Category Archives: Information

Information about this site

Talk : “Reality vs fantasy in children’s fiction”

A public talk on Reality vs fantasy in children’s fiction is being hosted by Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection and National Library of New Zealand. The following is the info from their FB page.

“When Eirlys Hunter finished her first Junior fiction manuscript in 1997, a publisher rejected it on the grounds that ‘children don’t want fantasy, there’s no demand for it.’ JK Rowling soon proved that publisher wrong, and since then there’s been an explosion in fiction for children that is set in worlds that diverge from the reality of their lived experience. Why is this?

In this informal talk Eirlys Hunter will discuss what fantasy is, and speculate on what fantasy can offer readers (and writers) that realism cannot.

About the speaker:
Eirlys Hunter has published seven books for children, and her most recent book The Mapmaker’s Race was a finalist in the 2019 NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults. She teaches Writing for Children at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington

Where: Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington
When: Tuesday, 22 October, 2019
5:30pm for drinks and nibbles, 6:00pm talk
A gold coin donation from non-members is appreciated.”

2020 GUFF Call for Nominations Europe to Australasia

GUFF is the Going Under (or Get Up-and-over) Fan Fund which transports SF fans from Europe to Australasia (and vice versa).

Nominations in the race to send a European fan to Worldcon in Wellington, New Zealand (29 July-2 August) are open to anyone who was active in fandom prior to January 2018.

Depending on the length of trip they’re able to make, the winner could also consider visiting other parts of New Zealand and Australia to visit fans. The winner will also be required to take over the administration of the fund for the next northbound and southbound races.

Lots more information is available on the Oz Fan Funds GUFF page. Even if you don’t wish to run for this yourself, give some thought to who might be a suitable candidate – perhaps you could offer to nominate them.

CoNZealand to host 1945 Retro Hugos

Reposting another CoNZealand press release. For your info, SFFANZ news will not necessarily be reporting all such press releases. If you want to get the full set, we advise you to subscribe at their web site. And of course we are interested in other sf/f/h related events going on around the country – please let us know about anything you may hear of.

——–Press release
CoNZealand will present the Retro Hugo Awards for 1945, to acknowledge notable works published in 1944, CoNZealand co-chairs, Norman Cates and Kelly Buehler announced.

The Hugos are the most prestigious award in the science fiction and fantasy genres. First presented in 1953, they honour literature, media and fan activities and have become the key event held during the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).

Since 1996, Worldcon committees also have had the option of presenting Retrospective (Retro) awards to honour works published in the earlier years of Worldcon, which were established in 1939, when no Hugos were awarded.

The 2019 Irish Worldcon, held in Dublin last month, presented the 1944 Retro Hugos for the 1943 calendar year. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Ray Bradbury were amongst the winners.

“Some of the works created during the World War II years have become classics and it is a great opportunity to be able to formally celebrate them,” said Cates and Buehler.

Nominations for the 1945 Retro Hugos will open at the same time as the 2020 Hugo Award nominations.

In addition to the Hugos and Retro Hugos, CoNZealand will host the Sir Julius Vogel Awards that recognise excellence in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents.

CoNZealand Assumes Role as Next Worldcon

With Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon having ended its five-day run, CoNZealand has picked up the reins as host of the next World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).

CoNZealand will be the 78th Worldcon and will take place from Wednesday, July 29 to Sunday, August 2, 2020. Guests of Honour are the authors Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, New Zealand artist Greg Broadmore, and fandom star Rose Mitchell. George R.R. Martin, a longtime friend of Worldcon, will be Toastmaster.

New Zealand is the second southern hemisphere country ever to host a Worldcon, following Australia, where four Worldcons have taken place. New Zealand’s own National Science Fiction Convention has been running since 1979, and the country has attracted significant fan tourism since the release of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, which were filmed and produced in New Zealand.

“We’re excited to be able to bring one of the world’s most important science fiction conventions to New Zealand fans, and bring the international science fiction community to Middle Earth,” said CoNZealand Co-Chairs Norman Cates and Kelly Buehler.

Dublin 2019 sold out, with more than 5,800 members attending and more than 7,380 memberships sold in total including supporters. In addition, more than 500 day passes were sold.

“It has been a thrill to welcome fans to Ireland and I want to thank everyone who contributed to the experience,” said Dublin 2019 chairman James Bacon. “That includes programme participants, volunteers, and all the members, as well as venue staff. We wish CoNZealand every success with New Zealand’s debut Worldcon.”

[Based on a press release]

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.

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.

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.