The L-Space Web: Afparty

The Afparty Announcement

From: Karen <>
Subject: [ANNOUNCE][F] afp 10th birthday - Why Fandom is a Good Thing...
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 11:09:39 +0000

....partly because people like me send you party invitations like this :}

NB This is the AFPA [ANNOUNCE] of my original post crossed to two rec.arts.sf groups, hence the reference to cross posts.

There are several cross posts to groups which I know from past experience have an interest in the subject. Trim list as appropriate.

BTW for non Pratchett group readers the [F] in the subject line is a tag used to denote Fandom issues and activities afp. There are a good few Discworld Con attenders and readers amongst the cross-posted groups as well as a goodly number of old lags^W afpers, and this is an invitation/suggestion to old, current *and* new. There are still names here on each of the rec.arts groups which are familiar to me from the time afp was incepted I think.

The cross interest also stems from the recent discussions on rasfw about attending Conventions as a newbie or otherwise, and the general discussions on the trends in fandom activities on the newsgroups, and also the apparent cliquiness that some perceive. Its a recurring theme - I've written a lot over the years on all these anyway so I'll get on with it :}

If you are one of those people who are familiar with the story and the length of some of my posts <g> feel entirely free to skip straight down to the bottom where it says 'So Whats on Offer'. *That's* the important bit - where you pick up your personal invite.

Let me digress, I like digressing.

This is a sleep deprived memory speaking but currently I think there are four main newsgroups, a couple of IRC servers, mail lists of Pratchett related games, fan fiction etc, the L-Space Web resource <> for all things Pratchett related, innumerable other linked sites, and many Fan activities including the two previous Discworld Conventions in 1996, 1998, several Clarecraft Discworld events (kind of camping conventions:) on the 'in between' years and now a third Discworld Convention planned for 2002 - A Discworld Oddessy <> for which there is a blatant plug discretely tucked away in the .sig...

Not to mention the many, many real friendships, acquaintances, marriages and even babies... amongst all four of the cross posted groups. And of course our own L-space goddess, Colette Reap, known to many of you on all four groups. Ahem.

These have been spawned from which in turn, if the grey cells function correctly, came from the rec.arts sf groups with a bit of input from those monastery types...

*I* happen to think all this fannish activity is a Good Thing and something worth celebrating, especially at a time when fandom in general is often considered to be in decline.

Now I could quote you, dear readers, section 8 (subsection something or other, has to be a subsection) of the AFP FAQ (well in fact there are a number of them...) where much of this is explained very clearly in best Sir Humphrey speak. But why make life easy for you? There is a time line to go look at: with some early details.

But I like my version :]

Lo! and In The Beginning there were Pratchett fans wibbling around assorted Listserv and Usenet type places.

A voice called from the wilderness that was rasfw (or asr or wherever, I forget now) 'Let us come together and fight ye battle of independence in that place known as alt.config [tremble ye at this point], we will proclaim the independent homeland of'

So they did that.

Then after a while of wittering and chewing the sacred juniper berries in Pratchett land, and merrily putting bits and pieces onto various web pages, and writing FAQs and all the other things that people do in the absence of a RL, some bright spark suggested that it might be pretty neat to have as a domain to keep all this stuff together under one identifier. Well that was the rationalisation anyway. You won't catch me calling it a vanity domain...nononono. Not with four guys carrying leathermen anyway.

So they did that.

Along the way assorted people who did and/or do stuff in the world of Pratchett fandom picked up addresses, because we make a handy contact point for anyone seeking information on said fandom activities or Pratchett info in general.

People wrote biography pages, games pages, archives, set up and ran whole DW Conventions, organised many, many RL get togethers. Some of those who started on the newsgroups have since moved onwards. <wonders> is it promotion do you think to give up the AFP FAQ and take on the Perl FAQ? </> Well it takes staying power to last on *any* newsgroup for 8 years, but even that presence does exist and still in a major contributory role in terms of Pratchett fandom.

So why do people move on and why do people join (aka why am I cross posting this to catch some of those old and hopefully new members).

Because as with any newsgroups afp-current is a different place to afp- last year, five years ago and afp-tomorrow. That is why people move on - sometimes groups evolve away from you and you have seen all the bread threads, and cascades, and semi-regular subjects and the likes and its time to find a new watering hole. All that really matters is that the place is left in tact for others to follow. And sometimes you go back to them. But hopefully people who had fun at one time on afp will join with those who are current and those who are future in celebrating what is quite a significant bit of fandom achievement grown from its original usenet base.

The L-Space web resource, the Cons and much more have their roots in the newsgroups and gain many volunteers from that pool of people. Hopefully it feeds something useful back in to the newsgroups as well as Pratchett fandom at large, and even fandom at large. (And no, that doesn't go up to doing homework for those hopefuls mailing such requests to, or posting them to afp!)

When Craig Harding newgrouped afp in response to Karl Geppert's request like so:

Newsgroups: alt.config,
Subject: newgroup
From: earthbound misfit, I
Date: Thu30 Jan 92 23:50:57
Control: newgroup

This is a newgroup message for the group "", designed
as a place to discuss the writing of humourous fantasy author Terry
Pratchett. This was discussed on alt.config where the consensus emerged
that this would be a worthwhile newsgroup and would be an
appropriate location in the altnet, following in the footsteps of groups
such as

I wonder if he thought it would not only last and evolve actively through a decade of immense change on Usenet and the advent of the web, but be a source for one of SF fandom's more active corners.

I think its something that fandom in general should celebrate - the ongoing success in both small and large ways. Spreading the word about 'books we have loved' and stuff. And having a good time along the way :}

So What's on Offer (and why mention it so early?)


Nothing for people that don't read my every word lovingly :p

The early mention is for planning what will be a whole series of events culmination in the summer. I'm kind of hoping that this will attract lots of interest from not just current but old afpers, and new or would be afpers. That could be a *lot* of people.

To this end the Discworld Oddysey 2002 committee (mostly rooted in afp...) have offered to act as host for a large celebration/party type event to take place at the Convention. Obviously this will be for *all* Con goers because the whole concept was born from afp, and therefore I reckon they all have something to celebrate in this. And hey its a party, afp wants its friends there as much as family :}

Any suggestions that Paul Rood (the Chairman) and his committee now run screaming when I approach them to suggest further 'offers' they may wish to make me for afp are entirely without foundation... Oh and Paul you can have your sig back when I have finished it.

I'd really *love* to get as many old and new, UK and international afpers there to join the current. Hopefully it will be at a time when people restricted to day passes could also attend.

However that is all in August and although it will be a rattling good party - it isn't enough.

I'm also proposing a series of the larger meets we have starting in January/February time with London (I'm doing that one so it'll be good...have a look at <> for an idea of a smaller version of what I had in mind).

I'm counting on the Benelux crew who are active in RL Pratchett fandom to produce one of their inimitable Dutch Meets - see <8v08jk$h68$1@falco> by Leo Breebaart for report on the last one (yes he did the London report too, he really gets around) and the L-space web for links to much more of this stuff. In fact they are so organised its frightening - they even have their own mail list for planning meets <>

And how about an Australasian party and a US version? Organisers anyone?

I really hope that the earlier, local and smaller meets will be good opportunities for new bugs to join us, especially if they are coming to the Convention. A chance to meet some of the people, be suckered into volunteering to help at the Con maybe, or simply have a good time. And for people that cannot come to the Con - I want them to at least get a decent *share* in the party.

Because when all is said and done - *that* is what fandom is all about. Sharing what we love, with others, and having a damned good time making new friends whilst we do it :}

So what do you reckon?


* "2002: A Discworld Odyssey" * The Discworld Convention *
- Hanover International, Hinckley * August 16th-19th, 2002 -
* Web: * Email: *

The Afparty effort and web pages are coordinated by Karen/hypatia and Leo Breebaart,
who always welcome suggestions, questions and new afpmeet organisers and attenders.

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