Category Archives: Other Conventions

Conventions around the world

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:
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“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”
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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:
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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

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.

Kapcon 2020

KapCon 29 in 2020 is on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of January – i.e. Wellington anniversary weekend.

KapCon is a not-for-profit role-playing game convention run annually in Wellington, New Zealand, every January. It is a weekend of role-playing, in a diverse range of styles and systems. Over the weekend, more than 30 individual games are run, with volunteer GMs (or storytellers, narrators or facilitators) running games between one and six times over the course of the convention.

Since this is an SF/F/H news blog we would be remiss if we didn’t note that there will be a good number of genre related storylines among the games. More details on their web site.

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.

CoNZealand Competition to Design Hugo Award Bases

CoNZealand is now soliciting proposals for the 2020 Hugo Award and the 1945 Retro Hugo Award base designs in a competition open to artists living and working in New Zealand. This competition gives New Zealand-based artists the chance to create a lasting piece of the most prestigious and popular award in the science fiction community.

The Worldcon has presented the Hugo Award for achievement in science fiction and fantasy, named after author and editor Hugo Gernsback, annually since 1955. Each award features a standardized metal rocket as the central element, with a base design that changes every year, often reflecting the location in which the Worldcon takes place.

Entry in the competition is open to artists living or working in New Zealand. Design proposals must be submitted by Friday, January 17, 2020. For all the specifics go to https://conzealand.nz/blog/2019/11/27/conzealand-competition-to-design-2020-hugo-and-1945-retro-hugo-bases

A reminder that if you want to catch ALL the CoNZealand announcements, you should follow them at their web site.

Worldcon Designer Wanted

Are you a designer* who would like to pad their CV with work on an international event? It seems that the 2020 World SF convention, CoNZealand, are urgently looking for somebody to head their design area. You can find more details in their news announcement.

*CoNZealand don’t actually say what sort of designer they want. We here at SFFANZ News assume it is the sort of designer who looks after look and feel of advertising, promotional and all the various bits and pieces of collateral associated with a convention. But if you want to be sure what the role entails, drop them a line at design@conzealand.nz

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]

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.

George R R Martin and that Air New Zealand offer

Air New Zealand made a cheeky offer to George R R Martin to fly him free to NZ to finish The Winds of Winter. You can see that video here.

Of course, it is just a piece of advertising, but GRRM took the time to reply, saying that he has been to New Zealand a number of times and listed some of the places he has been – you can read his reply here. He also plugged his toastmaster role at CoNZealand. Thanks for the shout-out George!

In case you were wondering, George first came to New Zealand to be a guest at Construction, the 1998 New Zealand national convention. He shared the bill with, among others, Neil Gaiman. Can you imagine what a big deal getting those two together to headline a convention would be like today – it would be massive.

Chroma Connect 2019 Creative Symposium

The Chroma Connect 2019 Creative Symposium is taking place in Wellington on Saturday 8th June.

It isn’t strictly an SF/F/H event, but this part of the description caught our eye as being of genre interest:

Prolific international and local creators of illustration, comics, animation, videogames, concept design, mural art and more – sharing valuable past experiences, present insights, and future plans.

Learn how to create imaginary worlds, engaging narratives, immersive experiences, develop original IP, grow audiences and build sustainable creative practices.

This event is associated with the ChromaCon New Zealand Indie Arts Festival 2019. The ChromaCon event is being held at the Aotea Centre in Auckland 1-2 June. Yes we know it clashes with Geysercon – quite the dilemma for genre artists.

Only a few days left to vote in the GUFF Race

A final reminder that voting is still open for the 2019 GUFF race to send an Australian or New Zealand fan to Worldcon in Dublin. This year the race is between three candidates – two of them Kiwis. The candidates are:
Lynelle Howell (New Zealand)
Simon Litten (New Zealand)
Nicole Murphy (Australia).

A few points

  • No Kiwi has ever been a GUFF delegate.  The feeling is that with CoNZealand next year, that this may be the time to change that.
  • The administrators obviously cannot tell us who has voted so far, but they can tell us which countries have supplied the votes and New Zealand is lagging way behind. Even allowing for the different fandom sizes, we are not voting. So please vote.
  • Anybody in SF fandom can vote, That means YOU CAN VOTE- just subscribing to this news feed should pretty much make you an eligible fan.
  • The vote uses the Aussie preferential system. This means that with three candidates the preferences will probably come in to play. Keep this in mind when voting.

The link to the voting page is http://ozfanfunds.com/?page_id=127
Voting closes on 22nd April, 2019. The form contains a short info statement from each candidate. For more information about the candidates, check out this set of interviews by the current GUFF European administrator.

Reminder – Vote in the GUFF Race

A reminder that voting is still open for the 2019 GUFF race to send an Australian or New Zealand fan to Worldcon in Dublin. This year the race is between three candidates – two of them Kiwis. This is a big deal for NZ fandom – there has never been even one Kiwi nominee before. The candidates are:
Lynelle Howell (New Zealand)
Simon Litten (New Zealand)
Nicole Murphy (Australia).

Anybody in SF fandom can vote, That means YOU CAN VOTE- just subscribing to this news feed should pretty much make you an eligible fan.

The link to the voting page is http://ozfanfunds.com/?page_id=127
Voting closes on 22nd April, 2019. Please get your votes in now (y’know – before you forget).

The form contains a short info statement from each candidate. For more information about the candidates, check out this set of interviews by Marcin Klak. Marcin is from Poland and is the current GUFF European administrator – he was a very welcome visitor to our shores last year.

Just what is GUFF anyway?
GUFF was created in 1979. Known as the Get Up-and-over Fan Fund or the Going Under Fan Fund, depending on which direction it’s running, GUFF 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. In other words, it is a way to extend the ties of the fan community around the world. GUFF, like other fan funds, exists solely through the support of fandom. The candidates for each trip are voted on by interested fans, and each vote is accompanied by a monetary donation. These votes, and the continuing generosity of fandom through auctions and other donations, are what make GUFF possible.