“Gathering” News; Plus Tales for Canterbury: A Peek Inside “Sign of the Tui” by Tim Jones
I know I semi-promised you “Six Heroes of SFF” today, but that has—I am sorry, yes, entirely by blogmaster’s fiat!—been deferred until tomorrow.
The Gathering of the Lost News:
Instead I want to share the great good news, especially for those of you who were counting down with me on the great race to meet the 1 July deadline, that my editor, Kate, at Harper Voyager US, has now read the Gathering manuscript I submitted last Thursday and is tres happy, so it’s full steam ahead for that March publication deadline. WOOT! Rejoice with me—but now, holiday! And then straight onwards to Daughter of Blood (note: working title.)
On June 23, I published the first “peek inside” Tales for Canterbury, an anthology of short fiction put together by Cassie Hart and Anna Caro and divided into three sections: Survival — Hope — Future. The anthology includes a range of short stories donated by both national and international authors as a fundraiser for the Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.
The “peek inside” involves featuring the first paragraph ‘or so’ (if the paras are very short, but within the bounds of fair use) of some of the stories over the next while. I do hope it will encourage readers to not just take my word for Tales for Canterbury’s quality but also to give it a try for themselves.
I began with my own short contribution, The Fountain, which appears in the Hope section of the anthology. Today I am continuing with another short story from the Hope section, Tim Jones’ “Sign of the Tui”:
Sign of the Tui
First Brian was going to meet me at the airport, then he said he was too
busy. I ended up taking a shuttle into town. Nothing I’d seen on TV,
nothing I’d watched on YouTube, could prepare me for the reality: the
city I was born in, demolished by earthquake and aftermath.
The further east we went, the worse everything got, till I felt that I
had been transported out of Christchurch and into Afghanistan. It was a
hot day, the nor-wester arch hovering over the plains. Sweat chafed my
armpits and thighs. The shuttle bobbed and weaved down cracked streets
towards my parents’ house. “Here you are,” said the driver, and dropped
me in front of the rubble.
I squared my shoulders and hefted my pack. Better get this over with.
Brian was in the back garden, pacing around on grass grown to a length
my dad could never have abided. He was on his mobile, running his
business by remote control, keeping his team in line.
He saw me and closed his hand over the phone. “Put up the tent,” he
There were so many things I could have said to that, of which “Put it
up yourself, you prick” would have been the mildest. I said nothing and
got my tent out of my pack.
To read more, of both Sign of the Tui and all the other wonderful stories comprising Tales for Canterbury, and support the Christchurch earthquake recovery effort, consider purchasing your own electronic or hard copy edition of Tales for Canterbury, here.
To learn more about Tim Jones and his writing, you can check out his blog, Books in the Trees.