Author Archives: mittsusaru

Zephyr Short Story Competition

The excellent folk at the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) sent us some information about the inaugural Zephyr Short Story Competition. All the details can be found at zephyrstories.com, but in essence it is a short story competition open to NZ residents with open and junior divisions.

Now normally we wouldn’t post this info, it not having a specific sf/f/h connection. But the NZSA people did ask very nicely and it got us thinking about how many genre authors there are out there – just think about how many aspiring authors attended workshops at Geysercon. So spread the word among your networks and get them to support this new competition by sending them some properly excellent speculative fiction short stories.

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Nanogirl Live! – ticket presale starts now

Get your geek on.

Nanogirl Labs are proud to present Nanogirl Live! “Bring on the Noise!” – a Live Science Spectacular.

Nanogirl, Boris (her trusty lab assistant), and CLAIR (Constantly Learning Artificial Intelligence Repository) are back for a brand new action-packed adventure, bringing you science and engineering as you have never seen them before. In this interactive show filled with experiments, explosions and music – Nanogirl Live! brings science and engineering to life in the coolest ways possible, right before your eyes. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer and do science on stage with Nanogirl too!

After three sellout tours, this brand new show by the internationally touring Nanogirl Live! Team, and starring Dr. Michelle Dickinson features all-new experiments, and all-new explosions – with plenty of extraordinary musical sounds to be enjoyed by the whole family.

The Ticketmaster Presale for shows in Auckland and Wellington in late November starts at 9:00am, Wednesday 24 July and ends at 8:59am, Wednesday 31 July 2019, strictly subject to availability.

The New Zealand National SF Convention for 2020 is…

ConZealand. With the prospect of New Zealand hosting the World SF Convention (Worldcon) in 2020, nobody has been prepared to put their hand up to organise a separate NZ national convention (natcon) in 2020. CoNZealand (the Worldcon in question) has generously stepped in and offered to host the key elements which are needed to constitute a natcon. This offer and the alternatives were discussed extensively at Geysercon and CoNZealand’s offer was accepted and ratified at the SFFANZ official bid session at Geysercon.

There are quite a number of consequences to this. We will try to spell out the key ones below:

  • If you are a member of CoNZealand, you are a member of the 78th worldcon and a member of the 41st NZ natcon. I.e. you are a member of both. There are no separate “natcon” memberships – no separate “worldcon” memberships either for that matter.
  • CoNZealand will host the three events which are required of a NZ natcon. I.e. The Sir Julius Vogel award ceremony, the SFFANZ AGM, the SFFANZ Bid session for the 2022 (and possibly 2021) natcons. All CoNZealand members will be able to attend these three events, but as is always the case only SFFANZ members will be able to vote at the AGM.
  • The Sir Julius Vogel award (SJV) nomination and voting process will all take place well before the commencement of CoNZealand. Only the announcement and presentation of the awards will take place at the ceremony. In other words, no voting at the convention – voting will be managed electronically.
  • This means that anybody who is a CoNZealand member at the time voting takes place is eligible to vote in the SJVs. SFFANZ members will, as always, be able to vote as well regardless of whether they are members of CoNZealand or not. This also means the voter packet will be available to all CoNZealand members – a great way to showcase local talent.
  • The three events (and only those three events) mentioned above will be able to be attended by eligible non-CoNZealand members. In practice this means SFFANZ members who are not members of CoNZealand can attend their events. SJV nominees may be able to attend the award ceremony as well – this hasn’t been confirmed yet. The final details of eligibility and mechanism are yet to be confirmed.

One final point. Nobody came forward at GeyserCon to run the 2021 NZ natcon either. If you are interested in putting together a bid, get on to it now and put your team together. Then get in touch with SFFANZ as soon as possible. They can organise an online bid session to get you accepted as the official natcon – that would be ratified at CoNZealand.

Awardwatch : Australian Shadows 2018

The Australian Shadows awards are horror awards for Australasian writers. That means Kiwis are eligible. The 2018 awards were made over the weekend. Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts represented this side of the Tasman to both win awards (Edited Work and Short Fiction respectively).

Yet another shout out to Kaaron Warren, Geysercon Guest of Honour, for picking up another prize for Tide of Stones as well as being the subject for another award.

While we are talking about Kaaron, she also picked up the Peter McNamara Achievement Award for Lifetime Achievement and Contribution towards Australian Speculative Fiction at the Ditmar awards also held over the weekend. No Kiwis featuring in the Ditmars however this year.

Sir Julius Vogel Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Sir Julius Vogel Awards which were announced Sunday night at GeyserCon, New Zealand’s 40th National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, in Rotorua. The SJVs, which recognize excellence in science fiction, fantasy and horror by New Zealanders, were nominated and voted on by members of SFFANZ and Geysercon.

PROFESSIONAL AWARD WINNERS

Best Novel
Into the Sounds by Lee Murray (Severed Press)

Best Youth Novel
Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South by Deryn Pittar (Junction Publishing)

Best Novella / Novelette
The Martian Job by M. Darusha Wehm (Choice of Games)

Best Short Story
“Girls Who do not Drown” by A.C. Buchanan (Apex Magazine, December 2018)

Best Collected Work
Te Korero Ahi Ka, edited by Grace Bridges, Lee Murray and Aaron Compton (SpecFicNZ)

Best Professional Artwork
Cover for The Baker Thief by Laya Rose (The Kraken Collective)

Best Professional Production / Publication
Black Archive #15 by John Toon (Obverse Books)

Best Dramatic Presentation
Wellington Paranormal, directed by Jermaine Clement and Jackie van Beek (New Zealand Documentary Board)

FAN AWARD WINNERS

Best Fan Artwork
The Thirteenth Doctor by Laya Rose

Best Fan Production / Publication
Star Trek in the Park – The Trouble with Tribbles (Enterprise Entertainment)

SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS

Best New Talent
Kura Carpenter (The Kingfisher’s Debt)

CoNZealand Pricing Announcement

CoNZealand is the 78th World Science Fiction Convention. It will be held in Wellington, New Zealand from July 29 – August 2, 2020.

ConZealand have made an announcement regarding changes to membership rates that will take place in mid-June this year.

If you are thinking of attending the Worldcon here in Aotearoa, then have a read and you might be able to save a few dollars. There is a payment plan available.

Also, extra points if you can spot the rather glaring typo on the media release – unless, of course, they have fixed it by the time you read this.

Blockwith – Auckland Live

So we here at SFFANZ News were looking at the programme for Auckland Live and were trying to work out what what would be most relevant for SF/F/H fans. What we came up with was Blockwith. The following description caught our eyes:

Step into the digital playground of Blockwith, where you create your own avatar on your smartphone then watch as it interacts and builds an ever-changing landscape with others on the larger-than-life Digital Stage in Aotea Square.

Blockwith has already started its run, but continues to June 21, so plenty of time for you to check it out. Let us know what you think – an SF activity or not?