Author Archives: Barbara Howe

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

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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

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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

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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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In Memoriam

Two weeks ago, the world lost a wonderful teacher. In her ninety years, Sarah Lucinda Davison Howe touched many lives. As a professional, early in her career she taught in the public schools and later gave music lessons out of … Continue reading

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WOW

We were down on the South Island this past week, taking a short family vacation before delivering our daughter to the University of Canterbury for the start of the school year. For me, the highlight of the trip was the … Continue reading

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Year of Wonders

The year is 1665. Bubonic plague is sweeping through London. Further to the north, in Derbyshire, the plague comes to the mining village of Eyam through a delivery of flea-infested cloth. The journeyman tailor sewing the cloth sickens and dies, … Continue reading

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The Five Hundred Kingdoms

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker for fairy tales. It shouldn’t be surprising then that Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms series appeals to me. In this fantasy world, the magic system is The Tradition: a mindless force that tries … Continue reading

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Children of the Black Sun

What choices can you make when there are no acceptable choices left? That seems to be the question raised in Australian author Jo Spurrier’s Children of the Black Sun trilogy. This is one of the best fantasies I have read … Continue reading

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