Paul Haines is an award-winning New Zealand-born horror and speculative fiction writer. He lives in Melbourne, Australia with this wife and daughter.
Raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Haines moved to Australia in the 1990s after completing a university degree in Otago. He attended the inaugural Clarion South writers workshop in 2004 and is a member of the SuperNOVA writers group. Haines has had more than thirty short stories published in Australia and North America. In 2007, he volunteered as a mentor for the Australian Horror Writers Association.
Haines has won the Australian Ditmar Award three times (Best New Talent in 2005, and Best novella/novelette for "The Last Days of Kali Yuga" (2005) and "The Devil in Mr Pussy (Or How I Found God Inside My Wife)" (2007)). He won the 2004 Aurealis Award (horror short story) for "The Last Days of Kali Yuga" and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2003 and 2004.
Haines' first short story collection "Doorways For The Dispossessed" was published by Prime Books in 2006. It won the New Zealand 2008 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Collection and was nominated for the 2007 Australian Ditmar for Best Collection.
His two new collections "Slice of Life" and "The Last Days Of Kali Yuga" are due to be released in 2009.
Great and inspirational and thought provoking read but I confess to being puzzled by the description of the author as one of Australia and New Zealand's leading 'quote' DARK fiction" authors. On the contrary, there is nothing "dark" about his work unless you try to read it at night by the light of a sickle moon rather, author Haines is the of the world's most illuminating authors shedding light with dazzling clarity upon the human condition albeit in its darkest aspects. Haines brings profoundly troubling and concerning issues out of the dark and into the sometimes harsh yet always real light of day so as to be visible to all those fortunate enough to be exposed to his literary work. REading Haines' work has me convinced that reincarnation is a reality. Goodness knows how many past lives he has lived/endured to be able to bring such issues out of the shadows and darkness of human ignorance. At the same time one could be forgiven for suspecting that the trials and tribulations of his present life have contributed to Haines' remarkable ability to shed light upon, and bring out of the dark, that which mankind has often preferred to leave to fester in the dank dark black depths of souls bereft of imagination.
I'd heard a lot about Paul Haines and his work before purchasing this book, and I wondered, could he possibly be as good as they say he is? The answer is - Yes. His writing draws deeply on personal experiences, but is never self-indulgent. It's often enlightening, but never a comfortable read. All the adjectives used to describe his work hold true - it is complex, often stomach-churning, often moving and always honest. If you come away from this book not feeling just a little bit dirty for being a human being, then you haven't been concentrating. My favourites from the collection include "Wives", set in a dystopian future Australia where women are in short supply and thus turned into commodities, "Her Collection of Intimacy", which almost made me cry, and "High Tide at Hot Water Beach", which did make me cry.
Paul Haines is an outstanding short story writer, a truly unique voice. His stories often feature a character called Paul Haines and it's never really possible to know where the author ends and the character begins. And within these stories, Haines explores every dark, dirty, nasty facet of the human condition.
This book is the definitive Haines collection. All the uniquely Hainesesque "backpacker horror" stories are here, along with a broad range of other subjects, from the fantastical to the horrible to the downright human nasty and every combination thereof. We also have the dystopian sci-fi novella "Wives", originally published in the awesome X6 Novella Anthology from Coeur De Lion Publishing. "Wives" alone is worth the purchase of this collection, but you should really buy X6 and read the others in that book.
And you must buy this book too, because you'll never read short fiction anything like that of Paul Haines. There will always be a part of you that wishes you never had read the short fiction of Paul Haines, but ignore that sensible and happy bit of your brain.
Every needs to explore the darkness. Everyone needs to experience the horror. Everyone should read Paul Haines.