World SF: An Organization of SF Professionals

An organization founded in Dublin in September 1976 by Harry Harrison and others. Initially, it seemed to have had a faint anti-American tinge, but this wore off in time. It seems to have been intended as a pro organization (as opposed to SFWA) and an organization which represented SF internationally (as opposed to the Worldcon). It was open to anyone who made money from SF, not just writers.

(It seems to have been in large part an excuse for a party with East Bloc writers whose governments would not let them travel to conventions for fun, but would allow them to go to a Serious international conference.

Its name was (deliberately) close to that of the World Science Fiction Society which created problems for the Worldcon which had a service mark on it. The Standing Committee (which at the time was charged with protecting WSFS's service marks, objected, but Harrison and others pushed back with their pro clout and personal charisma and at Aussiecon Two in 1985 were about to get the WSFS Business Meeting to overrule the Standing Committee when Don Eastlake managed to get the resolution changed so that WSFS acknowledged their right to use the name "World SF: An Organization of SF Professionals" rather than simply "World SF". Since the longer name made it clear that they were not WSFS, there was no longer a serious conflict and the matter dropped.

While it lasted until 2002, its influence was insignificant and it mainly seems to have focused on and annual meeting and some awards.


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