From Short Stories to Science Fiction and Fantasy, this selection of new fiction show cases the diversification and skill of New Zealand writers.
Geist / Philippa Ballantine.
“The first in a new series. Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off malevolent hauntings by the geists. Sorcha Faris , a powerful member of the Order of the Deacons, is dispatched to an isolated village to aid a Priory plagued by violent Geist activity.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
A man melting : short stories / Craig Cliff.
“This collection of stories moves from the serious and realistic to the humorous and outlandish, each story copying an element from the previous piece in a kind of evolutionary chain. “A Man Melting” was awarded the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Tortolona / Thomas W. Devine.
“Seven Caribbean tourists become pawns in the struggle for ideological and political control of Tortolona when a Cuban-trained army officer, Martin Levera, seeks to overthrow the dictatorship of Mathew Duppie. When Levera lead his mutineers aggainst the rest of the Tortolonan Army all their lives are in peril whatever the outcome.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The below country / Nicholas Edlin.
“Mae Glass is the daughter of a once famous American novelist. From New York to Auckland via post-war Korea, her colourful childhood is itself the stuff of stories. More than thirty years later she travels back to booming Seoul, which is preparing to host the Olympic Games. Accompanied by a quirky, dubious team of guides, she tries to uncover the dark secret of her father’s wartime exploits, only to be besieged by all manner of ghost from her past.” – (adapted from Book cover )
The circus of ghosts / Barbara Ewing.
“New York, late 1840s, and in the wild, noisy, brash and beautiful circus of Silas P. Swift a shadowy, mesmeric woman entrances crowds because she can unlock the secrets of troubled minds. Above them all her daughter sweeps and soars: acrobat and tightrope-walker. The mysterious woman can help so many others, but she cannot unlock dark, literally unspeakable, memories of her own. In London memories fester in the mind of an old and venomous duke of the realm. He plots, with an unscrupulous lawyer (and a huge financial reward) against the mother and the daughter: to kill one, and to abduct the other and bring her across the Atlantic to him”. – (adapted from Amazon.co.uk description)
The trouble with fire / Fiona Kidman.
“This collection of short stories range in time from the colonial period to present day New Zealand, all written with subtlety and insight. They explore how we are all touched and sometimes scarred by the flames of emotion.” – (adapted from Book cover)
The conductor / Sarah Quigley.
“In June 1941, Nazi troops march on Leningrad and surround it. Hitler’s plan is to shell, bomb, and starve the city into submission. Most of the cultural elite are evacuated early in the siege, but Dmitri Shostakovich, the most famous composer in Russia, stays on to defend his city, digging ditches and fire-watching. At night he composes a new work. But after Shostakovich and his family are forced to evacuate, only Karl Eliasberg, a shy and difficult man, conductor of the second-rate Radio Orchestra, and an assortment of musicians are left behind in Leningrad to face an unendurable winter and start rehearsing the finished score of Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony.” – (adapted from Book cover)
Scarlet / Leigh Marsden.
“George is captivated by Cass and who could blame her? Cass is beautiful, sexy and outgoing and she and George run riot through the bars and beds of night-time Auckland. But are George and Cass just girls having fun, or is there something more going on? As George sinks deeper into the nightlife her dark past begins to emerge.” – (adapted from Book cover)
The sweet second life of Darrell Kincaid / Catherine Robertson.
“No one knows ‘happy endings’ like romance novelist Darrell Kincaid. In the act of adding the final full stop to her ninth book, Darrell has a revelation: it’s not the ending that really matters but what comes next. Darrell now sees that when her husband Tom died she lost more than the man she loved. She lost her own ‘happy ever after’. Darrell knows she has a choice. She can stay in New Zealand and live a half-life, or she can leave in search of something, perhaps someone else.” – (adapted from Book cover)
By any means / Ben Sanders.
“Friday rush hour, Auckland city. A lone shooter fires across a packed street and kills a man. Detective Sergeant Sean Devereaux is assigned the case. He’s not complaining, his Friday nights are seldom better spent. But the inquiry is not straightforward. Witness accounts are conflicting. The dead man appears to be an unintended victim, with the true target unknown. It’s a homicide that leaves police with no initial suspects and no apparent motive.” – (adapted from Book cover)