by Rob Jackson
This article was almost too late for publication; it was
all Terry Hughes's fault.
Any research into the achievements which make him
an excellent and very popular TAFF delegate inevitably
involves looking through back issues of his fanzine
Mota, which is the main reason he's so popular and well-
known in Britain. And that isn't something I find
possible to do quickly, as even if I intend just to skim
rapidly through I am drawn into the fanzine by the sheer
quality of its contents and sit totally absorbed for hours.
I've got something like twenty issues of Mota, and
reading them took a long time when I should have been
getting on with this.
So it's all Terry's fault for producing such a funny,
fascinating fannish fanzine.
Terry's first real contact with fandom was, I gather, at
Columbia University, Missouri, where he met Hank and
Lesleigh Luttrell, and started to put out issues of Mota.
I he first issue actually had some real live sf book
reviews in it, and even a mention of some films, but he
soon realised the error of his ways and decided he had
more to contribute through good-humoured observation of fans and their little ways than through attention
to the advancement of sf itself. Hequickly published six
issues from Columbia, then shelved Mota for a couple
of years and travelled around for a while. Eventually he
settled among Fabulous Falls Church fandom, being
influenced by Ted White, rich brown and other
colourful fannish characters, and resumed publishing
Mota in 1974. He's been publishing it with a fair degree
of regularity ever since — and it's become the doyen of
gentle, funny, level-headed fannish fanzines to the
extent that he's had regular contributions from Bob
Tucker, Bob Shaw, Lee Hoffman, Bob Shaw, Ted White,
Harry Warner Jr., and Bob Shaw, and brilliant artwork,
generally humorous, from Dan Steffan, GrantCanfield,
Joe Staton, Dan Steffan, Harry Bell, Alexis Gilliland,
and Dan Steffan. Terry's own sense of humour shines
through in his editorials, but even more obvious is his
genuine appreciation of and gratitude for other
people's senses of humour. In particular, his appreciation of the sometimes wacky sense of humour of British
fannish fans has given him a stronger connection with
British fanzine fandom than almost any other North
American fan. Mota is on the Hugo ballot this year;
deservedly so, and not before time.
As well as editing fanzines, Terry is a regular convention attender and was Guest of Honour at Autoclave III last year. In person he's tall, well-built (better so
than some copies of his fanzine) and genial, with
flowing blond hair that must be the envy of many of the
girls on the block. His nose is the subject of fannish
legend, but I'm not going to say anything about that
here for fear of embarrassing him.
Welcome to England, Terry. I hope we entertain you
as well as your fanzine entertains us.
Now Terry has won TAFF, he is expected to do two
things: produce a fanzine reporting on his trip to
England, and become TAFF's North American Administrator until he himself is replaced by a subsequent
American winner. TAFF stands for the Trans-Atlantic
Fan Fund, and for 26 years now it has been transporting
well-known and popular fans to conventions on the
opposite side of the Atlantic, to meet people often only
aware of the fan through fanzines who are keen to meet
the winner in person. The Fund takes people alternately
westwards from Europe to North America for the
Worldcon, and eastwards from North America to
Britain (generally for the British Eastercon, but because
of the British Worldcon this year the trip was arranged
for Seacon instead). Anyone who wants to run for TAFF
submits five nominations, three from fans on his or her
own side of the Atlantic and two from fans on the other,
with $5 good faith bond; Terry Hughes, Suzle Tompkins
and Fred Haskell were nominated this year. When
nominations close, ballots are prepared by the Administrators and distributed through fanzines, conventions,
clubs, etc., and fans send their votes in along with a
donation to the fund. At the end of the voting period
the ballots are counted and the winner is given a sum of
money to help pay his or her way to the convention. The
winner is thus a special guest at the convention,
selected by the whole of fandom.
TAFF depends entirely on fandom for its support.
Voters contribute, of course, but much of its financial
support comes from conventions which donate parts of
their surplus or organise auctions and other events, and
from clubs who organise fund-raising events for the
fund. The Administrators are very grateful for all the
help and contributions they receive and I'd like to
encourage everybody to continue to support the fund.
A TAFF winner will be going to Noreascon 11 next year,
which isn't too long hence!