Awards! Free books! Awards!

‘Tis the season for spec fic book awards around the world. Here’s our round-up of this year’s shortlists:

Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand: Sir Julius Vogel Awards, featuring the work of many SpecFicNZ members – congratulations to you all!

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America: Nebula Awards, including the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy shortlist, featuring When We Wake by New Zealander Karen Healey

World Science Fiction Convention: Hugo Awards, including Best Editor awards (hooray for excellent editing!) and the 1939 Retro-Hugo Awards

David Gemmell Legend Awards for Fantasy shortlist featuring … no women writers at all, apparently – can you spot any?

Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist, featuring The Disestablishment of Paradise by New Zealander Phillip Mann

Booksellers NZ: New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults shortlist, featuring spec fic/YA titles When We Wake by Karen Healey, Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox, and Speed Freak by Fleur Beale

To celebrate this plethora of promising additions to our (massive, ever-growing) To Read Pile, we’ve had a rummage in the swag bag and have the following free books to give away. To enter, email us at specficnz(at)gmail(dot)com with the title of the book in the subject line and your delivery address in the body of the email. You may enter for more than one title but can only win max one book. Winners will be drawn at random on Thursday 24 April 2014. You must be a member of SpecFicNZ to enter. Join now!

Disestablishment of Paradise

Something has gone wrong on the planet of Paradise.The human settlers—farmers and scientists—are finding that their crops won’t grow and their lives are becoming more and more dangerous. The indigenous plant life—never entirely safe—is changing in unpredictable ways, and the imported plantings wither and die. And so the order is given—Paradise will be abandoned. All personnel will be removed and reassigned. And all human presence on the planet will be disestablished. Not all agree with the decision. There are some who believe that Paradise has more to offer the human race. That the planet is not finished with the intruders, and that the risks of staying are outweighed by the possible rewards. And so the leader of the research team and one of the demolition workers set off on a journey across the planet. Along the way they will encounter the last of the near-mythical Dendron, the vicious Reapers, and the deadly Tattersall Weeds as they embark on an adventure which will bring them closer to nature, to each other and, eventually, to Paradise.


(Shortlisted for the David Gemmell Legend Award for Best Novel)

With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body—though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring—and the Bondsmage’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha—or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.


Fifteen-year-old Archie Barrington is a top kart driver, aiming to win the Challenge series and its ultimate prize of racing in Europe.

He loves the speed, the roar of the engine, the tactics and the thrill of racing to the limits.

Craig is his main rival, and there’s also Silver, who drives likes she’s got a demon inside. Archie knows he’ll need all his skill and focus to win. But sometimes, too, you need plain old luck. Can Archie overcome the odds and win?

Many thanks to our friends at Hachette NZ and Random House NZ for donating these books.

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