Choose your GUFF candidate

The GUFF race is ongoing and it would be good to have as many votes as possible. In case you think you should not be voting as you don’t know the candidates you may want to check their platforms in the ballot or you may want to read short interviews below (candidates are presented in alphabetical order). Remember – every vote counts!

GUFF trip is absolutely fantastic. I was writing about my trip some time before. There are three candidates this year – two from New Zealand and one from Australia. All three agreed to answer below set of questions – I hope you will find those answers as interesting as I did.

Two people sitting behind a table and posing for the photogrpah with their right hands on their chins. Wondering who will become GUFF delegate next year 😉

Lynelle Howell

Woman stands in a tramcar and smiles. Lynelle Howell

1) Why did you decide to run for GUFF and why did you choose 2019?
Going on GUFF will allow me to fulfil a desire to see the world and meet fans around the world! Slowly but surely I’ve been getting further and further around the world, and enjoying every minute of it. Getting to Europe would be my next big adventure. As a member of the executive for CoNZealand, it’s important for me to be able to help promote our convention, and to learn by observation. This means it’s important that I travel to Dublin to learn from Dublin 2019’s experience.

2) What is your favourite area in SFF (reading, video games, RPGs, comic, film etc.)?
I’m principally a media fan, though I have read a number of books too. I’m quite fascinated by societal changes in science fiction – what happens when you change a dynamic for a society? How does a robot gain humanity? That kind of thing. Call me crazy, but also have a desire to be involved in fannish infrastructure, or fan administration.

3) What are your main fannish activities?
Hmmm – that’s a veeeeery long list. It’s fair to say that I don’t have a real full-time job because I’m always doing something fannish. I am the administrator for four different New Zealand SF organisations, and am the vice president of my local club, Phoenix Science Fiction Society, editor of the club’s magazine, and I run the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, New Zealand’s equivalent of the Hugos for SFFANZ (the science fiction and fantasy association of New Zealand.

4) Providing you’ll become a delegate how much time you’re planning to spend in Europe?
Well, as I’m a stay-at-home parent to teenagers now, I have a little more free time, but still have responsibilities at home, so am anticipating a three-four week trip, depending on flight timings and such. I’d love to see a good portion of Ireland whilst travelling for GUFF, attending both Dublin 2019 and Eurocon the following weekend.

5) What is your “fannish dream” (other than the GUFF trip)?
Well, it appears that it’s to help run a Worldcon in New Zealand! World Domination for the win! Seriously though, my fannish dream? Well, maybe it’s to have fannish friends around the world, who I can talk to at any time of the night or day.

Simon Litten

Man standing on a catwalk that runs through some bushes. Simon Litten

1) Why did you decide to run for GUFF and why did you choose 2019?
New Zealand is hosting the Worldcon in 2020 so attendees at Dublin should have the opportunity to have an “official” NZ fan to grill about fandom in NZ if any of those attendees wanted to travel to NZ.

2) What is your favourite area in SFF (reading, video games, RPGs, comic, film etc.)?
Reading. I became a science fiction fan at high school through short stories – where the inventive range of SF was on display.
These days I still read a lot of short fiction, including novellas, novels and the occasional series.

3) What are your main fannish activities?
Helping organise and attend fan events, club meetings and conventions mainly. I was a founding member of the local SF club and New Zealand’s national body and have served in executive capacities on both groups (I also got both bodies registered charity status). I also created, and distributed to those who asked, a standard form convention constitution that passed taxation authority tests for charity/tax-free status. I rewrote the rules for the local science fiction awards (the Sir Julius Vogel Awards) so the rules could be implemented. In addition I liaised with two book publishers/distributors to establish a book review service hosted by the national science fiction body.
I am still active in local fandom, having stepped down from the national body to let new blood takeover.
I attend two separate book groups (one of which I started), which discuss books we have read – not a set book (I get a lot of good recommendations on new books from these).
I also write the occasional column or think piece for fanzines/club magazines.

4) Providing you’ll become a delegate how much time you’re planning to spend in Europe?
Two weeks – unfortunately I booked my airfares before the GUFF race was announced.

5) What is your “fannish dream” (other than the GUFF trip)?
Seeing a greater internationalisation of fandom, which is still largely a white American experience.
I thought about suggesting promoting the joys of introversion but as being a GUFF delegate involves meeting and interacting with other fans some measure of extroversion will be needed.

Nicole Murphy

A closeup picture of a person with red, slightly curly, hair. Nicole Murphy

1) Why did you decide to run for GUFF and why did you choose 2019?
I decided to run for GUFF after seeing all the fabulous things that previous GUFF candidates have been able to do. Not just in the actual trip to the con – but before and after, engaging people about the fan funds, getting to know fans from all over the world, welcoming visitors to Australia and showing them around. I chose this year because my work situation has eased so I am available, and also Worldcon is in Ireland. I visited Ireland for the first time in my life earlier this year and fell in love and I want to go back and discover more. Ireland itself is magical and thus a fabulous venue for Worldcon. I have no doubt the con itself will be fabulous!

2) What is your favourite area in SFF (reading, video games, RPGs, comic, film etc.)?
Reading, first and foremost – I started reading SFF when I was a little girl. I love the escapism, I love the dream, I love the idea that maybe, just maybe, somewhere, all this is real and it’s so beautiful and wonderful that it makes me happy. Film and television is my next favourite. I grew up watching Dr Who, and still remember vividly how I felt walking out of the screening of Star Wars – A New Hope when I was 7. I love discovering new shows – and watching again and again the oldies and goodies. I know there are shows from Europe that I haven’t seen because they never made it to Australia so I look forward to discovering them.

3) What are your main fannish activities?
Conrunning. I first got involved with Conflux in Canberra in 2004, running the short story competition. I was hooked, and by the fourth con, I was chairing. I have co-chaired an Australian Natcon (with Donna Maree Hanson) and programmed a couple of others. I was briefly involved with the comms team for Australia’s last Worldcon but had to withdraw when some other things came up. I love cons – I love them so much I’ve turned event management into my career! But cons remain my favourite, because that is where I get to hang with my people. I love providing a place for peeps to come together, to discuss, to argue if necessary, to discover, to uncover, to bond and to be inspired. I’ve also been involved with awards (I’ve twice run the Aurealis Awards, Australia’s juried SFF literature awards) and workshops for writers/creatives.

4) Providing you’ll become a delegate how much time you’re planning to spend in Europe?
I hope to spend at least two weeks in Europe (I want to attend Eurocon as well) and if I could manage a month, that would be wonderful – but I need to negotiate that with my husband, and with work. Apart from Ireland, I really want to go to Italy and Germany (where my ancestors are from) and I’ve heard so many amazing things about Scandinavia from the people who went to Worldcon in Helsinki that I would love to go there as well.

5) What is your “fannish dream” (other than the GUFF trip)?
It would have been playing a hobbit in Lord of the Rings, but I found out about that too late. It will also be too late to be an extra in the final Star Wars movie (still miss you, Carrie). So maybe I could be in the background of an episode of Dr Who? I would dearly love to go explore the parts of England where JRR Tolkien lived and so inspired him – Lord of the Rings has been a great love since I was a young girl. And then there are regions in Europe such as Transylvania – I love Dracula and would adore seeing the land that was his fictional home.

My next post will be published in the first half of January 2019.

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