Fiction - Library - University of Canterbury Untitled Document


Want to browse the fiction shelves at UC Libraries?

Each library has a different collection of fiction.
The Central Library has the widest range of fiction, with historical and contemporary fiction from around the world. It is also has a detective fiction collection (formerly at the Law Library).
The Education Library houses young adult and junior fiction, as well as an array of picture books.
The EPS Library has a science fiction collection.
The Macmillan Brown Library has a collection of New Zealand and Pacific fiction which can be read only within the library, but also a small collection of borrowable fiction from Māori authors.

To find out how to browse our collections, select the relevant library from the dropdown menu.

Fiction at the Education Library

What: Picture books (PB), junior fiction (JFIC), young adult books (YFIC).
Where: Level 1
The Education Library's fiction books are organised by the author's last name. So, if you are looking for J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, you'll find them under ROW in the JFIC collection.

Fiction at the EPS Library

What: Science Fiction
Where: Level 2
The EPS Library's fiction books are organised by the author's last name. So if you are looking for Arthur Clarke's books, you'll find them under CLA in the Science Fiction collection.

Fiction at the Central Library

What: Contemporary and classic fiction from a range of countries
Where: Level 4 of the Puaka-James Hight building
The Central Library's fiction books are organised according to the Library of Congress classification. Books are assigned a call number based on the author's nationality. Below are the call ranges for a variety of nations' fiction. By going to the shelving for these ranges on Level 4, you will be able to browse the shelves.

Russian Fiction

PG 3475-3505

Japanese Fiction

PL 752-889

Chinese Fiction

PL 2450-3208

French Fiction

PQ 2600-2726

Spanish Fiction

PQ 6600-6726

British Fiction

PR 6000-6126

Canadian Fiction

PR 9100-9299

Australian Fiction

PR 9400-9499

New Zealand Fiction

PR 9500-9599

South African Fiction

PR 9805-39824.3

American Fiction

PS 3500-3626

German Fiction

PT 2600-2728

This list is by no means exhaustive! If you wish to browse another nation's literature, ask for assistance at the Information Desk.

What: Detective Fiction
Where: Level 4
The Detective Fiction Collection books are organised by the author's last name. So if you are looking for Lee Child's books, you'll find them under CHI in the Detective Fiction collection.

Fiction at the Macmillan Brown Library

What: New Zealand and Pacific Fiction
Where: Aotearoa Room or Library Use Only Collection
There is a small collection of fiction by Māori authors (eg. Witi Ihimaera, Patricia Grace, Hone Tuwhare) in the Aotearoa Room available for lending. The rest of the fiction in the Macmillan Brown Library is for library use only. Please note that this collection is not accessible for browsing. To access these items, please request specific items through the catalogue and visit the service desk to access them.


The Library has a small but growing collection of fiction e-books. The best way to find these is by using MultiSearch and limiting your search to items available online. Library staff at the Information Desks of any of the UC Libraries can assist you with with such searches.

For more information about accessing e-books, see Finding and using e-books

Selected Titles - New Fiction

Days without end :a novel
By Sebastian,1955- Barry

Twice Booker-shortlisted author Sebastian Barry returns with a sensational new novel set in mid-19th Century America, an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt. 'Time was not something then we thought of as an item that possessed an ending, but something that would go on for ever, all rested and stopped in that moment. Hard to say what I mean by that. You look back at all the endless years when you never had that thought. I am doing that now as I write these words in Tennessee. I am thinking of the days without end of my life. And it is not like that now...' Having signed up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, they find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry's latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt, and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past, Days Without End is a novel never to be forgotten.

Afternoon :a story
By Michael,1945- Joyce

"A classic of electronic fiction, afternoon is required reading. Complex and richly imagined, this is the story of Peter, a technical writer who (in one reading) begins his afternoon with a terrible suspicion that the wrecked car he saw hours earlier might have belonged to his former wife. afternoon is a rich and lyrical exploration of the tangled strands of knowing and memory, the interconnections that bind and unravel the intersecting lives of its postmodern characters"--Publisher website.

The vegetarian :a novel
By Kang,1970- Han

"Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more 'plant-like' existence, commits a shocking act of subversion. As her rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, Yeong-hye spirals further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming - impossibly, ecstatically - a tree."--Inside front book cover.

Swing time
By Zadie Smith

"An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty. Two brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either. Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live. But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey--the same twists, the same shakes--and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time"--

The Mandibles :a family, 2029 - 2047
By Lionel Shriver

It is 2029. The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their 97-year-old patriarch dies. Yet America's soaring national debt has grown so enormous that it can never be repaid. Under siege from an upstart international currency, the dollar is in meltdown. A bloodless world war will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Their inheritance turned to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also -- as the effects of the downturn start to hit -- the challenge of sheer survival. Recently affluent Avery is petulant that she can't buy olive oil, while her sister Florence is forced to absorb strays into her increasingly cramped household. As their father Carter fumes at having to care for his demented stepmother now that a nursing home is too expensive, his sister Nollie, an expat author, returns from abroad at 73 to a country that's unrecognizable. Perhaps only Florence's oddball teenage son Willing, an economics autodidact, can save this formerly august American family from the streets. This is not science fiction. This is a frightening, fascinating, scabrously funny glimpse into the decline that may await the United States all too soon, from the pen of perhaps the most consistently perceptive and topical author of our times.

A pale view of hills
By Kazuo,1954- Ishiguro

Etsuko, a middle-aged Japanese woman now living alone in England, dwells on the recent suicide of her elder daughter, Keiko. Despite the efforts of her surviving daughter to distract her thoughts, Etsuko finds herself recalling a particular summer in Nagasaki after the bomb fell.

The impossible boy
By Leonie,1977- Agnew

"Can an imaginary friend become real? Vincent Gum finds six-year-old Benjamin moments after an explosion and leads him through wrecked city streets to the children's shelter. Vincent's tough and smart. He can walk through walls and make a dead tree flower. But to the rest of the world he's invisible - non-existent. That's because, in his moment of need, Ben invented him. When Ben is befriended by a gang of streetwise orphans, Vincent begins to worry. What will happen to him if Ben decides he no longer needs an imaginary friend? Will he cease to exist?"--Publisher information.

Rent a bridesmaid
By Jacqueline Wilson

Tilly can't believe it when her best friend Matty is asked to be a bridesmaid. In Tilly's favourite daydream, she's kitted out in the most beautiful bridesmaid dress, walking down the aisle behind a beautiful bride. The one wedding she'd really like to attend is her own mum and dad's. But as that's never going to happen, it's time for Tilly to make her own dream come true and put her bridesmaid services up for hire . . . A fabulous, funny and moving story about the power of friendship from the mega-bestselling author of Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and Katy. Full of beautiful illustrations by much-loved illustrator, Nick Sharratt.

Dear Charlie
By N. D. Gomes

Death should never meet the young. But it did. Thanks to my brother, death made fourteen new friends that day. Maybe even fifteen, if you count Charlie. At sixteen, Sam Macmillan is supposed to be thinking about girls, homework and his upcoming application to music college, not picking up the pieces after the school shooting that his brother Charlie committed. Yet as Sam desperately tries to hang on to the memories he has of his brother, the media storm surrounding their family threatens to destroy everything. And Sam has to question all he thought he knew about life, death, right and wrong.

Charlie and the war against the grannies
By Alan Brough

My name is Charlie Ian Duncan. I will be 12 on 2 February. I have written this history of my war with the grannies because I need everyone to know that I didn't mean for Mrs Cyclopolos to blow up. I just wanted a paper round. The grannies started it when I asked them about a paper round and they sprayed me in the face with rooster brand chilli sauce and made me think that I was dead. Hils and I decided to go to war with them but then I discovered one of the grannies had a glass eye and I wasn't sure if it was okay to go to war against someone with a glass eye but then I discovered that the granny with the glass eye could pinch bricks in half, turn her snot-covered hankies into deadly throwing weapons and possessed a truly terrible device called the Gnashing Gnet.

When friendship followed me home
By Paul,1966- Griffin

Ben Coffin has never felt like he fits in. A former foster kid, he keeps his head down at school to avoid bullies and spends his afternoons reading sci-fi books at the library. But all that changes when he finds a scruffy abandoned dog named Flip and befriends the librarian's daughter, Halley. For the first time, Ben starts to feel like he belongs in his own life. Then everything changes, and suddenly Ben is more alone than ever. But with a little help from Halley's magician father, Ben discovers his place in the world and learns to see his own magic through others' eyes.

The Night Gardener
By Terry Fan

Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.

Hamish X and the cheese pirates
By Sean Cullen

Hamish X and his friends Parveen and Mimi are planning their escape from the Windcity Orphanage and Cheese Factory when the Cheesebeard of Snow Monkey Island and his band of pirates attack the factory. The pirates kidnap the cheese master Viggo, orphanage employee Mrs. Francis, and the orphans and it is up to Hamish X and his friends to travel across the Arctic and deal with the pirates.

The boy who swam with piranhas
By David,1951- Almond

Stanley Potts?s uncle Ernie has developed an over-the-top fascination with canning fish in the house, and life at 69 Fish Quay Lane has turned barmy. But there?s darkness in the madness, and when Uncle Ernie?s obsession takes an unexpectedly cruel turn, Stan has no choice but to leave. As he journeys away from the life he?s always known, he mingles with a carnival full of eccentric characters and meets the legendary Pancho Pirelli, the man who swims in a tank full of perilous piranhas. Will Stan be bold enough to dive in the churning waters himself and choose his own destiny?

The Bone Sparrow
By Zana Fraillon

Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention center after his mother and sister fled the violence of a distant homeland, Subhi has only ever known life behind the fences. But his world is far bigger than that -- every night, the magical Night Sea from his mother's stories brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories. And as he grows, his imagination threatens to burst beyond the limits of his containment. The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie -- a scruffy, impatient girl who appears on the other side of the wire fence and brings with her a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it herself, she relies on Subhi to unravel her family's love songs and tragedies. Subhi and Jimmie might both find comfort -- and maybe even freedom -- as their tales unfold. But not until each has been braver than ever before.

The pirates and the nightmaker
By James,1946- Norcliffe

The year is 1740 and the ship Firefly has been taken over by pirates. The ship's boy and some of the crew find themselves adrift in the ocean, along with the mysterious stranger Mr Wicker. The ship's boy fears for his life as the half-starved men start to eye him up. Mr Wicker reveals his magical abilities by giving the ship's boy the ability to fly and making him invisible. At first the ship's boy is grateful, but then realises Mr Wicker has plans for him.

Looking for Alaska
By John,1977- Green

Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.