Guests of Honourjump to:
• Julie E. Czerneda
• Russell Kirkpatrick
• Robbie Matthews
• Nalini Singh
• Helen Lowe
• Tee Morris
• Peter Ranyard
Julie E. Czerneda, International Literary GoH
Julie E. Czerneda is an award-winning, best-selling Canadian author and editor, with her first SF novel published in 1997, A Thousand Words for Stranger (DAW Books). A former biologist, she began writing professionally in 1985, contributing to over two hundred student and teacher resources, in all sciences, math, and career education. Since turning fulltime to fiction, she has written a dozen SF novels (DAW), as well as short stories, and has edited several SF and fantasy anthologies.A finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award (Distinguished SF) and the John W. Campbell Award (Best New Writer), Czerneda has won four Prix Aurora Awards (Canada's top science fiction honour), the Golden Duck Award of Excellence for Science and Technology Education, and made the preliminary Nebula ballot. Czerneda has judged writing awards, conducted writers workshops, provided professional development for teachers and librarians across Canada and the US, and consulted for Science News.
A sought-after speaker on scientific literacy, she received the Peel Award of Excellence in Education and is an Alumni of Honour of the University of Waterloo. In 2008, Czerneda was awarded the Science in Society Award (Youth) for Polaris by the Science Writers Association of Canada. In 2009, in addition to being a Guest of Honour at the ConScription, she will be Master of Ceremonies for the World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal.
Russell Kirkpatrick, New Zealand Literary GoH
Russell Kirkpatrick was born in 1961 in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he lived until 2000. He is a geography PhD graduate of the University of Canterbury, and currently lectures at the University of Waikato in Hamilton. During the 1990s he was fortunate enough to work on two major atlas projects, as Deputy Editor of the New Zealand Historical Atlas (Readers Choice winner, Montana Book Awards, 1998), and as author of Contemporary Atlas New Zealand (Montana Book Award finalist, 2000). He has been involved in four other published atlas projects, and continues to work on atlases when he can. His latest project is an atlas of Bahrain.
In February 2004, HarperCollins Voyager Australia published Across The Face Of The World, the first book in Russell's Fire of Heaven fantasy trilogy. It has been sold into a number of other countries. The second volume, In The Earth Abides The Flame, was published in August 2004, and the concluding volume, The Right Hand Of God, published in February 2005. Across the Face of the World was published by Orbit in the UK in May 2006, and the second and third novels will follow at six-month intervals. He is now at work on another novel, The Path of Revenge.
Apart from cartography and writing, his major passions are reading, music — anything except country & western and polka — and sport. He plays golf to a 2 handicap. Russell is married to Dorinda, and they have two fine young men, a bichon frise, assorted cats, a ridiculously large Lego collection, a decent Cornishware collection and — finally — a new house in a gully. The perfect hideaway for a writer.
Nalini Singh, New Zealand Literary GoH
Born in born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand, Nalini Singh spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time she seized the opportunity to travel around Asia. She's back in New Zealand now, but always plotting new trips. So far, Nalini has worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher — not necessarily in that order. Nalini has been writing as long as she can remember, and all stories always held a thread of romance for her (even when writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). She loves creating unique characters, loves giving them happy endings and even loves the voices in her head. There's no other job she would rather be doing.
"I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard."
For more information about Nalini and her work, see her website at www.nalinisingh.com.
Robbie Matthews, Fan GoH
Robbie Matthews is the person most responsible for the formation of the Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine publishing collective, and winner of the Peter McNamara Award for Services to Science Fiction. He is also a writer, filker, computer geek, and father of two. He is married to Dea, who I once escorted though the "Dirty Quarter-mile" of Kings Cross while she was wearing only her chainmail bikini and a sword. Need I say more?
Helen Lowe is a New Zealand author based in Christchurch. Her first novel, Thornspell, was published by Knopf in the USA in September 2008, and is now available in New Zealand. It's a Young Adult novel that retells the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the prince who is destined to break the spell. An adventurous tale of magic and dreamscapes, swashbuckling and wild hunts, Thornspell has been receiving excellent reviews in the US and in New Zealand, and is the February featured book on Flamingnet.
To find out more about Helen, and to read Chapter 1 of Thornspell and examples of her poetry and short stories, go to her website at www.helenlowe.info. It also has information on her other novels that are due to be published in 2010 in the USA: a second Young Adult novel for Knopf, working title The Heartstone of Yrth, which tells the story of Tamzin, a young girl with magic power who gets caught up in a civil war in which all magic has been outlawed and those accused of using it are hunted down and put to death; and an adult series, The Wall of Night quartet. Helen says: "The Wall of Night is classic epic fantasy — a story of shadows and darkness in a world divided by prejudice, suspicion, and fear, where everyone could be an enemy and no one is quite what they seem...."
Helen also hosts a poetry feature on local radio (Plains 96.9 FM). She holds a second-dan black belt in aikido and has always been interested in the martial arts, history, and the outdoors — interests that inform her writing.
The American author Tee Morris began his writing career in 2002 with the award-nominated historical epic fantasy, MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana. In 2004, his spoof of both the Fantasy and Hard-Boiled Detective novel, The Case of The Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery, received an Honorable Mention for ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year award, and was a finalist for the Independent Publisher's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Tee entered 2005 with an idea: podcasting a novel in order to promote its sequel. Morevi went on to become the first book podcast in its entirety and was nominated for a 2006 Parsec award for Best Podcast Fiction. Podcasting Morevi also led to the founding of Podiobooks.com and Podcasting for Dummies from Wiley Publishing, co-written with Evo Terra. That same year saw the premiere of Legacy of Morevi: Book One of the Arathellean Wars (a finalist for ForeWord Magazine's Best Science Fiction of 2005).
His writing also includes a variety of articles for various collections. His essays first appeared in the popular Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy series (Volumes One and Three, co-editor for Volume Two). Tee was then invited to appear in BenBella Books' retrospective Farscape Forever: Sex, Drugs, and Killer Muppets and So Say We All: Collected Thoughts and Opinions of Battlestar Galactica (edited by Richard Hatch). He currently appears as a columnist for Blogger & Podcaster Magazine.
In between his titles, Tee continues to explore the possibilities of podcasting. He hosts The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy (found on www.teemorris.com/blog), a show about marketing and self-promotional concepts for published and soon-to-be-published authors. In 2006, Tee appeared in the podcast anthology Voices: New Media Fiction (edited by Mur Lafferty) with Asleep at the Wheel and brought Billibub Baddings and The Case of The Singing Sword to the podosphere in 2007. He can also be heard alongside Phil Rossi in Microbrewed (available on TeeMorris.com), Podcasting for Dummies (hosted at ForDummies.com), and his epic production Morevi: Remastered.
2008 was a good year for Tee, as Podcasting for Dummies was commissioned for a second edition. He then teamed up with New Zealand's own Philippa Ballantine for Double Trouble and from two different hemispheres they debuted The Case of The Pitcher's Pendant: A Billibub Baddings Mystery and (Pip's) Digital Magic in Amazon's Top 50 (#2 and #3 in Fantasy), and his podcast of The Case of The Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery took Best Audio Drama: Long Form award at the 2008 Parsec Awards.
For NZ residents, Tee's printed novels are only available via Amazon.com. Some of his novels are available free-to-air in audio podcast format. Please check out the links.
In 1990 after 9 years of working in the corporate world at Fletcher Challenge I decided to head overseas in search of new ideas and opportunities, it was to be my 'BIG' OE.
I made it as far as California and there I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to work with the Star Trek team at Paramount pictures in the production department of Star Trek - The Next Generation. It was here that my already established interest in writing was re-kindled.
Under the then captainship of Patrick Stewart the Enterprise was entering one of its busiest seasons with the coming of the Borg and the character known as Q, which created such massive excitement.
During my stay in LA I became interested enough to write for the series, after having been a writer for many years, un-published and more of a hobby than anything else this was a great opportunity to at least chase a dream.
The dream for me a the time was to become a staff writer on the series for Paramount and in order to do so one had to be able to prove you could write, submit work through the proper channels and then successfully have the work turn into an episode.
I spent a few months simply researching the characters, the scenes and was fortunate enough to be able to gain access to the sets, the shooting and people at Paramount as and when I wanted to, so was able to spend time on the Holodeck, the bridge and the transporter room, places where the famous an infamous had spent some time. I was able to meet Mike Okuda the head of graphic design on the show and Sandy Venetsiano who was set designer and director on the show. (even bumped into Sean Connery at one stage when I was a set diver on the scene of 'Hunt for Red October')
Once I had researched the series I then set out to produce a script every 6 weeks and after gathering some momentum was able to achieve this objective. My agent at the time in the US, Sherry Robb Literary Properties, gave me every chance to submit the episodes to the studios and on 2 occasions was successful.
I continue to write today with a colleague from TVNZ who is producing a series which I cannot reveal too much detail about but suffice to say that it involves another kind of science.
I was born in England and moved to New Zealand with my parents in 1973 after being raised in Sheffield, which is in fact a steel town. I spent the first few years hating the country but once I had begun to escape into stories and writing it was a different world being able to produce the tales of my past into original works. I would never leave now.
I was educated in Auckland and after finishing University as an Engineer am afraid to say that writing took somewhat of a back seat for a few years. I am glad to say though that in the last few years it has had a renewed level of energy inputted into it and I am glad to say that the future holds much promise.
I currently am the GM of Invacare in Auckland where 50 staff and many, many customers produce an array of stories and ideas for TV and film. I have 3 children and a wonderful wife who supports me in all the crazy adventures into writing and acting, TV and movies.