New Zealand Book Month featuring New Zealand speculative fiction
Wellington City Libraries is hosting an evening titled,” Words on the Wind” on the Wednesday 20th March where six writers from SpecFicNZ will read from their work.
SpecFicNZ is an organisation for New Zealand writers of Speculative Fiction. Speculative fiction is a genre used to cover a vast number of different types of fiction, such as science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural, magic realism fiction and therefore has numerous subgenres. Most writers of speculative fiction provide unique interpretations and push the boundaries of the mainstream genre plots. A good definition of Speculative Fiction comes from The Collins English Dictionary which states, “…a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements.”
This is a very popular form of writing; giving writers the unlimited use of their imaginations and readers some great reading experiences.
As this is New Zealand Book Month we are highlighting some of the writers who will be present at the “Words on the Wind” event and also some other New Zealand writers whose popular works can be defined as “speculative fiction”.
A foreign country : New Zealand speculative fiction / edited by Anna Caro and Juliet Buchanan. Attending the evening will be Anna Caro, a Wellington writer who is co-editing another collection of short stories titled Regeneration: New Zealand Speculative Fiction II. The first collection she co-edited published in 2010 for this series contained twenty-two stories from New Zealand writers and included stories from well known writers such as Bill Direen, Juliet Marillier and James Norcliffe.
Mansfield with monsters : the untold stories of a New Zealand icon / by Katherine Mansfield ; with Matt and Debbie Cowens.
Matt Cowens is another Wellington writer as is Debbie Cowens, both will be attending the “Words on the Wind” evening. Together they wrote, Mansfield with Monsters, published in 2012, a collection of short stories taken from Katherine Mansfield‘s work and altered to include elements of science fiction and the supernatural. This is a great example of Speculative Fiction.
Transported : short stories / Tim Jones.Tim Jones has lived in Wellington since 1993 and has had a novel, three collections of poetry and two short story collections published. He has a long association with the New Zealand science fiction community and is a keen environmentalist. He will be reading from his work at the SpecFicNZ evening. In his short story collection titled, Transported, published in 2008, the stories range in genre, from science fiction, to realism, from humour to metafiction and fantasy.
The following four New Zealand writer’s work could be included under Speculative Fiction too.
The Blood Red Army / David Bishop.
David Bishop was born in 1966 but has lived in England since 1990. He has written drama for television and radio, screenplays, comics, with the most acclaimed, the Judge John Deed series, adapted to film and the Nikolai Dante series. The Blood Red Army is the second book in Fiends of The Eastern Front series and features vampires and zombies. “The Winter has halted the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1942, but the city of Leningrad is still besieged by German troops. Red Army soldiers and civilians are starving to death, but they refuse to surrender. The Nazis then unleash a terrifying new weapon against the city, a cadre of vampire warriors.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
I got his blood on me : frontier tales / Lawrence Patchett. Lawrence Patchett has a PhD in Creative Writing and lives on the Kapiti Coast. He has had work published in Sport, Landfall, Hue & Cry and Turbine. He was a winner of The Long and the Short of It short-story competition. I got his blood on me: frontier tales collects twelve of his stories that can be classified as speculative. “From a re-imagined history to a future where holograms walk the streets, all explore the frontiers that face the adventurous, now and in the past.” (adapted from book cover)
Archangel’s storm / Nalini Singh. Nalini Singh would be the most popular “speculative fiction” writers. Born in Fiji she moved to New Zealand as a child. She has over thirty books published since her third placing in 1999, in the Romance Writers of New Zealand “Clendon Award”. Her work since includes paranormal romance, science fiction, fantasy and romance. Archangel’s Storm is the fifth book in her Guild Hunter series, all set “in a deadly but beautiful world where angels rule and vampires serve.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)