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

One Man Star Wars Trilogy

Pre-sales have started for Charles Ross’ One Man Star Wars Trilogy. All remaining tickets go on sale on Friday at 4pm. Tickets available from ASB Waterfront Theatre and Ticketmaster.

The critically acclaimed theatrical experience One-Man Star Wars Trilogy – the hit comedy that condenses all three movies into 60 minutes of side-splitting fun – is coming to Auckland this November/December.

Created and brought to life on stage by Canadian actor Charles Ross, One-Man Star Wars Trilogy is just what it seems – a live whirlwind adventure through a film franchise (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) that has preoccupied the imaginations of billions the world over. Ross singlehandedly plays all the characters, sings the music, flies the ships and fights the battles. Experience the original Star Wars movie trilogy in an entirely new way.

Officially endorsed by Lucasfilm, One-Man Star Wars Trilogy has been performed for over a million Star War fans. NOTE: Audience members are invited to wear costumes, but no masks or weapons are allowed. For more details, have a look on Eventfinda.

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]

Zephyr Short Story Competition

The excellent folk at the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) sent us some information about the inaugural Zephyr Short Story Competition. All the details can be found at zephyrstories.com, but in essence it is a short story competition open to NZ residents with open and junior divisions.

Now normally we wouldn’t post this info, it not having a specific sf/f/h connection. But the NZSA people did ask very nicely and it got us thinking about how many genre authors there are out there – just think about how many aspiring authors attended workshops at Geysercon. So spread the word among your networks and get them to support this new competition by sending them some properly excellent speculative fiction short stories.

Nanogirl Live! – ticket presale starts now

Get your geek on.

Nanogirl Labs are proud to present Nanogirl Live! “Bring on the Noise!” – a Live Science Spectacular.

Nanogirl, Boris (her trusty lab assistant), and CLAIR (Constantly Learning Artificial Intelligence Repository) are back for a brand new action-packed adventure, bringing you science and engineering as you have never seen them before. In this interactive show filled with experiments, explosions and music – Nanogirl Live! brings science and engineering to life in the coolest ways possible, right before your eyes. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer and do science on stage with Nanogirl too!

After three sellout tours, this brand new show by the internationally touring Nanogirl Live! Team, and starring Dr. Michelle Dickinson features all-new experiments, and all-new explosions – with plenty of extraordinary musical sounds to be enjoyed by the whole family.

The Ticketmaster Presale for shows in Auckland and Wellington in late November starts at 9:00am, Wednesday 24 July and ends at 8:59am, Wednesday 31 July 2019, strictly subject to availability.

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.

Awardwatch : Australian Shadows 2018

The Australian Shadows awards are horror awards for Australasian writers. That means Kiwis are eligible. The 2018 awards were made over the weekend. Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts represented this side of the Tasman to both win awards (Edited Work and Short Fiction respectively).

Yet another shout out to Kaaron Warren, Geysercon Guest of Honour, for picking up another prize for Tide of Stones as well as being the subject for another award.

While we are talking about Kaaron, she also picked up the Peter McNamara Achievement Award for Lifetime Achievement and Contribution towards Australian Speculative Fiction at the Ditmar awards also held over the weekend. No Kiwis featuring in the Ditmars however this year.

Sir Julius Vogel Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Sir Julius Vogel Awards which were announced Sunday night at GeyserCon, New Zealand’s 40th National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, in Rotorua. The SJVs, which recognize excellence in science fiction, fantasy and horror by New Zealanders, were nominated and voted on by members of SFFANZ and Geysercon.

PROFESSIONAL AWARD WINNERS

Best Novel
Into the Sounds by Lee Murray (Severed Press)

Best Youth Novel
Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South by Deryn Pittar (Junction Publishing)

Best Novella / Novelette
The Martian Job by M. Darusha Wehm (Choice of Games)

Best Short Story
“Girls Who do not Drown” by A.C. Buchanan (Apex Magazine, December 2018)

Best Collected Work
Te Korero Ahi Ka, edited by Grace Bridges, Lee Murray and Aaron Compton (SpecFicNZ)

Best Professional Artwork
Cover for The Baker Thief by Laya Rose (The Kraken Collective)

Best Professional Production / Publication
Black Archive #15 by John Toon (Obverse Books)

Best Dramatic Presentation
Wellington Paranormal, directed by Jermaine Clement and Jackie van Beek (New Zealand Documentary Board)

FAN AWARD WINNERS

Best Fan Artwork
The Thirteenth Doctor by Laya Rose

Best Fan Production / Publication
Star Trek in the Park – The Trouble with Tribbles (Enterprise Entertainment)

SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS

Best New Talent
Kura Carpenter (The Kingfisher’s Debt)

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.

Blockwith – Auckland Live

So we here at SFFANZ News were looking at the programme for Auckland Live and were trying to work out what what would be most relevant for SF/F/H fans. What we came up with was Blockwith. The following description caught our eyes:

Step into the digital playground of Blockwith, where you create your own avatar on your smartphone then watch as it interacts and builds an ever-changing landscape with others on the larger-than-life Digital Stage in Aotea Square.

Blockwith has already started its run, but continues to June 21, so plenty of time for you to check it out. Let us know what you think – an SF activity or not?

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.

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.

Register for GeyserCon and go in to Win!

Rotorua is ready for us! Our presenters and panellists are locked in, the costumes are being primped and the geysers are bubbling.
 
With only 29 days until GeyserCon kick-off, we’d like to remind you to register for the conference here before the late registration fee kicks in. Everyone who registers and pays for their tickets before midnight 12 May, 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.  
 
Feel free to share GeyserCon by bringing along a friend. You never know, they may win their registration fee back or end up owning and loving these top kiwi books. We look forward to seeing you in Rotorua on Queen’s Birthday weekend

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.

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!

2019 GUFF Race Ends

We have given you quite a few posts about the GUFF race, so now the time has come that if you want to find out the result just follow the link and all will be revealed.