The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction
Association -- ISSN 0894-5411
Edited by Samuel Lubell email@example.com
2000, the Year in Review.
WSFA to Occupy Space
Bottom's Mid-Winter's Night Dream
WSFA's Next Con, A Fantasy?
Galaxy Quest Review
Budget for December
Letters to WSFA
WSFA Member Addresses
Edited by Samuel Lubell firstname.lastname@example.org
By Samuel Lubell
Despite the collapse of civilization, the year 2000 turned out to be a good year for science fiction. As the tribes gathered near the blackened remains of cities devastated by the Y2K bug, they told stories of magic boxes that once brought news from all over the globe, of strange devices from the faraway orient that could hold teenage boys spellbound, and even stories of the time when men walked on the moon. Starting in March the fans began the long trek on foot to Chicago, hoping that the site of WorldCon would be the rendezvous point for fen (and close to sources of both meat and grain), carrying with them the few precious surviving SF books carefully preserved in the fans' best clothes.
Well, wasn't the whole Y2K thing disappointing to you too? After tremendous build-up, Y2K came and went with little more than a blip here and there. Programmers were lynched for fooling the whole world into panicking and the army of lawyers who planned to sue organizations with Y2K problems were forced to sue each other instead. Still aside from that, it was a good year for science fiction.
Finally giving up on the idea of holding a Disclave, WSFA instead sold all the rights to CreationCon who bought our assurances that "Every fan in the world claims to have been a member of the last Disclave" and "People are still talking about the Disclave held in 1997." WSFA members who talk about holding a con are greeted with "Been there, done that" and directed to apply to Fantek, Mensa, or the Gaylaxians, all of whom have shown that cons can be run in the D.C. area.
In other convention news the BSFS was pleasantly surprised when WSFA took over their convention, Balticon. "They made us feel like guests in our own convention," said the BSFS president. In addition to manning the registration area (to let WSFA members in for free), WSFA ran its own substitute programming in the halls as members yelled provocative statements to each other, "Harlan Ellison said that he should have been the first SF writer to win the MacArthur Genius Award" and "ElfQuest isn't funny, why is it in funnybooks?" WSFA also lent its own special touch to security including surprise pipe inspections. "Hello, do you have anyone hanging from the sprinklers in your room? I'm sorry but we have to inspect, security you-know, can't be too careful."
The big scandal in sf this year was the revelation that the producers of the Galaxy Quest movie paid sf fanzines to run articles talking about the original Galaxy Quest tv show (the conceit of the movie is that aliens think this Trek-like TV show is real). This scandal was uncovered when sf fans pointed out that there was never a real Galaxy Quest tv show so why would all these fanzines be talking about it. The editor of The WSFA Journal is shocked, shocked let me tell you at these goings on and requests that you tear out the appropriate pages of the January, February, and March 2000 Journals.
In the political world, pundits were shocked when Reform Party nominee Pat Buchanan appointed since fiction author Jerry Pournelle to be his vp candidate. The other parties quickly responded with the Democrats choosing Ursula Le Guin as their veep candidate and the Republicans choosing Larry Niven. The vice presidential debate were held at the Worldcon and were devoted to textural criticism of the works of the various candidates and what influence they might have on the policies of the president.
In science news, two FBI agents codenamed FX and DNA infiltrated NASA and revealed a gigantic cover-up of the Mars probes contact with Martian life. Asked what prompted the investigation the female agent said only, "They expected us to buy the failure of two probes in as many months? Who were they trying to fool anyway?"
Minutes of WSFA Meeting of Friday, December 4, 1999, at Gilliland's, recorded by Joe Mayhew at Secretary's request. President Judy Kindell called the meeting to order at: 9:19.
No old business was reported as pending.
Bob MacIntosh reported the Treasury had dwindled to $2,656.53. Matthew Appleton, having attended his third meeting, joined WSFA. His address:
2254 North Beauregard St., Apt 13
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone: 703 577-6326
Committees: BUCCANEER: Judy Kindell announced that WSFAns were invited to a mailing social & corporation meeting at the BSFS club house on Saturday, December 18th at 2:00. BALTICON: Joe Mayhew asked for ideas as to best use the space granted to WSFA on Friday night of Balticon.
There was no old or new business.
Announcements: Chuck Divine will be having another procrastinating New Year party, to which WSFA is invited. It will be on January 29th at his home, starting around 8:00PM. John Pomeranz is having New Year's Eve party starting around 8:00, on December 31st (Details available from John or Kathi Overton.) The meeting was adjourned at: 9:40
Treas. Bob MacIntosh, Trust. Lee Gilliland , Trust. Michael J. Walsh, Trust. Steve Smith, Disclave 2000 Chair Covert Beach. Matthew Appleton (new member) Elspeth Burgess, Chuck Divine, Alexis Gilliland, Lee Gilliland. Eric Jablow, Mike Kraig, Brian Lenius (guest), Keith Lynch, Richard Lynch, Nicki Lynch, Joe Mayhew , Walter Miles, Michael Nelson, Kathi Overton, John Pomeranz, Rebecca Prather, George R. Shaner, William Squire, Lee Strong, and Michael J. Taylor.
A review of the Washington Shakespeare Theater's version of
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (by Bill Shakespeare & Joe Calarco)
from the electronic goosequill of Joe Mayhew.
When a play is around 400 years old, how do you make it new and fresh? Joe Calarco applied scissors and paste to this production to suit his own "concept." Strangely, it worked in its own way.
The plot has been re-worked so that it is all the dream of Philostrate, "the head servant on Hermia's family estate," who is also Nick Bottom, the weaver (played very broadly by Floyd King). The Duke never appears on stage, but is only a celestial voice, and his wedding is no longer a part of the play.
Hermia's parents (played by Andrew Long & Valerie Leonard) show up in the dream as Oberon & Titania.
The set is raked down from the left side and when the main scene is opened, a surreal, rather handsome -- as are most of the cast, who spend a good bit of the play in their skivvies, or less. Mostly they are beach legal, but there is one extended scene in which Oberon stands under a golden shower bare-assed. Helena (Anna Cody), Hermia (Tricia Paoluccio) and the rivals for her hand, Lysander (Gregory Wooddell) and Demetrius (Erik Sorensen), as well as scads of first cavort deftly about looking so physically perfect that It makes one suspect that it was some trick of costuming. Doubtless, as soon as they wipe off their make-up their love handles and pot-bellies return. Nevertheless,
they are very convincing.
The choreography is very tight and mostly very good. The lighting is strong, and heck, the production is full of funny stage business, some new, some hoary. The audience did a lot of laughing, particularly with the players of the Pyramis & Thisbe playlet Peter Quince (David Sabin), Tom Snout (Ralph Costham) Snug (Eric Hoffmann) Robin Starveling (an outstanding performance by Emery Battis) and Francis Flute (Cameron Folmar, the perfect Thisbe!). Bottom was a bit overdone. It is perhaps hard not to go for the yucks, but sometimes an actor seems to be grabbing all the air on stage, and things begin to drag.
Puck (Blair Singer) and the whole gymkhana of fairies climbed ropes, danced wildly, orgiastically, even well. At times he cuddles with the lady fairies, at times with Oberon. After all, they are fairies -- just not the limp-wristed sort. I would not be surprised if we will see a lot of Gregory Wooddell in the movies and television soon - but not a lot more, unless it is in x-rated productions.
For some reason, the play is set on "a winter night." Those who read-along with the authorized script will become hopelessly bewildered by this production. But, if accepted in its non-liturgically correct version, it pleaseth the eye and the diverse humours.
"Let's have a meeting," suggested acting chair Sam Pierce opening the Third Friday on 12/18/99. Erica pointed out that the clock stopped but it is right twice a day. "First comes our secretary, was there any old business." "You held it on Hanukkah," Sam Lubell said. "Ask someone who was there." There was no old business.
"How much," Sam Pierce asked of the treasurer. "$2,560.33" "Is that your final answer?" asked Sam Lubell, purely for the record.
Alexis said, "The entertainment committee's phone wasn't working. We fiddled with the cradle. It still wasn't working. Finally we went out and called the phone company. They told me someone would come over the next day. No one came on Sunday or Monday. I called again on Tuesday. Someone came on Thursday, checked a few things, then said if it wasn't working in a few days to call again. It still wasn't working. I called today and I could tell when she accessed our files because she became very apologetic."
Joe Mayhew said, "The WSFA Balticon project is proceeding. Bryan Alexander is day registration. He wants us to spot him people on Friday. The advantage of Friday is that con not started yet. If everyone works for two hours it will be great. From 8 to ten we have a WSFA party with a half hour before and after to set up and clean up. This is before the filking. We're guests and they're treating us nice. If we could provide some stuff, it would be great to do it as a group. I have a sign up sheet. Dan Hoey is doing volunteers. Don't let this interfere with your volunteering elsewhere."
Michael Nelson pointed out "Balticon rates go up at start of year. But you can register on-line."
from the dungeon where coup leader Sam Pierce had imprisoned her as part of his
scheme to seize control of WSFA arrived and took over the gavel.
Lee Gilliland said, "I tried calling Mrs. Stringfellow about the library project but she's on vacation and my phone doesn't work."
Eric said, "All of you buying food are doing great."
Erica said, "I'm hostess, isn't this my job?"
Alexis called her "Hostess with the mostest."
Erica said, "We'll have to fight with Lee to see who has the most of what. Last time we collected $18 which is great. Now would like to know how people would like to spend the collection money. We could get beer but not everyone is a bear drinker. This time I bought some chips and popcorn etc."
Alexis suggested, "Six packs of Schaffes. It is cheap and not bad."
Erica said, "It is the one beer to have when you're having more than one."
Bob said, "Obviously a child of Madison Ave."
Joe suggested that she get what she wants. Erica replied, "Veggies and fruits are the things people want to have."
Lee said, "We who are over 50 are watching our waistlines. Perishables are things people won't think to bring." Mike added "And perishables need preparation so makes sense."
A few beer drinkers said they'd rather bring their own. So it was decided to use the contributions to buy perishables.
Erica said "We got a newsletter from our insurance company that discussed liability if someone drinks at your house. They recommend a $1 million insurance <Who wants to be a millionaire?> We haven't had a chance to check yet but this was something I brought up with the president."
Bob said, "WSFA has insurance, whether that will cover you, I don't know."
Joe said, "If alcohol is consumed on your premises but bought by a private individual that individual is responsible. It flows from the ownership. So if WSFA doesn't buy the beer, we should be okay."
Judy directed Bob to check the insurance to see if it covers the hostess. And if not to check what it would cost for a rider. Erica said "Especially since in our society they will sue anybody and we have deep pockets." Mike Walsh offered, "They can have all of our Shiner books."
Joe said, "If a minor drinks beer provided by WSFA we could be sued." Erica said, "I don't know when we can check."
Judy asked if there was any new business. Mike Walsh suggested that the club put in a bid for the 2002 or 2003 World Fantasy Con. Bidding is simple and there are no parties." "But that's our strong point," protested Mike Nelson. Mike Walsh continued, "It is held as close to Halloween as possible. No bidding. You go to the board of directors. I'm on the board. They don't want to make it based on a guest but on the committee."
Judy asked, "Are we talking about a bid to which you would be head?"
Mike quibbled, "At least titular head." "No money down" said a person in the crowd. "Just our bodies" promised Mike. <but what about our sacred honor?> These year there are no proposals for World Fantasy."
Sam Pierce asked, "Does the club want to put forth the effort?"
Mike Walsh said, "There fore the convention. It's been a long year. Seems like just last week I filed my taxes."
Sam Lubell asked, "Considering that we're having trouble doing Disclave, do we really want to split our effort?"
Joe suggested, "Let's drop Disclave."
Mike said, "WFC has an excellent reputation, it has high rollers in the publishing world who spend money. And there are no costumes."
Elspeth said, "So this would restore our reputation and get us known."
Judy said, "Fulfill our charitable purpose and make us some money. All in favor of looking into this say Aye. <Ayes were heard> All opposed say Nay <silence>" Judy appointed Mike Walsh to do a committee.
Sam Lubell said "Next meeting is dues day. So if we want to raise them, now is our chance to do it."
Bob said "Raising it another $5 wouldn't amount to a hill of beans."
Sam P said, "Fixed expenses."
Bob said "$30 for the Journal, $60 for parties. $539 for insurance." Judy said, "I hear a consensus that $10 is fine. So due at the next meeting. Any other new business?"
Erica thanked those who reported seeing a grey cat outside. It was a possum. "Impossible" chorused the club. The new cat is named Thiotimoline. "Is that his proper name?" "That is his chemical name, because he purrs before you pet him." 12 wooden dresses are up for adoption. James is moving out of his house on Tuesday. Lance and Richard Lynch both got back from Poland. Mike Walsh is publishing Edward Wittman and going to Christmas in London. Meeting adjourned at ten o'clock.
Attendance: Pres. Judy Kindell, VP Sam Pierce, Sec Sam Lubell, Treas Bob MacIntosh, Trust. Lee Gilliland, Trust. Steven Smith, Trust Michael Walsh, Colleen Cahill, Alexis Gilliland, Erica Ginter, Eric Jablow, Elspeth Kovar, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Keith Marshall, Joe Mayhew, Mike Nelson, Barry Newton, Judy and Meridel Newton, Lance Oszko, Evan Phillips, George Shaner, Michael Taylor, James Uba, Madeleine Yeh, Edmund Schlussel, Daniel Horne, Kit Mason
It's trite. It's been done. It's predictable, hokey, and the first plot ANY aspiring SF writer comes up with, with all due respect to the D&D quest stories.
Go see it.
Galaxy Quest, The Movie is the randomly ridiculous story of a VERY thinly disguised Star Trek sf series clone, dead lo these eighteen years. Tim Allen, of Home Improvement fame, plays Jason Nesmith, an actor who plays the Kirk doppelganger Peter Quincy Taggart - and gets all the Kirk jokes right, even if you do see them coming the second you set eyes on him. Sigourney Weaver, playing actress Gwen DiMarco playing the one female on the bridge, is Taggart's combination communications and science officer, and is gorgeous as a blond bimbette who is anything but. The token alien--on--the bridge is Dr. Lazarus of Tev'meck, played by Alexander Dane, is played by Alan Rickman. (This is the most CONFUSING damn review I ever saw.)
Suffice it to say, at a Galaxy Quest convention, Jason Taggart is approached by aliens who have seen the show broadcast, and think the entire thing is real, and that Taggart & Co can save them from the nasties. (Please don't give the rest of the review a pass-it really is great) (The movie, I mean) Admiral Nasty, known as Sarris, is a great icky; he comes across as a combination lobster and cockroach on steroids. The movie thereafter proceeds in obvious fashion; yes, in all their bumbling, novitiate glory, they band together, despite their differences, to save the universe.
Having gone thus far, as I don't want to blow the surprises, the respondent retireith. But - this is a movie by fen for fen. WE ARE TREATED WITH RESPECT AND DIGNITY IN THIS THING. The fen are presented as intelligent, worthwhile people with senses of humor and college degrees, who just happen to have this quirk about the long--defunct show. It also sheds more than a bit of light on what the actors on these shows and at these cons have to deal with, and even this is treated with affectionate restraint.
See it because we're treated right. See it for the in-jokes. See it for the hobgoblins. But see it. Trust me, you will laugh and you will cheer. And, at long last, we now have a film we can show to our families and friends and show them that THIS is the reason we' ye been hanging at cons and THEY WILL UNDERSTAND.
By Treasurer Bob MacIntosh
Here are the December expenditures (and measly revenue):
12/3 First Friday $51.11
12/17 Fifth Friday (Oct) $25.00
Third Friday (Nov) $25.00
Third Friday (Dec) $25.00
WSFA Journal $31.23
Total Expenditures $157.34
Revenue: Dues Collected - Matt Appleton (Year 2000) $10.00
Net Reduction in Account: $-147.34
January- dues are due and payable
From: "Carolyn Kephart" <email@example.com>
Subject: Requesting your snailmail address
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 19:52:38 -0800
Dear WSFA Members, I checked out your web site and really enjoyed it. If you'll send me a viable snailmail address, I'll send you a complimentary copy of my fantasy Wysard (published November '99) to pass around and hopefully review kindly on amazon.com or elsewhere. In the meantime I invite you to visit my website at http://members.home.net/kephart/ to find out more about me and my book. With best New Year 2000 wishes, Carolyn Kephart
Alexandria, VA 22308
Laurel, MD 20724-2903
Berwyn Heights, MD 20740
Gail F. Dood
Arlington, VA 22201
Washington, DC 20011-3617
Alexis & Lee Gilliland,
(+ James Uba)
Arlington, VA 22204
Charles D. Gilliland
Arlington, VA 22204
Beltsville, MD 20705
Herndon, VA 20171-3350
Arlington, VA 22203
Laurel, MD 20707
Rockville, MD 20852
Keith F. Lynch
220 Cedar Lane #62
Vienna, VA 22180-6623
Nicki & Richard Lynch
Gaithersburg, MD 20885
Annandale, VA 22003-1734
Crofton, MD 21114-2519
Greenbelt, MD 20770-1776
Walter A. Miles, Jr.
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-6263
Vienna, VA 22181
Oakton, VA 22124-2880
Barry, Judy & Meridel Newton
PO Box 153
Sandy Spring, MD 20860
Arlington, VA 22203
Greenbelt, MD 20770-1776
Ashburn, VA 20147-3919
Arlington, VA 22203
Berwyn Heights, MD 20740
Woodbridge, VA 22192
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Alexandria, VA 22311
Michael J. Walsh
P.O. BOX 19951
Baltimore, MD 21211-0951
1-410-889-4080 H [ answr &