Ellison Makes Deadline!
1997 TAFF Race Scrubbed; Corflu Wave Go for Launch
by Andy Hooper
Harlan Ellison, that scion of Seventh Fandom, has been published in a fannish fanzine for the first time in recent memory. The occasion is the tenth issue of Lee Hoffman's Science-Fiction Five-Yearly, in which a new chapter of his serial "!NissassA," written under the pseudonym Nalrah Nosille, appears. Associate Editor/Publisher Geri Sullivan undertook a tenacious bombardment of Ellison's fax machine about five weeks before the production deadline, which elicited from Harlan: "Don't go to press without me!" Unlike recent years ending in one or six, Harlan came through with a divertingly unhinged chapter titled "Cyberfornicata of the Zombie Upholsterer." SFFY #10 features work by Jeff Schalles, F.M. Busby, Ted White, Victor M. Gonzalez, Dan Steffan, Vijay Bowen, Lee Hoffman and me, along with a small cloud of fandom's best artists, and is truly a wonder of the electric age. If you don't already have one, and wish you did, let me know and I'll see what can be done for your sorry ass.
Following a last-minute struggle to find fans willing to step into the current TAFF imbroglio, the December 2nd deadline to file passed with but a single candidate declared for the 1997 race, Seattle's Luke McGuff. Administrators Dan Steffan and Martin Tudor decided to apply the semi-traditional rule that one candidate does not make a TAFF race, and intended to cancel the 1997 election. Dan announced all this in an announcement which rich brown posted on Rec. Arts. SF. Fandom, as a prelude to release of a written TAFFzine going out by the end of the year.
Despite rumors to the contrary, the decision to cancel the race was based strictly on the number of available candidates at deadline time and not on the recently disclosed financial malfeasance in the UK. While it is true that unfortunate incident has had a powerful impact on TAFF, it was only a small consideration in the decision to postpone. A 1998 race is definitely planned, and we'll bring you more details when we have them.
We received several letters from persons associated with the 1997 Corflu committee in response to last issue's plea for information. I am happy to report that Corflu 14, aka Corflu Wave, will take place the 14th to 16th of March, 1997, at the Marriott Hotel, 2355 North Main St., Walnut Creek, CA 94546-3547. Room rates are a flat $85.00 per night, and the toll-free reservation number is 1-800-228-9290. The hotel is two blocks from a BART station, and 30 minutes from SFO and Oakland Airports. No other shuttle service was mentioned.
Membership in the convention is still $45.00 attending, $5.00 supporting. Checks should be made out to "Corflu," and should be sent to 999 Perriera Dr., Santa Clara, CA 95051.
Alan Rosenthal is officially in charge of convention programming (which so far consists of the auction and a production of my far-from-original play Fanotchka, Janice Murray will be administering the FAAn Awards (deadline Feb. 28th), and Rich McAllister is in charge of extra-convention excursions.
This information was all gleaned from the Corflu website, created by Karen Schaffer, which you too can visit at http://www.hidden-knowledge.com/corflu, to get a membership list, lots of e-mail addresses, and a link to a site that shows the current weather conditions in nearby Concord.
The site features a lengthy list of Bay Area fans who promise to pitch in at the convention, but conspicuous by their absence are Tom Becker, David Bratman and Berni Phillips, who were all touted as senior members of the committee when we voted them the convention back in Nashville last March. Fans with long memories will also note that the convention is not to be held in the seaside town of Pacifica as planned. The Pacifica facility apparently changed hands this past spring, and was not willing to offer rates that were within Corflu's budget. This led to the adoption of the Walnut Creek site, which, as Robert Lichtman put it, ". . . has a lot less cachet than Pacifica, but at least it's equally inconvenient."
I do not pretend to understand exactly how this happened, but the loss of the hotel apparently occasioned some crisis within the committee over the way in which that news was to be broken to fandom. Some six or seven months later, several of the committee have resigned, and we still have not seen a general mailing on the convention, nice though the website is.
I'm planning to attend Corflu 14 no matter where it is and who is in charge, but I do have a couple of observations. The first is that for a convention that is supposed to focus on written fanac, Corflu seems to be leaving a smaller and smaller paper trail. Admittedly, we get a lovely Fanthology with every edition of the convention (and will we this year? who is its editor?). But we see fewer progress reports, and which was the last Corflu to publish a mailing list of members after the con?
Second, I have had more than enough of incoherent, slipshod conventions mounted by committees who do not communicate before, during or after the con. If I wanted to go through that sort of thing, Norwescon is right here in town. Most would agree that $45 is a lot to pay for one brunch buffet and the pleasure of sitting around a hotel bar for three days, and Corflu seems to be ebbing toward that as the years progress. No wonder British fans seem to think it would be a dottle to put on a Corflu -- all they're worried about is finding a softball diamond. (And where is the softball diamond nearest to the Walnut Creek hotel, hmmm?) One wants Corflu to present a friendly, good-tempered gestalt, without unresolved conflict lurking in the back of every scene. I am therefore entirely confident that the Corflu Wave committee will put the house in order and make the fourth California Corflu the best yet.
Our condolences to the family and friends of Midwest fan Joni Stopa, who succumbed to a long illness on December 4th.
Despite impassioned pleas for stiffer customs regulation from numerous members of American fandom, Gary Farber was allowed back into the country at the end of his diplomatic tour of Great Britain, and inexplicably remains at liberty.
The DUFF race is getting under way, and yes, I'm your huckleberry. Janice and I have been joined by Joel Zakem of Louisville, KY. Ballots will be available momentarily. Vote for someone.
Robert Lichtman wanted me to mention that the Fantasy Amateur Press Association, the Hudson's Bay Company of fannish apas, now has only 59 members and room for anyone who might care to join. (The membership limit is 65.) Dues are $15 a year for four quarterly mailings, and activity requirements are the lowest among apas that have such things: eight pages a year. One has to have either published a fanzine within the past year or have appeared in two not published in the same city in order to qualify for membership. Anyone interested should write Robert at P.O. Box 30, Glen Ellen, CA 95442.
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