The WSFA Journal July/August 2002

The WSFA Journal

The WSFA Journal July/August 2002

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

Edited by Samuel Lubell

Boy! Are My Arms Tired!
Joe Mayhew Wins Nobel Prizes
Buffy the Washington Think Tank Paradigm
Start Stockpiling Books
WSFA Website Sponsors
Game Sites on the Internet
The Sum Of All Fears
It Was An Interesting Ride

Boy! Are My Arms Tired!


            Judy banged the gavel for the June 7th, first Friday meeting.  "It's 9:16 by Sam's watch because I know my watch is wrong."  This led to unneeded input by almost everyone in the club who was wearing a watch.  "There is no outstanding business."  Lee commented, "There never is any.  Sometimes there's old business but it is never outstanding."  Bob reported $291.31 "Of course we paid the insurance."  Lee called for a small party.

            Alexis reported that he had been looking through magazines from the 50s, 60s, and 70s <and today?>  Lee Gilliland said, "I was talking to the wrong person at WETA.  We have a firm commitment for August, they don't need us for July.  We've been there once so have different status."  She also asked if we would be interested in seeing a play.  Mike Walsh suggested an SF version of Oh Calcutta.  Clipboard Follies.

            Capclave present pointed out that on the funhouse we call the Internet one can buy 500 pounds of Silly Putty.  "The possibilities are endless."  Lee said, "We wouldn't have to print flyers, we could use the Silly Putty."      Mike asked, "Does our insurance cover death by silly putty?"  He continued, "We have 70 members.  At Balticon we handed out 400 flyers and sold 25 memberships."  He asked people attending other conventions to take flyers.  Mike Walsh was attending four in a row <But Mike, you only need three in a row to win tic tac toe!>  Mike Nelson said, " If you want to be on the committee see me."

            Sam Lubell said, "I talked to Elspeth about getting our dates set with the hotel.  She's negotiating.  I want the third week after Worldcon, fourth is Rosh Hashanah."  Bob said, "And he can't go."  Mike said, "It's not unheard of for the chair not to go, but it looks odd in the program book."

            Mike Walsh announced guests for World Fantasy Con.  Brian Lumley from the UK.  Jack Williamson will be absent guest for the 75th anniversary of his first publication.  He just won a Hugo, he's still going strong.  Mike added publisher W. Paul Ganley who has been publishing small press for many many years. "We only pick nice guests."  As for cost, he cautioned, "Save those nickels and dimes."  Mike Nelson registered

            Keith for publications reported that everything from August 1995 to the present is on line and indexed.

            There was no old business.  For new business Sam Lubell asked about the traditional August switch.  Bob said probably not since Ginters aren't going to Pennsic.

            Announcements:  .us addresses are going fast.  Sam Scheiner sent in plant ecology book.  Victoria said she had the longest commute to get to the meeting; she came from Florida.  Sam Scheiner said, "I got you beat, I flew in from Moscow and boy are my arms tired."

            Rebecca said a college student just graduated after a long absence - Steven Spielberg.  His senior film project was Schindler's List.  Sam Lubell commented, "That explains why it was in black and white."  At that joke Lee Strong laughed so hard he almost choked.  Bob told Sam to go to his room.  Mike Walsh said that KC was nice.  "They had steaks."  Lee Gilliland said, "Of course, after all everything's up to date in Kansas City."  <They've gone about as far as you can go.>

            Meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:37

            Attendance, Pres. Judy Kindell, VP Sam Pierce, Sec and 2003 Chair Samuel Lubell, Treas. Bob MacIntosh, Trust Scott Hofmann, Trust. Eric Jablow, Trust Nicki Lynch, 2002 Chair Mike Nelson, 2004 Chair Lee Gilliland.  All officers present.  Bernard Bell, Sheri Bell, Adrienne Ertman, Alexis Gilliland, Cathy Green, Jim Kling, Bill Lawhorn, Keith Lynch, Richard Lynch, Cat Meier, Walter Miles, Kathi Overton, Rebecca Prather, Judy and Sam Scheiner, Steven Smith, Victoria Smith, Lee Strong, Michael Taylor, Elizabeth Twitchell, Michael Walsh, Ivy Yap, Steve Weese, Holly Nestle, Charles Gilliland, Zabeth Gallagher.


Joe Mayhew Wins Nobel Prizes

by Lee Strong


            Disclave 1982:  Joe Mayhew proposes to settle the contemporary Falklands War by ceding the Falkland Islands to Great Britain and the Islas Malvinas to Argentina.

          1982-92:  Early forms of virtual reality technology invented.

          1992-2002:  Virtual reality becomes widely used in the United States.

          2002-12:  Virtual reality becomes widely used outside the United States.

          2013:  Japan resolves its border dispute with Russia by ceding the Kurile Islands to Russia while retaining control of the Northern Territories.  This action officially closes World War II.

          2014:  Great Britain resolves the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and Irish Troubles by ceding the Islas Malvinas, San Rocque and Northern Ireland to Argentina, Spain and the Republic of Ireland respectively.  In exchange, Britain retains control of the Falklands, Gibraltar, and Ulster.

          2015:  Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolved by Israel ceding Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority.  In exchange, Israel retains control of Judea and Samaria.  The Palestinian Authority becomes the Islamic Republic of Palestine.

          2016:  India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmiri conflict by jointly ceding Kashmir to each other.

          2017:  The Five Chinas are reunified.

          2018:  United Nations announces that most nations are diverting their former military budgets to fight world hunger.

          2019:  Cure for most cancers announced.

          2020:  Cure for AIDS announced.

          2021:  Alien invasion resolved by ceding Sol Three to the K?uwun invaders and Earth to the United Nations.

          2022:  Joe Mayhew wins Nobel Prizes for Peace and Medicine.  His acceptance speech is nominated for the 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature. 



By Ted White


Fanzines are a basic part of science fiction fandom, having been in existence as long as fandom itself - the past 70 years.  Fanzines are a reflection of many fans' interest in the printed word and amateur publishing.  The publication you are reading this in is a fanzine, but a specialized one.  A variety of other fanzines are also available - many of them by request - and this column will cover some of them each issue.

All fanzines are published as a hobby and lose money.  Their editors appreciate money to defray their expenses and sometimes list single-copy or subscription prices, but they appreciate even more your written response - a Letter of Comment, or LoC.  Feedback - better known in fandom as "egoboo" - is what fanzine publishing is all about.

Check out the fanzine below and broaden your participation in fandom.


QUASIQUOTE #4, May, 2002 (Sandra Bond, 7 Granville Road, London N13 4RR, UK; available "for a broadly defined fannish usual, for whim, or for £2 or $5 (reviewers take note that a 19p SAE does not cut it)"; e-mail to


Quasiquote is a solid, 50-page fanzine which blends a modern (and British) sensibility with curiously old-fashioned-looking production.   

In earlier eras of fandom when computers were rare or unheard of and photo-copying was expensive and rarely used, fanzines tended to be banged out on mimeograph stencils (with old-fashioned typewriters) with only a rudimentary attention paid to layout and with hit-or-miss art which might be rather poorly transferred to stencils by the often artistically-inept editor (the art had to be traced with some skill).  

These days many fanzine editors have access to publishing programs, routinely turn out double-columned text and scan in their art, creating a digital fanzine (before it is printed out) which could as easily be made into a PDF file.   So it is curiously refreshing to encounter a well-written fanzine which has been created with only rudimentary attention paid to layout (no double columns here) and hit-or-miss art (the crudely amateur cover is particularly off-putting, while the back cover is of professional quality).   At the midway point (well, page 28) the type size, never very large, shrinks by another point or so, and this, combined with printing that seems to get worse as the issue progresses (Sandra's printer broke down), makes reading Quasiquote not so different from the experience of reading a poorly mimeographed fanzine forty years ago. 

But only until you actually read the issue.  Sandra's editorial leads off.  It presents both short bits of topical interest (she's editing the 1995 Fanthology and is looking for pointers) and longer bits which could stand on their own as short articles.  Bond is a solid fannish writer, capable of both serious topics and lighter moments.  She came into fandom as a teenager in the mid-'80s, but has become knowledgeable about the fandom which preceded her.

Gail Courtney's "How To Purge" is about getting rid of books when one has too many; long-time UK fan Ron Bennett describes the dodges he used to get past French customs when he was selling comic books at Paris shows in "To The Custom House Borne;" Harry Warner (another long-time fan and former newspaper reporter) tells about becoming a radio news announcer at one point in his career in "Bems In The Thames;" Arnie Katz remembers some undeservedly forgotten fanzines with "Say, Don't You Remember?" and I have "Over The Top at Corflu," a 2001 Corflu report (Sandra was delayed in producing this issue).  

But the piece which dominates the issue is Australian Laura Seabrook's story of her more than twenty-year career in fandom, "From ShadowFan to GothicGallae," in which she describes her discovery that she was transsexual and what she did about it.  It is not a triumphant story (the article is subheaded "A bitter-sweet recollection of fandom") - Laura apparently did not feel she fit into (Australian) fandom as either a male or a female, and her choice of friends (as she describes them) may have been part of her problem.  But the piece is uncompromisingly written (and extensively footnoted) and is the sort of intensely personal journalism one occasionally finds in the better fanzines.


Buffy the Washington Think Tank Paradigm


            The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington policy think-tank, released a paper "Biological Warfare and the `Buffy Paradigm'"  It compares homeland defense to the efforts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and explains the show as:


"           "I realize that those of you who are workaholics or who are simply mature and without children or younger relatives may never have seen this show.  It is, however, about a teenage vampire slayer who lives in a world of unpredictable threats where each series of crises only becomes predictable when it is over and is followed by a new and unfamiliar one.

While uncertainty is the dominating motif, the "Buffy paradigm" has the following additional characteristics:


*  What expertise there is consists largely of bad or uncertain advice and old, flawed, and confusing technical data.

*  The importance of any given threat changes constantly, past threat behavior does not predict future behavior, and methods of delivery keep changing.

*  Arcane knowledge is always inadequate and fails to predict, detect, and properly characterize the threat.

*  The more certain and deterministic an expert is at the start, the more wrong they turn out to be in practice.

*  The scenarios are unpredictable and have very unclear motivation. Any effort to predict threat motivation and behavior in detail before the event does at least as much

*  Risk taking is not rationale or subject to predictable constraints and the motivation behind escalation is erratic at best.

*  It is never clear whether the threat is internal, from an individual, or from an outside organisation.

*  The attackers have no firm or predictable alliances, cooperate in nearly random ways, and can suddenly change method of attack and willingness to take risks.

*  All efforts at planning a coherent strategy collapse in the face of tactical necessity and the need to deal with unexpected facts on the ground.

*  The balance between external defense, homeland defense, and response changes constantly.

*  No success, not matter how important at the time, ever eliminates the risk of future problems,

If this is the "Buffy paradigm, the "Buffy syndrome" is different. The characters in Buffy constantly try to create unrealistic plans and models, and live in a world where they never really face the level of uncertainty they must deal with. They do not live in a world of total denial, but they do seek predictability and certainty to a degree that never corresponds to the problems they face...  Now, if this use of a TV series to describe biological threats and biological warfare seems somewhat unusual, I invite you to consider the more conventional alternatives. We can speculate on scenarios, delivery methods, and lethality, we can conduct studies and exercises, and we can write doctrine until hell freezes over, but our chances of really being much better than Buffy are simply not that great..."


Start Stockpiling Books


The 6/21 Third Friday began with calls of coup, coup as Bob took the chair.  "Ladies and Gentlemen, let's began this fiasco.  It's 9:15 by my watch."  Sam said, "At the last meeting we were unsure if we were doing the August switch."  Erica ventured into the kitchen to check her calendar.  "We have white smoke.  We will not be here third Friday in August.  So First Friday in August will be at the Ginters and Third Friday at the  Gillilands."  This bit of actual business completed, Judy felt it safe to re-emerge from hiding and seize the gavel.  Without even sitting down she instructed the coup-leader, "what's next, treasurer's report" and waved at him, still seated shamelessly in the leader's chair.  "$291.39" he reported with a straight face, just as if our treasury wasn't plunging down like the stock market.

            There was discussion of being a fan group.  People urged to take Capclave flyers.  Elspeth asked about the number of members and Bob said over 80.  Skip Morris asked about us participating in the East Coast Conspiracy suite at Worldcon.  Bob said we were already involved.  Elspeth asked how much was in the Capclave treasury.  Bob said he wasn't sure since Bucky owes us money.  Keith asked if we have guests yet.  Sam L. said he hasn't invited anyone yet. 

Sam L. for Capclave Future said "I'm just waiting for the hotel, then I'll swing into action."   Lee asked people to stop sending her titles of bad movies until after Sam's Capclave.  Brian said, "Rule of life, never ask for more email."

Entertainment committee went to Biltmore and brought back a factoid.  "There were lots of Amish touring the town because you can get there by train and then take a horse-driven carriage.  It would be a great place for a small con."  Mike Walsh immediately christened the nascent effort as Biltacon.  <And began selling memberships until Alexis revealed the catch..."  "But hotels cost $199"  Elspeth asked what Biltmore was and Alexis said it was the country estate of George Vanderbilt and has four acres inside.  Lee Gilliland said, "It is the largest private estate in the U.S. in NC.  It has its own deer park, own zip code.  When they went away in the summer, they left a skeleton staff of 50 people.  It has 54 rooms."  Bob said, "Just imagine the program you could run in there.

Lee for the activities committee said that Men in Black II was coming up.  It opens July Fourth.  I have a sign up sheet.  For Publications, Sam said he passed around a clipboard with people volunteering to pay for our web site.  Richard Lynch asked about the WSFA book sale.  Erica said she's not up for it now and Adrienne said that Fall would be better.  Erica said people should start stockpiling books.  <Us???>

Cathy warned that postal rates go up, "Mail often, keep me employed."  Erica's cat Spike had radioactive iodine treatment but hasn't become the amazing spider cat.  <That's what you think, haven't you heard about secret identities?>  Keith got out a Geiger counter to measure the radioactive cat. Wasn't that a Disney film in the 70s?  <You're probably thinking of either That Darned Cat or The Cat from Outer Space.> 

Judy thanked judges from the SF contest.  Need more judges for art.  Birthday song sung.  Elspeth is semi-employed for health insurance.  Ivy is going back to the Philippines and is selling furniture.  Eric offered to give people seminars on number theory for fun and profit.  Erica warned that this had to be done on the porch.  Mike said, "Don't worry.  It will all come to naught." But Erica said, "I think he has an infinity of ideas."  Nicki said that Scope, a science show, had Ben Yallow's mother on.  She's a Nobel prize winner.  Liz Kessler got engaged.  Mike is doing four conventions in a row.

Meeting unanimously adjourned at whatever time it is, "ten of ten," people yelled. 

Attendance, Pres. Judy Kindell, Sec and 2003 Chair Samuel Lubell, Treas. Bob MacIntosh, Trust Scott Hofmann, Trust. Eric Jablow, Trust Nicki Lynch, 2004 Chair Lee Gilliland.  Sheri Bell, Adrienne Ertman, Carolyn Frank, Alexis Gilliland, Erica Ginter, Cathy Green, Ron Kean, Liza Kessler, Elspeth Kovar, Keith Lynch, Richard Lynch, Walter Miles, Barry and Judy Newton, Evan Phillips, George Shaner Michael Taylor, Michael Walsh, Andrew Williams, Ivy Yap, Madeleine Yeh, Zabeth Gallagher, Brian Lewis, Marlin Pierce, Meridel Newton, Jim McBride.


WSFA Website Sponsors

            WSFA thanks all those who volunteered to sponsor our website.

            Samuel Lubell                                       June

            Brian Lewis                                          July

            Rich & Nicki Lynch                              Aug

            Sheri Bell                                              Sept.

            Bob MacIntosh                                    Oct

            Cathy Green                                         Nov

            Michael Walsh/Old Earth Books           Dec


Game Sites on the Internet

By Lee Gilliland


 One of the great ways to waste a day on the Internet is, of course, games.   These are several I have stumbled upon.   These are not really listed in any  sort of order, just more or less  the way I have my book marks.  The main  reason none of these have fewer than three stars is because I weeded the  others out, else we would be here until Thanksgiving.  - this is one of the two sites that develop the majority of  the games you find at the other sites  - and so, one of the best places to  find the new games.  There are also downloadable version of the more popular  games, if you don't want to play on any of the sites.  A personal favorite.   * * * * *  - the other the sites but the develop the majority of  the games you'll see at the other sites.  The site also has a chat  feature, and you can also download trials of all of their games here .* * * *  * particular site is one of the most extensive I've come  across.  Games go from the traditional chess, solitaire, and poker to some  rather interesting word games such as Word Whomp, puzzle games (my personal  favorite being poppit), a fairly good freebie casino, trivia, arcade, and  sports games.  At this site you are able to play and chat with the other  players at the same time .  This is one of the best of the net.  * * * * *  - this is also called really excellent site with a  lot going for it.  Along with the Classic games, this also has adaptations of   Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and The Dating Game.  There are also a number of  TV and movie related games (at the moment, Stewart Little, Men in Black,  Spider-Man, and Resident Evil, and I understand there will also be at Austin  Powers game soon).  Also some nice puzzle games, casino games, classic, and  word games. * * * *  - also a fairly extensive side.  Game shows, regular  games, some rather interesting puzzles, and tournaments that that pay real  money.  Also with a chat feature.  * * * *  - if you could play at, it probably is here.  This is one of  the showplaces for MSN, so this is a really good place to waste time.  There  are a huge number of role-playing games, the usual casino and classic, and  some rather unusual puzzle games, mostly Pop Cap games .  * * * *  - all lot of good shockwave games, and a fair number of  downloadables.  However, with this caveat; you will get a blizzard of pop-ups  with the site.  * * * some real fun java and flash games, and once  again, most of the good ones are Pop Cap, although there are a fair number  of Game House games as well.  * * *  - this is a very intriguing web site.  You have your  choice of several crimes that you need to solve.  You are given all the  evidence, including (rather gory) photographs, interviews, and forensic  files.  Not for the faint of heart.  * * * * *  - the regular on-line games got the classics arcade, along with  some free online play  station games for you.  * * * *  - some RPG's, multi user games, at some real interesting  toys.  Small but select.  * * *  - add that what it comes in two versions, Classic and  Flash * * * *  - are really good, extensive game site.  Refined fun  were for the whole family.  Penguin Command is especially silly. * * *  - a rather generic game house site, although it has  some really great music you to play while gaming.  * * * - fairly generic what I would call "male " games- if  you can shoot at it and it bleeds, you'd probably find it here.  My basic  reaction to most of the games here is " oh, yuk. " * * - now this one's a bit unusual.  All what was the regular  casino and chess, this one has the updated version of Pac-Man, Pong, Space  Invaders, Tetris and a whole bunch more.  Great for this nostalgia buffs.  *  * * - although this is more or less a review site for X box,  Playstation2, Game Boy, and Game Cube, it sometimes does have games for zero  lesser game per.  * * - believe it or not, there is a Wumpus site still active on a Web,  and this is it.  In all of its archaic glory.  * * * - a rather unusual site, with lots of 3-d Japanimation-  type games.  Unusual and intriguing.  * * * * - only nine games, with some downloads.  All original  stuff, but bit scarce.  * * - another one of the mega game sites.  A lot of really  good games, including a couple of intriguing or originals, save breaker and  Kinematrix.  Good place to waste time.  * * * * - rather generic mega games site  - nothing original, but a lot  of it.  * * - this is a small boutique game site.  There are four or  five games usually up, but they're all original, and they're all fun.  * * * - this is another one of those original boutique sites.   Last time I looked there were all of 12 games  - all were either original or  something I've not seen big computer format (Chinese checkers).  Pretty good  site.  * * * - while this isn't actually a game site per say, it  does have games on it.  The "twisted stuff " especially is worth a peek,  including " Teletubbies  - the mercy  killing ", " Failedto breakfast  cereals ", and " Pepsi-girl wheel of death.  ".  * * * - this is more or less a reference site, where you can't  find any number of games that are on all other non gaming sites, such as  Sports Illustrated and Kellogg.  A mixed bag, and sometimes they get more  than a bit strange (Anyone want to help the Froot Loops toucan find his  nose?) * * * - this is a reference site of for various games at other sites tending towards what I call " male" games, i.e. blood  guts guns and testosterone. * * - pretty much your average mega game site.  Although on this  one, there isn't a chat feature, which is rather normal all the rest.  * * *


The Sum Of All Fears

                                             Released 30 June 2002

                                            Reviewed by Lee Strong


          I could claim that this techno-thriller is really science fiction since it happens in an alternate universe but it's really "just" a good story.

          In his latest trip to the big screen, our hero Jack Ryan is just beginning his career with the CIA and nuclear terrorism.  His expertise in Russian affairs makes him invaluable to CIA Director Bill Cabot if not to President Fowler.  Analyzing odd clues leads him into a neo-Nazi plot to start World War III by nuking Baltimore and attacking an American aircraft carrier.  As the President considers striking the Russians, Ryan rushes to unravel the final clues and persuade the powerbrokers not to destroy civilization.

          Overall, this is a good movie with a intelligent balance of personal and plot development.  Ryan is often right, but he's still a young snot who has to convince the older and wiser heads that he really is right.  A difficult enough task in normal circumstances, this desperate goal is lent added urgency by the global stakes.  Good production values and a concise condensation of Tom Clancy's mammoth original result in a solid product.

          Some complained because of the sensitivity of the subject (nuclear terrorism) in the wake of 9/11.  I had the opposite reaction, bemoaning the politically correct substitution of shopworn neo-Nazis for the original, realistic and timely Arab terrorists.  Another Tom Clancy novel came as close as anyone to predicting the 9/11 attacks, and I think we owe it to ourselves to see what this man has to say.

          I rate  The Sum Of All Fears as «««« on the five star scale.  -- LS


It Was An Interesting Ride


"Oh, boy," Judy sighed <as the time traveling Sam Beckett leaped into her body> and banged the gavel to no response.  "Quiet!" yelled Bob and the 7/5/02 First Friday meeting began at 9:17.  Old business was that WSFA will do the traditional flip flop of meetings in August.  Treasury is $266.37.  Calls for a small party.  "Let's have a Disclave," said Eric.  "That will cost you a quarter," said Bob.  He had a quarter thrown at him. 

            The Entertainment committee deferred to Lee who said that there were some fireworks at a mall but no one showed.  Activities committee has organized a trip to see Men in Black II.  Reserve tickets in advance. 

Elspeth is playing telephone tag with Dan the hotel man.  We should have all the space we wanted in 02.  Also have space in 03.  Sam said, "My goal is to have people able to register for 03 at 02."  Lee asked people to stop sending her names of bad movies.  Elspeth for World Fantasy said she is getting space, doing fine.  No old or new business.  Adrienne Ertman is transferring to U of MD College Park.  Unicorn Press.  Visitors include Maria, Donna, Robin.  Elspeth said that Sam Pierce left his clothes at her apartment.  John asked if Elspeth used light starch on it.  Elspeth said, "I was the one wearing it."  Sam P. said, "And it was an interesting ride."  Meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:30.

            Attendance: Judy Kindell, Bob MacIntosh, Sam Lubell, D.B. Mongo, Lee Strong, Alexis and Lee Gilliland, Cathy Green, Elizabeth Twitchell, Cat M. Meier, Ivy Yap, Adrienne Ertman, Brian Lewis, Robyn Rissell, Erica Ginter, Maria Y. Lima, Donna Andrews, Keith Lynch, Bernard Bell, Bill Lawhorn, Sam Pierce, Walter Miles, John Pomeranz, Kathi Overton, Mike Taylor, Elspeth Kovar, Scott Hofmann, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Eric Jablow.