Author Archives: Barbara Howe

Thirteen Orphans

Years ago in the Land Born of Smoke and Sacrifice, a China-like alternate reality, the winners in a war exiled the losers into our reality. The exiles—the young emperor and his twelve advisors, each personifying an animal in the Chinese … Continue reading

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The Lord of Dreams

Be careful what you wish for, as you will surely get it. Claire Delaney, normal American teenager, wishes she could be a hero. She is immediately snatched out of her bedroom by a delightfully dangerous figure, transported into the world … Continue reading

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Have His Carcase

What would you do if you came across the body of a man with his throat cut, so recently dead that the still-liquid blood is running in a glistening stream down the side of the rock he is lying on? … Continue reading

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Léon and Louise

Léon and Louise, by Alex Capus, is a charming love story, but is not a formulaic romance. The book spans decades and two wars, and the two title characters spend far more time apart than they do together. They meet … Continue reading

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A Short Rant About ‘Home’

I recently started reading a book where the otherwise fine opening scene was marred, for me, by one little detail: the narrator kept referring to the place she lived as a treehome. This irritated me for a couple of reasons. … Continue reading

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Cunning Devil

Ozzy Turner is a man you don’t want to cross. He is a cunning man, aka white witch; a magic user specialising in breaking curses and finding lost items or people. A man dedicated to protecting his community, the town … Continue reading

Posted in Urban Fantasy | 1 Comment

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Imagine a world where a human raised by fairies rules three kingdoms: one in Faerie, one in the human realm of northern England, and the third on the far side of Hell. During his three hundred year reign in the … Continue reading

Posted in Alternate History, Fantasy | Leave a comment

The Traitor and the Thief

In The Traitor and the Thief, debut novel by Gareth Ward, a fourteen-year-old boy named Sin is plucked off the streets and given an opportunity to earn a place in the Covert Operations Group (COG). COG is a clandestine organisation … Continue reading

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Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body

In Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body by New Zealand-born author Simon Petrie, hard science fiction intersects with another of my favourite genres, crime fiction. In a mining colony on Titan, Saturn’s moon, a young woman, Tanja Morgenstein, … Continue reading

Posted in Mysteries, Science Fiction | Leave a comment

ConClave3

ConClave3, New Zealand’s 39th National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, was held this past weekend in Auckland. I did not, as I had hoped, win a Sir Julius Vogel award for either Best New Talent or Best Youth Novel (for … Continue reading

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