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The Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund is a fan fund that has brought fans from the UK or Europe to conventions in North America and vice versa since 1954.[1]

The first yearly fan fund, TAFF followed the second successful fund to bring a fan from overseas to Worldcon (then exclusively a North American affair) – the WAW With the Crew in '52 Campaign for Walt Willis to the Chicon II. That, in turn, was inspired by the Big Pond Fund, which brought Ted Carnell to Cinvention in 1949.

Afterwards, these examples were generalized to a permanent fund; the planning stages were briefly called British Fan Fund and later Two-Way Transatlantic Fan Fund when it became clear the directions should be alternated, but this never caught on. Once TAFF became a going concern, the other major fan fundsDUFF (Transpacific, since 1972) and GUFF (trans-Indian-ocean, as it were, from 1979) – followed its example and practices with similar success, connecting Austral(as)ia into the triangle. However, there were several flareups of TAFF Wars when All Fandom was Plunged into War, the last and most notorious in 1984–5. This led to the development of the "20 % rule" intended to ensure that no one side of the ocean should be able to force their own favo(u)rite on unwilling hosts.

Every other year, a European fan (traditionally, but increasingly often not, from the UK) is elected to attend a Worldcon in North America.[2] In the following year, a NA fan attends Eastercon, the UK national convention. There are a few exceptions to the regular alternation: When the Worldcon is held in Europe, one the races are scheduled so the American winner goes to that Worldcon.[3]

To run, fans need to get three nominators from their side of the Atlantic and two from the destination side. They also have to post a bond saying that, barring Acts of God, they will attend the designated convention if they are elected, and provide a 100-word platform. The TAFF ballots were distributed with fanzines and handed out at conventions or clubs; this has been largely replaced by the internet.

Funds are raised through a required minimum voting fee, donations, and benefit auctions or fanzine/book sales at cons and by mail.

Winners usually get convention memberships comped as special guests and stay at fans’ homes before and after the con, traveling to different fan centers and getting to know fans better in the host country. They are expected to write a trip report: it's not an iron-clad requirement but people grumble if they don’t. It has become a tradition that the reports are delayed many years, so some fan organisations have offered a substantial donation to TAFF for any report finished within five years.

The winners spend the next two years acting as TAFF administrators on their side of the Atlantic, fundraising, publicizing the fund, overseeing the subsequent TAFF elections and helping to arrange the winners’ trips.

See also: TAFF Wars, Fan Funds.

Year Direction and Winner Other Candidates Notes Reports (and candidate zines)
1952 << Walt Willis none – one-purpose WAW With the Crew in '52 Not a race, and TAFF didn't exist yet, but usually included as the one that started it all The Harp Stateside
1954 << Vin¢ Clarke Peter Campbell, Walter Gillings, Derek Pickles, Mike Rosenblum, Tony Thorne, James White Clarke was unable to make the trip.
1955 << Ken Bulmer Eric Bentcliffe, Terry Jeeves Ken went with Pamela Bulmer TAFF Tales (1959–61, coll 1998)
1956 >> Lee Hoffman Forrest J Ackerman, Dave Kyle, Gertrude M. Carr, Kent Corey, Hal Shapiro, Lou Tabakow Hoffman declined TAFF funds, going with Larry Shaw on their own as honeymoon; 2nd Ackerman was unable to go
1957 >> Bob Madle Forrest J Ackerman, Richard Ellington, Dick Eney, Stuart Hoffman, Ed McNulty, Boyd Raeburn, George N. Raybin First TAFF Wars. A Fake Fan in London (1958–60, coll 1976)
1958 << Ron Bennett John Berry, Dave Newman See TAFF Wars; sailed on Queen Mary Colonial Excursion, 1961
1959 >> Don Ford Terry Carr, Bjo Wells See TAFF Wars TAFF Baedeker, 1960–1
1960 << Eric Bentcliffe Mal Ashworth, H. P. Sanderson EpiTAFF, 1961
1961 >> Ron Ellik Dick Eney Ella Parker went west to Seacon through Parker Pond Fund and was mistakenly called the 1961 TAFF winner in at least one fanzine The Squirrel's Tale, 1969
1962 << Ethel Lindsay Eddie Jones The Lindsay Report, 1963
1963 >> Wally Weber Marion Zimmer Bradley, Bruce Pelz "Cry Abroad", Cry of the Nameless #174 June 1964
1964 << Arthur Thomson Phil Rogers ATom Abroad (1965)
1965 >> Terry Carr Bill Donaho, Jock Root "Beyond the Mnemonic Statute of Limitations" (1984)
1966 << Thomas Schluck (DE) Eric Jones, Bo Stenfors, Peter Weston none at all – apparently the first such case
1967 was the very first year skipped, with details largely lost in the mist of time
1968 >> Steve Stiles Ed Cox, Ted Johnstone Harrison Country (1968–2006, coll 2007)
1969 << Eddie Jones Bob Shaw
1970 >> Elliot Shorter Charlie Brown, Bill Rotsler Heicon declared in advance to have the winner as its Fan GoH several articles in 1970
1971 << Mario Bosnyak (DE) Per Insulander, Terry Jeeves, Peter Weston Note TAFF Wars again.
1973 >> Len & June Moffatt Howard DeVore, Frank & Ann Dietz The Moffatt House Abroad, 1974
1974 << Peter Weston Peter Roberts "Weston Discovers America", chapter in With Stars in My Eyes (2004)
1975 skipped, possibly in relation to the Aussiecon
1976 >> Roy Tackett tie w. Bill Bowers (vote tied, both candidates declared winners) Funds not enough for 2 regular tickets, a cheap charter was found but got cancelled. Bowers withdrew, either as he couldn't pay the full fare or had personal problems. "Tackett's Travels in Taffland", 1985
1977 << Peter Roberts Terry Jeeves, Peter Presford New Routes in America
1979 >> Terry Hughes Fred Haskell, Suzanne Tompkins
1980 << Dave Langford Jim Barker The Transatlantic Hearing Aid chapters '81–4, coll '85
1981 >> Stu Shiffman Gary Farber
1982 << Kevin Smith Rog Peyton Nothing, 2022 online / PoD paperback
1983 >> Avedon Carol Grant Canfield, Larry Carmody, Taral Wayne (CA)
1984 << Rob Hansen D. West New TAFF Wars started On the TAFF Trail (1984–91, coll 1994)
1985 >> Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden Rich Coad, Martha Beck (write-in) Peak TAFF Wars three chapters 1985–7
1986 << Greg Pickersgill Judith Hanna, Simon Ounsley planned only as a few third-party reports
1987 >> Jeanne Gomoll Bill Bowers, Brian Earl Brown, Mike Glicksohn (CA), Robert Lichtman TAFForensic Report
1988 << Lilian Edwards & Christina Lake Martin Tudor, Dave Wood
1989 >> Robert Lichtman Luke McGuff
1990 skipped, possibly as ConFiction in Netherlands would disrupt the alternations
1991 << Pam Wells Abigail Frost, Bruno Ogorelec (HR)[4] chapters 1991–7
1992 >> Jeanne Bowman Richard Brandt
1993 << Abigail Frost Michael Ashley, Tony Berry, Ashley Watkins Frost's subsequent administration was fraught and resulted in the loss of much of the European funds fragments esp. in Ansible
1994 likely skipped/postponed due to the 1995 Worldcon in UK? see the spring 1993 "Tafferendum", although it does not mention this option explicitly
1995 >> Dan Steffan Samanda b Jeude, Joe Wesson
1996 << Martin Tudor M. J. "Simo" Simpson Have Bag, Will Travel
1997 eastward race was announced in Nov '96 with a deadly deadline of one month, but apparently soon quietly postponed by a year
1998 >> Ulrika O'Brien Victor Gonzalez, Vicki Rosenzweig, Thomas D. Sadler Chapters have appeared 2000-2017; still in progress
1998 << Maureen Kincaid Speller Chris Bell, Bridget Hardcastle 2nd 1998 race, held as a "catch up" for the missed 1997 Snufkin Goes West
1999 >> Velma "Vjay" Bowen Sarah Prince
2000 << Sue Mason Tommy Ferguson, Tobes Valois Into The Wide Purple Yonder
2001 >> Victor Gonzalez Tom Springer
2002 << Tobes Valois Chris O'Shea Tobes' Taff Ting
2003 >> Randy Byers Colin Hinz (CA), Mike Lowrey, Curt Phillips The King of TAFFland's Bent Sprog; chapters in Chunga; unfinished before Randy's 2017 death
2004 << James Bacon Anders Holmström (SE) WorldconNomicon
2005 >> Suzanne Tompkins Chaz Boston Baden, Curt Phillips Jerry's Suzle's 2005 TAFF Trip Report – Travels in the United Kingdom in 2005 (2009)
2006 << Bridget Bradshaw Arthur Cruttenden
2007 >> (cancelled) Chris Garcia, Mary Kay Kare announced Jun ’06, voting from 6 Oct, 2007 Eastercon cancelled 31 Oct, on 6 Nov admins decided “2007 TAFF race will be postponed until 2008“ PrintZine
2008 >> Chris Garcia Chris Barkley, Linda Deneroff, Christian McGuire Rockets Across the Waters (April 2008!)
(PrintZine New Series)
2009 << Steve Green Tom Womack Are You Still Here?
2010 >> Brian Gray & Anne K. G. Murphy Frank Wu Anne and Brian Gray's TAFF Reports
2011 << John Coxon Graham Charnock, Liam Proven, Paul Treadaway Best. Trip. Ever. (chapters 2011; 2020)
2012 >> Jacqueline Monahan Kim G. Kofmel, Warren Buff Same Planet, Different World
2013 << Jim Mowatt Theresa Derwin Wherever I Lay My Hat! (bids: Theresa for TAFF Newsletter, Tiny TAFFzine)
2014 >> Curt Phillips Brad & Cindy Foster, Randy Smith TAFFtastic
2015 << Nina Horvath Wolf von Witting TAFFWorld
2016 << Anna Raftery Wolf von Witting Alternation of direction suspended due to 2017 and 2019 Worldcons in Europe Cuttlefish and Cake (Oct 2021)[5]
2017 >> John Purcell Sarah Gulde, Alissa McKersie in progress, chapters 2017–8
2018 << Johan Anglemark (SE) Fia Karlsson (SE), Helena McCallum Trip blog
2019 >> Geri Sullivan Teresa Cochran, Sarah Gulde, Mike Lowrey
2020 >> Mike Lowrey Ann Totusek, on “Send Mike!” platform alternation suspended in Sep ’19: “Looking at 5 future Worldcons and … bids … makes the most sense … as many as possible of the following TAFF races will go to a Worldcon.” Due to Covid and cancellation of Eastercon(s) trip delayed to April ’22 "A Visible Fan Abroad: A TAFF Journal of the Plague Years. Chapter the First: The Trip That Never Was" in Beam 17, Oct '22
2021 Skipped / postponed by a year in October 2020 because of Covid-19
2022 << Fia Karlsson (SE) Anders Holmström (SE), Mikołaj Kowalewski (PL), Julie Faith McMurray
2023 << Sandra Bond Mikołaj Kowalewski first trip to the NASFiC, Pemmi-con in Canada Her Beautiful Mistake, in progress: Idea 13, Octothorpe 80
2024 >> Sarah Gulde Vanessa Applegate
  1. No fan from Canada has won TAFF, although a few have tried. As for the opposite direction, Britons were sent to one out of four Canadian Worldcons (during TAFF’s existence, in 2009), while the 1973 and 2003 trips were eastward and 1994 held no race at all, and to the only Canadian NASFiC in 2023.
  2. NASFiC is a possibility in years when the Worldcon is held outside NA (or Europe, which takes precedence as noted below). However, this did not happen until 2023: there was no TAFF race in 1975 and all trips in 1985, 1999, 2007, 2010 and 2020 went East(er)ward.
  3. There was a discussion in 1986 whether Eastercon might be a better Platonic expression of the Britfandom spirit, where the TAFF guest was not lost in crowds of Americans who inevitably travel to Worldcons abroad; however candidates expressed preference for Conspiracy '87 over BECCON '87. As European Worldcons became more frequent, and routes of transatlantic communication were opened by internet and low-cost flights, it has become a de facto rule to run TAFF eastward in such years.
  4. Often mis-spelled "Ogorolec".
  5. PDF/MP3 download for £5 going to TAFF.

From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
The Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund, a fund intended to take Britons to American Worldcons and, alternate years, vice versa. It all began with Shelby Vick's WAW With the Crew in '52 campaign, which undertook to bring Walt Willis over to America, to the ChiCon II, that year. (There had been a predecessor in the Big Pond Fund drives sparkplugged by Ackerman.) Early in 1953 Don Ford and the Cinci Fantasy Group started a fund to bring Anglofan Norm Ashfield to the Philcon II but he was unable to come and Don offered the funds to anyone else Anglofandom should select. At the 1953 Loncon at the Bonnington the idea of a continuing TAFF was brainstormed by Willis, Vin¢ Clarke, Slater, Chuch Harris, Terry Jeeves, Eric Bentcliffe, Norm Shorrock and John Brunner, after long hours of discussion and smokefilled-room sessions.

The original idea was that nominees should be "someone fairly well-known to both British and American fandom" and that voters "should have been active in fandom to the extent of having subscribed to or contributed to at least one fanzine or joined a fan club or organization". Don Ford on this side and Walt Willis on that side acted as administrators -- exchange difficulties making it necessary to have operators on each side of the ocean. Afterward, it was understood that the most recent winners from each side would operate the fund.

So far it's sent over Ken (and Pam) Bulmer, Bob Madle, and Ron Bennett. (Vin¢ Clarke and Lee Hoffman won the egoboo of election but didn't make the trip as TAFFen.) In 1957 circumstances of the election kicked up a flap about definition of a fan which sundered the movement considerably; Madle, the winner that year, had earlier decreased fanac to write for the [ptui!] proz, and a number of people never heard of in fandom before seemed to have voted, despite the requirement noted above. Madle also got some undeserved blame for the antics of another candidate who toured the country offering to pay the token contribution (50¢, or 2/6) for anybody who'd vote for him. Objection to such things, with advice to tighten up the rules, was entered by Chuch Harris and others, but actual rules adopted later (by Madle and Bennett, in September 1958) had the effect of doing away with the voter-requirements and even, by omission, the candidacy requirements. The administrators, however, apparently meant this as a move to quell the argument, since they had previously used their discretion to reject the sort of questionable votes against which protest was made.

From Fancyclopedia 2 Supplement, ca. 1960
Concerning the Ashfield fund: in 1953 Don Ford had a raffle going to raise money for Ashfield's trip to Philcon II. Since it was under way, he didn't want to call it off. Bea Mahaffey took raffle tickets to Willis and Carnell, when she went to the Coroncon in '53; these sold tickets, making it an international affair. Ford then offered the dough to anybody else coming over from England who might be suggested; TAFF was the answer. The raffle (for some covers donated by Carnell and Mahaffey) was conducted at the Philcon II; Ford forgets who the winners were.

Fanfund 1952
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