The first issue of Two Year TAFF-Life comes to you from Suzanne Tompkins, the 2005 TAFF delegate and now North American administrator, at PO Box 25075, Seattle, WA, 98165, USA, suzlet at aol dot com. Help with this publication, as with the TAFF trip and administration in general and my life in particular, comes from Jerry Kaufman, who should consider himself seriously thanked.
Last March, a large bunch of Seattle Fans and a few out of town visitors gathered at the Doong Kong Lau, our favorite large-fannish-group-with-out-of-town-visitors Hakka Chinese restaurant. After the fortune cookies and orange wedges arrived, we played the Chinese fortune cookie game just as we used to do when we lived in NYC and went to the Chuan Hong, our favorite New York large-fannish-group-with-out-of-town-visitors Sechuan Chinese restaurant. It involves everyone taking a cookie but not opening it right away. One person chooses another at the table and asks them a question. They then open their cookie and read the response, often to hysterical results. You go around the table taking turns until everyone has asked a question, opened a cookie, and read the response. (Sometimes it just doesn't work at all, of course, but our favorite example is when just before the 1976 Worldcon, someone asked Jerry if we would win the Best Fanzine Hugo for which The Spanish Inquisition had been nominated, and Jerry's cookie said, "Every fool will find another fool to admire him." Alas, however, we didn't win.) I was asked at that March dinner, of course, if I would win the TAFF race. My fortune cookie said, "You will be called to fill a position of high honor and responsibility." Just so.
Last March now seems like a long time ago. After finding out that, somewhat to my surprise, I had won TAFF, there was a flurry of immediate activity like making the flight reservations (on BA they have the ONLY non-stop from Seattle to the UK (London) these days. More on this fun experience will appear in my TAFF report ); trying to come up with an itinerary that would allow us to get together with as many British fans as possible who might have any interest whatsoever in a TAFF visitor, and on and on.
I would like to thank everyone who voted in this TAFF race no matter who you voted for. This newsletter, along with the 2006 TAFF Ballot, is being sent out to all of you for whom we have a mailing address. I can also send the ballot out electronically and will most likely do so closer to the Vote Deadline, which is May 27, 2006. If you would like one emailed to you, email me.
And I also want to very much thank Randy Byers, TAFF Admin. Emeritus, who handed over accurate records and bank statements, etc., as well as lots and lots of past trip reports and tee-shirts. He has made the transition a smooth one and I really appreciate it a great deal. It has also really helped that we both live in Seattle and I could just drive over and pick the stuff up! I was actually a bit concerned that being from Seattle might be a detriment, since the past two NA Delegates were also from here (I don't know why; do you??), but administratively, it's a big plus, including saving the TAFF fund some $$ in shipping costs.
TAFF ON THE NET
As mentioned in Randy's last newsletter, Dave Langford has put much effort into the unofficial TAFF web site taff.org.uk. There is a great deal of info on TAFF available there. Take a look.
TAFF TRIP SUMMARY
Jerry and I only had two weeks for the trip, which is unfortunate as, of course, we would have loved to spend much more time there. Almost half of the trip was spent getting to and attending Interaction. I started out at Sea-Tac Airport earnestly making notes for my report. After our fun-filled 9-hour flight in a British Airways sardine tin, we made our way though Heathrow to British Midlands and a short flight to Glasgow, during which BMI lost Jerry's main piece of luggage, and thus our adventure began.
After registering and getting our bearings at the hotel and SECC, I again earnestly sat down and made a few more notes on the trip. This was to be essentially the last time I made any substantive notes on the trip. Period. I realized that I could either be at the con or write about it. But, we had a four-hour train trip to Birmingham coming up and I was determined to spend part of that time catching up. Didn't remember after more than 16 years since a major train trip that I get violently motion sick if I try to write while traveling. We were riding backwards. Jerry took lots of notes. TAFF report is coming, really. (BTW, Jerry's bag was found and sent to the hotel midnight on Friday ).
All the fan fund winners were given first class treatment by Interaction. When I got back, I posted a Thank You via the SMOFs listserv:
We had a wonderful time and I want to say THANK YOU! to everyone involved with the con. We fan fund delegates were treated very well by the convention, like guests of the con although we weren't actually. It was really appreciated.
TAFF and I also want to thank Interaction for its major donation to the fund by way of covering four nights of my stay at the Moat House and reimbursing my membership.
I was really thrilled to be asked to co-present the Best Fanzine Hugo and Jerry and I both had a great time during the festivities.
Awarding the Best Fanzine Hugo was the highlight of my trip. More on the entire con in my report.
As mentioned, we went on to Birmingham after Worldcon. Steve and Ann Green arranged a fan dinner at their favorite "Balti" restaurant where we were introduced to the wonders of bedsheet naan and Balti-style Indian/Pakistani cuisine.
Leaving Birmingham for Cambridge, I again tried note-writing during the train ride and discovered that even riding forwards doesn't help. We were enthralled by this ancient city, and again a fan gathering/dinner was arranged for us, this time by Austin Benson, who had changed the night of the "Cambridge Blue" meeting to Friday to accommodate returning Worldcon attendees and us.
Then on to London and more adventures, including a fine Post-Worldcon Party hosted by Joseph Nicholas and Judith Hanna.
My TAFF report will have lots more photos and exciting adventures, notes or no notes.
THE CURRENT STATE OF THE TAFF NA FUND
Pretty good, actually. Randy didn't really hand over the fund as much as turn the TAFF bank account over to me. Another advantage of us living five miles from each other is that since Randy had opened a TAFF-dedicated bank account, we just added my name to it, rather than close the account and opening another one. This saved TAFF the potential expense of a new account as well.
As of today, November 25, 2005, there is $5,438.53 in the TAFF bank account. I will do a comprehensive accounting in the next newsletter. My expenses were approximately $2000 with more than half of that for airfare (even in April, it was expensive; fares only went up afterward, by the way) and with a really bad exchange rate (@ £1 = $1.90 US) to deal with.
To my counterpart, James Bacon, in the UK. He was frantically busy at Worldcon running the YAFA programming, but he did manage to make sure that I was okay and handed me £60, which was very useful. He is running the current race; please be sure to send me your TAFF ballots so we can meet one of the great nominees in 2006.
Since August, approximately $480 has been added to the Fund. Special thanks to go those who have helped to get my tenure on this side of the Pond off to a great start:
- The League of Fan Funds, whose auction is pictured below. The European Fan Funds band together to hold auctions and raise money for several fan funds, including TAFF. Jerry and I gathered up what we hoped were interesting Pacific NW items (e.g. Space Needle truffles; Librarian Nancy Pearl Action figure from Archie McPhee's; Science Fiction Museum items) and others (e.g. Angry Scotsman gum and Parasite pencil toppers also from A. McPhee's, of course). Normally, this auction raises money for the Euro Fan Funds only, so when TAFF NA unexpectedly received a check via Claire Brialey from the League for $90, it was a surprise and is really appreciated.
- Interaction, who paid for 4 nights of my hotel & reimbursed my membership, which equals approx. US$900.
- Leslie Howle of the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, who donated a number of great items to TAFF, including tee-shirts, pins, and caps.
- And to Mary Kay Kare, for carrying some of the above items for us to Glasgow as well as donating an SF Museum Tote Bag.
- John Hertz, also mentioned above, for donating proceeds from his fanwriting to TAFF and DUFF. So far, $55 has come in for Dancing and Joking.
- All of you who have contributed, by buying sales items, handing me money (thanks, Pat Virzi!), voting in TAFF, etc.
TAFF ITEMS FOR SALE:
There are quite a number of fine items for sale to benefit the Fund. Below is a listing of tee-shirts, trip reports, and other assorted chotckes that you really need, now don't you? More coming soon.
TAFF Trip Reports and Publications All $5.00 except as marked
- The Transatlantic Hearing Aid, Dave Langford
- New Routes in America, Peter Roberts -- $10.00 [Update, January 2006: NOW OUT OF PRINT.]
- On The TAFF Trail, Rob Hansen
- Have BagWill Travel, Martin Tudor
- The Tudor Dynasty (Bid Zine), Martin Tudor -- $1.00
- Tobes' TAFF Ting, Tobes Valois
- WorldconNomicon, James Bacon United Fan Funds Auction Fri. Eve. *
- The Moffat House Abroad, The Moffats
- Joe Phan! Filk Musical based on the Enchanted Duplicator, by Filthy Pierre -- $2.00
- Wrath of the Fanglord, Dave Langford, Ed., Collection of Fanwriting
Tee Shirts -- All $5.00 except as marked
- Dan Steffan illustrated TAFF shirt, Sizes M, L and XL, black copy on red shirt -- $10.00
- Same as above with some minor sun-bleach damage -- $5.00
- Britain in '97, Sizes L & M
- '96 Eastercon, Size XL
- Intersection, Size XL
- Conspiracy, Sizes XL, L, M
- SF Evolution, Sue Mason art
- Corflu Valentine, Size XL
Interaction CD (2005 Worldcon, Glasgow, Aug., 2005) -- $20.00
Complete Table of Contents too lengthy to fully describe here. InterAction At-Con and Pre-Con Pubs., Guide to Glasgow, Fan Guest of Honor Lars-Olov Strandberg's photo archives, Hugo Trophy Archive, Historic View of Worldcons in the UK, "Amazing Fan Materials" (e.g. Ansible Snapshot, Frank WU art, Hugo Award Winning Plokta archive, and more), Sailing the Clyde eZine. Your complete 2005 Worldcon and British fan sampling on a CD!
Poster -- Battlestar Galactica, new season poster features Apollo and Starbuck -- $10.00
TO ORDER ANY OF THE ABOVE Send me your name, mailing address, the cost of the item(s), plus $3 postage, and they will be yours! [Update, January 2006: Postage is per order, not per zine. No postage needed for the two $1-$2 items if ordered by themselves.]
SPECIAL ZINE -- DANCING AND JOKING
John Hertz has very generously produced a collection of his fanwriting available in exchange for donating $5 or more to either TAFF or DUFF. It contains at least 14 articles with illustrations by 24 fan artists, including a cover by Ray Nelson. A flyer is enclosed with a full explanation and table of contents.
Thank you, John, for all the work involved! I will forward any contributions/orders that I receive on to him promptly, so please order one today, and help either TAFF or DUFF. (If no flyer available -- to order and contribute to TAFF, send me $5.00 or more and let me know that it's for John's 'zine. You'll remember to include your mailing address, now won't you?). [DUFF orders go to Joe Siclari, of course.]