Profile: Octavia Cade

I’m a New Zealand writer with a PhD in science communication and a particular interest in science history and marine studies. I’ve most recently been researching the reproductive strategies of Zostera muelleri seagrass, and when I’m not thinking about science I’m thinking about horror.

I’ve had around 40 short stories published, in places like ClarkesworldAsimov’s, and Apex Magazine, amongst others. A poetry collection on the periodic table, Chemical Letters, was published by Popcorn Press and I’ve written a number of novellas, published by Masque Books, Paper Road Press, and The Book Smugglers. I’ve been nominated for BSFA and Elgin awards, and have won three Sir Julius Vogel awards – twice for best novella (The Ghost of Matter and The Convergence of Fairy Tales) and once for best fan writing, for a series of columns on food and horror. I’ve also had some academic papers on speculative fiction published, and I write reviews on a semi-regular basis for Strange Horizons. I’ve got a poetry collection, Mary Shelley Makes A Monster, forthcoming from Aqueduct Press, and a novel, The Stone Weta, forthcoming from Paper Road Press. My first short story collection, The Mythology of Salt, is also forthcoming from Lethe Press.

I’m a member of the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) and the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and I attended Clarion West 2016. I’ll be the 2020 writer in residence at Massey University/Square Edge.

If you’re looking for something of mine to read, I reckon the best thing I’ve ever done is a short (free!) novel called The August Birds, wherein science history gets mixed up with speculative fiction. If you prefer short fiction, a couple of my favourites are “We Feed the Bears of Fire and Ice” and “The Stone Weta“, which inspired the novel mentioned above.

I also do a lot of tramping, and most of the time I manage not to injure myself. My dream is to one day complete Te Araroa, a walking trail that goes the entire length of NZ. I’ve done bits and pieces of it, and it’ll probably take me another ten years, but one day – one day dammit! – I will finish the thing.

You can contact me at octaviacade (at) hotmail (dot) com. My Twitter handle is @OJCade.


Most Recently Published Work (as of July 2020)

“We talk about the tyranny of distance a lot in this country.
That distance will not save us.”


With governments denying climate science, scientists from affected countries and organizations are forced to traffic data to ensure the preservation of research that could in turn preserve the world. From Antarctica, to the Chihuahuan Desert, to the International Space Station, a fragile network forms. A web of knowledge. Secret. But not secret enough.

When the cold war of data preservation turns bloody – and then explosive – an underground network of scientists, all working in isolation, must decide how much they are willing to risk for the truth. For themselves, their colleagues, and their future.

Murder on Antarctic ice. A university lecturer’s car, found abandoned on a desert road. And the first crewed mission to colonize Mars, isolated and vulnerable in the depths of space.

How far would you go to save the world? 

Goodreads | Amazon

Other Works:


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