The latest in a continuing series of European TAFF newsletters brought to you by Pam Wells, of 24A Beech Road, Bowes Park, London, N11 2DA. Telephone 081 889 0401. This issue dated June 1992. Thanks to Ian Sorensen and Martin Tudor for help with distribution of this issue.
Jeanne Bowman, North American TAFF winner extraordinaire, has been and gone and made her TAFF trip, visiting places as diverse as London, Reading, Blackpool, Wales, Whitby and Leeds.
-- So now the time is almost upon us to select the next winner from Europe: someone who would like to visit San Francisco for the Worldcon in early September 1993, and any such other fannish haunts as he or she sees fit. If you, or someone you know, would like to be this lucky person, what do you have to do?
-- Provide five written nominations, three from active fans on this side of the Atlantic and two from active fans in North America. One of these nominators may be a couple, but the others must all be one name only.
-- Provide a platform of approximately 100 words. This is your chance to say in your own words why you should win, so make it good!
-- Make a £10 payment to TAFF to confirm your intention, if elected, barring acts of God, to attend the 51st World Science Fiction Convention (Confrancisco), to be held between 3rd and 7th September 1993.
-- These requirements should all be fulfilled between 1st August and 1st October 1992. Platforms and bonds should be sent to me (cheques payable to Pam Wells, please, not to TAFF); nominations may be sent to me or Jeanne Bowman, whoever is most convenient.
The full schedule for the next race is as follows:
Nominations Open: 1st August 1992.
Nominations Close: 1st October 1992.
Ballots Available: 1st November 1992.
Voting Deadline: 1st May 1993.
Several rumours have reached my ears about potential candidates, all of them from Britain. Is there anyone on mainland Europe who would like to stand?
Last issue I announced that write-in votes would no longer be allowed. It is therefore more important than ever for prospective candidates to ensure that their paperwork is completed on time. If Jeanne Bowman and I have received at least two complete candidacies by the deadline, incompleted candidacies will not be granted any extension. You have been warned.
On the subject of write-in votes, I received the following letter from Bridget Wilkinson:
"I'm a little unhappy about the scrapping of the write-in vote -- is there any safeguard against the administrator who accidentally on purpose 'loses' the nomination papers of candidates they don't like and keeps on doing so until the electorate eventually vote for their choice of candidate grotesque, I know -- but apparently redundant rules are often there to safeguard against corrupt behaviour. And anyway what IS the basic problem with the write-in vote? So, somebody nominated Manuel Noriega, can't we take a joke? (Even if it is puerile.)"
My answer to Bridget is that if an administrator can 'lose' nomination papers, he or she can 'lose' write-in votes -- or indeed any votes -- just as easily. TAFF, in the same way as all the fan funds, works largely on the basis of trust. You have to trust me as administrator to be honest about the nominations and voting, and you'll have to trust my successors too. That's why I'd like all future candidacies to be out in the open -- so that all the voters can see all the choices. I must confess I'll miss some of the jokier write-ins, but I still believe that the voting process needed to be tidied up. Let's see how it goes.
Bridget also responded to last issue's letters about Europe:
"[The GUFF results for this year's race] appear to negate most of the arguments in TAFFERVESCENT 4 about European fans not winning TAFF. I think the real reasons lie elsewhere.
Chris Lewis appears to be aware of the Anglo-American scene, and totally ignorant of the European scene. There IS a pan-European convention, there has been since 1972 (when the first one was run in Italy). OK, their publicity may not always have been of the best, they may frequently have been VERY badly run, but they do exist. It would be possible for the TAFF winner to be sent to the year's Eurocon -- except that in the past that could have caused problems for the American fan sent to Aelita as an exchange for Boris Zavgorodny. This particular problem has now gone, but others remain. Firstly, in order to win a Fan Fund, ANY voting fan fund, you need to be a good, candidate -- and a good candidate is one that is known. Eva [Hauser, the current GUFF winner] had been writing to fanzines in the West, and sending out her own fanzine, for some while before she was nominated for GUFF. (She was mentioned as a feasible candidate for TAFF in a few years in a discussion at Confiction.) Bruno [Ogorelec] was not known, or able to contribute to his campaign, in the same way. So he lost. Secondly, I think it will be interesting to compare the two lists of voters. As far as I can make out, Pascal Thomas was the only non-British European voter. The GUFF list contained several nationalities including several Czechs and Poles. This WOULD rather imply A European fandom of sorts. Both Eva and I are known across Europe, from what I know of the voting list most of the voters in Europe knew both of us. This was not true before Confiction -- let alone way back in 1989 when Robert Lichtman came on his TAFF trip. I would certainly expect that this 'new European fandom' was completely ignorant of the past TAFF winners from Europe -- for much of it history started in the latter half of 1989.
Maureen [Speller] is right, the national fandoms are very diverse. As a result European fandom, such as it is, is a much looser grouping than English speaking fandom -- the way to track it down would be to look at the subscribers list for Shards of Babel (the importance of the reappearance of SOB cannot be overestimated), and to examine the membership list for Hillcon. SOB is in English, but the French magazine Antares binds together another group, and the grouping around the formation of SocCon -- the Socialist bloc convention in September 1989 -- was Russian. The Jersey Eurocon bid and the Glasgow in 1995 Worldcon bid have played their part -- but not many conrunners vote for TAFF.
The only other possible factor would be the countries at the other end of the two races -- what ARE the differences between the US and Australia which might impact on the two races -- or perhaps it would be better not to ask."
I'm also grateful to Maureen Speller for sending me a copy of her letter which I lost last time: here are most of her comments on Europe from that letter:
"Have you had much response about TAFF in Europe? [...] Christina [Lake] seemed clear on the idea that European considerations should be entirely separate from British. At the time I agreed with Christina's comments [ . . . ] to the extent that, as the situation currently stands, we have so little contact with European fandoms, generally speaking, that we have no idea what they do, who they are, even. Furthermore, the fans we do have contact with don't necessarily, if we are to extrapolate from Bruno's example, draw a response from within their own country.
Having said that, I don't now believe that this is any reason not to be trying to build bridges between Europe, the USA and this country. The problem is, what form does it take? Is it enough to send a European to the States -- Christina seemed doubtful about this, and I would agree that it would be more interesting for us to hear about Yugoslavia. Furthermore would an American TAFF winner want to go on to Europe?
There seems to be some difficulty in the notion of Europe being for the specialist fans. Clearly it needs more than Bridget Wilkinson and Wilf James floating around in their various, and perhaps not always representative ways, but how do we make Europe and UK fandoms more accessible to one another? [...] I don't think another fan fund is the answer, at least not one that transports some lucky soul for a quick visit. [...] Whilst TAFF may not fit into a European context, at least not yet, I think we should be looking to Europe and in a less random fashion than now."
If I get more comments, I'll run them next time. Thank you, Maureen and Bridget, for your letters.
European TAFF is quite healthy on the finance front: the auction at Illumination earned £126.56, which gives a grand total in the coffers at present of £1,467.38. Jeanne Bowman funded her trip entirely from the North American fund, which is even healthier. Our thanks to everyone who spent their dosh in the auction, and to Peter-Fred Thompson for arranging to sell some comics for TAFF.
Back at the March Wellington it was suggested to me, by a group of people who were hoping to get Vince Clarke to Magicon, that as TAFF administrator I might like to offer Vince his long-overdue TAFF trip (he won the race in 1954 but could not make the trip). I was delighted to agree to this request: TAFF could afford for Vince to take a full TAFF trip, and the Magicon people wrote to me offering Vince a free room and membership and the status of a usual TAFF delegate, as well as inviting him, with Rob Hansen, to-put together a Guest of Honour exhibit for Walt Willis. Geri Sullivan and I offered this trip to Vince at the end of March, but he turned us down. In an attempt to change his mind, I sent Vince a copy of Magicon's letter and a persuasive one of my own, but I'm sorry to say that he didn't change his mind. I'd like to quote part of his reply here: "Your letter was a bit startling, because I thought I'd expressed my feelings to you and Geri Sullivan (and to all sorts of people!). I'm deeply grateful and appreciative of the offer -- not to say flattered -- but every now and again I'm brought up against the fact that I'm marvellously uncomfortable in the presence of crowds. [...] I feel terrible about this, especially about being asked about helping Rob to arrange on exhibition of Walt's stuff, but not terrible enough to bite on the bullet. I am NOT articulate except about fanzines and I feel I'd be a dead loss on any social occasion. Over the years I've felt my creative thinking sort of drain away. [...] Having been much troubled by phlebitis in the lost few months I've got an appointment to see a surgeon at the end of this month [June] with ;0 view to a possible operation for varicose veins. If all goes well this should occur about the time of Magicon. Thanks a million, Pam, but....." I'm glad we were able to offer you the trip, Vince, and pleased that you were flattered by the offer. I do hope I didn't embarrass you too much by repeating it, by quoting from your letter here, or by what I'm about to say. There are so many people who hoped you would take the trip, because they saw this as a way of thanking you for your great contribution to fandom over the years. We are all sorry that you feel unable to go to Magicon, and wish you well with your operation. As its administrator, I still believe that TAFF owes you a trip. If you ever do feel up to going to America, you only have to ask.
Below is the last list of auction items I'll be running in TAFFERVESCENT, due to the relatively low level of interest shown so far. The bidding instructions are as detailed in previous issues. European TAFF owns a considerable stock of fanzines, mostly British. Should I seamail them all to North American TAFF? Would any fannish organisation like to make me an offer for them? Direct Sale items will be listed again next issue, with more items than before. The next convention auction will be at Novacon.
Auction Items: First Round
1. FANCYCLOPEDIA II edited and published by Dick Eney, first edition, copy number 216 of 450. Published in 1959. Some 200 pages of definitions of fannish words, with around 30 illustrations. Clearly a collector's item. Minimum bid: £15.
2. The first 19 issues of LES SPINGE, edited by Ken Cheslin, Dave Hale and Darroll Pardoe. 1959-1967. Many fan articles; on-stencil artwork, including much by ATom. A slice of history! To be sold as a set. Minimum bid: £12.
3. The masters of FUCK THE TORIES. Five sets of masters from which the issues 4 to 8 were produced. Articles and artwork pasted up and ready for copying. Edited by Joseph Nicholas and Judith Hanna. Each issue to be sold individually. Minimum bid: £2 each.
4. SIMULACRUM 8, edited by Victoria Vayne, December 1978. "The Doomsday Issue". Expertly duplicated Canadian genzine, with articles by Victoria Vayne, Taral, Don D'Ammassa, Ben Indick and AI Sirois among others, and artwork by Stu Shiffman, Harry Bell, Taral, Bill Rotsler, Jim Barker, Alexis Gilliland; Andy Porter et at Some excellent use of coloured duplicator inks. Minimum bid: £4.
5. THE PATCHIN REVIEW no. 5, Oct-Dec 1982. "The inside guide to science fiction" edited by Charles Platt. Features Brian Aldiss, Piers Anthony, Philip K. Dick, Jody Scott and Donald A. Wollheim. A5, duplicated. Includes artwork and photographs. Minimum bid: £4.
6. BAYCON Program Book -- the programme book of the 26th World Science Fiction Convention held in the Berkeley-Oakland area of California in 1968. Guest of Honour Philip Jose Farmer, Fan GoH Walter J. Daugherty, Toastmaster Robert Silverberg, Hugo awards presided over by Harlan Ellison. 120pp, A5. Minimum bid: £5.
7. Bibliography of Fritz Leiber, 1934-1979, compiled by Chris Morgan. First edition of 1000 copies, published August 1979. 36pp, A5. Includes center-spread photos of book jackets. Minimum bid: £3.
Auction Items: Second Round
1. EGG by Peter Roberts, issues 7 (March 1973) and 11 (May 1978). "The official journal of aardvark fans". Nicely produced genzine, in the forefront of British fandom in the seventies. Issue 7 contains material by Eric Bentcliffe, Ian Williams, John Brosnan, Harry Bell and others, issue 11 contains the first couple of chapters of Peter Roberts' 1977 TAFF trip report. Issues to be sold separately. Minimum bid: £5 each.
2. DNQ 34 by Taral Wayne. Huge but perfectly formed genzine. doted October 1983. Contains some excellent writing and artwork, and is duplicated immaculately on US Quarto Twiltone -- even the pages with different coloured inks are damn near perfect! This 90 page line contains articles by Rich Coad, Dave Langford, Stu Shiffman, Susan Wood and others, with art by Harry Bell, Tom Foster, Ken Fletcher, Marc Schirmeister and more, not forgetting the substantial material contributed by Taral himself. Minimum bid: £4.
3. GAMBIT by Ted White, issues 55 (March 1982) and 56 (August 1982). Both have Dan Steffan covers 000 much written material by Ted White. Issue 55 also contains articles by Lee Hoffman, Avedon Carol and Malcolm Edwards. Issue 56 contains articles by Paul Skelton and Malcolm Edwards. Issue 55 has 24 pages while 56 runs to 38 pages. Some text is printed using a small typeface, but clean duplication makes it all perfectly legible. Interior art by Bill Rotsler, Lee Hoffman, Dan Steffan and others. Issues to be sold separately. Minimum bid: £5 each.
4. STILL IT MOVES issues 1 to 5 and STILL LIFE 1 by Simon Ounsley, published between 1981 and 1984, before Simon got really ill. Great British fanwriting by Ounsley and his contributors, who include Michael Ashley, Helen Starkey, Alan Ferguson, Jackie Gresham, Simon Polley, Pete Lyon, Colin Greenland and Paul Vincent. To be sold as a set. Minimum bid: £6. BIDS RECEIVED Paul Vincent £8.
5. BOONFARK by Dan Steffan, issues 4 to 7. More neat duplicating in many colours, more great writing and artwork. I'm running out of superlatives and beginning to sound like a used cor salesman. These are really excellent, trust me (see what I mean?). Issue 4 (January 1981), 5 (August 1981), 6 (Spring 1982) and 7 (Fall 1982). Issues to be sold separately. Minimum bid: £5 each.
Auction Items: Third Round
1. Set of GROSS ENCOUNTERS by Alan Dorey, issues 1 to 12 inclusive, plus 'Isaac Astral's Science Fiction Weekly'. Published between 1978 and 1984. Perhaps best described as an irreverent topical genzine with a wicked sense of humour. Minimum bid: £5. BIDS RECEIVED Richard Brandt £5, Robert Lichtman £6.
2. Collection of 12 fanzines by Dave Bridges. Several issues of ONE OFF, some A4 and some smaller. BY DAVID, a handwritten A5 line with a wallpaper cover. A RAGGED TROUSERED PEDALCYCLlST, A5, typed with cord cover. Includes loads of wacky writing, cartoons, weird presentation, as only Dave Bridges could do. All from the 1970s, I think. Minimum bid: £5. BIDS RECEIVED Richard Brandt £5, Paul Vincent £6.
3. Set of SMALL FRIENDLY DOG by Skel and Cas. Issues 15 to 23 inclusive, published between 1978 and 1983. A5, duplicated; personal anecdotal writing. All with Skel covers except issues 21 (Dan Steffan), 22 (Harry Bell) and 23 (ATom). EACH ISSUE TO BE SOLD INDIVIDUALLY. Minimum bid: £1 per issue. Please state clearly which issue you are bidding for. If you are bidding for more than one issue, list your bids separately to ovoid confusion. BIDS RECEIVED No 15: Harry Bond £1, Kim Huett £3. No 16: Harry Bond £1, Kim Huett £3. No 17: Harry Bond £1. Kim Huett £3. No 18: Harry Bond £1. Kim Huett £3. No 19: Kim Huett £3. No 20: Kim Huett £3. No 22: Kim Huett £3.
4. GHAS issue 2 by Carol Gregory and John and Eve Harvey, September 1976. General interest fanzine containing on interview with Brian Stableford, fanzine reviews, articles by Andrew Tidmarsh and Jon Howard Finder. Bock cover is a photo collage. A4 landscape, duplicated. Artwork by Carol Gregory. Minimum bid: £1.
5. INDIAN SCOUT 21, a fanzine 'from the Secret Bastards of Fandom, the Cretins, and the Red Army Choirboys'. Includes articles by Jim Gemmill, Ian Black, Bill Carlin, Jimmy Robertson, Dave Swinden, Phil Palmer. Alan Ferguson. Pete Lyon. Alan Gemmill and the late Sandy Brown. Undated, but probably early 1980s. Minimum bid: £1. BIDS RECEIVED Paul Vincent £2
6. IZZARD 9, substantial genzine published in 1987 by Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Contains some excellent fanwriting by people such as Terry Carr. Steve Stiles. Tom Whitmore, Greg Benford. Christopher Hatton. Ted White, Simon Ounsley, D West and Stu Shiffman. not to mention the editors themselves. Cover by Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Stu Shiffman. An excellent example of the fannish genzine for those unfamiliar with the form. Minimum bid: £2.
7. The first mailing of FEAPA, the 'Fannish Elite Apa', March 1980. Contains contributions from Jim Barker. Mike Glicksohn, Robert Holdstock, Paul Kincaid, Dave Langford, Joseph Nicholas, Chris Priest, John Harvey, John Foyster and Peter Roberts. at least. Rare. Minimum bid: £3. BIDS RECEIVED Richard Brandt £3. Harry Bond £3, Robert Lichtman £4, Steve Green £5, Robert Lichtman £7.50.
8. Several issues of ZIMRI by Lisa Conesa. Issues 4, 4 1/2 and 5 (1973), 6 (1974), 7 (1975) and 8 (1976). Nicely produced general interest fanzine, highly regarded in the 70s. EACH ISSUE TO BE SOLD SEPARATELY. Minimum bid: £2 per issue. Please state clearly which issue you are bidding for. If bidding for more than one issue, please list bids separately. BIDS RECEIVED No 4: Harry Bond £2. No 4 1/2: Harry Bond £2. No 5: Harry Bond £2.
The third round is the final round, and the highest bids quoted above are the winning bids IF THEY ARE NOT BEATEN BY 1st AUGUST 1992. If I receive a higher bid for any of these items, I shall contact the person listed here to see if they wish to increase their bid. All items will be dispatched to the highest bidder soon after 1st August. Payment should be mode in pounds sterling, made payable to Pam Wells. If you would prefer to pay in US dollars, please contact me and I'll let you know the amount to send to Jeanne Bowman.