Demi-TAFF Americain 3

Demi-TAFF Americain #3 is the half-caf decaf issue, with a twist of lemon, of the TAFF newsletter of North American TAFF administrator, Ulrika O'Brien. Herein all the news that fits, plus TAFF ballots, kudos for kind supporters, and a slightly flattened capybara, suitable for framing. The Demi-TAFF originates at 123 Melody Ln., #C, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. 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. 3 -- August 1998


Voting in the 1999 North America to Europe TAFF race is now open. The lovely and talented candidates in this two-headed race are Velma "Vijay" Bowen, and Sarah S. Prince. The winning candidate will attend Reconvene, the 50th British National Science Fiction Convention (Eastercon), April 2-5, 1999 at the Britannia Adelphi, Liverpool, England.

Ballots and their accompanying donations must reach either the US or European administrator by midnight, December 5, 1998. Note that the voting deadline is for receipt of ballots by the administrators, not just for postmarks.

A ballot is included with this newsletter -- please feel free to reproduce the ballot and disseminate copies more widely, with the usual caveat of reproducing the ballots verbatim save substituting your own name for mine in the appropriate spot on the ballot. An online version of this ballot (along with a variety of useful information about TAFF) is also available at the unofficial TAFF web site religiously maintained by Dave Langford, which can be found at the following URL:

Further ballot copies are also currently available directly from me, with copies of the September Ansible, and more generally, from Dave Langford, from North American DUFF Administrator Janice Murray, and with copies of a fanzine near you, perhaps even your own. Please support TAFF by voting in this race and making an accompanying donation!

Unofficial word from the candidates suggests they plan to produce a joint campaign zine, available in October.

Mail Ballots To:

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

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


Maureen Speller and her husband, noted teddybear of British Fandom Paul Kincaid -- not Speller, no matter what the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor tells you -- have alighted in the U.S. Your roving TAFF reporter caught tip with them at Bucconeer, where Maureen was found to have taken, much in the manner of ducks to water, to all sorts of American perversions, including Iced Tea and Barbecue. "I think I was meant to be an American, really," chirped Maureen, while Paul looked on in obvious horror.

When not presenting fan Hugos, helping auction fanzines and kipple for TAFF, or being carried about the streets of Baltimore in the arms of DUFF delegate Terry Frost, Maureen has actually found time to make some occasional live reportage of her trip. The first two installments of her ongoing "Snufkin Goes West," news reports have been posted to rec.arts.sf.fandom and published in the UK by the Croydon TAFF Assistance League, and both should also soon be available for viewing at the Langford TAFF site. With luck, permissions, and a working printer, paper versions will also be available from Your Humble TAFF Administrator as of the next Demi-TAFF mailing.

For those interested in meeting Maureen during her progress here are (approximate) upcoming U.S. dates:

2 September, Minneapolis w/Geri Sullivan
10 September, Seattle, with Kate Schaefer
18 September, Portland, K. Yule & D.Levine
20 September, Eugene, w/Loren MacGregor
24 September, San Francisco (variously)
12 October, Los Angeles, with Ulrika O'Brien
19 October, Las Vegas, with the Vegrants
26 October, fly back to New York
28 October, leave New York

Check with the local host for contact information and social schedules.


Bucky took a somewhat unconventional approach to auctions, combining all the charity voice auctions into a single time slot, with rotating auctioneers hawking items for the benefit of TAFF, DUFF, ASFA, SFWA Emergency Relief, and so forth, while the majority of auction items were sold via silent auction in the Art Show. On the whole, the experiment was a mixed success, with many silent auction items going uncollected as the purchasers presumably missed the instruction as to where and when to pick up their purchases. Nonetheless, TAFF received a net total of $678.52 from the combined voice and silent auctions. TAFF's deepest gratitude to all donors, bidders, and other supporters; with particular thanks to Mary Kay Kare, auction mistress, Bruce Pelz, auctioneer par excellence, Maureen Kincaid Speller and Paul Kincaid for schlepping kipple across the ocean, Fran Dowd and the Intuition Committee for the Dragon Skull sculpture, Antony "Dop" Shepherd and the rest of the ZZ Hitchhiker's fan group for the excellent and popular Beeblebear, Marilee Layman for donations of handmade pottery and beaded jewelry way above and beyond the call, and to Alison Scott, Karen Cooper, Bruce Pelz, LASFS, and untold others for miscellaneous TAFF kipple.

Over in the Fan Lounge, yeoman TAFF supporter Randy Smith took the time and trouble to sort through the donated freebie fanzines for a collection of fanzines too good to give away for free. Since the time restrictions on the official charities auction were such that I couldn't add any items to the official voice auction by then, we conspired with Maureen Speller, Terry Frost, and Fan Lounge Manager Cathy Doyle to host a renegade TAFF & DUFF fanzine auction in the Fan Lounge opposite the Masquerade on Saturday night. With auctioneers Speller, Kincaid, Frost, and O'Brien and a small but raucously willing audience of bidders we raised yet another $384.75 for the combined funds, and discovered that Mike Ford (UK) can be gotten to fall over and make noises like a chicken if provoked to sufficiently hysterical laughter. Alas, none of us was quick-witted enough to auction this eldritch power for the benefit of TAFF. Still, a merry time for all concerned.

Among the audience who arrived with their wallets akimbo were Amanda Babcock, Elspeth Kovar Burgess, Ed Meskys, Woody Bernardi, Mike Ford, Lenny Bailes, Jeff Schalles, Dan Hoey, Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, and Guy Lillian III. Deepest thanks to all, and to stalwart Cathy Doyle for all the assistance the fan lounge could offer.


Among the many pleasures of Baltimore in August, high on the list was finally meeting my TAFF administrative predecessor, Dan Steffan, for the first time. Dan proved to be much taller in person than over the phone, an interesting change from the usual run-of-the-month first encounter in the flesh. Dan also turned out to be laden with a full bale of jaunty red TAFF t-shirts, which he has passed on to my keeping. For those who want to wear their TAFF support plastered right across their nipples, now we offer these scarlet wonders, with a handsome logo by Dan Steffan, for a mere $12.00 each including postage. Shirts are available in adult sizes M-XXL

Other Passed-on Items Available (One Size):
The Enchanted Duplicator ('83 Edition) -- $3
Fanthology '87 $6
Fanthology '89 $8
The Tudor Dynasty $6

Trip Reports:
On The TAFF Trail (Rob Hansen, '84) $6
TAFF Tales (Ken Bulmer, '55) $10
Have Bag, Will Travel (Martin Tudor, '96) $8

All prices include postage. Quantities are limited, contents may settle during shipping. All proceeds, need I mention, go to TAFF. Excelsior.