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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Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror now open to submissions

Talie Helene and Liz Gryzb are now reading for their ongoing Year’s Best series, and we encourage our members to submit. This will be the seventh volume of the award-winning annual series collecting the best fantasy and horror stories from the Antipodes.

The deadline for submissions is 1 July 2017.

Liz says:

“Talie and I are now reading for the Ticonderoga Publications’ 2016 Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror anthology. The submissions guidelines are found at the link below. While we read widely, if you’d like to make extra-sure we’ve considered your story for inclusion, please send us a copy. | Read More...

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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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LexiCon Announces Short Story & Drabble Competitions

LexiCon, the 38th New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, are pleased to announce details of two competitions being run as part of the convention: the Short Story and Drabble contests. There will also be competitions for Art, filking, and costuming, with details to come.

SpecFicNZ are proud to support these competitions, and hope that many of you will enter.

Short Story Competition

In association with SpecFicNZ.


The winners will be selected from the shortlist by our Guest of Honour, Seanan McGuire. Pre-judging will be carried out by Andi Buchanan and Cassie Hart, the LexiCon co-chairs and editors of the Sir Julius Vogel Award winning anthology Tales for Canterbury. | Read More...

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Three Anthologies Seeking Submissions

The SUBMERGED, ALL HAIL OUR ROBOT CONQUERORS!, and THE DEATH OF ALL THINGS anthologies from Zombies Need Brains LLC are now open up submissions for a few remaining slots in each anthology. If you have a story idea that fits one of the anthology themes, write it up, revise it, polish it, and send it in for consideration.

Stories for this anthology must be original (no reprints or previously published material), no more than 7,500 words in length, and must satisfy the theme of the anthology. Pay rate will be an advance of a minimum of 6 cents per word for the short stories. | Read More...

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12-36 to be made into a short film

Canterbury author E.G Wilson’s short story 12-36, which appeared in the At The Edge anthology (Paper Road Press, 2016), is under development to be made into a short film by local production company Rolling Ridges.

They are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds they will need to build the set, make the costumes, and hire the gear needed to pull it all together.

You can support local NZ filmmakers adapting kiwi spec fic onto the screen by checking out their PledgeMe page and getting behind the project. | Read More...

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Subs Open: Humans Wanted

When going somewhere dangerous, take a human. Humans are tough. Humans can last days without food. Humans heal so quickly, they pierce holes in themselves or inject ink under their epidermis for fun. Humans will walk for days on broken bones in order to make it to safety. Humans will literally cut off bits of themselves if trapped by a disaster.

You would be amazed what humans will do to survive. Or to ensure the survival of others they feel responsible for. 

That’s the other thing. Humans pack-bond, and they spill their pack-bonding instincts everywhere. Sure it’s weird when they talk sympathetically to broken spaceships or try to pet every lifeform that scans as non-toxic. It’s even a little weird that just existing in the same place as them for long enough seems to make them care about you.  | Read More...

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Silver, Sharp as Silk

Silver Sharp as Silk, by Dan Rabarts in Dreaming of Djinn

“It is sharp, and beautiful, and awful to watch them burn, but burn they must, wrapped up in dust and flame, writhing and curling and dying, thin hard men who wear cold steel at their belts while trading silk for silver, spices and myrrh. Sometimes, as they cry in anguish before the dust chokes their voices forever, I savour the sound, relishing that it is not I who cries in anguish for that which I have lost – not this time. Over rock, across dunes, between the sleeping canvasses of their caravans and the snorting of dromedaries, I blot out the sky before them, judge them, and deliver my sentence, or my mercy, as I see fit. I come upon them in the brutality of screaming wind and shredding sand, descend on them in a howling rage, summoning the nightmares of their sweating half-sleeps to their eyes, their throats. I swirl and thrash about them, knowing their bright Arabian steel, Damascan gold and Grecian silver will not shine so bright when I am done, when I have blasted the skin from their flesh and the flesh from their bones.” | Read More...

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Elias, Smith and Jones

Elias, Smith and Jones by Mark English in Escape Pod, January 31, 2013

He chuckled to himself as he looked up at the wall of people in front of him. Political leaders, military leaders, space systems engineers; all desperate to hear the words of an aged ship’s monkey from the Frontier. All because he and his co-conspirators had blackmailed the solar system.

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The Bone Plate

The Bone Plate by Dan Rabarts in Bloodstones

“Back in the black old days, we called it the Bone Plate. Wasn’t worth your life to touch the Bone Plate. It made men kings, back in the black old days. Mine was a trashcan lid, piled high with gnawed, soot-stained remains, the bones of rats and cats and stray dogs and pigeons. Only the bones of that which you had killed and stripped clean with your own biting, smiling teeth were allowed on your Plate, and whoever had the biggest Plate ruled the windswept world of trash and frost that sprawled beneath the overpasses. I remember jamming more and more bones on top of each other, wrapping them up with wire and twine and whatever else I could find amongst the trash, until mine towered taller than anyone else’s under the ‘pass. It had made me king, and Hania my queen. | Read More...

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Mary Had a Unicorn

Mary Had a Unicorn by Ripley Patton in Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear

The last thing on earth Mary Maloney wanted was a unicorn. She wasn’t an addict, no matter what they said at the clinic. Sure, she used sometimes just to have some fun, or when she was down. But who didn’t? It wasn’t any different than the booze her dad tanked. Or the pot he smoked. But you didn’t see anyone assigning him a freakin’ genetically engineered, one-horned parole officer.

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Never Look Back

Never Look Back by Grace Bridges in Space Battles: Full-Throttle Space Tales #6, from Flying Pen Press

Mars. Ten years ago. I didn’t kill him, I swear. It was an accident. And now his brother wants to kill me. I ran from him, into the farthest reaches of travelled space. But now my sister wants to die. I have to fight for her life before we can fight for both of us. Somewhere out there is my enemy…and he’s coming for me.

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