The Going Under Fan Fund, or Get Up-and-over Fan Fund, known as GUFF, was founded in the mid-70s to exists to send SF fans from Europe to Australia and New Zealand, or vice versa, to meet fans and further fannish ties between continents. The fan funds exist only through the generosity of individual fans.
This year’s GUFF delegate is Alison Scott of London, UK. Alison has been active in fandom since the mid 80s. An enthusiastic con-goer and con-runner, she’s chaired the Eastercon (UK national convention) twice, and run many smaller cons. As part of the Plokta Cabal she’s won the Best Fanzine Hugo twice, and won the Rotsler and Nova awards for her fan art. However, she’s perhaps best known in her local fandom for staying up too late and partying too hard, and is spending lockdown actively working on finding ways to make that happen virtually.
She’s promised to make a trip to Australia and New Zealand when circumstances allow, but in the meanwhile she’s going to both attend CoNZealand and tour the continent virtually. She’ll be not flying to Western Australia in mid-July, switch to Australian time, and will then work her virtual way across Australia, reaching New Zealand a few days before the Worldcon starts. She’s hoping to meet as many local fans as possible, along with spending time in every available time zone and fitting in as many virtual tourist attractions as possible. So if you’re planning any virtual events during the period 11 – 29th July, why not get in touch with Alison (firstname.lastname@example.org) and invite her along?
Why do a virtual trip? Partly as a challenge; longtime fan Rob Jackson opined that it wouldn’t be possible to have much of a trip while sitting at your computer, and Alison wants to prove him wrong. But partly because SF fandom started, way back in the 1930s, in the letter columns of magazines, as fans from around the world got to know each other without ever necessarily having any expectation of meeting.
It seems likely that we aren’t going to be able to travel as freely as we like for some time. GUFF exists to forge closer links between European and Australian and New Zealand fandom, and if we can’t do that in person it’s worth trying to do it online.
Alison is planning her trip on a Facebook group, www.facebook.com/groups/