Marie Hodgkinson grew up in Ōtepoti Dunedin and now, following the traditional path for Otago arts grads, lives in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. She runs Paper Road Press, which publishes science fiction and fantasy from Aotearoa New Zealand, and writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?
2020 has been all about science fiction and fantasy from Aotearoa New Zealand. I’ve been privileged to publish Octavia Cade’s The Stone Wētā, a climate thriller about a secret network of female scientists working to protect their research from government and industry interference, and No Man’s Land by A.J. Fitzwater, a queer historical fantasy set in Central Otago during World War Two. The second volume of Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy is on its way, and in the second half of the year I’m looking forward to working on some of my own writing projects.
2. What has been the best publishing or SF community experience of your career so far?
The annual NZ natcons are always the big SFF social event on my calendar – it will be interesting to see how the digital CoNZealand manages with respect to that!
Last Halloween, I held a launch party for the first volume of the Year’s Best and Andi C. Buchanan’s alternate history ghost story From a Shadow Grave. It was amazing to see so many people come together to celebrate the two books, listen to the authors give readings, and generally hang out and be enthusiastic about local science fiction and fantasy. Both titles made it onto that week’s Nielsen BookScan New Zealand bestseller list, which I hadn’t thought possible for a wee indie press.
Andi’s book was published in collaboration with the Whitireia Publishing programme, NZ’s publishing industry training course.
3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?
Well, apart from the books I’ve already mentioned above…
One book I absolutely loved this year was H.G. Parry’s The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep. It’s a book about books, which is always a plus, and about pocket worlds, and how how we read books and characters changes what they are – and it’s set here in Wellington. Highly recommended.