Category Archives: Events

Events of an SF/F/H Nature

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.

Jack and the Alien Invasion + Superhero music

Trawling through Auckland Live, we came upon a couple of genre adjacent events you may be interested in.

Jack and the Beanstalk – so we don’t really do panto here in Aotearoa and even if we did we shouldn’t do it in March – right? Yet this show certainly looks like panto. Which wouldn’t normally attract our attention but J&tBS is a fantasy right? But more importantly it features an actual alien invasion! So absolutely f/sf.

Superheroes – Live in Concert – This is music from major superhero movies played live on stage by the full Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Pretty much self explanatory. If you can wait until October you get music from a big range of both Marvel and DC films. (Although nothing from Image – here at SFFANZ News we continue to anticipate seeing Invincible on our screens.)

Meanwhile in Tauranga…

Myth & Magic in the Bay: November Book Month Panel and Book Launch presented by Tauranga Writers

Tauranga Library

Friday 27 November, from 5-7pm

Jean Gilbert, award-winning author of Light in my Dark, moderates a panel of local authors as they discuss their experiences of writing genre fiction in New Zealand; including the opportunities, challenges, and what makes our local fiction unique. This event includes the launch of titles Blood of the Sun by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts, Golden City by Sharon Manssen and The Better Sister and Other Stories by Piper Mejia.

If you have sf/f/h genre related events going on in your city, please drop us a line.

Auckland in December

So the end of 2020 is approaching and you are looking for some way to reward yourself for getting through it. If you are in Auckland, a couple of genre-related things came to our attention recently…

Witchcraft & Wizardry Auckland
Think you have what it takes to solve a mystery? Grab your wands and don your cloaks as you hit the streets of Auckland on Saturday the 5th December 2020.

This spell-binding outdoor adventure game will take your team on a mysterious and magical journey across town. Work with your team-mates to crack the clues, solve the puzzles and save the realm. Will you be able to solve the mystery in time?

Weta Workshop Unleashed

Part film set.
Part creative workshop.
But all is not what it seems.

Inside these paint-splattered walls, fantastical worlds are brought to life with Workshop wizardry. We’ve unleashed Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy’s most essential residents into the mix: monsters, wildly realistic giants and one GALACTIC robot.

Wine Cheese & Astronomy

Join us for a Wednesday night special, during November and December, where you will enjoy an extended Our Night Sky show that includes a glass of wine (or beer, if you’re that way inclined!) and cheese platters.

Learn about the planets, stars and constellations visible in the night sky on the evening of your visit.

The show is perfect for anyone looking for something different to do for a date night (or mates night!) and for anyone who enjoys our most popular Night Sky show and wants to learn even more in a relaxed environment.

Book Launch of Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts’ Blood of the Sun

There is an online book launch event at Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 9pm. The details are on facebook. It is hosted by Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival.

The event is a combined one to first celebrate the release of Joanna Beresford’s debut novel, Evey Year I am Here. This will then be followed by the launch of Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts’ Blood of the Sun – the third novel in their Path of Ra series.

The details are here – because it is a multinational event, it is best to double check when it is occurring in your timezone.

Also, just as an FYI to all you SF/F/H Kiwi authors out there. We don’t publicise the release of books (or other properties) per se, but we do like to hear about events. So if you are having a public launch event for your book (or reading or play or sculpture or whatever) then please drop us a line.

Sir Julius Vogel Awards – 2020 Result Announcement

Official SFFANZ press release follows…

Sir Julius Vogel Awards for New Zealand Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror 2020 Results Announced

The 2020 Sir Julius Vogel Awards have been presented.

The Awards recognise excellence and achievement by New Zealanders, both amateur and professional, in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres.

Voting was open to members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand (SFFANZ) and members of CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention voting was open to members of SFFANZ (the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand) and the convention.

The ceremony was held in person in Wellington on July 26, and streamed as part of CoNZealand’s programme.

SFFANZ president John Toon said “It’s always a pleasure and an honour to showcase some of the best contemporary New Zealand science fiction and fantasy, and especially so this year, with the eyes of international fandom on us. On behalf of SFFANZ, hearty congratulations to all this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Award winners and nominees.”

SFFANZ would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees and look forward to honouring more of New Zealand’s talent in 2021.

For further information, please contact press@sffanz.org.nz

A full list of winners is appended.

Professional Awards Section

Best Novel – Adult
The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach (Little Hook Press)

Best Novel – Young Adult
The Clockill and the Thief by Gareth Ward (Walker Books Australia)

Best Short Story
“A Shriek Across The Sky” by Casey Lucas
(Sponge Magazine)

Best Novella/Novelette
From A Shadow Grave by Andi C Buchanan
(Paper Road Press)

Best Collected Work
Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy, Vol 1
Edited by Marie Hodgkinson
(Paper Road Press)

Best Professional Artwork
Vivienne To – Cover of Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee
(Rick Riordan Presents)

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form
Dr Who: The Elysian Blade
David Bishop

Best Professional Publication
Swords: The Webcomic
Matthew Wills

Fan Awards Section

Best Fan Production /Publication
Plant Life
Laya Rose

Best Fan Writing
“Sitrep”
Alex Lindsay

Best Fan Artwork
Deet
Laya Rose

Special Awards

Best New Talent
Sascha Stronach

Services to Fandom
Grace Bridges

Services to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
Melanie Harding-Shaw

Congratulations to all our finalists for being nominated and all our winners!

Confirmed Time for SFFANZ Business Meeting

Anyone wishing to participate in the SFFANZ business meeting must be a paid-up member of SFFANZ. The cost of annual membership is still $10. Because the meeting will be virtual, it will not be possible for you to pay the treasurer in cash at the start of the meeting (obviously), so we ask that you pay in advance by online banking – preferably well before CoNZealand starts. Please contact treasurer@sffanz.org.nz if you need the account details or have any questions. Pretty much all this money goes to running the Sir Julius Vogel awards, so by joining, you are supporting those awards.

The SFFANZ business meeting this year will be held at 2pm – 4pm Thursday 30 July (NZT) during CoNZealand.

The business meeting will comprise the AGM and site selection for the NZ national convention in 2021 and 2022. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Instructions on how to access the meeting, as well as the AGM notice and related materials, will be sent directly to paid-up members very soon, so make sure SFFANZ has your correct email contact information (and your membership fee of course).

Finally, if you wish to enter a bid for the 2021 or 2022 NZ natcon, or if you know someone who does, please contact enquiries@sffanz.org.nz before the start of CoNZealand.

Sir Julius Vogel Awards Ceremony Details

We are pleased to announce that we will be presenting the Sir Julius Vogel awards physically on Sunday, July 26th at a ceremony at the West Plaza Hotel, Wellington. The venue will be open from 6pm, with the awards to begin at 7pm. The ceremony is open to SJV finalists and their guests and any members of SFFANZ or CoNZealand who are able to attend.

Some light catering will be provided for everyone, but we suggest eating beforehand. For catering purposes, we need you to RSVP – please do so via this form no later than Sunday, July 18. Space is limited, and will be allotted on a first in, first served basis. Our sincere apologies for the late notice.

As you know, normally the Sir Julius Vogel Awards would be presented at the New Zealand National Science Fiction Convention. CoNZealand was voted by the New Zealand fans to have the honour of being the natcon for 2020. Of course, events have overtaken us, and with the shift to a Virtual Worldcon, we have had to make some changes to how we do these ceremonies. Much as we want to have a live SJV ceremony during CoNZealand, we don’t have the resources or crew to run virtual and live ceremonies at the same time. Both would suffer in quality and significance. As we worked, it became clear that the best way to showcase the SJVs was to pre-record the ceremony and results, and then stream it during CoNZealand for maximum impact. This ceremony will be recorded for the purposes of broadcast with the Retro-Hugo Awards during CoNZealand.

By attending the SJV ceremony you agree that you may be filmed and broadcast on the internet during CoNZealand and afterwards as the recording is made available more widely.

The Retro-Hugos and Sir Julius Vogel awards are being shown during the CoNZealand programme at 11am on Thursday, July 30th. The ceremony will be available for viewing at later times too. Key parts of this information are repeated in the google form linked above.

As you will have realised, you will know the results of the awards four days before everyone else. We ask that you keep the secret until Thursday, when we broadcast to the whole world.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns at sjv_awards@sffanz.org.nz

SFFANZ Business Meeting Information

The following message has come from the SFFANZ Treasurer:

The SFFANZ business meeting this year will be held on Thursday 30 July during CoNZealand. The time is TBC, but is likely to be either 2pm or 8pm – if you strongly prefer either, you have a short window in which to indicate your preference on our Facebook page.

The business meeting will comprise the AGM and site selection for the NZ national convention in 2021 and 2022. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom, not in person. The final date and time of the meeting will be confirmed via this page; instructions on how to access the meeting, as well as the AGM notice and related materials, will be sent directly to members.

Although the meeting will be open to members of CoNZealand who wish to observe it, anyone wishing to participate must be a paid-up member of SFFANZ. The cost of a year’s membership is still $10. Because the meeting (and CoNZealand) will be virtual, it won’t be possible for you to pay the treasurer in cash this year, so we ask that you pay in advance by online banking. Please contact treasurer@sffanz.org.nz if you need the account details or have any questions.

Finally, if you wish to enter a bid for the 2021 or 2022 NZ natcon, or if you know someone who does, please contact enquiries@sffanz.org.nz before the start of CoNZealand.

2020 Writers Festival – Neil Gaiman on 12 July

We have written before about the 2020 Auckland Writes festival going virtual and turning into a Winter Series of live streamed panels. This week noted SF & Fantasy author Neil Gaiman is joined by Leanne Shapton and Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai for episode 11 streaming at 9am on Sunday 12th July.

You can find all the links at their web page devoted to the series. This includes a link for catch-up watching later if you can’t get to it live. It is possible to submit email questions for the panel in advance.

Awardwatch : Tamsyn Muir wins Locus Award

At the end of last month, we reported that Kiwi Tamsyn Muir had been shortlisted for the very prestigious Locus awards. Well now, the news is even better, the Locus Award winners have been announced and Tamsyn has won the Best First Novel category for her novel Gideon the Ninth. Congratulations to Tamsyn and all the winners. The award ceremony video is available online if you are interested.

So, What’s Happening?

So all you sf/f/h fans out there, what genre events are happening in our post-lockdown environment? Our intrepid reporter has been scouring the events listings on the likes of Evenfinda looking for items that are specific to our corner of the world. But there really isn’t much out there. She did find a few things which have a (very tenuous) connection to SF which are listed below, but there must be more out there. So, a little help please, if you know of any genre events/exhibitions/items then drop us a line at sffanz.news@gmail.com or press@sffanz.org.nz. Better yet if it is you who are running that event.

This is the list so far…
Motat Drive-in Moviews – including Labyrinth.
The Space Maze in Aotea Square.
Words in Winter – including Elizabeth Knox.
Spookers

Awardwatch : The Hugo Finalists

The final ballot for The Hugo Awards was announced by CoNZealand this morning. This includes the 1945 Retro Hugos and the two “Not A Hugo” awards also on the ballot. You can view a replay of the live announcement over on YouTube or you can read the full list on the web site.

Of course we heartily congratulate everybody who has been nominated for what is probably our genre’s most prestigious award. However we wouldn’t be us without looking through the list to give a big shout out to any Kiwis there.

Tamsyn Muir has been nominated for Best Novel for her novel Gideon the Ninth. Although these days Tamsyn lives in the UK she identifies as a Kiwi having lived most of her life here.

Taika Waititi has been nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form for The Mandalorian: “Redemption”. We don’t need to tell anybody who Taika Waititi is right?

Congratulations again and the very best of luck to these two and everybody in the running. The awards themselves are due to be presented at the virtual Worldcon ConZealand 29 May – 2 Aug.

CoNZealand is going virtual

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), will be making history, as it becomes the first ever ‘virtual Worldcon’, CoNZealand Chairs, Kelly Buehler and Norman Cates announced today.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision, but one that had to be made now to give our guests and members some certainty during this extraordinary time for the world.

“The changes are coming fast and furious as New Zealand enters a four week lockdown. We are all dealing with an unprecedented set of circumstances that make it very difficult to plan for the future.

“The strong belief that we can put on a great Worldcon has led us to the decision to make CoNZealand a virtual convention. Our Tech Division is confident they can deliver a virtual Worldcon and are excited about the possibilities,” they said.

Buehler and Cates noted that the con Committee considered three choices – to move the date of CoNZealand, to cancel it completely, or to make it virtual. Of the three, the last was deemed the option that provided the best certainty about what they can do while still having time to make plans.

“We are standing by our decision not to cancel, but in consideration of the health, safety, and wellbeing of our members and crew, we think that holding a large face-to-face event (even if it were possible) would be irresponsible.”

Information has been posted on the CoNZealand website regarding hotel room cancellations. This will be updated as more information becomes available.

“As we have said before, please look after one another, and stay in touch. Especially when we are each isolated, it is good to be reminded that we are a community. We are together for a reason beyond Worldcon. We are fans. We are passionate. We love science fiction, fantasy, comics, art, worldbuilding, reading, writing and a million other things. Let’s concentrate on being kind to one another and helping each other through a very difficult time,” they said.

CoNZealand – Updated Statement re Covid-19

CoNZealand have released the following update relating to the Covid-19 situation:
——————-
“We understand your concerns and that you want as much notice as possible if CoNZealand were to be cancelled. We are extremely keen to see CoNZealand go ahead and bring Worldcon to New Zealand for the first time ever. Our Executive have discussed the situation and unanimously agreed that we are not cancelling the convention. Please be assured that we are closely monitoring the situation and will make a further statement if the situation changes. We do note that the convention could possibly be cancelled by the New Zealand Government or the venues, but we see no sign of that happening.
Kelly Buehler, Norman Cates – CoNZealand Chairs”
——————-

PS: If you want to get all CoNZealand announcements, we suggest you follow them directly. However, we at SFFANZZ News will continue to re-post items of significant importance such as this one.

2020 Auckland Writers Festival

The 2020 Auckland Writers Festival is scheduled to run 12-17 May. We say “scheduled”, but obviously given the state of the pandemic, all group events should be considered tentative right now.

Anyway, as you know, we here at SFFANZ News like to trawl through the programmes of events like these to see what SF/F/H events we can spot. In truth, there are not many and most of the connections are pretty tenuous – if you have any feedback about the narrowness of the organisers’ idea of “literature”, why not reach out to them. So, this is what we found (feel free to add others in the comments)…

The World According to Star Wars : Cass Sunstein

Unstable Worlds – just because Tim Jones, we have no idea if this has genre content.

New Frontiers – Elizabeth Knox & Lawrence Patchett – just because Elizabeth Knox.

Wallace Shawn – As an actor this chap was in The Princess Bride and Star Trek:DS9 but his writing does not appear to be genre.

Covid-19: A statement from CoNZealand

In case you missed it on their main news feed, the CoNZealand chairs have issued the following statement:
————————-
Although New Zealand has not been affected by Covid-19 to the extent of the rest of the world, our government and the NZ Ministry of Health have extensive civil defence plans. We are monitoring the situation and will be prepared for what the future brings.

As usual, we strongly advise all members purchase their own comprehensive travel insurance for any foreign travel, including cancellation insurance. If you have already purchased insurance for your journey to New Zealand, we recommend that you check the full terms with your insurance provider.

We are in touch with the Ministry of Health as well as with our venue planning managers. We want everyone to have a safe and healthy convention, and we will be following best practices.

Norman Cates and Kelly Buehler
Chairs, CoNZealand

Wonderland – Take Alice’s Journey

Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland books are a proto-fantasy classic. This is just a reminder that the Wonderland Exhibition at Te Papa is currently running. The exhibition finishes on Sunday March 8.

This is from the advertising material…
Curiouser and curiouser! This summer, come with Alice on an adventure in Wonderland – an interactive exhibition that celebrates Lewis Carroll’s timeless stories. Where will the Hallway of Doors lead you?

Explore Alice’s journey from book to screen, through original picture books, magic lanterns, and more than 40 films and 30 television programmes. Then join an immersive Mad Hatter’s Tea Party that comes alive with digital wizardry.

You’re bound to get lost on the way. Squeeze into a tiny house, climb a giant chair to peek into Alice’s room, and post your soldier avatar on the Queen’s croquet ground.

The closer you look, the more you’ll discover – not everything is what it seems!

Auckland Fringe Benefits

The Auckland Fringe is happening. And as is our way at SFFANZ News we (well one of us) trawls through all the events looking for things that might appeal to the SF/F/H fans out there. Sometimes that can be a bit of a hopeless task, but for the Fringe we found some stuff that might be of interest. Except, well, we aren’t too sure. Is really genre stuff or does it just hint at it a bit? We aren’t sure.

First up is Can I Get An Underground Location and a Mythical Creature? Its on at several venues so check the main festival page for all the events. This item is certainly geeky and has a fantasy aspect, but is it our genre?

But then there is Carcinus Rex – a crab on an epic quest. And what about The Grin Reaper – is that of relevance?

Seriously, we really want to know. What sort of event should we be highlighting? Have we set the bar too high or too low? And more importantly, have we missed anything?