By John Hertz: WOOF is the Worldcon Order Of Faneditors. It’s been associated with the World Science Fiction Convention since 1976.
WOOF is an apa – amateur press, or publishing, association. Apas have been part of the science fiction community since 1937. We adopted them from the amateur journalism (“ayjay”) hobby.
Amateur journalism emerged in the 19th Century. People printed and published their own journals. Some folks who did this decided to combine, everyone in the association sending their journals to a central officer who collated and distributed them. Wikipedia article here. In the United States there has long been a Nat’l Am. Press Ass’n; its Website here.
The first SF apa was FAPA the Fantasy Amateur Press Ass’n, founded 1937, still ongoing. FAPA is collated and distributed quarterly (Fancyclopedia 3 article here).
Perhaps it should be said that Websites, Fancyclopedia 3 articles, Wikipedia articles, and indeed what you’re reading now, are as complete and conclusive as other projects of human beings, which is to say somewhat; should be better; who’s going to improve it – how about you? and have to start somewhere.
The central (and only) officer of WOOF is the Official Editor (“Official Collator” might be a better name, but isn’t used). Some people, men and women, have served as OE for years; some haven’t. WOOF is not formally a part of the Worldcon, but happens anyway. It seems the fannish thing to do.
The site of each Worldcon is chosen by bidding and vote, currently two years in advance (list of Worldcons here). There is an overall World Science Fiction Society, but each Worldcon is run independently (official Website here).
The 2020 Worldcon will be the 78th, voted in 2018: 29 July – 3 August, Wellington, New Zealand. Some Worldcons get names; this one is “CoNZealand” (Website here). If you’ve noticed that puts zeal in its name, there’s nothing to be done about it.
In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic (COVID-19 Website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control here), New Zealand restricted travel into and out of the country. CoNZealand decided to operate electronically. Some people can be physically present. That will be managed.
The OE for the 2020 WOOF will be Guy H. Lillian III, of Merritt Island, Florida, U.S.A. He explains how to contribute, electronically or on paper, here.
Contributions are to be received by midnight EDT (Eastern Daylight Time; Wellington is 16 hours ahead) 6 Aug 20 – after the Worldcon. The customary at-con collation will not be practical. You can put Worldcon adventures in your WOOFzine if you like.
Each year’s WOOF has had some long-time contributors, some first-timers, some who appear now and then. There should be and usually are WOOFzines from around the world.
WOOFing electronically this year will be convenient, maybe even delightful, for some. Sending contributions by paper mail will please others.
But international postal service from New Zealand to Florida can be awkward just now.
Despite or because of all this there should be an actual New Zealander involved. There is.
WOOF’s man in Wellington will be Daniel Spector, long-time fan and member of the CoNZealand committee. His paper-mail address is public:
12 Harrold St.
Highbury, Wellington 6012
WOOFzines on paper can be mailed to him; only one copy; he will send it to GHL III; it should be suitable for electronic scanning (no zines on slices of bologna, please). Arrange with DS how this year’s WOOF distribution will be sent to you.
If you are among the few, the happy few attending CoNZealand in person, you should be able to find him easily there and hand him your WOOFzine.
So he assures me. I’ve known him long and drunk Rayne-Vigneau with him (no offense meant, Yasser Bahjatt; we’ve drunk coffee too – and as you know, and you too, Dave Doering, I’m a friend to those who maintain there’s more – to life, the universe, and everything – than drink).
What have I to do with all this – I whose first Worldcon was before WOOF, and who have never WOOFed even once?
If you know me, you know my interest in William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. He was once applauded as a pillar of the Church. But he was not in Holy Orders. He said “I don’t think I can be that. Perhaps I am a buttress of the Church. I support it from outside.”
My paper-mail address and telephone number are public too, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA 90057, U.S.A., (213)384-6622.