Demi-TAFF Americain 2

Demi-TAFF Americain #2 is the second newsletter of the North American TAFF administrator, Ulrika O'Brien. TAFF races announced, fortunes in fanzines sold, TAFF trip gossip alluded to but not actually disclosed, while you wait, but coffee is extra. The Demi-TAFF originates at 123 Melody La., #C, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, and Ulrika can be reached there also. For those with e-mail access, Ulrika can also be contacted at uaobrien[at] or ulrika[at] at all hours of the day or night. Copyright 1998.

Vol. 1 -- No. 2 -- May 1998


Voting to select the 1998 European TAFF delegate to North America closed at midnight on Saturday, April 25, 1998, after a race so cheerful and friendly that there were surely seizures of violent nausea in Keighley. Outgoing administrators, Dan Steffan (US) and Martin Tudor (UK) counted up the votes, and the faithful but knackered retiring administrators reported the final results as follows:

1st North
Europe Other
Chris Bell 53 12 41
Bridget Hardcastle 41 14 27
Maureen Speller 121 42 76 3
No Preference 8 7 1
Total Ballots 223 75 145 3

Maureen Kincaid Speller is thus the clear, first-round winner, having received an absolute majority of first-place votes cast. No further eliminations and reassignments of second-place votes were necessary, since these would not affect the final result. Congratulations to Maureen, and commiserations to Chris and Bridget. Warm, fuzzy, two-headed TAFF thanks to all three for a perky race cleanly run. Now that's the way we played charades in the Sudan.

The fans who cast votes with the US TAFF Administrator(s) were: Alyson Abramowitz, Jae Leslie Adams, David Axler, Tracy Benton, Bill Bodden, Richard Brandt, David Bratman, Seth Breidbart, Bill Bridget, Carolyn Caugley, Michael Citrak, Dave Clark, Cathy Doyle, Marjii Ellers, Nic Farley, Jan Howard Finder, George Flynn, Donald Franson, EB Frohvet, Janice Gelb, Mike Glicksohn, Mike Glyer, Barbara Haddad, John Hertz, Arthur Hlavaty, Jim Hudson, Samanda Jeude, Jerry Kaufman, Michael Kingsley, Marilee Layman, Fred Lerner, Guy Lillian III, Lyn McConchie, Beth Miller, Catherine Mintz, June Moffatt, Len Moffatt, Murray Moore, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Priscilla Olson, Elizabeth Osborne, Bruce Pelz, Dolores Phelps, Ben Phillips, Neil Rest, Vicki Rosenzweig, Karen Schaffer, Ben Schilling, Lucy Schmeidler, Joyce Scrivner, Joy V. Smith, Randy Smith, Sherwood Smith, Dan Steffan, Jack Stelnicki.

We owe it all to these folks, and the ones who voted' in Europe, and to those who sent money even without voting, for having the interest, faith, and generosity to make the TAFF race happen. Golly, y'all are swell!


Nominations are open as of May 1, 1998 for the 1999 North America to Europe TAFF race. The winner will attend Reconvene, the 50th British National Science Fiction Convention (Eastercon), April 2-5, 1999 at the Britannia Adelphi, Liverpool, England.

Prospective North American candidates should ensure that their signed nominations (two from Europe and three from North America) reach the Administrators (well, realistically, probably me, eh?) by midnight on July 25, 1998, along with a 100-word platform and £10/$20 bond. Bond checks should be made out in the name of the administrator they are sent to (i.e., most likely made out to "Ulrika O'Brien." Please, nobody get clever and draft me a check in UK pounds; I'm not set up to cope -- okay, I haven't been set up to cope for years now, but I mean specifically with non-US currencies, okay? You Do So Know What I Mean).

TAFF also joyfully, indeed, ecstatically, accepts freely given donations of money or auction goods; such donations are the sole support the Fund has, and have sustained it for over 40 years. The North American administrator also joyfully accepts freely given donations of milk chocolate and heterosexual male swimsuit models, but does not promise they'll make it all the way to the direct benefit of the fund itself. Still, a cheerful administrator is an efficient administrator, no?

European Administrator Maureen Kincaid Speller, 60 Bournemouth Rd., Folkestone, Kent, CT19 5AZ, GREAT BRITAIN

North American Administrator: Ulrika O'Brien, 123 Melody Ln., #C, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA


Yes, I'm home from my trip to England, Scotland, and Wales, now. Wow. I mean, just golly. Really, most sincerely. Even as we speak, I am flogging away at my TAFF report to bring you every last, raunchy, sweaty, depraved detail. (Er, well, maybe not that one.) My report should be coming out in installments, with chapters currently promised to Lillian Edwards, the PloktaWings Cabananas, Maureen Speller, Michael Abbott if he promises to actually produce a fanzine to put it in, Mike Glyer, Andy Hooper, and possibly somebody else who will promptly remind me if I admit I've forgotten. I hope. Check it out in a fanzine near you; indeed, look for the first installment (not necessarily the first chapter) forthcoming in Widening Gyre in June. But before I get on to that, there are a few obvious things I should say here and now, in brief.

Obvious thing the first: I had an incredible time. Following the Hooper conceptual diagram of ideal TAFF trips, it was indeed far and away the single biggest honor and thrill of my fannish career. Nothing else is even in the stadium, let alone the ball game. I went, I saw, I fell in love a thousand times over.

Obvious thing the second: thanks to everyone concerned. It was the trip of a lifetime. Thanks to the Corflu and Intuition committees, for fine, fun conventions. Thanks to all the long-suffering souls who put me up, shuttled me around, smiled politely at my lame jokes, made me tea, plied me with wicked liquor, barely ever gave me a fair chance to buy the next round, sweetly propositioned me while in their cups, rearranged schedules to accommodate me, took me punting and let me weasel out of doing any of the work, leant me umbrellas to prevent rain, drove hundreds of miles out of their way to get me places, and all with amazing warmth and good humor.

Thanks specifically to Martin Tudor, for funds, welcome card, postage stamps, and a finished TAFF report by Easter; to Linda Krawecke for the guided tour of Haworth and Don West; to Mike Ford, for stevedoring above and beyond the call to make sure Hal & I had a clear bed to sleep on, and for the not-a-kettle-lead that kept my laptop powered up along the length and breadth of Britain, and for guidance and company in York, to Jim Trash for heroic chauffeuring of more stuff and people than his car could possibly hold, or, indeed, did; to Steve and Jenny Glover, for Edinburgh and haggis, and Demon posting under my own name (and to Tara and Rob, for the clean room contest and the urchin guide squad), and the Forth group for a charmingly bizarre Paddy's night -- we could never have nearly-won the pub quiz Without them; to Karen Babich for lunch, and Lilian Edwards for good company and documentation on the dreaded Ulrika-ka-ka joke (which I still don't really get...); to Charlie & Feorag for cat hair, heather ale, vegetarian food, and an the ultimate absence of kitten scars despite our best efforts; thanks a thousand times over to Avedon & Rob for extended quartering, sublime tolerance, parties thrown and pubs met, extra moving parts, countless homecooked meals, and glorious, glorious London; to PNH for the unwitting loan of his umbrella; to the BSFA and Fanhattonites for beer and hospitality; to Maureen Speller and Paul Kincaid, for lodging me with the nutter books, like those of Popper, Wittgenstein, A.J. Ayer, and G.E. Moore, and for authentic British Fare, like black pudding with marmalade; to Snufkin for the ultimate Bagging On Ian Sorensen metaphor.

Thanks to the Intuition committee, for instrumentality in my hearing the choir at Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral, by forcing me out of Paul & Maureen s living room and into the wide world; to Mark and Claire, for curry, and Maureen, for practical instruction in team Banana Wing duplication with a side of gossip; to Steve Davies and Giulia de Cesare, for the most glorious shower in England, the best Southeast Asian home cooking of the trip, plus scotch and conversation and yet more giant cat; to Morgan for the drive all over three counties, for Stonehenge, Avebury, Stones, the Wayland Smithy and for sharing her clotted cream; to Dave Langford, and Hazel Langford (heroic drinker of milk), for low-carbon toast and the all-Langfordian-pyrotechnic tour of Brazenose, with a side of Russian tourists; to Steven Cain and Alison Scott and their tattooed love child, for indoor fireworks, surreal wake-ups, and a 30-minute Moroccan chicken that can't be beat; to Dop for letting me say "Bollocks!" first; to all of the assembled fans at the Jubilee, for leaving me a few notes that weren't beer soaked; to Anne & Alan Wood- ford for the road trip, the exotic sausages, and all the twiddly bits; to the Brum group twice over for lovely pub company, and the finest mild in England; to John Dallman who will be elevated to sainthood some day, for chocolate bars, folded laundry, and dictatorial ways; to Austin Benson and the Wilson sisters for doing the punting, and Austin solo for organizing the Cambridge pub meet; to Michael Abbott, for taking a bath, and for the first review of Joseph Nicholas' legs; to Janet Wilkins, for gentle squiring 'round Cambridge; to Mike Scott, for chauffeuring, North Wales, and hot & cold running pedantry especially in the realm of Welsh botanical mysteries.

And thanks to everyone in between, for delightful, unexpected kindnesses, and for courtesy and attention beyond any dessert of mine. I am blissed out and dreamy, and scheming for ways to go back, for the trip was everything that I could possibly have hoped. I am replete. Ah, and thanks to you, for your support of the Fund, for without you, the rest could not have taken place.


Vicki Rosenzweig, plucky hero TAFF auctioneer, closed the mail auction of fanzines from Chuch Harris' collection on April 30, 1998. The items that sold, the winning bidder, and high bid were as follows: Item 2 -- proof copy of Beyond the Enchanted Duplicator -- Ian Stockdale, $40; Item 3 -- The Enchanted Duplicator 1/200 (1st) -- rich brown, $250; Item 4 -- This Goon for Hire -- Ben Zuhl, $50; Item 6 -- Pamphrey 7 -- Nigel Rowe, $10; Item 7 -- Pamphrey 3 -- Robert Lichtman, $20; Item 8 -- Goontact 13 -- Nigel Rowe, $25; Item 9 -- Apazines and little one-shots -- Patrick Nielsen Hayden, $10; Item 10 -- 3 issues of "Peace on Sol III -- Goodwill To Mellow Fen." -- Nigel Rowe, $50; Item 11 -- Complete run of Hyphen. Sold as single issues. (Any issues not listed here were not sold) -- Hyphen 1 -- Nigel Rowe -- $45; Hyphen 2 -- Nigel Rowe -- $45; Hyphen 3 -- Nigel Rowe -- $45; Hyphen 4 -- Nigel Rowe -- $45; Hyphen 5 -- Nigel Rowe -- $45; Hyphen 6 -- Nigel Rowe -- $20; Hyphen 8 -- Nigel Rowe -- $20; Hyphen 9 -- Nigel Rowe -- $20; Hyphen 10 -- Nigel Rowe -- $20; Hyphen 11 -- Cathy Doyle -- $20; Hyphen 12 -- Cathy Doyle -- $20; Hyphen 13 -- Cathy Doyle -- $20; Hyphen 14 -- Cathy Doyle -- $20; Hyphen 15 -- Cathy Doyle -- $20; Hyphen 32 -- Joyce Scrivner, $20; Item 12 -- Fen Critturs Comical Books -- Randy Smith, $50; Item 13 -- The Bob Shaw Appreciation Magazine Vol. 1 No. 1 -- Steve Green, 20 pounds; Item 14 -- The Harp Stateside -- Ian Stockdale, $40; Item 15 -- Lonconfidential -- Robert Lichtman, $30; Item 17 -- Various Chuch Harris apazines -- Ian Stockdale, $60; Item 18 -- Moonvention -- Jeff Olson, $19; Item 19 -- The Story So Far -- Bruce Burn; $19; Item 20 -- Beyond the Enchanted Duplicator -- Bruce Burn, $15; Item 22 -- Slant 1 -- Nigel Rowe, $85; Item 23 -- Slant 2 -- Nigel Rowe, $50; Item 24 -- Slant 3 -- Cathy Doyle, $30; Item 25 -- Slant 4 -- Cathy Doyle, $30; Item 26 -- Slant 5 -- Cathy Doyle, $37; Item 27 -- Slant 6 -- Nigel Rowe, $50; Item 28 -- Slant 7 -- Says Vicki: "The winning bidder on this item has asked to remain anonymous for the time being, but is a fan known to me." Winning bid: $225.

Vicki reckons the auction raised over $1500 for TAFF, which is very well done indeed. On behalf of Vicki and both administrators, I'd like to say that Chuch Harris has our awestruck gratitude, for the incredible donation of his collection for sale to benefit TAFF. Our thanks also go out to all the participants in the auction, and especially to the winning bidders for their openhandedness as well. Thanks to Gary Farber for initial impetus. Finally, laurels and rose petals and wafted citrus fruit to the indefatigable Vicki Rosenzweig for hard work above and beyond the call. TAFF thanks and salutes you all.

American winning bidders should send (and make their checks out) to me, and will receive their loot once I have a check and Vicki has postage in hand. Steve Green will needs settle matters with Martin Tudor. Unsold fanzines will be held for auction at a later date, at a convention near you.


Maureen Speller is coming to America. For those who like to watch such things, and especially for those who would like to host a TAFF winner on her grand progress, here are the late breaking details on her preliminary itinerary: "2nd August ... fly into Washington D.C., early afternoon; in Washington until 5th August ... Paul is keen to visit Arlington Cemetery, I'm bucking for National Air and Space Museum ... the rest is negotiable, depending on how tired we are. 5th August -- Baltimore (by train, according to Paul) Worldcon, (and I would very much like to visit the Edgar Allan Poe House, after studying him so much at university) 10th August leave Baltimore for NY, via Gettysburg and anything else American Civil War-ish Teresa Nielsen Hayden can squeeze in en route. 12-19th August New York. 19th August -- fly to Chicago, to spend a couple of days with non-fannish friends nearby. 22nd August -- return to Chicago, link up with Nigel Rowe, wave goodbye to Paul who returns home...Then, after spending time in Chicago, I'm so far planning to visit: Minneapolis; Seattle; Portland; Eugene; San Francisco (several venues); Los Angeles ... after which it gets a bit wibbly as I plot a course vaguely east with no idea where I'm going but I know that on 28th October I fly home from New York."


The startlingly handsome Martin Tudor drew gasps of awe from delighted Intervention onlookers as he revealed his freshly completed TAFF report, Have Bag Will Travel. Surely one of the fastest TAFF reporters on record, Martin released four chapters of the report while still on the road, and has now yet again stunned TAFF watchers worldwide by releasing his completed report during his stint as administrator How can the rest of us possibly hope to keep up? In another land speed record, TAFF's SCIFI godmother, embodied in the person of Bruce Pelz, promptly proffered the $500 donation for a completed TAFF report. Now, if you want in on all this action, your intrepid reporter is now in receipt of rare, Stateside copies of Martin's report. They can be had for a mere $8.00 TAFF donation (see, aren't you glad you're not SCIFI?). Martin Tudor is rumored to be retiring to the Canary Islands to enjoy a well-earned nap and hot oil massage after the rigors of simultaneous TAFF reporting and ministry. Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutant.


Well,we're not dead yet. Indeed, we seem to have cause for guarded optimism:

Income Expense
Beginning Balance 2099.51
Check Printing 11.91
Voting Fees & donations 147.00
Taff Report Sales 68.00
TAFF fund Transfer (Dan Steffan) 2000.00
Manchester/Heathrow airline ticket 153.46
Britrail Pass 480.00
Bank Service Charge 8.50
Griffin Hotel, Leeds 168.68
Travel expenses (meals, bus fars, tube pass, cabs) 483.53
Mail Auction Donations 717.00
SCIFI Donation (Tudor TAFF Report 500.00
Current Balance $4225.43

With further income still expected from winning bidders in the mail auction the US holdings of the fund appear to be in tolerably good order, though we are not resting on our laurels just yet.


Further issues of Demi-TAFF American as needed, look for the next one in July, along with the issue of the TAFF ballots for the 1999 race.