Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Other stuff of interest

NZSA New Zealand Heritage Literary Awards

The New Zealand Society of Authors (Canterbury) have sent us a press release to say that the NZSA New Zealand Heritage Literary Awards will open for entries on the 1st June 2021.

Now this has caused a bit of discussion at the SFFANZ virtual office. On one hand, this news blog has a rule about only posting material that has a specific sf/f/h connection. This press release does not mention our genre (or any genre) at all. On the other hand, they did specifically send it to us and we do know that a lot of writers read this blog.

Here is the key text from the press release.


Books published between 1 June 2020 and 1 August 2021 and linked to New Zealand’s heritage, can be submitted for fiction book, non-fiction book, children’s book, and a book written in Te Reo Maori. Books that have only been published digitally will not be accepted. There are two online entry categories for short prose and poetry.


The competition opens on 1 June and closes on 1 August 2021. All entries should have some relationship with the theme of the Christchurch I Heritage Festival 2021: People and Place – our stories revealed. Full submission details along with the entry form, fees and terms and conditions can be found at: www.nzsacanterburv.wordpress.com

Are you interested? Some more information of interest…

We had a look at some of the previous winners and the judges for this competition. There aren’t any genre names that we recognise. The names we do recognise seem to come from a set with a very narrow idea of what constitutes literature. Perhaps its time to change that and expose them to some of our considerable local talent.

The link provided takes you to a password protected page. Another one of our rules is that we don’t promote “member-only” items. But the press release says nothing about it being restricted in any way. Another puzzle. There is an email address (info@nzauthors.org.nz) however.

The press release came through as an image file. We had to OCR it to give you the above text. It makes you wonder why they made it so hard for us to transcribe to here.

So you can see why it caused discussion. Feel free to contribute – use our facebook feed if you want to comment. Remember that if you get this by email or RSS etc that there is a lag of a few hours before it shows up on fb.

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 – The 2021 Hugo Awards

Kiwis on the Hugo ballot – that’s not something you get to write very often. Well never – not before today that is! DisCon III have announced the ballot for the 2021 Hugo awards (watch here or read here) and there are three names that stand out for locals…

Tamsyn Muir has been nominated in Best Novel for Harrow the Ninth.

Laya Rose has been nominated for Best Fan Artist.

Cassie Hart has been nominated for Best Related Work for CoNZealand Fringe.

As always, congratulations to all the finalists. The Hugo awards will be presented at DisCon III.

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.”

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.

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?

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.

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 : 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.

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).

Tim Jones – Cli-Fi

A couple of weeks ago we posted about the now-cancelled Auckland Writers Festival. In that post we drew your attention towards a reading by New Zealand fan and writer Tim Jones. You won’t get a chance to hear that reading now, but Stuff have published another of Tim’s stories written around the same climate fiction themes as the festival story. Why don’t you have a (free) read.

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.

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?

Awardwatch : Lee Murray

The New Zealand Society of Authors Waitangi Day Honours have been announced and Lee Murray has been selected as one of this year’s Honorary Literary Fellows. She is one of just two fellows – alongside Rachael King. We highlight Lee, because of her huge involvement in SF/F/H in this country as well as her achievements as a writer. As far as we can tell, she is the first genre author to be so honoured.

New Zealand Festival of the Arts – a Game

The programme for the New Zealand Festival of the Arts is up. Every year, we here at SFFANZ News play a little game – we try to spot how many sf/f/h genre related events there are – then we post them here. But this year, we thought we would leave it to you. So have a browse and let us know in the comments which events you think could be considered part of our genre.

We found 2 or 3 which could be considered as being in our genre – at a stretch. But we are sure you can do better. But don’t bother using the “genre” dropdown filter – the festival doesn’t consider us.

A reminder that if you don’t find anything to suit your tastes there, there are still tickets for a Conversation with Margaret Atwood available.

GUFF Ballot now open

Hot on the heels of DUFF, its partner in fannish crime, GUFF has now opened voting on the election of delegates to attend CoNZealand in Wellington, NZ (July 29-August 2).

GUFF, the Get Up-and-over Fan Fund or the Going Under Fan Fund, depending on which direction it’s running, exists to provide funds to enable well-known fans from Australasia and Europe to visit each other’s national (or other) conventions and get to know each other’s fandoms better. The winner(s) will take over the administration of the fund for the next northbound and southbound races.

The six candidates are: Cora Buhlert (Germany); Hisham El-Far and Lee Fletcher (UK); Hanna Hakkarainen (Finland); Elizabeth Jones and Claire Rousseau (UK); Dave Lally (UK); Alison Scott (UK). The full candidate platform statements and the voting form are available on the ozfanfunds site. Voting ends on 13th April 2020.

DUFF Race is now on…

The Down Under Fan Fund, are pleased to announce that there are four candidates for the 2020 Down Under Fan Fund race, which will send a fan from North America to ConZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction convention in Wellington, New Zealand.

The Four Candidates are:

Richard Auffrey
(nominators: Dan Rabarts, Ed Tisdale, Gillian Polack, Fred Kiesche, Paul Moore)

Shaun Duke
(nominators David Annadale, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Jen Zink, Beverly Bambury, Octavia Cade, Joyce Chng)

James Davis Nicoll
(nominators Sean Fagan,Mike Glyer, Elaine Walker, David Goldfarb, Azure Lunatic, Jo Van Ekeren)

Erin Underwood
(nominators: David MacDonald, Jim Kelly, Brenda Noiseux,Tim Szczesuil, Garth Nix, Nancy Holder, Janice Gelb, Stephen Boucher)

The official ballot along with the candidate platforms is here.

A Frickin Dangerous Space-mas

Basement Theatre returns with its annual Christmas Show and this year it has an SF theme.

It’s day one hundred and something of orbiting the earth and things are pretty dull aboard the International Space Station. All there is to do is eat freeze-dried space pav, hook up with each other and squabble over who deserves the highly coveted role of Captain of the ship. But, when the crew discover the hidden agenda of one of their fellow space colleagues, chaos ensues. Will this ragtag bunch of dysfunctional cosmonauts be able to perform a Christmas miracle and save humankind?

A Frickin Dangerous Space-mas invites you aboard for a space adventure starring a killer cast alongside some of Aotearoa’s most beloved household names and local celebs. It’s going to be out of this world!

The season begins its Auckland run on 21st Nov and runs through to 20th Dec. You can find all the details here – https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2019/nov/a-fricken-dangerous-space-mas

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.