A combination of genre professionals and fans from the international scene and the United States have gathered together to create the World SF Travel Fund. The fund has been set up to enable one international person involved in science fiction, fantasy or horror to travel to a major genre event.
The first recipient of the fund is genre blogger and activist Charles Tan, from the Philippines.
Charles is a tireless promoter of speculative fiction. Besides his own Bibliophile Stalker blog, he contributes to the Nebula Awards blog, the Shirley Jackson Award blog, SF Signal and The World SF Blog. He also edited two online anthologies of speculative fiction from the Philippines.
Charles is highly regarded in the SF scene both in the USA and internationally. The Fund’s intention is to facilitate Charles’ travel to World Fantasy Con 2011 in San Diego, California. Multiple award winning editor Ellen Datlow said: “Charles Tan has in a very short time, become a major force in science fiction and fantasy. Bringing Charles over to the United States for the World Fantasy Convention would be a boon the convention by adding a truly international voice to the mix and selfishly, it would allow many of Charles’s fans in the field to meet him personally.”
Living in the Philippines, where wages are far lower than in the West, Charles would be otherwise unable to ever attend a major convention. The Fund’s purpose is to make such a trip possible, for the benefit not only of the recipient but for creating and extending dialogue in the wider world of speculative fiction.
Author and editor Jeff VanderMeer said: “Charles Tan is tireless, talented, indefatigable, a great guy, and someone who has become indispensible to our sense of the genre community. He’s a wonderful choice for this initial effort.”
The Fund has set up a Peerbackers Project with the hope of raising $6000, enabling two years of running. The Board, tasked with selecting future candidates, is composed of Lauren Beukes, Aliette de Bodard, Ekaterina Sedia, Cheryl Morgan and Lavie Tidhar and reflects the truly international nature of the SF world today.
For inquiries and further information please firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Peerbackers Project: http://peerbackers.com/projects/the-world-sf-travel-fund
If I can add a few words–Charles is a fantastic person, and more than a little insane. I never quite understood how he could hold a dayjob and do all the stuff he does for genre–but he does, and it’s amazing stuff too, from gathering the SF tidbits for SF Signal, to organising interviews for the Nebula Awards, and of course keeping the World SF blog up and running.
I definitely think it’s high time he was brought over from the Philippines, and also high time we had a travel fund like this. There are many things set up to enable fans to travel to conventions, and they’re fantastic initiatives, but so far there has been nothing that focuses on getting people from developing countries into the US or the UK: the price differential, as Lavie points out, is just ginormous for people like Charles–way too much to pay for so much as the entry fee for the con.
There you go. I hope you’ll check out the peerbackers page, and if you can afford to donate anything… (this is very much a case of every little bit helps)