Tales for Canterbury

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We hadn’t planned on putting out another anthology this soon, but then, nobody had planned on last month’s devastating earthquake in Christchurch. So, Tales for Canterbury – a collection of short fiction to raise money to help those affected by the recent Canterbury Earthquake – is now available for pre-order.

Edited by local writers Cassie Hart and Anna Caro, the anthology is centred round the themes of survival, hope, and future. It includes fiction by overseas and local writers, including Jeff Vandermeer, Tina Makereti, Neil Gaiman, Cat Connor, and Sean Williams. All profits from the book will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.

Due out in April, Tales for Canterbury will be available as both paperback and e-book. The e-book version will be in .pdf, .epub, and .mobi formats, at $12. The print version is priced at $24.95 and includes free shipping within NZ & Australia (international shipping also available). Pre-order now!

See talesforcanterbury.wordpress.com for more detail.

The Future is Here

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The future is here! A Foreign Country, Random Static’s new anthology of New Zealand Speculative Fiction, is now available for pre-order. Featuring work by best-selling author Juliet Marillier, poet, musician, and writer Bill Direen, several Sir Julius Vogel Award winners, prominent writers, and talented newcomers, this is an unmissable volume of imaginative and compelling short stories.

Strange creatures are loose in Miramar, desperate survivors cling to the remains of a submerged country, humanity’s descendants seek to regain what they’ve lost, and the residents of Gisborne reluctantly serve alien masters. The visions of New Zealand – and beyond – painted in this collection of short stories are both instantly recognisable, and nothing like the place we know.

A Foreign Country brings together the work of established authors and fresh voices to showcase the range of stories produced by New Zealand’s growing community of speculative fiction writers. Humorous, disturbing, intriguing, cautionary, and ultimately hopeful, these tales tell of worlds where the boundaries between human and animal are blurred, babies are not what they seem, desperate measures are in place to ward off disaster, and flying standby can be a big mistake.

The anthology includes stories by:

  • Philip Armstrong
  • Richard Barnes
  • Claire Brunette
  • Anna Caro
  • Matt Cowens
  • Bill Direen
  • Dale Elvy
  • J.C. Hart
  • Paul Haines
  • Miriam Hurst
  • Tim Jones
  • Susan Kornfeld
  • Juliet Marillier
  • Lee Murray
  • James Norcliffe
  • Ripley Patton
  • Simon Petrie
  • Brian Priestley
  • Marama Salsano
  • Lee Sentes
  • Janine Sowerby
  • Douglas A. Van Belle

A Foreign Country button

A Foreign Country can be pre-ordered here, and will be launched at 6pm on Friday 27 August at Au Contraire, the 31st National Science Fiction Convention.

Dual Launch Parties!

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This Friday (Feb 12) sees the first Wellington gig for Vostok Lake, celebrating the release of the new album Small Group Psychosis. Doors open at Happy (corner Tory and Vivian Streets) at 9pm; entry is $10, and discounted CDs will be on sale. Vostok Lake will also be playing at Verona, 168 K Road, Auckland, on the 20th.

And Saturday the 20th sees the launch of our first book for 2010! Jack and the Beanstalk is a picture book from award-winning Newtons Sleep cover artist Emma Weakley. Somewhat outside our usual range, but we thought it was too good to pass up. The sense of humour and delightful illustrations should appeal to all ages. The launch party is taking place at 2pm at Crossways (6 Roxburgh St, Mt Victoria). Emma will be performing a reading and signing copies of the book, and the original art, concept sketches, and paintings will be on display. Light refreshments will be provided.

This is shaping up to be a busy year for Random Static, with our short story anthology on track for launch at Au Contraire, and if all goes well a couple of novels before the end of the year. Stay tuned!

Kiwi SF Anthology

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Random Static is pleased to announce that we will be publishing an anthology of science fiction and fantasy by New Zealand writers. The anthology, with the working title “A Foreign Country: New Zealand Speculative Fiction”, will contain new fiction by both established authors and new talent.

We are running a short story competition for the anthology in association with Au Contraire, the National SF/F Convention. Details are available here; note that membership of the convention is not required to enter. The book will be launched at Au Contraire in August 2010.

NB This is not necessarily the next book we’ll be publishing; the open submissions policy means it’s being announced much earlier in development than usual.

Newtons Sleep E-Book and other news

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We have decided to release Newtons Sleep in e-book form. The new online edition can be downloaded here at no charge. The Faction Paradox branding is absent from this edition, since it seems to provide an unhelpful distraction to readers unfamiliar with the series, as indicated by reviews that spend more time on the origins of the series than evaluating the book itself. We think the book stands up perfectly well as an SF novel in its own right, with no prior knowledge of the Faction mythos.

Other recent additions to the site include Words From Nine Divinities, the fourth volume in Magic Bullet’s Faction Paradox audio series, and Magical Internet, a Vostok Lake side project.

Arriving later in the year will be Wanting to Believe, a guide to the X-Files from Mad Norwegian Press, and Small Group Psychosis, the long-awaited CD from Vostok Lake. There should also be more from the Faction Paradox universe – stay tuned.

Website Revamp

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As you can see (if you’ve visited the site before!) this website has undergone extensive renovation. The main change is the addition of a full online store, allowing the purchase of all Random Static titles as well as imports. New Zealand customers can now purchase Mad Norwegian Press and Magic Bullet releases from us, including the Faction Paradox series.

Please do let us know if you come across any problems while using the new site. It’s highly unlikely we’ve managed to iron out every possible glitch.

Newtons Sleep Reviews

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Newtons Sleep has been well-received by both existing fans of the Faction and new readers.

The New Zealand Herald‘s reviewer David Larsen (Canvas supplement, Saturday 8 March 2008) says it’s “something richer and stranger… so overwritten as to be oddly beautiful, and the story about the eruption of the time-travellers’ war into 17th century Britain is complex and involving.” It fares better than Hugo nominee Halting State on the same page (a book we enjoyed more than David did).

Sandstorm Reviews is very impressed, giving it 9.5 out of 10 and the most in-depth review to date. “Newtons Sleep is one of those Jackpot! moments, combining wonderfully-written historical fiction with a dash of time-travel and interdimensional war. The characters are sharp, varied and entirely believable; the historical detail is accurately and intelligently presented with a minimum of clumsy infodumping, and the sci-fi background is slightly confusing (what time-travel story isn’t?) but basically sound. This is good. This is very good.” We quite agree that “work of this quality deserves to be read by much more than just Doctor Who fans”.

Curled Up With A Good Book think it’s “a well-crafted, very entertaining (though at times confusing) time-travel adventure” and give it four stars. Their plot summary is a bit mixed up, but “Don’t worry; the novel will straighten everything out for you… O’Mahony handles the intricate plot lines very well, writing with a detailed realism about the historical eras of his characters”.

SFCrowsnest found it “rather confusing at times”, and have run with Curled Up’s misconceptions (and some oddly familiar turns of phrase), but despite this recognise that it’s “extremely well-written” and “through it all there is the feeling that here is a very good writer”. They’d probably get a lot out of a reread to catch all the early clues that are more obvious with foreknowledge of where the story’s going.

Long-term Faction Paradox aficionado Chronic Hysteresis isn’t disappointed with Random Static’s first entry in the series, calling it “fantastically excellent on bazillions of levels”. “It does mindbending non-linear plotting that all works beautifully in the end… has quite a lot of hot sex in it that never feels gratuitous… not a bad place to start with the Faction… In summary: buy this book.”

Death Ray Magazine are also familiar with “the madly interesting – if unexpectedly demanding – Faction Paradox brand”, and say “O’Mahony can be guilty of over-egging, but we can’t fault his ambition. A find.” (Issue 12).

And on the Faction Paradox forum, War Arrow observes “Although it reads science-fiction on the back cover, it truly feels more like alchemy-fiction… O’Mahony writes Protectorate era England with such casual attention to detail that no amount of speculative novelty can break its persuasive spell”. Clockwork tin soldier says “Newtons Sleep is not an easy novel to describe… But bear with me, because its marvellous” and “The brief glimpses into the larger universe of Faction Paradox offered here will undoubtedly be confusing for the uninitiated, but they are incredibly potent and mysterious also. There really is no easy way in to this mythos, and I thoroughly recommend Newtons Sleep as the place to start.” Phil PH “absolutely loved Newtons Sleep. Certainly the strongest Faction Paradox novel to date… The characters are brilliantly drawn (especially Silver, Behn and Greenaway), the historical worldbuilding is so convincing you can taste it, and the twisty-turny politics, both Above and Below, are compelling without being overly confusing.” And bthogg thought “It was a joy to read… immensely well structured, exactly the sort of thing a story about time travel should be doing… an absolutely barnstorming start to the new line”.

Prelude and Book Launch

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Newtons Sleep will be officially launched at 1pm on Saturday 12 January, at the Toi Pōneke Gallery, Wellington Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith Street, Wellington, New Zealand. The author will be attending the launch via video linkup, and works by cover artist Emma Weakley will be displayed.

Also, a short Prelude for Newtons Sleep is now online in pdf format. This serves as a teaser for the story, and will not be part of the actual book.

Newtons Sleep to ship in January – pre-orders open now

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Newtons Sleep is now at the printers, and will ship during January 2008. The book weighs in at 288pp, with an RRP of NZ$29.95 in New Zealand. Shipping within New Zealand and Australia is free; international shipping is an extra NZ$10.

Newtons Sleep cover online

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The cover for Newtons Sleep is now online. The book should be out before the end of the year; we hope to meet pre-Christmas international shipping deadlines, but can’t make any guarantees on that count. Pre-orders will be opening soon.