The Weekly TAFF News

A Semi-Annual Publication

The third issue of The Weekly TAFF News is brought to you in July 2005 by the outgoing North American TAFF administrator, Randy Byers, at 1013 N. 36th St., Seattle WA 98103, USA, The newsletter was designed by Denys Howard, may Hollywood film his bio, starring Johnny Depp. Photo by Sharee Carton. Thanks to Ulrika O'Brien, Suzanne Tompkins, and Jerry Kaufman for consultation and advice.

2005 Race Results and Voters

As you probably already know, Suzanne Tompkins (aka Suzle) was the winner of the 2005 eastbound TAFF race and will attend Interaction, the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention, to be held August 4-8, 2005 in Glasgow, Scotland. Congratulations to Suzle, who has co-published many great fanzines (Granfalloon, Spanish Inquisition, Mainstream, and Littlebrook, for four) and liaised with many a convention hotel, and who will make an excellent TAFF delegate and administrator. I guess I'd better finish my TAFF report instanter, before she pulls a James Bacon and finishes hers in less than half a year!

My heartfelt thanks to the other candidates, Chaz Boston Baden and Curt Phillips, who are both great guys and showed it by helping to raise money for TAFF in their campaigns. Curt auctioned CDs of old SF radio shows and also contributed some rare and fabulous zines to the Corflu Titanium auction. Chaz was immensely helpful in getting the James Bacon and Tobes Valois TAFF reports into the hands of the SCIFI board, which resulted in a thousand dollars going to the European side of the fund. My involvement in TAFF has been a constant education, and one thing I learned from this race is how you can support the fund with your campaign, which I regret to admit that I did not do in my own race. Thanks, guys!

Despite my failure to get a newsletter out with a ballot (for which I apologize) and thanks to everyone who distributed ballots in other ways, we had a good turnout this time. Indeed, if it hadn't been for my other abjectly stupid maneuver of declaring a Sunday deadline (based on an old calendar), the turnout would have been even better. We received eighteen ballots on Monday and the days after. Fortunately, the late ballots would have made no difference in the results (i.e., Chaz and Curt would still have been eliminated by the 20% rule.)

Here's the breakdown of the results:

Candidate     NA       Eur     Other     Total
Chaz Boston Baden           52   4* 57 
Curt Phillips 24* 11    35 
Suzanne Tompkins 75     83 
Hold Over Funds        
No Preference 4     11 
Totals 155   30  186 
Late Votes 11     17 
Totals 166   36  203 
* Fails to satisfy 20% rule.

There were 166 North American voters, including late ballots:

Bobbi Armbruster, David M. Axler, Chaz Boston Baden, Will Baden, Jocelyn Badera, Kris Bauer, Tom Becker, Jack William Bell, Sherri Benoun, Kim Bergdahl, John D. Berry, Sheryl Birkhead, Blars Blarson, Lynn Boston Baden, Ned Brooks, Ginjer Buchanan, Colleen Kelly Burks, Elinor Busby, Randy Byers, Jack Calvert, Rich Coad, Eli Cohen, Catherine Crockett, Colleen Crosby, Shawn Crosby, Sue Dawe, Susan de Guardiola, Michael Dobson, Robin Donlan, John R. Douglas, Josh Duberman, Bruce E. Durocher II, Dick Eney, Nic Farey, Moshe Feder, Tom Feller, Naomi Fisher, Laura Freas, Pam Fremon, E.B. Frohvet, Janice Gelb, Alexis Gilliland, Mike Glicksohn, Don Glover, Jeanne Gomoll, Victor Gonzalez, Hank Graham, Eileen Gunn, Glenn A. Hackney, Joe Haldeman, Gay Haldeman, Jane Hawkins, James H. Hay, Stacey Helton, John Hertz, Colin Hinz, Arthur Hlavaty, Jennifer Holmes, Marilyn J. Holt, Andy Hooper, Jim Hudson, Anastasia Hunter, Benjamin P. Indick, James L. Jira, Dwain Kaiser, Mary Kay Kare, Joyce Katz, Arnie Katz, Jerry Kaufman, Jay Kinney, Elizabeth Klein-Lebbink, Irv Koch, Grant Kruger, Hope Leibowitz, Karl Lembke, Fred Lerner, Robert Lichtman, Guy Lillian III, Nicki Lynch, Rich Lynch, Loren MacGregor, Marci Malinowycz, Chris Marble, Marty Massoglia, Alice M. Massoglia, Michael McConnell, Malinda McFadden, Luke McGuff, Christian B. McGuire, AP McQuiddy, Tamara Menteer, Mark Merlino, Sandra Miesel, John L. Miesel, Len Moffatt, June M. Moffatt, G. Patrick Molloy, Murray Moore, Cheryl Morgan, Janice Murray, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Ulrika O'Brien, Hal O'Brien, Christina O'Halloran, John O'Halloran, Mark Olson, Priscilla Olson, Ron Ontell, Val Ontell, Margaret Organ Keen, Spike Parsons, Fred Patten, Selina Phanara, Curt Phillips, Gary Plumlee, Andy Porter, D. Potter, Sarah Prince, Karl Rehn, Ron Robbins, Maria Elizabeth Rodriguez, Carrie Root, Alan Rosenthal, Anita Rowland, Ruth Sachter, Robert J. Sawyer, Kate Schaefer, Jeff Schalles, David Schroth, Andi Shechter, Mike Sheffield, Stu Shiffman, Joe Siclari, Steve n H. Silver, Roger Sims, Patricia Sims, Craig Smith, Mary Q. Smith, Terry L. Smith, Lynda Spencer, Kevin Standlee, Edie Stern, Milt Stevens, Joan Steward, Pearl Stickler, Ian Stockdale, Erwin S. Strauss, Geri Sullivan, Bill Taylor, Charlene Taylor D'Alessio, Amy Thomson, Suzanne Tompkins, Bruce Townley, Bob Tucker, R-Laurraine Tutihasi, Tom Veal, Edd Vick, Tami Vining, Michael Waite, Tom Whitmore, Art Widner, Walter K. Willis, Clifford R. Wind, Ben Yalow, and Joel D. Zakem.

There were 36 British and European voters, including late ballots:

Justin Ackroyd, James Bacon, John Berry, Bridget Bradshaw, Claire Brialey, James Brophy, Stephen Cooper, Lillian Edwards, Tommy Ferguson, Flick, Judith Hanna, John Harold, John Harvey, Julian Headlong, Sue Jones, Tony Keen, Paul Kincaid, Christina Lake, Dave Langford, Rory Lennon, Max, Caitriona McGrath, Joseph Nicholas, Catherine Pickersgill, Mark Plummer, Mike Rennie (Sparks), Mike Scott, Angie Shields, James Shieds, Maureen Speller, Lennart Uhlin, Tobes Valois, Jan Van Ent, Simoné Van Zyl, Alan Woodford, and Lucy Zinciewicz. There was also one Australian voter, and I guess I can't reveal the name without revealing who he/she voted for! (And no, it wasn't Sharee.)

Thanks to James Bacon for smooth handling of the European side of the count, and thanks to James, Ulrika and Hal O'Brien, and Dave Langford for holding my hand while I hyperventilated over my part of the job. Most of all, many thanks to everyone who voted and gave often generous donations. Your next task is to pester Suzle for her trip report. (I'll finish mine Real Soon Now, honest!)

And speaking of Suzle, here she is with some words about ...

Suzle's TAFF Trip Itinerary (such as it is...) to Date (June 25, 2005)

Jerry (Kaufman) and I have our tentative itinerary for the trip to the 2005 Worldcon, Interaction, in Glasgow, following my TAFF win. We're leaving Seattle on Tuesday evening, August 2, arriving at Heathrow on August 3. Then, bright eyed and bushy tailed after a fine 9 hour flight on BA, we hop onto a nice cheap British Midlands flight to Glasgow, arriving, with the time difference, a mere 24 hours later. (That is, at least, the plan.)

During the Worldcon, we'll stay in the Moat House, closest hotel to the Convention Centre and location of the Fan Lounge. During the convention, I've been put onto lots of programming, including a kaffeklatch with GUFF winners Damien Warman and Juliette Woods at 1 PM on Friday and the League of Fan Funds Auction later the same day, at 10 PM, along with Jerry, a noted fan fund auctioneer. We're also scheduled to be part of a team leading a workshop on Fanzine Production. I'm also on a panel discussion of the effect of the British Worldcon on overseas fans and one reminiscing on fandom (part of the title is "... and Other Scary Journeys." Well, I do have some really scary trip stories, if that's what they mean....). There is one other panel entitled "Fannish Currency: Whuffle, Egoboo, and Chocolate" and I am certain that Cory Doctorow is today wondering what the heck he is doing on a panel with Mike Scott, Christina Lake, and me.

Jerry and I will most likely spend a good deal of our spare time in the Fan Lounge, and that is a great place to find me.

The best, though, for me is being asked to present the Fanzine Hugo! This is a real thrill and, no doubt, will be the highlight of the con for me.

We'll leave Glasgow on Tuesday morning, August 9, and catch a train to Birmingham to visit fans and see the fine Museum and Art Gallery. The tentative plan is to stay two days, then go on to legendary Cambridge on August 11. Then it's off to London on August 13, where we'll remain until Tuesday, August 16, when we return to Heathrow to catch our British Airways return flight to Seattle. Then we'll get those nine hours back, arriving, always a surprise when traveling westward, about the same time as we left London. (That is, at least, the plan.)

We're hoping to find a reasonably priced hotel in London, perhaps in Kensington. Other than that fond hope, we have not yet made any arrangements in Birmingham, Cambridge or London, and would welcome suggestions. I am, unfortunately, allergic to pet dander and cigarette smoke, which limits our options.

Hope to see you Brits at Worldcon or in your own native habitat, if possible. Many thanks for Jerry who got the ball rolling on this by doing the original, straightforward writeup, and then letting me rewrite and annotate the hell out of it.


The Aussies are surprisingly friendly: TAFF restroom in Cairns, Queensland

Fund-Raising Fundamentals

The bulk of the money that has come in since the last newsletter came out was from ballot donations in the last race. Thanks to all the voters for their generosity, and thanks also to Jim Hudson for a special donation from the Society for the Furtherance and Study of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I had high hopes of setting up web-voting with a PayPal option for donations, but I didn't manage to motivate myself to do the work. Thanks anyway to Jean Weber & Lenny Bailes for advice and assistance in planning the website. Jean's excellent GUFF website was the model I had in mind.

The other big chunk of change in the past nine months was from the fan fund auction at Corflu 22 in February. Many thanks to concommies Tom Becker, Spike Parsons, and David Bratman for allowing us to hold the auction and helping to set it up. A number of people donated items to the auction on behalf of TAFF: Rich Coad, Peter Weston, Mark Plummer, Andy Hooper (from Anna Vargo's collection), Curt Phillips, Tom Becker, and Jerry Kaufman. Allen Baum donated a postcard press to be auctioned off for both TAFF and DUFF. Andy Hooper and Peter Weston acted as auctioneers for TAFF, joining Jerry Kaufman and Marty Cantor, who worked the gavel for DUFF, while I paced nervously and uselessly on the sideline. Spike Parsons and Suzle kept track of who bought what, and then collected the money. Thanks to everyone who came to the auction and bought or bid or contributed a wisecrack. It was a lot of fun, and auctioning off fanzines in particular is also an interesting education in fan history.

I've also sold a few copies of James Bacon's and Tobes Valois' trip reports (see below for details), and Jerry & Suzle sold a few more copies of Peter Roberts' reports, as well as some TAFF t-shirts that Ulrika O'Brien passed along.

Although the money went to the European side of the fund, it's worth noting that FANAC and SCIFI have both recently paid bounties on new trip reports. FANAC offers a $100 bounty on completed trip reports, and they, in the person of Joe Siclari, have given that bounty for both James' report and Peter Weston's report, which is contained in his fannish memoir, With Stars in My Eyes. The SCIFI board offers a $500 bounty on trip reports completed within five years of the trip and a $100 bounty on reports completed after five years, and they have given the $500 bounty for both James' and Tobes' reports. Bravo to Peter, Tobes, and James for finishing their reports, and bravo to FANAC and SCIFI for supporting the funds in this way. I'm hoping to get my own report finished in the next year.

Extra! Extra! Two New TAFF Reports! (and Two Old Ones Too)

As mentioned above, James Bacon and Tobes Valois have completed their TAFF reports. James, of course, shamed us all by completing his WorldConNomicon practically before he'd taken his trip, but I still hope to best him by producing something worthy of his countryman and namesake, James Joyce. (Yeah, right, sounds like a good excuse for never finishing!) James then attached electrodes and pints of ale to Tobes in order to wring Tobes TAFF Ting out of him as a program item at the 2005 Eastercon. Both of these reports are available to North Americans from me -- $6 for WorldConNomicon and $4.50 for Tobes TAFF Ting, or $10 for both.

Also available to the discerning fan are copies of Len and June Moffatt's The Moffatt House Abroad (the last completed report from North America, from 1973!) and Peter Roberts' New Routes in America, for $10 apiece.

2006 TAFF Race

As if all this European activity weren't enough, James Bacon has also already declared the 2006 westbound race open for nominations. The race will send a European delegate to L.A.con IV, the 64th World Science Fiction Convention, scheduled for August 23-27, 2006 in Los Angeles. Nominations are open until September 4, 2005, and voting will close on June 3, 2006. Per the announcement, "Prospective candidates must inspire (or solicit) five nominations, write a 100-word platform, and seal the pledge to travel (if elected) with a £10 bond." Three of the nominations must be European, and two North American. Two fans, Bridget Bradshaw and 1/2r Cruttenden, have already declared their intent to run. I know that James is interested in a big race, so don't hesitate to have a go at it yourself, or to persuade your favorite European fan to stand.

Dave Langford has maintained an unofficial TAFF website for a number of years, and he recently registered as the domain name. In anticipation of a CD-ROM of the website that will be distributed at this year's Scottish Worldcon, he has also been doing massive updates, with the help of many fannish hands. The site includes extensive information about past races, including platforms and voting results, plus newsletters and fragmentary or complete trip reports, as well as a section on how to administer TAFF that was a lifesaver to me more than once. There's lots of fascinating information and fun reading to be had there, so please give it a look.

The Current North American Account

There is currently almost $6000 in the North American TAFF account, which is about $900 more than last time. Income in the nine months since the last newsletter has been from the bonds and ballot donations in the last race, the fan fund auction at Corflu 22, sales of trip reports and other items, one debt payment from Vijay Bowen, and other donations noted above. Expenses have been the printing and mailing of the second newsletter, the printing of North American copies of James Bacon's TAFF report, and the airfare for Suzle's trip. Upcoming expenses are the printing and postage costs for this newsletter, and Suzle's trip expenses. Even after that, we should be in good shape already to cover the next eastbound trip after that.

As I reported in my first newsletter, Vijay Bowen borrowed $2000 from the fund during her administration and made an agreement with my predecessor, Victor Gonzalez, to pay it back in $100 installments every two months. I have received three payments from her during my administration, for a total of $300, so she still owes the fund $1700 and has not been keeping up with the rate of repayment that she promised. Her last payment was in November 2004. I hope she'll be able to catch up quickly and get her debt to the fund -- and to fandom -- paid off.

North American TAFF Account as of July 2005

Item Amount       Total Fund
Account as of October 2004   $5,080.00
Second newsletter and JB's trip report       -$235.00 $4,854.00
Bonds & donations in 2005 race $1,410.00 $6,255.00
Payment from Vijay Bowen $100.00 $6,355.00
Auction, sales, and other donations $790.00 $7,145.00
Initial expenses for Suzanne -$1,200.00 $5,945.00
Interest through May 2005 $13.00 $5,958.00

Thanks & Au Revoir

Well, kids, this is my last newsletter. When Suzle gets back from her trip in August, she will be the new TAFF administrator. I can't say that I'm sorry to give up the administrative duties, but TAFF has been a tremendous, invigorating experience for me over all. As others have remarked, you probably meet as many people through administering the fund as you do through taking the trip. It has been a pleasure to see fandom at work in the support of TAFF and other fan funds. Many thanks to the dozens of people who have helped out by voting, recruiting, running, nominating, donating, holding receptions, hosting delegates, distributing ballots, auctioning, publicizing, lending moral support, and even making rude comments from the sidelines. (No such thing as bad publicity, I reckon.) It takes a village to run a fan fund, and a global village at that. If TAFF still has a purpose, it may be in giving the villagers a reason to work together instead of just watching the latest (admittedly very entertaining) episode of Dr Who.

I'll single out a few people for special thanks, since they have given me more than their fair share of support through thick and thin. First of all, thanks to Victor Gonzalez for handing the fund to me in good shape despite the difficulties, for helping me get on my feet in the beginning, and for continuing to support TAFF by spreading the word (and hosting the ballot) on and taking an intense interest in the fund even as an ex-administrator. Thanks to Robert Lichtman for nominating me, donating items to various auctions, and giving me a lot of useful and timely advice and guidance. Thanks to Dave Langford for his own good advice, for more hand-holding and back-patting than is probably seemly, and for working incredibly hard behind the scenes to make sure that all things TAFF-related flow as smoothly as is fannishly possible. Another thing I learned from my TAFF tenure is that Dave is one of the hardest working men in fandom. Lastly, I'm not sure it's possible to give enough thanks to Ulrika O'Brien, who got over being a bitter ex-administrator and stood with me every step of the way, pointing out pitfalls and resources, encouraging me when I felt overwhelmed (yes, I'm a drama queen, what's your point?), and pitching in with ideas or assistance whenever I needed help. There really isn't anything I can do to pay her back for the support, so I'll try to pay it forward.

Okay then. Thanks, y'all, for everything. See you at the con, or in a nearby fanzine.