by Andy Hooper
Welcome back to the always-changing news column.
Ted's column on the history of Corflu bidding is certainly informative, but some readers may be curious about his unattributed quotes and the necessity for the column to appear at this particular time. So here is a brief history of the recent misunderstanding that inspired him to write it.
Last March in Nashville, as Ted notes, Pam Wells spoke on behalf of the principle of a British Corflu, and was greeted by a generally enthusiastic response. In the absence of a specific bid to have the con in the UK, it was agreed that the project should wait until 1998. Alyson Abramowitz and friends brought forward the Corflu Wave bid on Sunday of the weekend, and we all agreed to reconvene in California the following year.
And that was the last public statement on the issue for about eight months.
Now, I have to admit that I was never very enthusiastic about the idea of taking Corflu to England, if only for the selfish reason that I would have a lot of trouble getting there. I also had some fear that the interruption of the annual convergence of the US fanzine community might cause us to lose the energy Corflu had built up. I wasn't shy about expressing this to anyone who asked, but since almost every Corflu bid that has ever been announced has been honored -- as Ted says, you just have to get in line -- I figured the UK Corflu was a done deal.
But then the end of the year was rolling around, and I began to wonder if there was going to be a UK Corflu bid after all. There had been no official statement of intent from Ian Sorensen, Lilian Edwards or Alison Freebairn, the people most commonly mentioned as being on the committee. Various British fans -- whose anonymity I will respect -- told me they weren't very excited about trying to have Corflu in England anyway. So I started talking to Shelby Vick, who had expressed some interest in having a Corflu in Florida before, wondering if he would be willing to step in -- with lots of help, of course --if there was appeared to be no bid in the offing for 1998.
At which point, Ian Sorensen came up with a formal announcement of his intention to bid for the 1998 Corflu. Well and good, I thought, and I returned a letter explaining what a bad idea I thought it was, but that I would be happy to speak on behalf of it once it was voted in, and suggested some tactics for overcoming the lingering resistance to the issue in certain circles of fandom on both sides of the water. The response to this letter floored me. Citing opposition, specifically my own, which "verged on hostility," the 1998 bid was withdrawn, with a public announcement made on the Internet without any effort to seek clarification or confirmation of my supposedly obdurate opposition to the bid.
Happily, it took only a few wounded letters back and forth to convince them to change their minds, and Ian, Lillian and Alison are all expected to be at Corflu 14 in California, where they'll see just what sort of a task they have set for themselves.
Anyway, my observations that some slight formalization of this process -- avoiding the "bullying of opposition into silence" -- might help to avoid such misunderstandings in the future, was part of Ted's inspiration for his article. I'm quite sorry to have caused such panic with my letter, but I had no idea that it was so inflammatory as to inspire self-immolation on the part of the British bid. And I still feel like we could stand to solidify some of Corflu's traditions some degree, without falling prey to the miseries heir to Worldcon bidding. But anyway, it looks good for a British Corflu next year, and perhaps that's all that counts.
One other thing I want to point out to our readers is the Fan Achievement Award ballot enclosed with this issue. Rather than exhorting you to vote several issues in a row, I've waited until there are only two weeks left before the voting deadline to mention it here. So, don't set it aside and think you'll have time to do it later -- better to figure out your favorites right now and send them to Janice Murray at one of the various addresses shown on the ballot.
I'm going to make sure the UK and Oz originals of this issue go out on the 15th, so there is some chance that it will arrive before the deadline. Janice is encouraging people to vote by e-mail again, but if you don't have e-mail, you probably know someone who does who would be willing to forward your vote so that it will arrive in time.
There are just three categories in which awards will be made, Best Fanzine, Best Fanwriter and Best Fan Artist. Regardless of whether a poll or award ballot has many categories or only a few, we always hear complaints -- "How can I just pick three favorites?" Or, "I can't remember enough to fill out all these categories." I say we should just relax and fill out the ballot. Someone I know dealt with the angst of trying to choose between so many good candidates by voting for Elmer Perdue, who, while deserving of praise, happens to be dead. I don't think it especially matters who wins the awards or how many votes any given person receives, so long as a large number of voters participate in the process. The more people vote, the more egoboo there is to go around.
So get out there and vote -- Elmer Perdue is counting on us!
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Previous article: Dr. Fandom's Corflu Primer, by Ted White.
Next article: ffwap!, by Randy Byers.