The WSFA Journal January 2001

The WSFA Journal

The WSFA Journal January 2001

The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association -- ISSN 0894-5411

Edited by Samuel Lubell

Evecon & the Fabulous Bungalow Party
A New Year's Surprise
A Dangling Chad Yourself
Year in Review: 2001
The End of the Raven
On Traveling to the Worldcon (Part III)
The Diagram Prize
Great, We Get to Break It
New Year's Resolutions

Evecon and the Fabulous Bungalow Party

By Keith Lynch


Evecon was held at the McLean Hilton at Tysons twice in Y2K.  Evecon 17 on the first weekend of the year, and Evecon 18 on the last weekend of the year.  I attended both cons, mostly because they were so close to my home.  I walked there and back each day.

Evecon is one of Fantek's two cons.  Castlecon, held in July, is the other.  Both cons returned to the DC area in 2000, after being in Frederick for six years. Fantek is not like WSFA.  To the best of by knowledge it is entirely owned and operated by Bruce and Cheryl Evry.  For instance the year that they learned about Attention Deficit Disorder, and  decided that they and everyone else in fandom had it, half the program items were about it.

Fantek cons are not like Disclaves, Balticons, or Worldcons.  There are never any room parties, there are seldom any authors, food and drink are doled out by volunteer staff rather than being directly accessible, and alcohol is not only not served in the con suite, but is forbidden anywhere at the con.

The Charlotte in '04 Worldcon bid, in the person of Lance Oszko, held a bid party in the con suite.  This was the first and only bid party I recall having ever seen at a Fantek con.  The party was forbidden from serving alcohol.  More surprisingly, it was forbidden from selling re-supports.  Most people at the party didn't know what a Worldcon was.

Evecon included a large gaming room, a small art show, a medium sized dealer room, and a 24 hour movie room.  The movies included roughly equal amounts of anime and regular films.  Some of the time there was a second movie track in another room.  Plus, videos were almost always playing in the con suite.  On Friday and Saturday nights, the art show closed at 8 pm, but then reopened at 10 pm and stayed open until 1 am.  How did they find the staffing for this?  Simple.  All artists whose works were displayed were required to work at least 2 hours.  Similarly with their agents. There was also a LARP running.  And filking.  And a masquerade.

There was a computer room, with about a dozen machines for playing Doom-like games on.  For the first time, there was also (in another room) an Internet connection, via a single laptop machine.  It was in use about half the time.

There were plenty of Capclave 2001 flyers on the freebie table.

The programming was nothing special, as proven by the low attendance at the program items.  I didn't see any panels with more than about ten people in the audience, although there were about 600 people in attendance at the con.  Perhaps this is because there were no big name authors there.  And because the folks on the science panels mostly didn't know what they were talking about.  Radio Shack heat sinks won't cool a spacesuit, since they rely on air flow, and will work poorly in a vacuum.  Capacitors cannot store energy as efficiently as batteries, not even if you use an aerogel as a dielectric.  It is not true that tobacco requires polonium to grow, nor does it convert that element to radon when burned.  You can't launch a spaceship by charging it and relying on electrostatic repulsion from the earth. There are not lethal levels of microwaves near Jupiter.  The solar wind is not a better source of thrust than sunlight.  You can't produce enough oxygen for a person to live on by shining ten watts of light on a plant, no matter how wonderful the plant, or how much surface area it has.

My favorite part of the con was, as always, random conversations in the con suite and elsewhere.  I've never much liked the kinds of events in which one sits quietly and listens as someone else does all the talking, even if I can raise my hand and eventually get to speak for a few seconds.  I do sometimes go to such events, but only if the person doing the talking really has something to say.  And only if I can't read it in a book or on the net.  My favorite program event was "Tech Support Nightmares".  Perhaps because I ended up doing about half of the talking, and the other participants were in awe.

My least favorite part of the con was Mike Brill.  He's apparently incapable of speaking without conveying anger and outrage, always using the tone of voice one would associate with someone who had been waiting in some line for ten hours only to have a CLOSED sign go up just as they finally reached the front of the line.  He told me that cons have no right to have a weapons policy, no matter what the laws say, or how many times cons have been raided by SWAT teams, or people peacefully holding toy guns during a costume party indoors have been shot by policemen through the window.  He said he would spray mace on anyone who tried to prevent him from wearing a toy gun into a con. Perhaps I should reconsider volunteering to work registration at Capclave.

At least there was less of a disaster area ambiance this time.  The walkie talkies were seldom used except out in the halls.  And there was no rotating red light on the security department's table. 

Castlecon 14 will be at the Dulles Hilton on July 6th though 8th.  Evecon 19 will be at the Reston Sheraton on December 28th through 30th.

On Sunday evening, Sam Lubell drove me from what was left of Evecon to the Fifth Friday / New Year's Eve / New Century's Eve / New Millennium's Eve party at the Fabulous Bungalow, home of John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton in Arlington.  About thirty people were there, which was unusual for a WSFA Fifth Friday, but quite typical for a WSFA New Millennium's Eve party.

Twilight Zone was playing on the TV.  All the classic episodes.  Agnes Moorehead finds a flying saucer in her attic and attacks it with a axe.  Richard Erdman drops and breaks a very unusual pocketwatch. Some aliens drop by "to serve man".  William Shatner is terrified by what he sees out his airplane window.  Telly Savalas doesn't get along well with his daughter's new doll.  It didn't matter that the TV couldn't quite be heard, since everyone has seen these episodes, or heard about them, or simply absorbed them by cultural osmosis.  It was a good inspiration for jokes and comments.

At about the time Burgess Meredith had found an intact library in a destroyed city after leaving the bank vault in which he survived an H bomb attack, the TV was switched to the ball-in-Times-Square channel. As we all know, the new year doesn't really count unless the TV is on and showing the ball dropping at midnight.  I wonder what people do in other time zones. I was a little disappointed at midnight when the TV played Auld Lang Syne rather than another piece that's more commonly associated with this year.  As if to compensate, the TV was soon tuned to some Clarke/Kubrick movie set in the distant, umm, present.

            But not immediately.  First, the TV was turned off, and our host made an announcement, which finally answered the unasked question I suspect many of us had.  Were they lovers, or just roomates?  John announced that they were getting married.  Right now.  And they did.  How they found a justice of the peace willing to work at that hour, I don't know.

After the movie ended ambiguously to the resounding music of Richard Strauss, I walked to the nearest Metro station, and found it closed.  So I walked home, causing me to be slightly wealthier and slightly fitter than I would have been had Metro been open.  I checked my email, updated WSFA's web page to announce the marriage, went to bed at about sunrise, and got up bright and early Monday afternoon.


A  Pomerantz/Overton New Year's Surprise.

By Samuel Lubell


For their New Year's Eve Party, John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton promised a special surprise.  After a party that included liquid nitrogen ice cream, groggers, and the watching the ball drop on TV, John hushed the crowd for what everyone assumed was a toast.  Instead, before an audience of friends, including current and former WSFAns John announced, "It's 2001.  A new year.  And I can't think of anything I'd rather do than get married.  So let's do it.  Right now!"  The crowd, which had started going wild when John mentioned getting married, fell into a stunned silence.  But John wasn't joking.  He had a justice of the peace there and a minute after midnight, without notifying their parents or anyone else, John and Kathi become an official married couple.  They then served a wedding cake with glow-in-the-dark green aliens on it. The WSFA Journal wishes congratulations on the couple and we can't wait to see how you top this next year.


A Dangling Chad Yourself


The 12/1/2000 First Friday opened with Prez Judy telling a half a knock-knock joke.  "Knock, Knock," said Judy.  "It's 9:17, I'm calling the meeting to order.  Any old business?"

            Sam Lubell said that the club was doing a book sale at the next meeting so bring books.  The treasurer was not here "smoffing," said Judy.  Sam said that as of the time of the last Journal, the treasury was $1,019.06.  Lee G asked how it could be going up. Lee Strong suggested that maybe Bob had gone through the cushions in the sofa.  The entertainment committee said that the election continues, "I'm sorry."  Erica said it was her fault, "Right before the election, I said, `don't worry, in 48 hours it will all be over.'"  Hah! 

            Lee gave the club a lesson in how to open the Gillilands' new door.  Eric said that "The trustees announce an opening for Elspeth's seat.  Nicki Lynch has expressed interest but that doesn't mean that others can't."  He also read a prayer to St. Chad (who turns out to be an actual saint.  Lee Strong said that the 1806 election was settled on St. Chad's Day.

            Publications committee hadn't met yet.  Lee G got a WETA committee.  "They wanted people for this Sunday very badly, but this was too short a lead time.  They will keep our number for March.  They are in Shirlington, right across channel for restaurants but not near a metro."  Keith said they are near a bike trail.

            Eric for austerity committee said that Erica had agreed to have a book sale at her house.  "Bring books.  I have some T shirts."  Lee Strong said that all we needed was some jewelry and we'd have a dealer's room.  Lee G quickly said, "That can be arranged."

            For old business, Judy said,  "I talked to the Boston people about the Lew Shiner books in the basement.  NESFA press said to write a letter, and I will."  Covert asked, "What, he doesn't want the insulation anymore?"

            For new business Sam said that this month has a fifth Friday.  There were no volunteers.  John said that he has having a New Year's Party at his house on Sunday for the real  millennium.  There will be a room for people who insist on saying that it is not the millennium.  WSFA voted to hold Fifth Friday on that Sunday. 

            Announcements included a Bucconeer mailing, Erica's toys for tots, Eric being a headhunter for $3,000, Colleen doing book reviews for Fast Forward, Mike Zipster starting at Nextel next year.  The meeting was unanimously adjourned at 9:35.  "Can we have a recount?" Eric asked.  "NO!" roared the club.  Erica added, "Do you want to be suspended from a dangling chad yourself?"

            Attendance: Pres. Judy Kindell, VP Sam Pierce, Sec. Samuel Lubell, Trust Lee Gilliland, Trust Eric Jablow, Covert Beach, Bernard Bell, Sheri Bell, Colleen Cahill, Alexis Gilliland, Keith Lynch, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Keith Marshall, Kathi Overton, John Pomeranz, Rebecca Prather, George Shaner, Steven Smith, Lee Strong, Michael Taylor, Michael Walsh, Beth and Mike Zipser.


Year in Review: 2001

By Samuel Lubell

            The year opened with the stains of the theme from 2001 the movie and endless appearance by Sir Arthur Clarke about the monumental discovery on the moon.   Local parties included the EveCon "get out of your basement and into the hotel's basement new year's eve party", the invitation-only Pomerantz/Overton wedding (formal wear required), and the last chance white house "anything we don't consume will just go to the Bushes anyway" party.  The real millennium, although not anywhere near as hyped as the previous year's faux millennium, was still recognized by both Americans who still know how to count regardless of what the media say thank you very much.

            Fandom grew seriously concerned when Lunacon proved to be an efficient, well-organized, and harmonious convention.  "Are these New Yorkers?" people asked as doors were held open for guests, waiters politely refused tips, and everyone was cheerful 24/7.  But rumors of pod people and alien takeovers were dismissed once the real culprit was found.  New York had finally got the new 200 channel digital cable; but all 200 were showing Barney marathons and their saccharine sweetness had infected all of the native New Yorkers.  Leaping to the occasion, fandom launched its own blitzkrieg, showing sf movies like Akira, Terminator, and Robocop until all the New Yorkers grew violent and combative,    just like normal. 

            Balticon had a 2001 theme with an emphasis on computers.  Unfortunately, the stress of running the convention caused Hal Haag to become erratic and he seized control of the elevators, refusing to let people out no matter how many times they yelled, "Open the d@mn doors, Hal."  Smart con-goers, seeing a pattern, refused to get on the elevator with anyone named Dave. 

            The Millennium Philcon proved to be quite the sf reunion as Ben Franklin used his time traveling machine (as detailed on countless bid postcards) to assemble a group of sf writers from all over the second millennium.  It was quite exciting to see Ayn Rand and George Orwell debate B.F Skinner and Mack Reynolds.   New fans enjoyed the chance to get acquainted with Cordwainer Smith, Zenna Henderson, Eric Frank Russell, Isaac Asimov and the like.  Some authors even interviewed the fans to see what the world of 2001 was like.  "So, there is this giant computer network that is destroying the world's economy.  Tell me more." 

            After the excitement of the worldcon, Capclave seemed much more relaxing.  No swat teams visited, no biblical deluges arrived, and there weren't even naked men in body paint.   WSFA withstood this calmness for an eternity, maybe a whole half an hour, before yielding to temptation and starting a war between writers known for writing stories and those who do mostly novels.  In his introduction to guest of honor Gardner Dozois, chair Bob MacIntosh commented on the well known fact that short stories can be more creative, more innovative, and more satisfying than sf novels which are frequently padded and repetitive.  Gardner tried to defuse the rising tension but then a fan asked "Why should anyone pay $3.50 for 150 pages of Asimov's when they can get 400 more pages for just twice the price?"  This led to violence with supporters of novels lobbing entire trilogies at their opponents who retaliated with a few well-chosen words.  The dispute threatened to tear apart fandom until Elspeth announced that there was food in the con suite and was almost trampled as the fen made an instantaneous decision about what was truly important.

            What remained of UPN (down to just Star Trek and wrestling) premiered its new show, Star Trek: Second Prize.  To save money, they assembled the entire series out of clips and outtakes from previous Treks.  All the characters were generic as the Captain's role was played by Janeway one minute and then Kirk from a different clip the next, with the audience expected to ignore the transformation.  At least the special effects were new (shows what they value.)  This show seemed designed to test Trekkies' loyalty to the franchise.  Someone at Paramount must have said, "They'll watch anything that says Star Trek on it."  They were right.  But at least it's not as bad as first season Voyager.

            In the world of fiction, J.K Rowling, annoyed that she did not win the Hugo Award for Harry Potter #3, commanded her legion of pre-teen fans to all vote for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  The book got so many nominations that the powers that be cancelled the actual vote as unnecessary (fortunately it was a relatively poor year for novels anyway.)  Unfortunately, as part of her revenge, she told everyone to vote for the only sf story to appear in Cricket: The Magazine for Children so that won too. 


The End of the Raven

by Edgar Allen Poe's Cat (forwarded by Colleen)


 On a night quite unenchanting, when the rain was downward slanting,

 I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.

 Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,

 Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.

 "Raven's very tasty," thought I, as I tiptoed o'er the floor,

 "There is nothing I like more"


 Soft upon the rug I treaded, calm and careful as I headed

 Towards his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.

 While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered,

 Creaked, or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor;

 For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and weird decor -

 Bric-a-brac and junk galore.

 Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered,

 In a voice that shrieked and sputtered, his two cents' worth -



 While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,

 Then I crouched and quickly leapt up, pouncing on the feathered bore.

 Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore -

 Only this and not much more.

 "Oooo!" my pickled poet cried out, "Pussycat, it's time I dried out!

 Never sat I in my hideout talking to a bird before;

 How I've wallowed in self-pity, while my gallant, valiant kitty

 Put and end to that damned ditty" - then I heard him start to snore.

 Back atop the door I clambered, eyed that statue I abhor,

 Jumped - and smashed it on the floor.


On Traveling to the Worldcon - Part III

By Keith Lynch


In 1999, when the Worldcon (Aussiecon III) was in Australia, due to limited vacation hours I had the choice of spending a second week touring Australia, or going to the NASFiC (Conucopia).  I couldn't think of anything I really wanted to see in Australia, so I chose the NASFiC.  It was near Los Angeles (in one of the same hotels as the 1996 Worldcon), so I figured since I'd have to fly through that city anyway, why not pause, stretch my legs, and go to a con on the way to the con?

I took a bus from LAX to the NASFiC hotel.  The morning after the NASFiC, I went to volunteer to help the con pack up.  My flight didn't leave until that evening.  I was hoping I'd be able to see the famous LASFS clubhouse.  But the work had already been done by others the previous night while I was at the dead dog party. So I looked around the neighborhood to see if I could find anything to keep myself amused for a few hours.  I noticed Disneyland was next door. Disneyland was lots of fun, but I still would rather have gone to the LASFS clubhouse and unloaded trucks.

            At Disneyland, I ran into Robert Sacks (who has since died) and two other fen.  We went on several rides together, including "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "It's a Small World".  I skipped "Splash Mountain" since I didn't want to get my trousers wet since I had to wear them for more than another week.  I got razzed for my supposed cowardice.  On my flight to Australia, there were many other fen, including Robert Sacks.  This isn't surprising, since there were only four possible flights that one could take if one wanted to see all of the NASFiC and all of the Worldcon, and lots of people did.

            After taxiing for a while, the plane returned to the terminal at LAX when it was decided that it was "unbalanced".  Must have been all the fen onboard.  I watched them remove and repack the luggage, after which we had a long but uneventful flight.  It took off on August 31st and landed on September 2nd.  It crossed the International Date Line and the Equator at just about local midnight.  I'm still trying to figure out where I was on September 1st, 1999.  Nowhere, apparently.  After a stopover in New Zealand, during which we could leave the plane but not the terminal, we finally reached Melbourne.  We took a bus from the airport to downtown, then walked the rest of the way.  I hadn't yet arranged for crash space.  Robert Sacks let me use his room for a shower and a shave, both of which I badly needed.

            In addition to the con, I rode the free circular tram line.  And I visited the Old Melbourne Gaol, where I saw Ned Kelley's armor, right next to where he had been hanged.  On the way back from the con, I had a six hour layover at LAX.  This wasn't the first time I had been to that city, of course.  But this was the first time I had ever regarded myself as almost home when arriving there.

            Actually, I'm still not sure if I've ever been within the municipal limits of Los Angeles proper or not.  If there even is such a place. It has been described as a thousand suburbs in search of a city.  The airport buildings are arranged as a square.  The famous building with the two crossed arches, which we've all seen in movies, on TV, and even in cartoons, is in the center.  I discovered that that building is a restaurant, decorated in 1960s ultra-modern, like something from The Jetsons or Star Trek.  I also found it isn't very easy to get to on foot.  To my delight, I found that the roof is open.  I could get right next to the arches.  There are benches and binoculars up there.  The binoculars looked like the kind you have to put coins into, but you don't.  Unlike almost everything else I've ever seen at an airport, they're free.  I spent most of the six hours on that roof, using the binoculars to get a close look at the planes landing and taking off all around me, and at the frenetic activity in the terminals.  Nothing prevented me from aiming the binoculars directly at the sun.  It's a wonder some idiot hasn't burnt his eyes out and then sued.  In fact I did eventually look through them directly at the sun, but not until it was right on the horizon, and very dim and orange.  I was hoping to see the green flash, but I didn't.

            When I got bored with the binoculars, I laid down on a bench and read through an anthology of Greg Egan stories I had bought at the Worldcon.  A book which STILL isn't yet available in the US.  The whole several hours I was on the roof, surrounded by tens of thousands of people, not one other person came up there.  Do people have so little curiosity?  Not even about one of the most famous landmarks in the world?  Not even during layovers when they have nothing better to do?

            As I knew it would, my final flight of the trip landed at Dulles rather than National.  (The timing just wouldn't work out for a landing at DCA.)  It landed at sunrise, after I had spent two nights in the air (both of them Tuesday night).  Rather than spending $10 for a bus from the airport, I walked a quarter mile, into Fairfax County, and caught a Fairfax Connector bus.  It cost 50 cents, and took me to the same Metro station the airport bus would have, and got me there

sooner.  When I got home, after showering, eating, and checking my e-mail, I slept from noon until 6 pm, then from midnight until noon.  After which I was fine, back on eastern time.  I seem to be almost immune to jet lag.  On the other hand I have a low tolerance for sitting still for long periods.  Which is perhaps just as well, due to the risk of "economy class syndrome" (deep vein thrombosis) which can be fatal, and which has killed dozens of people on overseas flights.



That brings us up to 2000, when the Worldcon returned to Chicago for the sixth time.  The Worldcon was called Chicon 2000.  There were lots of jokes about what became of Chicons six through one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine.  This was the first time I've ever been to a second Worldcon in the same place.  This time, I took the train.  The first time I had taken Amtrak to a Worldcon in eleven years.  Why?  Because I have a low tolerance for arguments.  And each time I took a domestic flight in recent years, I got longer and longer arguments about how I wouldn't be allowed on the flight unless I showed them government issued picture ID.  Which I refuse to do.  The only such ID I have is my passport, and the day I have to carry my passport to travel within the US is the day I stop considering myself a US citizen.  I'm baffled that everyone isn't as outraged as I am at this flurry of "papers, please".  If I wanted to live in a central European despotism, I would have moved there.  This is America.  We don't do that here.  If I am suspected of having stolen Keith Lynch's ticket, or of being a terrorist, they can perfectly when have me arrested for the crime. And be prepared for a false arrest suit when it turns out they didn't have probable cause.  I expect to be treated with courtesy, like a paying customer.  Which I am.

I especially dislike being lied to.  Which I am, whenever I'm told that federal law requires that they keep me off if I don't show government-issued picture ID.  There is no such law.  And if there was, several airlines have broken it, as they've always eventually let me on after hassling me for a while.

Also, the train is cheaper.  And I had heard lots of horror stories about recent airline-related travel delays and cancellations.  The train gave me a lot more leg room than any airline.  Plus, I was free to walk around, go between cars, and to go up and down stairs in any car.  There was a sight-seer lounge, with large picture windows, and widely spaced seats facing them.  And a snack bar where you could buy snacks, and eat them at cafeteria style tables.  Or eat food you brought with you at those tables.  After dark, a movie was shown in the sight-seer lounge and the snack bar.  Two other people on the train were heading for the Worldcon.  I chatted with both of them.

            I was surprised to see how run-down the country is between DC and Chicago, with ruined buildings, power lines lying on the ground, and junkyards everywhere.  The train arrived at Chicago' Union Station (there seems to be a distinct lack of imagination when it comes to naming train stations) at 9 am.  Instead of locating my tourist map of downtown Chicago (which I had saved from the previous Chicago Worldcon, Chicon V, nine years earlier) I just started walking the direction that I thought was east.  There was fog, but the sky appeared lighter in that direction, and the road sloped downhill.  And I was in no particular hurry, but was eager to stretch my legs as I had been sitting down for a long time.

            After I had been walking for perhaps an hour, and had not yet seen Lake Michigan, I decided I probably wasn't going east.  I fished out my map, and discovered I had been going south.  I went a few blocks east, then started heading north.  I happened to pass the Spertus museum of Judaica, so I went inside.  I had noticed it on my map nine years ago, and asked my friend Ellen Spertus about it at that time. She said it had been founded by her uncle.  I found it was much larger than I thought it was, and included a college and library.

From the con, I could do a fair amount of exploring without going outdoors, as there's a system of tunnels and skywalks which link numerous buildings in the area, including all but one of the con hotels.  After the con I went to Chicago's Field Museum.  Unlike museums in DC, you have to pay to get in.  And pay more for some of the exhibits.  The best known exhibit was Sue, the tyrannosaur.  She even has her own gift shop.  There was also a Star Wars exhibit at that museum.  I missed the side trip to Fermilab offered by the con, as it was opposite too many events at the con that I didn't want to miss.  But at the con I got to talk to a couple scientists who work at Fermilab, and I probably learned more than I would have had I gone on the trip.

            I returned from the con by train, and got home from DC's Union Station by Metro.  The entire trip was by rail and on foot.  No rubber tires.


2001 and beyond:

I plan to take Amtrak to the Philadelphia Worldcon, the Millennium Philcon (or simply MilPhil).  It will be my first time in that city for a con since Philcon in 1989.  I attended that con only because Eric Raymond had invited me to stay at his house during the convention. (Unfortunately, as of September 2000, he and I are no longer on speaking terms.)

I haven't yet decided what to do about 2002, ConJose in San Jose. That's further than I care to take a train.  Perhaps the airlines will have dropped their idiotic ID policy by then. In addition to the Worldcon, I'm looking forward to seeing the Winchester Mystery House during that trip.

            I don't mind carrying a passport to the 2003 Worldcon in Toronto, Torcon III, since that's not in the US.  I look forward to exploring that city's "maze," via which you can get almost anywhere in the city without going outdoors.  If I do go to Toronto by train, I wouldn't have to set foot outside from the time I reach the Metro station near my apartment to the time I return to that station after the con.

            2004 will either be in Charlotte or Boston.  It's about the same distance by train either way.

            2005 will almost certainly be in Glasgow.  I haven't decided yet whether to bring my bike again.  I understand they have a new convention center, without the horrible accoustics that plagued the 1995 Worldcon.  I haven't heard whether there's potable water in it. There wasn't in the old convention center.  I also hope they heat it. I also hope they also have more room blocks in hotels adjacent to the convention center rather than across town.  And that the hotels allow room parties, with corkage waivers.  It's time to stop holding overseas Worldcons to a lower standard.

Los Angeles and Dallas are bidding for 2006.  The Dallas bid appears to be moribund.

            Japan is bidding for 2007.  I'm not sure how that will work.  Aren't Japanese hotel rooms too expensive to rent alone, but too small to share?

I look forward to someday having been to more Worldcons than Forrest Ackerman.  And he's been to all but two of the 58 of them so far.


The Diagram Prize (thanks to Mike Walsh)

The British publication The Bookseller offers the Diagram Prize to the book with the oddest title of the year.  Past winners include The Madam as Entrepreneur: Career Management in House Prostitution, Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Power: How to Increase the Other 90% of Your Mind to Increase the Size of Your Breasts, Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual, and The Joy of Sex: Pocket Edition.  This year's winner is High-Performance Stiffened Structures.  The runner up was Did Lewis Carroll Visit Llandudno? Other titles include Whose Bottom? A Lift-the-Flap Book, Woodcarving with a Chainsaw, Psoriasis at Your Fingertips, and The Sexual Male: Problems and Solutions. 



Great, We Get to Break It


"Can we start?" someone asked, hoping to start the 12/15/00 WSFA meeting, the last of the second millennium.  "Might as well," the chair answered, with complete disregard for the historic nature of the occasion.  "It's 9:15 by my watch."  "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez," Sam said to quiet the crowd down.  Sam then announced that the Fifth Friday would be the last day of the year at John's new year's bash.  The treasurer reported "$975.01, under a thousand."  Eric suggested, "Let's have a Disclave."  Bob answered, "It's called Capclave."  Erica pointed out, "And we have books for sale."

"Who volunteered to run for Trustee?" Eric asked.  Nicki confessed.  Eric said, "Anyone else who wants to can."  Elspeth added, "We're also electing a Capclave chair."  Mike Nelson hid.  "You scumbag," Elspeth said.  The club asked, "Which one" and Mike revealed himself. 

The entertainment committee reported that Lee broke her hip, "I fail to see the humor in it but it happened."

Bob said that Capclave is busy.  "We spread ourselves out before the fen at Philcon.  We might get some people.  We did a hotel walkthrough with Mike Walsh and Nelson and they didn't kill me so must be satisfied."  Mike Walsh added, "Wait until after the con."  Bob continued, "Memberships for paid-up WSFAns are $25.  The hotel is right down the road really Beltsville but called College Park.  They are doing remolding." 

Mike Nelson said, "Great, we great to break it in."  Sam P said, "We'll just launder it."  Elspeth said, "I volunteered to be party czar."  Bob said, "Get a hot tub and you're all set."  Steve Smith said, "If you have a Jacuzzi you don't need a sprinkler."

Keith L asked "Who's doing what."  Bob said a list (see sidebar).  Erica offered to do food acquisition.  Bob rubbed his hands, "Oh I have a job for you to do."  Mike announced that "Mike and Beth Zipster are my assistants in programming."  Bob said that Lee Strong is helping Alexis with the registrar. 

Erica asked, "How many members?"  Alexis answered, "About a dozen."  Bob pointed out, "There is a need for money for mailings and such."  Sam P complained, "Don't talk to me about money.  I paid full price."  Bob made policy, "If child in tow, no charge, but no babysitting.  If there is to be children's programming, you need to see Mike Nelson.  We're not a worldcon."  "In fact," said Elspeth, "We're not even a Disclave.  We might not have room.

Mike Walsh, for World Fantasy said, "We're looking at hotels." 

"Any more committees?" asked Judy.  Eric said simply.  "Austerity.  Donate money."  Erica added at greater length.  "Books for sale.  All money goes to WSFA because we're under a thousand.  HB $1.  PB  ¢50."  Elspeth added, "Erica has a headache so be nice to her."

Eric said, "As a trustee, welcome new visitors."  The club welcomed them.  Publications committee, Sam, said that he has talked to Evan and he his scanning Joe's art for the book.

Bob said that he has an unofficial group, with Mike, Peggy Rae and himself bidding for SMOFCON 2004.  "We want to be an official committee."  "You are so blessed," said Judy monogamously.  Mike Nelson shot out, "We thought you were touched."  There was a debate over where the other SMOFCONS are to be held.  Bob then continued, "The only thing WSFA would do is the con suite which is a little like the old Disclave con suite except it will do breakfast and lunch.  This is where the con runners hang out.  It gets between 80-120 people."

Sam P said, "I take it there is a membership fee."  Bob said, "Yes, we have to pay for space."

New business.  Eric asked if it would be appropriate to send flowers to Lee?  Alexis answered, "She's just temporarily injured.  Send a get well card."  Elspeth suggested that Eric call her to find out if she wants to run for chair.  Mike asked if anyone brought the email on Joe's ashes.  Keith said it was up on the website.  Elspeth suggested that we check with Bill as there may be a problem with burying him on public land.

Erica said she has a new coffee table, please don't put feet on it.  Lydia and I took a long time putting it together.  It would have taken less time if Lydia hadn't helped."  The meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:50.

Attendance: Pres Judy Kindell, VP Sam Pierce, Sec. Samuel Lubell, Treas and 01 Chair Bob MacIntosh, Trust. Eric Jablow, Trust Elspeth Kovar, Covert Beach, Shari Bell, Colleen Cahill, Alexis Gilliland, Erica Ginter, Keith Lynch, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Keith Marshall, Mike Nelson, Barry and Judy Newton, Meridel Newton, Evan Phillips, George Shaner, Steven Smith, Mike Walsh, Harvey Van Buren, Liza Kessler, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard.


New Year's Resolutions

By Samuel Lubell


"I will quit rewriting my old stuff," - Orson Scott Card, after A Planet Called Treason/Treason, Hot Sleep/Worthington Chronicle Worthington Saga, and Ender's Game/Ender's Shadow

"My next boyfriend will be normal," -  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

"I will learn how to count," - the voters of Florida

"Next time, I'll just use deodorizer to remove taints," Rand (Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series)

"I resolve to actually appear on my own show, or at least pop in every once in a while," David Duchovny of the X-Files

"I resolve to listen to my conscience, not the other voices in my head," Ash - (Mary Gentle's Book of Ash series)

"I will buy at least one book by an unknown author," -- the fans.

"I resolve not to lose my head," any character on Highlander

"I'll buy the world," Harry Potter.

"Thou shalt not mix mythologies," the writers of Hercules and Xena.

"I will stop complaining about judicial activism, at least when it works in my favor," conservatives on the Supreme Court.

"I'll get a seeing eye dog," Emperor Paul Atreides of Dune

"I will leave detailed instructions on what I want edited in my work," James Schmitz. 

"I'll give peace a chance," Harry Turtledove, author of the WorldWar and The Great War series

  "I resolve to get my head out of the computer and spend more time in the real world," Neo in The Matrix.

"I'll remember that not all my books have to share the same foundation," Isaac Asimov

"I resolve to use more real characters in my movies or at least make sure my computer animated characters have good characterization."   -- George Lucas

"We will add a witch character to both of our shows that still lack one," executives at the WB, home of Buffy, Charmed, and Sabrina.

"I'll stop listening to all that political philosophy and just kill something," Juan Rico of Starship Troopers

 "I resolve to buy my Capclave membership in advance, volunteer for the convention, and encourage all my friends to come." - the members of WSFA. 


Happy New