Author Archives: Barbara Howe

The Essex Serpent

Early in 1893, new widow Cora Seaborne escapes from London for a quieter life on the Essex shore. She isn’t grieving; her marriage was not a happy one. She is instead enjoying her new freedom to do as she pleases, … Continue reading

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Short Takes on a Trio by New Zealand Authors

Aftershocks (Earthcore Book 3) by Grace Bridges Aftershocks is a fine addition to the Earthcore series, with a more interesting conflict than the earlier books (RotoVegas and Volcano City). Anira Fraser—the leader of the Earthcore team, when her mind isn’t … Continue reading

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NZ Writers Read

Did you know that the New Zealand Society of Authors has its own youtube channel featuring New Zealand writers reading excerpts from their works? What a great way to sample a variety of styles and voices in a time when … Continue reading

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Deltora Quest

Most of the children’s books I’ve blogged about are ones I read to my daughter. The Deltora Quest series, by Australian author Emily Rodda, is an outlier. My daughter discovered it for herself and read the entire series as a … Continue reading

Posted in Children's Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Noblebright Fantasy | 2 Comments

Temeraire

A British ship has just captured a French vessel after an unusually hard-fought battle. Captain Will Laurence is at first contemptuous of the French captain for risking men’s lives by refusing to surrender long after it becomes obvious they are … Continue reading

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The Goblin Emperor

With New Zealand in lockdown while the pandemic rages and our Prime Minister reminding us to be kind to one another, it seems appropriate to turn to hopepunk. What is hopepunk? I’m quoting here from a longer post by Alexandra … Continue reading

Posted in Fantasy, Hopepunk | 2 Comments

The Night Circus

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards… It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. London, October 1873. The flamboyant illusionist Prospero the Enchanter proposes a contest to his … Continue reading

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The Murderbot Diaries

If I were to make a movie of All Systems Red by Martha Wells, I would open with this voiceover: I murdered 57 humans. And then I went rogue. Murderbot, as the part-organic android security unit (SecUnit) privately calls itself, … Continue reading

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2020 Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Are you aware of the Sir Julius Vogel awards? Sir Julius Vogel was a prominent early immigrant to New Zealand. Besides being New Zealand’s Premier in the 1870s, he wrote New Zealand’s first science fiction novel, published in 1889. The … Continue reading

Posted in New Zealand | 2 Comments

From a Shadow Grave

Seventeen-year-old Phyllis Symons was murdered in 1931, struck on the head and then buried alive in fill from the excavation of Wellington’s Mount Victoria tunnel*. That historical fact is the springboard for From a Shadow Grave, by New Zealand author … Continue reading

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