The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction
Association -- ISSN 0894-5411
Edited by Samuel Lubell email@example.com
ANOTHER Essay On Space Colonies
The Product Is Constant
You Got Fantasy into My Science Fiction!
WSFA Hosts Capclave 2003
Handy Candy Skips Zips
Edited by Samuel Lubell firstname.lastname@example.org
In my ongoing discussion of space colonies I have argued that how they are built--total robotic construction to provide the first arriving humans with a latchkey environment ready for habitation--is more important than how they are designed. This judgment reflects the fact that humans are part of the biosphere and cannot engage in great labors--such as building an envelope to contain a biosphere capable of supporting the builders--outside of that biosphere. Even so, design is not unimportant, especially to the writer of science fiction. The story a writer wants to tell will shape the milieu it is set in, and may subsequently constrain the writer's freedom of action. A story that imagines space colonies built--or grown--throughout the Solar system is different from a story that imagines starships flitting from planet to earthlike planet. Arguably the former is more science fictional than the latter, which inclines towards fantasy in that our present state of knowledge does not admit the much loved special effects superdrive, nor antigravity, nor even any loopholes in Newton's laws of motion. A more subtle effect is the rejection of our contemporary ease of travel, the ability to go anywhere in the world in a day or two if one is willing to spend the money, in favor of an older mode, in which travel was a derived from travail and long trips necessarily took a long time. Clearly we are imagining a future rather different from the present, and insofar as the present informs the current consensus future (is there such a thing?) our imagination is taking us far from familiar territory. The question is: What sort of story do I particularly want to tell, and the answer may suggest why such a milieu was imagined in the first place. I want stories about the colonization of space, yes, but hidden within that answer is another answer; I also want the mass migration of people from Earth, not just the seeding of distant places by Adam and Eve surrogates. The hidden answer then poses two questions of its own: Where are these people migrating to, and how will they get there? There is no other Earthlike planet in the Solar System. Colonizing the Sahara desert or Antarctica would be easier than colonizing the Moon, or Mars, and yet, I want what I want, so a "where" must be created for our emigrants to go to.
The engineering details can be left to the engineers, but very generally our imagined emigrants will need SWAG space, SWAG standing for Sunlight, Water, Air, and Gravity, all--since we are wishing--set to Earth normal. The needed essentials are an envelope to contain the air and water, and within that envelope a deck on which to rest our biosphere. Gravity is achieved by shaping our envelope in the form of a cylinder and setting it spinning, to provide one gee at the surface of the deck. Sunlight is a little less simple, since it not only must be brought inside, but the waste heat must be reradiated as infrared to maintain a comfortable temperature. Bringing the sunlight into our envelope from the outside of the cylinder suggests that we can radiate the waste heat from the inside of the cylinder and being mindful of the circadian rhythms of our people--you can take a human out of the Earth, but you can't take the Earth out of the human--our sunlight must also simulate day and night, and perhaps summer and winter as well. This could be done by wrapping the envelope around itself to provide two layers, which are alternately insolated, to give a lovely summer day on the inner, or upper, deck and a crisp winter night on the lower deck.
This envelope enclosing SWAG space would seem unpromising as a "where" for people to go to, and yet if we adopt a modular approach, it might be possible to grow an asteroid into a pseudo-planet. Modular, eh? How big a module are we talking about? The International Space Station doesn't even rotate, and is about the size of a `house. We think bigger, a little, though smaller than Niven's Ringworld. Imagine an envelope 22 miles wide by 100 miles long by 0.05 miles thick, double wrapped around a strong core which supports the envelope by cables 0.10 miles long, to create a cylinder 7 miles in diameter and 100 miles long enclosing a SWAG space of 2200 square miles. An asteroid 25 miles in diameter might well form a pseudo-planet enclosing SWAG space two or three times between Earth and the promised land? Cheap transportation. Clearly a charge of $10k/lb to low Earth orbit does not qualify as cheap, and that may only be the first half of the charges. The space elevator, as imagined by Arthur Clarke and Charles Sheffield, is being reconsidered in the light of new materials, and would be a promising start, taking our emigrants to the space shuttle depot out at the geostationary point, but where would they go from there? Where could the space shuttle--a short-range vessel--take them? Mindful of the necessity for economic, frugal, and really cheap transportation, it would appear that a powered trip is out of the question. The best that can be done is for the space shuttle to take our emigrants to a "floating island" which will have an orbit whose apogee touches the orbit of Ceres (or Jupiter, if that is where the action is) and whose perigee touches the orbit of Earth. Other variations are possible. From the geostationary point depot some 23,000 miles above Earth's surface, we might use smaller floating islands to move our people to intermediate stations at the Lagrangian points 239,000 miles from Earth. From there they will make their connection to larger floating islands bound for Ceres, minimizing the risks to the mother planet by keeping most of those floating islands at a safe--or at least safer--distance. What are these floating islands? Consider the SWAG space module in the preceding paragraph, a module that our machines will be building by the hundreds and thousands. If we chop one of those modules up into five-mile segments, each segment enclosing 110 square miles of SWAG space, and put each segment in the desired orbit, we will have 20 floating islands. Other sizes would be possible. In cis-Lunar space, for example, our floating islands might enclose only a fraction of a square mile, growing swamp grass to keep the air fresh for trips of a week or two. The larger floating islands which have been put into orbit to carry the huddled masses from Earth to Ceres or wherever--a trip which might take several years--could easily support a crew of a thousand, with a passenger capacity of ten thousand. Given that there will be a lot of these floating islands--like thousands or tens of thousands--it is probable that they can haul whatever traffic is available, serving as a conveyor belt in space. Now granted, the capital investment in this system is humongous, starting with multiple space elevators and continuing with all those machines tasked with terraforming the asteroid belt, but the service provided--transportation--will be cheap since the emigrants will be paying in the coin of time and labor. Years of travel time and labor mostly directed towards raising their own food and maintaining their own environment, rather than toiling for the profit of another. Whether or not our imagined future will have any demand for human labor is another question entirely. Since the trip figures to take a year or few, our emigrants can also be educated about their destination, to minimize the inevitable culture shock.
One may well ask, aren't there enough humans running around the way it is? We have six billion, why go for six trillion or some other inconceivable number? Any answer dealing with the human philoprogenitive instinct would require an essay of its own, one with gloomy old Malthus lurking in the endnotes. My answer is esthetic, the esthetic nature of the stories I want to write. The rationalization for all of this would be something in the deep, deep background that might be alluded to but never explained. One such rationalization is that the machines--who are going to be doing all the work--will think it is prettier that way. If you don't like the machine as aesthete, try the machine as philistine; our machines, which are building all this real estate in space, want to sell it at a profit so they can build more real estate, sort of like a bunch of robotic Donald Trumps. Human motivations can be imagined with relatively little effort, such as heroic Libertarian takeovers of expensive Government projects they don't have to pay for, and Mormon polygamists yearning to breed free, but humans lack the ability to carry out all the hard work without the proper tools--and the proper tools don't need humans to get the job done. The drama of settling the New World was influenced by plate tectonics that shaped the landscape. The drama of colonizing space will be influenced by the machines that created the landscape, but these machines form the backdrop against which the human actors chew up the scenery. The story is with the people.
The 11/7 November First Friday began with our VP calling the meeting to order in her distinguished fashion. "Yo!" yelled Cathy. "We're starting a meeting!" Lee asked if we had a quorum. Elspeth's arrival made a quorum. There was no old business. The treasurer reported $1,230.90.
Capclave present (Sam) reported some hotel problems with the hotel telling guests that we had filled up our room block. There was a dispute over the language in the contract as to how much we'd have to pay for a penalty depending on whether we had to pay a percentage of all rooms contracted for, or just the unfilled ones. Judy came in, to kazoo accompaniment (Darth Vader March, naturally). Sam explained that yes, we did need people to take rooms. Sam asked if any WSFAns were running parties. Judy said she had contacted authors. This will be a very relaxacon. Mike said that there will be dealers, hourly rates. Lee suggested a gift-wrapping service. Mike Walsh said we could get local Silver Spring boys to do wrapping. Sam said there would be a Capclave meeting after this meeting. Mike Walsh suggested an awards banquet.
The one with glasses
Lee for Capclave Future announced the hotel, Tysons Corner. At 8028 Leesburg Pike. She's talking contracts. Elizabeth gave the contract to the wrong Mike. Someone corrected her, "He's the one with glasses and a beard." Keith asked for people to look at the 04 webpage and email Keith with edits.
Far future said, "Huh? Once things are settled with the hotel I think the date and hotel [Lee is using] are pretty good, but they may come to their senses. I'll look through the piles of books I have and see what I have the most to get rid of and make him guest. Probably something in a few months." Mike again for World Fantasy. "We're in the process of paying awards. Trophies come to $3,600. One of the ugliest awards ever. We're not paying for beauty but for manufactured quality. Elspeth said "People had to turn their face away in their sleeping room." Mike continued, "Wheels fell off at art show. We fumbled but regrouped and went for a touchdown. Many said it was a great convention. I had nightmares of a sewer line overflow in exhibits or dealers. But it's the people who did all the hard work, who made the con happen. The club is lucky to have people like you here in WSFA and BSFS. People ranked the con in the top ten. Ed Bryant complained that it ran too smoothly. Brian Lumley was buying people drinks. I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop <bang> but it was a great convention. The money may take a couple of months to wrangle. We still have bills. But let's move along. I'm done. To give you an idea of how toasty I was, I had to have someone else pack my boxes." <More ecstatic wonderment too fast to record> "At the award ceremony it was really fun knowing in advance who won and being able to watch their reactions. One of the winners was just about to drink when it was announced and his eyes bugged out. All the nominees were good. Next year Tempe."
"Their problem, not yours," said George. Judy said, "I still don't see how they will run a WSFC, Horrorcon, and Westercon all in the same year." Sam reported, "A skimpy journal. I've been busy. Please contribute. This isn't supposed to be the Sam and Colleen perzine." "Yes it is," corrected Colleen. Keith said that he's missing some 88 and 89 issues.
Lee for activities arranged a trip to see the Matrix Revolution at the Hoffman Cinema but told people to buy online. It's real easy to get there from the Metro. Dates for WETA are the 6th and 7th. Choice of Best of Andrew Williams, James Taylor, The Brain-Beauty Connection." Eric explained, "The product is constant." Sat December 6th Wins. Need at least six people.
Sam said that the Third Friday meeting would be at Capclave. Judy said she would put it in a program room. Cathy suggested that we set up a PO Box. She'd have to check the cost. Colleen asked where since the registrar might be in Virginia one year, Maryland the next. Bob said it has to be accessible. Lee Gilliland said, "We're here, and have been accepting WSFA's mail for years." Judy asked Cathy to look into costs.
Mike made a motion to thank BSFS for helping out at WFC. It carried unanimously.
Announcements: Sam Lubell got a job at GMMB in Georgetown. Lee had an announcement about suicide spammers (http://www.linkydinky.com/suicidespammers.shtml) Elspeth said, "And who can prove it wasn't really suicide?" Chuck has a party tomorrow 8pm. Rebecca has a Dec 21 Christmas party on Sunday 2-6, needs person to id masquerade from Worldcon. Mike Nelson disclaimed any responsibility for the design of the new $20 bill, but did do the eagle. Chuck asked if he brought samples. Lunar Eclipse 6:30-8:30. Bob asked Chuck how he arranged that. Chuck said, "I'm damned." Wednesday before WFC, Hal Clement died. Scott Hofmann's company published Trials of Atlantis and 50,000 people already joined. Eric will have flyers for Operation Give. Software exists to collect books made by Bits and Pieces at www.collectorz.com. Pro version with loan manager is $39. Richard Lynch asked if it works with Cuneiform tablets. Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:06.
Attendance: Pres. Judy Kindell, VP Cathy Green, Sec and 2003 chair Samuel Lubell, Treas. Bob MacIntosh, Trust Keith Lynch, Trust Steven Smith, 2004 Chair Lee Gilliland, 2005 Chair Mike Walsh, Colleen Cahill, Alexis Gilliland, Erica Ginter, Marc Gordon, Scott Hofmann, Eric Jablow, Jim Kling, Elspeth Kovar, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Wade Lynch, Cat Meier, Walter Miles, Rebecca Prather, Judy and Sam Scheiner, George Shaner, William Squire, Michael Taylor, Elizabeth Twitchell, Ivy Yap, Anna Reed, Stan Field, Kim Euka, Otis Brooks, Adam Reuter, Chuck Divine.
Reviews of Diane Duane's Wizard's Holiday and Sharon Shinn's Angelica
Reviewed by Samuel Lubell
Okay class, let's play can you tell the science fiction book from the fantasy book? One of these books involves a cultural exchange with an alien planet, an intergalactic shopping channel, portable worldgates, the question of what one feeds an intelligent alien who is a tree, and solar flares. The other book involves strange dreams, angels, music, a low-tech civilization, prayers to a God who answers them, and less technology than your typical Anne McCaffrey novel. Oops, I gave it away. The first book is Diane Duane's Wizard's Holiday, the latest entry in the Young Wizards series, marketed as fantasy. The second book is Sharon Shinn's Angelica, the fourth book in the Archangel trilogy, which is at least nominally science fiction (although to be fair the hardback packaging doesn't say fantasy or sf.)
What readers understand of Angelica depends on whether they have previously read the other books in the series. If so, they know that Jovah is an AI that runs the spaceship that brought the colonists to this planet and continues to help the people though specially bred intermediaries who are literal angels, wings and all. Those who have not read the previous volumes will find this an interesting fantasy romance.
There are three intertwined plotlines in this book. In the main plot, the newly chosen future Archangel (ruler of the angels) has to find the bride mandated by Jovah. Strangely, the bride is not from the angels or those they trade with in the cities but a member of a nomadic tribe with a very different culture. Can the two overcome the, fairly minor, difficulties (she thinks he's too serious, he deplores her tendency to make friends among the silly girls) the author throws in to keep them apart? The second plotline deals with the archangel's willful human sister who ultimately adopts the nomadic lifestyle herself. And the third plotline involves mysterious strangers with a device that can destroy whole villages.
A major problem with this book is that the third plotline, what the sf reader sees immediately and even some of the characters eventually recognize as an invasion from another Earth-colony planet, is solved through a literal deus ex machina explanation with the only human character involved sleepwalking through the instructions. This incident leaves the reader with lots of questions, why her, how did the AI know this would be necessary years before it was, etc.? None of these are answered. On the other hand, it's refreshingly different for an author to make an A.I. masquerade as a supernatural force without outright revealing the masquerade at some point in the book. A sf reader familiar with the genre will figure it out instantly (even if it was not spelled out in previous volumes) but it is still nice to see an author with confidence in her readers.
Shinn is more interested in the character relationships. As usual, she does a super job making her characters seem real people, with strengths that sometimes turn into their own weaknesses. In lesser hands, the character of Miriam would be a mere plot device. Shinn makes her a true personality who has defined herself in opposition to her brother's good sense and planning. Suisannah turns out to have a strong personality as well especially once she becomes more used to the differences between Angel society and her native Edori.
The original trilogy was more strongly science fictional. Only minimal rewriting would have been necessary to set Angelica in the present day. Still people who like romance with a touch of sf and novels of characters facing culture clashes should give this one a try.
Diane Duane's Wizard's Holiday is the seventh book in the continuing adventures of Nita Callahan, her sister Dairine, and her partner in wizardry Kit. Wizards exist in our world, secretly helping to prevent catastrophes. Wizards exist to fight against entropy and the Lone Power that seeks to end things. This lacks the personal problems that drove the last two entrants in the series and seems rather slow to develop a plot beyond the idea of wizards on vacation. The book starts with the revelation that Nita's sister Dairine had entered the two of them on an exchange program. But when she's grounded Nita goes with Kit "Uh, Popi, uh, is it okay if I go halfway across the galaxy for a couple of weeks?" while Dairine plays tour guide to three aliens on Earth, including a sentient tree and an alien prince who acts like a toad. Much of the book is spent with Nita and Kit exploring their vacation planet which may be a little too peaceful while the aliens on Earth are enjoyably trying to understand our own civilization through alien eyes. But, in this universe nothing happens to wizards without a reason and if the powers are making the vacationing wizards a gift of free energy for traveling back and forth, there will turn out to be a good reason for this as both sets of wizards find different problems on the planet they're visiting that they are uniquely suited to solve.
Duane is clearly playing with long-term arcs here, with hints that Kit's sister is learning the Wizardly Speech and shopping using the Intergalactic cable network that Kit's television started receiving when he fixed it with wizardry. Meanwhile Nita's family is still recovering from the death of her mother in book five. Still, Wizard's Holiday is a slight diminishment in quality from the last two volumes (there's something about this series that makes vacation books the weakest links.) Fans of the series will enjoy Wizard's Holiday; like the best of recent YA novels, there's meat here for adults too. However, this is not the point to jump in. (I strongly advise readers to start with the first, So You Want to Be a Wizard, as the second, Deep Wizardry, is probably the best YA novel ever. But if, for some reason, you do want a more recent jumping on point, I recommend The Wizard's Dilemma as a first rate, though dark, story about power and temptation.
So what does this mean for the concept of genre? I think what most people consider fantasy and sf has as much to do with feel as it does actual content. A novel in which people run around with swords and rescue princesses, feels like a fantasy, even if the characters got there via spaceship or pseudo-scientific projecting (sorry Barsoom). This is why so many people consider Pern and Darkover to be fantasy even though both involve spaceships (and yes, I know the dragons' flight is impossible by our scientific theories, so's FTL travel which is allowed in even hard sf. Meanwhile, there's an sf feel to a novel where the magic follows consistent rules, where nonhuman intelligences do not behave just like humans in costume, and where intelligent thought and technology are not automatically evil. So, then, yes, regardless of the label on the outside and the contents on the inside, sometimes a sf book can feel like a fantasy and the fantasy book follow the rules of sf.
Benjamin Rosenbaum (http://www.benjaminrosenbaum.com)
Northampton, MA, Small Beer Press, 2003
A review by Colleen R. Cahill
At science fiction conventions, I always try to go to as many author readings as possible. I find it fascinating to see the work through creator's eyes. Recently I was introduced to the work of Benjamin Rosenbaum when he read several selections from his chapbook Other Cities. Not only did I gain insight into his work, but I heard some touching, interesting, funny, unique, weird and well-written short stories that made me go out and immediately buy the book.
Other Cities is made up of fourteen stories, some no more than a page in length. Rosenbaum describes these are "stories without characters" as each is about a different city. While this is true on one level, the stories are also about the people in the cities. Some of these show striking contrasts, such as in "The White City", where two princesses are direct opposites. Phenrum is "luscious as a grape" while her sister Buromi is the "ascetic, penitent, friendless" one. Both want to make life better for their people and do so, but from their own viewpoint. As with many of Rosenbaum's stories, there is a twist to the tale and a tweak that makes the reader think. He combines this with intriguing language, as in "Bellur", a city whose principal products are "tensor equations; scarlet parrots" and "censorship". Although the stories are not long, Rosenbaum's lyric style draws the reader in quickly and sets an atmosphere that is sometimes uplifting, sometimes haunting and sometimes amusing. The stories can be science fiction, as in "Amea Amaau", a place where the population is constantly on the move so no one ever spends more than a day in that city. Or a fantasy tone might be stronger, as in "Ahavah", a utopian city for hoboes that no one seems able to place on a map. There are even touches of Lovecraftian horror, as in "The Cities of Myrkhyr, which literally grown from the plains, but hold a dark seed. Many of the stories are too complex to compartmentalize and have wonderful bits of humor, as in the short short "Maxis". How would you feel if that computer simulation city that you let Godzilla roam through was actually populated by real people? It is reaction of the citizens to "alien intelligence that rules them" is what makes this story so interesting and fun.
Many of these stories originally appeared in the weekly web-based magazine Strange Horizons. If you have seem them, you will want to get the additional tales in this chapbook. If not, I enthusiastically urge you to get a copy and enjoy the exciting and odd metropolises in Other Cities.
Reviewed by Michael D. Pederson
The name Gothika refers to absolutely nothing in the movie. It's a meaningless title that is only there to establish a mood. Yep, it's another "I see dead people" movie. This time around it is the remarkably stunning Halle Berry that is seeing ghosts everywhere she turns.
Berry plays Dr. Miranda Grey, a psychologist working at the Woodward Institute for Women, a prison for the criminally insane. She's the Strong Female Lead that may or may not be losing her mind. And, of course, all of the other cliched characters are here as well... Charles S. Dutton (Alien 3) plays Miranda's likeable boss and husband that you know won't make it through the first reel, Penelope Cruz (Vanilla Sky) is the vaguely spooky inmate that keeps steering the hero in the right direction, Robert Downey Jr. is the creepy co-worker that has a crush on Miranda, Bernard Hill (Lord of the Rings, Titanic) is the sensible co-worker whose only purpose is to deliver exposition, and John Carroll Lynch (The Drew Carey Show) plays the small-town sheriff who is also the murder victim's best friend.
Driving home one rainy night, Dr. Grey runs her car off the road to avoid hitting a teenage girl standing in the middle of a bridge. When Miranda rushes out to help the girl, she blacks out and wakes up three days later as a patient in the Institute where she is being held for the murder of her husband. Miranda has no memory of the murder and begins to doubt her own sanity when the girl from the bridge keeps appearing to her. When she discovers that the girl, Rachel, is the dead daughter of her co-worker, Dr. Parsons (Bernard Hill), Miranda begins to look into how she was killed. Along the way, she becomes convinced that her former patient--now fellow inmate--Chloe is being raped by the same man that killed Rachel.
There is very little original thought in this movie. But it's a horror/thriller, originality doesn't matter quite as much as style and mood. And Gothika has plenty of both. Directed by French actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz, this film moves quickly and keeps the audience guessing at what will happen next. With such a small cast, it's hard to keep the audience from picking out the murderer/rapist in the first ten minutes but I didn't find any of the big surprises to be predictable more than a scene or two in advance.
What really makes this movie work though is the stellar cast. Oscar-winner Halle Berry is convincing as a rational therapist thrust into the maddening world of the paranormal--Berry's mother was a psychiatric nurse, which must have helped. Miranda's psychological journey is the centerpiece of the film; Berry is in pretty much every scene. Her role is emotionally and physically (she broke her arm during filming) intense and she dominates the screen. Robert Downey Jr.'s performance is just creepy enough that you have to suspect him only to find yourself second-guessing your own judgement. John Carroll Lynch has two major scenes opposite Berry that are absolutely riveting. Kathleen Mackey, as the ghost of Rachel Parsons, embodies everything that The Ring wanted to be. But the strongest performance in the film comes from Penelope Cruz. Chloe isn't a large part but it is an important one. She is the emotional core of the movie and her performance turns from sinister to childlike in the blink of an eye. She steals every scene she is in. Bernard Hill is, unfortunately, underused. His character would have benefitted from more development and screen time.
In my opinion, Gothika is a well-acted, sharply directed movie with no significant plot holes and beautiful set design. If you're a suspense fan then this is easily worth eight dollars. Gothika is rated R for violence, language, and brief nudity.
WSFA Hosts Capclave 2003: The Judy Kindell Version
By Lee Strong with apologies to Mr. Robert
The regular Third Friday in November business meeting of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) convened at 9:07 on 21 November 2003 in the Council Room of the Silver Spring Hilton, Silver Spring, Maryland. This meeting was part of Capclave 2003.
President Judy Kindell introduced the various officers of the club. Seated at the Head Table, from the audience's left to right, were Bob MacIntosh, Treasurer, Judy Kindell, President, Sam Lubell, Secretary and 2003 Con Chair, and Cathy Green, Vice President. Keith Lynch, Steve Smith and Adrienne Ertman are Trustees. Alexis and Lee Gilliland were present at the convention but performing duties outside the Council Room. Lee Strong recorded the minutes in order that Sam, as Con Chair, could devote full attention to questions about the con.
There is more information about club and con on our website (www.wsfa.org). If there is a Fifth Friday in a month, we ask someone to host a party. We host Capclave and are bidding on Smofcon 2004. There is usually a brief business meeting before the social portion of our events.
Sam Lubell asked for applause for Programming Czarina Judy Kindell. Applause. The con suite was scheduled to be hosted by Erica Ginter and Scott Hofmann, but both became ill. Lee Gilliland stepped forward to host the suite so please be extra nice to her.
Did we make the con room block requirements? We will not be sure until all the data is assembled. We are developing lists to insure proper documentation. There were loud huzzahs.
Lee Gilliland, as Chair of Capclave Future, sent her husband to announce that Capclave 2004 will be at Tysons Corner 15-17 October 2004. Rooms will cost approximately $84/night. Candy Madigan read one of our flyers about that event.
There were several attempts to move to adjourn and the club unanimously adjourned at 9:17.
Attendees included Covert Beach, Sheri Bell, Judy Bemis, Otis Brooks, Joanna Dionne, Geoffrey Drumheller, Dale Eney, Adrienne Ertman, Alexis and Lee Gilliland, Cathy Green, Pat Kelly, Judy Kindell, Bill Lawhorn, Sam Lubell, Keith, Nicki, Rich and Wade Lynch, Candy and John Madigan, Bob MacIntosh, Marilyn Mix, Barry and Judy Newton, Tony Parker, Mike Pederson, John Pomeranz, Rebecca Prather, Judy and Sam Scheiner, Steve Smith, Erwin S. (Filthy Pierre) Strauss, Lee Strong, Dave and Mike Taylor, Jim Thomas, Alan Weiner, Ivy Yap and Y¶uhy Yti¶k.
<Note, read both stanzas on one line before moving on to the next line>
Sad Thing One and Thing Two: They had nothing to do.
They wanted to play, But the Cat was away.
Out in Hollywood town, Making a movie. (The clown!)
So off they went, too, Thing One and Thing Two,
To festive Silver Spring Where Capclave's the Thing!
The Things crept in the door, And found friends galore.
Presided over with glee By Ms. Kindell (Judy),
Assisted with monies Hats, quips and funnies,
By Bob Mac-In-tosh, Sam L, and Cathy G, by gosh!
Keith, Steve and A-dri-enne Round out our top fen.
Quoth Judy, "Hey, there, I say Doubleyou-Ess-Eff-Ay
Hosts Capclaves each year With food, bheer and good cheer
Not to mention Smofcon Next year if... A cough, John?"
"You told!" cried John P! "Impeach her right quickly!"
"No!" shouted Cathy Green. "I'm not running this scene!"
Quoth Judy, "Quick, Mister Chair, "Have you news both good and fair?
The Chair replied quite proudly, "Please clap your hands loudly,
For our programming czar: Judy Kindell is our star!
Also, Lee Gilliland Stepped forward all unplanned
To hostess our con suite Where true fen meet and eat!
"Erica Ginter and Scott Hofmann were planned
To host the suite but ill They fell and (Blah!) are still."
"No connection with our food," John P happ'ly clued.
"Did we make the con room block? Or will we be deep in hock?"
"Can't tell yet for we still Lack the facts about the bill."
Lee Gilliland sent her Oh so charming Mister
To announce Capclave Four In October Oh-Four
"Eighty-four bucks a night (Unless you sleep real tight).
Nick Pollotta is our GOH and Man of the Hour.
We have fliers here tonight That Candy will read by sight.
Handy Candy read out loud, But the room housed a crowd
Insistent on each detailing Without allowing any failing.
Handy Candy tried to skip The postal code known as Zip.
"Zip codes are important!" Declared Cathy. "You can't
Skip the Zips lest poor we Wander about aimlessly!"
"Yes," concurred John himself "I plan to mail myself
To the con in Oh-Four Delivered to the door
With postal courtesy And done so inexpensively
For I'd use the bulk rate To mail my bulk to the gate!"
Zips are important enough For a crowd that's very tough!
Motions were heard to Adjourn this fannish zoo
So we then adjourned And cheerfully returned
To bheer, frolic and more fun. And Thing Two and Thing One?
They don't work for the Cat no more, They left a note and went out the door
To Doubleyou-Ess-Eff-Ay: Where active minds meet and play!
Rebecca Prather is throwing a WSFA/Mensa holiday party. Sunday, December 21st from 2 pm to 6 pm at Rebecca Prather's house near Seven Corners. Contact her at Prather@netzero.net for directions to her house and how to see a really nice decorated house on the way out. All WSFAns are invited.