Aftermath: Tales of Survival in Aotearoa New Zealand is SpecFicNZ’s new anthology, available here.
The anthology explores Aotearoa in a post-apocalyptic world. Disasters have occurred around the country and the world. New Zealand, in our isolation down under, may have escaped most of what happened around the world, but it was pretty bad out there. As Kiwis are apt to do, though, we’re “getting over it”. You know, she’ll be right …
This is not just an anthology of disaster stories. The pages are filled with hope in the form of short stories, poems, flash fiction and artwork about what comes afterwards. The contributions are exclusively from SpecFicNZ members and reflect the diversity and breadth of this country we love to call home … even if the edges are a bit torn and tattered.
We’re interviewing all the contributors to the anthology so you can get to know the brave souls who’ve battled zombies, aliens, earthquakes, volcanoes and more to bring you the stories you’ll find between its covers.
Today, we’re chatting with Deryn Pittar
Aftermath includes a variety of disasters set all around Aotearoa New Zealand. What disaster / location combination did you write about and why?
I used the concept from my prize winning story from Geysercon, (Hendrik’s Pet) where an off-world Quonk disappears down Pohutu Geyser into the subterranean tunnels of the thermal fields of Rotorua. ‘Thermal Images’ begins after the collapse of the thermal system which floods downtown Rotorua – and is the creature discovered a quonk or a taniwha?
How do you think the Kiwi approach to life after disaster is unique?
I’m not sure it is unique but I think our isolation as a country requires some lateral thinking on a daily basis.
What are your most valuable post-apocalyptic skills?
I can cook, clean, sew, garden, write and tell a good story. I’m a gun at standing to my feet and talking for a minute, so that could get me out of a lot of trouble – or into it.
They say the pen is mightier than the sword. Being a writer, you must have lots of pens. What creative use would you put them to in a post-apocalyptic New Zealand?
Other than writing with homemade ink and a feather, perhaps an old fountain pen could be of use. Other than that a pen (even an empty ball-point pen) could be used to drill holes in the earth to plant leek seedlings into; or make holes in the centre of biscuit. Perhaps they could be used to roll hot brandysnaps around if you couldn’t find an old wooden pes. But in reality an old pen is not of much use, even as a pointer, unless it has ink in it.
Tell us a little about your other writing?
I write contemporary fiction, a little romance, some poetry and I love the challenge of a short story. Flash fiction tempts me. My latest novel ‘The Carbonite’s Daughter is a Y.A. dystopian, released this February by IFWG Publishing Australia .I have the sequel written so I’m hoping it will be accepted if this novel ‘flys’.
What are you working on now?
Mostly short fiction, with some success. I keep honing my writing skills and reading other writers’ work and commenting constructively. I have two unfinished novellas of which I’m ashamed and should finish.
Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?
I have an Amazon page, am on social media, and I email a monthly newsletter in the form of a short piece of fiction, which can be signed up for. Here are the links:
My newsletter: https://iwriteuread.substack.com