Fan Funds

Fan Funds

Fan funds were first created as a way to build closer ties between fans who lived great distances apart at a time when most communication was through fanzines, letter columns, and mail. The first fan fund is believed to have been the Big Pond Fund, created by Forrest J Ackerman in 1947 to bring Ted Carnell from the UK to Worldcon in Philadelphia (Philcon). Sufficient funds were not raised.

The first successful fan fund was WAW With the Crew ’52, which was designed to bring Irish fan Walt A. Willis (WAW) to TASFIC (the 10th Worldcon) in Chicago in 1952. The fund, spearheaded by Shelby Vick, raised enough to pay for Willis’ trip that not only included TASFIC, but also trips to Los Angeles, the Okefenokee Swamp, and New York.

Fan funds are now an established part of fandom, with several annual funds helping unite fans from around the globe. Traditionally, the TransAtlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) and the Get Up and Over Fan Fund (GUFF) are used to bring fans from either North America or Oceania to Europe for Worldcons (or vice versa). The funds run each year, reversing direction. If no Worldcon is being held on the destination continent for the year, the travelling fan will attend the appropriate national convention(s). (A third fund, the Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF), completes the triangle by supporting exchanges between North America and Oceania).

Fan Fund delegates are treated as guests of the receiving convention. They usually publish trip reports afterwards in the form of a fanzine telling the story of their adventures.

TransAtlantic Fan Fund (TAFF)

More information about TAFF, including past winners, can be found at the TransAtlantic Fan Fund Unofficial Home.

The 2024 eastbound TAFF race has now begun, with candidates Vanessa Applegate and Sarah Gulde contending for a trip to Glasgow in August 2024. The official announcement is in Taffluorescence! #2. Click the following links for the ballot form including candidates’ platformsthe PDF ballot, and the online voting form. Voting continues until 2 April 2024.

Previous TAFF Delegates to UK Worldcons are as follows (a full list of all past races can be found on the TAFF website linked above).

  • 1957 – Robert A. Madle attended Loncon 1 in London
  • 1965 – Terry Carr attended Loncon 2 in London
  • 1979 – Terry Hughes attended Seacon ’79 in Brighton
  • 1987 – Jeanne Gomoll attended Conspiracy ’87 in Brighton
  • 1995 – Dan Steffan attended Intersection in Glasgow
  • 2005 – Suzanne Tompkins (Suzle) attended Interaction in Glasgow
  • 2014 – Curt Phillips attended Loncon 3 in London.

Get Up and Over Fan Fund (GUFF)

Previous GUFF Delegates to UK Worldcons are as follows (a full list of all past races can be found here). No race has been announced for attendance at Glasgow 2024.

  • 1979 – John Foyster attended Seacon ’79 in Brighton
  • 1987 – Irwin Hirsh attended Conspiracy ’87 in Brighton
  • 1995 – Ian Gunn and Karen (now KRin) Pender-Gunn attended Intersection in Glasgow
  • 2005 – Damien Warman and Juliette Woods attended Interaction in Glasgow
  • 2014 – Gillian Polack attended Loncon 3 in London.