ASFF Award Name Announcement Raises Protests

The Australian Science Fiction Foundation, led by President Juliette A H Cavendish and Vice President Geoff Allshorn, debuted a rebranded and redesigned website on August 1. It included plans for a youth fiction award to be named after the late Bill Wright, a choice that a number of Australians immediately spoke against.

On the surface, Wright, who died in January, would seem to have the resume for a memorial honor by the ASFF. He was well-known as the Australian Science Fiction Foundation’s Awards Administrator for many years, a past DUFF delegate, and received the A. Bertram Chandler Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017. For the ASFF he also established the Norma Hemming Award for Race, Gender, Sexuality, Class And Disability In Australian Speculative Fiction, and organized it for six years.

However, Wright, at a gathering 20 years ago, said in the presence of several hearers that while touring overseas he had paid for sex with children. It was hard to believe any award would be named for him, much less one aimed at youth.

Andrew Macrae and Ian Mond were among the people who heard Wright make this statement at the gathering.

Macrae said on Twitter:

And Ian Mond confirmed to File 770, “I was in the same room that Andrew was in. We heard it at the same time along with four others who I won’t name.”

Terry Frost tweeted to ASFF on the basis of something heard on another occasion:

And yet the ASFF leadership not only responded with disbelief, they threatened one of those who spoke out with legal action (a person, not named above, who promptly removed what she had written online about the issue).

The Foundation also posted on their website yesterday that they are “seeking legal advice” – a statement which has since been taken down:

“The ASFF Is currently seeking legal advice over social media attacks yesterday and today, concerning our positive awards relaunch. The online comments have been serious enough for us to cease all ASFF activities whilst legal advice is being sought. We will be taking immediate legal action if the advice is to do so. We apologise to all of our members for this pause in our activities. Those members who were involved are being blocked from all future ASFF activities and have been reported to FB for hate speech. Social media Is not the place to instigate vile attacks, make unsubstantiated comments nor undertake ‘mob attacks’ on others. The comments made are very serious and it is highly inappropriate to use a public Facebook platform to discuss them. Further public comments made solely about the ASFF which are derogatory in nature will be immediately reported to our legal team. Don’t believe everything you read Is my advice. Social media Is a poor playing field for the truth and many people use it as a cheap way to hurt others and cause distress. If you have any questions concerning the integrity of the ASFF please email us. We are more than happy to discuss matters. Inquiryasff@outlook.com There appears to be a single person who instigates these attacks against the ASFF publicly and we do not know why, as she is not a member of the ASFF. Despite knowing that she is causing distress and upset to others, she has continued this attack for twenty-four hours, inciting hate speech against an individual and defaming the integrity of the ASFF. Despite us reaching out and asking her to cease, she has continued. We have reached out to those involved and no apologies have been offered, despite the hurt they are collectively causing. I imagine they will also mock this message, such is their lack of insight into their actions and obvious lack of empathy. I am disappointed that all the work we have done to relaunch the ASFF has been seriously undermined by a group of nasty individuals, most of whom have not asked for any clarification for things that they are commenting on. Imagine. A world without hate. Imagine the truth.”

But today the ASFF appeared to have rolled back their plans for naming the award. As of this writing, their website features a page about the Short Story Writing Competition without any reference to Wright. Ian Mond commented on Twitter:

Bill Wright 1937–2022

Bill Wright. Photo by Cat Sparks.

By Bruce Gillespie: Very sad news received, Bill Wright, stalwart of Australian fandom since the late 1950s, died January 16th in the Alfred Hospital. He would have turned 85 on the 17th. Bill had undergone an exploratory operation for bladder cancer, returned home about a week ago, then rang to say that he had fallen at home and “thought he had broken his back.” He was reachable at the hospital for a couple of days, then not. Thanks to Dick Jenssen for doing his best to stay in touch with his friend of over 60 years. Thanks to his Bill’s sister Rosemary Wright for telling us the sad news.

Bill Wright was a founding member of both ANZAPA and the Nova Mob; HonSec of the Eighth Australian Science Fiction Convention (the eighth Australian Natcon) in 1969; Secretary of Aussiecon in 1975; Awards administrator for the Australian Science Fiction Foundation; Life Member of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club; Founder of Meteor Incorporated; and DUFF delegate in 2013. He received the A. Bertram Chandler Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017.

He is particularly noted for establishing the Norma Hemming Award for Race, Gender, Sexuality, Class And Disability In Australian Speculative Fiction, and organising it for six years.

His fanzines and apazines include:

  • The Antipodean Areopagus
  • Aussie Transpacific
  • Interstellar Ramjet Scoop
  • The Planet of the Eggs
  • Waiting for Paul J. Stevens Fanzine.
  • The Wright Stuff

(Thanks to Fancyclopedia 3 for the information in Paragraph 2.)

Bill Wright in 1999. Photo by Dick Jenssen.

Pixel Scroll 1/16/22 I Hereby Dub The Current Dominant Genre (Whatever It May Be) Punky McPunkcore

(1) WOLVERTON FAMILY GOFUNDME. Following the death of Dave Wolverton, Dave’s family and friends are raising money on GoFundMe for his funeral and the family’s expenses. Here’s the link: “Please Help the Family of Dave Wolverton-Farland”.

David Doering also reports, “Spencer [Wolverton] called me to say his dad’s service will be this coming Friday, January 21, at 11 a.m. MST in St. George, Utah. There will be a link posted broadcasting the event for those who cannot attend.” 

(2) URSA MAJOR. Nominations for the Ursa Major Awards are open and will continue until February 12.

To nominate online, all people must first enroll. Go here to ENROLL FOR ONLINE NOMINATIONS or to LOGIN if you have already enrolled.

You may choose up to five nominees for each category:

Nominations may be made for the following categories:

Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work
Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Series
Best Anthropomorphic Novel
Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction
Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work
Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work
Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story
Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip
Best Anthropomorphic Magazine
Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration
Best Anthropomorphic Game
Best Anthropomorphic Website
Best Anthropomorphic Costume (Fursuit)

(3) REH AWARDS. Nominations for the 2022 Robert E. Howard Awards are open and will continue through January 31. You do not have to currently be a member of the Robert E. Howard Foundation to send in nominees at this stage of the process. However, the Final ballot will only be sent out to current Robert E. Howard Foundation members (members who have paid dues for the year 2022). That ballot will be released on February 15. See the link for the complete guidelines.

(4) HOWARD’S HOME ON THE RANGE. For more Robert E. Howard related content, The Cromcast has put a whole bunch of videos of the 2021 Howard Days in Cross Plains, Texas, on their YouTube channel here.

(5) CAUCUS RACE. On the third day, they squeed again: Simon McNeil picks up the baton with “Notes on Squeecore”.

…Now here I want to pause on one of the points the Rite Gud podcast were clear on here that, within their Squeecore definition it was not sufficient that a work be discursive so much as that a work must insist that its discursive element be seen and I think this is where Redshirts becomes a valuable point of discussion. Absolutely nobody is suggesting that the idea of disposable, red-shirted, extras on Star Trek was somehow unexplored prior to 2012. However Redshirts did a lot to foreground this through its fourth-wall-breaking conclusion. Now me? I like a fourth-wall break when it’s well executed and I think it was well executed in Redshirts. This essay should not be seen as an attempt to bury John Scalzi. But regardless of where we stand on matters of taste regarding the literary device or where we stand on the quality of execution of the device in this case, it still holds that this execution, in this story, served to underline the discursive elements of Redshirts such that it insisted the audience engage with them. It wasn’t sufficient to construct a funhouse mirror reflection of the Gothic as Peake did in his Gormenghast books, nor to interrogate the cultural assumptions of a genre as Pratchett did with classic British fantasy in his early Discworld novels – both of these were deconstructive works but neither, especially not Peake, felt much need to insist that the audience acknowledge that a deconstruction was in progress. But Scalzi had his characters literally escape from their work of fiction to plead for consideration from their own fictive creators. This is not a subtle work of deconstruction….

(6) SPSFC INSIDER. Alex Hormann of Boundary’s Edge shares what it’s like to be a Self-Published Science Fiction Competition judge so far: “SPSFC At Boundary’s Edge: Personal Thoughts”.

Thought #2: The 20% Rule

Generally speaking, I don’t DNF books. Even if I’m not enjoying a book, I push through to the end in the hopes of salvaging something from my investment. With the SPSFC, we had to read the opening 20% and decide if we should continue. This was a very different experience for me, and I’m still not sure if it was helpful. On the one hand, you can get a pretty good idea of what a book will be like from that sample. But on the other, you’re essentially reading an introduction with none of the payoff. There were some books that I knew within the first couple of pages that I wasn’t going to enjoy, almost always for stylistic or formatting reasons. Others proved to be strong enough in the opening chapters that they progressed further, only to lose my interest further on. I can’t help but wonder if those books I voted not to continue became something wonderful later on. And there was a book that made it through with a very strong start that completely lost me with its final chapters. This was also the stage of the competition where a book needed a majority vote to progress further. With only three judges, only two Yes votes were required, meaning we ended up with eleven books meeting the criteria. I don’t think letting an extra book slip through the cuts phase did any real harm to our allocation, but it did mean a little extra work in the next phase. Of the eleven that made it through, I had voted to continue with seven of them, and had voted for two more that ultimately failed to make the cut.

(7) ANSWER KEY. Here are Rich Horton’s “Answers to BIPOC SF/Fantasy Quiz” from Strange at Ecbatan.

1. Ava DuVernay, the acclaimed director of Selma, became the first Black woman to direct a live action feature with over a $100,000,000 budget with which 2018 film, an adaptation of a beloved Newbery Award winner?

Answer: A Wrinkle in Time

(8) SEE GERMANY’S BIGGEST SFF LIBRARY. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] German SFF writer Maja Ilisch reports about a visit to the Phantastische Bibliothek in Wetzlar, Germany’s biggest SFF specialty library. The post is in German, but there are photos: “Allein unter Büchern”.

(9) BILL WRIGHT (1937-2022). Australian fan Bill Wright died January 16. Bill was a founding member of both ANZAPA and the Nova Mob. He served as awards administrator for the Australian Science Fiction Foundation. He was secretary for the first Aussiecon in 1975 and helped organize the Bring Bruce Bayside Fan Fund in 2004. Bill was a Life Member of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club. One of his fanzines with an international following was Interstellar Ramjet Scoop.

In 2013 at the age of 76 he was voted the Down Under Fan Fund delegate. Bill was honored with the A. Bertram Chandler Award in 2017.

(And I was always in Bill’s debt for introducing me to Foster’s Lager when he and Robin Johnson were at L.A.Con I to promote the first Australian Worldcon bid.)

(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1995 [Item by Cat Eldridge.]  “Coffee – the finest organic suspension ever devised. It’s got me through the worst of the last three years. I beat the Borg with it.” — Captain Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager’s “Hunters”. 

On this evening twenty-seven years ago on UPN, Star Trek: Voyager premiered. The fourth spinoff from the original series after the animated series, the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, it featured the first female commander in the form of Captain Kathryn Janeway, played by Kate Mulgrew. 

It was created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor. Berman served as head executive producer, assisted by a series of executive proucers — Piller, Taylor, Brannon Braga and Kenneth Biller. Of those, Braga is still the most active with work on The Orville.

It ran for seven seasons  and one seventy-two episodes. Four episodes, “Caretaker”, “Dark Frontier”, “Flesh and Blood” and “Endgame” originally aired as ninety minute episodes. 

Of the series, and not at all surprisingly, Voyager gets the highest Bechdel test rating. Oh, and that quote I start this piece with in 2015, was tweeted by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti International Space Station when they were having a coffee delivery. She was wearing a Trek uniform when she did so.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 16, 1887 John Hamilton. He’s no doubt remembered best for his role as Perry White in the Fifties Adventures of Superman series. He also was in the Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe serial as Professor Gordon, and I see he played G.F. Hillman in the Forties Captain America serial film. (Died 1958.)
  • Born January 16, 1903 Harold A. Davis. Notable as another writer of the Doc Savage novels under the pseudonym Kenneth Robeson. He was the first ghostwriter to fill in for Lester Dent on Doc Savage.  Davis would create the character of Ham’s pet ape Chemistry in Dust of Death.  (Died 1955.)
  • Born January 16, 1905 Festus Pragnell. Ok he’s here not because he had all that a distinguished a career as a writer or illustrator, but because of the charming story one fan left us of his encounter with him which you can read here. Festus himself wrote but three novels (The Green Man of KilsonaThe Green Man of Graypec and The Terror from Timorkal), plus he wrote a series of stories about Don Hargreaves’ adventures on Mars. Be prepared to pay dearly if you want to read him as he’s not made it into the digital age and exists mostly only in the original Amazing Stories only. (Died 1977.)
  • Born January 16, 1943 Michael Atwell. He appeared in Doctor Who twice, first in a Second Doctor story, “The Ice Warriors”, and later in the in the Sixth Doctor story, “Attack of the Cybermen “. He also voiced Goblin in the Labyrinth film, and had a recurring role in Dinotopia. (Died 2006.)
  • Born January 16, 1948 John Carpenter, 74. My favorite films by him? Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York.  His films include the Halloween franchise, The ThingStarman (simply wonderful), The Philadelphia ExperimentGhosts of Mars and many other films. What do you consider him to done that you like, or don’t like for that matter? I’m not fond of Escape from L.A. as I keep comparing to the stellar popcorn film that the previous Escape film is.
  • Born January 16, 1970 Garth Ennis, 52. Comic writer who’s no doubt best known for  Preacher which he did with illustrator Steve Dillon, and his stellar nine-year run on the Punisher franchise. I’m very fond of his work on Judge Dredd which is extensive, and his time spent scripting Etrigan the Demon For DC back in the mid Nineties. What by him should I be reading?
  • Born January 16, 1974 Kate Moss, 48. Yes, she’s done SF. To be precise Black Adder which we discussed a bit earlier. She played Maid Marian in “Blackadder Back & Forth” in which as IMDB puts it “At a New Millennium Eve party, Blackadder and Baldrick test their new time machine and ping pong through history encountering famous characters and changing events rather alarmingly.” You can watch it here.
  • Born January 16, 1976 Eva Habermann, 36. She is best known for playing the role of Zev Bellringer on Lexx. She was succeeded in her role by Xenia Seeberg. Ok I’ll confess that I’ve never seen the series which I know exists in both R and not so R versions. Who here has seen it in either form? She was also Ens. Johanna Pressler in Star Command, a pilot that wasn’t to be a series that was written by Melinda Snodgrass. And she had a role in the Code Name: Eternity series as Dr. Rosalind Steiner.

(13) COMICS SECTION.

(14) I FOUGHT THE LAW AND THE LAW WON. “Video game preservation is complicated, both legally and technically” – the Washington Post tells about the challenges.

…A 2018 report by the Association of Research Libraries found that archivists are “frustrated and deeply concerned” regarding copyright policies related to software, and they charge the current legal environment of “imperiling the future of digital memory.” The obstacles archivists face range from legal restrictions around intellectual property to the technological challenges of obtaining or re-creating versions of the various consoles, computers and servers required to play various titles published over the years. Not only must the games be preserved, they also need to be playable, a quandary akin to needing a record player to listen to a rare vinyl album.

However, the legal hurdle to their research — chiefly, risking infringing on the copyrights of multibillion-dollar companies — remains the biggest for preservationists seeking access to games for academic research….

(15) SUPERNATURAL SUPERHIGHWAY. Paul Weimer shares his take about “Tim Powers’ Alternate Routes at A Green Man Review.

…Writing abouit supernatural doings in Southern California is nothing new for Powers, but this novel felt and reads distinctly different than his previous novels set in Southern California and wrapping around supernatural doings, but not always to its benefit. A Tim Powers novel for me is one with magic beneath the surface of our ordinary world that a few people can access. This often ties into a Secret History of events that we think we know, but we really don’t know the full story until Powers comes along. Characters with hidden motivations that make sense only in the denouement.. Lush use of setting and place. Tricks with time, character and perspective. Tim Powers work isn’t as byzantine as, say, Gene Wolfe, but paying attention and reading closely are absolute musts to figure out what is going on.

Alternate Routes has some of these but not as many as one might expect from a Tim Powers novel. For lack of a better phrase, Alternate Routes reads in a much more straightforward fashion, plot wise, than the typical Powers novel….

(16) WHAM! Meanwhile, back at Nerds of a Feather, Paul Weimer brings us up to speed about the second book in a series: “Microreview [book]: Chaos Vector by Megan O’Keefe”.

…Velocity Weapon tells a twisty story where Sanda is lied to and tricked by an AI on an enemy warship, and Biran desperately seeks political power for, primarily, finding out what has happened to his sister. The novel was particularly potent for a “Wham! moment” where Sanda’s understanding of what was happening to her, and why, turned out to be far far different than she knew.

Now, with a solar system seething with potential conflict, Sanda free of her captivity, and Biran in a position of power within the Keepers, Chaos Vector continues the story of these two siblings as revelations and conflicts from the first novel start to manifest…as well as new mysteries, and yes, new wham moments!

(17) VOX PLONKS HIS MAGIC TWANGER. Brian Z. asks, “Is it official puppy news when Scott Adams calls VD his mascot?” Oh, no – he’s going to sing!

(18) OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE. I’m not a big game-player, so I’m glad to have Joe DelFranco tell me what made It Takes Two a prize-winning game: “Microreview [Video Game]: It Takes Two by Hazelight Studios”.  

The Game Awards Game of the Year winner, It Takes Two, asks two players to come together to repair an ailing marriage. In many relationships, poor communication causes the initial bond between partners to break down. Therein lies the crux of the conflict with It Takes Two. Cody and May, fed-up with their relationship, cause their daughter Rose much distress. Rose consults Dr. Hakim’s Book of Love to help bring them back together. With her tears, she binds her parent’s souls into two wooden dolls. Now it’s up to the players to help the protagonists get out of this mess and back to their bodies….

(19) PREDICTING PARENTHOOD. “Futurist Amy Webb has predictions on 5G, the metaverse, creating babies and a host of other bold topics” in the Washington Post.

S.Z.: Reading your book it feels like you have an almost philosophical belief that people should overhaul what they think about how humans are created. If synthetic biology can deliver on some of these promises — if it removes any age restriction on egg fertilization, say, or if embryos can be gestated outside a human body — what do these changes do to us as a society? Do they alter it fundamentally?

A.W.: The thing is we never stopped and asked how we got to this point. Until now a baby was a man and a woman and having the structures to be in place for that to happen. And now synthetic biology is giving us other options. Forty years into the future, I think it may be the case that there are many parents to one child, or that a 70-year-old and their 60-year old spouse decide to have a baby. Why would we close ourselves off to those possibilities?

(20) THERPEUTIC CREDENTIALS. [Item by Michael Toman.] Be sure to check out the link on the fur color of your cat and the supernatural! “Research Shows That Owning Cats Can, Indeed, Heal You” reports MSN.com. Hope that all in your household, including the unmasked four-pawed mammals, are staying Safe and Well.

1. Owning a cat can actually reduce your risk of having a heart attack.

According to an impressive 10-year study of more than 4,000 Americans, cat owners showed a 30 percent lower risk of death by heart attack than those who didn’t have a feline companion.

Participants had a lower heart rate, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure.

Dr Adnan Qureshi, senior author of the study, said, “For years we have known that psychological stress and anxiety are related to cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks.”

(21) FROM BACK IN THE DAY. “Oldest remains of modern humans are much older than thought, researchers say”Yahoo! outlines the discovery.

Some of the oldest remains of modern humans in the world are much older than scientists thought.

The remains, known as Omo I, were found in southwest Ethiopia in the late 1960s. The bone and skull fragments researchers discovered were some of the oldest known remains of Homo sapiens.

Initial research suggested they were nearly 200,000 years old, but new research shows the remains are at least 230,000 years old.  The peer-reviewed research was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday

(22) PROLIFERATING PRESIDENTS. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Last night Saturday Night Live began with a cold open in which President Biden blamed the Omicron outbreak on people buying tickets to Spider-Man and we found out that we actually don’t live in the real universe but rather one started as a joke by having the Cubs win the World Series. You know, that last bit makes some sense.

[Thanks to JJ, Chris Barkley, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Cora Buhlert, Brian Z., Jeffrey Smith, Bill, David Doering, John A. Arkansawyer, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cora Buhlert.]

2017 Ditmar Awards

The 2017 Australian SF (“Ditmar”) Awards for 2017 were presented June 11 at Continuum 13 in Melbourne.

Best Novel

  • The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, IFWG Publishing Australia.

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “Did We Break the End of the World?”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Defying Doomsday, Twelfth Planet Press.

Best Short Story

  • “No Fat Chicks”, Cat Sparks, in In Your Face, FableCroft Publishing.

Best Collected Work

(tie)

  • Defying Doomsday, Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, Twelfth Planet Press.
  • Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, PS Publishing.

Best Artwork

  • illustration, Shauna O’Meara, for Lackington’s 12.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • 2016 Australian SF Snapshot, Greg Chapman, Tehani Croft, Tsana Dolichva, Marisol Dunham, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Stephanie Gunn, Ju Landéesse, David McDonald, Belle McQuattie, Matthew Morrison, Alex Pierce, Rivqa Rafael, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs and Matthew Summers.

Best Fan Writer

  • Foz Meadows, for body of work.

Best Fan Artist

[No award in category — the only nominee, Kathleen Jennings, withdrew.]

Best New Talent

  • Marlee Jane Ward

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Kate Forsyth, for The Rebirth of Rapunzel: a mythic biography of the maiden in the tower, FableCroft Publishing.

Other Awards Presented

A. Bertram Chandler Award

  • Bill Wright, who has been in fandom for 59 years

Peter McNamara Achievement Award

  • Rose Mitchell

Juanita Coulson Wins DUFF

By John Hertz: Juanita Coulson won the election of a 2014 Down Under Fan Fund delegate. DUFF will send her to Continuum X, the 53rd Australia national convention, Melbourne, 6-9 June (and, as is apparently needful to say, bring her home too), with such further fannish travel as can be managed.

Conclave II, the 35th New Zealand natcon, Auckland, was 24-27 April. No candidates said they could attend both the Australia and New Zealand natcons. We hope to arrange a New Zealand visit on this trip.

Founded in 1972, and supported by contributions from all over the world, DUFF sends a delegate from North America to Australia – New Zealand, or the other way, in alternating years.  If the World Science Fiction Convention is on the receiving side, the delegate goes there. The 2014 Worldcon is in the United Kingdom, Loncon 3. Coulson lives in London, Ohio.

Nominations were accepted until midnight 6 Jan 14 Pacific Standard Time, votes until midnight 31 Mar Pacific Daylight Time. Votes could be cast on paper or by electronic mail. Anyone could vote who was active in fandom on or before 1 Jan 14, i.e. a natural person involved in fannish pursuits in our community, such as participation in clubs or conventions or fanzines, singing, costuming, social life, physically, electronically, or otherwise. Votes had to be accompanied by a donation of at least $5 Australian, Canadian, United States, or $7 New Zealand.

DUFF uses the preferential system of balloting, which yields an automatic runoff if needed and assures a majority win. The voter ranks choices in order of preference, e.g. 1, 2, 3. If there is no absolute majority for one choice after a first count of votes, first-place votes for the lowest-ranking choice are dropped and the second-place votes on those ballots are assigned to the choices named. This goes on until one choice has a majority. It can therefore be important to vote preferences other than first place, although this is not required.

Coulson beat Aurora Celeste, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, 42-24 on first-place preferences. There were 6 No Preference votes.

                           NA                                        ANZ                             Total

Celeste                    18                                              6                                24

Coulson                   25                                            17                                42

Sixteen NA and ten ANZ votes were cast electronically, about 1/3.

Celeste’s nominators were Warren Buff, Chris Garcia, Jesi Pershing (NA); Norm Cates, Rose Mitchell (ANZ).

Coulson’s were Sue & Steve Francis, Joyce & Arnie Katz, Murray Moore (NA); Bruce Gillespie, Paula McGrath (ANZ).

Celeste’s platform: “Costumer and con runner. Currently Vice-President, International Costumers Guild. Involved in running conventions from the second one attended, acting as head of guest relations, ops, treasurer, and chair in various years for NaNaKon (4000+ people animé con in Kansas City), programming for Costume-Cons and Worldcons. Kansas City for 2016 Worldcon bid committee. Regretfully Conclave II conflicts with duty as Program Head for Costume-Con XXXII. In copious spare time reading a lot of YA SF/F.”

To this I as NA Administrator added: “Best in Show at last two Worldcon Masquerades (Chicon VII, Lonestarcon III); judges’ clerk at Renovation; Director at Costume-Con XXVIII & XXXI, judge too (no small task that) at XXVIII, MC at XXV; awards at Archon, Arisia, Animé St. Louis. Costume programming for Lonestarcon III. Upon hearing of fanzines promptly contributed to The Drink Tank 358.”

Coulson’s platform: “Have done fanzines, filksinging, pro writing. Happy to make friends and break stereotypes. Now in London, ready for Melbourne. Love to bring back opal. May illustrate own trip report. Taught Devra Langsam to hand-cut mimeo stencils, kept my styli which make nice kitchen tools. Sang at Old Ship Inn after Regency Dancing at Brighton Worldcon; lucky some Scots who’d heard Filthy Pierre in hotel bar sing unwise verse of ‘God Save the Queen’ arrived then and realized no murder needed. Very fond of rum-pots, crack-pots, and how are you, Mr. Wilson?”

To this I added: “Big Heart Award. Fan Guest of Honor at Reconstruction. Co-edited Yandro 33 years with late husband Buck; 1 Hugo, 10 nominations. With him Fan GoH at L.A.con I. Brighton trip report in Yandro 250. Filk Hall of Fame; 1 Pegasus, 17 nominations; known as a Den Mother. Helped Bjo Trimble invent Art Shows. Eighteen books, 10 shorter stories.”

NA Adm’rJohn Hertz

236 S. Coronado St., No. 409

Los Angeles, CA 90057  U.S.A.

Phone  (213) 384-6622

ANZ Adm’rBill Wright

Unit 4, 1 Park St

St Kilda West, VIC 3182  Australia

Phone  (61-3) 9534 0163

E-mail  bilw@iprimus.com.au

Hertz: Beware the Chides of March

By John Hertz: Voting for the 2014 DUFF delegate closes at midnight Pacific Daylight Time, March 31, 2014. Will you have done your part?

To those who already voted, thanks. If you haven’t, it’s not too late.

This year the Down Under Fan Fund sends a fan from North America to Australia – New Zealand. There are two good candidates, Aurora Celeste and Juanita Coulson, each interesting in a different way.

Founded in 1972, DUFF is supported entirely by donations. A donation of at least $5 Australian, Canadian, United States, or $7 New Zealand, goes with your ballot. If you can’t decide or don’t care to, but wish to support the Fund, you can vote No Preference.

A ballot explaining how to vote electronically, with more about DUFF, the candidates’ nominators and platforms, can be found in several places, for example here.

Paper ballots have been circulated too.

As the NA Administrator, I look forward to counting the votes with my ANZ counterpart Bill Wright any minute now.

Oh, and while I’m reminding you of things, this year’s Hugo nominations close at the same date and hour. You can find more here.

Hertz: DUFF Voting Opens

By John Hertz: Nominations have closed and voting is open for the 2014 Down Under Fan Fund delegate.

DUFF annually sends fans between North America and Australia – New Zealand, alternating directions each time. This year’s delegate goes west. Nominations were accepted until midnight Pacific Standard Time January 6. Three NA nominators and two ANZ nominators were required for each candidate, also a written platform of about 100 words and a donation of at least US$25 or C$ equivalent.

No candidates said they could attend both the 53rd Australia national convention Continuum X, Melbourne, June 6-9, and the 35th New Zealand natcon Conclave II, Auckland 24-27 April. The 2014 delegate will be sent to Continuum X. Candidates hoped to visit NZ also if elected, as DUFF will attempt.

The ballot has our two candidates Aurora Celeste and Juanita Coulson, each interesting in different ways, nominators and platforms likewise. Look them over.

Votes will be accepted until midnight Pacific Standard Time March 31, 2014, and must be accompanied by a donation of at least $5 Australian, Canadian, United States, or $7 New Zealand.

As the ballot explains, it may be sent by paper mail or PayPal, and must include the voter’s name, paper-mail address, and any further needed contact information. Paper ballots must be signed. Voters who think they may not be known to an Administrator should include the name and contact information of someone who knows them and who will be known.

Anyone active in fandom on or before January 1, 2014 may vote. “Active in fandom” means a natural person involved in fannish pursuits in our community, such as participation in clubs or conventions or fanzines, singing, costuming, social life, physically, electronically, or otherwise.

DUFF is supported by donations. If you can’t or don’t care to choose between the candidates you can always vote “No Preference”.

My counterpart the ANZ Administrator is Bill Wright, Unit 4, 1 Park St, St Kilda West, VIC 3182, phone (61-3) 9534  0163, E-mail <bilw@iprimus.com.au>.

I’m the NA Administrator, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA 90057, U.S.A., phone (213) 384-6622.

Duff2014 ballot [PDF file]

Upload 02/11/2014: Replaced ballot file with revision containing voting directions and Bill Wright’s correct e-mail address, courtesy Dave Langford.

Hertz on DUFF: Wright at Home

By John Hertz: Bill Wright the 2013 Down Under Fan Fund delegate has arrived safely home at St. Kilda West, Victoria, Australia, after visiting San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Antonio, New Orleans, Seattle, Minneapolis & St. Paul, and Boston. Many thanks to his hosts and helpers.

Aptly St. Kilda is also home to Luna Park, entered through the grinning face of the Moon, with the oldest continuously operated roller-coaster in the world, and one of the few carousels outside the U.S. built by the fine Philadelphia Toboggan Co. This may have prepared him.

Bill duly attended the 71st World Science Fiction Convention, saw both the LASFS (Los Angeles S-F Soc.) and NESFA (New England S-F Ass’n) clubhouses, and was treated, if not royally since USans don’t do that, enthusiastically and well. Alas, a stop in Canada could not be managed, but luckily there were Canadians at the Worldcon, not least long-time DUFF activist Murray Moore.

Jacq Monahan the North America TAFF Administrator and I contrived to get 2013 TAFF delegate Jim Mowatt on the Wright path several times. Ecumenical, we are.

Various reports of Wright view, Wright aspiration, Wright speech, Wright action, Wright livelihood, Wright effort, Wright mindfulness, Wright concentration have been appearing in Electronicland.

He is now the Australia – New Zealand DUFF Administrator, succeeding Dave Cake. Whether or not this shift from Perth to Melbourne rocks the continent, Bill may be reached electronically at <bilw@iprimus.com.au> (or, if he happens to be traveling, <bilwmahail@gmail.com>); or write to me, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA 90057, U.S.A., for his real-mail address.

In 2013 both funds sent delegates to, and in 2014 both will send delegates from, North America. While TAFFy people think of London, where a delegate will attend the 72nd Worldcon (remind me or Bridget Bradshaw to tell you about the Great Trans-Atlantic Toffee Tasting), my mind is running to Down Under national conventions.

The 53rd Australia natcon will be Continuum X, 6-9 June, Melbourne. The 35th New Zealand natcon will be Conclave II, 24-27 April, Auckland. Will there be candidates for both? In any event, Bill and I plan to open nominations on November 1st. We’re looking for a few good fen.

Hertz on DUFF: And So It Continues

By John Hertz: On Thursday night August 22nd I saw this year’s Down Under Fan Fund delegate Bill Wright in person for the first time since 2010.

He saw the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society in person for the first time since 1972.

Bidding to hold the first World Science Fiction Convention in Australia brought him then. He’d come to L.A.Con, the 1972 Worldcon, in retrospect L.A.con I. Chuck Crayne and Bruce Pelz co-chaired. Naturally Bruce made sure Bill joined the LASFS.

After that Bruce made sure the LASFS got a clubhouse. We’re in our third now. Bill said we were just as mad — ahem — jolly as before. We said “Welcome home.”

If you see him on his DUFF trip you can say that too. Home is where the heart is.

In the San Francisco Bay Area he saw Chris Garcia who took him through the Computer History Museum, Robert Lichtman who took him through fannish history, Jim Mowatt the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund delegate with whom my TAFF counterpart Jacq Monahan and I have tried to cross Bill’s path as much as possible, Spike, and a host of others.

Walking into the Clubhouse I asked Marty Cantor “Where’s Bill?” Marty said “In the library.” Best answer. Bill will see another fine library later when he visits the New England S-F Association.

LASFSians often come for the Business Meeting and leave before the program. That’s probably because our business is monkey business.

By way of raising money we auctioned off books, a doublet, and an empty bottle, we tried to auction off a framed poster for the Barbarella movie but Bill muttering “You can’t let go of that” outbid everyone so it stays, and the usual suspects — including me — and Bill — paid pun fines. First-timers were introduced. Ceremony honored Fuzzy Pink Niven and Michelle Pincus who have done much for the Club. Failing to get Jerry Pournelle to tell a 1979 Worldcon story I started telling it wrong and that worked. There was cake for Ray Bradbury’s birthday. Death does not release you.

I drove Bill to one of our two (I think) aftermeetings, at the Coral restaurant which I said he could mnemonize as the Coral Sea. He talked s-f with John DeChancie and I seeing Dana Ginsburg helped her put stamps on poctsarcds (H. Warner, A Wealth of Fable pp. 163-64, 2nd ed. 1992).

Kim and Jordan Brown were Bill’s hosts for the night. Kim catching a breath from her work on the 2013 Worldcon gave us tea. Bill gave them a jute tote-bag with “Advance Australia Fair” on it in two-part harmony. I left about three. At breakfast the Brown young tried the song.

By now Bill is in Las Vegas.

Hertz: 2013 DUFF Trip Begins

By John Hertz: This year’s Down Under Fan Fund delegate Bill Wright arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday, August 17th, at 8 a.m.

His flight was scheduled to arrive at 8:30. Fortunately I was there waiting at 7:45. An electronic notice board said the flight was coming in early and was on time.

I had brought a book. A breakfast bar served Peet’s coffee.

The notice board said the flight had arrived. Various people emerged.

An hour passed.

A guard said clearing Customs could take a while.

Many pages later I asked another guard. He said it could take three hours.

At 11 a.m. another guard said I should ask at Customs. Two floors up a nice man looked up Bill Wright, who had been cleared at 8:31.

Bill didn’t need me; he had just been traveling to and from Thailand. It was just a gesture. I’d thought of it at 3:30 a.m. after dancing till midnight and then the Bread Pudding Club.

His domestic flight left for San Jose from Terminal 1 in two-and-a-half hours. I walked over from Terminal 4. It was a nice sunny day. At Terminal 1, I learned that the only paging system would require him, if he heard it, to come back throuugh the crowd and down the escalator to pick up the call. So I went home.

But I can tell you he arrived. And last night the DUFF Intelligence Service told me he was safely asleep at Spike’s house.