Category Archives: People

News about people

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

Auckland 2020 Writers Festival – Winter Series

Recent QB Honours recipient Elizabeth Knox is scheduled to appear in this week’s episode of the Auckland 2020 Writers Festival – Winter Series. The episode is scheduled to debut live at 9-10am Sunday 7th June.

For context, as you, by now, are aware the 2020 Auckland Writers festival was cancelled. So now they are running a series of talks with authors – at least 2 of the scheduled festival authors in each weeks programme. This week will be the 6th of the series but the first to feature somebody with an sf/f/h connection. Have a look at the info page to see if you can spot any more – we noticed one really big name there.

Elizabeth Knox & Taika Waititi – Queen’s Birthday honours

Elizabeth Knox has been named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature in the Queen’s Birthday honours list announced today. We note that she describes her books as “literary non-realism”, but if you read them you will recognise science fiction and fantasy when you see it.

Taika Waititi picked up an ONZM in the same awards for services to film. He has been involved in many projects which fit in our genre description, although we note that the Stuff article about the awards fails to mention his role in the creation of what we here at SFFANZ news think is the best of them – Wellington Paranormal.

Awardwatch : 2020 Locus Awards

Tamsyn Muir has been shortlisted for the 2020 Locus Awards in the First Novel category for Gideon the Ninth. The locus awards are a big deal, so congratulations to Tamsyn and all the nominees.

So since Tamsyn lives in the UK, why are we highlighting her we don’t hear you asking. Well from her press kit, we see the following “She has spent the majority of her life in Howick, New Zealand, with time spent living in Waiuku and central Wellington.” That makes her properly Kiwi in our opinion.

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.

Awardwatch : 2020 Australian Fairy Tale Society Award Nominees

The 2020 nominees for the “Australian Fairy Tale Society Annual Award for Inspiration and Contribution to Australian Fairy Tale Culture” have been released. As usual, we have looked through the list of nominees for this exclusively Australian award for New Zealanders.  Congratulations to Juliet Marillier for nabbing another Aussie nomination – I guess living there for a long time helps.

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 : Lee Murray is HWA Mentor of the Year

Wow, this is the third time we have mentioned Lee Murray in the Awardwatch section so far this year. That isn’t bias on our part, but a genuine reflection of just how much Lee has been contributing to our genre community. This time, she has been honoured by the Horror Writers Association with their Mentor of the Year Award as part of their 2019 service awards. I’m sure you agree with us that this is a richly deserved award and congratulate her for her achievement.

Awardwatch : 2019 Aurealis Awards shortlist

The 2019 Aurealis Awards shortlist has been released. As is our way, we have looked through the list of nominees for this exclusively Australian award for New Zealanders. So, congratulations to Juliet Marillier and Bren MacDibble. If you have spotted any others, let us know in the comments.

Fair play to the Aurealis organisers – both Kiwis are people who have lived and worked in Aussie for a long time. We all know of instances when Australians have tried to appropriate New Zealand artists and sportspeople based on their merely visiting for a bit. Nothing like that going on here.

GRRM and Air NZ – The Followup

In case you missed it, Air New Zealand has replied to George R R Martin’s reply to their advertising which invited George to take a free trip to New Zealand. George suggested that Air NZ give a bunch of American fans a free trip instead. Well Air NZ has now come back offering 20 fans that free ride.

Did you follow that? There will be a test later.

And no, we don’t know how you can apply for the free trip.

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.

Awardwatch : Locus Awards

Yes, it’s Kaaron Warren getting nominated again. This time it is her novel Tide of Stone being on the shortlist for a Locus award. The Locus awards are a big deal – ranking right up there as one of the major international awards, so huge congratulations to Kaaron.

It hardly bears repeating but we will anyway – Kaaron is an International Guest of Honour at Geysercon, the NZ Natcon over QB weekend (31 May – 2 Jun) in Rotorua.

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.

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.

Awardwatch : Bram Stoker Awards

Another kiwi in a major awards shortlist. This time it is the 2018 Bram Stoker Awards and the author in question is Lee Murray. And not just one shortlisting, but two! Lee has made the finals in the short fiction and the anthology categories.

Congratulations to Lee and all the Bram Stoker finalists.

Awardwatch : The Nebulas

Here at SFFANZ News, we like to keep an eye out for locals who make the finals for major awards, and there aren’t many more major than the Nebulas. If you look down the finalist list for the just announced 2018 awards, you will see the name M. Darusha Wehm in the Game Writing category. Darusha is originally from Canada but now lives in Wellington and takes part in local writing and fan activities – so properly local then!

Congratulations to Darusha and all the Nebula finalists.

RIP Mervyn Barrett

We are saddened to note the passing of Mervyn Barrett who died on 16 January 2019, at Te Hopai Home, Wellington. Merv, also a celebrated film and jazz fan, was active in New Zealand SF fandom from the 1960s all the way through to the 1990s. He was also active in Australian and London fandom in the ’60s and ’70s. Along with all his other activity, Merv goes down in local fannish history as co-organizer of the first NZ national convention (Wellcon, 1979).

We are sorry for the belated notice, we only just heard the news, but would like to take this opportunity to pass our condolences on to Janet and the rest of Merv’s loved ones.

Update from Geysercon – Alan Baxter added to Guests

The following update comes from Geysercon – the 2019 NZ National SF Convention.
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Due to circumstances outside everyone’s control, Jonathan Maberry is now unable to attend GeyserCon. We hope to see at him at a future New Zealand convention.

We’re very pleased to announce that award-winning Australian author and martial arts expert Alan Baxter has graciously agreed to be our Guest of Honour, alongside Kaaron Warren, Laura VanArendonk Baugh and Alena Van Arendonk.

Please note that early registration discounts still apply – details can be found at here. Don’t forget that when you register, you are eligible to enter fiction, poetry or art in the GeyserCon competitions. Also, all members completing their registration before January 30th will go into the draw for one FULL REFUND of the membership fee!

SpecFic Event at the Dunedin Public Library

Spend an evening in the company of 8 Dunedin SpecFic Authors. Each writer discusses aspects of their particular sub-genre, and gives a reading from their own work, with a chance for the audience to ask questions. There will also be the added excitement of spot prize book giveaways! Whether you’re a reader or a writer of fiction, enjoy the opportunity to immerse yourself in the many facets of speculative writing.

The authors who will be reading from their work are:

Details: Genre 8: Flights of Fantasy is being held at the Dunningham Suite of the Dunedin City Library on 11 October 2018 5:30pm — 7:00pm. This is a free event, but the event page does say bookings advised. There is a email address or phone number for booking here.

Worldcon 2020 officially confirmed for Wellington

Straight from the Worldcons news feed

Wellington, New Zealand, has been selected as the site for the 2020 Worldcon. The New Zealand bid received 643 votes of the 726 votes cast. There were no other official candidates.

The convention will be called CoNZealand. The dates will be July 29 to August 2. George R.R. Martin has been announced as the Master of Ceremonies. Further information is available from the convention website. More news on Facebook – check out the new logo. Twitter also worth checking out.