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Ken Catran

Ken_Catran_1.jpgKen Catran won the 2007 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and is the acclaimed author of over 30 novels for young adults. Ken is particularly noted for his Deepwater Black and Solar Colonies sci-fi trilogies.
Ken’s television credits include many children's dramas and a dramatisation of his novel Steel Riders, as well as the script for the 1993 movie of Tessa Duder's novel Alex. In the 1990s Ken switched to writing fiction, beginning a career as one of the most prolific and versatile novelists in New Zealand, with a particular interest in the impact of technology on human societies.
With a passion for history and science fiction, his works reflect human interest details and interested readers cannot help but want to learn more. Notable titles include his Deepwater series, with Deepwater Black shortlisted for the 1993 AIM Children’s Book Awards Senior Fiction Award, and Voyage with Jason, which won the 2001 New Zealand Post Senior Teen Fiction Award and the New Zealand Book of the Year Award in the same year. His crime novels Talking to BlueBlue Murder and Blue Blood are true psychological thrillers, while his Moran family novels explore the impact of war on individuals and families.
Ken lives with his wife Wendy, also a writer, in Waimate, outside Timaru. After being awarded the Writer in Residence at the University of Waikato, Ken spent most of 2007 in Hamilton. During this time he was planning to work on a novel set during the Malayan Emergency of 1948–1956, which tells the story of a Chinese teenager fighting for the Communist guerrillas and a New Zealand soldier who lost his father in Singapore. The two young men are enemies, but after a skirmish they are forced to spend a night together and discover they have a lot in common. This new novel, Earth Dragon, Fire Hare, is a crossover senior teen/adult novel and a new departure for Ken.

Selected bibliography:
  • Steel Riders (TVNZ Publishing 1987).
  • Doomfire on Venus (HarperCollins 1993).
  • Deepwater Landing (HarperCollins 1993).
  • Deepwater Black (HarperCollins 1992).
  • Space Wolf (HarperCollins 1994).
  • Shadow of Phobos (HarperCollins 1994).
  • The Ghosts of Triton (HarperCollins 1994).
  • Deepwater Angels (HarperCollins 1994).
  • Focus and the Death-ride (HarperCollins 1994).
  • The Secret of Boomer Lake illustrated by John Tarlton (Harper Collins 1994).
  • Solar Colonies (Hodder Children's Books 1995).
  • Neo's War (Hodder Headline Australia 1995).
  • Ice-stranger (HarperCollins 1995).
  • Dream-bite (Puffin 1995).
  • The Onager (HarperCollins 1996).
  • Fire Gods (Hodder Moa Beckett 1997).
  • Running Dogs (HarperCollins 1998).
  • Golden Prince (Lothian Books 1999).
  • Black Sister (Angus & Robertson 1999).
  • Voyage with Jason (Lothian Books 2000).
  • Talking to Blue (Lothian Books 2000).
  • Blue Murder (Lothian Books 2001).
  • Taken at the Flood (Random House 2001).
  • Road Kill (Lothian Books 2001).
  • Mall Rats (Random House 2001).
  • Fries (Lothian Books 2002).
  • Tomorrow the Dark (Lothian Books 2002).
  • Letters from the Coffin-trenches (Random House 2002).
  • Something Weird about Mr Foster (Scholastic 2002).
  • Lin and the Red Stranger (Random House 2003).
  • Artists are Crazy and Other Stories (Lothian Books 2003).
  • Bloody Liggie (University of Queensland Press 2003).
  • Jacko Moran, Sniper (Lothian Books 2003).
  • Protus Rising (University of Queensland Press 2004).
  • Robert Moran, Private (Lothian Books 2004).
  • More Weird Stuff about Mr Foster (Scholastic 2004).
  • Seal Boy (Random House 2004).
  • Blue Blood (Lothian Books 2004).
  • Odysseus (Lothian Books 2005).
  • Jimmy Moran, Regular (Lothian Books 2005).
  • Black Ships Ablaze (Lothian Books 2005).
  • Sea of Mutiny (Random House 2005).
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes (Scholastic 2005).
  • Red Leader Down (Random House 2006).
  • Teresa Moran, Soldier (Lothian Books 2007).
  • Monsters of Blood and Honour (Random House 2007).
  • Nina of the Dark (HarperCollins 2009).
  • Smiling Jack (HarperCollins 2010).
  • Nina Questor (HarperCollins 2011).
  • When Empire Calls (Scholastic 2012).
  • Earth Dragon, Fire Hare (HarperCollins 2012). 
  • Dead Harry (Scholastic 2012).
  • AIM Children’s Book Awards 1993 Senior Fiction Shortlist for Deepwater Black.
  • University of Otago College of Education Children Writer in Residence 1996.
  • AIM Children’s Book Awards 1993 Senior Fiction Shortlist 1996 for Dream-bite.
  • Esther Glen Award Shortlist 1997 for The Onager.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2000 Young Adult Fiction List for Golden Prince.
  • New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Young Adult Fiction Winner 2001 for Voyage with Jason.
  • Esther Glen Award Shortlist 2001 for Voyage with Jason.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2001 Young Adult Fiction List for Talking to Blue.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2002 Young Adult Fiction List for Blue Murder.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2002 Young Adult Fiction List for Road Kill.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2002 Young Adult Fiction List for Taken at the Flood.
  • New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Junior Fiction Shortlist 2003 for Something Weird about Mr Foster.
  • Esther Glen Award Shortlist 2003 for Letters from the Coffin-trenches.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2003 Junior Fiction List for Something Weird About Mr Foster.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2003 Young Adult Fiction List for Letters from the Coffin-Trenches.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2003 Young Adult Fiction List for Tomorrow the Dark.
  • Esther Glen Award Winner 2004 for Jacko Moran, Sniper.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2004 Young Adult Fiction List for Lin and the Red Stranger.
  • SFFANZ Sir Julius Vogel Award for Services to Science Fiction and Fantasy 2005.
  • SFFANZ Sir Julius Vogel Best Novel Nominee 2005 for Protus Rising.
  • Esther Glen Award Shortlist 2005 for Robert Moran, Private.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2005 Young Adult Fiction List for Robert Moran, Private.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2005 Young Adult Fiction List for Seal Boy.
  • Esther Glen Award Shortlist 2006 for Sea of Mutiny.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2006 Young Adult Fiction List for Sea of Mutiny.
  • University of Waikato Writer in Residence 2007.
  • Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal 2007.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2007 Young Adult Fiction List for Red Leader Down.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2008 Young Adult Fiction List for Monsters of Blood and Honour.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2011 Young Adult Fiction List for Smiling Jack.
  • New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2011 Young Adult Fiction Finalist for Smiling Jack.
  • New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2011 Children’s Choice Young Adult Fiction Category Winner for Smiling Jack.
  • LIANZA Young Adult 2011 Finalist for Smiling Jack.

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Page checked and updated February 2013.


Storylines Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki and Friends of Storylines Te Pou o Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki together form New Zealand’s only national organisation working year-round to promote New Zealand children’s and young adult literature through activities that include a major national Story Tour to schools, early childhood centres and communities, and awards for writers, illustrators and those who work in the area of New Zealand children’s literature



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