Category Archives: People

News about people

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.

SF Writer at the Manawatu Writers Festival + 500th Post

A heads up for SF fans about the Manawatu Writers’ Festival (Sept 7 – 11, 2018). This year they have a session with one of NZ’s longest running successful writers, Lyn Mc Conchie.

Lyn McConchie is an internationally successful author, who has had 44 books published, 300+ short stories, and 150+ articles. Her work has appeared in English, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and from publishers there as well as in America, Australia, New Zealand, and the Irish Republic. Lyn isn’t in any ruts, she writes mysteries, SF/F, animal tales, post-apocalypse, YA, picture books, and humorous and scholarly non-fiction and she has no plans to stop any time soon. Lyn’s latest book, Coal & Ashes, is is one of her apocalyptic stories, set in Australia, one of a series.

Lyn Mc Conchie will be speaking on Saturday, Sept 8, at 4:00 – 5:30pm – Fielding Little Theatre.

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500th Post

As an aside, the above is the 500th post on the SFFANZ News service. It is a nice milestone, but we would like to post lots more. If it relates to SF or Fantasy in New Zealand even peripherally then we would like to hear about it. Don’t assume that we already know. If it isn’t posted here, then we need to know about it. Convention news, book launch events, readings, meetings, talks, awards, workshops – you get the idea. Contact us at press@sffanz.org.nz or sffanz.news@gmail.com – you don’t need to write the article (unless you want to) – just send us a link and we will take it from there.

NZ writer makes award history

Congraulations to Bren MacDibble -a New Zealand author who has lived in Australia for two decades – for winning two categories with two different books in the same year at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

MacDibble’s How to Bee, which won the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction, describes a dystopian future without bees where children perform the essential task of pollination. Judges said it was a tale to fire young readers with awareness and courage for the future.

They also heaped praise on In the Dark Spaces, written under the pseudonym Cally Black, which saw MacDibble claim the Copyright Licensing Award for Young Adult Fiction. Judges said it was a high-concept science fiction novel and an impressive tale of world class calibre.

Story here.

Neal Stephenson : Prize Giveaway

To celebrate Neal Stephenson’s upcoming appearance at the Auckland Writer’s Festival, the festival has kindly donated a prize pack containing a stack of Stephenson’s books to give away to readers of the SFFANZ news service.

To be in with a chance to win, just correctly answer the three questions below. You can find details of Neal’s appearances at the festival here, here and here.

Q1: In Neal’s novel Snow Crash, what does the Deliverator deliver?

Q2: In The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., what does the acronym D.O.D.O. stand for?

Q3: Who will be chairing Neal’s session (“The Big Ideas of Neal Stephenson”) at the Writer’s Festival on 19 May at 8.45pm?

To enter, simply email your answers to enquiries@sffanz.org.nz. The first email received which contains all three correct answers will win the prize pack.

New Zealand entrants only please. A condition of entry is that the winner must provide their name and a valid New Zealand postal address.

Events for SF Fans at the Auckland Writers Festival

Are you planning on attending the Auckland Writers Festival – 15-20 May? For SF fans, perhaps the following items may help you make up your mind. If you see anybody else of genre interest, please let us know in the comments.

EVENT 86: THE BIG IDEAS OF NEAL STEPHENSON
SATURDAY MAY 19 – 8.45-10.00PM, ASB THEATRE, AOTEA SQUARE
(See also Event 135 with Neal Stephenson)
New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson is renowned for works seething with big ideas, both innovative and complex in their genius, including Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Anathem, and his latest Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O co-written with Nicole Galland. Stephenson is also one of the world’s leading designers of augmented reality in his role as “Chief Futurist” at Magic Leap, a company that is transforming the way humans interact with story.

EVENT 47: COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES: KAREN JOY FOWLER
SATURDAY MAY 19 – 10.00-11.00AM, ASB THEATRE, AOTEA CENTRE
(See also Event 113 with Joy Fowler)
Best-selling author Karen Joy Fowler is a maverick, with novels and short stories spanning science fiction, fantasy and literary fiction, including the Man Booker Prize finalist We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, The New York Times bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club, and the PEN/Faulkner fiction finalist Sister Noon. She is the co-founder of the James Tiptree Jr. Award – given to works which increase understanding of gender – and is the president of the Clarion Foundation which supports the teaching of sci-fi and fantasy writing. She speaks with Kate De Goldi.

EVENT 106: ODE TO URSULA
SUNDAY MAY 20 – 1.30-2.30PM HEARTLAND FESTIVAL ROOM, AOTEA SQUARE
In memory of the extraordinary Ursula Le Guin, writers and fans Karen Joy Fowler and Elizabeth Knox join David Larsen to share stories of their first encounters with her work and explore the legacy of the writer David Mitchell describes as a “crafter of fierce, focused, fertile dreams”.

EVENT 58: WRITERS ON FILM – MARGARET ATWOOD
Saturday MAY, 19 11:45am – 12:35pm Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium
On the eve of her 70th birthday in 2010 Canadian star Margaret Atwood travelled to North America and the UK to publicise her dystopian novel The Year of the Flood, with a theatrical version of the novel which combined performance, music and readings. On route, Atwood’s primary concern was to ensure the survival of song birds. The documentary In The Wake of the Flood, directed by Ron Mann, captures Atwood’s unusual book tour, a kind of travelling medicine show.

GUFF ballot 2018 — Europe to Australasia

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

This year, a delegate is to be selected to travel from Europe to Australia and/or New Zealand.  Voting is open to anybody who is active in fandom.  There is a competition this year, so take the time to see which of the worthy candidates you would like to bring down under.

All you need to know about the candidates and voting can be found over at the ozfanfunds site.

 

Aurealis Awards Finalists

The finalist shortlist for the Aurealis Awards has been announced and can be found on their website.

Since this is a news service for New Zealand SF/F/H news and the Aurealis Awards are Australian, we wouldn’t normally report this.  But we did spot a couple of Kiwis in the list.  See if you can spot them.

We may have missed one or two, so comments are left open so you can report your findings.

The Tripods – a 6 episode series

A prequel to the tripods BBC TV series explaining what happened when the tripods arrived.
The first three episodes of The Tripods are out with 3 more to follow.
Watch the first episode here.

Made by a Palmerston North 14 year old and his friends, the series has taken a year of filming, endured braces on and off, different hairstyles, and growth spurts.

It’s an all-kid affair with adult involvement minimal and closely supervised. Special effects are old school, with 3D printed Tripods, material/cardboard green screens and clay feet.

2017 Hugo Winners Announced

The winners of the 2017 Hugo Awards and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer were announced by Worldcon 75 in Helsinki. You can find all the award announcements over at File 770.

Looking for a New Zealand connection. Well Seanan McGuire was the guest of honour at the NZ Natcon this year and she won the best Novella Hugo.

The NZ in 2020 team were active at Helsinki promoting the bid for the Worldcon to be held in Aotearoa in 2020.

Ditmar Awards 2017 Winners

The 2017 Australian SF (“Ditmar”) Awards for 2017 were presented on Sunday (June 11) at Continuum 13 in Melbourne. You can read the results over on File 770.

SFFANZ News usually publishes these results in order to highlight the Kiwis who have been winning awards on the other side of the Tasman. This year however, there isn’t really anything to report in that area. So instead, here are a couple of highlights from these awards that may interest NZ readers…

Kaaron Warren’s The Grief Hole won the best novel Ditmar. Kaaron was a high profile attendee at the recently completed NZ Natcon Lexicon in Taupo. Kaaron has already been shoulder tapped to be a guest at the 2019 NZ Natcon (GeyserCon) in Rotorua. Of particular note here is that The Grief Hole has now won an Australian Shadows award, an Aurealis award and now a Ditmar award. Possibly a unique treble.

Rose Mitchell was presented the Peter McNamara Achievement Award. Rose is a former FFANZ delegate known to many NZ fans. She was most recently a guest at SmofCon South held in Wellington last year.

During the “Australia” panel at Lexicon, it was noted that it can be hard for folk in NZ to find out what is happening in Australian spec fiction. It is therefore worth noting that the 2016 Australian SF Snapshot picked up an award. Further to that information, if you really are interested in what is happening in Aussie SF, have a look at the ASFF SF Resources page. Or for a writing oriented list of event’s have a look at Jason Nahrung’s Australian Literary Festival Calendar.

DUFF race now on

The ballot for DUFF for a North American candidate to come down under is now underway. You can find the ballot here.

GUFF Ballot now available

On behalf of Gillian Polack and Mihaela Marija Perković (for Jukka Halme), the finalised GUFF 2017 ballot is now available on the OzFanFunds website.

This race is to transport a Australasian fan to Worldcon 75, the 75th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Helsinki, Finland, 9-13 August, 2017. As previously announced, candidates are Donna Maree Hanson, Sam Hawke, Belle McQuattie, and Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein (shared).

Candidates’ platforms and general information about voting is here.
Online ballot is here.
PDF version for printing is here.

GUFF – 2 weeks to go to nominate for Helsinki

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

Nominations are now open for the northbound race, to transport a Australasian fan to Worldcon 75, the 75th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Helsinki, Finland, 9-13 August, 2017.

If you wish to stand and are unsure about how to go about getting any of these things, what the fund pays for or the duties of a GUFF delegate and administrator, then get in touch with one of the current GUFF administrators. You can find contact details and other information here.

Nominations are open until 17th November 2016, and candidates will be announced soon after. Voting will then run until Saturday 1st April 2017, with the winner announced online as soon as possible after voting has closed.

As an editorial aside to the above, the NZ in 2020 Worldcon bid plans to have a presence in Helsinki and they need assistance with that. There is obvious opportunity for a happy overlap of interests here. Also, although kiwis are eligible, there has never been a New Zealand GUFF delegate. Isn’t it about time that was rectified.

New Zealand Author Wins World Fantasy Award

The results of the 2016 World Fantasy Awards are out and Wellington based author Anna Smaill’s debut novel The Chimes has won best novel.

The awards were given at this year’s World Fantasy Convention, which took place from October 27-30 in Columbus, Ohio.

And just to prove its no fluke, Smaill’s novel is also on the long list for the Man Booker prize.

FFANZ delegate for 2017 announced

The Fan Fund of Australia and New Zealand (FFANZ) are very pleased to announce that the race for Melbourne has been won, and we are excited to have Lynelle Howell as our new delegate.

Lynelle has been a tireless champion of the New Zealand science fiction community for many years, and now she will be heading to Melbourne in 2017 to meet and greet with Australian fandom and share her knowledge and enthusiasm across the ditch.

Thanks to everyone who voted for Lynelle, and to all those who have otherwise supported or signal-boosted the fan funds. It is much appreciated.

If you would like to help in our mission to promote New Zealand and Australian fandom and writing and continue to strengthen the bonds between our communities, please contact the fund administrators, Dan Rabarts in New Zealand or David McDonald in Australia, to see how you can help.

We’re always open to donations which can be auctioned at cons, or any other creative means of raising funds and raising awareness and keeping good things happening. We can both be found on Facebook or Twitter.

Sir Julius Vogel

The ODT has an article about Sir Julius Vogel as a “visionary writer of science fiction”.  You should have a read – here is the link to the article.

FFANZ RACE 2017

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Fan Fund of Australia and New Zealand (FFANZ).

The Fan Fund for Australian and New Zealand (FFANZ) was created to strengthen ties between Australian and New Zealand fandom. This fan fund financially assists the winning FFANZ delegate with travel and associated costs to attend the Natcon of the other nation.

In 2017 FFANZ will send one New Zealand science fiction fan to the 2017 Australian SF & Fantasy Natcon, Continuum XIII, to be held in Melbourne, Victoria, over Queen’s Birthday Weekend, 9th-12th June, 2017.

Prospective candidates have until 8th May 2016 to file the documents required to nominate to run for the FFANZ ballot. Voting will run from 16th May 2016 to 12th June 2016.

Candidates should file the following documents:

  • A brief letter stating their intent to run for FFANZ 2017.
  • A nominator and a seconder, preferably a nominator from New Zealand and a seconder from Australia.
  • A 100 word or less platform statement specifying the candidate’s reasons for running and qualifications for becoming the 2017 FFANZ delegate.

The duties of the winning candidate will be as follows:

  • Travel to Australia to attend Continuum XIII, to be held in Melbourne, Victoria, over Queen’s Birthday Weekend, 9th-12th June, 2017.
  • Visit and get to know as many Australian Science Fiction fans as time will permit.
  • Become the New Zealand FFANZ administrator until a replacement administrator is found. This normally happens when the administrator role is handed over to the succeeding NZ-bound delegate (in 2018 if a race is run every year).
  • Raise funds and maintain an account to be used by the next Australian delegate(s) in 2018.
  • Promote connections between Australian and New Zealand fandom by a trip report or other means.

Send required documents to:
rabarts@gmail.com for New Zealand fans
david.mcdonald@davidmcdonaldspage.com for Australian fans

More information about being a fan fund delegate can be found at ffanz.sf.org.nz/qanda.htm or ozfanfunds.com or www.facebook.com/FanFundANZ