Welcome to the blog of Mary Brock Jones, SF author.

I also have a website, here

I write science fiction. Some dark, some not so dark. Some short, some longer, some very long. Some have a happy ending, others definitely not.

I also write NZ historical romance novels.They always end happily, even if the journey can get quite bumpy.

It's a nice mix.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Auckland SpecFic meet up - August

The Auckland SpecFicNZ August get together will be this Sunday, 18th August, at –
The Columbus Cafe, Westfield Shopping Centre, Albany.
from 1pm onwards
The cafe overlooks the lake – or more precisely, proto-lake ( it’s still very new) on the eastern side of the mall. Take the exit doors between the cinemas and foodcourt, and go to the bottom of the steps. It’s just to the left of there.
Car:  If coming from the south, take the Greville Rd off ramp. From the west, either cross the bridge, or go via the Upper Harbour Highway to Albany.
Bus: from town, either take the Northern express to Albany station and walk from there ( takes about 20 mins) or catch bus 895 (midtown to Waiwera) which stops 400 metres from the shopping centre.
I Iook forward to seeing as many as possible this Sunday. As usual,  I will have the SpecFicNZ logo on the table. Non-members are very welcome to attend.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I found a fascinating blog post by Christchurch writer, Joel le Blanc here about Selkie's - those mythical sea/human creatures of the Scottish coast. For some reason, the Selkie has always fascinated me - and I'm not alone. There seems to be something about these  creatures that draws writers and film makers repeatedly. There is a pathos to the selkie tale, of lost freedom for the (usually) woman who tries to live as a human, but inevitably returns to the freedom of the sea.

Films using the Selkie myth include the hauntingly entrancing  The Secret of Roan Inish  and Colin Farrell's Ondine -   both set in Ireland, although the Selkie myth belongs more to Scotland and the Orkneys. In books, the selkie is found in both SciFi and fantasy: Ann McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's Petaybee  series, A.E. van Vogt's The Silkie, some of Juliet Marillier's novels, Beside the Ocean of Time by George MacKay Brown and Seaward  by Susan Cooper.

But why is that we are drawn to this myth; what is it about tales of tragedy and pathos that call to us, and this one in particular?

My own theory is that it is the intensity and drama of the story, layered with emotion and yearnings, plus the longing for freedom in all of us that free-swimming Selkie represents. Or maybe for specfic readers in particular, it is the sense of otherness, of being part of a world unimaginable to their neighbours that appeals.

What ever it is that draw us, the Selkie legend is unique and enduring.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Regeneration :New Zealand Speculative Fiction II - interview

Ann Caro, editor of  the short story anthology "Regeneration" New Zealand Speculative Fiction II" interviews me on her blog about my story "Hunting Ythan" and my writing in general including my two historical romances. 
Read it at this link:  http://bit.ly/16L7VTq .

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

World Building - the kaleidoscope view

Recently I saw a facebook post from a New Zealand Spec fiction writer commenting on the presence of the NZ landscape in many NZ Spec fic writers' work, and I had to agree with it, from my own experience. But I would also have to add that the landscape is not necessarily taken holus bolus into my own writing - though I cannot say if this is true for other writers.

In my case, I usually know which particular landscape has suggested the setting for a particular story, but that doesn't mean that my final setting ends up being exactly like that. More that some feature of that part of the country has set off an idea for my world's landscape - and that feature may only be how that land makes me feel.

An example is for my first, as yet unpublished novel "Hathe", the opening sections of which are set in a high plateau wilderness of the planet Hathe - and that setting comes straight from the North Island central plateau country. I spent my teenage years in Taupo and have driven the Desert Road many times. There is a special feel to that part of the country - untameable, open, big enough to hold all your dreams, and never quite safe.

But this is where the kaleidoscope bit comes in. Just as light enters one end of a kaleiodoscope, is refracted, bent, split into it's various components, and comes out the other end in an unending array of beautiful, colourful patterns, so do the images and feelings that suggest a given setting in a story. The high plateau country of Hathe is not the Desert Road. It's sort of like it, the vegetation of my is principally grasses with some shrubs, but it's bigger, colder, wilder, more grassy - it's Hathian, not kiwi, in other words. This setting was suggested by the Desert Road, but it was also based on a dream I had one morning, and on many other things that came along while I was writing.

That is true of all my world building. I know where it starts, but that doesn't mean it ends up where I expected it to. Worlds, like characters, take on a life of their own, and become their own places.

How else can they become real?

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Science Fiction Blog

I am revitalising this blog, and reclaiming it for my science fiction works. From now on, this blog will refer to only science fiction or other speculative fiction works. This is my latest attempt to bring some order to  my social media sites, and hopefully will stop the confusion that results from the marked difference in genre's that I write. There is a logic to it, but I understand that often it's only who can see it.

For my NZ historical romances, please go to my other website for Mary Brock Jones

For the SF works, I'm so please to announce the publication of the  Regeneration: New Zealand Speculative Fiction II anthology, which includes my story "Hunting Ythan". This is an anthology made up entirely of NZ based writers, so I was very thrilled to be included in it.

To buy - use the link on the side panel. Available as paper back and ebook.

Monday, January 21, 2013

website - marybrockjones.com

I have my very own website - go to http://marybrockjones.com/ for a look see.
There are still a few things to organise on it, and once they are done and I learn how to run it, I will migrate my blog over there. It was created by my very clever son who, luckily for me,  has a web site management  business:  Your Turn, 
      I have decided to use Mary Brock Jones as my pen name for all my writing, both SF and historical romance. Mainly because it is more likely to bring up me on a google search than if I use Mary Jones - not the most unusual name in the world, after all. It sounds pretty good too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I now have an Editor and a date for delivery of the final manuscript for my NZ Historical with Escape Publishing. So that sounds very official. It's all both very scary and very exciting. They are only a new imprint of Harlequin Australia, but I've read some of the titles they have put out so far, and they really are good. Try "Unforgettable" by Elise K Ackers. Thoroughly enjoyable, and a bit different. Both main characters work on a building site, a very different setting for a romance. But it was completely credible, the author obviously knows her stuff, and the story was great.
      I am also in the process of setting up a new website, and once completed will shift my blog over there. Full details to follow.