Sunday, August 16, 2009

Haere mai to a New Zealand crime blog

Craig Sisterson sends word from New Zealand of Crime Watch, his new blog about New Zealand and international crime/thriller writing.

Early posts have lots of good stuff about New Zealand writers, appearances by and interviews with international authors, and one about New Zealand's own dame of crime fiction, Ngaio Marsh.

"So why a blog on Kiwi crime fiction?" Craig writes. "Well, because I think we have some fantastic authors here in Aotearoa, but we don't talk about them enough."

Craig also answered a question I had always had about his country: "What is kiwifruit called in New Zealand?" His answer: It's called kiwifruit.

(Click here for an explanation of this post's hospitable title.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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32 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Before anyone asks its pronounced Nyeo.

I was in the delightful city of Wellington a few months ago, I woke very early and went for a walk. I found myself at an attractive building with many windows, I peered through (pushing my face up against the glass) but couldnt really figure out what was inside. Later that day I asked someone what the building was and she told me it was the NZ parliament. It was like visiting Britain when you could still stroll along Downing Street or the White House when Andrew Jackson's dinner would be interrupted by people demanding to see the President. Delightful country.

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I learned the pronunciation from you some time ago, though I thought it was more like Ny-EYE-o. Perhaps you could post a link to a sound file.

I see no reason not to stop over in New Zealand if I visit Australia or vice versa. Affable companions, good mysteries, lamb, kiwifruit. What more could one ask for?

August 16, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

And dont forget the Lord of the Rings Tour which always attracts eccentrics. When I did it there were four German LOTR fans on it with me who'd flown from Frankfurt just to see Hobbiton etc. Two of them were dressed as Nazgul, but the other two werent (they had brought their Nazgul costumes but the jetlag had sapped their will to live, which is poor form in a ring wraith.)

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'm no Rings nut, so I'd leave the dwarves and hobbits to their own itineraries.

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Kiwicraig said...

You are both more than welcome to visit anytime.

Further to your first post Adrian, that is one of the cool things about NZ I guess, the way our politicians are reasonablly accessible, grounded, and down-to-earth. For instance, last weekend the Prime Minister was cooking sausages in public for a charity, and anyone could just walk up, buy a sausage, shake his hand, take a photo etc...

Kinda the equivalent of Obama hosting a tailgating party and there being good public access to him...

August 16, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Craig

Have you seen the Flight of the Conchords episodes with the "NZ Prime Minister" in New York? Classic stuff.

Bit of a shameless plug here, but I'll be on Bryan Crump's show on NZ National Radio on Wednesday September 2nd talking about crime fiction and possibly my own contributions to the genre.

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've never bought a sausage from a head of state. I take mine with peppers and onions, in case you run into the prime minister before I do. And thanks for the invitation.

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, I don't know The Flight of the Conchords. And please provide more details as the NZ show draws nearer. Shameless plugs of radio appearances are encouraged here.

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Kiwicraig said...

Hi Adrian. I have seen a few Flight of the Conchords episodes, but not sure if I've seen that one (incidentally, the ex-NZ Prime Minister is now the head of the United Nations Development Program - a couple of weeks ago she was on TV showing one of our local reporters around New York City. We breed them low-key down here, haha).

Plug away - I'll make a note to mention it on my blog a couple of days before the show. By the way, FIFTY GRAND is sitting near the top of my large TBR pile, so I'll be looking to review that at some stage in the next few weeks. Looking forward to the read.

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Put the "Dead" novels in your TBR pile, too.

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Vanda Symon said...

Adrian, did you come to Dunedin? I was lamenting the fact, on Craig's blog that no one ever tours to Dunedin. When they do, like Ian Rankin a few years back, we are all so ridiculously pleased that the audience packs out the town hall. Alas the publicists don't seem to realise this.

I'll have to listen in to Mr Crump's show.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, may I suggest that you visit Dunedin the next time you hop across the Ditch?

August 17, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Well here's a YouTube compilation someone has made of Brian (The PM of NZ)'s visit to New York. Yes, his assistant is Lucy (Xena Warrior Princess) Lawless.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

I didnt make it down to Dunedin, not yet. But I plan to go back sometime next year. I took an amazing train ride from Wellington (Ok ferry too) to Christchurch though. I suppose most Kiwis dont take the train (it was almost completely empty) but it was spectacular.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Hi, everyone. We need more toothbrushes."

I like it so far.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, you comment does nothing to dissuade me from a visit to that part of the world. A spectacular ride on an uncrowded train is my idea of good fun.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

What was also nice about that train was the fact everyone was clearly auditioning for a 1930's murder mystery: there was the young courting couple, the retired colonel, the mysterious English lady who "used to own a bit of property" hereabouts, the German "photography student" (a likely story), the out of work actor, your own correspondent, the naive young American traveller...

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'd like to know what the German was taking pictures of. And did any of the travallers carry a long parcel? Evading our inquiries at first, at length he relented and, with a sheepish smile, untied the package to reveal a cricket bat.

All right, then. He was a sporting man. How bad could he be?
=====================

Today I twirled my arm, ran toward my cricket-loving colleague, and cried: "Bodyline!" That was one of my favorite nominations when I solicited suggestions for sports-related mystery titles a few days ago, and what you have just read about the double dotted lines is part of that book, or at least a cover blurb for it.

I liked my own Ashes, Ashes They All Fall Down as well. Come to think of it, Leg Theory is another good title, if only for the cover art it cries out for.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Kiwicraig said...

That Flight of the Conchords clip is classic... funnily enough I come from the town that the PM and Lucy Lawless characters say they're from... we've had two Prime Ministers from there (1970s and 1980s), but it's not one of the big 5 cities.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

There was some nice self-deprecating humor in that clip, not the kind of humor that we in North America are used to.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

My mother loved NZ and Wellington when she visited the Turnbull Library many years ago, and Dad flew in and out of Christchurch many a time on his way south. After wintering over at McMurdo Sound he was quite pleased to land at Christchurch.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Good god, one has a limited array of destinations when heading south from New Zealand. I presume he was not visiting Antarctica on vacation.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Ha. Nope, not in 1960. He was the Officer in Charge of Construction for the nuclear reactor the Navy was installing at McMurdo (it's since been deactivated and removed). He spent 13 consecutive months "on ice" and a lot more in subsequent years back and forth between there, NZ and Davisville, RI where the project coordination was being done.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Who would have thought the military-industrial complex had a McMurdo-Davisville nexus? I imagine 13 months in Antarctica gives one lots of time to think and play cards.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

McMurdo was established for scientific purposes. See the Wikipedia article. It was established during the Int'l Geophysics Year (18 months, really) of 1957-1958.

When Dad was there the only communications was via ham radio patched into telephone lines. We had one phone in our house in Westwood, Ca., located in a niche in a hallway wall. When we got a call from him we'd all hover in the hall around that phone, and we'd try to remember to say "Over" when we'd finished what we had to say.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Kiwicraig said...

I went to the University of Canterbury (which is in Christchurch), and they actually have an "Antarctic Studies" paper there - I think the main reason to take it is there was the odd chance to travel down to the great white south for a visit (scientific of course).

you Yanks and your nukes - didn't we teach you anything back in the mid 1980s. No Nukes! No Nukes!

hahaha....

ah, a big moment for my little country. Pity about the Rainbow Warrior backlash from the French though... ugh... (a great story there if you guys have no clue what I'm talking about)

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Linkmeister, McMurdo is an impressive site in an aerial photograph. I guess I expected windswept, white tents. It looks like a community of some size.

Must have been cool to say "Over" on the phone.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Though I live in the U.S., I'm Canadian. This gives me the freedom to choose which side I'm on when the U.S. is involved in some controversial question.

The Rainbow Warrior -- now, there was a reason to be angry at France. Talk about your murder, lying, bullying, evasion and blame-shifting.

Antarctic studies could be an interesting interdisciplinary field, taking in any number of sciences plus diplomacy, international relations and political theory, to name a few. Not much of a place to spend spring break, though.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Kiwicraig said...

Yeah, I can't imagine what you guys would have done if France had decided to blow up a boat for political reasons in one of the US harbours...

... don't they have a word for that now? terr...terrori... terror-something...

I was only 6 when it happened, so I don't know how big a thing it was outside of NZ, but in hindsight it seems like an absolutely atrocious act for one "peaceable, Western nation" to sanction against another...

PS to clarify, just in case, I was just being jokey and tongue-in-cheek about the "you guys and your nukes" stuff... (sometimes humour doesn't translate well online).

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

We in geopolitically dominant nations are used to that sort of ribbing. No worries, as your friends across the Ditch say.

The Rainbow Warrior bombing exceeds in sheer viciousness, though obviously not in scale, any other sordid international incident that comes immediately to mind.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Well, France's record as a colonial power is less than ideal, shall we say. Belgium's may be worse (ever read King Leopold's Ghost?), but few others can compete.

August 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Belgium was a latecomer to the colonial game, and I have read that it did not do well once it arrived.

Could France's diplomatic arrogance exceed the U.S.'s? I'd say so.

August 17, 2009  

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