Cover reveal – my second book for 2013

I mentioned last week that I had two books being published this year within a few weeks of each other. It’s the way writing goes, sometimes. Books written at different times end up chasing each other. It’s not the first time it’s happened.

TrainsTunnelsBridges_LargeAs well as my large-scale Illustrated History of New Zealand, I’ve also written a short history of New Zealand’s iconic railway locomotives and engineering – one of my interests – sold exclusively through Whitcoulls, New Zealand’s largest book chain. Trains, Tunnels, Bridges: Icons of Our New Zealand Rail History. Here’s the cover.

Wright_Railway Book WhitcoullsLike all my transport books, it flows from my interest in the field – which, for me, isn’t about listing serial numbers or spouting locomotive statistics like Arthur Putey on a platform at Paddington.  What I write about is the intersection between technology and society. In short – what locomotives and all the apparatus of rails, tunnels, bridges and rolling stock have meant to New Zealanders. Opening, inevitably, with our very first and most spectacular railway project  – the effort, during the late 1850s, to drive a tunnel through the wall of a volcano and so link Lyttleton to Christchurch.

The book is on the shelves in Whitcoulls this week. Here it is on the plinth in the middle of their Lambton Quay shop, alongside a Windows 8 manual and a cookbook. Where they had a Weta-supplied Nazgul last year as part of a Hobbit promotion. Which to me makes it pretty cool.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013


15 thoughts on “Cover reveal – my second book for 2013

    1. Lyttleton’s an amazing place; I was there in January – and saddened to see how many of the iconic buildings that I knew from earlier visits had gone. But it still had a life and a spirit, and there was hope.

      1. You might be interested to know that my husband is very good family friends with the architect designing the re-build of Christchurch. He is British. Small world.

    1. Thanks. Yeah, it’s a fascinating area. I have much the same sentiments about our rail system. It’s seen better days – was privatised as a monopoly in 1993 just when it needed major re-investment. None was done, and the state purchased the teetering edifice back in 2007 to stop it failing. Something like a billion dollars now has to be spent to bring it back up to scratch. Part of the problem is ours is a narrow gauge system – 3’6″ gauge with severe gradients, tight curves and heavy restrictions on what can be run, so high-speed trains are out of the question.

      Man, it would be wonderful to have the Heinlein system, though – the one from Starman Jones with supersonic bullet trains whipped along by what seemed to be a kind of linear magnetic accelerator..

  1. Love the cover. And, ah, what an absolute rush it must be to see your name in print. I love railways by the way. My country had one of the first railway systems in South America. A train that burns wood for fuel and that still runs now. 🙂

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