My DUFF credentials – a history of Paula in fandom

As the countdown gets closer to the cutoff for DUFF voting, I thought I would write a little bit about my DUFF credentials for those of you DUFF voters who may not know me.

For most of my life I have been a fan of fantasy and science fiction but the reason I joined the MSFC was purely financial (I wanted the 10% discount offered at Sybers Secondhand Books that they gave all MSFC members)

After a year of being a member but not actually attending the club I thought it was time to check out what I had been missing.  (All this was back in 1994 so it was late ’95 before I officially moved into the fandom world)  I discovered this wonderful thing, a group of like minded people who loved the books I loved, who were not ashamed of being science fiction fans, in fact people who loudly and proudly proclaimed their love to anyone who would listen.  Having grown up in the eighties and attended a Catholic School where obsession to anything remotely fantastic was frowned upon, this was a new thing for me.

Over the next few years, I immersed myself in the happenings of the club.  After spending a year overseas I came back to find out that most of the people I knew were involved in the planning of the 1999 Worldcon, Aussiecon 3.  I had never been to a convention before so I didn’t know what to expect.  My very good friend Michael Jordan asked me if I would help him organise the Hugo Award Ceremony.  Having read science fiction all these years I certainly had heard of the Hugos so I was extremely honoured to be involved.

The ceremony was a complete success and I could enjoy the rest of the convention.  I think starting your convention going life with a Worldcon is something special.  After that I began to get more involved with the organisation of the MSFC, being on committee for a couple of years and then being on the organising committee of Convergence, the 2002 Natcon.  After many years of convention going and volunteering, the 4th Aussiecon was approaching.  I helped out the very competent Steve Francis with organising the dealers room and I believe the convention was enjoyed by everyone who attended.

I hope to win DUFF as I have never attended a Worldcon overseas.  If the specialness of the Aussiecons is any example of the experience that it will be then I can imagine what an American convention will be like.  Cross fingers that I will see you all there.



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