This last weekend was New Zealand’s national science fiction convention, Au Contraire. It’s also when the Sir Julius Vogel Awards are held. The Ghost of Matter was nominated for best novelette/novella, and I’m pleased to say that it won!
I was so convinced it wouldn’t that I hadn’t prepared anything to say, and had to stumble to the front to receive the trophy before gaping hopelessly at the audience. I don’t think I was very coherent, but at least I was brief. If it wasn’t clear then, I shared the category with five other fantastic stories, and any one of them could have won. Thanks are due to my editor Marie at Paper Road Press, who helped turn the draft into something a little more well-considered. I’m happy to report that the Shortcuts collection, of which The Ghost of Matter is a part, also won best collection, as well as best artwork for Casey Bailey’s amazing cover.
If you haven’t read it, The Ghost of Matter is about New Zealand’s most famous scientist, Ernest Rutherford. There’s an excerpt available free to read at Paper Road Press, and it’s available to buy there and at Amazon.
At the beginning of the month, Paper Road Press published my novella The Ghost of Matter. This was the last of their 2015 Shortcuts series: six titles by Kiwi authors, themed around strange tales of Aotearoa New Zealand.
All the Shortcuts stories were sold separately as ebooks. But that’s about to change! There’s a print collection on the way, just in time for Christmas. That’s six novellas in one book: Mika by Lee Murray and Piper Mejia; The Last by Grant Stone; Bree’s Dinosaur by A.C. Buchanan; Pocket Wife by I.K. Paterson-Harkness; Landfall by Tim Jones; and The Ghost of Matter.
You can pre-order Shortcuts now, and if you do, you go in the draw for free book vouchers! So check it out.
My new novella’s out! It came out just yesterday, from Paper Road Press, as part of their Shortcuts series of New Zealand based speculative fiction. The other five stories in the series are fantastic, I’m so pleased to be part of it with all those fantastic authors!
1886. Two young boys disappear in the Sounds. Their mother grieves, all the music cut out of her heart; their father wanders the coast for a year, wanting and not wanting to find any part of them left behind. And their brother Ern, faced with a problem to which no solution can be found, returns to his laboratory – and to the smell of salt, soft voices in his ear, wet footprints welling seawater in the darkness.
The Ghost of Matter weaves together time and memory, physics and mystery, in this story inspired by Ernest Rutherford’s life and research.
I seem to have a real thing about Ernest Rutherford! He turned up in The August Birds last month, and now this. I’ve also got another idea for a novella involving him, and a short story. He just really fires my imagination, especially as he grew up in the same part of New Zealand as I did.
Anyway, there’s an excerpt that’s free to read over at Paper Road, so if this sounds like something you’d like go check it out!
I’m happy to say I’ve just signed the contract for a new novella! The Ghost of Matter will be published in September of this year by Paper Road Press.
If you recognise the title, you’ll know what it’s about: Ernest Rutherford, the NZ scientist described as the greatest experimentalist of his time. It’s from a quote of his – “I have broken the machine and touched the ghost of matter” – regarding his work in atomic physics. Because I tend to write sci-fi and fantasy, there’s also actual ghosts in it. Ghosts and atoms and eeriness…
The Ghost of Matter is the sixth and final story in the Shortcuts series by Paper Road Press. They’re doing a second track of literary works down the line, but these first six stories are themed round “Strange Fiction of Aotearoa New Zealand”. The first one’s already out: Mika by Lee Murray and Piper Mejia, and the rest will be released at the rate of one per month until mine shows up in September.