Awardwatch : Australian Shadows Awards

A few weeks back we highlighted how many Kiwis there were on the shortlist for the Australian Shadows Awards. Well now, the Australasian Horror Writers Association have announced the winners and I’m sure none of you will be surprised to see that New Zealanders feature there as well. So, huge congratulations to Tabatha and Lee (and of course all the other winners as well).

NZSA New Zealand Heritage Literary Awards

The New Zealand Society of Authors (Canterbury) have sent us a press release to say that the NZSA New Zealand Heritage Literary Awards will open for entries on the 1st June 2021.

Now this has caused a bit of discussion at the SFFANZ virtual office. On one hand, this news blog has a rule about only posting material that has a specific sf/f/h connection. This press release does not mention our genre (or any genre) at all. On the other hand, they did specifically send it to us and we do know that a lot of writers read this blog.

Here is the key text from the press release.


Books published between 1 June 2020 and 1 August 2021 and linked to New Zealand’s heritage, can be submitted for fiction book, non-fiction book, children’s book, and a book written in Te Reo Maori. Books that have only been published digitally will not be accepted. There are two online entry categories for short prose and poetry.


The competition opens on 1 June and closes on 1 August 2021. All entries should have some relationship with the theme of the Christchurch I Heritage Festival 2021: People and Place – our stories revealed. Full submission details along with the entry form, fees and terms and conditions can be found at: www.nzsacanterburv.wordpress.com

Are you interested? Some more information of interest…

We had a look at some of the previous winners and the judges for this competition. There aren’t any genre names that we recognise. The names we do recognise seem to come from a set with a very narrow idea of what constitutes literature. Perhaps its time to change that and expose them to some of our considerable local talent.

The link provided takes you to a password protected page. Another one of our rules is that we don’t promote “member-only” items. But the press release says nothing about it being restricted in any way. Another puzzle. There is an email address (info@nzauthors.org.nz) however.

The press release came through as an image file. We had to OCR it to give you the above text. It makes you wonder why they made it so hard for us to transcribe to here.

So you can see why it caused discussion. Feel free to contribute – use our facebook feed if you want to comment. Remember that if you get this by email or RSS etc that there is a lag of a few hours before it shows up on fb.

Final Reminder – Sir Julius Vogel Awards Voting

Voting in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards closes at 8pm* Monday 31st May. If you haven’t already sent your vote in, now is the time. Do that last minute check to ensure you have voted in all the categories you want to (you don’t have to vote in all of them. Make sure you have filled in the identity fields on the form – ballots that don’t clearly have these verification fields will not be counted. And yes, they are checked.

Your ballot has to reach the organisers by the time above, so if you are posting your ballot, you probably should have sent it by now. It you get it in before the fist mail collection on Friday you might make it – but then again maybe not. Perhaps best to email.

*Well yes, obviously that is 8pm New Zealand Standard Time (UMT+12)

Awardwatch : 2020 Bram Stoker Awards Winners

Back in February we posted about the Bram Stoker Awards ballot. We highlighted Lee Murray appearing twice on that ballot.

Well guess what?! The final results are out and Lee has won in both categories she was nominated (Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection and Superior Achievement in an Anthology). Congratulation Lee.

One Humanity Writing Collective

The following came into SFFANZ. It appears to be some sort of international collaborative writing project which includes New Zealand. A bit of quick checking seems to show that it is not a phishing scam. So if it is the sort of thing that may interest you, then go ahead and look at the web site. However, if you are interested we do strongly urge you to do your due diligence. Please make sure you clearly understand the underlying motivations of the organisation and be very clear who owns the rights to anything you contribute.

My name is Fabrice Guerrier, I am the founder of Syllble, a speculative fiction house for writers and creatives. Syllble is collaborating with The Innovation Station: Creative Industry Lab at the U.S Department of State on a program called the One Humanity Writing Collective. The program will convene fiction writers from Alaska, Hawai’i, and Puerto Rico with fiction writers from Australia and New Zealand to write stories together inspired by their shared experiences and ideas. The one-year program will ask these writers to jointly create stories based on monthly prompts related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and global challenges.

Syllble is accepting applicants to this program (in the locations listed above) on Syllble’s website here: https://syllble.com/onehumanity/. The website also contains information regarding the goals and timeline of the program that will be important for applicants. The deadline to apply is June 3, 2021, and successful applicants will be notified by mid-June prior to the collective’s first virtual meeting in July.

Anime Candlelit Concert in Auckland

Listen to iconic anime tracks under the glimmer of candlelight.

Another opportunity to hear film & TV soundtracks performed live. This time the genre is Anime and the music comes from a string quartet. The following is what the web site blurb says…

Experience the magic of a Candlelight concert in Auckland, featuring the most popular anime songs. From Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon, to Naruto and Studio Ghibli, you´ll fall into a realm of tranquility in almost complete darkness. And tickets are live now!

The show blends the world of anime with the gorgeous sounds of exemplary string quartet, all in a spectacular setting. On July 10, prepare to unwind for 65 minutes surrounded by the spellbinding atmosphere of candles.

It promises to be an unbeatable experience presenting the most enchanting sounds from Japanese animation. Talented string quartet artists will be performing some incredible soundtracks, using violins, a viola and a cello. Songs include Pokémon, Demon Slayer, Tokyo Ghoul and many more favourites.

Awardwatch : 2020 Australian Shadows Awards finalists

The finalists for the 2020 Australian Shadows Awards have been announced. You can see the full list of finalists on their blog.

The thing is, as we have pointed out before, these awards are labelled “Australian” but they are awarded by the “Australasian” Horror Writers Association (the AHWA). And they are quite clear that this means New Zealand authors and works are eligible. So there should be lots of Kiwis on the ballot – and there are. You will find names such as Lee Murray, Dan Rabarts,Tabatha Wood and Cassie Hart on the list. And there are others who are Aussie based who qualify as Kiwis.

Congratulations to all the finalists – even the Aussies.

Klingalong: The Sci Fi and Fantasy Singalong

Klingalong: The Sci Fi and Fantasy Singalong may be this galaxy’s first-ever singalong event in fictional languages, and certainly the first one to be accompanied only by an accordion. Sing pop classics by Split Enz, Queen, Dolly Parton, Ginuwine, the Pixies, Lauryn Hill, and more, translated into Klingon (Star Trek), Quenya (Lord of the Rings), and Dothraki (Game of Thrones) by your host, singer / accordionist and Master of Linguistics Emma Wollum.

No previous knowledge of any of the fictional languages is required, but enthusiasm is encouraged! Shows are on 21 & 22 May – booking and pricing information on the NZ Intl Comedy Fest site.

Postscript…Emma says that if a good size group wants to go along together, she can organise a group discount. If that is you, drop us a line at the sffanz news address and we will put you in touch with her.

Walk of Wonders

Our intrepid reporter trawls through event listings looking for events that have some sort of SF/F/H connection that you may enjoy. This time she came across the sentence “This year wanderers will follow an 11 year old girl on her adventure into a parallel time and dimension.” – that sounds like science fiction – right? The sentence came from the listing for Walk of Wonders, Black Barn Vineyards, Havelock North – why don’t you read the full listing. The event is in early August – you can also read its website.

The event is supposedly part of the Hawke’s Bay Light & Fire Festival. An event we cannot find a web site to link for you – just some mentions of a 2020 event. We can only find the Walks of Wonder event in 2021. Note that if this interests you, book quickly – some nights are already booked out.

Voting is open for the SJV awards (plus Voters Pack)

Voting is now open for the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel Awards. Voting closes on 31st May 2021. All the information or links to it can be found on the Sir Julius Vogel Award Finalists announcement. However, we have included some key links for you below…

This is the link to the voting form pdf download. Note that the behaviour of this link will vary according to the way your browser has been set up. For example, if you get a blank page, it may be that the pdf file is already in your download directory.

The voting form pdf contains instructions on how to fill out the form. You can edit it directly on your device or print the form and fill it in manually. You can fill the ballot form in electronically and email it to us at sjv-awards@sffanz.nz, or print it and mail it to: SJV Votes, P.O. Box 13-574, Johnsonville, Wellington.

We know many of you have been waiting for the SJV Voters Packet containing samples of the nominated works. It is now available – read the instructions here.

In previous years, you could vote or get the voters packet if you were a member of the national convention (you will find mention of that in some of the links). However there is no such convention this year, so the only way to partake is to be a member of SFFANZ. Have a read of the joining instructions or read our previous post, but ignore any stuff about paying by cheque – that option is about to cease to exist.

Information about the award ceremony will be available shortly.

Voting in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards

You may be wondering how you can vote in the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel Awards. If so, please read the following which has been adapted from an SFFANZ official press release …

Regrettably, this year there will be no national convention. This means that voting for the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel Awards will be carried out by electronic and postal voting only.

Voting is open to members of SFFANZ only. Membership to SFFANZ costs just $10 and this money supports the cost of running the SJV Awards and other associated expenses. Please note that this is an annual membership fee. If you joined in a previous year, you do need to renew your membership this year before voting.

You can join SFFANZ or renew your membership by contacting enquiries@sffanz.nz and requesting details of the bank account. A specialised membership form will be available soon, but in the meantime, please supply your full name and address in the email. This is needed to help us comply with our legal requirements to the Companies Office.

Voting will be held between May 1 and May 31. Once the voting paper is made available on our website www.sffanz.nz and through our social media channels (including this one), you can email your completed ballot to sjv-awards@sffanz.nz

If you are posting your ballot, please post it to PO BOX 13-574 Johnsonville, Wellington 6440 and ensure it reaches us by May 31.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony later in the year. Details of that ceremony will be announced in due course.

2021 Sir Julius Vogel Award finalists announced

SFFANZ is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel Awards. Congratulations to all our finalists.

Ordinarily, voting for the awards would occur at our national convention, but as there is no national convention this year, voting will be conducted via email and post. Voting will open on May 1 and close on May 31. Details of the presentation ceremony will be released in due course. Please note that you must be a member of SFFANZ to vote for the Sir Julius Vogel awards this year.

All Finalists have been asked to provide links either to their works or, if this is not possible, to descriptions or reviews. We have included all the links that we have received so far. We will continue to update the finalists page as more information is made available to us.

We expect to have a voter packet of eligible works available before voting opens.

Conflux Natcon Update

Earlier in the year, we posted about Conflux as an alternative for Kiwis who are missing out on their natcon experience this year. With the travel bubble now in place that is now an even more realistic possibility. Conflux have sent us the following announcement which includes new guest info and registration links.

(as an editorial aside, you will note that the announcement below has a very writer industry focus. This has always been the way with Conflux as it is effectively run by a writers group. However as somebody who has been to several, I can assure you that there is also plenty of the usual general fannish activity that will be happening. This is especially true when it is the natcon as it is this year)

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Conflux is there and back again in Canberra in 2021 and this year it’s the national spec fic convention!

As we adapt to the mad (Max) world that is our new normal, Conflux will spend three days exploring the future of the speculative fiction industry.

(Dr) Who will be there you ask? This year’s guest of honour is John Birmingham, author of He Died with a Felafel in His Hand and the Axis of Time trilogy, and our International guest of honour is multi-award winning Helen Marshall, known for her psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic.

Learn from some of the best in the industry in our series of workshops, panels and small-group discussions. Whether you’re an established writer or artist, or seeking a Foundation in the industry, you don’t want to miss this!

And of course, as the NatCon, we’ll have the Ditmar Awards, recognising achievement in Australian science fiction (including fantasy and horror) and science fiction fandom.

The details:
· Where: Rex Hotel, Canberra
· Date: 2 to 4 October 2021

Tickets on sale now! You can also like Conflux on Facebook or subscribe to the newsletter at conflux.org.au/contact/ to get all the updates.

Awardwatch – The 2021 Hugo Awards

Kiwis on the Hugo ballot – that’s not something you get to write very often. Well never – not before today that is! DisCon III have announced the ballot for the 2021 Hugo awards (watch here or read here) and there are three names that stand out for locals…

Tamsyn Muir has been nominated in Best Novel for Harrow the Ninth.

Laya Rose has been nominated for Best Fan Artist.

Cassie Hart has been nominated for Best Related Work for CoNZealand Fringe.

As always, congratulations to all the finalists. The Hugo awards will be presented at DisCon III.

Two Weeks Left to Nominate for the SJV Awards.

The team who administer the SJV awards would like you to know that “There are now just two weeks until nominations for the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel awards (recognising works and creators from the 2020 calendar year) close.”

Actually, they said that yesterday, so now it is just 13 days. You can find all the info here.

Also a reminder that there is a vetting process for every nominations. So please give the administrators a break and get your nominations submitted with plenty of time to spare.

SFWA Names Sasha Stronach Guest Editor

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) announced today Kiwi author Sascha Stronach will be a The Bulletin guest editor in 2021. Stronach will guest edit Issue #218, slated for September 2021. (Canada based author Yilin Yang will be the other guest editor and edit #219.)

SFWA Editor-in-Chief Michi Trota said, “I’ve admired Sascha’s work in SF/F and am excited they’ll be bringing their unique visions and perspectives to shape their issues of The Bulletin.” Sacha won the 2020 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novel.

Marvel Concert – This Weekend in Wellington

This may be a bit last minute because both the film+concerts are this Saturday (27th Feb), however if you are a Marvel fan then it may not be too late. The Orchestra Wellington listing is here or you can book tickets directly here. The full blurb is reproduced below…

“Avengers. Iron Man. Captain America. Everyone has a favourite Marvel movie, but as of yet, nobody has a favourite Marvel Experience. For the first time on these shores, we will be treated to a music and film extravaganza like never before, with a show redefining what it means to truly go to the movies.

As the only orchestra in the world to play their full season in a crisis-hit 2020, Orchestra Wellington are kicking off the year in style by treating us to a very special Saturday at the Michael Fowler Centre. With one show on the Saturday evening, and another earlier in the day as a matinée performance, this unique experience serves to dazzle and delight as a visual and audible spectacle. For anyone who is a fan of Marvel movies – this is an absolute must see. At a time when saving the world is more important than ever, come along to the Michael Fowler Centre on February 27th with friend or foe, and make sure you’re ready for A Superhero Experience you will never, ever forget.”

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in Concert

The Auckland Arts Festival is coming up soon and the team here spotted that the Australasian Premiere of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is one of the events as a live concert and film event. The score for this famous film will be performed live by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. It looks like the only performance will be on Sat 13th March – Covid levels permitting of course.

We did a trawl through the Arts Festival site for other SF/F/H related events. The only other ones that came came remotely close were Heavenly Bodies and probably closer to the mark Jack and the Beanstalk. Also a shout out to Che-Fu – not because his event is SF related (it isn’t) but because Che is a a geeky genre fan and we love him for it.

Awardwatch : 2020 Bram Stoker Awards Ballot

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) have announced the finalists for the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards. The Bram Stoker Award winners will be announced in May during the Virtual StokerCon 2021 event.

Doing our usual search through looking for Kiwi connections, we again come across Lee Murray’s name on the ballot (twice!) – congratulations Lee.

You might wonder if we get bored by seeing the same few names keep cropping up on these major awards. Well, we really don’t – in the same way cricket fans never get bored seeing Kane Williamson score centuries. But we do still also want to see the next Kyle Jamieson, so if you spot any Kiwis getting recognised for any SF related activity (not just awards), then please drop us a line. We don’t know the names of all the local creatives, so we do need your help. There are a lot of awards out there – for example, perhaps somebody can run their eyes over the just announced Ursa Major Awards for us.

Need That Local Natcon Fix?

So, it looks like there isn’t a New Zealand national SF/F convention this year. There will probably be some sort of event for the Sir Julius Vogel awards – no details yet. But what if you want that full natcon experience? Our fannish neighbours to that west are having one – Conflux 16 is the Australian natcon for 2021. It is being held 2-4 October in Canberra.

Obviously getting there relies on the lifting of travel restrictions. But there is going to be a lot of vaccine administered between now and October.

You wouldn’t be traveling new ground for Kiwis. Your humble scribe has been to 5 Confluxes – they are a hugely enjoyable experience. And I’m not the only one – why don’t you consider adding to our numbers.