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Speculating on the speculative, Annabel Gooder

Te Kōrero Ahi Kā: To Speak of the Home Fires Burning
Grace Bridges, Lee Murray and Aaron Compton (eds)
SpecFicNZ, $25.00,
ISBN 9780473428341

“Ahi Kā”, the opening to this speculative fiction anthology, is a sonnet framing prose, blending Māori myth with modern inventions to create a brief and effective tale of hellhounds and standing firm. Eileen Mueller and A J Ponder prove their ability to paint a meaningful action scene with very few words. It serves as an impressive introduction.

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Kelp triffids, zombie chickens and taniwha, Annabel Gooder

Speculative fiction
At the Edge
Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray (eds)
Paper Road Press, $31.50,
ISBN 9780473354152

At the Edge is an original anthology of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy and horror) stories by New Zealand and Australian authors. The title is advantageously open; the eponymous edge can be outer space, a frontier planet, the border between the mundane and the supernatural, or living down here at the edge of the world. In a third of the 23 stories, that edge is apocalyptic. Another handful feature ghosts, and several more are about body-snatching or metamorphosis. Five take place off planet Earth, and the remaining few are varied – a  protagonist with narcolepsy, a pre-teen girl adopted by a street goblin, a housesitter with a zombie chicken problem.

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