New Zealand National Science Fiction Convention

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The New Zealand National Science Fiction Convention is a volunteer-run science fiction convention that is scheduled annually, and usually takes place either at Easter or at Queen's Birthday weekend (end of May/early June). It is usually abbreviated as NatCon.

New Zealand's premier science fiction award, the Sir Julius Vogel Award, is presented each year at the national convention.

Unlike the case with many other countries' national conventions, each convention is run by a different committee, unaffiliated with any national fannish body. Bids for running the NatCons are voted on by attendees at the NatCon two years ahead. These votes are organised by the current NatCon committee in liaison with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand.

In the early years of the national convention, the four main cities (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin) all held the NatCon, but in recent years, the conventions have mostly been held in one of the two largest cities, Wellington and Auckland, both in the North Island.

List of New Zealand National Science Fiction Conventions[edit]

Note: in this list, websites whose addresses end in sf.org.nz are, in most cases, mirrors of the original websites, some of which have been removed.

NatCon no. year name location guests of honour (GoH) fan guests of honour (FGoH)
1 1979 Wellcon A Wellington
2 1980 Wellcon B Wellington Merv Binns
3 1981 Norcon Auckland A. Bertram Chandler
4 1982 Octacon Dunedin David Harvey Frank Macskasy
5 1983 Windycon Wellington Harlan Ellison
6 1984 Norcon II Auckland Sandi Hall, David Harvey
7 1986 Halleycon Dunedin Craig Harrison Frank Macskasy
8 1987 Windycon II '87 Wellington Joe Haldeman Alan Robson
9 1988 Confusion Christchurch Bjo Trimble, Margaret Mahy Lana Brown
10 1989 Satyricon Dunedin David Brin Alex Heatley
11 1990 ConVerge 2 Wellington Tracy Tormé, Richard Arnold James Benson
12 1991 ForryCon Wellington Forrest Ackerman Tim Jones
13 1992 ShakyCon Wellington Joe Haldeman Rex Thompson
14 1993 DefCon Wellington D. C. Fontana, Julian May, Larry Niven, Dennis Skotak, Gail Adams Mark Harris
15 1994 SiliCon Dunedin Barbara Hambly Tom Cardy
16 1995 Conquest Auckland Roger Zelazny, Vonda McIntyre, Richard Taylor, Jane Lindskold Keith Smith
17 1996 Constellation Christchurch Robert Sheckley, Wes Takahashi, Wayne Stables, Margaret Mahy, Ged Maybury James Dignan
18 1997 Conspiracy Wellington Danny John-Jules, Pat Cadigan, Chris Chitty Dan McCarthy
19 1998 Construction Wellington Neil Gaiman, Michael Hurst Norman Cates
20 1999 Conquest 2 Auckland Richard Hatch, Alan Dean Foster, John Howe Mike Hansen
21 2000 Con d'Or Wellington Tad Williams, Sean McMullen Maree Sole
22 2001 Odyssey Con Auckland Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, Lyn McConchie, Sean McMullen Brian Howell
23 2002 Con with the Wind Wellington Joe and Gay Haldeman, Dan Hennah, Lucy Sussex, Dale Elvy, Charles N. Brown, Stephen Dedman Yvonne Harrison, Alan Robson, Renaldo
24 2003 EmotiCon Auckland Lois McMaster Bujold, J. G. Hertzler Mary Maclachlan
25 2004 ConTour Rotorua Gregory Benford Ross Temple
26 2005 iCon Wellington Orson Scott Card Bill Geradts
27 2006 Conclave Auckland Steve Jackson, Joan Vinge, Jim Frenkel Kevin Maclean
28 2007 Conspiracy 2 Wellington Eric Flint, Dylan Horrocks, Marianne de Pierres, Isobelle Carmody, Fred Gallagher, Barbara Clendon
29 2008 Conjunction Wellington Elizabeth Moon, Kate Orman, Jon Blum, Philippa Ballantine, Andrew Ivamy
30 2009 Conscription Auckland Julie E. Czerneda, Nalini Singh, Russell Kirkpatrick Robbie Matthews
31 2010 Au Contraire Wellington Sean Williams, Elizabeth Knox Paul Mannering
32 2011 ConText Auckland Catherine Asaro Lynelle Howell
33 2012 UnCONventional Auckland Trudi Canavan Lorain Clark
34 2013 Au Contraire 2 Wellington Jennifer Fallon Anna Klein
35 2014 Conclave II Auckland Dave Freer Lyn McConchie Paul Scoones Paul Scoones was upgraded from Fan GoH to full GoH and was not replaced.
36 2015 Reconnaissance Rotorua Gail Carriger Philippa Ballantine Tee Morris Alan Parker & Norman Cates
37 2016 Au Contraire 3 Wellington Tba Tba

The issue of 1985[edit]

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, some convention bids were made only a year in advance. At Norcon II in 1984 there was no bid by any group to hold a national convention in 1985. One reason for this was an assumption that many New Zealanders would instead attend Aussiecon II, the 1985 Worldcon, in Melbourne, Australia. However, a group from Dunedin at Norcon II announced that it was willing to stage a national convention in 1986, and won the bid for that year's convention. It was then taken for granted that Halleycon in 1986 would be the next national convention - New Zealand's seventh.

A few months after Norcon II, a group of Auckland fans decided to stage Orcon at Easter in 1985 and in their publicity called it the seventh national convention. A few weeks prior to Easter 1985 the Halleycon committee contacted the Orcon committee and made it clear to them that they had no right to call it a national convention. The Orcon committee accepted this - however by that point the convention programme booklet had already been printed which stated it was the seventh national convention. All of Halleycon's progress reports and publicity stated that it was the seventh national convention, and numbering of national conventions has continued from this, with the 1987 convention being officially the eighth New Zealand national convention.

Other New Zealand science fiction conventions[edit]

There are occasionally other science fiction conventions held in New Zealand between national conventions. They were particularly common during the 1980s, when they were used by national convention organising committees for fundraising and as a means for testing their convention organisation. As such, they often took place in the same centres as the following year's national convention.

year name location guests of honour (GoH) fan guests of honour (FGoH)
1985 Dunnycon Dunedin
1985 Orcon Auckland
1985 Windycon I Wellington
1985? Microcon Dunedin
1986? Microcon II Dunedin
1986 Concerto Wellington?
1986 Norcon III Auckland
1987 Contiki Christchurch Michael Billington John Knight
1987 Decepticon Dunedin Tom Cardy
1987 Concordance Christchurch Bjo Trimble Evan McCarthy
1988 Confederation Christchurch Paul Darrow, Michael Keating, Janet Lees-Price
1988 Converge Wanganui David Gerrold, Brent Spiner - last minute cancellation
1989 Invercon Invercargill
1989 Conscience Auckland Phillip Mann
1989 Trakon Christchurch Jon Preddle, Paul Scoones
1990 Conterbury Christchurch Richard Scheib
1990 WhoCon Christchurch Jon Pertwee, Mark Strickson Dallas Jones, Paul Scoones
1990 Confederation II Christchurch Jacqueline Pearce Sheila Willis
1990 KiwiCon Auckland Harry Harrison
1990 Conflagration Auckland Mark Strickson, Phillip Mann, The Wizard of Christchurch
1991 AbbyCon Auckland Phillip Mann
1991 Relax-a-con Waitakere
1991 Fantasy V Christchurch
1992 Discontinuity Auckland Terry Pratchett Nicholas Smeaton, Maureen Thomas
1992 Conjecture Christchurch
1992 DayCon Wellington
1992 Doctorcon 1992 Wellington
1993 Cybercon 1993 Christchurch
1994 Ikon Christchurch Terry Pratchett
1994 Continuum Wellington Gary Russell
1995 Fantasy 5 Christchurch
2012 Octacon 30th anniversary reunion Dunedin Frank Macskasy


Other New Zealand events related to science fiction[edit]

The Armageddon Expo, an event held annually in several New Zealand cities, is a more commercially orientated event. It is mostly made up of Comic,Toy,Video game and DVD stalls, run by local businesses.

External links[edit]

  • [1] – New Zealand Science Fiction Index