Robinne Weiss’s short story, The Pied Piper, has just been published as the cover story in Andromeda Spaceways Magazine. The Pied Piper won the 2017 Lexicon Short Story Contest, and garnered an honorable mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. The story was inspired by the Predator Free NZ campaign.
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?
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.
“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.
Hand of the Trickster by Mike McMillan-Reeves
Reviewed by Nix Whittaker
This is a novella about a band of thieves that have come together to steal a book of questionable safety. Mostly we follow the character Now you see it. He is a a priest of the trickster cult that allows him to conjure up items. They have been commissioned to steal the book by a demon and things get tricky from there.
It took me a while to read this even though it isn’t very long mainly because I’m not a fan of male protagonists but Now is an interesting man with a strong set of rules that fits interestingly with his complete lack of qualms about stealing things.
He wants to steal their money. They want to steal his memories.
The thief who calls himself Now You Don’t serves the Trickster, exalting the humble and humbling the exalted. In the course of this noble enterprise, he discovers a conspiracy to recreate a magical interrogation drug, forbidden since the War of Gods for its memory-stealing side effects.
And the first people the conspirators plan to use it on will lead them straight to his family.
Tracking the source of the drug, he and his companions must battle pirates, Justicemen, and a guardian automaton in a desperate race against time. They’ve carried out many successful heists, but can they destroy the conspiracy before it steals from them what they value more than anything?
Auckland Allies 3: Unsafe Harbour by Mike Reeves-McMillan
Nazi sorcerers are plotting to steal the body of a tech billionaire, and the Allies must stop them, while outnumbered and, literally, outgunned.
Damaged by earlier encounters, but more determined than ever, they must draw on the spirit of the city itself – and their growing mastery of the magic in Sir Isaac Newton’s lost manuscript – to defend Auckland and each other. But how bulletproof is Tara’s new super suit, exactly? And can Sparx get a warning to the billionaire in time?
Solve the murder. Stop the war. Save the world.
Sir Brannon Kesh spent years building a new life as a physician, leaving the name Bloodhawk and the war that spawned it behind. But when the King’s cousin is murdered, duty calls him back. The crime scene suggests dark magic and the evidence points to the ambassador of Nilar, an alluring woman with secrets of her own, who sees Bloodhawk as little more than a war criminal.
As bodies pile up and political ramifications escalate, Brannon must join forces with a vain mage, a socially awkward priest, and a corpse animating shaman to solve the murders and prevent another war. But who can he trust when the phases of a bigger plan take shape?
The Risen are the greatest danger Brannon has ever faced. If he and his team cannot stop the killer then all of Kalanon – and the world – will descend into darkness.
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.
Clawsome Dragon Limericks Winners
Phantom Feather Press received a hoard of dragon limericks from all around the world. The verses made them roar and laugh, and on occasion, breathe fire. So many of the limericks were clawsome! Contestants made a fangtastic effort! Some of the finalists are SpecFicNZ authors.
The winners ( 1st, 2nd & 3rd places) will soon receive a voucher for the e-book Clawsome Dragon Limericks. All winners, honorable mentions and finalists have their limericks in the e-book and their names in the table of contents.
Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier is an anthology embodying the frontier spirit of the American West, but with a weird twist. Gunslingers with laser pistols, cattle drives through the galaxy, cursed nuggets of gold, and talking jack rabbits that grant wishes. Fantasy, SF, or horror, if it’s weird, we want to see it.
The book will be funded with a Kickstarter campaign in December 2016. We will pay each author a minimum of 4 cents a word, with the possibility of more if the Kickstarter is successful, and two physical copies.
Hand of the Trickster by Mike Reeves-McMillan.
Leverage meets Lankhmar in this sword-and-sorcery novella, as a thief who serves the Trickster God pulls daring heists in other gods’ temples.
Since the War of Gods, the high gods have grown silent and distant. The Trickster, though, is still at large in the world, humbling the exalted and exalting the humble. And the Hand of the Trickster is the thief called Now You Don’t.
He and his new crew are up for any challenge, whether it’s stealing a book from Wisdom’s library, dealing with a dark remnant from the War of Gods, or slipping the Grim Spear of the Inexorable Hand of Justice back into the heavily-guarded Justice Temple before it can be missed.
July in Aotearoa might be more about freezing southerlies than ice-zombies from the North, but honestly, at least the latter has novelty value. Winter has well and truly arrived; time to snuggle up with some reading.
At the Edge, edited by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray, is now available in bookstores around New Zealand – or, for those of you who would prefer not to get out of bed (or onto a plane) to get your hands on a copy, you can find the ebook at all the usual haunts, and the paperback from Amazon. Want to get your hands on the latest and greatest in Australasian SFF? Click here for links.
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.”
The Auckland Allies discover a mysterious threat in the city’s oldest cemetery, and their first attempt to intervene leaves one of them in hospital – the same hospital the necromancer calling himself “Mr. Smith” is about to attack with four thousand angry Victorian ghosts.
Hundreds of the city’s most vulnerable people are in danger. Will a magical manuscript by Sir Isaac Newton provide the knowledge they need to take Smith down? Or can Steampunk Sally use her deep connection with Auckland to defend its citizens?