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Sir Julius Vogel Award Results - 2015

The list of nominations on the ballot can be found here

Professional Award Nominees

Best Novel Engines of Empathy
Paul Mannering
Paper Road Press


Best Youth Novel

The Caller: Shadowfell
Juliet Marillier
Pan Macmillan


Best Novella Peach and Araxi
Celine Murray
Published in Conclave: A Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Leapy Sheep


Best Short Story

"Inside Ferndale"
Lee Murray
SQ Mag, Issue 12, January 2014


Best Collected Work Lost In The Museum
Phoenix Writers Group

In our press material we incorrectly stated that Lost in the Museum,
created by the Phoenix Writers Group, was published by Makaro Press. This
was incorrect. We regret the error.


Best Professional Artwork

Cover for Lost In The Museum
Geoff Popham


Best Professional Production/Publication Weta Digital: 20 Years of Imagination On Screen
Clare Burgess with Brian Sibley
with the support of Weta Digital


   Best Dramatic Presentation

What We Do In The Shadows
Directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
Produced by Chelsea Winstanley and Taika Waititi
(c) Shadow Pictures 2014



Fan Award Nominees

Best Fan Production / Publication Phoenixine
John & Lynelle Howell


Best Fan Artwork Keith Smith — for contributions in Novazine


Best Fan Writing


Rebecca Fisher

Here is a link to her reviews on Helen Lowe's blog

She also reviews here on a regular basis
Her profile is here

She has her own blog here


   Best New Talent


A.J. Fitzwater

A.J. Fitzwater is a Christchurch based writer whose short fiction has been widely published, including in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres Magazine, and Wily Writers. Her acceptance into the Clarion workshop this year indicates both the quality of her writing and potential, and also her dedication to her career. She is a writer who continually pushes herself with new ideas, challenging techniques, and including characters from traditionally under-represented groups. Her writing draws on both her own experience and location, and a diverse range of literary influences, particularly speculative fiction written by women, and she is skillful in both acknowledging these but also using them as a jumping off point for genuinely original work.

Three stories have appeared in SFWA listed professional venues:
Blood, Stone, Water in Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Reprinted in Lethe Press: "Heiresses of Russ 2014: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction"
Second Skin in Crossed Genres Magazine
The Mary-Jane Effect in Wily Writers


Services To Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Hugh Cook

We are writing to nominate New Zealand Fantasy author Hugh Cook (1956-2008) for a Julius Vogel Award, in the Special Awards Category of Services to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. We have made this nomination in the past, and hope it is acceptable to do so again.

Hugh Cook was one of New Zealand's most successful yet least recognised authors, publishing seventeen books in 25 years, from Plague Summer in 1980 to Cancer Patient in 2005.

Hugh's epic 10-Volume saga The Chronicles of an Age of Darkness sold over 450,000 copies, including 160,000 copies of the first in the series, The Wizards and the Warriors. This achievement alone is worthy of recognition, but Hugh did not stop writing when the Chronicles came to an end.

Cook went on to champion many forms of electronic publishing and was an early adopter of Print-On-Demand technology and free PDF releases as a means of growing his audience. He was well ahead of the curve on many new technologies well before the mainstream even knew they existed. He was possibly one of the first authors in the world to write and publish a blog, building each page in code, long before the ease of Wordpress or Blogger.

Cook's work was often brutal and always challenging, at turns elegiac and tortured. China Mieville describes Hugh Cook as "one of the most inventive, witty, unflinching, serious, humane and criminally underrated writers in imaginative fiction. Or anywhere.”

Cook was one of New Zealand's most prolific and successful writers of Science Fiction/Fantasy, but that is not the only reason that he is deserving of this award. His success as a Kiwi writer in the mainstream market has inspired many New Zealand writers of SFF to embrace the genre where they otherwise may have been convinced that the road to publication was too hard. Julius Vogel Award-winning author Phillipa Ballantine is among them:

'I grew up with a dream of being a writer, but being from New Zealand as well I always assumed that I could never write in the genre I loved: science fiction and fantasy. I remember finding Hugh Cook among the books my Dad was reading, and loving the worlds he so effortlessly carried me away to. And then I found out that he was from New Zealand too. From that moment on I knew my dream was possible. For both his talent and being a trailblazer I'll always be grateful to Hugh Cook."

Phillipa has gone on to publish many successful fantasy works, a testament to Cook's inspiration and his real impact on a whole new generation of New Zealand Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers.

Cook also celebrated New Zealand and its lore in his work. His prose drew heavily on the landscape, places and mythology of Aotearoa, from the legendary Taniwha of Quilth, to the Ngati Moana, to a prison called Maremoremo. Our native flora and fauna often made cameo appearances in wild locales, including weka, kauri and rimu, to name but a few – all of this well over a decade before Peter Jackson delivered our country up to the world as Middle Earth. Cook refused to suffer from cultural cringe; he embraced our country’s uniqueness and used it to flavour his own inimitable world and style, however far removed his worlds may have been from our own.

Cook was always ready to engage with his fanbase, and treated those who contacted him with respect and candour. He was truly a gentleman and a scholar.

Hugh Cook was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2005. He was treated and the disease went into remission, during which time he wrote a memoir entitled Cancer Patient, which is available as a free ebook. He was on the road to recovery when the cancer returned. He passed away peacefully in November 2008, and is survived by his wife and daughter, who live in Auckland.

Ultimately, Cook was both Wordsmith and Warrior. Poems, stories and characters were his tools and his weapons. He wrote with a passion, producing fiction at a prolific rate, and the English language would be greatly enriched if all the words and terms he had coined in his oeuvre were to be introduced into common parlance. He fought to find new ways forward in the publishing world, exploiting technologies that are only now starting to establish their true place in the electronic market. He maintained his integrity as an author to the very end, determined to always share the stories he had to tell, and not those that others wanted him to tell. At the end, he fought an unseen enemy – fought it and beat it, if only for a short time. Even in this he had a story to tell, and while the telling of that story may not have been able to completely defeat his insidious foe, it may yet bring comfort to others who face those same demons at some stage.

To quote Mieville again, “To honour the memory of this wonderful and generous-spirited writer and man, those - too bloody few - of us who know his work should do all we can to bring it to the world's attention.”

An article about Hugh Cook written by Dan Rabarts was published by World SF News Blog, and covers his life and work in more detail. It can be found here. Also, his obituary, published in the New Zealand Herald, can be found here.

Hugh Walter Gilbert Cook (1956-2008): Wordsmith; Warrior; New Zealander.



The Sir Julius Vogel Awards recognise excellence in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror By New Zealanders.

The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are given for work by fans and professionals that was undertaken, completed or released in the year prior to voting. This year the works being voted on are from 2014. They are voted on By New Zealand fans and are presented at the National Science Fiction convention each year.

The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are administered By SFFANZ, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand.

This year the National Science Fiction Convention was Reconnaissance taking place 3rd to 6th April 2015 in Rotorua.

Reconnaissance can be contacted at

SFFANZ supports Science Fiction and Fantasy in New Zealand and can be contacted at or


SFFANZ is a non-profit organisation and registered charity
designed to bring together fans of the fantastic in New Zealand

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