Yesterday, at 20:30 CET came the result of the 2015 TAFF Race – and the winner is Nina Horvath. Doing a great campaign, she deserved to win. And her victory serves a higher purpose. It is good for Nina, good for Austrian fandom and good for European fandom. The runner-up (me) needs to remain hungry for the sake of TAFF.
As a trial-run, without British contenders, this race was NOT a failure. Nina Horvath proved, that non-Brits can gather the sufficient amount of votes. But the many different language fandoms in Europe still need to familiarize themselves with the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund.
Voting must be made easier and more fans need to understand that they are eligible for voting. Also, we (European fandom) have more to learn from and to offer American fandom, which receive our candidates so graciously. Who ever gets to go, receives a mind blowing trip.
The eastbound American fans on the other hand, have so far “only” seen London and other parts of the UK. Perhaps they would in future also like to visit Sweden, Finland, Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia or other countries once these options more openly come on the table.
Nina deserved to win and from my point of view, it was a win-win scenario. I need to stay on the (TAFF) case for a while longer. I will take Curt Phillips as a role model and race again if health and the global situation allows it. TAFF and the slightly less flexible European sf-fandom does not change with a single campaign..There is still work to be done. We also need to welcome eastbound travelers more openly.
I can think of no better way to announce that Austrian fan and writer, Nina Horvath, whom I nominated, has won this year’s TAFF race than in these fine words by Wolf von Witting, the continental European fan who ran against her. I met Wolf at my first Eurocon, in Italy in 2009 and have had the pleasure of chatting with him, online and ILR ever since.
Wolf is a wonderful man and I know he will run for TAFF again, not only because I will hound him to, but also because the fandom on the other side of Atlantic deserves the chance to meet this unique European fan. Until then, they can enjoy their time with Nina and take a look at Wolf’s fanzine!
At this point, Wolf is also probably a bit taken aback at the outpouring of emotion from everybody who was torn between voting for him and voting for Nina. I suspect that, had there been a fifth option on the ballot – I vote for both! – there would have been a lot of votes cast that way!
We should enjoy it – it is not often that anyone, anywhere gets to choose between two good people and two excellent choices. Only in fandom! <3