A South Auckland author who mixes sci-fi with satire has released his fifth book, tackling the topics of the day including corporate culture, immigration, environmental concerns and the election of Donald Trump.
Keith Fenwick of Totara Park, Manurewa, said his books – following the exploits of a Northland farmer named Bruce who is abducted by aliens - are “a bit like The Hitchhiker’s Guide meets Guardians of The Galaxy.” In the latest book in the Skidian series, The Island, Fenwick said Bruce has grown from being “a bit of a hoon with a lot of rough edges, to someone having a moral centre, and who had become a somewhat unwilling global, benevolent dictator.”
“In the first book he starts as a Barry Crumpish character who is trying to work out what the aliens want of him after his abduction.”
Fenwick said his writing ties in with a vein of Kiwi humour first tapped into by Barry Crump. In the same way Crump wrote about larrikins he knew in his real life, Fenwick’s followers eagerly await each new instalment to see if he has lampooned some of them.
Working for a large organisation in Auckland, Fenwick said corporate business machinations are a frequent source of inspiration, as well as sales - often to his colleagues. Fenwick, like many authors, wrote his first novel then placed it in a drawer for years, unsure what to do with it.
“I wrote the first two novels in my early 20s. I’m 57 now. Early on I had a good crack at trying to get them published but got discouraged when I wasn’t successful. A few years ago, I was introduced to a Kindle by my wife. I was reading some of the cheaper sci-fi books on Amazon and I thought ‘Some of the books I’ve got stashed away are as good as this. So I tided the books up, and the rest is history.”
Previous Skidian Chronicles installments were published in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. The Colonists, published in 2018 had an official launch at the Writers Read bookshop in Lower Hutt.
Fenwick said his books use science fiction as a storytelling device to get people to look at the world. “For example, looking at what happens if you don’t take care of the environment and address global warming. Also, my books examine frustrations which may come up with working in corporation, and subjects like asking how Donald Trump, someone so clearly unsuitable for public office could become president of the USA?’
Find out more at www.Scifibookshop.co.nz