Corflu, It Just Sounds Like a Disease

By Milt Stevens: Approximately 40 people attended Corflu 34 at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California on April 28-30, 2017. Corflu is a convention for people who publish or used to publish fanzines on paper. Yes, paper. If you want to read more about these atavistic characters, you can go to eFanzines.com.

This is the end of the convention.

The banquet. Since most cons no longer have banquets, Corflus have them. The Corflu banquet is in the form of a Sunday brunch, and it includes such traditional items as awards, the guest of honor speech, and other business. The results of the Faan Awards have already been announced.

As you might expect, Corflus don’t handle guest of honorship the way other cons do. We feel we are all worthy of honor, so the name of the goh is picked out of a hat during opening ceremony. The goh is then obligated to give a speech at the banquet. If you really, really don’t want to be goh, you can give the chairman of the con a $20 bribe to have your name removed from the hat. Last year at Chiflu, the chairman , Nigel Rowe, forgot to give himself a bribe and ended up as goh. This year’s guest of honor was Randy Byers who gave a quite well-received talk.

One of the usual items of business at Corflu is the election of the past president of Fan Writers of America (FWA). Fan Writers of America is an organization for people who are doing fan writing, or have done fan writing, or have at least thought about doing fan writing. You might wonder why we would be electing a past president rather than a current president. Well, we’re the sort who don’t like being told what to do, so we never elect a current president to tell us what to do. The past president for 2016 is Pete Young from Thailand.

Another item of business is the choice of a site for next year’s Corflu. The choice for 2018 is Toronto, Canada. In case current international stresses increase, the Toronto Committee will make arrangements to have American fans smuggled across the Canadian border in truckloads of melons.

This is the beginning of the convention.

I thought we might start the convention with opening ceremonies, but Marty Cantor said such things just weren’t done. “Whyzat?” I asked. Marty intoned “TRADITION!!!” and did a funny little dance. It’s hard to argue with a proposition like that.

So we began the con with a panel, “Remembrance of Corflus Past” with Andy Hooper, Jerry Kaufman, and Ted White. Sometimes we get a little bit confused about past, present and future. However, when we can figure out which one is the past we love to reminisce about it. Many and noisy are the sagas of Corflus past. Names like Corflu Chromium and Corflu Titanium make the blood of all trufen run sideways. Names like E Corflu Virus and Chiflu give most fans a rash.

Not long before the end of the convention.

Andy Hooper designed a diabolical trivia contest. There were two teams in the contest, the Slan Boys (Rich Coad, Jerry Kaufman, and myself), and The Winning Team (Sandra Bond, Ted White, and a third person who was a bit too far away for me to recognize.) It’s obviously hubris to name your team The Winning Team, and you know how the gods are about hubris. Of course, they lost. Also, our wildass guesses proved to be luckier than their wildass guesses.

The audience was quite amused by the totally obscure questions and the expressions of indescribable horror they produced on the faces of the panelists.

As an example of an obscure question, “In the softball game at the 1939 Worldcon, what position did Art Widner play?” Of course, we knew who Art Widner was, but fans don’t pay attention to sports. While nobody got the correct answer, Art Widner played catcher in that game.

As an example of a medium grade question, “Of the following articles, which one wasn’t written by Charles Burbee?”

(A) Al Ashley, Successful Novelist
(B) Al Ashley, Indefatigable Gardener
(C) Al Ashley, Elfin Edison
(D) Al Ashley, Galactic Observer

I knew that Al Ashley, Elfin Edison, and Al Ashley, Galactic Observer had been reprinted in A Sense of FAPA and were by Charles Burbee. That gave me a fifty-fifty chance on the other two.

Somewhat after the beginning.

Panel: “Fandom and Us” with Rob Jackson, Karl Lembke, and myself. Are we even in fandom anymore? Does it matter? What the heck is fandom? As a reactionary, I think fandom should be about reading and stuff. It’s the “and stuff” that causes the problem.

Somewhere in the middle.

I think it was nighttime. I could tell because it was dark outside. We were in the con suite. As always, Karl Lembke did a great job with the con suite. After the con, prominent Toronto fan Murray Moore reviewed the con as “The program was good, the cookies were great.” Somebody or possibly several somebodies had donated a case of various wines to the con suite. This was in addition to the homebrew and exotic beers. As the bottles became either half empty or half full, the attendees became either half sober or half inebriated. Funny how things work out that way.

Spike mentioned she was organizing the program for the next World Fantasy Convention. WFC only has two tracks of programming which is a lot more sensible than most cons. Since I’ve organized a few con programs in times past, we talked about doing programs for awhile.

Bill Burns asked me what I thought about Mr. X. I’m not quite sure what I think about Mr. X. I’m one of the few people who regularly writes letters to his fanzine, but I don’t really know anything about him.

I told Michael Dowd I thought he was the most atypical fanzine I had ever encountered. Issues of his fanzine Random Jottings are about the same size as issues of Analog. He has had one issue devoted to Watergate and another devoted to the Samaritans. Several people told me I had a letter of comment in the current issue which Michael was distributing at Corflu. That isn’t really surprising, since I think I write letters to most issues of most fanzines.

After the middle but before the end.

Auctions at Corflus are lively affairs. This year’s auction was heavy on fanzines from the Los Angeles area such as VoM and Shaggy from the forties. The most expensive single item was a hardback anthology The Best From Xero which included material from Dick and Pat Lupoff’s fanzine which sold for $55. Graham Charnock was making bids in the auction while still being in England. Graham was doing it through a laptop carried by Rob Jackson. At Graham’s requests, Rob would move the laptop around so Graham could get a better look at what he of bidding on. At the beginning of this, I described the attendance as “Approximately 40.” Graham was part of the “Approximately.” How should you count someone who is participating in the con from thousands of miles away.

After the beginning but before the middle.

Strawberries. Lots and lots of strawberries. We didn’t pick-up enough room nights, so we had to buy more stuff from the hotel to make up the difference. This took the form of strawberries and chocolate. The chocolate included brownies, and cookies, and candy. With a maximum effort from the entire membership, we were able to consume all of it burp

Probably sometime but maybe not around here.

Panel: “Beyond Numbered Fandoms” with Greg Benford, Sandra Bond, Mike Glyer, and Ted White. The idea of numbered fandoms is based on Arnold Toynbee’s conception of history in his book A Study of History. Toynbee thought a civilization was defined by the universal state and the universal church. With numbered fandoms, the universal state and the universal church are replaced with the Focal Point Fanzine. With the decline of each Focal Point Fanzine, an interregnum begins and fans retreat into the apas (amateur press associations). This model also includes a few barbarian invasions. Strangely enough, this model seemed to work for quite awhile. Then Harlan Ellison proclaimed false seventh fandon, and all fandom was engulfed in guacamole.

Efforts were made to salvage the numbered fandoms model, but they never really worked. There was muttering about a model based on dialectical fanac, but that gave everybody stomach cramps. Some suggested fan history might even be influenced by things outside of fandom such as WWII and the introduction of the hula hoop. Others suggested we might be living in a post modernist fandom where the center was marginalized, the margins were central, and rationalism was the bogey of small minds. Stay tuned for further developments.

2017 FAAn Awards

The winners of the 2017 FAAn Awards were announced April 30 at Corflu 34 in Los Angeles.

FAN ARTIST

  • Steve Stiles

FANZINE COVER

  • BEAM 10 by Harry Bell

GENZINE

  • Banana Wings

LETTERHACK

  • Paul Skelton

PERZINE

  • The White Notebooks

SPECIAL ISSUE

  • THEN

FAN WRITER

  • Andy Hooper

FAN WEBSITE

  • eFanzines.com

NOTES

The Number One Fan Face category was not awarded this year.

Pete Young was selected Past President of fwa.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was not presented in 2017, but will resume next year.

Corflu 35 (2018) will he held in Toronto, Canada, hosted by Catherine Crockett and Colin Hinz in early May 2018. Hotel and specific date to be announced.

2017 FAAn Awards Voting Opens

The ballot for the 2017 FAAn Awards is now available (PDF file). Anyone interested may vote. Instructions are included with the ballot. The voting deadline is midnight (EST) April 11.

The shortlist was compiled from recommendations by the 41 fans who voted last year plus last year’s administrator. Every category also has a slot for a write-in.

The winners will be announced at the 2017 Corflu convention in Los Angeles.

FAN ARTIST

Fan Art is presented in a fannish context, in fanzines and other forms of publication created by science fiction fans, in any media.

  • Brad Foster
  • Dan Steffan
  • Steve Stiles
  • Taral
  • [Other]

FANZINE COVER

Fanzine Cover includes both front covers and back covers.

(See http://efanzines.com/covers2016.htm for more examples. Any fanzine cover, including ones not shown there, is also eligible).

GENZINE

(General Interest Fanzine). A Genzine is a fanzine which normally contains a significant amount of material by authors other than the editor(s).

  • Banana Wings
  • Fugghead
  • SF Commentary
  • Trap Door
  • [Other]

LETTERHACK

(Letters of Comment) The Best Letterhack award is also known as the Harry Warner Jr. Memorial Award for best fanzine correspondent. Vote for one of:

  • Steve Jeffery
  • Robert Lichtman
  • Paul Skelton
  • [Other]

PERZINE

(Personal Fanzine). A Personal Fanzine has only one editor who produces all, or nearly all, of the content.

  • Broken Toys
  • FLAG
  • Vibrator
  • The White Notebooks
  • [Other]

SPECIAL ISSUE

Special Issue can be a standalone publication or an issue of a continuing fanzine.

  • THEN
  • Xenotect
  • [Other]

FAN WRITER

Fan Writing is presented in any fannish context, e.g. fanzines, apas, fannish blogs, fan websites, and social media.

  • Andy Hooper
  • Mark Plummer
  • Dan Steffan
  • Taral
  • [Other]

FAN WEBSITE

  • news.ansible.uk/
  • eFanzines.com
  • Fanac.org
  • File770.com
  • [Other]

Corflu 34 Rates Rise January 1

Corflu, the convention for fanzine fans, will be held at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills (a Los Angeles neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley), California, on April 28-30, 2017.

The rate for Attending Membership in Corflu 34 goes up on January 1. The news release doesn’t say what it will rise to, you’re supposed to take the hint and join today so you never need to hear that stunning number.

The current rate for an Attending membership is $95(US) and £65(UK).

The new rate for an Attending membership will be $115(US) and £90(UK). Supporting memberships will remain the same, $25(US)and £15(UK).

The Conversion rate before January 1 for those currently holding Supporting memberships is $70(US) and £50(UK). The Conversion rate will be higher after January 1.

The Room Rate is $135.00 plus tax and Parking is $15 (with in and out privileges). For Hotel Reservations go to: http://uhb.pt.sl.pt (Institute for Specialized Literature: Corflu 34).

Further information can be found at the Corflu website. Progress Report Zero and Progress Report One can be found there.

Membership checks should be made payable to ISL in North America and Rob Jackson in Britain.

U.S. Postal address for memberships: Corflu 34, Elayne Pelz, 15931 Kalisher Street, Granada Hills, CA 91244 USA. Membership inquiries: elaynepelz AT Verizon DOT com (please format appropriately).

UK Agent Postal address for memberships: Rob Jackson, Chinthay, Nightingale Lane, Hambrook, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 8UH, UK.

PayPal may also be used for memberships; please select the “Friends or Family” option to ensure that the full amount transfers to Corflu. North America PayPal: ISL@maileater.net. UK PayPal: jacksonhambrook@uwclub.net (Please add “for Corflu 34”)

[Thanks to Marty Cantor for the story.]

Joyce Katz (1939-2016)

Joyce [Worley Fisher] Katz died July 30, succumbing to an array of serious medical problems that followed a stroke in May. She’s survived by her husband of 45 years, Arnie Katz.

She spent the past 25 years, after she and Arnie moved to Las Vegas, helping organize and host fan groups and conventions.

They published numerous fanzines, and participated in Corflu, an annual con for fanzine fans. Joyce chaired Corflu 29 and was on the committee for Corflu 25, as well as several local conventions, Silvercon 1-4.

Joyce was named “past president of fwa (fan writers of america)” for 2003 at the 2004 Corflu, an affectionate honorific. Her fan memoirs were published in Hard Science Tales, and her fanwriting was collected in The Sweetheart of Fanac Falls.

Joyce was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri (according to Arnie, also the birthplace of Claude Degler). She discovered sf after marrying Ray Fisher in 1956. Fisher had been active as a fanzine publisher but became alienated from the scene and, as a result, it was not until the mid-1960s that Joyce connected with other fans. Once having done so they immediately co-founded the Ozark Science Fiction Association.

She worked on five Ozarkons. Ray Fisher resumed publishing Odd, which was nominated for a Hugo in 1968. And with plenty of prodding from New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis fandoms, Joyce found herself spearheading a St. Louis Worldcon bid after only three years as an actifan.

She and Ray split up the year after they co-chaired St. Louiscon. Joyce moved to New York. In 1971 she and Arnie married. She was a member of New York’s two faannish groups, the Fanoclasts and the Brooklyn Insurgents.

After moving to Las Vegas in 1989, Joyce and Arnie eventually resumed fan activity, helped found two fan groups — the Southern Nevada Area Fantasy Fiction Union (SNAFFU) and the Vegrants – and once again became prolific fanzine publishers. Joyce and Arnie were Fan GoH’s at the 1996 Westercon in El Paso.

[Thanks to Deb Geisler for the story.]

2017 Corflu Online Registration

Fanzine fans convention Corflu 34 will be held April 29-30, 2017 in the Los Angeles area at the Warner Center Marriott.

Attending memberships are $95 (US), £65 (UK) and include the Sunday brunch banquet. Supporting memberships are: $25 (US), £15 (UK).

Instructions for purchasing memberships using PayPal, or by mail in the US, or through UK agent Rob Jackson, are here.

Progress Report Zero can be downloaded here.

Marty Cantor is Chairman. Milt Stevens will organize programming. Elayne Pelz is Treasurer, Membership, and Hotel Liaison.

The FAAn Awards in 2017 will be managed by Murray Moore.

[Thanks to Marty Cantor for the story.]

2017 Corflu Site Chosen

Corflu 34 will be hosted in the Los Angeles area in 2017. The bid was accepted today at Corflu 33 in Chicago.

Marty Cantor is Chairman, Milt Stevens will organize programming, Elayne Pelz is Treasurer, Membership, and Hotel Liaison, and Rob Jackson is the UK representative.

The con will be held April 29-30, 2017 at the Warner Center Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills.

[Thanks to Marty Cantor for the story.]

2016 FAAn Awards

The winners of the 2016 Fan Activity Achievement (FAAn) awards were announced today at Corflu 33 (Chiflu) in Chicago.

The FAAn awards are presented annually to honour the best in fan writing, drawing, publishing and posting, and are voted on by fanzine fans around the world.

The voting statistics have been posted here [PDF file].

More information about this and previous years’ awards, including a full breakdown of the 2016 results, will be available on the Corflu website here.

FAAn AWARD WINNERS

Best Genzine of 2015 (tie)

Best Personal Zine of 2015

Best Special Publication of 2015

  • The MOTA Reader, edited by Dan Steffan

Best Fan Website of 2015

Best Fan Writer of 2015

  • Roy Kettle

Best Fan Artist of 2015

Best Letterhack of 2015 (The Harry Warner, Jr. Memorial Award for Best Fan Correspondent)

  • Paul Skelton

Best Fanzine Cover of 2015

Number One Fan Face of 2015
(not voted, but totalled from the other eight categories)

  • Dan Steffan

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented at Corflu since 2010, to honor a living fan for their fan activity over a long career in fandom. It is not a FAAn award; in most years winners have been selected from nominations by a small committee, usually (as this year) including recent Corflu chairs and the FAAn Awards administrator. Previous winners are listed alongside the FAAn awards on the awards history page [link: http://corflu.org/history/faan.html ]

[Thanks to Claire Brialey for the story.]

FAAn Awards Voting Deadline April 23

The Fan Activity Achievement (FAAn) awards voting will remain open until April 23. The award honors the best in fan writing, drawing, publishing and posting. The awards will be presented at Corflu 33 on May 15.

Claire Brialey, the award administrator, encourages fans to get involved:

Anyone interested in science fiction fanzines is eligible to vote on the FAAn awards; please do take part if you’d like to recognize and celebrate what you’ve enjoyed about fanzines in the past year. The awards are voted on by fanzine fans around the world and the results are now usually announced at Corflu – but you don’t need to be a member of this year’s, or any other, Corflu in order to vote.

The FAAn Award categories are Genzine, Personalzine, Special Publication, Fan Website, Fan Writer, Fan Artist, Letterhack, and Fanzine Cover.

More information about this and previous year’s awards, together with a downloadable ballot form with voting instructions, can be found on the Corflu 33 website.

Bill Burns is hosting a display of covers from 2015 fan publications at eFanzines.

There will be further reminders, but don’t let that stop you voting relatively early. If you vote often, only the last ballot received before the deadline will count.

Corflu Chiflu in 2016

CORFLU_CHIFLU_LOGORegistration and hotel information has been posted for Corflu Chiflu, the 33rd edition of the fanzine fans’ convention, to be held in Chicago from May 13-15, 2016.

Fans will gather at the Club Quarters in downtown Chicago. The convention rate is good until April 1.

Attending memberships are available for $75 through the end of 2015. Payment will be accepted by check or Paypal. Supporting memberships can be bought for $25. See the website for payment details and overseas agent options.

[Thanks to Nigel Rowe for the story.]