Mervyn R Binns 1934-2020

From Bruce Gillespie

Helena Binns has just phoned Elaine and me to say that her husband Mervyn R. Binns, best known to everybody as Merv Binns, died yesterday, 7 April 2020, at the Kingston Centre, Monash Health, Melbourne. Born 8 July 1934, he was 85 years old. Merv had suffered serious heart problems during the last two decades. He was admitted to hospital about a month ago, then suffered a seizure on 2 April. He has been slowly slipping away since then.

Because of the coronavirus shutdown in Australia, his funeral can only be attended by a very small number of people, so Helena will arrange a gathering in celebration of his life and work as soon as feasible.

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Aurealis Awards 2019 Shortlist

From Tehani:

We all need a bit of joy in our lives right now, so it is with great pleasure we present the Aurealis Awards finalists for 2019. Congratulations to all the finalists, and a huge thanks to our panelists who have persevered through fire, flood and plague to deliver these shortlists, which contain a glorious diversity of work for your delectation. It’s a really important time to support your local creators, so if you are able, go hunt down some great reads today!

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Continuum 16: All Possible Futures – POSTPONED

A message from the organisers of Continuum 16:

Friends, Romulans, Countrypeople, I think you know what this is about.

With our current new COVID-19 reality, it has become increasingly obvious that it is not only impossible but irresponsible to go forward with Continuum 16 in 2020. Therefore, the Continuum 16 Committee has come to the decision to postpone Continuum 16: All Possible Futures to a future date in 2021.

Our intention is to retain our lovely Guests of Honour — Zen Cho, Glenda Larke, and Marlee Jane Ward — for the rescheduled con, and use this extra unexpected downtime to come up with some shiny plans for virtual gatherings and online workshops. Meanwhile, you can keep up with Zen on Twitter and Patreon, Glenda on Twitter, and Marlee on Twitter and Patreon. Consider supporting their Patreons, or purchasing their books if you can, because we love them.

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Worldcon Goes 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 recently.

“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.

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FFANZ 2020 Race Nominations Open

Via Edwina Harvey:

FFANZ RACE 2020

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Fan Fund of Australia and New Zealand (FFANZ).

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 2020 FFANZ will send an Australian science fiction fan to the 2020 World Science Fiction Convention, CoNZealand, being held July 29-August 2 in Wellington, NZ.

Prospective candidates have until 25th March, 2020 to file the documents required to nominate to run for the FFANZ ballot. Voting will run from 27 March, 2020 to 27 April, 2020.

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Swancon 2020 Cancelled

March 10 2020

A report from the Swancon committee:

In light of information from the Department of Health, the Western Australian Department of Health, and the advice of medical professionals in our community such as Dr Karen McKenna, the Convention Committee, Convention Steering Committee and WASFF Board have voted to cancel Swancon 2020.

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Nebula Finalists Announced

2019 Nebula Award Finalists

February 20, 2020

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) announced the finalists for the 55th Annual Nebula Awards, including the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. The awards will be presented in Woodland Hills, CA at the Warner Center Marriott during a ceremony on the evening of May 30th.

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NAFF Nominations Open

The National Australian Fan Fund (NAFF) assists fans to travel across Australia to attend the Australian National Convention (Natcon) by covering the costs of airfare, accommodation and convention membership. Swancon 2020: Dark Visions (Natcon 59) is the 2020 Natcon! Do you have a friend in the Eastern States who would be a great convention attendee?

Nominations are being collected by Stephen Dedman (WA) at <naff2020@gmail.com>. Nominations are open now until February 13th. Voting will open on February 14th and conclude at midnight (AWST) March 16th, 2020. It is expected that the winner will produce a report of their trip, engage in fundraising to support future NAFF races, and to help administer the NAFF race for the following two years.

All Australian fans are eligible to vote. The voting process contributes to the fundraising so each vote costs $5. (You are more than welcome to donate more than this amount!)

From Swancon “Dark Visions”

Ditmar Nominations Open

Nominations for the 2020 Australian SF (“Ditmar”) awards are now open and will remain open until one minute before midnight Perth time on Sunday, 1st of March, 2020 (ie. 11.59pm, GMT+8). Postal nominations must be postmarked no later than Friday, 28th of February, 2020.

The current rules, including Award categories can be found at: <https://wiki.sf.org.au/Ditmar_rules>

You must include your name with any nomination. Nominations will be accepted only from natural persons active in fandom, or from full or supporting members of Swancon 2020, the 2020 Australian National SF Convention <https://www.swancon.com.au/>.

Where a nominator may not be known to the Ditmar subcommittee, the nominator should provide the name of someone known to
the subcommittee who can vouch for the nominator’s eligibility. Convention attendance or membership of an SF club are among the criteria which qualify a person as “active in fandom”, but are not the only qualifying criteria. If in doubt, nominate and mention your qualifying criteria. If you received this email directly, you almost certainly qualify.

You may nominate as many times in as many Award categories as you like, although you may only nominate a particular person, work or achievement once. The Ditmar subcommittee, which is organised under the auspices the Standing Committee of the Natcon Business Meeting, will rule on situations where eligibility is unclear. A partial and unofficial eligibility list, to which everyone is encouraged to add, can be found here:

<https://wiki.sf.org.au/2020_Ditmar_eligibility_list>

While online nominations are preferred, nominations can be made in a number of ways:

1. online, via this form: <https://ditmars.sf.org.au/2020/nominations.html>

2. via email to <ditmars@sf.org.au>; or

3. by post to:

Ditmars
PO Box 338
Bull Creek
Western Australia 6149

AHWA Shadows Awards Submissions Open

The Australian Shadows Awards, awarded by the Australasian Horror Writers Association, are now open to submissions until March 31 2020.

Open to authors from Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, works can be submitted to: <australianshadowsawards@gmail.com>

Further details on the awards entry rules, categories, and eligibility can be found here: <https://australasianhorror.com/australian-shadows-awards/award-entry-rules/>

News from:
Greg Chapman and Lynette Watters
Australian Shadows Awards Coordinators