These sometimes savage, sometimes wry and rueful, always inventive stories evoke the reality of the South Pacific Zealand and environs - with its "more market economy" tourists and its wacky national pride. Several of the pieces, first collected in "The New Land", won the 1990 Buckland Award for the best work of literature published in New Zealand. To "South Pacific" Bill Manhire adds new tales and other work. There's a do-it-yourself murder mystery, the story of an assassination attempt on the Queen, the hilarious account of a Writers' Congress in Kuala Lumpur, and an unsettling, futuristic tale set in 1999. A vein of satire runs through Bill Manhire's stories. Yet, rooted as many of them are in a particular place and time, the laughter they generate is anything but local.