Category Archives: Information

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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.

2021 Wright-Murray Residency Call for Applications

The Wright-Murray Residency for Speculative Fiction Writers is once again seeking applications from New Zealand writers of science fiction, fantasy or horror. Now in its second year, the residency was co-founded by award-winning author Lee Murray and philanthropist Chloe Wright OBE. It offers the winning writer a week’s accommodation at a country estate in the Bay of Plenty, a stipend to cover expenses and mentorship to develop their writing project.

You can find more information on the SpecFicNZ site or go straight to the application form.

Nominations for the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel awards open

Happy 2021 everybody!

Nominations for the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel awards are now being accepted. The nomination period will close at 11:59pm on 31st March 2021. The SJV awards recognise excellence in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents, and first published or released in the 2020 calendar year. Anyone can make a nomination and it is free!

To make a nomination please use the form on the SFFANZ Main site.

Rules, Criteria and Categories for the Awards are here.

The Guidelines for nominations are here.

The awards ceremony will be held later in the year, full details to be announced.

Sir Julius Vogel Awards – 2021 Eligible Works

Nominations for the 2021 SJV awards will open on January 1, 2021. These will recognise works created in the 2020 calendar year.

A google form has been created to allow creators/readers/viewers let us know about eligible works. While this is a google form at this stage, this will shortly go on to the SFFANZ website so that it can be viewed by those looking for potential works to nominate.

You can enter potential works in this form.

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.)

School Holiday Horror

We occasionally have to remind ourselves that we cover news for Science Fiction, Fantasy *AND* Horror. So, in that spirit and with the school holidays just over a week away, lets look at Spookers. It is a haunted house experience in Karaka, Auckland. They have a special offer running over the holidays.

While on the subject of holidays – have a look at Stardome. And yes, we know it is Science not Science Fiction – but it’s close enough…right?

Awardwatch : World Fantasy Awards

Tamsyn Muir with her novel Gideon the Ninth is at it yet again – this time she has made it onto the final ballot for the 2020 World Fantasy Awards. Congratulations to all the finalists but especially to Tamsyn. Getting onto the ballot in the Locus awards, the Hugos and now the World Fantasy awards is one heck of a triple crown achievement

Awardwatch : Aurealis Awards

The Aurealis awards were presented in an online ceremony last night. Congratulations to all the winners. But as is our way, there has to be a Kiwi connection before we post, so special mention to Bren MacDibble for winning Best Childrens Fiction for The Dog Runner.

(If you really want to stretch a point, we also note that J.S. Breukelaar admits to a New Zealand component to her education – does that count?)

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.

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.

Incheon City Concept Design Competition – NZ Division

Weta Workshop are calling for New Zealand tertiary students to turn their imaginations into pieces of art for the second Incheon City Concept Design Competition. Now, as even we at SFFANZ News know, Incheon is a city in north-west South Korea, but this competition has Weta involvement, so there is a New Zealand division local students can enter. Since travel to Incheon isn’t really on right now, the competition has cash prizes this year.

This year there are offering two alternate design briefs for you to choose from:

Option 1. Imagine a time traveller from 1900AD (could be English, Korean, Chinese etc) that arrives in Incheon 2077.

Option 2. A time traveller from the year 2077 travels back to London or Wellington, New Zealand or even Incheon Circa 1900.

For reasons we don’t really understand, Weta only told us about this today and entries close on the 23rd May, so you might have to get busy.

Free SF Books – A Fan giveaway

We got this message which we are sharing with you all …
I am getting rid of my collection of sci-fi books- hundreds of books collected over the last 50 years. I don’t want any money for them. Just happy to pass them on to fans. They would need to be collected from Auckland’s North Shore. Could you post an item telling people to get in contact with
Steve at 021 078 0491 or
Kathy on 021 024 38140
And they can come and chose how much or how little they want to take away
“.

We are very happy to help find a good home for these books. Steve has sent through some pictures and there is lots of good stuff there from big name SF & Fantasy authors. So if your to be read pile is getting a bit low and you are in the Auckland region, why not make the call. It would be a crime for these books to just be dumped.

Awardwatch : Australian Shadows Awards

This is an interesting little quirk. The Australasian Horror Writers Association have announced the finalists in the 2019 Australian Shadows Awards. You can read the list of finalists on their web site.

The interesting thing is that the association announces themselves as “Australasian” – that means they consider themselves open to at least Australian and New Zealand members. And possibly other countries (e.g. PNG) depending which of the many differing definitions of Australasia you care to use (we found 6 such definitions – no two of which had the same country membership).

However these are their “Australian” Shadows Awards. Interesting huh? Anyway you can amuse yourself spotting the Kiwi authors among the Aussies in the award shortlist.

The Virtual GUFF Tour

Alison Scott is the recently elected European GUFF delegate. The plan was for the winning delegate to travel down under to meet local fans and attend the 2020 Worldcon – CoNZealand. Of course because of you-know-what the borders are closed and CoNZealand has gone virtual. But Alison appears undaunted – she now plans to take a virtual tour of Australasia visiting Australian and New Zealand places and fans before attending the virtual worldcon. There will be a proper itinerary mimicking a physical journey and Alison even plans to adhere to the local timezones (yay jetlag!). You can read more about her plans and follow her progress over on the facebook group dedicated to the trip.

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 – The Hugo Finalists

If you have been following the CoNZealand feed at all, you will have seen that they have been loudly counting down to the announcement of the finalists for the 2020 Hugo Awards and 1945 Retro Hugo Awards. For those who haven’t been following the feeds, we thought we should share a last minute reminder here – see the times below and beware the effects of timezones on which date this is occurring for you. The awards themselves are due to be presented at the virtual Worlcon ConZealand 29 May – 2 Aug.

To watch the Hugo Awards finalists announcement live stream look at CoNZealand’s YouTube Channel or Facebook Page soon, at 8am Wednesday the 8th April NZT (9:00pm BST / 4:00pm EST / 1:00pm PST on 7th April).

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.

2020 FFANZ Open for Nominations

The Fan Fund of Australia and New Zealand (FFANZ) is accepting nominations for the 2020 race.

This time around FFANZ will send an Australian fan to the 2020 World Science Fiction Convention, CoNZealand, being held July 29-August 2 in Wellington, NZ.

The full announcement can be found here and here and here – take your pick. They all contain the info needed to put yourself forward.

We could give a whole spiel about what a fan fund is and what the benefits and duties are, but this is the internet – just follow the link for the FAQ. Go on – learn a little bit more about fandom down under. There are other fan funds actually – find out about all the ones that apply to NZ over here.