WOOF is the Answer

By John Hertz: The torch of WOOF has passed to John Purcell of Texas.  He will be Official Editor of WOOF this year, his second time around; he previously served in 2013.

He is also this year’s TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) delegate.  Although he campaigned using images of Henry Purcell, which Gerard Manley Hopkins taught us to rhyme with reversal, Brother John is from a branch of the family whose name is pronounced “purr-SELL”.

WOOF, the World Order Of Faneditors, is an amateur publishing association (or “amateur press association”) whose contributions are collected, and whose distributions are issued, at and from (but not by or for) the World Science Fiction Convention.

The 2017 Worldcon will be August 9-13 at Helsinki, Finland.  Some Worldcons have nicknames, but this one, the 75th, is just called Worldcon 75.

An apa is an assemblage of amateurs’ publications.  You send copies of yours and get back a distribution containing yours and everybody else’s.

We borrowed the notion of apas from another hobby, amateur journalism.  What seems the first apa was theirs, founded 1876 (NAPA the National Amateur Press Ass’n), still ongoing.  The first in the SF community was FAPA the Fantasy Amateur Press Ass’n, founded 1937, also still ongoing.

Apas come and go on various continents, each apa with its own rules, customs, and jokes.  Most apas have been quarterly or monthly.  I’m in one that’s weekly.  WOOF is yearly.

The central receiver-sender of WOOF is the Official Editor.  The 2017 WOOF distribution will be WOOF 42.

This year’s copy count is 50, i.e. 50 copies required of each contribution.

WOOF is another invention of the late great Bruce Pelz.  As Suford Lewis said, he had a fruitful imagination.  Some say his epitaph, among us anyhow, should be Si monumentum requiris circumspice (Latin, “If you seek his monument, look around you.”

This year the OE must have your contribution by noon (local time) on Saturday, August 12th.  A Table of Contents will be made and collation will follow.

The Fanzine Lounge at this year’s Worldcon will be hosted by España Sheriff.  The OE plans to collate WOOF there.  He hopes to get a WOOF drop-off box placed there after the con opens on Wednesday.

If you do not expect to be present, please make your own arrangements.  Some long-time WOOFers have seldom been able to attend the con at all, instead sending contributions via friends, providing for return envelopes and postage as needed.

Usually WOOF distributions consist of contributions stapled together, and at least some copies of the distribution are sent by real-mail.  Please consider accordingly the media by which and onto which you publish your contribution.

Various apas have tales of fans’ sending strange paper or even slices of bologna.  Some practices are more honored in the breach than in the observance.

What to write about?  Well, cabbages, kings, why the sea is boiling hot (I think it’s the influence of the sun, myself), whether pigs have wings; rum-pots, crack-pots, and how are you, Mr. Wilson?

The OE this year may be able to print some contributions sent him by E-mail; ask him, askance73 [at] gmail [dot] com.  You’ll recognize the title of his fanzine Askance.  You may also write to him at 3744 Marielene Cir., College Station, TX 77845, U.S.A.  Despite the street where he lives, he is not very near Abilene, 260 miles away.  That may seem close if you are Jukka Halme.

College Station is so named on account of a railroad.  The Houston & Texas Central began building there in 1860.  The Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas opened in 1876 (there’s that year again), first public institution of higher education in the State, since 1963 Texas A&M University.

You may also write to or call me, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA 90057, U.S.A., (213)384-6622 (Pacific Daylight Time).

We might sing (with apologies to Betty Comden, Adolph Green & Jule Stein, 1960) WOOF is the answer; some OE for WOOF is the answer: once you’ve found him, build your zine around him; make our OE happy, make just one OE happy, and you will be happy too.

3 thoughts on “WOOF is the Answer

  1. Thank you for the write-up, John. This is greatly appreciated.

    An addendum to the above is that I would appreciate receiving e-mailed contributions as either Word or PDF documents by the week before the WorldCon starts (making the contribution deadline August 2nd) to allow for getting any printing done in time for performing collatio on Saturday, August 12th in the Fanzine Lounge at WorldCon 75.

    There will be more information forthcoming in the next issue of Askew, due out in the first week of June, with any changes in copy-count requirements or any other changes that contributors will need to know. That issue will be available on http://www.efanzines.com in addition to paper copies being mailed out as usual.

    Stay tuned, folks!

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the first WOOF assemblage was at the 1978 Worldcon, so next year will be the 30th anniversary. (Not so sure — my fanzine writing and pubbbing dropped back a lot after the 70’s — if there’s been a WOOF for every subsequent Worldcon, or if a few might have been skipped.)

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