After such a successful con, the profile for New Zealand specfic seems to be on the rise again.
This might not mean much for the average reader. While those in the know have always been aware of New Zealand's talented writers, they are mainly published via overseas venues. Raising the profile, and the idea, that NZ specficcers are an incredibly talented lot (die, towering poppies, DIE!), means a lot for writers like myself who have felt like they've been working on a desert island. And that's a good thing - for a zeitgeist to gain momentum, the community behind it needs to remain cohesive, positive and motivated.
On the heels of Au Contraire, a successful launch of SpecFicNZ, and the launch of an anthology of New Zealand specfic, "A Foreign Country", September continues the New Zealand specfic momentum within various communities.
Over at Kiwi Writers, September is specfic month. This month's challenges include: focusing on writing, editing or finishing a spec fic (even if you've never tried the genre before); writing a piece specifically using an Urban Legend; rewriting Chapter One of a spec novel that you may have in the works.
SpecFicNZ are holding New Zealand Spec Fic Blogging Week from September 13th to 19th. You don't have to be a member of SpecFicNZ to participate - just write a blog post (or 3) about spec with a uniquely New Zealand bent, and send in to the link to be published on the page.
I have already started planning my blog posts for that week. I have chosen a theme of "Beginnings", since this year has been my start on the path towards becoming a published writer. I already have a couple of blog posts in mind upon that theme.
There are New Zealand spec writers with books just released, or about to be released within the next few weeks. With such a broad depth of talent getting international exposure and publication, it's very hard to argue that New Zealand spec is on the down low!
Philippa Ballintine's "Geist", out October 26th.
Mary Victoria's "Tymon's Flight", available now.
Helen Lowe's "The Heir of Night", out October 1st.
"A Foreign Country", edited by Anna Caro and Juliet Buchanen, published by Random Static, out now.
Douglas A. Van Belle's "Barking Death Squirrels", out September.
I'm sure I've forgotten some other spec books by New Zealand writers due out (or out now) so if you know of any, please post in comments and I'll add them to the list.
Happy first of spring!