Author Archives: mittsusaru

Classic SF Films at Stardome

Our friends at Stardome are back with another season of classic SF films. It kicks off 28 September and runs until mid December.

Films are shown against the night sky in the planetarium. Free popcorn with every ticket!

Dates and titles:
28 September 8pm: Moon
19 October 8pm: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
26 October 8pm: The Fly
2 November 8pm: Arrival
9 November 8pm: Ad Astra
16 November 8pm: Looper
30 November 8pm: Sunshine
7 December 8pm: The Terminator
14 December 8pm: Armageddon

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors/students. Half price for members.

Phillip Mann RIP

The saddest of news for the local SF community – Phillip Mann has passed away.

This one hits me deeply. I interacted with Phil on many occasions and he was always a kind and supportive person who was humbled by his role as a kind of father figure for the local sf scene. I have no words to describe how much he will be missed.

The following statement comes from his facebook author page.
Writer and director Phillip Mann MNZM died on Thursday 1 September in Wellington. A major contributor to the development of New Zealand theatre, Mann was the founding teacher at the country’s first University drama department, at Victoria University Te Herenga Waka in 1970. He was also a leading theatre director, directing premieres of New Zealand work by Vincent O’Sullivan, Renee and Greg McGee, as well as scores of contemporary and classic plays and operas. Also an internationally acclaimed and published science fiction writer, Mann has eleven novels to his name. He also wrote extensively for radio and theatre.

His The Disestablishment of Paradise was shortlisted for the prestigious Arthur C Clark Award, and he was an Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Society of Authors, and Patron of the Phoenix Science Fiction Society. In 2017, Mann was awarded an MNZM for his services to theatre and literature. He recently celebrated his eightieth birthday at Te Whaea (New Zealand Schools of
Dance and Theatre), for the launch of his most recent novel Chevalier & Gawayn: The Ballad of the Dreamer (Quentin Wilson Publishing), with family, friends, colleagues and former students.

Phillip is survived by his wife Nonnita, daughter Delia, son Owen and grandchildren Jasper, Poppy, Ianto and Rafe

Sir Julius Vogel Award Winners

The following is an unofficial list of winners from last night’s awards. The official list can be found on the SFFANZ main site.


Best Novel
Butcherbird, by Cassie Hart, Huia Publishers

Youth Novel
Fire’s Caress, Lani Wendt Young, One Tree House

The Impossible Resurrection of Grief, by Octavia Cade, Stelliform Press

Short Story
“Data Migration,” by Melanie Harding-Shaw, Strange Horizons, July 2021

Collected Work
Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy Vol 3, edited by Marie Hodgkinson Paper Road Press

Best Artwork
Cover of Foxhunt, created by Laya Rose

Best Production/Publication
What You Need Right Now is a Nice Soothing Horror Story, by Tabatha Wood, The Spinoff

Best Dramatic Presentation
Wellington Paranormal (series 3) — Jemaine Clement (director); Tim van Dammen (director); New Zealand Documentary Board (production company)


Best Fan Artwork
Deva, created by Michelle Kan
Jinx, by Jules

Best Fan Production/Publication
Phoenixine, edited by John and Jo Toon

Best Fan Writing
Wormholes and Workers, by Andi C. Buchanan, Vector Magazine, issue 294, Autumn 2021


Best New Talent
Graci Kim

Services to Fandom
Michelle Kan

SFFANZ Online Event Details

The key details for the online details of the online event for the SFFANZ AGM and SJV Awards are now available.

This link has the agenda and how to register to get the Zoom meeting link (you have to register, the link will not be published publicly).

This link has all the details about the AGM including the AGM agenda and associated documents.

SJV ceremony and one-day event – ONLINE

An update from the board
Due to a lack of registrations for a physical event, the SFFANZ board has made the decision to go virtual for the one-day event on August 13th.

Details of what will be in place will be released as soon as possible.

We’re disappointed that we can’t get together to discuss things in person, but hopefully by going virtual we can get more attendance.

At this stage we’ll be using Zoom. We’ll be hosting the AGM, the SJVs and a session on planning next year’s natcon at a minimum. IF you’d like to be part of a virtual panel, please get in touch with Lynelle asap and we’ll see what we can arrange.

Need That Local Natcon Fix (another go)?

So, there isn’t a New Zealand national SF/F convention this year. There will be an event for the Sir Julius Vogel awards – look at our previous post for details. 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 2022. It is being held 30 Sept – 3 Oct in Canberra.

This isn’t the first time they have tried to hold this event.  They should be applauded for their persistence.

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 to have made this trans-Tasman trip by any means – why don’t you consider adding to our numbers.


The SpecFicNZ AGM is coming up in September and they are on the lookout for new core committee members for the coming year.

In case you don’t know, SpecFicNZ is an organisation for Kiwis who are or aspire to be a writer, creator, editor, or publisher of speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction and horror). SFFANZ and SpecFicNZ are complementary in nature, covering different aspects of the local scene. If you are into the creative side of things, SpecFicNZ may be for you.

NB – This news service tries to avoid posts which sit in SpecFicNZ’s sphere of interest. So if you are after writer resources, author bios or calls for submissions, you might want to check out their posts.

Hawke’s Bay Readers & Writers Festival

Join Gareth Ward to celebrate the launch of Tarquin the Honest: The Hand of Glodd, a comic fantasy adventure featuring the universe’s most honest wizard and his sandwich scoffing friend.

We thought we would lead with the punchline this time. There is the launch of a fantasy YA (we think) novel at the Hawke’s Bay Readers & Writers Festival. As usual we look through these events to find genre events – this is what we found. We also found a D&D event straight afterwards.

In case you are wondering about Gareth’s genre credentials, he did win the 2018 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel.

This is all part of the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival. Check it out – the front page of their web site features big time SF fan Che Fu.

Costumiers’ Fantasy Masquerade Ball weekend

We only just heard about this and it starts tonight 15th July! (with a second part tomorrow)

In the interest of getting this posted quickly we won’t put the detail, but if this title interests you at all – here is the link to the main site. Click the link to the event.

Two things to note – you have to be in costume to attend and it is in Rotorua.

Michael Hurst in The Golden Ass

Classical era fantasy theatre NOT in Auckland. 25 venues around the country are hosting Michael Hurst’s one man show The Golden Ass all through July.

Some details…it sounds like fantasy to us…
Freely adapted from the notorious original by Apuleius, this brand new solo show is the story of Lucius – a young man driven by sexual desire and insatiable curiosity who is accidentally transformed into a donkey. Uh-oh!

What follows is a fantastical series of misadventures in a wicked world of witches, bandits, virgins, cultists, slaves, circuses, soldiers, pastry-cooks, prostitutes and priests.

Marvellously, sidesplittingly ridiculous, The Golden Ass is the original donkey show, inspiring such literary giants as Shakespeare, Boccaccio, Cervantes, Rabelais and Keats. It remains today a powerful plea for empathy in a world gone mad.

Zombie Apocalypse

More theatre in July. The Best Café In The World is being offered by Basement Theatre Auckland on 19 – 23 Jul.

This is the event spiel from the event entry on their web site – tickets are online only.
It’s been 3 months since the zombie apocalypse began in New Zealand. Jayden, an optimistic young barista, tries to maintain a normal life, serving up his popular coffee to the remaining survivors. When a growing herd of dangerous zombies threatens to overrun the Café, Jayden and his friends are faced with a difficult decision – barricade themselves inside the cafe or abandon the cafe to join up with other survivors.

Beam Me Up

Covert Theatre in Ponsonby is running a Trek themed comedy show on July 21st / 28th.

This is the blurb from their web site:

Calling all Trekkies. Come and enjoy the brand new show from the Covert Theatre. It’s time to boldly go on a comedy adventure that’s out of this world.

This show explores the final frontier of comedy and is highly illogical as it is highly hilarious. Book your seat now before you miss out!

The site also mentions free entry if you come dressed in costume – you might want to check the conditions.

NZISF NanoFest

We found a few things that might possibly be of interest to fans at the New Zealand International Science Festival Nanofest 2022. Its being held in Dunedin over the next two weekends.

If you want to find things of fannish interest, have a scroll through this content from the ODT. Anybody for simulating an meteor impacts, building popsicle stick bombs or VR gaming?

A couple of things we noted about ourselves as we recorded this…

We do rather focus on artist events rather more than science ones. Its probably valid, but its also important to keep our outlook wide.

When was the last time we reported something from Dunedin? More stuff from the South Island please.

SFFANZ Mini Science Fiction Convention

SFFANZ have announced a new date for the One-day event! Save the date for Saturday August 13th.

You can sign up for the event at this link.

The full statement is reproduced below but the tldr is you need to sign up by July 30th to determine whether the event can go ahead in person or pivot to virtual.

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting the SFFANZ AGM and presenting the Sir Julius Vogel awards physically on Saturday, August 13th, 2022 at the West Plaza Hotel, Wellington, New Zealand.

This day will be an opportunity for us to get together and build community spirit again after a long time apart. It will also be a chance for you to tell us what you want for fandom in New Zealand.

We understand that COVID-19 is still causing a lot of nervousness and fear in terms of getting together, and we will work to ensure we’re as safe as we can be while still getting together to have fun.

Details about the SFFANZ AGM, which will be held as part of the day, will be out shortly. Please note you’ll need to be an SFFANZ member to vote at the AGM. You can find details about joining SFFANZ at

One of the things we will be discussing after the AGM is planning future conventions -specifically 2023 and 2024. If you have ever thought you’d like to run a con, the SFFANZ board is happy to chat with you about what’s involved. There is seed fund money available to assist you with making bookings, etc. You’re not alone, there is support, and we can help you make it happen.

In order to make the SFFANZ one-day event happen, we need to know who’s coming – and the sooner the better.

So the sooner we know you’re coming, the more likely this event will happen. If we cannot get enough people in person, we may have to run a virtual event.

Please share information about this event as widely as you want to. The more the merrier. This is not just a day for SFFANZ members, but for all members of our community to get together and remember why we like to do that.

We will also be hosting small panel events prior to the beginning of the AGM and the SJV ceremony. The programme for the day will be advised once we have an idea of numbers. There will be one stream, so events will try to be of general interest to fans.

The panel events are open to all registered attendees, the SFFANZ AGM is open to all, but only SFFANZ members may vote. The SJV ceremony is open to all to attend.

There is no cost to attend, although any donations will be gratefully received.

As the country is in ORANGE setting, we encourage the wearing of masks when participating in the one-day event. The hotel’s policy is that masks are encouraged in communal areas of the hotel.

We are aware of the needs of our hearing-impaired members, and will take steps to ensure they’re able to participate as far as we’re able.

Please RSVP no later than Saturday, July 30th, 2022.

Awardswatch : Angelique Kasmara

Oops, we missed somebody on the Ngaio Marsh longlist. Isobar Precinct by Angelique Kasmara is also featured there. Angelique is a finalist for the Sir Julius Vogel award in the New Talent section. Congratulations Angelique! (and sorry).

Thanks to Lynelle for spotting the omission.

By the way, this is the second year in a row that somebody has made both awards in the same year. Octavia Cade did it in 2021.

Awardwatch : Nalini Singh

The Ngaio Marsh Awards have celebrated the best New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense writing since 2010. So why are we looking at them on our blog which doesn’t cover any of those. We do love to note occasions where people from our genre cross over into another genre.

Nalini Singh is known to us as a writer of paranormal romances – a category that is a crossover by itself. But Nalini has gone beyond that and got herself on the long list for The Ngaio Marsh Awards for best novel. Well done Nalini and all the best getting to the next stage.

Get your 2022 SJV Awards Votes in Now!

Extended voting in the 2022 Sir Julius Vogel Awards closes this upcoming Thursday 30th June.

Here are the links for things you need to know…

The main SFFANZ site (separate to this news service) was down for a bit – that has been fixed.

How to Join SFFANZ. You need to be a member to vote (it only costs $10).

How to Vote.

You will need to download the voting form.

If you need more info about the nominees, there is a voting pack available.

Voting will close at 8pm on June 30 (New Zealand time).

There will be a rescheduled awards ceremony – stay tuned…

Auckland Writers Festival 2022

It’s worth repeating – we have an odd attitude towards the Writers Festival. Every year, covid notwithstanding, they put together a great programme of literary events. And every year, for this news blog, we scan through programme looking for genre items – any genre actually, not just ours. To be fair, we usually do find one or two, but it does always seem a bit token in nature.

However, the tokens are usually really high quality. For example, this year we have Elizabeth Knox and Lee Murray in event 86 Frankenstein’s Children.

Its a free event! Why don’t you head to the Aotea Centre on 18 Aug and support Lee and Elizabeth. It should be a fascinating discussion and if we get a good crowd along it will show the event organisers that genre based events are popular and there should be more of them!

Badjelly The Witch – Live On Stage

Do you want to take your kids to something that touches on fantasy and will be fun for you too? How about Badjelly The Witch performed live on stage?

It is being performed in July in Takapuna and Mangere. You can get all the info on Eventfinda for Mangere or here for Takapuna – scroll down a bit for details including a costume parade.

In the same vein, a reminder that the Wizard of Oz is on this month in Orewa.

Postponement of one-day event and extension of SJV Award voting

The SFFANZ Board has issued the following statement…
The SFFANZ board has decided to extend voting in this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards until June 30 as insufficient votes have been received to date. If there are still insufficient votes received at that time, no awards will be presented this year. The board feels such action is necessary to protect the value and prestige of the awards.

The one-day event will also be moved to allow for the extra voting time. The registrations for this event had also been lackluster, so it’s hoped the new date will attract more people to attend. We expect, at this stage, that this will be in mid-July, pending confirmation with the venue.

The voting paper and voter packet will be available again shortly on the sffanz website The one-day form will also be shortly updated to reflect the new date once we’ve spoken with the hotel.

For those who have already cast their vote, please note we will continue to hold those safe until the extended voting period closes.

We apologise to those who may already have made travel plans for June 25, however, we feel this action is necessary.

If you need the voting links, you can find them all in this earlier post.