TAFF Jottings

Elliot K. Shorter

Locus #60, 23 July 1970

This has a separate page as the first instalment of the TAFF trip report.

Locus #63, 15 September 1970

This was the Heicon instalment of our man's TAFF trip report.

Locus #66, 29 October 1970

[From editorial by Charles N. Brown]

A couple of lines in Locus 62 about TAFF and the Bob Shaw Fund seem to have provided quite a stir in fannish circles, and, if I understand these things correctly, plunged all fandom into war. Gosh, it doesn't take much, does it? My main arguments were about the following: 1) Focal Point announced that they had queried the TAFF Administrators and that no TAFF race was planned for 1971. 2) Because of this and other things they planned a fund to bring over Bob Shaw for Noreascon. In less than 10 lines, I wondered if it might be best if, since the Focal Point announcement about TAFF was "sadly mistaken", Bob Shaw reconsidered participating in the TAFF race instead. This was sent out in the August 29 issue of Locus. It seems to have provoked about four pages of invective in Focal Point 14. Ted White accuses me of "intemperate blasts against the Bob Shaw fund ... significantly lowering the tone of TAFF and the BoSh fund. He also accuses me of not checking to see if the TAFF Administrators knew about the fund, "trying to torpedo the Bob Shaw Fund," "petty sniping," "bitchy catscratching," and various other heinous and unnameable crimes. He claims I've brought feuding into an area in which it doesn't belong. Rich Brown concludes by asking if I'm proud of myself after this life of debauchery and sin. I hadn't really thought about it. Rich. I went back to reread the lines in Locus 62 and they still seem fairly temperate and calm. I'm sorry I have to bring up a subject which should better be forgotten, but I feel I have to answer such blatant lies and false accusations. The pity is that the man who suffers most is Bob Shaw, who deserves much better. To begin with, the lines in Locus 62 were much more gentle than I could have written since I already had a letter from Shorter and Jones branding the Focal Point TAFF story an outright lie. Eddie Jones was not consulted at all, Elliot Shorter said there probably would be a TAFF race, and Steve Stiles said he was no longer running TAFF. Ted repeats this lie in his blast at me. Ted and Rich Brown take me to task for merely suggesting that the funds be combined (I wonder if they noticed that Leigh Edmonds said the same thing in Norstrilian News) and say it would be impossible now. Sure, but I made the suggestion right after the first announcement. Maybe I should have just printed Elliot's letters in Locus 62 and stayed out of the fight, but the problem was that I really felt sorry for Bob Shaw and felt he deserved a better deal than the various screwings he'd gotten at the hands of his so-called friends. The Bob Shaw fund is a fine thing which I hope succeeds. My complaints are directed to the idiots running it. (By the way, the so-called feud between Locus and Focal Point is over the fact that I wanted to trade one-for-one and they demanded 2 copies of Locus so that each editor could have one.) Hell, I'd print news of the fund if the idiots would send it to me. Since the harm I tried to avoid in Locus 62 has been done, thanks to Ted White, I might as well print Elliot Shorter's original letters on the mix-up. Are you proud, Ted White?

[Letters from Elliot Shorter]

[letter dated 13 August] "It's after the Thursday meeting at the Globe here in London. First person I saw on arrival was Astrid Anderson. Most of the notes are on tapes unfortunately. The important thing, though, was Arthur (ATom) showing me a copy of the latest Focal Point. He was not happy. After reading it, I was not happy. -sputter- Contrary to Katz and Brown's statement, there will be a TAFF race. Hell, I met one avowed candidate, Pete Weston, and avoided discussing the merits of at least two other possible candidates. There is no excuse for FP's having printed what they did. A week ago, Katz and Brown called me, to find out whether there was a TAFF race. 'To my knowledge, yes,' I said. They then told me that they had previously discussed the idea of there not being a race with Steve Stiles and Eddie Jones and that both had said 'OK, no race!' 'Well, Steve hasn't said anything to me, and I won't be seeing Eddie till next week' (haven't seen Eddie yet, I'll see him tomorrow), I said, 'What brought the subject up?' 'We're starting the Bob Shaw fund and we didn't want to interfere with a TAFF race, so we're checking up,' they said. I told them that as far as I was concerned I would have preferred that Bob stand for TAFF, but since concurrent funds had been run before with no particular harm to TAFF, go right ahead with the Bob Shaw fund. The above statement, or parts thereof, were all that was to be printed about TAFF and over my name. They were also to indicate I would be speaking with Eddie to see how he felt. As to whether or not there was a TAFF race nothing was to be said. As far as I was concerned there would be one, but maybe Eddie had committed himself to not having one, I would find out. I don't know, use what you will of this. I can't write a coherent blast against Katz and Brown, I get too upset when I try. They're damn fools, that's for sure."

[letter dated August 15] "Contrary to reports in Focal Point there will be a TAFF race in 1971. Pete Weston has announced and Eddie feels there will be at least one candidate from the continent. The position of the Administrators is as follows: 'Since fan trips funds have been run concurrently with TAFF in years past we see no harm in the Focal Point Bob Shaw fund.' The implications that Bruce Pelz fully approved, and that Eddie was aware of the plan, are false. Bruce approved only if no TAFF race and no one talked to Eddie. Our theory (Eddie's) is that Katz and Brown asked Steve Stiles if he was running a TAFF race in 1971 and since he was no longer Administrator, he said no. Therefore they interpreted this as a full no."

TAFF Jottings
Elliot Shorter

Sigh. A few weeks ago at Ted White's going away party, Rich Brown finally gave me a copy of Focal Point. I say finally because when he and Arnie called me, the week before I left for Heicon, to inquire about the TAFF race, they informed me I was being placed on the Focal Point mailing list as a news source (To date I've received only the issue Rich Brown handed me.) I read it. Ted White blasts Charlie Brown. Rich Brown blasts Charlie Brown and Locus. Both are wrong. Ted 100% and Rich 90%. Rich's comment about the number of ballots has a point of validity but that's all. Why is Focal Point trying to create a feud? Why are they involving TAFF? When will the Focal Point staff learn English? Why am I upset?

Let's look at Ted's column in Focal Point 2 #14. He starts off saying Locus 62 has made a series of intemperate blasts at the Bob Shaw Fund. Where? When Locus notes that Focal Point was sadly mistaken when it said there was no TAFF race. Rich and Arnie contacted me at the last minute to check this out and I told them I didn't know and to print nothing about TAFF till I talked to Eddie. The fact that they didn't feel like hand correcting 250 copies to me seems highly unethical in that their readers would believe the statement, and therefore worthy of a much stronger blast than anything Charlie ever said. They didn't feel like hand correcting copies. That means Focal Point willfully, and with malice aforethought, printed false and misleading information. Further on Rich Brown states he and Arnie tried to reach me for a week. Shouldn't they have attempted to reach me immediately following the announcement of my election? Before they stenciled Focal Point. I would think so, yet they didn't.

Ted then goes on to say that Charlie spoke as a spokesman for TAFF. The Hell you say. That's a personal insult. Ted has known me long enough to know better. To say Charlie spoke for TAFF is to imply I am a cipher, a tool, with no will of my own. No one speaks for TAFF except Eddie and me, and then after consultation.

Ted, see above how I was queried in advance, after Focal Point was printed. You have down what I said, except the line where I told Arnie and Rich not to print anything about TAFF. Odd, isn't it? Maybe, charitably I say this, Arnie and Rich forgot to tell you about that part of the conversation.

Consider Focal Point published no note about speaking to me when they stated there was no TAFF race. Consider Joe Faan listening to, or reading, my speech. It is apparent Focal Point never spoke to me. Charlie doesn't say this. He just notes from the evidence at hand that Focal Point probably forgot to speak to me. Imagine what he could say knowing that Focal Point spoke to me and did not act on what I had to say. Somehow with that in mind, his statement becomes a very temperate blast indeed. (Locus was aware that Focal Point had contacted me. I sent an angry letter after reading Arthur Thomson's copy of Focal Point in London.) That comment is no slur on the competition at all. "Bad start" in this context, as I understand it, implies antagonizing people. Sorry, but the BoSh fund, despite its publicity, despite its making money, is off to a bad start. There are angry people out there in fandom, people who are leary about contributing because Focal Point, a newszine that prints inaccurate articles and news, is involved. Sorry about that. It's sad but true. Arnie Katz tells me the fund has $250 plus already. You realize it could have been finished already if Focal Point hadn't stated there wasn't a TAFF race.

Charlie never urges Bob Shaw to withdraw from the BoSh fund. He just wonders if it might be better if he stood for TAFF and gives his reasons why. Perfectly reasonable. I told Rich and Arnie I would have been happier if Bob had stood for TAFF. Eddie Jones told me he would have been happier if Bob stood for TAFF. We all find nothing wrong with the BoSh fund. What is your problem Ted? Do you and Focal Point have to find someone to fight?

Had Yandro, SFReview, or Egoboo said there was no TAFF race and it turned out there was one, those three zines would probably have been the target of much stronger criticism, because a) they are not attempting to feud with Locus, and b) they have a reputation for accuracy and will take constructive criticism.

Now how can Charlie have overlooked Pete Weston's candidacy for TAFF? Pete asked Charlie to nominate him. Admittedly you didn't know this, but Pete nominated Charlie. Isn't such a thing logical?

No Ted, not Charlie but you and Focal Point have lowered the tone of both TAFF and the BoSh fund by intemperate criticisms and your willingness to bring inappropriate feuding into such an arena.

And now to Rich Brown. I'm sorry Rich, but as Steve and I both understand it, as of the day he announced my election I became American Administrator. It is between us what methods we use to transfer authority and administration. So if you claim that prior to July 15 Steve and Eddie said there was no race, this has no bearing on events after that date. Since Eddie announced this current TAFF race with the announcement of my victory I kind of doubt he ever said no race at any time. By the way, when did you try to reach me for a week? You and Arnie told me you had called the day previous to reaching me, that's all. In any event, you could have reached me through Charlie Brown. The rest of what Rich has to say has been covered above as I discussed Ted's article. I wish I had not had to write this, 'cause Ted's right, intemperate criticizing and feuding have no place in TAFF but: I get letters, and phone calls, and comments and they're all the same. "What the hell is going on?" "What are those idiots at Focal Point doing?" "What is your side of the story?" "When will you publish your side?" "Should I support the Bob Shaw Fund?" "Have you seen what the latest issue of Focal Point says?" Speaking of which, I haven't gotten an issue since 2#14 and I've given Arnie news.

In any event you know now what I said to Focal Point and when, and what I think of the items they're printing. I still support the BoSh fund. The Focal Point staff supports TAFF. I will still supply news to Focal Point. How can I do otherwise? I hope they will cease their attacks on Locus if for no other reason than I am associated with Locus and it's so tiring having to keep my temper. I've got work to do, an apartment to find, a TAFF race to run. Enough is enough. Let's get together and get some more candidates for TAFF. Don't wait till the deadline! By the way, the comments above were made, in substance, to Ted, Rich and Arnie at Ted's going away party.

Visited Steve Stiles ex-TAFF Administrator in his half painted apartment the other night. He transferred to me the last $15 and change in TAFF Funds. He also said he may do another TAFF Terror Tales to finish up his report. However, don't expect that before late December at the earliest. He'll be busy fixing up his new apartment till then.

I keep forgetting this, but a bond must be given for each TAFF candidate – said bond is 2 Pounds Sterling, and for simplicity's sake, $5 American. The administrators make no comment as to how this bond is to be raised.

Locus #68, 23 November 1970

TAFF JOTTINGS: Is Our Face Red Dept.: "Ah, Elliot," said Tony Lewis, Chairman of Noreascon, as he overtook me in the corridors of the Sheraton-Philadelphia this last Philcon, "You have erred." "What ho?" said I. "You said U.S. nominators, 2 each. Tch Tch." Yes, folks, and an apology to all non-US fans on the North American Continent. I should have said 2 North American nominators, North America to be defined by WorldCon rules, and 3 European nominators required to nominate for TAFF.

Financial Report I: That's right, Financial Report. Once a month I shall give a report, to date, of TAFF income. Every so often I'll also list TAFF expenses. This report must of necessity be skimpy as I have not finished figuring out Heicon expenses. October 1970 income: $10.00 + $15.98 total $25.98. The $15.98 is the final funds transferred from Steve Stiles. To date in Nov. we have received $8.50.

TAFF REPORT NEWS: On December 1 Marsha Brown will start transcribing the 8 hours of taped notes for the body of the report. Next Locus issue will have the next installment (cross my heart). There will be at least two other installments before we reach the taped material. Understand now, the taped material is all raw notes – not formalized report.

I spoke to Arnie Katz at Philcon and all differences between us referred to him in a previous edition of Jottings have been resolved. Now we'll settle down and bring Bob Shaw to America and bring the TAFF winner to America, whoever he, she, or it, is. (Elliot Shorter)

Locus #89, 11 July 1971


Thanks to a very heavy European vote (for the first time greater than the American one) European TAFF candidate Mario Bosnyak is now the 1971 European TAFF delegate. Mario became well known in European fandom by running the successful Heicon last year. Noreascon will be his third straight worldcon! Congratulations can reach him at 6272 Niedernhausen, Feldbergstr. 26A, W. Germany. Total money collected is approximately $1250. Unofficial vote counts are reproduced below. In order for the winner to have a majority of the votes, (Australian ballot system) three counts were needed. Totals on ballots 2 & 3 vary since many people did not vote for 2nd, 3rd, 4th place. Total number of ballots received was 336.

BALLOT 1          American  European    Total
Mario Bosnyak           32       106      138
Peter Weston            51        33       84
Terry Jeeves            44        22       66
Per Insulander          27        20       47
Hold Over Funds          1         0        1
Total                  155       181      336

BALLOT 2          American  European    Total
Mario Bosnyak           47       116      163
Peter Weston            54        41       95
Terry Jeeves            51        23       74
Total                  152       180      332

BALLOT 3          American  European    Total
Mario Bosnyak           62       122      184
Peter Weston            61        52      113
Total                  123       174      297

Thanks to all of you who voted and contributed in this year 's race. There were contributions of 50¢ to $50 in addition to the $1 contribution. George Barr has donated a painting as the prize for the American TAFF drawing which will be held at Noreascon. EKShorter

Locus #91, 22 July 1971

TAFF NOTES: "Thanks mainly to European fandom this race has been one of the best supported races ever, as far as European voters go, thanks everyone! European TAFF kitty: the balance on 11th July is £202.82. Less my expenses over the last two years ... £21.40 (print, paper, postage, phone and cables etc.). Balance to winner ... £181.42 ($454) from Europe. European votes split as follows: G.B. 48, Germany 52, Italy 46, Sweden 19, Austria 11, Holland 2, Belgium 2, Turkey 1. More later ..." (Eddie Jones)

TAFF JOTTINGS: "July 13. Well here come the overruns. All proceeds will be counted as contributions. But one wonders about our postal service. All items here were mailed in time, and in ways, to reach my P.O. box by noon July 10th. BUT ... McLean Virginia – 4 days by air; Carnegie, Ill. – 4 days; Hackettstown NJ. – 4 days; Colorado Springs, Col. – 6 days; College Park Maryland – 4 days; Arleta Calif. – 4 days by airmail. Sorry they couldn't be counted, folks, and thank you for trying. If I interpret time stamps right a telegram arrived from Australia on July 8th at 11:41pm. On July 9th at 1:57am they did something with it. On July 13 they mailed it from High Bridge Station (my home post office) to my box where I picked it up on the 15th. What happened between the 9th and the 13th? Thank you John Bangsund, Robin Johnson, and Leigh Edmonds for trying. Next year there will be an Australian agent. Thank you to Bob Hoskins and Lancer Books for their contribution; to NESFA (the New England SF Association) for its contribution; to the Double Bill Symposium for its contribution. Thanks, too, to the following who though ineligible to vote or undecided as to whom to vote for, gave contributions: Kenneth Scher, Dannie Plachta, Alison Garrett, Hank Stine, Don Fitch, Lee Gold, and good old Anonymous. Thanks also to those who voted (list later) and thanks to Frank Prieto for help in addressing and mailing ballots and to Sandy Parker for putting up with me while I ran (?) this race and being prepared to put up with another year. Last, but not least, thanks to Charlie and Dena Brown and Locus for designing and running off the official ballots, aiding me in making the breakdown that will follow, and for nudging me whenever my output slowed down." (Elliot Shorter)

Locus #93, 13 August 1971

TAFF JOTTINGS: TAFF RACE 72: NORTH AMERICA TO EUROCON I TRIESTE – Nominations for TAFF race '72 are open as of the end of Noreascon, Sept. 7, 1971. Each candidate is required to have 3 North American nominators and 2 European nominators. Nominations and copies of the candidate's platform should be sent to BOTH administrators: Elliot Shorter (North American) Box 309, Jerome Ave. Station, Bronx NY 10468 and Mario Bosnyak (Europe) address to be announced. Closing date for nominations, balloting dates, and any notifications of TAFF operations will be decided at Noreascon, and will be announced here. TAFF REPORT NEWS – The report is that transcription of the TAFF Report tapes goes well. One tape (they're Norelco type cassettes 60, 90, and 120 min. assorted) yielded 16 pages of transcription. There are at least 8 tapes and the report says there's only one and a half to go. Counting the Locus report and the raw written notes, that's about 160 pages of raw copy designed to tickle my memory . I am not an artist, so I've been asking for help in illustrating the report. So far, Alicia Austin, Jack Gaughan, Mike Gilbert and Bjo Trimble will be represented. DONATION NOTES – In the past two weeks we've received contributions totaling $15. Thank you, people, you've remembered we're a continuing operation and really need to have money coming in steadily. Apropos of that, Bob Vardeman donated copies of Sandworm 10, 12 and 13. I 'm selling them on a first come, first served basis for whatever you want to pay starting with 50¢. Watch for the final '71 report. See you at Noreascon. Elliot Shorter