Category Archives: National Convention

New Zealand Natcon

Need That Local Natcon Fix?

So, it looks like there isn’t a New Zealand national SF/F convention this year. There will probably be some sort of event for the Sir Julius Vogel awards – no details yet. But what if you want that full natcon experience? Our fannish neighbours to that west are having one – Conflux 16 is the Australian natcon for 2021. It is being held 2-4 October in Canberra.

Obviously getting there relies on the lifting of travel restrictions. But there is going to be a lot of vaccine administered between now and October.

You wouldn’t be traveling new ground for Kiwis. Your humble scribe has been to 5 Confluxes – they are a hugely enjoyable experience. And I’m not the only one – why don’t you consider adding to our numbers.

The Next NZ Natcon?

Now that CoNZealand is behind us and (hopefully) everyone’s got their breath back, SFFANZ would like to make a final call for bids for a 2021 natcon. If you or someone you know is interested in organising one, please contact enquiries@sffanz.org.nz before the end of December.

SFFANZ is also making its own enquiries about a possible single-day event and will proceed with that plan in the absence of any more persuasive bids.

And just so you know, bidding for 2022 is also currently in play. So if that is your target, please let us know.

SJV Award Statement

The following is a statement from John Toon, President of SFFANZ….

As President of SFFANZ, I would like to thank all those who worked on and attended the Sir Julius Vogel Awards ceremony in Wellington on Sunday 26 July. The credit for organising this event belongs to Lynelle Howell, Kelly Buehler, Mel Duncan and many others. Thanks also to Lynelle and Jan Butterworth for all their work administering the SJVs.

However, I acknowledge that the editing of the footage of the ceremony as broadcast during CoNZealand could have been better. Most egregiously, Sascha Stronach’s acceptance speech for the award for Best Novel was cut off mid-sentence, and this was not acceptable. I personally apologise to Sascha.

In addition, five of this year’s winners – Gareth Ward, Matthew Willis, David Bishop, Alex Lindsay and Grace Bridges – were unable to attend the ceremony in person or remotely, and did not nominate anyone to collect the trophy on their behalf. The co-presenters acknowledged this during the ceremony and promised to send the trophies to the winners. This information was edited out of the broadcast programme, which could have led viewers to believe that some of the winners had been snubbed. I personally apologise to these five winners.

I also note that many have objected to the juxtaposition of the SJV Awards with the Retro Hugo Awards in CoNZealand’s schedule. SFFANZ understood and accepted the reasoning behind this decision but I accept that, in hindsight, the outcome was not the showcase for and celebration of contemporary New Zealand SFF and fandom that we had hoped it would be.

Lastly, I note that some members of CoNZealand were unaware of the availability of the SJV voter packet during the voting period, and that some nominees and members have asked for it to be made available again to promote awareness of contemporary New Zealand SFF. SFFANZ has contacted all finalists to ask their permission to make their nominated material available again to CoNZealand members, where material was provided. The contents of the reissued SJV packet will, of course, be subject to the agreement of those finalists who consent to participate. CoNZealand has kindly agreed to host the reissued SJV packet via the Hugo Awards voter packet system, and will be contacting CoNZealand members with the relevant details.

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.

Sir Julius Vogel Awards Voting Now Open

The voting form for the 2020 Sir Julius Vogel Awards is now available for download.

To vote in these New Zealand national SF/F/H awards, you must be a member of SFFANZ or the current NZ natcon – CoNZealand. Any member of either of these organisations may vote in the awards, you don’t need to be a local.

In order to evaluate works, a pack of examples and samples of nominated works may be downloaded by SFFANZ and CoNZealand members. Here are instructions for the Sir Julius Vogel Award Voter Packet.

Sir Julius Vogel Award Finalists – 2020

The Finalists for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for 2020 have been announced – you can read the full list of finalists on the main SFFANZ web site. The finalists are for the 2019 calendar year.

Please note that you must be a member of SFFANZ or a member of CoNZealand to vote for the Sir Julius Vogel awards. Ballot counting takes place before CoNZealand. Email or post your votes to SFFANZ. If you email or post your votes, they must reach us by 8pm, July 4th, 2020.

A postal/email voting form will be available shortly which will have the relevant email and postal addresses. In order to evaluate works, nominated works may be downloaded by SFFANZ and CoNZealand members. We will be gathering the works as fast as possible. In the mean time here are instructions for the Sir Julius Vogel Award Voter Packet.

SFFANZ congratulates all the finalists and thanks everybody who made nominations.

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.

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

CoNZealand : Hotel Bookings Now Open

Booking for rooms and apartments for all CoNZealand members is now open.

This page on the CoNZealand site provides the booking links and codes for each hotel location and repeats the accessible information about each hotel / apartment block. Please note, there is a lot of information on the page – the convention encourages you to read it carefully.

Of course you do not need to use any of these venues – if none suit your needs there are also a range of AirBnB and other short-term rental options in Wellington, as well as backpackers/hostels, and other serviced apartments.

Voting now open for Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Members of GeyserCon and SFFANZ members are eligible to vote in the Sir Julius Vogel awards. You can, of course, vote at the convention or alternatively you can vote right away by submitting the electronic voting form. Instructions for using the electronic voting form can be found here on the SFFANZ web site.

At this point, you may be thinking “but how do I know who to vote for?”. The answer is simple – have a look at the SJV Packet – it contains examples and samples of the award nominated work. This material is kindly provided by the nominees and only available to eligible voters. The instructions for accessing this packet can be found here.

A reminder that if you wish to join SFFANZ in order to vote, the instructions may be found here.

Awardwatch : Geysercon GoH wins Aurealis Awards

The Aurealis Awards for the 2018 year were announced on Saturday Night. GeyserCon International Guest of Honour Kaaron Warren picked up two awards – for Novella Crisis Apparition and novel Tide of Stone.

If you were on the fence about attending GeyserC0n and weren’t sure about the quality of the guests, why don’t you check out some of the other awards Kaaron has won. Its a pretty impressive list.

In addition, Aussie based Kiwi, Juliet Marillier won the Sara Douglass Book Series Award for the Blackthorn & Grim series.

Congratulations to Kaaron, Juliet and all the Aurealis winners.

Four weeks until GeyserCon

With only four weeks days until GeyserCon kick-off, we’d like to remind you to register for the convention here before the late registration fee kicks in. Everyone who registers and pays for their membership before midnight 12 May, not only saves money on their registration, but also goes in the draw to win a refund on their membership or a fantasy book pack.

The fantasy book pack includes the two award-winning books from the Riders of Fire series by Eileen Mueller, two books in the Quest series by SJV-winning author A.J. Ponder, both sponsored by Phantom Feather Press, and At the Edge, a compilation of Australasian dark fiction edited by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts, sponsored by Paper Road Press.

In case you didn’t know GeyserCon is New Zealand’s 40th National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, in Rotorua — on Queen’s Birthday weekend!

It’s Time to Join SFFANZ

The following is a message from John Toon, Treasurer, Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand (SFFANZ) – those same people who bring you the Sir Julius Vogel awards and this news service …

Membership fees for anyone wishing to participate in the SFFANZ AGM and/or vote in this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards* will need to be paid before or at GeyserCon, the 2019 NZ national SF/F convention, which takes place over the weekend of 31st May to 2nd June in Rotorua.

(* Paying members of Geysercon are also eligible to vote in the SJVs, but not to participate in the SFFANZ AGM.)

Please be assured that all membership fees contribute to the material cost of those lovely, pointy SJV trophies and are greatly appreciated.

The cost of a year’s membership of SFFANZ is still only $10. There are three ways you can renew your membership of SFFANZ:

    • by post
    • by direct bank transfer
    • by cash at GeyserCon

For the specific details (address, bank acct number etc), or if you have any other questions please contact treasurer@sffanz.org.nz

Sir Julius Vogel Award Finalists Announcement

SFFANZ would like to congratulate all the finalists for the 2019 Sir Julius Vogel Awards.

  • The Finalists are for the 2018 calendar year.
  • You must be a member of SFFANZ or a member of GeyserCon to vote for the Sir Julius Vogel awards.
  • Ballot counting takes place at GeyserCon, so you can vote there. Alternatively, email or post your votes to SFFANZ.
  • If you email or post your votes, they must reach us by 29th May, 2019. Close of voting at GeyserCon is at 12 noon, Sunday 2nd May 2019.
  • The awards will be presented at GeyserCon – check the programme for the time of the award ceremony.

SJV Nominations Close in One Week

The nomination period for the 2019 Sir Julius Vogel Awards will close at 8.00 pm on 30 March 2019. That is just one week away, so please get your nominations in now.

Trophy

The awards recognise excellence and achievement in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents, and first published or released in the 2018 calendar year. Full information about the awards, including links to the rules and other guidelines for the Sir Julius Vogel Award, can be found here.

The awards use a web-based nomination system. You can find the web form here. Anyone can make a nomination and it is free!

The awards will be presented at Geysercon – the 2019 National SF&F Convention.

The Geysercon Book Expo

This year, Geysercon are trying something different for book sales. Usually at a national SF convention, authors who wish to sell their own work at the convention would have had either a dealers room or a floating market where they would sell the work themselves. But Geysercon in conjunction with Atlantis Books of Rotorua are going to run a store where they will sell the books (and possibly other stuff) on your behalf. Registration for this service is now open – fill out the form to get your works in the store.

Registration for the book store closes Fri 17th May. You must be some level of Geysercon member to take advantage of this service. Lower cost non-attending memberships are available.

Awardwatch:Aurealis Awards

The 2018 Aurealis Awards finalists have been announced. While these awards are for Australians, it isn’t uncommon to see Aussie based Kiwis on the ballot and it is no different this year. Look for Juliet Marillier and Simon Petrie in the finalists. We have probably missed one or two others – let us know in the comments who else qualifies for us to claim.

The Sara Douglass Book Series Award is also part of the Aurealis package. Juliet Marillier is also in the 2018 finalists for that award.

But while checking out the Aurealis award, keep an eye out for the names Kaaron Warren and Alan Baxter – they both appear more than once. Why is this significant? Because both are guests of honour at Geysercon at QB weekend this year in Rotorua.