The TransAtlantic Hearing Aid

Preliminary Bit

Originally I planned to spread myself in several thousand lavish words of introduction to this collected TAFF trip report ... but the bulk of the wretched thing is already quite intimidating enough. And it's gone on far too long, through nine separate fanzines and five embarrassing years, until the only humane thing left to do is stop.

Knowledgeable readers can now skip instantly to the salacious bits. For the rest of you, I'll harden myself to record the Basic Details one last time (maddeningly familiar though they are from my TAFF bits in 5,271,009 convention booklets during my period of administrative malpractice from 1980 to 1982). Since the early 1950s TAFF, the TransAtlantic Fan Fund, has been organizing "cultural exchanges" to promote contact between European and North American SF fandom, by paying for its elected delegates' trips from Here to the year's major convention There, or vice-versa. Where does the money come from? Fans' votes are compulsorily accompanied by donations; kindly conventions and other organizations have been known to scatter their bounty; all profits from eventual trip reports (like this one) also go into the kitty. Further details and further copies of this booklet are obtainable from the current administrators, whose addresses are lewdly paraded in an Appendix.

I was the delegate from Europe to the 38th Worldcon, Noreascon II, held in Boston from 29 August to 1 September 1980. As suggested by the somewhat, er, gradual appearance of this report, a lot of people had to push quite hard to get me there and back. Most get a mention inside, but what the hell: let's declare an Official Dedication right here, to the following:

Jim Barker (my esteemed rival in the TAFF race), Mike Glyer, Leroy Kettle, Bob Shaw, and Victoria Vayne, for nominating me in the first place;

Stu Shiffman (and his parents), Selina Lovett (and hers), Alexis & Dolly Gilliland, Avedon Carol (and parents), Andy Porter, and Moshe Feder, for heroism beyond the call of hospitality;

Massachusetts Convention Fandom, Inc, for Noreascon II and a jolly triffic hotel room;

Rob Jackson, for publishing the bloated end-product which you now hold. (Thanks too to the publishers of original instalments, as noted at the back.)

Don't read it all at once, now.

Dave Langford, August 1985