Europe Goes For GUFF

Here’s me going on about European fandom again. GUFF, the fan fund ostensibly operating between Europe and Australasia, often ends up actually operating between the UK and Australia. There are been a couple of non-UK winners from the European end, but I don’t think any Kiwis have won. And in the past the visiting Aussies generally went to Eastercon, or a UK Worldcon (an honorable exception being Roman Orszanski’s trip to the Dutch Worldcon). I was delighted last year to see Kylie Ding travel to Finland as part of her GUFF trip. And this year I am even more delighted to be sponsoring a Croatian candidate for the fund.

Mihaela Marija Perković is one of the leading lights of SFera, the Zagreb fan group that staged last year’s excellent Eurocon. I have an interest here, of course, in that Mihaela is one of the people who decided to make me a fan guest of honor at that convention. But she did far more than that. She took me too and from the airport, she put me up in her home, she introduced me to some great Croatian food and drink, she got me onto a chat show on national TV, and we had some great conversations about books. I loved it so much that I’m planning to go back next year.

And my point is that someone who can do all of that stuff is exactly the sort of person you want as a fan fund delegate. Fan funds are all about promoting international fannish cooperation, and Mihaela already has a an excellent track record. Indeed, Zagreb fandom thinks so highly of her as an ambassador that they awarded her a grant so that she could attend Worldcon in Chicago. And she’s a staff volunteer for the forthcoming London Worldcon.

I note also that Mihaela’s sponsors include Carolina Gómez Lagerlöf from Sweden and Cristian Tamas from Romania, so it’s not just me she’s impressed.

I’m also pleased with the trip that Mihaela has planned. She intends to see a lot of Australian, and make it to New Zealand as well. I’m not sure what her husband and little Iggy make of his, and I suspect that Grandma may be involved with the Iggy-minding plans, but it is great to see someone wanting to do a big trip.

If you want to vote, instructions are available here. The voting fee is GBP 5/EUR 6/AUD 8 and these days you can vote by PayPal. The money, of course, goes towards funding the trip.

I should add that the other candidate, Julie McMurray, is a friend, and I have already apologized to her for backing the opposition. I’m sure she’d make a great delegate too. But I owe Mihaela big time, and I’m very keen to see European fandom taking a wider role in the English-speaking fan community.

Finland, yes, you can vote, and it is your turn next (that will be 2015). And Australia friends, I’m sure you’ll find Mihaela as fun to be with as I did.

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5 Responses to Europe Goes For GUFF

  1. Steve Green says:

    I was delighted to be the first TAFF delegate to a Canadian Worldcon, and tried to meet as many local fans as I could in Montreal (beforehand) and Toronto (afterwards).

  2. Kylie Ding says:

    Just want to point out that it was Croatia I went to, not Finland. I attended the excellent Eurocon, which was a highlight of my GUFF trip! I spoke of the joys of fan funds there, and I hope I had some influence on Mihaela deciding to run for GUFF. I am much indebted to James Shields, the previous GUFF delegate, for suggesting the trip to Croatia, and to Dave Lally for being so enthusiastic about it an helping to persuade me to go.

  3. Irwin Hirsh says:

    While it is true that northbound GUFF races have mostly sent someone to UK-based conventions, the actual winners have not ignored Continental Europe. I don’t know the trip details of all the GUFF trips, but (in addition to the situations you refer to) I know that John Foyster, Justin Ackroyd, Damien Warman & Juliette Woods, and myself all travelled to various parts of Continental Europe as part of our GUFF trips. In my case, I stayed with fans in The Netherlands, (what was then) West Germany, and France.