No TAFF Race For 2021

Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund administrators Johan Anglemark, Geri Sullivan and Mike Lowrey say “After much thought and consideration, [we] have come to the conclusion that we need to postpone the 2021 TAFF race due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The TAFF race for 2021 was intended to go East to West, from Europe to DisCon III. They will now wait until 2022, and instead have a race from Europe to Chicon 8, the 80th Worldcon.

The administrators explained the reasoning behind the delay:

The general expectation of expert epidemiologists is that the pandemic will continue to rage well into 2021. For example, the British government has announced that they expect severe restrictions, including the bans on public events, to be in place for another half year. We think that DisCon III likely will be one of the first large conventions after the pandemic has been successfully beaten back or we have learnt how to live with it. Our concern is with having a TAFF race in the midst of the pandemic, without any physical conventions to attend. It would be much more difficult to enthuse people and get them to vote and to donate.

Postponing the race reduces the uncertainty for the eventual westbound TAFF delegate, and it greatly increases the probability that Michael Lowrey — this year’s TAFF winner — will get to take his postponed trip first.

“We don’t want to increase the inventory of TAFF delegates waiting to travel,” say the administrators. “And it’s not just TAFF and Mike Lowrey. Fandom has two more fan fund delegates waiting to take their trips: Alison Scott (GUFF) and Erin Underwood (DUFF). We think there will be a lot more excitement for another race once we start having in-person conventions again.”

[Based on a press release.]

2020 GUFF Race Decided

The winner of the GUFF 2020 race is Alison Scott of the UK.

GUFF, the Get Up-and-over Fan Fund or the Going Under Fan Fund, depending on which direction it’s running, exists to provide funds to enable well-known fans from Australasia and Europe to visit each other’s national (or other) conventions and get to know each other’s fandoms better.

Marcin “Alqua” Klak, European GUFF Administrator, writes:

Considering the current global situation and in consultation with the GUFF candidates and CoNZealand the GUFF delegate will participate remotely in CoNZealand (29th July – 2nd August). Once it is possible and safe to travel again the GUFF trip will be organized.

And he adds, “The current GUFF administrators would like to thank the other candidates and all those who voted in the race. We would also like to thank Claire Brialey who helped us with many things.”

There were 102 valid votes received. Also, 5 invalid votes were received (these were missing the voting contribution, additionally one voter claimed he didn’t vote.) Two fans provided the contribution but not the vote.

As one candidate withdrew from the race because of the current global situation ballots cast for them were allocated to the second preference. (Klak did not name that candidate in the press release.)

The other candidates were Cora Buhlert (Germany); Hisham El-Far and Lee Fletcher (UK); Hanna Hakkarainen (Finland); Elizabeth Jones and Claire Rousseau (UK); and Dave Lally (UK).

The votes were not tabulated in the initial press release [see update], but some other statistics were released.

There were voters from 12 countries: Australia – 17; Belgium – 1; Finland – 7; Germany – 2; Greece – 1; Ireland – 3; Netherlands – 2; New Zealand – 2; Spain – 1; Sweden – 6; UK – 48; USA – 12.

The total contributions (before PayPal claiming their fees) were: 210 AUD;  310 EUR; 558.95 GBP;  82.32 NZD.

Update 04/18/2020: The administrators have released the ballot count:

Erin Underwood Wins DUFF

Erin Underwood has won the 2020 Down Under Fan Fund and will become its new North American Administrator.

DUFF co-administrator Paul Weimer reports 60 ballots were cast. One of the ballots did not contain any voting information and the donation was just counted as a donation to the fund. Erin won an outright majority on the first round, with 37 first place votes.

However, with ConZealand being a virtual Worldcon this year and Corvid-19, Erin will not be traveling to New Zealand this year, but hopes to travel to Australasia in the DUFF tradition in 2021, health and world events permitting.

Shredded Orange TAFFeta: A Journal of the Plague Year

By Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowrey: As the 2020 TAFF delegate, I was booked to begin next week with Fantastika 2020, the Swecon (Swedish national SF/F convention), then going on to Turku and Helsinki in Finland; Warsaw, Katowice and Krakow in Poland, and Madrid and Barcelona, before carrying on to London, parts unknown in the UK, and eventually Birmingham for Eastercon (the British national con). Less than 24 hours ago, I posted a defiant determination to be fandom’s delegate across the Great Water.

Now Fantastika has been cancelled/postponed, and Eastercon may follow. All the meetings and stayovers and gatherings in between? They may be banned, or fans may simply consider it prudent to avoid such assemblies for now.  

I am sorry if anybody perceived my previous attitude as one of irresponsibility; I thought of it rather as steadfast determination to fulfill the obligation I had undertaken to serve as fandom’s ambassador. I had all these invites from eager fans (they FELT like they were younger and more enthusiastic than the Old Fans and Tired I usually hang with) in places like Helsinki and Katowice and Barcelona, boldly seizing a chance to connect with the broader fannish world. I was looking forward to crashing on sofas in Krakow and Madrid and Turku. And now….

My heart is breaking as I face the probability that all this planning, all this enthusiasm, will prove to have been for naught. I am hoping that something can be salvaged from the wreckage, and in the meantime I thank all of fandom for their input, even those who criticized me most harshly.

Jeanne Gomoll Publishes Her TAFF Report

Jeanne Gomoll has released her TAFForensic Report: A cold-case investigation – about her journey to the UK as a TAFF delegate over three decades ago.

She told Facebook readers today:

As winner of the 1987 Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) Race, I traveled for 3 weeks in England, Scotland and Ireland, visiting with UK science fiction fans and attending the 45th world science fiction convention, Conspiracy 87, in Brighton. This is my much-belated trip report — written and published 33 years after I returned home, reconstructed from audio tapes and photographs. Highlights include tales of my convention experiences, visits with Chuck Harris, Vincent Clarke, Walt Willis, James White, David Langford and Greg and Linda Pickersgill.

The report can be ordered through Lulu. Page count: 96 pages. All proceeds of this publication will be donated to TAFF

  • Printed version (with B&W photos) $15; Order paperback here.
  • PDF version (with color photos) $8.99. Order PDF here.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

Free Read: Homefront – Fandom in the UK (1939-1945)

The cover photo shows the remains of The Red Bull, the first pub to host London fandom’s meetings, after it was destroyed during an air raid on 16 April 1941. Photo courtesy of Holborn Library.

Homefront – Fandom in the UK (1939-1945), a massive fanhistorical compilation by Rob Hansen focusing on British fandom during World War Two, is available as a free download from the TAFF website. (Donations to the fund appreciated.)

Hansen brings together first-hand accounts of wartime experience through fannish eyes, showing how the lines of communication between fans continued during that huge national disruption – and so, somehow, did the fannish sense of humor.

It chronicles how against all the odds a handful of dedicated individuals kept that community together in circumstances inconceivable to any who didn’t live through them. Despite being bombed out of their homes, called up to serve in the armed forces, or facing the hostility of tribunals in order to register as Conscientious Objectors, they somehow succeeded in keeping our eventually far-flung fandom together when it could all so easily have just faded away. Many of those who feature most prominently in Homefront went on to be the first post-war generation of British SF writers and there is much here that should be of interest to scholars of their work.

Hansen says “I’ve also included as a prologue Chuck Harris’s funny and evocative account of his 1930s childhood amid poverty and the British Union of Fascists in London’s long-gone Jewish East End.”

To accompany Homefront, he has set up an online photo gallery of fans in uniform during World War Two.

The Ansible Editions ebook is available in several formats. 161,500 words.

2020 Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund Delegate Announced

“Orange Mike” Lowrey

By Geri Sullivan and Johan Anglemark: We, the administrators of the 2020 TAFF race, are pleased to announce that Michael Lowrey will be the 2020 TAFF Delegate. He will attend Concentric: Eastercon 2020 to be held in Birmingham, UK on April 10–13, 2020 (see their website at www.concentric2020.uk), and he plans to travel to Swecon (the Swedish national convention), continental Europe, and maybe Ireland before arriving in the UK.           

From TAFFish #1, here is some biographical information about “Orange Mike”:

“I stumbled onto the early-1970s version of the U. of Chicago SF club (there have been several over the eons) through the SCA in 1971, and thus learned about fandom. When I returned to Tennessee, I joined the good ol’, much-maligned N3F, which for this country boy was a lifeline to the broader world of fandom, including my first exposure to fanzines. When I got to Nashville, I discovered the local SCA and through them the Nashville SF club. Through the SCA I discovered D&D (thanx, Daishi-san!) and through the Nashville club I learned that there were SF cons I could go to! That first con (it was a Midwestcon) was a glorious revelation: this was my tribe, these were my people! I’ve been to well over a couple of hundred cons since then, and my opinion has not changed. It was in those Nashville years that I fell into the habit of wearing head-to-toe orange.”

Following his return home, Mike will become the next North American administrator of TAFF, and will conduct the 2021 TAFF race in association with Johan Anglemark, who has to suffer through yet another year of adminship.

Fans throughout Europe who may be interested in standing for TAFF in 2021 should make a point of talking with Mike and Johan at Swecon, Eastercon, or elsewhere on Mike’s trip, if at all possible, to begin the process of becoming involved in one of the best experiences a fan can have. The 2021 TAFF race will be westbound, going to Discon III, the 79th Worldcon.

And do not forget to attend the Fan Fund auction at Eastercon where you will find a wealth of fannish and sf-ish loot from across time and space. All proceeds benefit the fan funds. For more information about the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund – past, present, and future – please visit David Langford’s excellent TAFF website at www.taff.org.uk.

Here is the breakdown of the voting results by first preference. As you can see, Mike won by simple majority in the first round of counting.

RESULTS

Candidate                          NA+RoW  Europe      Total

Michael Lowrey   56    27    83
Ann Totusek     3      2      5
Hold Over Funds     4      0      4
No Preference     6      5    11
         Total votes    69    34  103

We wish to thank Mike and Ann for a fun TAFF campaign, and hope that Ann stands again in the future. Our most sincere thanks to all who voted in, contributed to, or otherwise supported the 2020 TAFF campaign. See you in Birmingham!

The fund received $866.55, £232.05, and €176.14 in donations (before deducting Paypal fees).

2020 GUFF Voting Begins

The Going Under Fan Fund (GUFF) ballot for the 2020 race is now available online.

Voters will choose a European delegate to attend to CoNZealand in Wellington, NZ (July 29-August 2).

The six candidates are: Cora Buhlert (Germany); Hisham El-Far and Lee Fletcher (UK); Hanna Hakkarainen (Finland); Elizabeth Jones and Claire Rousseau (UK); Dave Lally (UK); Alison Scott (UK).

Ballots will be accepted until April 13. The candidates’ platforms, general information about voting, and the online ballot can be found here. A PDF ballot for printing is also available. Votes are not valid unless accompanied by a contribution of at least GBP6, EUR7, AUD10, NZD10, or an equivalent amount in other currencies. See the ballot for full rules and payment options.

GUFF, the Get Up-and-over Fan Fund or the Going Under Fan Fund, depending on which direction it’s running, exists to provide funds to enable well-known fans from Australasia and Europe to visit each other’s national (or other) conventions and get to know each other’s fandoms better.

The winner(s) will take over the administration of the fund for the next northbound and southbound races.

Here are the candidates’ platforms and nominators:

Cora Buhlert (Germany)

Cora Buhlert is a writer, teacher, translator, crafter and lifelong SFF fan from Bremen, Germany. She writes for the Hugo-nominated fanzine Galactic Journey, co-runs the Speculative Fiction Showcase, a blog focussed on self-published and small press SFF, and recently created the 1945 Retro Hugo recommendation spreadsheet to help nominators. At her personal blog, she writes long rambling posts about science fiction, fantasy, media and whatever else comes to mind, including her adventures at the 2017 and 2019 WorldCons, where she was a panellist and volunteer. She’d love to have some adventures at CoNZealand to share as well.

Nominators: Camestros Felapton, Jo Van Ekeren (Australasia), Adrienne Joy, Kári Tulinius, Mark Yon (Europe)

Hisham El-Far and Lee Fletcher (UK)

Lee and Hisham met at a con in 2004, became best friends and partners in geekery, and have attended (and worked) DragonCons, Eastercons, Worldcons, Nineworlds and many more! They tweet, meet, and squee IRL about books, cosplay, and all things nerdy. In 2019 Lee opened The Portal Bookshop, an LGBT+ and diverse SFF specialist – now they push the best books at people for a living. Hisham helps! They can’t wait to explore NZ, nerd out with awesome new people, connect across continents, and document (and live-tweet) a riotous, excitable adventure to help fans everywhere vicariously get their geek on.

Nominators: Thoraiya Dyer, Abigail Nathan (Australasia), Matt Cavanagh, Joanne Harris, Alasdair Stuart (Europe)

Hanna Hakkarainen (Finland)

An efficient HR-person by day and an enthusiastic Fan by nature, Hanna is the way you spell “fandom” in Finnish. Hanna has organized cons of all sizes, from hundred-member Åcons, Finncons for thousands to Worldcon 75. She would love to go to New Zealand and Australia, chat with new friends until the various marsupials come home, and bring new ways to fandom from the Antipodes back home. Hanna loves to read, binge media, share bad memes and conjure culinary delights for friends and family. She never misses an opportunity to meet people and enjoy new activities, so bring on ConZealand!

Nominators: Sarah Lee Parker, PRK (Australasia), Phil Dyson, Jukka Halme, Mihaela Marija Perkovi? (Europe)

Elizabeth Jones and Claire Rousseau (UK)

We’ve both been involved in conventions since 2014, having volunteered at LonCon3, WorldCon75, Dublin2019, BristolCon and NineWorlds, doing front of house, exhibits, social media, programming and speaking on panels. We’re also both involved in fandom through BookTube, the bookish part of YouTube. There we discuss science fiction, fantasy and fandom (Claire’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClaireRousseau, Elizabeth’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/booksandpieces). Attending ConZealand is an opportunity to meet fellow fans from across the globe and to document and celebrate this amazing fandom with a series of videos about WorldCon and the fans that make it.

Nominators: Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Australasia), Aliette de Bodard, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Nicholas Whyte (Europe)

Dave Lally (UK)

Well known in UK, Ireland and Europe.
Active since his 1st UK Eastercon/Eurocon-Seacon 84/Brighton.
Video progs for (a) Worldcons: The Hague 1990 (Confiction), Glasgow 1995 (Intersection) and 2005 (Interaction), (b) most Eastercons : 1991-2005 and (c) many Octocons (IrishNatSFCons).
2006-2013: Chair ESFS (European SF Society-Eurocon’s home).
Since 2014: Membership Officer-British SF Association.
2016: Eastercon (Mancunicon) Committee.
Expertise “The Prisoner” (TV: 1967) and “The Wicker Man” (film: 1973).
Conventions are fandom’s lifeblood : not just the interaction of fen with the GoHs, but fen with
each other.
Financial services: retired. Irish National. London resident.

Nominators: Perry Middlemiss, John Toon (Australasia), Kin-Ming Looi, Mali Perera, Bridget Wilkinson (Europe)

Alison Scott (UK)

I’ve been attending conventions since 1984 and running them since 1986, including chairing Eastercons and curating fan spaces at UK Worldcons.
I write and illustrate fanzines, winning the Hugo for Plokta and the Rotsler and Nova for fan art. I helped edit the Aussiecon 4 at-con newsletter remotely while the convention slept.
I enjoy conventions mightily; I stay up late, meet new people, and have many passions, including fan funds, fundraising, and trip reports.
Through fandom I’ve grown to know many Australasian fans and would relish the chance to learn first-hand about their local fan groups and activities.

Nominators: Sue Ann Barber, Damien Warman (Australasia), Johan Anglemark, Sue Mason, Mark Plummer (Europe)

2020 Down Under Fan Fund

Down Under Fan Fund co-administrator Paul Weimer has announced the 2020 DUFF ballot is live. There are four candidates to become the fund’s delegate to CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon, 2020, in Wellington, New Zealand – Richard Auffrey, Shaun Duke, James Davis Nicoll, and Erin Underwood.

The voting process is DUFF’s fundraiser, and votes need to be accompanied by a minimum contribution of at least $5 in US, Australian, Canadian, or New Zealand currency.

Vote by emailing a copy of the ballot to both the Administrators. Pay using PayPal or by Credit Card to Paul. Full voting instructions and payment options are in the PDF ballot which is online here.

The voting deadline is March 27, 20202 at 11:59 p.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time in the U.S.).

The candidates’ platforms and nominators are:

  • Richard Auffrey

Send the Passionate Foodie to New Zealand! 

I’ve attended SFF conventions for 40 years, including 2 World Cons. Each year, I read 250+ books, including many genre novels, highlighting my favorites each year in my blog. In addition, I’ve previously interviewed numberous SFF authors for my Alcohol, Authors and Accolades series. I’m also the author of the Tipsy Sensei series, supernatural thrillers about a Sake expert encountering creatures from Japanese folklore. In addition, I’ve been a role-player for 40 years, usually as a Game Master, covering a diverse blend of games. It would be an honor to represent U.S. fandom.

(Nominators: North America: Fred Kiesche, Paul Moore, Ed Tisdale; Australasia: Gillian Polack, Dan Rabarts)

  • Shaun Duke

I’m a host for the two-time Hugo Finalist podcast, The Skiffy and Fanty Show, and a global SF enthusiast. In 2014, I created the World SF Tour to celebrate non-US SF/F through interviews and discussions; at each of the three international Worldcons I have attended (London, Helsinki, and Dublin), I have recorded podcasts to highlight SF/F from around the world. If selected as the DUFF delegate, I will continue that mission by more deeply exploring fandom and SF/F in New Zealand and Australia at ConZealand. I’ve got a handheld recorder, a geeky mind, and a hankering for ocean crossings!

(Nominators: North America: David Annadale, Beverly Bambury, Jen Zink; Australasia: Joyce Chng, Elizabeth Fitzgerald)

  • James Davis Nicoll

I would like to stand as a candidate for the 2020 DUFF. I have been an avid reader of speculative fiction for almost sixty years. I have attended cons, written thousands of reviews, served on diverse award juries, and provided the world with valuable safety hints [1]. If I am selected, I vow to embrace tradition and attempt to produce a humorous journal in the tradition of Walt Willis’ The Harp Stateside[2].

1: Persons concerned about sending me to a geologically active nation like New Zealand can rest assured that the Hawaii incident was probably a fluke.

2: With footnotes.

(Nominators: North America: Sean Fagan, Mike Glyer, David Goldfarb; AU/NZ: Jo Van Ekeren, Elaine Walker)

  • Erin Underwood

I’m a con runner and fan editor/writer from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, whose passion for science, fandom, and SF/F drives me to bring new voices to publications and convention programs. While I’ve worked pre-con for many Worldcons, I could only afford attending a few conventions that I helped to create. I’d love to attend ConZealand, sharing my passion for SF/F with New Zealand and Australian fans, while also learning from those communities. I’m editing a special edition of the fanzine, Journey Planet, highlighting New Zealand and ConZealand, and will promote fandom and DUFF through blogging, social media, and a summary report.

(Nominators: North America: Janice Gelb, Nancy Holder, Jim Kelly, Australasia: David McDonald, Garth Nix)

[Update 01/20/2020: Made changes to correspond with revised ballot.]