Tag Archives: books

NZ writer makes award history

Congraulations to Bren MacDibble -a New Zealand author who has lived in Australia for two decades – for winning two categories with two different books in the same year at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

MacDibble’s How to Bee, which won the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction, describes a dystopian future without bees where children perform the essential task of pollination. Judges said it was a tale to fire young readers with awareness and courage for the future.

They also heaped praise on In the Dark Spaces, written under the pseudonym Cally Black, which saw MacDibble claim the Copyright Licensing Award for Young Adult Fiction. Judges said it was a high-concept science fiction novel and an impressive tale of world class calibre.

Story here.

The Mad Science Book Launch with Frankie and Miss Lionheart

Come join the party as Frankie and Miss Lionheart launch their books with science games, and fun. With prizes for the best dressed scientist and monster costume – but never fear, most scientists and some monsters look just like ordinary people!

50% from A.J. Ponder’s books sold at Rona Gallery will go to Te Omanga Hospice as part of the “Ponder This” exhibition. 3-20 August
When:  Thursday 17th August 6pm – 8pm
Where:  Ron Gallery, 151 Muritai Rd, Eastbourne

Marie Williams Legacy

Marie Williams has continued caring for others by gifting her Otaki bookshop to the hospice that cared for her during her battle with cancer.

It will be renamed Arohanui Hospice Marie’s Main Street Books, in memory of Williams, and will be open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.00pm and Saturday from 10.00am until 1pm.

If you’re in Otaki drop in

New Science Fiction & Fantasy Bookstore in Oamaru

A specialty Science Fiction & Fantasy bookstore is coming to Oamaru.   Check them out on facebook.

The shop also has a blog which reviews Science Fiction and Fantasy books every week and sometimes interviews authors.

Drop in on yor next visit to the Steampunk capital city!

Nominations for the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel awards opening soon!

Nominations for the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel awards will open on 1st December 2015. The nomination period will close at 8.00 pm on 28th February 2016.  The awards recognise excellence in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents, and first published or released in the 2016 calendar year.

Anyone can make a nomination and it is free! To make a nomination please email sjv_awards@sffanz.org.nz. See the website for the categories and get busy reading NZ authors and watching NZ movies.  We have a list of New Zealand works that may be eligible for nomination here.

The rules and criteria for the Sir Julius Vogel Award can be found here.

Book Launch – The Sovereign Hand

Steam Press is supremely excited to launch its first fantasy novel, The Sovereign Hand, by Paul Gilbert.

The launch will be at Matchbox Studios, 166 Cuba St, Wellington, from 5.30pm on Thursday 21 August.

“In my experience, the difference between hope and despair turns on the tiniest thing…”

Thorn, the gilded capital: bedecked in steam and the dust of convoys bearing riches from all across the earth. From here, wise and ruling hands have ensnared all Aurawn in a great story, a Primacy of Peace. A land where every person – human, gobelin, or drake – can dream, toil hard and succeed.

Of course, not everyone sees things that way. But when Alexa Temperen stands above Crucible Square and denounces the First and all his government for their injustices, the last thing she imagines is that she’ll soon be working for them, as a champion: one of the Sovereign Hand.

Because prophecy has spoken. Evil is stirring, and Alexa is just one of five unlikely heroes chosen to face it. They each have their doubts, and in her darkest moment Alexa still must decide: put pride aside and fight for a government she despises, or turn her back on her calling, leaving millions at the mercy of an unimaginable terror…

Jacqui Smith of SFFANZ Review wrote that The Sovereign Hand has “clever and carefully measured prose… a meticulous setting, and memorable characters…” and noted that it is “quite possibly one of the best works of fantasy ever published in New Zealand,” while Bernard Beckett has called this “a truly ambitious novel, both in scope and subject matter…  A wonderfully energetic debut, a celebration of form and expression.”

To download a free sample or find out more, please click here.

2014 Campbell Award Nominees

Almost all the stories nominated for this year’s Campbell Award are available for download as a free ebook. The book contains more than 800,000 words of fiction by 111 authors.

The Campbell award is presented every year at the World Science Fiction Convention. It is an award for the best new writers. The award celebrates potential: Nominees are often young (though not always), and the Campbell award tends to serve as a signpost for fans, pointing the way to the next great read.

Download this ebook and treat yourself to a lot of wonderful stories. And see if you can identify the people who will go on to be the great names of science fiction in the future…


Wellington based author shortlisted for Arthur C. Clarke Award

Hachette New Zealand is absolutely thrilled to announce that Wellington based author Phillip Mann has made the shortlist of the Arthur C. Clarke Awards for his book The Disestablishment of Paradise.An epic ecological science fiction thriller, The Disestablishment of Paradise is a tale of Love and Destruction on a strange planet called Paradise. 

The full Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist includes God’s War by Kameron Hurley (Del Rey), Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit), Nexus by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot), The Adjacent by Christopher Priest (Gollancz), The Machine by James Smythe (Blue Door) and of course The Disestablishment of Paradise by Phillip Mann (Gollancz). The winner of the UK’s top science fiction prize will receive a cheque for £2014, will be announced on 1 May and will join a list of former winners including Margaret Atwood, M. John Harrison and China Miéville.

Phillip Mann was born in Yorkshire. A theatre lover, he studied English and Drama at Manchester University and later in California. He worked in the New China News Agency in Beijing for two years and there wrote his first novel. He has lived in New Zealand since 1969, working as a professional theatre director and writer. He founded the Dept of Drama at Victoria University in 1970 and retired as Professor of Drama in 1997. To date he has published 10 novels, in addition to which he has written plays for the theatre and many stories for Radio New Zealand. A volume of his short stories, Maestro and Other Stories is due for publication in May this year.

Book lovers to have a new online home

A pair of book lovers have teamed up with the aim of creating NZBooklovers.co.nz, which they believe will be New Zealand’s biggest website dedicated solely to books and reading.

Between them, J. J. McConnachie and Emma Codd read over 200 books a year, and both have a keen interest in the online book world. Both have reviewed books for a number of websites, and Mrs McConnachie has worked on a number of online book-related projects.

The project came about after they discovered a mutual frustration at the lack of a New Zealand online book community. Mrs McConnachie, a website content manager by trade, says, “There are a number of book blogs, but there is no decent website that represents New Zealand book lovers, and their interest in the world of literature.

“We want to create a website for other New Zealand book lovers, not only to showcase both New Zealand and international titles, but also to share author interviews, reviews, competitions, reading and writing advice.

“The book publishing industry is changing fast overseas, with e-books taking off, and we want to be there online, as New Zealand begins to follow the digital book revolution that is happening right now.”

Mrs McConnachie and Ms Codd have the ability to create the website, but need a little help to fund the basics of the build, and the two have started a crowdfunding project to finance their effort.

The two are passionate about NZ authors as well as readers, and authors with a published or soon-to-be published book can receive a months worth of advertising on the site once it is built for one of the pledge prizes. Authors and fellow book lovers can help bring NZ Booklovers to life by making a pledge at https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/Crowd/Details/1534.

Book Launch — The Wind City

Steam Press is thrilled to launch its latest novel – The Wind City, by Summer Wigmore.

Wellington. The wind city. New Zealand’s home of art and culture, but darker forces, forgotten forces, are starting to reappear. Aotearoa’s displaced iwi atua – the patupaiarehe, taniwha, and ponaturi of legend – have decided to make Wellington their home, and while some have come looking for love, others have arrived in search of blood.

A war is coming, and few can stand in their way. Saint (lovably fearless, temporarily destitute, currently unable to find a shirt) may be our only hope. Tony, suddenly unemployed and potentially a taniwha herself, has little choice but to accept the role her bloodline dictates. And Hinewai, who fell with the rain? If she can’t find her one true love, there’s a good chance that none will live to see the morning.

Wellington will never be the same again.

James Guthrie from Wellingtonista said “The Wind City is a startling debut novel for a nineteen-year-old writer. More to the point, this is a startling novel for a writer of any age, at any stage of their career: first book or tenth.”

To download a free sample or find out more, please click here.

The launch will be at Matchbox Studios, 166 Cuba St, Wellington, from 5.30pm on Thursday 21 November.

Wine! Beer! Disemboweling by taniwha!

Nominations for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2014

Nominations for the 2014 Sir Julius Vogel awards will open on 1 November, 2013.  The awards recognise excellence in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents, and first published or released in the 2013 calendar year.

Anyone can make a nomination and it is free! To make a nomination please email sjv_awards@sffanz.org.nz. See the website for the categories and get busy reading NZ authors and watching NZ movies.  We have a list of New Zealand works that may be eligible for nomination here.

The rules and criteria for the Sir Julius Vogel Award can be found here.

Nomination FAQs can be found here.

If you would like to advise us of a work we have not listed, please contact listings@sffanz.org.nz.

Interview with David Gemmell Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel nominee Helen Lowe

NZ SFF author and SFFANZ member, Helen Lowe, is a finalist for this years’s David Gemmell Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel. As part of this year’s official programme, the Gemmell Awards’ administrators are featuring interviews with each of the shortlisted authors. Helen’s interview is up this week and you can read it here.
She was also interviewed on Hugo Award-winning fanzine SF Signal last week, by fellow NZ author Tim Jones here.

Phillip Mann

Radio New Zealand has interviewed Phillip Mann about his writing life, science fiction, and his new novel The Disestablishment Of Paradise. You can download the interview as a podcast from:


You can also read a review of the novel at:


Concatenation now available

The autumnal edition of the ‘Science Fact and Fiction Concatenation‘ is now up with news of SF across the world and especially Europe.  See here.

There are a few odds and ends of interest to NZ SF/Fantasy book readers, not least that many of the forthcoming season’s books from British publishers will also soon be distributed in NZ.

Of particular likely interest to NZ fans is one from an NZ author, David Hair, here.  Also up in the autumnal edition is a stand-alone conrep of NZ’s natcon, unCNventional.

Winners of LIANZA Children’ Book Awards

Congratulations to the winners!

LIANZA Junior Fiction Award – Esther Glen Medal

The Travelling Restaurant by Barbara Else, (GECKO Press).

LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award

Pyre of Queens by David Hair, (Penguin NZ)

LIANZA Illustration Award – Russell Clark Award

Rāhui  by Chris Szekely and Malcolm Ross, (Huia).

LIANZA Non Fiction Award – Elsie Locke Medal

Nice Day for a War by Chris Slane and Matt Elliott, illustrated by Chris Slane (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd).

Te Kura Pounamu (te reo Māori)

Ngā Taniwha i te-Whanga-nui-a-Tara by Moira Wairama and Bruce Potter, (Penguin NZ).

Librarians’ Choice Award

Rāhui  by Chris Szekely and Malcolm Ross, (Huia).

Te Rōpū Whakahau Award Winners

Te Tohu Taurapa for te wahanga  pikitia (picture book)

Ngā Taniwha i te Whanga-nui-a-Tara by Moira Wairama and Bruce Potter, (Penguin NZ).

Te Tohu Ngā Kete e toru for te wahanga pukapuka paki (fiction)

Te Poiwhana by Te Kauhoe Wano and Andrew Burdan, (Huia).

Te Tohu Pounamu

Kei Wareware tātou translated by Katerina Mataira, written by Feana Tu’akoi and illustrated by Elspeth Alix Batt (Scholastic).

Te Tohu Hoani Te Whatuhoro Jury  for te wahanga pukapuka pono (non- fiction)

Not awarded due to lack of entries.

Book Launch Events for “Burnt Ice”

There are two Wellington book launches planned for “Burnt Ice” by New Zealand author Steve Wheeler.

1  Saturday, 14 April noon until 2pm at the Weta Cave, 1 Weka St Miramar

2  Tuesday, 1 May at 7pm at Whitcoulls Lambton Quay.

To find out more about “Burnt Ice”, why not take a look at the SFFANZ review of it over here. Or read this article about Steve on Stuff.

Some Notes
– Yes we do know there are two Whitcoulls on Lambton Quay. [EDIT] We checked, it is the one that used to be Borders.
– There may be some other events around the country for “Burnt Ice”, we will update those as we find out more.
– Can’t make the events above? Why not attend unCONventional. Steve will be there and you can have a chance to hear him read his work and do signings.

Blog Tour for “The Gathering of the Lost”

Helen Lowe has been out and about taking a tour to promote the launch of her latest book “The Gathering of the Lost”. The tour in question is an electronic one, going around the blog world. Check out the following destinations:

On the Harper Voyager Site announcing the launch.

Chatting on Plains FM – this is an audio download.

On Trent Jamiesons Blog – Helen Lowe on Romance vs Reality: War & Conflict in Epic Fantasy and “The Gathering of the Lost”.

On the Orbit site – Celebrating “The Gathering of the Lost” & The Power of Environment.

On John Scalzi’s Whatever – The Big Idea & “The Gathering of the Lost”.

And finally on SF Signal – Celebrating Epic Fantasy (PLUS: Giveaway for “The Gathering of the Lost”!)

Ray Guns & Rocket Ships

In early December 2010, Fred Fastier, inaugural Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Otago, donated a 1200 strong collection of Science Fiction titles (magazines and books) to the Special Collections, University of Otago. This collection forms the basis of the exhibition ‘Ray Guns & Rocket Ships. The Fred Fastier Science Fiction Collection’, which begins in the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago, on 23 March 2012 and runs through to 15th June 2012. Hours: 8.30 to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday

Tales From The Bell Club is open for submissions.

‘Tales from the Bell Club’ anthology is open for submissions. Paying US$25.00 for each story accepted. Open until December 23rd at the moment. Click
here for more information.

Release date: April 2012
Genre: Horror
We are now inviting submissions within the following guidelines for ‘Tales From The Bell Club’

Gentleman’s Clubs were fine establishments made famous by various books, radio play series’ and films. The clubs were places where explorers and adventurers would gather and tell stories of their adventures in exotic locations.

The Bell Club is different. Instead of being an adventurer’s club – it is an establishment that restricts its membership to those who have experienced unspeakable horror.

Successful membership requires the applicant to tell a story – and if the members find it disturbing enough – the applicant is granted access. It’s like a nascent support group for the traumatised.

No one judges or questions the stories told – because all the members have seen such things as no man can rationalise – and who are they to judge if a fellow storyteller is lying, mad or hallucinating?

By its nature the stories are set in the early years of the 20th Century, with male or female protagonists.

The submission guidelines are:

1. Stories must be suitable to be told in The Bell Club. A Gentleman’s Club (which does allow women members) where the members relate their personal stories of horrors they have witnessed or experienced.

2. The stories are being told in a setting between the years 1885 and 1935. The story should reflect this time setting, with exceptions suitable to the specific narrative.

3. Each story must be of a personal horror nature (and can include supernatural, monstrous, and other weird fiction elements). Tales that are told are where the protagonist experienced horror personally.

4. The stories are being narrated by the protagonist to other club members. This means stories should be told in the first person perspective (unless an exception fits the particular narrative style) but MUST be told from personal experience..

5. Stories should be in keeping with the setting in which the stories are told – so turn of the century knowledge, beliefs, cultural norms (1885-1935)

6. Story length should be between 3-10K words

7. No pornography. Gore, offensive language and sexual content should be within the context of the setting and cultural norms of the time period.

What rights do we want?

First publishing rights (print digital and audio), the right to use the story for as long as there is demand for the book, the right to edit each story for any missed grammatical errors, and the right to use parts of the book and the author’s name for promotion. You will keep all other rights and can republish the story anytime you choose after publication.

This is currently an open submission period. Submissions to remain open until filled or closing date is chosen. The anthology will be published by Knight Watch Press in Spring 2012.

Send submissions with standard manuscript formatting to:


Payment for your accepted submissions will be $25, one contributors copy (eBook) and a 25% off the cover price when buying at least 5 copies directly from KnightWatch.

ISBN – 978-0-9876914-5-3
Publisher: KnightWatch Press

Michael Hart – Project Gutenberg

Michael Hart, who died on September 6 aged 64, was the father of Project Gutenberg, a seemingly quixotic scheme to copy the texts of tens of thousands of books into electronic form and distribute them for free; he thus gave birth to what has become known as the ebook revolution.
View the obit here.