World SF: An Organization of SF Professionals

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"World SF: An Organization of SF Professionals" was founded in Dublin in September 1976 by Harry Harrison and others. Initially, it seemed to have a bit of an anti-American tinge, but this wore off in time. It was intended as a pro organization (unlike SFWA?) and as an organization which represented SF internationally (unlike the Worldcon?). It was open to anyone who made money from SF, not just writers, but seems to have appealed mostly to the European Left.

(To be honest, it seems to have been in large part an excuse for a party with East Bloc writers whose governments would not let them travel to conventions for fun, but would allow them to go to a Serious International Conference.)

Meetings were held in San Marino and Chengdu, China, among other places.

Its name was (apparently deliberately) confusingly close to that of the World Science Fiction Society which created problems for the Worldcon. WSFS's Standing Committee (which at the time was charged with protecting WSFS's service marks) objected, but Fred Pohl and others pushed back with their pro clout, bluster, and personal charisma and at Aussiecon Two in 1985 were about to get the WSFS Business Meeting to overrule the Standing Committee when Don Eastlake managed to get the resolution changed so that WSFS acknowledged that the name "World SF: An Organization of SF Professionals" did not conflict with WSFS's trademarks, rather than the "World SF" they wanted. Since the longer name made it clear that they were not WSFS, there was no longer a serious conflict and the matter ended. (See File 770 59, p. 18 for a discussion of events at the Aussiecon BM.)

It lasted until 2002, but its influence was insignificant and it mainly seems to have focused on holding an annual meeting and some awards no one remembers.

It may have had an APA, WSFAP. It had a clubzine, the World SF Newsletter.


Club Reasonator 19762002
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