The Listener Likes Voyagers. A Lot.

Voyagers has already received a very positive review from the US science fiction poetry journal Star*Line, and has also had good reviews in the Capital Times (Wellington) and Waikato Times. This week, Voyagers has received an excellent review in the New Zealand Listener.

Here is the full Listener review of Voyagers.

In it, reviewer David Larsen notes the inclusion of poems by more than 70 different writers, including Fleur Adcock, Alan Brunton, Owen Marshall and ARD Fairburn, and goes on to say:

The double take involved in reclassifying the likes of Marshall and Fairburn as science fiction writers is one of the least important of the many pleasures this intelligently organised, well-designed volume offers.

He also says:

The editors push the boundaries of the field out to their properly far-flung limits, which, for many readers, will be a revelation.

I hope it will be!

There are a number of ways to buy copies of Voyagers:

  • Directly from me (within NZ). I now have a limited number of copies for sale for $28 plus $2 p&p. If you’d like one, please email with your address and preferred payment method, and we’ll take it from there.
  • From an increasing range of bookshops. Unity Books (Wellington and Auckland), University Bookshop (Auckland), Bruce McKenzie Books in Palmerston North, Madras Cafe Books in Christchurch, and the University Book Shop in Dunedin all have copies, or can take your order if stock has run out.
  • From the publisher.
  • From (in paperback and Kindle e-book formats).
  • From Fishpond.
  • From New Zealand Books Abroad.
  • From Small Press Distribution in the USA.

Transported: Reviews

I thought it was time to collect the reviews of Transported that are available online into one post. So here they are:

That’s all the online reviews I know of. If you’ve seen another, please post a comment with the details.

Climate Change Statement from the Royal Society of New Zealand

As you may have seen from the energy and climate change links in the left-hand column of this blog, these are areas I’m keenly interested in. At present, there’s a well-funded campaign which is attempting to convince New Zealanders that climate change is not a threat, or if it is, that the threat is remote. The purpose of that campaign is to dissuade politicians from taking any action on the issue: in particular, any action which would hit the big greenhouse gas emitters, such as agriculture and heavy industry, in the bottom line.

This campaign of denial has had such notable successes as getting the Listener’s environmental columnist removed when he started to question who was paying the climate sceptics’ bills.

I’m therefore pleased that the Royal Society of New Zealand has released a statement setting out the basic facts about climate change in a clear, non-technical way. The Introduction to the statement says:

The globe is warming because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Measurements show that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are well above levels seen for many thousands of years. Further global climate changes are predicted, with impacts expected to become more costly as time progresses. Reducing future impacts of climate change will require substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

The rest of the statement goes on to lay on the evidence underpinning this statement. It’s the perfect reading matter for climate change sceptics who are still prepared to listen to reason.

Nice Photo … Shame about the Review

After the very positive review by Jessica Le Bas in the Nelson Mail, and several good ones in other papers, most lately the Timaru Herald, Transported has had its first bad review, by Steve Walker in the Listener.

Mind you, it wasn’t all bad. He said good things about “Rat Up a Drainpipe”, “The Wadestown Shore” and “The New Neighbours”, but he seemed to struggle with the shorter stories, and the less realistic stories — and as for the shorter and less realistic stories, they were right out.

Well, there’ s a name for this aspect of what I write : it’s called interstitial fiction, and it’s something I’ll be posting more about in future. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I hope it will be yours.

(Incidentally, Chris Else had an entertaining reaction to a bad review by Steve Walker of one of his books — see the third article down.)

The Listener review is headed by a jumbo-sized version of my author photo. This pleases me, not for egotistical reasons, but because a recent interview with photographer Miriam Berkley points up the importance of author photos in a crowded book market. There’s some wonderful author photos accompanying that interview, and it’s well worth reading.

Sonali Mukherji, who took my author photo, is an excellent photographer. She took the photo at the Kelburn Croquet Club, next to Victoria University, on a brilliantly sunny day last year. The sun was reflecting off my glasses, so she insisted I take them off: that also took years off my apparent age! It’s a bit like The Picture of Dorian Gray; I can grow steadily more decrepit, while my photo continues to twinkle at the world.

The Listener joins the climate change denial industry

The Listener (that’s the New Zealand Listener) has terminated Dave Hansford’s Ecologic column after he published a piece critical of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (who, despite their name, are New Zealand’s main association of climate change deniers) and exposed their dependence on the US backers and funders of the climate change denial industry – an industry with strong and documented links with both the tobacco industry, which pioneered the tactics the climate change denial industry now uses, and with oil companies, notably Exxon Mobil.

Not too many years ago, the Listener was a bastion of independent journalism, and a welcome counterweight to the heavily right-wing bias of the New Zealand newspaper industry. However, editor Pamela Stirling has back-pedalled furiously since she took over, turning the magazine into little more than New Idea with added TV listings. The only two remaining reasons to read it have been the Arts, Books & Music section, which is still excellent, and Dave Hansford’s column. I haven’t always agreed with what he’s written, but each week, he’s come up with intelligent, well-researched, focused environmental journalism.

So what did the Listener editor do when the local climate change deniers got their sugar daddies in the US to write angry letters to the Listener and issue threats? Did she back her columnist?

Like hell she did. First of all, she allowed the deniers, whose scientific credentials have been amply debunked in places such as Real Climate, extensive space for a “rebuttal”, and then she terminated the Ecologic column.

Flushed with this success, who knows who the climate change denial industry will go after next? When the streets of Wellington and Auckland are flooded with seawater, they’ll still be claiming it’s due to sunspots or urban heat islands. I only hope they all own expensive coastal properties.

Meanwhile, the Listener will doubtless continue on its merry way rightward and downward. These days, I prefer the TV Guide. At least it’s honest about what it’s doing.