Aftermath Contributor Melissa Gunn

Aftermath Contributor Melissa Gunn

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 Melissa Gunn

Aftermath includes a variety of disasters set all around Aotearoa New Zealand. What disaster / location combination did you write about and why?

I wrote about a volcanic eruption in Auckland,  because it is statistically the most likely natural disaster to happen in the region. With over 50 volcanic cones in the Auckland volcanic field and Rangitoto presiding over the Harbour, it is hard to forget about volcanoes in Auckland.

How do you think the Kiwi approach to life after disaster is unique?

Kiwis tend to think we will survive any disaster

What are your most valuable post-apocalyptic skills?

My ability to identify edible weeds would no doubt be invaluable post-apocalypse.

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?

I would sharpen and fletch my used-up pens into darts to provide entertainment for friends and family.

Tell us a little about your other writing?

I write climate-fiction urban fantasy crossover novels. Think storms, demigods and shifters, with strong female leads. I like to keep things light..

I also write nonfiction. For example, last year I wrote a kids book about Toutouwai/New Zealand Robin (I was campaign manager along with my sister for Robin for Bird of the Year). I have a bunch of academic publications.

What are you working on now?

The second novel in my Weather Gods series, Heat Wave.

Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?

My website,

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