...is not some kind of fiendish tongue twister, but actually the latest TAFF newsletter from current European administrators Christina Lake (47 Wessex Avenue, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 0DE) and Lilian Edwards (10C Bleachfield, York University, Heslington, York, YO1 5DD)
The big news round here is that ROBERT LICHTMAN of downtown Glen Ellen, California has won this year's America to Europe TAFF race by a convincing margin. Lichtman wound up with over half of the total first place votes, which meant that there was no need to look into second preferences (much to the relief of those doing the counting). Some consolation for Minneapolis roadster Luke McGuff -- he makes it on the twenty percent rule on both sides of the Atlantic.
UK/EUROPE NORTH AMERICA FOREIGN TOTAL ROBERT LICHTMAN 26 77 6 109 LUKE MCGUFF 10 34 0 44 HOLD OVER FUNDS 5 5 0 10 MISCELLANEOUS 2 0 0 2 TOTAL 43 116 6 165
The miscellaneous incidentally were Oliver North and T.D. the Cyberpunk Teddy Bear, and can be largely put down to one of the administrators taking votes at a New Year's party.
There were also a couple of donations from fans who didn't feel they knew enough about either candidate to actually vote (but whose money was appreciated just the same), plus a transatlantic offering from the man with the unlikely name of Covert Beach -- which didn't quite make it across in time for the count, and a late cheque from Vin¢ Clarke who was rather busy at the time with more important matters like visiting Chuch Harris and ATom in hospital.
We were slightly disappointed to see no votes at all from mainland Europe (I guess Roelof Goudriaan was too busy planning his GUFF trip). Any suggestions on what to do and who we should be sending to would be very welcome. We know you're out there! (The next newsletter will appear in French, German, Dutch and Norwegian)
We note with interest that holdover funds placed not a bad third in the UK. We reckon that this small but enthusiastic campaign can be attributed to some people's unrealistic desire for a UK to Boston race this year. I mean it couldn't be sour grapes over sending a delegate to Contrivance instead of Mexicon, could it? (Naah, those people didn't bother to vote at all)
(This was the mandatory one piece of bitchiness required to keep people reading the newsletter. The administrators apologise -- this type of non-neutral behaviour will not occur again. At least, not in the next five minutes).
Thanks go especially to all those generous voters who sent in fivers and a couple of heroes who parted with ten pounds apiece. All of which bring the TAFF funds up to a reasonably healthy 1,342,86. However look out for future fund raising events - when we shall be auctioning some of the wonderful materials donated by Dave Langford and Jo Nicholas and Judith Hanna -- including the Langford collection of tasteless ties, several extraordinarily unbelievable editions of the Weekly World News and 'a lovingly inexact facsimile of the vest worn by M. P. Shiel while writing THE PURPLE CLOUD.' Need we say more? Probably not.
Meanwhile back in Glen Ellen, Robert Lichtman is busy making plans for his trip. He's going to be over for about two and a half weeks, he reckons, and is buying a BritRail pass, so he can get round to see as many fans as possible during his stay. The itinerary so far includes London, Leeds and Bristol -- but he is open to offers! He will also of course be going to Jersey (not, alas on a BritRail pass) to appear live in the Contrivance fan room and bring a bit of Californian sunshine to what promises already to be quite a sybaritic Eastercon. But for those who can't make it quite as far as Jersey, Robert's planning to be at the April 'Ton, providing he can stretch his stay that long. He's also looking forward to sampling as many of our ethnic restaurants as possible, though he would like to warn any potential hosts that he is mostly vegetarian.
Finally, for those who like this sort of thing, here's the full list of those who voted on this side of the Atlantic:
H.A. ASHWORTH, MAL ASHWORTH, ERIC BENTCLIFFE, HAZ BOND, KEN BULMER, AVEDON CAROL, MIKE CHRISTIE, BRIAN DAVIES, JAN DAWES, ABIGAIL FROST, GWEN FUNNELL, TIM GOODRICK, JUDITH HANNA, ROB HANSEN, R.C. HEWISON, STEVE HUBBARD, RICHMOND HUNT, PAUL KINCAID, DAVE LANGFORD, ETHEL LINDSAY, RICHARD MCLAREN, NICK MILLS, DAVID C. MOOR, TERRY MORAN, JUSTIN MOSS, JOSEPH NICHOLAS, CHRISTOPHER F. O'SHEA, SIMON OUNSLEY, GREG PICKERSGILL, LINDA K. PICKERSGILL, MAUREEN PORTER, ALISON SCOTT, NICK SHEARS, NATHAN SIDWELL, CHARLES STROSS, PETER-FRED THOMPSON, GLEN WARMINGER, PAM WELLS, D. WEST, OWEN WHITEOAK, MADELEINE WILLIS, WALTER A. WILLIS, DAVE WOOD