Mainly about the best science fiction/fantasy for YA in New Zealand

Over at Bookshelves of Doom, I saw that the finalists for the Mythopoeic Awards had been announced. No surprises there, although this is the first list I've seen with House of Many Ways on it. Here are the children's books:

Kristin Cashore, Graceling (Harcourt Children’s Books)
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins)
Diana Wynne Jones, House of Many Ways (HarperCollins)
Ingrid Law, Savvy (Dial)
Terry Pratchett, Nation (HarperCollins)

So I decided to check to see what else I had missed, award wise, and found that the list of nominations for the Julius Vogel Awards had just been announced too--this one is given by the New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy Association to a New Zealander. Here are the YA titles:

Thornspell, by Helen Lowe. A Sleeping Beauty re-telling, from the prince's point of view. I've read this one, and enjoyed it in a mild way.

Anywhere but Here by Ella West. Teens who can transport themselves through space are on the run from the sinister Project that kidnapped them. Sounds like fun, but since this book, and the one before it (Thieves) are unavailable here in the US, or in the UK, it's a moot point for now.

The Magician of Hoad, by Margaret Mahy --from Amazon: "a boy with magical powers grows into a young man in a majestic, faraway land." This one is coming out in the US in November.

Juno of Taris
By Fleur Beale Not available in the US. But here's the description from Amazon UK (where it's for sale as an Australian import): "Juno is young; she has no authority, no power, and to question the ways of Taris is discouraged. She knows what it's like when the community withdraws from her - turning their backs and not speaking to her until she complies. The Taris Project was the brainchild of a desperate twenty-first-century world, a community designed to survive even if the rest of humanity perished. An isolated, storm-buffeted island in the Southern Ocean was given a protective dome and its own balmy climate. And now Juno is one of 500 people who live there - but what has happened to the outside world in the years since Taris was established? The island has not been in contact with Outside since the early years of its existence. Juno yearns to know about life Outside, just as she yearns to be allowed to grow her hair. It is a rule on Taris that all must have their heads shaved bare. But is it a rule that could be broken? Danger awaits any who suggest it."

What? If they are so against hair, in this futuristic distopia, shaving seems kind of a low tech solution. But maybe it's a Religious Issue. I am both dubious and curious.

The Spiral Chrysalis By Glynne MacLean. This one isn't available here in the US either. "When Nareen finds a spiral-shaped chrysalis in her backyard she is sure it's the magical chrysalis her gran told her about. Nareen, her brother Carl and best friend Kelly are soon drawn through the spiral into another world. They have a week to find their way out before they are trapped for ever. "

And in case you are frustrated that you cannot go charging out to buy The Spiral Chrysalis, unless you are one of my New Zealand/Australian readers (who should leave comments if they have read any of these),

here's Colleen's (aka Chasing Ray) May column at Bookslut, all about fantasy books, which I somehow had missed...


  1. Oh YES, a new Mahy!! May it be as wonderful as The Changeover.

  2. Neil Gaimans Graveyard book deserves to win, closely followed by Nation.

    There are quite a few new YA books out or coming out though, but unsure if any are available in NZ.

    You would benefit checking out:
    Who is Charlie Keeper?
    Furnace: Lockdown
    any of the Wardstone Chronicles
    The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix.

  3. Unfortunately I found the new Mahy, The Magician of Hoad disappointing. Juno of Taris is good although a few of the premises are a bit "shaky" imo. Thornspell's good, too:I enjoyed it.

  4. OMG your blog is HUGE!
    Love the feel of it too :)
    Are there any really good reads that have only been released/distributed in NZ that you think we'd like to chase in London?
    Bless up,
    Chilli x

  5. Hi Chilli,

    I'm afraid that after reading this post you now know just as much about New Zealand sci fi/fantasy as I do...

    But do let me know if you find anything to recommend!

  6. And there I was hoping for some sweet new secretive literary gems!
    Cheers Charlotte, will keep you up to date if we stumble across anything really funky :)
    Bless up,
    Chilli xx

  7. Hey,
    Just caught Antony's post, Who is Charlie Keeper? arrived from Amazon today! Been hearing big things about this from my London peeps, had a little look through it today an it looks sweet, seems to read sweeter too, Chocolate has nabbed it first though but if I can pry it out of her fingers anytime soon I'll tell you what I thought of it =)
    Chilli x

  8. Hiya,
    Loving Who is Charlie Keeper? Chocolate gave it a crazy 9.5 out of 10 (aaaahhh!)
    I've almost finished so will post my own review then but seriously hooked hehe
    Chilli xx


Free Blog Counter

Button styles