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Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa

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Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa

Edited by Lee Murray

Clan Destine Press

Featuring uncanny disturbances, death, and the dank breath of the native bush, Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa is mired in the shifting landscape of the long white cloud, and deeply imbued with the myth, culture, and character of Aotearoa-New Zealand. Laced with intrigue, suspense, horror, and even a touch of humour, Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa brings together stories and poems by some of the best homegrown and Kiwi-at-heart voices working in dark fiction today.


Curated by multi-award-winning author-editor Lee Murray, with a foreword by six-time Bram Stoker Awards®-winner and former HWA President Lisa Morton, and stories and poems by Dan Rabarts, Kirsten McKenzie, Celine Murray, Kathryn Burnett, Helena Claudia, Marty Young, Gina Cole, William Cook, Del Gibson, Paul Mannering, Tim Jones, Owen Marshall, Denver Grenell, Bryce Stevens, Neil Gaiman, Debbie Cowens, Lee Murray, Jacqui Greaves, Tracie McBride, and Nikky Lee.


250 pages

Cover art by Sir Julius Vogel Award-winner, Emma Weakley

AWArd Nominations

Australian Shadows Award finalist for Edited Work

Australian Shadows Award finalist for Poetry for Guiding Star by Tim Jones

Australian Shadows Award finalist for Short Fiction for What Bones These Tides Bring by Nikky Lee

Rhysling Award finalist for Poetry for Guiding Star by Tim Jones

Aurealis Awards finalist for Short Fiction for What Bones These Tides Bring by Nikky Lee

Sir Julius Vogel Awards finalist for Collected Work

Sir Julius Vogel Award finalist for for Short Fiction for What Bones These Tides Bring by Nikky Lee

Sir Julius Vogel Award finalist for for Short Fiction for Fires of Fate by Jacqui Greaves

Sir Julius Vogel Award finalist for for Short Fiction for The Watchman by Kirsten McKenzie

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Summary of Contributors and Contents:

  • Spare the Rod by Dan Rabarts  After a storm, a farm bike accident offers a Māori teen a chance to escape his abusive father.

  • The Watchman by Kirsten McKenzie  At Karekare Easter Fair, Cindy ditches younger sister Elaine, and then she goes missing…

  • Whaitiri by Celine Murray The Whaitiri legend as told by the flesh-eating goddess.

  • Hook by Kathryn Burnett  Sensible Dawny heads off on yet another retreat to transform her flabby aging body.

  • I’m a Gemini by Helena Claudia  Struggling to cope, a Gen Zer chances a date with her dead boyfriend’s brother.

  • Redwoods on Te Mata Peak by Marty Young On Te Mata Peak, adolescents investigate a wrecked vehicle – and their friend disappears.

  • Blind Date by Gina Cole At a clifftop café, an assassin meets with a client who appears to know more than she should.

  • Vision of the Apocalypse in Wellington Harbour by William Cook  A chilling forecast underpinned with mythology.

  • Buried Secrets by Del Gibson  In Rawene, Northland, a young couple realise they have bought a haunted house.

  • A Throatful of Flies by Paul Mannering A young farmhand accidently slaughters a prize ram and must suffer the consequences.

  • Guiding Star by Tim Jones A bullied child runs away from camp following a guiding star.

  • Coming Home in the Dark by Owen Marshall  While hiking in Hooker Valley, a teacher and his family are accosted by two strangers.

  • Ngahere Gold by Denver Grenell In the bush, Dean and Tama encounter a crop of marijuana with an unlikely guardian.

  • The Spaces Between by Bryce Stevens A young man battles with strange visions. Echoes of the past or a possible future?

  • The Reaper Beetle by Debbie Cowens Grieving Natalie delves into her childhood friend’s research to find out why she jumped.

  • Dead End Town by Lee Murray An abused teen looks to escape her grim existence through fairy tale and forest rambles.

  • Fires of Fate by Jacqui Greaves Moira Jacobs rides into Āpiti with her scissors to give some locals their comeuppance.

  • The Sea Change by Neil Gaiman After surviving a shipwreck and a sea-maiden’s clutches, an old sailor still longs for both.

  • Her Ghosts by Tracie McBride When a child is abducted in her small town, outsider Callie must confront a racist leader.

  • What Bones These Tides Bring by Nikky Lee In a future Aotearoa, a bone-witch captures a girl’s soul for its energy.

Some Of OUr Contributors!


Some of our contributors as pictured at the Boneface Tavern for the New Zealand Launch event.

Back row, L to R: William Cook, Denver Grenell, Tim Jones & Dan Rabarts.

Front Row, L to R: Debbie Cowens, Del Gibson, Jacqui Greaves, Kathryn Burnett, Lee Murray (editor), Helena Claudia, and Emma Weakley (artist). 

Praise for Remains to be Told

“What a powerful collection of brutal, haunting, visceral stories and poems. But don’t worry, this stellar anthology from down under is not one note—originality, wonder, and curiosity keep you guessing, pleading for these dark fates and unsettling myths to find a different, brighter path.” —Richard Thomas, Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, and Thriller Award finalist

“An assemblage of nightmarishly beautiful and poignant tales of death, despair, and the dark sights only seen in farthest echoes of New Zealand.” —Eric J. Guignard, multiple award-winning and #1 best-selling author

“This expertly curated anthology brims with monsterous mythology, diverse and original voices, and prose that propels the reader from one story to the next with the ferociousness of a rogue wave, a runaway carnival ride, a chattering chorus of insect wings. Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa seems to have been excavated from the very soil and riverbeds of New Zealand’s unpredictable landscape by the tremendously talented authors who grace its pages rather than crafted with mere paper and ink. A must-read for anyone interested in the darker side of New Zealand, Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa succeeds in showcasing this mysterious, magical place.” —Christa Carmen, Bram Stoker-nominated author of The Daughters of Block Island

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“These are stories of the land, about the history and the geography of our odd nation. These are stories that invoke our remarkable blending of cultures. Colonisation and decolonisation stand side by side. The intertwining of Māori myth and oral history with the day-to-day practicalities of raising families in this twenty-first century capitalist world is one of the key threads that unify these stories as they bob and weave around social commentary, entertainment and pointed, bald and wry—even witty—observations. A supremely readable collection that deserves high recognition and a wide readership.” —Sean Monaghan, award-winning author of Ventiforms

“New Zealand’s darkest minds and brightest talents are brilliantly showcased in Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa. Under the guidance of multi-award-winning editor Lee Murray, the collection takes the reader on a journey through the fierce mythology, stoic character, and unforgiving—yet fascinating—landscape of Aotearoa. A must-read introduction to some of New Zealand’s finest dark fiction authors.” —Geneve Flynn, double Bram Stoker Award®-winner and editor of Black Cranes

Conflux 17 Launch pics

Thrilled to launch Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa at Conflux 17 in Canberra, Australia (1 October, 2023) with an event hosted by Sharon Manssen, President of SpecFicNZ, and our lovely Clan Destine Press publisher, Lindy Cameron. In attendance were Lee Murray (editor) and contributors Tracie McBride, Jacqui Greaves, and Paul Mannering.  Thanks to Creative New Zealand for their kind support of this work, and to Emma Weakley for our stunning artwork. 

VERB Literary Festival Launch -- 11 November 2023, Wellington



New Zealand launch of Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa 

On a gorgeously sunny Saturday afternoon, at Wellington's fabulous Boneface Tavern around fifty intrepid folks came along to enjoy an afternoon of literary darkness, beginning with a panel discussion of what makes our Kiwi horror unique, moderated by Dan Rabarts, with Denver Grenell, Lee Murray, Tim Jones, and Kathryn Burnett, and followed by fabulous readings from Debbie Cowens, Del Gibson, Jacqui Greaves, Helena Claudia, Kathryn Burnett, and Dan Rabarts from the new anthology Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa.  Also in attendance was Kiwi horror poet William Cook, and our cover and interior artist, Emma Weakley, who joined us for the afternoon and who shared her original artwork with contributors. 

Kind thanks to Sophia and Matt of the Boneface Tavern for hosting this wonderfully vibrant event. If you're in Wellington, please drop in and say hello and support them, so they can offer more wonderful free literary events like this one.


Thank you to our event coordinator Denver Grenell, publisher Lindy Cameron, Creative New Zealand, the Verb Literary Festival team, our contributors, and to all the kind folks who came out to  take a stroll on the dark side on a summer afternoon. Images of the event below. 

Reviews, Articles, Blogs

Cover Reveal on Gingernuts of Horror

Review on SpecFicNZ

More than Sheep: An Account of Kiwi Horror, Lindy Ryan interviews Lee Murray on Litreactor

Reprised on Lee's blog [Litreactor closure December 2023]

Long White Cloud: The Horror of Landscape, Lindy Ryan and Lee Murray in Rue Morgue

The Horror Tree Interviews

Debbie Cowens

Gina Cole

Denver Grenell

Helena Claudia

Jacqui Greaves

Nikky Lee

Kathryn Burnett

Paul Mannering

Tim Jones

Tracie McBride

Bryce Stevens

Del Gibson

Marty Young

Halloween Haunts: A Kiwi Kaleidoscope by Lee Murray and Friends

Aotearoa Uncanny HWA Newsletter


Horror Nerds at Church Podcast with Lee Murray, Jacqui Greaves, Kirsten McKenzie, and Nikky Lee -- 1 hour

Words from the Bubble, Rachel Dore interviews Lee Murray on Manawatu Radio


Words from the Bubble, Rachel Dore interviews Kirsten McKenzie on Manawatu Radio. 


Bohemiana Podcast. George Penney hosts an interview with Kathryn Burnett. Coming soon! 


HWA Exorcise Your Writes with host Angela Yuriko Smith 

Panel Discussion with Dan Rabarts, Tracy McBride, Denver Grenell, Celine Murray & Tim Jones

Full review by Sean Monagahn

Kathryn Burnett interviewed by by George Penney on Bohemiana

EXORCISE YOUR WRITES with host Angela Yuriko Smith

With Remains to be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa contributors, Dan Rabarts, Celine Murray, Denver Grenell, Tim Jones, and Tracie McBride chat with host Angela Yuriko Smith about the essence of Kiwi horror.

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