Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund administrators will accept nominations beginning December 1 for the 2024 race to choose a delegate to travel from North America to Europe.
The winner will attend the 2024 Worldcon in Glasgow, being held August 8-12, and visit fans in the UK and elsewhere.
Glasgow 2024 has confirmed that they will provide free membership and board to the winning fan. Past TAFF winner Geri Sullivan has been appointed Fan Fund Liaison by the convention committee.
Sandra Bond, incoming European TAFF administrator, says that nominations will close on January 7, 2024. Then the ballot forms will then be circulated throughout fandom and voting will continue until April 2. Votes must be accompanied by a minimum payment of £3 (GBP), €3 (EUR), or $4 (USD), and any fan may vote who’s been active in fandom since April 2022 or earlier.
To stand for TAFF a fan needs to do the following:
Get three nominators from North America, and two nominators from Europe;
Submit a bond of (UK) £10, (US) $20, or (EU) €12;
Provide a platform to go on the ballot, of 101 words or fewer, saying why folks should vote for you.
Send those things to a TAFF Administrator by email or post.
Stirred to action by a particularly stupid and dismissive media generalization about science fiction fans, Rob Hansen has prepared this collection of brief biographies and essays that tell — both in his words and in their own — the stories of fans who have made some impact on the mundane world: Beyond Fandom: Fans, Culture & Politics in the 20th Century.
…In this volume you’ll meet fans who fought in the Spanish Civil War and World War II, and others who were jailed for their pacifist beliefs; fans who marched against the bomb in two separate decades a generation apart, and fans who published the first music fanzines. You’ll meet the fan who became a famous movie critic, the fans who became famous rock stars, learn of the part various fans played in increasing LGBT visibility, and discover who got beaten up by cops and arrested during the Stonewall riots. One fan even became a government minister….
The 72,000-word book is available in multiple electronic formats from the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund’s website, where they also hope you’ll make a little donation to the fund. Find it here. (A paperback edition will follow soon.)
The coverage is not only beyond fandom, but beyond the traditional SF-inspired careers in writing, editing, publishing or Big Science, as is evident from chapter titles in the Table of Contents:
Foreword 1. The Anti-Fascist 2. The Pacifists 3. The Warriors 4. The Lesbian Pioneer 5. The Voice of America 6. The Futurists 7. The Painters 8. The Record Company 9. The Folkzines 10. The Aldermaston Marcher 11. The Political Prisoner 12. The Beat Generation 13. The Film Critic 14. The Film Director Swami 15. The King of Greenwich Village 16. The Friend the Beatles Wrote For 17. The Nazi Occupation Movie 18. The Playwright 19. The Kings of Pornography 20. The CIA Pilot 21. The Counterculture 22. The Musicians 23. The Music Mogul 24. The Punk Promoter 25. The Senior Civil Servants 26. The Anti-Nuclear Activists 27. The Government Minister 28. The Trans Icon 29. The Pope’s Astronomer 30. The Professor of Law Afterword Appendix: As Others See Us
The cover shows UK fan Norman Shorrock posing with a BBC camera at the 1957 London Worldcon, in a photo taken by Peter West.
Irish fan Walt Willis was a beloved writer and a prolific one. Rounding up all his work and publishing it in collections has taken years. Now David Langford has finished the job with the latest addition to TAFF’s library of free downloads. Perhaps.
Langford says The Harp Remembered is “A perhaps final ebook volume of Walt Willis’s fanwriting, including everything from the monumental Willis compilation Warhoon #28 that’s not already available in TAFF ebooks, plus much further material – some of it never before collected.”
The 181,000-word book is available in multiple electronic formats from the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund’s website, where they also hope you’ll make a little donation to the fund. Find it here.
From Warhoon there are extracts from Walt’s first fanzine Slant (here with several extras), the long autobiographical sequence of fannish reminiscences “I Remember Me”, several standalone articles, and the “Epilogue” chronicling Walt’s increasing distraction from fandom by his work as a senior civil servant in Northern Ireland during a resurgence of the Troubles. But he was to return….
In addition, The Harp Remembered contains the legendary Irish Fandom Christmas Cards (each in fact a mini-fanzine) and a mass of previously uncollected articles and compilations of fanzine columns other than the famous “The Harp That Once or Twice” (separately collected in its own TAFF ebook): “The Outpost”, “Plinth”, “The Perforated Finger”, “The Prying Fan” (as revived for Pulp) and “The Warier Bard”. The main text ends with a tasty selection of shorter items and extracts, from one-liners to one-pagers. Also included as an Appendix are appreciations by Ken Bulmer and Vince Clarke, and a corrected and expanded version of the Willis bibliography from Warhoon #28.
Cover artwork by Atom (Arthur Thomson) for Cry of the Nameless #171, December 1963, edited by F.M. Busby, Elinor Busby and Wally Weber.
Rob Hansen surveys the early presence of women in UK science fiction fandom, identifies the UK’s first known female fan, and shows the lead-up to the fanzine Femizine (1954-1960) – the first true rallying point for female British fans — in Generation Femizine, the latest addition to TAFF’s library of free downloads.
The 67,000-word book, compiled from the participants’ own words, is available in multiple electronic formats from the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund’s website, where they also hope you’ll make a little donation to the fund. Find it here.
In this compilation, each major contributor is represented by a mini-biography and a photograph, followed by a selection of her writings in Femizine and/or contemporary fan publications. Rob Hansen supplies necessary context and commentary, tells how it all ended, and adds appendices dealing with the male response (reviews in professional sf magazines), the Great Hoax, the full bibliographical details, and an international listing of “Female Fannish Firsts”.
From Rob Hansen’s Foreword
Femizine (not to be confused with the later similarly-titled US zine Femzine) was launched at SUPERMANCON, the 1954 Eastercon, held that year in Manchester. The idea of an all-female fanzine had been bubbling up for a while and several letters had passed between Frances Evans, Joan Carr, and Ethel Lindsay shortly before the convention in which they decided it was time. Carr volunteered to edit the zine and a flyer was produced in time for the con, with the first issue appearing soon afterwards. As can be seen from the cover photo (taken at the event by Eric Bentcliffe) there was a certain amount of excitement among female fans at this finally happening.
As is now widely known, “Joan Carr” did not exist (see Appendix 2). She was created as a hoax to be played primarily on the Nor’west Science Fantasy Club (NSFC), who then met regularly in Manchester….
A printed paperback edition is also available, released simultaneously with the ebook: click here for more. All proceeds from paperback sales go to TAFF.
THE CANADIAN UNITY FAN FUND. The Canadian Unity Fan Fund was conceived to represent distant fan communities in Canada to other fan communities in Canada. In its forty-odd years of operation, CUFF has usually brought fan delegates from one side of the country to the other, wherever Canvention was held. (The Canadian SF and Fantasy Awards were hosted by one or another convention in a given year, until the national awards ceremony recently began appearing online, on a regular annual schedule.) Now, a delegate will receive funds to travel to an SF convention this year elsewhere in Canada.
I became the 2023 Canadian Unity Fan Fund delegate, which meant I was to attend Pemmi-Con, the 15th North American Science Fiction Convention, held in Winnipeg July 20th through 23rd, 2023.
“WHO IS THIS SHMOE?” I’m just this guy who got to be known in fandom for a while. I entered fandom about 1980 in a small club in Victoria. Since then I have been involved in producing a number of clubzines and personalzines; running fanzine rooms and producing program books for SF conventions; producing a Canadian fan newszine for a few years, and incidentally establishing for everyone what the Canadian SF and Fantasy Award was. These days, I take part in four APAs (Amateur Publishing Associations) – eAPA, Apaplexy, N’APA, and Stipple-Apa – and I am the official editor of eAPA. I also plan to revise my personal website as a fannish resource site, and to put together a volume of Canadian fanhistory.
PROLOGUE. In 2023: I volunteered to stand as a candidate for CUFF (again) in 2023, partly because I hadn’t heard of any other candidates, and partly out of a sense that various and diverse fandoms really deserve more mutual awareness. I thought I could at least try to see something of other fandoms, and tell some stories about fandom as I know it.
Fran Skene of Vancouver was the CUFF candidate in 2019, and then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, so travel was restricted and she served as CUFF administrator for the next four years.
As it worked out, my bid gained 3 western supporters and 3 eastern supporters: Rose Wilson (BC), R. Graeme Cameron (BC), Kent Pollard (Saskatchewan), Cathy Palmer-Lister (Quebec), Lloyd Penney (Ontario), and Diane Walton (formerly of Alberta, now in Nova Scotia).
In order to raise funds for next year and beyond, I prepared a list, offering interesting and amusing fan publications for sale. These ranged from hardcopy editions of classic fanzines to hardcopy (and some digital) editions of current fanthologies. I was (and still am) prepared to accept payments in person, by cash, money order, or Paypal at: 6960 Doman Street, Vancouver, BC V5S 3H7, or by Paypal at [email protected].
I included Confabulation, a collection of fannish fanwriting, “representing the most amusing fanwriting and faanfiction I could find, characteristic of fannish fandom … for benefit sales to CUFF, at $10 each,” I wrote. (I also offered chapbooks under my Stop Press imprint based on my extended fanarticles about worldbuilding, how to construct a language, conspiracy theories, crank theories, or micronations, at $5.00 to $7.50.)
Also, at Pemmi-Con, I was to moderate the popular Turkey Readings – readings of science fiction or fantasy so bad, no reputable publisher would issue them today – acted out by volunteers from the audience! Listeners then got to bid on whether to continue, or cease! We’ve got some real stinkers (not all written by John Norman or Lionel Fanthorpe)!
Somehow we also evolved the idea of a fanzine auction, which I think was suggested by Erin Underwood (a Pemmi-Con committee member?) in a Zoom meeting.
PREPARATIONS. I tend to build up anxiety about non-routine events and appearing on time, so I tend to overpack and overprepare. Still I foolishly did not bring the thumb drive I usually keep on my key ring.
Among other things, I made myself a handy-dandy pocket program, based on the advance schedule information received in Pemmi-Con Progress Report 2. This turned out to be relatively useful until Saturday, when I actually had events to attend, and program changes to deal with. (Strangely, the committee settled the program schedule within the week before the convention, and still there were program changes.)
Tuesday July 18, 2023:
As it worked out, getting to the Vancouver International Airport and checking in with Westjet and boarding all happened without incident. Checking in at the Delta (now aka the Marriott Bonvoy) was also trouble-free.
It was interesting to check out the look of downtown Winnipeg, in comparison with cities such as Victoria and Vancouver. Older architecture leaned towards drystone and brick construction, contrasting with the glass-and-steel buildings from more recent development. Which makes sense, given that Winnipeg is not given to earthquakes, as we are on the coast.
Finding the committee (Operations room) was a bit of a treasure hunt; signage in the hotel developed only gradually over the first few days, apart from the scrolling program schedule on the hotel video displays (which was very useful).
Wednesday July 19, 2023:
Due to storm warnings on this day I stayed close to the hotel at first, until the evening’s Break the Ice” dinner at a nearby Old Spaghetti Factory. Eventually I tracked down Registration on the second floor. My own registration was delayed, partly due to some breakdown in communications. Amusingly, they had no record of my membership, and had to write me into the records on the spot – #1000, as it happened, which told me something about the attendance. (I was informed later that about a third of the registered members had not attended, mainly due to COVID-19 concerns.)
Strangely, the committee supplied no program books at the convention – they were conceived as souvenir books, to be mailed to members after the event. Instead, there were daily program sheets in table format, supplemented by a daily convention newsletter. Maps of the hotel’s internal layout were slow to appear.
There was a lot of meeting and greeting, of course, as congoers filtered in. There were R. Graeme Cameron, now from Nanaimo; Cliff Samuels and Eileen Capes from Calgary; John Bartley from Tualatin (near Portland); Cooki Lumsden; Stuart Cooper; Den Valdron, the Winnipeg writer; and Robert J. Sawyer, as well as Linda Ross-Mansfield, LeAmber Kensley, and Jannie Shea on the committee. My roommate John Bartley showed up this afternoon. Murray Moore talked to me about the art museum, which was heavy on Inuit art at the time.
I tagged along with Cliff Samuels and Eileen Capes to the “Break the Ice” dinner at The Forks Market. Unfortunately John Bartley, who was still recovering from flying coach, discovered he just couldn’t walk that far and begged off.
Much like Granville Island in Vancouver, this is a former railroad yard redeveloped with a wide variety of shops, produce stores, restaurants and cultural centres, including a youth theatre. The “Break the Ice” dinner for early Pemmi-Con attendees drew perhaps sixty people to The Old Spaghetti Factory. We made the acquaintance of Mark Sneed, a new writer who was attending his first SF convention, and had an interesting conversation covering the background of the convention, the benefits of joining SFWA, and the several challenges we have encountered with varieties of English. (Mark Sneed has been an English teacher.)
Thursday, July 20, 2023:
This day I received my program participant materials, took pictures of the internal hotel maps, and rechecked the program.
Foolishly I missed the opening ceremonies on Thursday. I gather my name was called, at least to stand up and wave.
Much of my concern was focused on the CUFF auction and the Turkey Readings, neither of which I had conducted before. My anxiety was unfounded, partly because I could follow the good example of Sandra Bond’s auctioneering, and partly because there were other readers at the Turkey Readings.
Of interest is that Pemmi-Con panels generally ran for 75 minutes, with a 15-minute break between scheduled items. This seemed sensible and practical.
It developed that the consuite was in a room on the fourth floor – directly opposite the room I shared with John Bartley.
For whatever reasons, the dealers’ room, artshow, and fan tables were relegated to a room in the RBC Convention Centre, which was over ten minutes’ walk from the hotel via an elevated passage over a street. Thus I discovered there was a fan table for the Canadian SF and Fantasy Awards, with a display of its chronology and former awards; a fanzine table (empty); a display about me with blowups of my picture and bio (unexpected!); and a fan table and display for the Rotsler Award winners (I noticed the 1999 award went to Grant Canfield, and in 2008 to Taral Wayne). There were also displays promoting nuclear energy, and providing a history of nuclear engineering in Canada.
Given the function space available in the Delta hotel, this was neither necessary, nor advisable given the number of mobility-challenged attendees. Strange.
Room parties started on Thursday night, mostly on the fifth floor, representing Worldcons/bids from Seattle, Glasgow, and Minneapolis in ’73 (2073, now). Or, should I say, they were attempted at first on Thursday night. The hotel staff were apparently not briefed on room parties, and Shawn Marier from the Seattle Worldcon committee had to negotiate with them to raise their room occupancy limit from four to ten people at a time. Granted, the room parties were in rooms really too small for parties. This might be why the renewed Minneapolis in ‘73 bid sort of took over the consuite.
And there was much rejoicing.
Friday, July 21, 2023:
There was a so-this-is-your-first-convention panel, which was good, and it was scheduled for 1:00 p.m., which is as usual and is not so good. (I have suggested, on more than one occasion, that since most people arrive at conventions later than 1:00 p.m. Friday, maybe a later panel, a Web page, or a widely-distributed free pamphlet would serve the purpose better?)
Saturday, July 22, 2023:
In conversation, Murray Moore mentioned that the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association was looking for a secretary, and I offered to take up the role. Murray subsequently informed the CSFFA regulars that I would serve, and he emailed me the information about the CSFFA Zoom meeting for Tuesday after Pemmi-Con.
There were three panels that required my participation – the “Rebuilding Fannish Community” panel at 4:00 p.m. (originally “The Greying of Fandom”), the CUFF Auction at 5:30 (combined with the TAFF Auction), and the Turkey Readings at 10:00 p.m. (rescheduled from 2:30).
At 4:00 p.m., “Rebuilding Fannish Community” drew at least twenty people, and turned into a productive discussion. To my satisfaction, we got beyond the usual cliches frequently observed about ageing fannish fans, and younger fans in several specialized fandoms. (Until Friday, the members arriving at Pemmi-Con were generally over 50 years of age.) We considered the diminishing numbers of clubs, the marginalization of fanzine fandom, the efflorescence of online communities, the effect of costs and current incomes on conventions, and the divergence of fandoms.
In the end, the sense of the meeting seemed to be that it simply isn’t the job of elder fans to recreate the fan activities they knew. If we have any role, among contemporary fans, it comes down to getting out there, listening; asking a few questions; and, perhaps, offering a few parallels to similar events and issues from the past. If they are relevant. (Given the differences in today’s costs and incomes from the past, the expectations and interests of fans, and the very different expectations and demands of hotels, many stories are not so relevant now.)
At 5:30 p.m., the combined Fan Funds Auction drew four or five people, compared to the auctioneers (Sandra Bond and I). I followed Sandra’s lead and found the auction went fairly quickly. The audience were individually generous, and both fan funds made some modest money.
At 10:00 pm, the Turkey Readings drew eight or so people, and were amusing enough. Murray Moore, R. Graeme Cameron, and I took it in turn to read some bad 1970s sci-fi and fantasy, including R. Lionel Fanthorpe novels. Again, we made just a little money for CUFF. Tasia Papadatos from Ottawa commented that the selection of novels (other than Fanthorpe’s) weren’t really bad enough for the purpose. Perhaps in future years we have to seek out the real stinkers.
And so to parties. Saturday’s party scene was rather quieter than Friday’s; I was a bit disappointed.
Sunday, July 23, 2023:
Sunday was a fairly quiet day. I missed programming until four p.m. and the closing ceremonies, trying to start this trip report and, instead, ending up in an enjoyable consuite conversation, about Winnipeg and other convention stories.
The closing ceremonies, led by Tanya Huff, gave kudos to the Ghost of Honour, Lorna Toolis; to the convention committee, especially Jannie Shea (much enthusiastic clapping); and to the hotel staff, whose service was excellent.
And on Monday I had an uneventful flight home. (The cat was really glad to see me back.)
 The background to fandom, and the changes to fandom, should be summarized in a forthcoming fanhistory. I have found it to be a bigger job than I expected.  At the end of this report is a link to CUFF trip reports online, including my own report on attending the 1999 Canvention in Fredericton, N.B. For more information about CUFF, follow this link.
You can learn all about the con and the kerfuffles in Rob Hansen’s 1965: The Second UK Worldcon, the latest addition to TAFF’s library of free downloads.
The 61,500-word book, compiled from contemporaneous participants’ own words, is available in multiple electronic formats from the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund’s website, where they also hope you’ll make a little donation to the fund. Find it here.
Rob Hansen has compiled this history of the 1965 London Worldcon from contemporary fanzine and magazine accounts, so that once again the complex story emerges from the participants’ own words, together with Rob’s explanatory notes and commentary.
Coverage includes the fan politics and intrigue which didn’t stop with the winning of the 1965 bid for London and featured some dirty tricks; excerpts from convention publications and fanzine reports of major speeches and panels; a banquet menu including “crottled greeps”; and what would have been an epic verbal battle between John W. Campbell and Michael Moorcock if the latter hadn’t been so hungover that John Brunner had to do most of the talking.
From Rob Hansen’s Foreword
LONCON II was organised by SFCoL, the Science Fiction Club of London, the last UK Worldcon to be run by such a small group of fans. But who exactly were the members of SFCoL, what was the group all about, and why were they also known as the Scottish Fan Club of London? You’ll find answers to these and other questions in this volume, as well as discovering what Operation Andy Capp was, why there was so much drama around the drama award, which noted writer demanded whisky from inside a Dalek, and why the Rolling Stones didn’t perform at the convention.
The formidable Ella Parker was the convention chairman (yes, that was her title) and only the fourth woman to chair or co-chair one of the twenty-three Worldcons to date; the first was Julian May in 1952.
Ansible Editions David Langford is conducting an experiment this time around, at Rob’s suggestion. They are releasing the free ebook (donations to TAFF encouraged) and the trade paperback (all proceeds to TAFF) simultaneously.
Langford also draws our attention to this special point of File 770 interest: “What Rob calls the Hugo Hullabaloo resulting from the initial decision not to give a Hugo for dramatic presentation, which duly outraged Harlan Ellison. Who at one stage issued a Statement (quoted by Rob) with many numbered points including two 5) and two 11). Yes, years before Vox Day was born, Harlan invented the tradition of the First and Second Fifth….”
These are physical books, not ebooks, and are offered at a fixed price, not as free downloads.
Ted White became active in SF fandom in the Fifties, won the Best Fan Writer Hugo in 1968, and was a guest of honor at the 1985 Worldcon, Aussiecon II. He has written over a dozen sf novels as well as many short stories, and edited a number of U.S magazines, including Amazing Stories and Fantastic from 1969 to 1979.
Ansible Editions is proud to present Ted’s collected editorials and book reviews from his years with both these magazines.
From the Foreword to The Fantastic Editorials by Ted White
I had dreamed, since my early adolescence, of editing my own professional sf magazine (or “prozine”), and my inspiration – at least for my editorial presence in one – was Ray Palmer, during his early Other Worlds editorship, in the early ’50s. What I liked about Palmer was his willingness to talk directly to his readers and to share with them his ideas and aspirations. He put himself into his magazine, not only in his editorials but also in his sometimes long responses to letters in the letter column. I appreciated that. It sucked me in and made me identify with Other Worlds. So I wanted to do that with Fantastic.
From the Introduction to The Amazing Editorials by Mike Ashley
A magazine isn’t the same as a book, leastways, a very good magazine isn’t. The big difference between a good book and a good magazine is that the magazine has a personality. That personality may in part be a product of the contributors but its chiefly created by the editor – and of an editor who loves what they’re doing.
That’s what made Ted White such a good editor. He was at heart a fan – he’d won a Hugo Award as Best Fan Writer in 1968 – and a die-hard fan knows what other fans want, even if at times he has to tell them what they want. Ted was known for his fan columns both before and after his editorship of Amazing Stories and Fantastic and he never fought shy of an argument if he felt he had a valid point. He was no stranger to controversy and he could not avoid being controversial in his role as editor for publisher Sol Cohen, as some of these editorials reveal.
GET THE INSIDE STORY. The above photograph of Ted White is taken from the back cover of his friend Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle (1965 Penguin UK paperback) – Dick had deliberately sent this picture as a joke. The full story is told in The Amazing Editorials.
ORDER TODAY! In US dollars, The Amazing Editorials paperback is $16.50. The Fantastic Editorials paperback is $16.00 Each is a print on demand book from Lulu.
Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund administrators Mike Lowrey and Fia Karlsson announced today that Sandra Bond has been elected as TAFF delegate to Pemmi-con 2023, the NASFiC. Further details about her upcoming trip will be released as they come.
North American votes *
VOTING ANALYSIS. Sandra Bond and Mikołaj Kowalewski were the candidates. A total of 137 votes were submitted. The two from Asia and Australia have been rolled into the North American count to protect voter anonymity.
Sandra Bond received a majority of the votes, and was the only candidate to satisfy TAFF’s requirement that a candidate must at least 20 % of the Europe and the North American regions’ votes, which in this race amounted to 19 European votes and 8 North American votes.
The winner’s statement and technical details about three invalid votes are in TAFFest #2.
VOTING FEES RECEIVED. The total ballot donations in different currencies was: Euro: 231.04, Pound: 582.67, Dollar: 414.82.
European Fan Fund Administrator Marcin “Alqua” Kłak today announced that Matylda Naczyńska of Poland has been voted the fund’s first winner. She will attend 2023 Eurocon in Uppsala, Sweden.
Although Klak did not release the number of votes received by Naczyńska and the other candidate, James Shields, he said 33 valid votes were cast by fans from eight countries: UK 11; Poland 10; Ireland 4; Germany 2; Spain 2; Sweden 2; Finland 1; USA 1.
There also were 6 invalid votes lacking the voting contribution.
The funds received before subtraction of any fees amounted to 38 EUR, 77 GBP, and 353.62 PLN.
Klak said, “I would also like to thank Claire Brialey and Fionna O’Sullivan who helped me with starting the fund. I also want to express my gratitude to everyone who supported me and EFF till now. If not for the League of Fan Funds, Administrators of TAFF and GUFF, Konflikt Eurocon Team and many fans who donated money and items for the Fan Funds we would not be able to have this race. Please accept my deepest gratitude.”
The Harp That Once or Twice, a collection of columns by renowned Irish fanwriter Walt Willis, has been added to the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund’s library of free downloads. If you enjoy it, a donation to TAFF is a fine way to express your appreciation. All are available in several electronic formats.
“The Harp That Once or Twice” was Walt Willis’s famous column that ran from 1951 to 1969 in four different fanzines: Quandry, Oopsla!, Warhoon and Quark in that order, plus a final return to Warhoon. There were 44 installments, all collected here with the exception of two entire columns and a number of shorter segments within columns that formed part of the serialization of his 1952 US trip report, separately collected as the TAFF ebook The Harp Stateside.
First published as an Ansible Editions ebook for the TAFF site in March 2023. Cover artwork by Atom (Arthur Thomson) for Cry of the Nameless 164 (November 1962). 95,000 words.
From the Introduction
The harp that once through Tara’s halls The soul of music shed, Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls As if that soul were fled. – Thomas Moore, Irish Melodies
Only the harp. Lovely. Gold glowering light. Girl touched it. Poop of a lovely. Gravy’s rather good fit for a. Golden ship. Erin. The harp that once or twice. – James Joyce, Ulysses
This ebook collects almost every instalment of Walt Willis’s legendary fanzine column “The Harp that Once or Twice”. These columns were widely appreciated for their insight into science fiction and science fiction fandom; for genially engaging humour in strong contrast with the rare intervals of deadly seriousness (such as the polemic on Heinlein and Starship Troopers in the twenty-eighth instalment); for cunningly crafted puns that sometimes didn’t detonate until a second or third reading; and for broad erudition modestly and entertainingly presented. (The learned Instalment 43, “The Rats that Ate the Railroad”, was incorporated almost unchanged into Walt’s professionally published 1969 book about his country, The Improbable Irish as by Walter Bryan.) There has been nothing quite like them in fanzines, before or since. They remain eminently readable today.