the wind blew it moaned and creaked and spoke. When I tried to sleep, it was there outside the window, and when I dreamed, it knew. One Guy Fawkes night, there was a bonfire on the front drive, and the flames threw snarling lights among the branches and convinced me the tree really was alive. It loomed over the house, it whispered its hungers.

Below this tree, there was a hole, a former mine shaft, so deep the bottom was lost in shadow, even during the day. Here was a memory of a thing, a place, that scarred the sky and earth alike. A memory which three decades of living in other places and leading other lives had never erased. | Read More...

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Anthologies Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – I.K. Paterson-Harkness

By I.K. Paterson-Harkness


Both of my poems in Te Korero Ahi Ka began their lives as flash fiction. My stories have a habit of changing form in that way – from poem to song, from song to prose, from prose to poem – until they finally stick. I suppose the essence of a story can live on in any medium. I wrote Magnetic North for a flash fiction competition, with a “north” theme (didn’t win, obviously!). I remember being fascinated with the idea of magnets always aligning themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field. An uncontrollable tug, part of nature itself. So naturally I wanted to investigate the idea of a person being drawn the same way – how would it happen, and what would the consequences be? The other poem What you wish for was, in comparison, is just a silly idea I had about someone whose mind sometimes conjured what they desired at that moment. Poetry, I find, often shows just a snippet of a life, just a tiny window to look through into a particular moment or situation (as opposed to a full story, with a beginning, middle, end), and this poem is definitely that.

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 Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā – Mike Reeves McMillan

by Mike Reeves McMillan

Gatekeeper, What Toll? is my attempt to write a six-volume epic fantasy in a thousandth of the wordcount, by only writing the scenes that are from the point of view of a key minor character, and implying the remaining 99.9%. After all, we know how these stories go, don’t we? It’s also a tribute to one of my favourite authors, Roger Zelazny, in that it’s set in a sprawling and varied multiverse and centres on characters who can travel between the worlds. Much as New Zealanders learn to travel between cultures, perhaps? | 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 – 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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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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Author Events: E.G. Wilson

E.G. Wilson at the launch of her second book, Expression (Voiceless Duology #2).

It’s been a busy few months. My debut novel Voiceless (publisher: Atthis Arts, USA) launched back in July. The sequel and second half of the duology, Expression, released in October. The paperbacks only arrived the day before the launch — cutting it tight! But we made it. Had a great turn out and some fabulous weather, and sold a fair few books, too.

Among other projects and besides the day job, I’ve started writing a new series. Using Camp NaNo and November NaNoWriMo for extra momentum, I’ve written the drafts of two 100k+ books and a novella since July, and I’m on track to finish the third book by mid-December. I have twelve books minimum planned in the series, so we’ll see where that ends up. I’ve never written this much this fast, it’s amazing. And a bit scary. Mostly amazing. | Read More...

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Kiwi Writers Reviews 

Review: Hounds of the Underworld by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts

SpecFicNZ review of the new supernatural mystery by writing team Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray A scientist with parent problems and her tough-guy half-brother with a not-so-imaginary friend in the shadows…the perfect team to solve a mystery in which the body is missing. I enjoyed watching the back and forth as the two authors each steered one character’s point of view. I’d call this a dark urban fantasy that just barely touches the line into horror. Yes, there are slimy tentacles and lots of blood and gore, but all this tends to be limited to just a few pivotal scenes. For those with more sensitive tastes, there is animal death, but not directly impacting the characters we’re given time to love. The plot gives plenty of surprises and crash-bang twists and turns. There’s a good emphasis on science as the basis for investigations, and the troublesome parents are all too relatable, wishing their daughter would switch careers and marry the smarmy businessman they recommend to her. It is gratifying that she comes into her own when away from their influence, even though they make her feel so helpless and they do not respect her career – when she is out pursuing that career and probably a little harder than she should, she finds unexpected strength within herself to do the impossible and survive. Relationship development is also significant as Penny and Matiu grow closer and learn to trust and work with each other. In the beginning they are shown as very different and often not even on the same wavelength, but they are forced into collaboration and can only solve the crime by their combined and maximised effort, taking each to breaking point and beyond where they ever thought they could go. There are some vagaries of verb tense that don’t quite work for me, but I bet only a language nerd would ever notice. And I would have liked a little more detail in the setting, since my own home town doesn’t often feature in a novel. It almost feels a little bit generic except for the ubiquitous Harbour Bridge, and it was only when our intrepid heroes got out in the countryside that it started to feel more like New Zealand. By the same token it was great to see Auckland as the main backdrop for this tale, and perhaps in the future cities do become even more generic than they already are. Hounds of the Underworld is a fast-moving futuristic novel with a great New Zealand flavour and supernatural thrills on the side, excellently written in a noir whodunit style, and just slightly fewer dogs than the title suggests. Review by Grace Bridges Grab it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1935738968
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Featured Work Kiwi Writers Publication News 

Get Changels Nemesis, part one Dark Side

Tracking Al Qaeda in Pakistan, sex on a Fijian beach, fighting UFOs in Africa – Sam Kahu’s 2009 might sound exciting for a fifteen year old, but there’s no room for error. Earth’s alien overlords want no repeat of the last battle. They want Sam and the rest of the Changels eliminated. But as natural psychics spiritual risks also haunt them. Sam learns he must still deal with his father’s legacy of evil, then he discovers his partner, the beautiful but manipulative Tahira, is way ahead of him. Has Tahira… | Read More...

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Sir Julius Vogel Award Winners

Group photo of SJV winners in Taupo

The Sir Julius Vogel Awards were presented this weekend at LexiCon in Taupo.

Full List of Winners:

Best Novel:
Into the Mist, Lee Murray (Cohesion Press)

Best Youth Novel:
Light in My Dark, Jean Gilbert and William Dresden (Rogue House Publishing)

Best Novella / Novelette:
The Convergence of Fairy Tales, Octavia Cade (Book Smugglers)

Best Short Story:
“Splintr”, A.J. Fitzwater, published in At the Edge (Paper Road Press)

Best Collected Work:
At the Edge, Edited by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray (Paper Road Press) | Read More...

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Calls for Submission E-books Flash Fiction Kiwi Writers Short Story 

Submissions Open for Breach Ezine

Breach is an online magazine for SF, horror and dark fantasy short fiction, and is currently open for submissions. Our focus is on new and emerging Australian and New Zealand writers and artists, and helping them get their work out into the world.

​​Issue number 1 is now available through iTunes and Smashwords. Travel to the mesosphere to catch a glimpse of Hannah C. van Didden’s The Unknown, while in Matey, Peter Kirk wonders what happens when robots get old. With Hurk + Dav, Arthur Robinson introduces two of our favourite new characters. And poet Jesse Hayward plays with time in The Devil’s Loop. | Read More...

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Training Kiwi Writers Training 

‘Write & Sell Your Novel’ Course offered by Local Author

Steff Green, New York TImes and USA Today bestselling author of sixteen dark dystopian fantasy and paranormal romance novels and regular speaker at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conferences, is offering an eight-week training course on the topic of Making Your First Indie $1000.

The course will cover plotting, finishing what you start, indie publishing options, managing outsourcing, identifying and reaching readers, and more. Registation is open now, and the course starts on May 15th, 2017 at a cost of $99USD. | Read More...

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