1. Kura Carpenter
The Kingfisher's Debt is Kura Carpenter's debut novel and very cleverly set in an Urban Fantasy world overlaying (or underlying, depending on your perspective) Dunedin, New Zealand. The writing is crisp, the plot excellently designed and executed. The work, I believe, clearly shows a writer who has taken the writing process seriously, from conception to drafting, to re-drafting, and producing a book that fits neatly into the Urban Fantasy genre while also having a strong Kiwi flavour.
2. Saf Davidson
With her unique and empathetic perspectives on disability, sexuality, and the human condition, Saf Davidson has quickly cemented herself as one of the foremost upcoming New Zealand SFF writers. Her work on serials "Tourist" and "Mountain Sound" has garnered broad praise, and as an award-winning comics writer and editor of games, it's clear that she refuses to be put in a box—whether creatively or professionally.
3. M.W. Innes-Jones
As Concealment’s publisher, I nominate and highly recommend this fast paced, action packed and gripping Sci-Fi novel. The below precis speaks for itself.
Our genes: will they be our hope or our undoing?
Three centuries from now humanity has made its last stand – a city high in the Swiss Alps, a place of safety and security from a deadly past. This is the reality of Nathanial Paquette’s life and it has been this way for the whole of his sheltered twenty-three years. But with a knock at the family’s apartment door everything changes. Now he must face an uncertain future and unexpected truth – he is genetically altered, and what really matters is what lies hidden within his blood.
Together with eleven others, Nathanial discovers not only does he have to navigate the competing agendas of the city’s ruling council and a man of science but survive the rigorous training he and his fellow recruits are faced with.
It’s a world where friendships are forged, enemies are made, and death awaits – ever wanting to become everyone’s new best friend.
This is the first book of a six-book saga, I promise you, you will be on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end. The author quickly draws you into the characters’ lives and their world and moves the story along at pace. Using compelling language, this new author reels you into the narrative and leaves you wanting for more.
M. W. Innes-Jones has spent over twenty years working in the medical and pharmaceutical industries undertaking some interesting roles, from selling life changing drugs to travelling the world to the smallest of places delivering IT solutions. When he isn't looking for his next adventure, he writes. Along the way he has survived a 9.1 earthquake, lived in the Rocky Mountains, scuba-dived the Pacific, swam an Ironman or two, visited St Catherine's Monastery in the still of an April morning, watched the sun rise over the dunes of Namibia and skied in the European Alps - a lot. CONCEALMENT is his debut novel and is the first of a series of six which make up the ‘Engelberg Records’. The next in the series he is busy moulding into form; look for this instalment, planned to be out later this year.
4. Deborah Makarios
Deborah Makarios has produced a beautifully presented novel that is warm, laugh-out-loud funny, full of twists, and well-drawn characters. The fantasy has not only believable characters, but the land itself is a key character, possessing a magic of its own. She sticks to her genre, but the surprises are many along the way, and the ending is satisfyingly positive. Effortlessly woven into the fast-moving story, there are many current themes - the environment, justice, corporate greed and racism - even though the setting is old. I can't wait to see what Makarios produces next.
The back-cover description of the novel is as follows:
"Princess Lily was born to be queen, but she leads a pawn’s existence in the shadow of her guardians’ control. She dreams of the day when she will take her rightful place in the world.
At last her chance arrives, with a quest for the three Requisites of Restoration Day, the royal rite which renews the life of the land. But she’s been hidden away too long, and Arcelia has changed.
Stripped of everything but the identity which has become a life-threatening liability, Lily will need to do more than cross the board if she is to emerge triumphant as the queen she knows she must be. The land she thought was hers becomes the field for a gripping game–and this time she’s playing for her life."
5. Fraser Newman
Fraser Newman is a Rotorua based author and co-owner of Atlantis Books. Prior to owning his own bookshop, Fraser worked in book retail and before that managed a private English training school in western China. He has a BA(Hons) in Political Science from Waikato and was privileged to do one year of his study in the Southwest University of Nationalities in Chengdu, China. Languages are one of Fraser's key passions and what got him into fantasy in the first place. After taking an interest in Tolkien as a child, Fraser delved into Old English and during high school studied Arabic. This was difficult because Hutt Valley High School in Lower Hutt did not provide the subject, so Fraser had to go each week to Saturday classes run by the refugee and migrant community at Naenae College. In university he took on Chinese and travelled widely around the People’s Republic of China, falling in love with the place as he went. Apart from writing and language, Fraser's hobbies include reading, art and animation. He tried with varying degrees of success to animate a 48 second trailer for his book, which can be found on the book’s Amazon page. He has a large Warhammer 40k collection (okay, tiny by many standards) and enjoys renovating the family home. Whether this actively results in improvements is up for debate. His first novel, Into This Wild Abyss, is a grimdark epic fantasy filled with political intrigue, drama and bloodshed. It is the first in a series of books called the Vermilion Archives and the second is well on the way. People can keep up with the series at https://www.vermilionempire.com/. While the ebook is currently exclusive with Amazon, review copies are available from the author. Fraser now lives in Rotorua with his wife and three children. The book is available from https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K3WTLLQ/
6. Anna Ryan
Since writing and publishing her first novel (The Lady in the Coat) in 2017, Anna's confidence of writing horror stories has been continually improving. She is a real enigma in the world of horror writing.
What astounds more than anything, is that Anna understands how the brain works; how we, as human beings cope/deal with fear, terror and paranoia.
After reading Deceptive Cadence, Anna's collection of short stories, you will question the noises you hear as you drift off to sleep at night. Could there really be someone lurking outside you window, waiting?
And let's not forget the monsters living in The Room at the End of the Hall. They cannot be real, can they?
You will seriously second guess yourself after you have read Deceptive Cadence. You will jump at every noise you hear.
Anna Ryan is an up and coming writer with imagination and writing skill to be a hugely successful horror writer