Category Archives: Events

Events of an SF/F/H Nature

Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts

As you probably know, we like scan through festival progamme listings looking for things relevant to our SF/F/H genre community. It can be dispiriting at times. But then we have something like this. The Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts, in Feb/Mar next year in Wellington, has a bunch of genre related items for you to check out. Following are a list we found after a quick look through, but it almost certainly isn’t all. So check out the full list of items to see what else is on. Note we have mentioned a few of these before in a standalone context, but all these are festival item versions.

Horizons - with Prof Brian Cox
Destination Mars – From the makers of APOLLO 13: Mission Control
N.K. Jemisin – in conversation with Elizabeth Knox
Another Universe – alternate history as spoken word art
Whiti Hereaka with Cassie Hart – talking about Cassie’s new book
Nalini Singh and Steff Green – in discussion with Cassie Hart
Books in the Time of the Pandemic – including Octavia Cade
Life on Mars – more Octavia Cade, Cassie Hart and Nalini Singh
Life on Mars – Australian Edition
Tania Roxborogh – 2021 Margaret Mahy Book of the Year author

Terror-Fi Film Festival

Seriously, how did we not hear about this before today?!!! The Terror-Fi Film Festival kicks off in Wellington tonight (Wednesday), before heading to Christchurch next week. It is billed as New Zealand’s annual celebration of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and cult cinema.

Wellington – The Roxy: 27-31 October
Christchurch – Alice Cinemas: 4-7 November
Auckland – The Capitol: 1-5 December (subject to Covid status)

We apologise for not telling you sooner – we only just spotted the Stuff article about it. If we haven’t posted about about things like this, chances are we don’t know about it – you can let us know on the main news site.

Zoom Author Talks: Tamsyn Muir and Juliet Marillier

Nelson Public Libraries are hosting two expat NZ author talks on Zoom that will be open for anyone to attend from home!

Tuesday 19th October from 7pm – Tamsyn Muir – author of the Locked Tomb series –

Thursday 21st October from 5pm- Juliet Marillier – author of Sevenwaters series, Blackthorn and Grim, and Warrior Bards –

Email to receive a Zoom invite. If you have any questions for the authors, feel free to send those through as well.

We suspect there are quite a few events held similar to these. We don’t post them because we don’t get to hear about them. So if you know of confirmed events which directly relate to Kiwi SF/F/H, then please let us know by email at or by using our contact form.

Destination Mars and other Forward Planning Events

So right now you are in lockdown which rather puts a crimp in your event attending plans. Our intrepid reporter has unearthed a number of SF&F related events which might appeal. They are far enough in the future that you can plan them with some expectation that you will be able to go and see them (fingers crossed).

Destination Mars
Te Papa 11-Dec-’21 to 20-Mar-’22 – more info on the Festival of the Arts Site.

This is basically the same event as “Habitat 8” that is scheduled for Stardome in October. The blurb – It’s 2034, and you are on the planet Mars. As the engineer in the control room on an international space station, you protect the base’s support systems and power up the next rocket launch. But when a solar flare plunges your community into danger, you must work together to avert disaster. Have you got what it takes to save the day?.

Out of this World live from New York
Hannah Playhouse, 12-Mar-’22 – again more info on the Festival of the Arts Site

This is essentially the chance to be in the audience as N.K. Jemisin talks (via an internet link) with Elizabeth Knox about the ways in which SF and Fantasy can illuminate some of the biggest themes of humanity: inequality, oppression and conflicts of culture. If you don’t know who Jemisin is, then take the time to find out – she has won an awful lot of awards.

The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit – The Concert
2-Jun-’22 (Ak) and 5-Jun-’22 (Wn) – Right now the only info comes from the ticketing agency

The blurb – The hobbits are coming! Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Peter Jackson’s magnificent films and bring to life the legendary world of hobbits, elves and orcs in a unique concert experience with a symphonic orchestra, choir and star guests. From the ominous sounds of Mordor and the shrill attack of the black riders, to the beautiful lyrical melodies of the Elves – almost 100 performers will take you on a fantastic journey with the most popular tunes from the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”.

The Magical Music Of Harry Potter
4-Jun-’22 – Again, just the ticketing agency

We know literally nothing about this apart from the title, the date and the venue (The Opera House, Wellington). There is a good chance more info will come along soon and there may well be more performances added, so keep an eye out.

Bonus Event – Horizons: A 21st Century Space Odyssey

Not actually SF – more like actual science, but Brian Cox is a bit too cool to leave off the list. Event details here. Again, we suggest you keep an eye out for other local performances outside the scope of the festival.

Conflux 2021 Cancelled

A couple of times here on SFFANZ News we have promoted Conflux as an alternative for Kiwis needing a natcon this year.

Sadly, for obvious Covid reasons, Conflux have announced that they are cancelling their 2021 event. You can read more on the Conflux web site.

Habitat 8

From Stardome

Habitat 8 is a high-stakes interactive space mission set on the planet Mars in the year 2034.

Stardome’s 360 degree planetarium dome has been transformed into the Launch Control Room of the Habitat 8 operating base. When a solar flare endangers the base, everyone must work together to avert disaster. Quick thinking and teamwork will be critical. Have you got what it takes to survive?

Audience members are seated at working computer consoles with touch screen tablets and interactive dashboards. Guided by two expert engineers, everyone will be responsible for maintaining the base’s life support systems, managing the fuel production and directing the countdown for the latest rocket launch. Experience something truly out of this world with friends and whānau as you become space engineers in this thrilling space adventure.

Habitat 8 will run for a strictly limited season at Stardome from 2nd – 17th October 2021, so don’t miss out on this first of its kind experience. Shows run Tuesday – Sunday, 11am, 1pm and 7.30pm.”

Sir Julius Vogel Award Winners – 2021

Want to know who won the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for 2021? Of course you do.

Head on over to the SFFANZ main site and look for the winners highlighted in a lovely shade of turquoise.

Huge congratulations to all the finalists and winners.

ComicFest 2021

ComicFest is a joint venture between Wellington City Libraries and the National Library of New Zealand. It is on Saturday 21 August at the National Library, 70 Molesworth St, Thorndon.

Now we know that Comics are a medium – not a genre and if you look at the lineup of guests, you wont see any creators of superhero type material. But if you look at the first mini-bio on the blog you will see Jem Yoshioka who is an artist who creates a fantasy comic in a 1920s Japanese setting. It might be worth having a look at the other bios in the blog to see who floats your particular boat.

Reminder of SFFANZ one-day event

Just a reminder that SFFANZ is holding a one-day event on August 7, 2021 at the West Plaza Hotel in central Wellington. Activities include the Sir Julius Vogel awards presentation, the SFFANZ AGM and a number of panels as well as the usual chance for a catch-up with friends.

The event is free but you do need to register – and technically the final date for registrations is past – you can but try. If you want to vote in the AGM, you do need to be a member (it only costs $10)

There is more information on the SFFANZ main site. If you haven’t visited it recently, you might want to check it out as there is some recently added timetable information.

Christchurch Word Festival – Events of Note

The Christchurch Word Festival is on August 25-29 this year.

Our attention has been drawn to two specfic items on the programme:

Speed Date a Speculative Fiction Author“, featuring Graci Kim, Cassie Hart, Sascha Stronach, and Karen Healey

The Stardust Cabaret“, including Sascha Stronach and AJ Fitzwater, with “star-stuff infused performances”

A huge shout-out to AJ Fitzwater for passing the information on to us. Not to mention being a guest curator for the event.

Book Launch Event – Cassie Hart

In the last post we asked for more events, and look what turned up from Cassie Hart (thanks Cassie!)

Something sinister lurks in the Benedict homestead. Jena’s life changed almost twenty years ago. The night her family burned. The night the birds came. Jena is about to learn there are some family secrets that come back to haunt you.

Join author Cassie Hart (Kāi Tahu) for the launch of Butcherbird, a supernatural thriller set on a farm in Taranaki.

Launch: 5:30 pm, Friday 13 August
Level 2, 18 Brougham Street, New Plymouth

The event is free (hosted by Cassie & Huia Publishers)- you can RSVP on Facebook.

A quiz from galaxies far away

The Battle of the Galaxies quiz is part of the Wellington on a Plate festival. Its being held at the Foxglove Bar & Kitchen 33 Queens Wharf, Te Aro, Wellington on 3 & 4 August.

Here is the blurb…
It’s time for a showdown of galactic proportions…
In which universe does your loyalty lie, are you Team Spock or is Darth your daddy? Foxglove and Gee Quiz are proud to strike back in 2021 bringing you a quiz from galaxies far away, a showdown between Star Wars and Star Trek superfans.

Whet your whistle in Mos Eisely Cantina while the food replicator whips you up dishes from culinary worlds like Endor, Naboo, Vulcan and Remus. Have you ever tried Petrokian Sausage? All teams answer questions from both universes, including specialty bonus food and beverage rounds to test your knowledge of culinary delights that are out of this world. Every ticket includes 2 drinks, canape and shared table banquet dishes from all corners of the universe!

Book your six person team ($450) or book a single ticket ($75) and declare your loyalty and we’ll match you up with like-minded quizzers.

A couple of notes – we have delayed posting until Welly was out of level 2. Events like this would be cancelled at Level 2 Covid alert level or higher.

This item is part of the Wellington on a Plate festival. We couldn’t spot any other fan-specific items, but there is a lot of culinary activities likely to be of interest – keep an eye out for Chocolate and Beer related items.

Updated Link for SFFANZ One-Day Event

If you were planning to attend the SJV Awards and AGM One-Day Event, please note that the registration link on the web site and in other communications was incorrect. This is the correct link.

If you have registered using the link before now, we suggest you re-register with the new link (even if you got a confirmation email).

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.

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)

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 to get all the updates.

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.