Corfluish Developments

Corflu Cobalt is on the horizon. It begins March 19 in Winchester, England. The latest Progress Report shows a prolific number of well-known fanzine fans from both sides of the Pond have attending memberships. Just the chance to be in the same room as some of those historic figures ought to be all the reason anyone would need to go.

However, these adventures cost money and for fans with a shortage of it the good news is there will be internet video coverage of the program. Ian Maule successfully tested the con hotel’s WiFi system in October:

With the aid of a login/password provided by the hotel I managed to get the Ustream system to broadcast a nice view of the main convention hall. Peter Sullivan watched as I panned the camera around taking in scenes of chairs, tables, the floor and occasionally Mary, the Duty Manager, waving from behind the bar. Later Pat Charnock joined the test so we know the broadcast can be received in at least two places!

Another item of interest in the PR is a several-paragraphs-long explanation of why this year’s Corflu committee is tinkering (yet again) with the GoH tradition. 

Corflu is among the rare conventions that lay great stress on the egalitarianism of fans. How it handles the GoH-ship is one example. While Midwestcon, another proudly egalitarian convention, makes a point of having no GoH, Corflu goes to the other extreme and makes selecting the GoH a tortuous paroxysm of democracy.

On the first day of Corflu the committee produces a hat containing paper slips with the names of all eligible members. Whoever’s name is picked from the hat becomes the GoH. The only reason a member’s name will not be in the hat is if he or she has been GoH at some past Corflu (and already suffered) — or the member has followed the time-honored custom of bribing the committee to tear up the slip with his or her name (usually $20 US, this year 10 UKP).

In most years the GoH gave a speech at the Sunday banquet, a real stand-and-deliver moment. Last year’s Corflu was a pleasant exception — Andy Hooper took advantage of the opportunity of being on the Seattle committee to try and make the proceeding a little more humane. He allowed people to reject being GoH if their name was picked, and one or two people did before someone acquiesced to the dreaded honor.

Now I read that Corflu Cobalt is determined to restore the old regime, up to a point. The selected GoH will have to do something — whether it’s writing for the daily newzine, performing or speaking at the banquet.

The choice is yours – but given this extra flexibility, we don’t think it is quite right to say “Er, no thanks,” on the night as was allowed last year in Seattle.

The other privilege open to the GoH is that his or her table will have the honour of being the first in the queue to the Banquet buffet. As fans are not known for their lack of appetite, this could be quite a significant privilege.

True that. They may be onto something.

Another highlight of Corflu Cobalt will be the announcement of the 2010 Fan Activity Achievement (FAAn) Award winners. Deadline for voting is 24:00 GMT on Saturday March 13, 2010. There will be no voting during Corflu.

The last line in the progress report gives the local number to call for Dominos Pizza. Literary scholars will be studying its hidden meanings for years to come. Certainly no one could seriously hope the announcement will make people forget the international reputation of British cuisine. If they’d given the number of an Indian restaurant that delivers, that would have been be different.