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BABY TEETH editors talk Shadows; BABY TEETH audiobook talks to you

Thanks to the hard work of Chris Barnes at Dynamic Ram Audio Productions, the audiobook of Baby Teeth: Bite-sized Tales of Terror is now available to purchase here on the Paper Road Press website. To celebrate, we talked to Dan, Lee and Debbie about their recent Australian Shadows Award wins…

Shadows AwardPaper Road Press was well represented at the recent Australian Shadows Awards, which recognise excellence in the Horror writing field in Australasia. Two of the top awards were taken away by Paper Road Press authors: Debbie Cowens won Best Short Story for her creepy-kid tale “Caterpillars”; Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray won Best Edited Work for Baby Teeth: Bite-sized Tales of Terror.

Debbie Cowens
Debbie Cowens

Debbie Cowens, whose winning story appears in winning collection Baby Teeth, missed the initial announcement due to the time difference between New Zealand and Australia. “To be shortlisted for a AHWA Shadow award was far beyond my expectations and to be included alongside an impressive line-up of fantastic Aussie writers as well as fellow Baby Teeth SpecFicNZ writer, the talented JC Hart, was flattering and surprising. When I woke up to discover that I had actually won, the language with which I conveyed my astonishment would not be printed in a respectable publication such as this!”

Dan Rabarts

Dan, who was the FFANZ delegate to Continuum X earlier this year, was similarly blown away by the results. “I think I speak for all of us when I say that I was in a state of shock when we won this award, and a state of euphoria when Debbie won Best Short Story. This state – shocked euphoria – was rather confusing, but I think I’ve come out the other side now. Settled into just being quietly stoked. For a little book from New Zealand to have come from such humble beginnings and to win not one but two categories in a major Australian award is fantastic, and we can all be proud to be a part of that.

“I’d like to thank the AHWA (Australian Horror Writers Association) for running these awards, and for making it open not only to New Zealanders but also to all Oceania residents. In a time when the SF/F/H community is crying out for more diversity in genre fiction, respecting and inviting the contributions of our wider Pacific community in a highly-esteemed awards program like the Australian Shadows is a big step forward in this direction. Good on you, AHWA.”

Lee Murray

Co-editor Lee agrees. “If you could just write ‘we’ everywhere Dan has said ‘I’ because his comments are a fair representation of how I’m feeling. ‘Humbled’ is another word that comes to mind.”

Baby Teeth: Bite-sized Tales of Terror was Paper Road Press’ first release, published at Halloween 2013. A horror collection with a difference, Baby Teeth features 37 snappy short stories about the creepy things kids say and do – and all proceeds from sales of the book are donated to Duffy Books in Homes. Creepy stories about kids, supporting kids, but definitely not meant to be read by kids – it’s a strange niche, but with an Australian Shadows Award and a Sir Julius Vogel Award under its belt and several prize-winning stories between its covers, one that seems to have struck a chord with horror fans.

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Two skulls for Baby Teeth at the Australian Shadows Awards


From left: skull, Dan Rabarts, Lee Murray, Debbie Cowens, skull

Happy Friday 13th, everyone – Baby Teeth came away from last night’s AHWA Australian Shadows Awards with the gongs for Best Edited Work and Best Short Story (“Caterpillars”, Debbie Cowens).

Congratulations to Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray for their excellent work as editors, and to Debbie Cowens for that creepy, creepy little story.


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Baby Teeth a finalist at the Australian Shadows Awards

130000-AHWA_Shadows_290x290Great news this morning from the Australian Horror Writers’ Association – Baby Teeth features not once, not twice, but three times on the finalists’ list for this year’s Australian Shadows Awards!


Nip, Tuck, Sip, Pluck – John Paul Fitch
Fence Lines – Joanne Anderton
The Nest – CS McMullen
Caterpillars – Debbie Cowens
The Dead Way – JC Hart


Midnight Echo 9 – Geoff Brown
A Killer Among Demons – Craig Bezant
Baby Teeth: Bite-sized tales of terror – Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray
Star Quake 1 – Sophie Yorkston

Congratulations to Debbie, Cassie, Dan and Lee, along with all the other finalists. The winners will be announced next Thursday evening.

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Engines of Empathy, Paul Mannering

Click to read an excerpt from the book.

Charlotte Pudding, computer psychologist and recent orphan, is not precisely thrilled with her lot in life (and not just because of the ‘orphan’ bit). Nevertheless, having her routine disrupted by a shadowy corporation, a man who claims to be a retired god, and the secrets of her own family history isn’t a walk in the park, either.

Charlotte’s quest for answers will lead her on a perilous journey into a religion based on Quantum Physics, a hunt for unexpectedly rare plant oil, and a fight to the shame against a black-belt in sarcasm. In a world that runs on peace and harmony, Charlotte is going to discover just how far some people are prepared to go to maintain tranquillity.

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Engines of Empathy is also available from select bookstores within New Zealand:


Unity Books

Paper Plus Newmarket


Scorpio Books


University Bookshop Otago

Palmerston North

Bruce McKenzie Booksellers


Unity Books

Vic Books


Praise for Engines of Empathy

“A hint of Adams, a dollop of Pratchett, all delivered with a mischievous smile for an intriguing tale that is great fun … A wonderfully humorous tale that keeps you smiling and intrigued to the very end.”
Te Radar

“Ever wondered what life would be like if all our machines were powered not by electricity or petrol, but by emotions? Neither had I. But now, thanks to Paul Mannering, I can’t stop wondering. Clever, satirical and more than a little weird, Engines of Empathy introduces one of the strangest worlds I’ve encountered in New Zealand fiction – a world that, much like our own, is haunted by the moral consequences of an energy-intensive industrial revolution. From sulking toasters, depressed computers and a passive aggressive fridge to quantum religions and corporate conspiracies, Engines of Empathy is a crazy ride.”
—Dylan Horrocks

Engines of Empathy is charming, clever, funny, and a rollicking good read. Charlotte Pudding is a heroine sensible and capable enough to tackle an abundance of eccentric characters, shady conspiracies, neurotic machines, attack-sarcasm, and a religion based on quantum mechanics. If Douglas Adams had been forced to undergo relationship counselling with his toaster, this is the book that would have resulted.”
Debbie Cowens, author of Mansfield with Monsters

“This would have to be one of the freshest and most entertaining books that I have read this year … Madcap entertainment at its best. Highly recommended for a quick read that will hook you from the get-go and keep you racing for the climax, with surprises at every turn.”
—Angela Oliver, Booksellers NZ

“Is New Zealand the speculative fiction capital of the world? This book from new independent publisher Paper Road Press is evidence that we might just be.”
—Ngaire Atmore Pattison, Bookiemonster

“Mannering has nailed breakneck pacing, his main character Charlotte is strong, independent, vulnerable and grows over the story.”
—Will Harvie, The Dominion Post

Paul Mannering

mannering-profileWellington-based Paul Mannering’s voracious reading and writing habit began at age 8 after his family’s black and white TV set blew up during the opening credits of an episode of Space 1999.
This personal trauma and some odd reading material (Forensic medicine textbooks and years of Reader’s Digest) has shaped much of his writing since.
Engines of Empathy will be Paul’s fourth book, following The Man Who Could Not Climb Stairs and Other Strange Stories (2011), Tankbread (Permuted Press 2013) and Tankbread 2: Immortal (Permuted Press, 2013).

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Baby Teeth: Bite-sized Tales of Terror

Click on the cover to read a free sample.

Edited by Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray

Kids can say the creepiest things.

27 New Zealand and American authors delve into the strange, the unexpected, and the downright terrifying things that kids say in this collection of all new flash fiction. From the mouths of babes come 37 stories, from the haunting to the hilarious to the horrific.

Leave the lights on tonight. So you’ll see them coming.



Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Collected Work, 2014
Winner – Australian Shadows Award for Edited Publication, 2014
Winner – Australian Shadows Award for Short Stories, 2014: Debbie Cowens, “Caterpillar”
Finalist – Australian Shadows Award for Short Stories, 2014: JC Hart, “The Dead Way”


Paper Road Press is proud to support Duffy Books in Homes by donating the proceeds from sales of Baby Teeth to their programme, which provides free books to over 100,000 New Zealand children every year.

Baby Teeth in the News

Children say the scariest things – Sophie Speer, Dominion Post 29.10.13
Tiny terrifying tales turn prize-winner – Sophie Leggett, The Wellingtonian 29.05.14

Table of Contents

Caterpillars Debbie Cowens
White Grant Stone
Burying Baby Paul Mannering
People Pleaser M Darusha Wehm
Con Somma Passione Lee Murray
Giant Jack Newhouse
Winter Feast Elizabeth Gatens
What’s the Story, Mother? Lewis Morgan
Blonde Obsession Jean Gilbert
Simon Says Matthew Sanborn Smith
Tarantella Moon Dan Rabarts
Backyard Gardening Jake Bible
Because I Could … Celine Murray
End of the Rainbow Jenni Sands
Kiss Your Mother Alan Lindsay
Practice Makes Perfect Sally McLennan
Blood Sisters Matt Cowens
Windows M Darusha Wehm
Dad’s Wisdom Eileen Mueller
Recession Darian Smith
Paper Butterfly Alan Lindsay
The Skulkybunking Wurld Champyon of the Hole Woorld Paul Mannering
Teach Your Children Well Lee Murray
The Character of 82 James St Anna Caro
Love Hurts Jan Goldie
Dark Night Jenni Sands
Friends AJ Ponder
Shadowed Halls Michael J Parry
If They Hadn’t Landed So Close Matt Cowens
All the Ghosts Dan Rabarts
The Boy with Anime Eyes Kevin G Maclean
The Oracle of Karawa Paul Mannering
Lockdown Piper Mejia
The Birthday Present Sally McLennan
Peter and the Wolf Lee Murray
How They See You Morgan Davie
The Dead Way JC Hart

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