NAFF & ANDROMEDA SPACEWAYS 33 SCIENCE FICTION
by Edwina Harvey
(First published in Edwina's LiveJournal on 6 March 2008.)
A few years ago, (in the middle of all my eye dramas) Zara Baxter suggested I should nominate as a NAFF delegate. NAFF stands for National Australialian Fan Fund (or at least I think it does.) Like other fan funds (DUFF - Down Under Fan Fund, and TAFF - Trans Atlantic Fan Fund) NAFF is designed to provide partial funding to the winning delegate in order for them to get to the National SF Convention that year. It's a very worthwhile cause, and I really appreciated Zara's suggestion that I should apply for it - only my life was ruled by eye operations to stop me going blind when she first mentioned it, and one of the side effects of the eye operations was you weren't able to fly for up to three months after the operation.
There have been opportunities in subsequent years for me to apply to be a NAFF delegate, but usually I've decided that I want to go to those Natcons anyway, have already paid my membership and organised my travel etc etc months in advance, and I've always felt there's probably someone out there who needs the funding more than I do.
I combined a trip to Perth/Monkey Mia (to see the wild dolphins who interact with the humans after 20 years of reading about them. Okay, so I can procrastinate with the best of them!) Swancon (have been hearing good things about Swancons for as long as I've been reading about Monkey Mia.) and came home in style on the Indian Pacific in 2002. It was a reward to myself. 2001 had been a dreadful year.
I'd enjoyed myself so much with the holiday in general, but Swancon in particular, that I planned to get to another Swancon within the next 5 years. Easier said than done, I'm afraid, and life got in the way.
My desire to attend Swancon this year was heightened when I heard my latest effort at editing an issue of Andromeda Spaceways inflight Magazine, issue 33, (www.andromedaspaceways.com) would be launched there, but I really didn't think I could afford to travel from Sydney to Perth for the occassion. I've got another eye operation looming, and you never can accurately guess how much they're going to cost in my experience.
Anyway, I'd more or less given the idea up until I heard that the NAFF race had extended its opening for nominees, and then I thought maybe this was the year I should run for it, especially since I'd realised a few days before that I've been an active fan (of one sort or another) for 30 years now! (I started young! Honest I did!) I also figured *this* time I'd reward myself *before* the eye operation! Sneaky, yes, but can you really blame me?.
From my point of view running for NAFF was a win/win situation. If I won the ballot, I got to go to Perth as the NAFF delegate, and hopefully get some contribution towards my travelling and convention costs. If I didn't win (and I thought the other candidates more worthy than I was) I'd at least donated my nomination fee towards the worthy cause of them attending.
I was surprised and delighted to find out last Sunday that I'd won the NAFF race. On Monday, I booked my airline tickets to and from Perth. We're off and running!