Our congratulations go to Marcus Thomas and Neil Silverwood for winning the Judith Binney Best First Book – Illustrated Non-Fiction Category for their book Caves: Exploring New Zealand’s subterranean wilderness at the 2018 Ockham Book Awards.
The photographs in Caves are undeniably exquisite. They depict moments of wonder, an otherworldliness that a dedicated few access. Through the marriage of photographs and infographics this book provides a more general readership the privilege of seeing the subterranean parts of New Zealand’s environment that remain comparatively unknown. At times, the images and the narrative can be unnerving as we read of the deaths that come with discovery and view seemingly bottomless caverns, but the overarching feeling is one of awe at the immense beauty of our islands and the courage of the tightknit community of people that traverse them.