The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction
Association -- ISSN 0894-5411
Edited by Samuel Lubell email@example.com
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
* The Universe of the Extraordinary Gentlemen
* The Graphic Novels
* The Moving Picture
* Movie Review
Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Just Googling for Sites
A Bid is Born
The Last Man
Third Friday Blacked OUT
Edited by Samuel Lubell firstname.lastname@example.org
Created by Mr. Alan Moore & Mr. Kevin O'Neill
Reviewed by Mr. Clarence Strong
I say, Samuel, you say you haven't heard about the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Sit down, and I'll have a go at explaining things.
The League, or "LXG" as some Americans call them, inhabit a semi-magical alternate universe in which many people, institutions and even pieces of geography closely resemble other universes' fictional creations but all co-existing comfortably in the same spacetime continuum. Thus, in the LXG universe, one can (with proper guides and equipment) venture from London or New York to Atlantis - in ruins, I'm afraid -, Ruritania, King Solomon's Mines, Shangri-La, Xanadu, Islandia, Laputa, Lemuria, and Arkham, Massachusetts. Under very special circumstances, one can even traverse the astral plane and arrive in Oz, Wonderland, and Fairyland. In the primary universe, you can meet Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Doctors Jekyll and Moreau, Mr. Hyde, Mrs. Mina Murray-Harker, Sherlock Holmes, and a host of other characters deemed imaginary in less fortunate universes. The blending together of these myriad marvels in a single universe presents unique challenges for the discerning reader or viewer to unravel, but the intellectual and emotional rewards are well worth the time required. Messrs. Moore and O'Neill have raised literary name dropping to a high art indeed.
The League itself is a secret arm of the British Government operating out of an exotic annex to the British Museum, and reporting to a cryptic figure known only as M. In times of crisis, M will gather certain extraordinarily brave and talented individuals -- both male and female, I'm pleased to say -- to fight exotic menaces too terrible for ordinary mortals to confront. The world is safe and the Empire rests secure with these superlative teams on guard.
The League was first introduced to the inhabitants of this universe in two series of graphic novels, or "comic books" as some Americans call them. Written in a latter day Victorian style and lavishly illustrated, these novels bring the League and their world to vivid, even startling, life.
In the first series, the driving force of the League of 1898, Mrs. Mina Murray gathers her crew -- Quatermain, Nemo, Jekyll/Hyde, and Griffin the Invisible Man -- to investigate the disappearance of cavorite, an artificial substance that bids fair to place British space vessels on the Moon well before the French or Germans. (The ingenious Yankees are almost completely ignored in this Anglo centric story.) They discover that the arch thief is none other than the Yellow Peril himself, Dr. Fu Manchu. Using clever schemes, British (and Indian) pluck, and Hyde's violence, they retrieve the cavorite and return it to M only to discover that All Is Not What It Seems. The climactic battle high above the streets of London neatly resolves one menace but Messrs. Moore and O'Neill immediately foreshadow another. Many mementoes of other League adventures are on display in the secret annex to the British Museum, lending additional depth to their exotic world. The Victorian era struggles of the male Leaguers to deal with an emancipated woman are priceless... and still timely.
The second series opens on the planet Mars where John Carter and Gulliver Jones rally the diverse Martian populations -- brilliantly realized Tharks, Hither Folk and Sorns -- to drive octopoidal invaders off the Red Planet and onto our own! When the false Martians attack Horsham Common and London with the help of a human traitor, it's up to the League to uncover the aliens' weaknesses and turn them back with the aid of the creatures of Dr. Moreau. A Death By Mungo scene is not for the squeamish. A six part mini-series of narratives reveals the many geographical oddities of the League's Earth.
Twentieth Century Fox, 2003
Since Mr. Edison developed the moving picture, it was inevitable that the League would appear in their true, larger than life dimensions faithfully reproduced for millions to see, hear and enjoy.
The story of the moving picture differs noticeably from either of the graphic novels and even from its own novelization. New characters including Dorian Gray and an American interloper named Sawyer or something like that are introduced primarily to appeal to the colonial audiences. Quatermain is now the League's leader while Mina Harker has a much more exotic role than her previous one as a vampire victim. Has something to do with Sean Connery's star power relative to Peta Wilson's, I wager. The League is sent in pursuit of The Fantom, a super scientific criminal mastermind determined to spark a "world war" in 1899 so that he can sell advanced weapons to all concerned. The League races to Venice and then to the Russian Far East aboard Nemo's ultra advanced (and ultra luxurious) Nautilus, but the super criminal thwarts them at every turn and All Is Not What It Seems. Will the League be in time? Will they discover the Hidden Traitor? What is that strange ticking noise in the bowels of the super submarine? And WHAT IS the Fantom's TRUE goal?
This is a very enjoyable alternate super science gee whiz action film. As a fan of Victorian era science fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed the alternate universe and its cast of evocative characters. The action is fast paced and the scenery is colorful without overpowering the plot, which includes plenty of twists and some good character development. The romance aboard the super submarine is not the one that you'd expect. And the League's well done Hindu Nemo and Nautilus are far more true to Verne's final concept than Disney's classic. The major weakness is a true Victorian clutter in the form of too many primary characters and a pace that's a little fast for good development. In addition, the villain Reveals A Dramatic Secret About The League's Own History that doesn't fit the evidence presented. Still, the League is an extraordinary film about an extraordinary setting peopled with extraordinary gentlemen... and women.
I rate The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG) as «««½ on the five star scale. Jolly good show, eh, Samuel? -- CS
The main thing I liked about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was that I got to see it at a preview in a theatre for free. The second thing I liked about the movie was that Sean Connery was in it. I don't know what it is about older men that appeals to me and many other women, think Jean-Luc Picard, Qui-Gon Jinn, any Harrison Ford role. I don't understand why we think these old guys are sexy? Oh, sorry, back to the movie review.
I'm was not familiar with the comic book, (ahem!), graphic novel that the movie was based on. But that mere fact at least set my expectations. I liked the X-Men movies because I understood what to expect from the comic book genre. Set in turn of the century, the century before last, a threat to world peace causes a character called "M" to gather a group of peculiarly talented people, including one female. All based on characters from Victorian era literature. (M must be a bow to Sean Connery's past. He's one of the executive producers.) Many are reluctant and don't particularly care for their team mates. Your standard set-up for conflict. It was intriguing to meet the League members and to discover their qualities. The movie assumed a literate, well-read audience, but we overheard people wondering about who Mr. Hyde was, and I had not read the Quatermain stories myself. I was surprised and delighted by the portrayal of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus. Forget the Disney movie. Think Victorian meets Oriental.
As they start off on their mission in the Nautilus (the fastest way to get from Paris to Venice they said. Ever hear of Trains? Roger Ebert's review says more along this line, but he's not an SF fan.) By now I have suspended my disbelief to the limit so when the battleship-sized Nautilus cruises the canals of Venice to search for underwater bombs, I just had to give up and laugh out loud. The rest of the movie was predictable and I no longer cared how it turned out anyway. Evil is thwarted and the good guys win and sacrifices are made.
I had skipped seeing "The Hulk" (Lou Ferrigno is the real Hulk and Bill Bixby will always be Bruce Banner for me.) However, the Jekyll to Hyde transformation was really like "Hulking out", and the graphics were better than "The Hulk". However, the rest of the special effects were uneven. The background for Paris and Venice were obviously matte paintings. Most of the men in the League just wanted to get under the female member's skirts. Just goes to show that these gentlemen were really quite ordinary after all.
Give it 2 stars. Wait for it to come to network TV.
Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Paramount Pictures, 2003
Reviewed by Lee Strong
If Lara Croft is Indiana Jones' metaphorical granddaughter, the theory that talent skips a generation has been disproved. Lara's got Indiana's archeological beat and violent tendencies but not his charm or credibility.
An earthquake on the Mediterranean island of Santorini exposes ancient treasures to fortune hunters, including our gal Lara and her Greek buddies. While they're prowling an air filled underwater temple, Chinese gangsters hijack the Orb of Pandora and rush it off to China so they can sell it to a European bioterrorist. Instead of relying on her Chinese buddies, Lara pulls an Anglo-Irish mercenary (and former lover) out of Kazakhstan so the two Caucasians can infiltrate the Chinese gang. Despite their efforts, the Chinese hand the Orb off to the European who jumps to Africa to uncover the legendary Pandora's Box and its remaining super-plague. Lara and her African buddies race to stop him and to rescue Lara's British buddies from his thugs.
This leaden effort is not actually horribly bad, just very weak, particularly in the logic department. A lot of the pieces of this puzzle seem to have been lifted directly from Raiders of the Lost Box... er, ah, Ark. Lara and the bad guys jump all over the map with only a thin rationalization tying it all together. The acting is wooden and the dialog is worse. The only thing worse than a macho man high on testosterone is a macho woman on the same poison. Lara seems to have a bunch of friends but given the way she treats everyone, they must have come from a mail order catalog. Nor was I particularly impressed by the invented mythology and special effects underlying the search for Pandora's Box. Paramount Pictures needs to send Lara back to Hollywood and get a real archeologist to dig up a story.
I rate Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life as ««½ on the five star scale. - LS
The 9/5/03 Meeting took place when Cathy Green evicted Alexis from the big chair. "Time to get started," she said. "Do we have to?" moaned Lee. There was no old business. The treasury had $1,321.07.
Capclave present had flyers to pass out and said Judy promised details about who was coming to Capclave. Capclave future said that Judy was the new art show head. Far future was not present. For World Fantasy, Mike Nelson said mailing of the last PR would take place at Third Friday. Deadline for memberships October 15th. Closing in on membership limit. Sam suggested "Offer to sell them Capclave memberships at WFC prices." Mike said that "It looks like Jack Williamson will attend."
Alexis, from the Entertainment Committee said he "had been going to Worldcons since Discon I in 1963 and never partook of the masquerade before this year. Lee was sitting next to a woman in costume. Her partner had gafiated and it was four hours before doing her act and she needed help. Lee said Alexis might do it." Madeleine said, "It could have been worse. She could have said Alexis will do it." Alexis continued, "I had never done a masquerade so I said, `why not?' I saw the masquerade from behind the scenes. I walked around and went running around in panic after a tree kissed me. It was about a minute on stage." Lee put in, "He was very cute."
Keith for publications said he has 14 years of the WSFA Journal online and is looking for `60s issues. Austerity said "Buy two memberships for Capclave. They make great gifts." Sam took that opportunity to ask Judy (who had walked in) if there was a list of guests. "The usual suspects have been saying yes."
There was no new business.
Announcements. Richard Lynch held up the hefty Canadian Hugo. "This is something I picked up at Worldcon. <laughter> I want to thank WSFA for its support. We couldn't have done it without you. This is a great way to go out. That said, we forgot to bring copies of the final issue. It has a fine article by Alexis. There's a lot of closure. We consider it partly yours too. It makes a fine staff of power. Crowds will part for you. Closed doors will open. But it's very heavy."
Mike Nelson said, "We had a SF con in Toronto. During the Sunday business session, we happened to be running things, it being site selection. I casually mentioned that I was thinking about researching some sites for a DC Bid. Lance gave $20 to TR `Who is just a girl who can't say no.' and the whole thing mushroomed. We're just googling for sites. If we decide on a good site in the DC area we will come to a WSFA meeting and put it before the club whether to form a separate not-for-profit organization to run a Discon 3 in DC." Someone asked if he had a year in mind. "Yes, but we're keeping it secret. There will be a motion in Boston to change the bidding to a two year cycle and we need to know who will win in 07. If Columbus wins, we can't bid for 09." Nicki asked about committee. Mike said, "We'll form a list if we decide to bid, otherwise we'll party. After we research, we'll form a committee that will approach the facilities to get a letter of intent. Or we may have a very nice party at Noreascon."
Erica said she wasn't at Worldcon due to having to redo the floors in the house due to their orange and white cat. Nicki Lynch's cat had a hind leg removed. He is now a tripod.
Elspeth promised a mouth-watering banquet at WFC. Mike Walsh said that WFC has 600 members. We may sell out.
Library of Congress will have Wen Spencer on September 17th.
Meeting adjourned at 9:45.
Attendance: Pres. Judy Kindell, VP Cathy Green, Sec & 2003 Chair Samuel Lubell, Treas. Bob MacIntosh, Trust Keith Lynch, Trust. Steven Smith, 2004 Chair Lee Gilliland, 2005 Chair Mike Walsh, Sheri Bell, Colleen Cahill, Alexis Gilliland, Marc Gordon, Scott Hofmann, Eric Jablow, Bill Jensen, Jim Kling, Elspeth Kovar, Bill Lawhorn, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Wade Lynch, Cat Meier, Walter Miles, Mike Nelson, Barry and Judy Newton, Lance Oszko, Kathi Overton, Larry Pfeffer, John Pomeranz, Rebecca Prather, Judy and Sam Scheiner, George Shaner, Mike Taylor, Elizabeth Twitchell, Ivy Yap, Madeleine Yeh, Michael Pederson, Rob Bader, Lydia Ginter, Elaine Brenna, TR Smith, F.L. Ahsh
A Bid is Born by Michael Nelson
During a break in the Sunday session of the 2003 World Science Fiction Society business meeting at Torcon 3, a casual remark turned into the birth of a Worldcon bid. I mentioned to Vincent Docherty that I was thinking of researching sites for a Worldcon1 in Washington, DC. Vincent, a true Evil SMOF2, called T.R. Smith (another Evil SMOF) over and told her. T.R. quickly collected the first two pre-supporting membership fees of twenty monetary units from Vincent and herself.
T.R. proceeded to sell additional pre-supporting memberships and supply receipts to over sixty people during the rest of Torcon 3. She convinced Jane and Scott Dennis to design a bid t-shirt based on a suggestion by Michael Walsh. Since this would be a bid for the third DC worldcon, Michael suggested that a Douglas DC-3 aircraft be used on the t-shirt. The military version of the DC-3, the C- 47 (Dakota, R4D, Li-2, etc.), was nicknamed the "Gooney Bird" during World War II. While doing a little research on the DC-3 and gooney birds (a.k.a. albatross), I found this following quote in a Smithsonian Magazine article:
"After spending as many as seven years at sea, juvenile albatross will return to Midway to begin an elaborate courtship process, which involves dancing, head-bobbing, bill clacking and whining vocalizations."
This is the finest description of a Worldcon bid committee I have ever seen.
After some discussion with the usual suspects, we have decided that it is too early to call ourselves a Worldcon bid committee. That would imply we were an organized entity rather than an informal group of people doing a bit of research into the possibility of hosting a Worldcon in the Washington, DC region.
Should we determine that a DC Worldcon bid is feasible, we shall present a proposal to WSFA for approval and form a nonprofit organization to govern our bid.
If we decide there are no suitable Worldcon sites in DC, we will approach the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and Baltimore Worldcon 1998, Inc. (the parent corporation for Bucconeer, the 1998 Worldcon in Baltimore) with a proposal to unite to investigate the feasibility of bringing the Worldcon back to Baltimore under the management of Baltimore Worldcon 1998, Inc.
And if we are unsuccessful in gaining the support of WSFA and BSFS/Baltimore Worldcon 1998, Inc., we will use our pre-support funds to throw a really nice party at Noreascon 4, the 2004 Worldcon in Boston, for our Gooney Birds (my special name for our wonderful pre-supporters).
We will not choose a year for our bid until after we learn the results of the 2007 Worldcon site selection vote and the WSFS business meeting motion to reduce Worldcon bidding lead time to two years at Noreascon 4, since they will affect our decision. We hope to formally announce our bid at the end of the 2004 WSFS business meeting.
1 World Science Fiction Convention
2 Secret Master of Fandom
By Jean-Baptiste François Xavier Cousin de Grainville
translated by I.F. Clarke and M. Clarke
Middletown, CT : Wesleyan University Press, 2002
A review by Colleen R. Cahill
Many of us have read early works of science fiction, even as old as Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. What you might not know is these classics have their ancestors and the Wesleyan University Press Early Classics of Science Fiction series has done a great service of tracing these genre roots. One such release is The Last Man by Jean-Baptiste François Xavier Cousin de Grainville. This apocalyptic story was originally published in 1805 and until now only one, poor English translation was available. Called the first "future fiction" end-of-the-world tale, The Last Man relates the decline of humanity and the final struggles of one man to prevent the inevitable.
For centuries, life on Earth has been waning. From crops to animals to people, virility is fading and the populations are dying out. A flame of hope is raised with the birth of Omegarus, the only child born in Europe for over twenty years. He is the last descendent of what Grainville considered the greatest French man ever born, Napoleon. As a young man, Omegarus is approached by the Guardian of Earth, a spirit who tells him that the future rests with him. If he can complete a quest and find the perfect mate, all life can be saved. Eager to prevent the destruction of the world, he is joined by various companions and they set sail for the last fertile area on the planet, Brazil. And it is here Omegarus succeeds in finding Syderia, a woman who is all he dreamed, but soon there is trouble, as the two receive conflicting information on whether they should wed.
Grainville's work is heavily influenced by the Bible, especially Revelations. As with all writers, he is a product of his own time and experiences. Grainville was an ordained priest who left that calling during the Terror of the French Revolution. The Last Man reflects both his religious beliefs, which were in opposition to the popular philosophy of that day, and his melancholy life, which ended before this book was published. The work gained much respect in the French literary community and was well enough known across the channel to have one pirated English edition printed. It certainly influenced other authors of that time.
The Last Man includes an informative introduction and additional materials by science fiction scholar I.F. Clarke. This adds to the work, providing background and explanations of more obscure points in the text, as well as the world view of that time. For those who enjoy modern works of apocalypse, you should seek out this book, which is one of the bones of science fiction.
Paper Mage by Leah R. Cutter
(New York, ROC, 2003)
A review by Colleen R. Cahill
Fantasies often focus on magic and many contain wizards, wands and spells. Occasionally, a new idea springs up and such is the case with Leah R. Cutter's Paper Mage. Set in China's Tang Dynasty, we follow the life of Xiao Yen, who is trained in the magic art of paper folding. By her skill and strength of will, she can created guardian tigers, graceful cranes and crafty scorpions. But this puts her in an isolated state, as there is no place in Chinese society for a woman magician.
Xiao Yen is set on her unusual life path by the matriarch of her family, her Auntie Wang. This stern and domineering lady wants her niece to do a great deed and win the magic peach; a peach that will take the person who eats it directly to the Isle of the Blessed and off of the eternal wheel of rebirth. Auntie Wang longs for this release from repeated suffering and sees Xiao Yen as her best chance to gain the fruit. So as a child, Xiao Yen is sent off to a paper mage school. On one hand, she is overjoyed to learn how to make paper come to life as doves and other animals, but on the other, she is now separated from her family and becoming an anomaly: a woman who works magic. If she marries, she will get a poor husband because of her training and if she works, she will get poor jobs because she is a woman. The story alternates between Xiao Yen's schooling and her first job: to guard valuable horses that foreigners are taking to the coast. Being employed by foreigners has a stigma attached to it, but Xiao Yen realizes she has little choice. It is quickly evident that her job will be more than to protect the horses, as a mysterious courtesan joins the party and soon Xiao Yen is thick in a plot to overthrow a tyrant and free a trapped soul.
Cutter has created a world of magic out of the myths and gods of China. She has mined a rich source, as Barry Hughart did in the Master Li series. Cutter stays true to this culture: many would ask why Xiao Yen does not take the peach for herself, but she follows the rules of her society and shows finial respect for the head of her family. Xiao Yen does not use her gifts to flaunt convention, as other fantasy heroines might, but lives the by the rules of her upbringing. And all this is combined with the interesting twist of paper magic. This book will speak to anyone who has folded a crane or admired the magic in a paper dragon.
In the back of the book is a bibliography with a short list of non-fiction, myths, and web sources that show Cutter has studied her source of inspiration. I was delighted to find she was not only familiar with Hughart, but had also read another of my favorite writers, Robert Van Gulik of the Judge Dee mysteries. Paper Mage is not a copy of any of these works, but shines on its own merits and unique qualities.
I recommend you brew a cup of tea, find a quiet spot and take this adventurous trip to a wonderful alternative China.
By Ted White
ZOO NATION #3 (Pete Young, editor & publisher, 62 Walmer Road, Woodley, Berkshire, RG5 4PN, England; email to email@example.com; probably available for The Usual - letters, contributions both written and artistic, and trades - no mention of price)
Zoo Nation is one of the best of a new breed in fanzines. By its third issue it has achieved a weight and solidity of content which works well with its presentation. Physically, the fanzine is half-A4-sized (A4 being the British paper size which most closely approximates the American "lettersize" sheet, measuring approximately 8.25 x 11.75 inches), being folded and saddle-stapled, and has, including covers, 28 pages. The cover is color printed; the interior is black & white. Most of the pages are double-columned with computer-set type (as is the standard for fanzines these days). Young is a former commercial artist and the design and layout of Zoo Nation profits from his experience.
Fanzines have been evolving over the past decade as personal computers have become ubiquitous. At first the computer-generated fanzines aped older models - those fanzines which had been produced on mimeographs from typewriter-typed stencils. And the older model of fanzine had itself evolved over the previous 60 years. With rare exceptions, few fanzines ever looked like professional magazines, and in time this became one of their virtues: they did not attempt to poorly copy professional publications but established their own traditions and standards.
This made sense in an era when professional publishing required machines and technology which was largely beyond the (financial) capabilities of an ordinary person, and amateur publishers (most of whom were students with little money to spare) had to rely on the means available to them.
When computers allowed fans to virtually typeset their fanzines, at first faneditors simply substituted columns of typesetting in layouts originally designed for typewriter type. Many still do, either because they prefer that approach or because they lack the sophistication to do more.
Pete Young is not inhibited either by outmoded traditions or from lack of experience and consequently his fanzine looks like a modern magazine. Indeed, he riffs on this appearance, mocking professional magazines with a page or two of what he calls "ClipArt," in which ads and magazine features are spoofed.
Zoo Nation #3 lacks the themes of the first two issues, and is identified as a "Jam - a loosely associated collection of all things fannish & jammish." The issue opens with a brief introductory editorial and then offers over 4 pages of letters. These are followed by Pete's article on Yahoo! Groups' SF and fan-oriented lists (he describes 12); "Online Fandom: Why the Iraq crisis is on-topic for SF lists" by Farah Mendelsohn; "The Ups & Downs of Being Sci-Fi & Fantasy Nut's Mum" by Jan Trotter; two pages of that rarity, fannish poetry; two pieces under the heading of "Habitable Zone:" "Fandom Roots" by Gareth Jelley and "SF, Me and Fandom" by Nick Honeywell; four pages of intelligent book reviews by Young; a page devoted to a "Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad," which is a clever take on the Periodic Table of Elements; a closing editorial; and a page of credits, including the typefaces used.
There's quite a lot in this issue, despite its small size. Pete's produced three regular issues and two single-sheet fractional issues in the course of one year, which bodes well for his future schedule. This is a fanzine I want to see more issues of.
Due to Hurricane Isabel, much of the DC area was still blacked out Friday night. Many WSFAns were uncertain as to whether there was a meeting and if the Ginters had electricity. Others felt that as long as they were in the dark Friday night, they might as well be in the dark with friends and a small group gathered at the candle-lit Ginter residence.
There was no quorum so no business was done. People who signed the attendance sheet anyway include: Sam Lubell, Keith Lynch, Lee Gilliland, Mike Walsh, Alexis Gilliland, Erica and Karl Ginter, Lydia Ginter, Elspeth Kovar, Wade Lynch, Candy and John Madigan, George Shaner, Kindra Gresham, Houston Westfall.
Chair....................................................................................... Samuel Lubell
Programming........................................................................... Judy Kindell
Treasurer................................................................................. Bob MacIntosh
Hotel....................................................................................... Peggy Rae Sapienza
Dealers.................................................................................... Mike Walsh
Con Suite................................................................................ Erica Ginter and Scott Hofmann
Registration............................................................................. Cathy Green
At Con Registration................................................................. Alexis Gilliland and Cat Meier
Webmaster.............................................................................. Keith Lynch
Pocket Program...................................................................... Mike Nelson
Info......................................................................................... Colleen Cahill
Volunteers............................................................................... George Shaner
Handicap Guide....................................................................... Marilee Layman
Restaurant Guide..................................................................... Paul and Aly Parsons
GoH Liaison............................................................................ Jim and Laurie Mann
NASA Liaison ........................................................................ Mike Taylor