The WSFA Journal


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

Editor: Keith Lynch. Assistant editor: Wade Lynch.

Please direct all correspondence to Please put either “for publication” or “not for publication” on the subject line. (It MUST contain one or the other, or else your email may be deleted unread by spam filters.) I can also be reached by snail mail at 220 Cedar Lane #62, Vienna VA 22180-6623 USA.

News Snippets

On December 3rd, 2004, in conjunction with SMOFcon, the Washington Science Fiction Association held a meeting in Washington! This is very unusual for WSFA. We last attempted to meet in Washington over 25 years ago, on July 20th, 1979 (the tenth anniversary of the first moon landing), in conjunction with Unicon, but did not get a quorum. Since then we've met in Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, Winnipeg, San Francisco, and Melbourne, Australia. And more often in Virginia and Maryland at the Gilliland, Ginter, Oliver, Bloom/Morman, Burgess, Pavlat, Madigan, Lewis/Peacock, Pomeranz/Overton, Divine, Berg, Fetheroff, Heneghan, Huff, Newton, Prather, and Rissell homes. I do not know when we had last successfully met in Washington DC. (Before anyone asks, no, we have never met in Washington State. Perhaps we'll do so at the NASFiC this September.)

Award-winning SF author and former WSFAn Jack Chalker, age 60, has been hospitalized in intensive care for the past two months, with congestive heart failure and other problems. His wife Eva Whitley has found a nursing home in Baltimore to transfer him to, and she urges people to visit him there. It's still fairly likely that he'll recover well enough to return home in a few months. Eva is soliciting donations (at, and planning on selling Jack's car and moving to a handicapped-accessible house.

The Huygens probe which hitchhiked to Saturn's neighborhood on the Cassini probe, will be landing on Titan on Friday, January 14th at about 7:30 am EST. Titan is the only known place other than Earth where it's possible to walk around without a spacesuit. (Warm clothes and an oxygen tank are strongly recommended.) If nothing goes wrong, a whole lot of SF will suddenly become obsolete. If Huygens isn't promptly eaten by a mechanical ecosystem, then so much for Code of the LifeMaker. No brain slugs? Then forget Puppet Masters. You'd better re-read those novels quickly, while they still might be accurate representations of Saturn's largest and most mysterious moon.

There will be an SF and fantasy writing class in Bethesda, on Thursday evenings in February and March, taught by Brenda Clough. See or phone 301-654-8664 ext. 12.

BSFS won an important tax victory. On December 15th the Maryland Court of Appeals in a unanimous opinion reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Baltimore and restored the earlier findings of the Maryland Tax Court granting the Baltimore Science Fiction Society a property tax exemption for its clubhouse, contradicting the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation's claim that a literary society must meet the criteria of a school in order to qualify for a property tax exemption.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke, age 87, wasn't harmed by the December 26th tsunami that killed over 100,000 people in Sri Lanka and elsewhere around the Indian Ocean, nor was his home damaged, but his diving school was destroyed.

The “old” Washington DC convention center was torn down (with explosives) on Saturday, December 18th. It was built seven years after the last DC Worldcon. Assuming we win our 2011 bid, it will have been torn down seven years before the next DC Worldcon. As far as I know, no SF convention was ever held there. The 2011 bid is contingent on hotels being built on the newly cleared site, or elsewhere nearby, within a short walk of the new convention center. (I refuse to use the word “old” without quotes for a building built in the 1980s.)

Daniel Korn announces that “The SF/F book group that meets at the Germantown Borders is looking for new members to join our discussions. We read a mix of new titles and forgotten classics, and have a well-read and active discussion group that has been meeting for over 5 years. We meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month (except December) at 7:30 pm in the cafe. January's book is Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon, and is available at the front register for 30% off.” I've added it to our calendar of upcoming events.

According to scientists at the University of the West of England have designed a robot that gets power not from batteries, but from catching and eating houseflies. (Now if only they could design a vacuum cleaner that's powered by housedust.)

A woman paid $50,000 to have her deceased cat cloned by Genetic Savings & Clone, Inc. They also clone dogs.

First Friday Minutes

Note that there's a brief summary at the end.

The regular First Friday meeting of the Washington Science Fiction Association was called to order by President Samuel Lubell at 9:00 pm on December 3rd, 2004 in the Ashlawn South room at the Wyndham Washington Hotel at 1400 M St. NW, Washington DC, in conjunction with SMOFcon 22. This was our first meeting in Washington in over 25 years.

President Samuel Lubell, Vice President Cathy Green, Secretary Keith Lynch, Treasurer Bob MacIntosh, Trustee Barry Newton, Capclave Present Michael Walsh, Capclave Future Elspeth Kovar, Brad Ackerman, Covert Beach, Drew Bittner, Kent Bloom, Colleen Cahill, Alexis and Lee Gilliland, Paul Haggerty, Scott Hofmann, Judy Kindell, Ernest Lilley, Perrianne Lurie, Wade Lynch, Mary Morman, Michael Nelson, Kathi Overton, Erwin “Filthy Pierre” Strauss, Gayle Surrette, and Beth and Mike Zipser (27 people) were present. Ivy Yap was not. The first four people mentioned were behind the table, the other 23 were in the audience.

The president asked the secretary what business had been done at the previous meeting. The secretary replied:

TREASURY: Bob said we have $42,000, of which $20,000 is in the World Fantasy account and $22,000 is in the regular account, of which $4700 has been pledged to SMOFcon, of which $3700 has been spent. Mike Nelson asked if $42,000 was the meaning of life, the universe, and WSFA.

CAPCLAVE PAST: Lee said we don't have the final financial numbers yet, as we had only received our Visa bill yesterday. She had received a letter from someone announcing that their negative preconceptions of Capclave '04 were wrong. Elspeth admitted she was the writer of the letter in question, and that she had been skeptical since many of the workers hadn't been around for Disclave. Sam asked for a round of applause for everyone who worked on Capclave '04, and got it.

CAPCLAVE PRESENT: Mike said we're still looking for a hotel. We have not yet heard back from this year's hotel. Or we could return to last year's, except that they're offering a room rate of $149 per night to us. Their Internet room rate for the same weekend is $89.

CAPCLAVE FUTURE: Elspeth said she was mistaken about having no other projects, as she had forgotten two Worldcon-related projects. She is focusing on hotels.

WORLD FANTASY '03: Mike said the billing still isn't done. About $7500 has been recently billed but not yet paid, and $3000 to $4000 remains to be billed.

BOOK: Ernest described his upcoming WSFA Press anthology about the future of Washington DC. He had “lined up” ten authors, including Jerry Pournelle, David Brin, Kim Stanley Robinson, Brenda Clough, and Allen Steele. He has stories by David Brin, Steve Sawicki, and Allen Steele in hand. The Brin story will also be published in Thrilling Zeppelin Stories, all others we will have exclusive first publication rights. Sawicki's is the only story involving aliens. The launch date is the beginning of July, both here and at Readercon.

PUBLICATIONS: The November and December WSFA Journals were available on the table. They are also online, along with the past 25 years of Journals, including all those edited by Mary Morman [who was present for the first time in over a decade]. [Lee distributed the December issues to the audience.] The secretary announced that the WSFA Journal needs more material, including autobiographies of WSFA members, reviews of books, movies, and cons, and pretty much everything else except current American politics. There's a clipboard with a sign-in sheet for everyone present to sign in on.

ENTERTAINMENT: Alexis was a victim of $1230.41 of Visa credit card fraud, and has been having a hard time getting it resolved. Lee's car was in a collision in a Safeway parking lot. Ernest suggested we need lighter entertainment.

Sam announced that we meet on the first and third Fridays of every month, our usual First Friday meeting place being the Gillilands', and our usual Third Friday meeting place having recently moved from the Ginters' to the Madigans'. Our website is


Elspeth said we need volunteers to sit at the Capclave table at Philcon next weekend. Lee volunteered.


Bob moved that people who worked on Capclave '04 be comped for Capclave '05. Alexis wanted to discuss it, so the motion was tabled.

Bob moved that we pay off Capclave '04's debts out of our main account. The motion passed unanimously.


He also asked if anyone knows if Ivy Yap is ok, since there have been a lot of typhoon-related deaths in the Philippines recently. He was reassured that she's fine, and in Bellingham, Washington.

Lee announced that she has a publisher for her 26 page children's book on the Titanic.

Drew announced a White Wolf novel contest.

Sam said November is Novel-Writing Month. Someone reminded him that November is over.

The meeting was adjourned after 28 minutes at 9:28 pm.

It was clear and cold outdoors, but not quite freezing.

Summary of 12/3/04 meeting:

This Month in History

From the Secretary's Archives

January 1995: Meetings were at the Gillilands' and at Chuck Divine's. The Ginters had a baby girl, named Lydia. Joe Mayhew was elected secretary, replacing Lee Strong, who had resigned. Alexis joined in a lawsuit against Virginia involving federal retirement. Dan Hoey announced that there had been a major fire in the townhouse next to Rich and Nicki's. Joe moved that we auction off the club's old IBM XT computer. (The motion was tabled.) Treasury $1641.25.

January 1985: Meetings were at the Gillilands' and the Olivers'. Jack Heneghan was elected 1986 Disclave chair. John Ellis' wife Cindy gave birth to a girl, Sara Rachael. Dori Isaacs Grasso gave birth to a girl, Leia. There was lots of planning for No Name Con, a relaxacon to be held the following month, chaired by Lee Smoire. Treasury $6064.65.

January 1975: I can't find any information at all from this month. This is the start of WSFA's 3½ year “dark age,” about which there is little information in the secretary's archives. Anyone with information on WSFA in 1975 please contact the secretary.

January 1965: First and Third Fridays were both at Elizabeth Cullen's in DC. Jack Chalker (age 20) was present at First Friday, Joe Haldeman (age 21) at Third Friday. 16 and 17 attendees. David Ettlin moved that meetings be opened with a prayer by an appointed chaplain. President Banks Mebane said no. At the Fifth Friday party it was announced that Disclave would be in Wheaton on May 8th and 9th. [83 people attended that Disclave.] Treasury $130.15.

January 1955: 12 and 8 people present on First and Third Sunday, whose locations weren't mentioned. There was a party on Fifth Sunday. Ted White gave a report on Sam Moskowitz' memoirs of early fandom, The Immortal Storm, and said that he was about to acquire a reconditioned mimeograph, on which he would do club business at cost. Treasury $21.65.

Treasurer's Report

Submitted by Treasurer Bob MacIntosh

Preliminary calendar year 2004 WSFA results.

Cash - $22,133.47 in the main account and $24,346.25 in the WFC account
Credit card in process - $1,520.84
Total assesses 12/31/04: $48,000.56

Revenue sources

Carry-over from prior year (2003) - $3,609.29
Memberships received (2004) - $530.00
Proceeds from WFC - $19,744.31
SMoFCon Memberships - $3,535.00
Contributions - $133.00
WSFA T-shirt Revenue - $360.00


WSFA Journal - $412.52
First Friday Meetings - $275.00
Third Friday Meetings - $47.96
Credit Card Fees - $39.16
Insurance - $500.00
Web Page - $19.90
Memoriums - $100.00
Memoriums/WSFA Tributes - $92.03
SMoFCON expenses - $1,678.96
WSFA T-Shirts - $389.89
WSFA Ribbons - $301.87
Advance to Capclave '05 - $1,000.00

Upcoming Events

This is excerpted from our online calendar of upcoming events, at I recommend you check it frequently, in case of last minute additions or corrections. Also, it contains links to more information about the events. This is a regular feature of The WSFA Journal.

If you plan to take Metro's Red Line to any of these events, please allow extra time due to chronic delays on that line.

Thursday, January 6th: Systems Biology Talk
Talk by Institute for Systems Biology President and Director Leroy Hood on the possibility that science may one day deliver predictive, preventive, and personalized health care, at the Carnegie Institute, 1530 P St. NW, near the McPherson Square Metro station on the Blue and Orange lines, at 6:45 pm. Free. 202-328-6988.

Friday, January 7th: WSFA First Friday Meeting
Regular WSFA meeting (at the Gillilands' as usual). Newcomers welcome.

January 21 - 23: Arisia
A convention in Boston.

January 21 - 23: Marscon
A convention in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Friday, January 21st: WSFA Third Friday Meeting
Regular WSFA meeting. At the Madigans, not the Ginters. This is our new regular Third Friday location. Newcomers welcome.

Tuesday, January 25th: Sarah Micklem speaks at LoC
Sarah Micklem, author of Firethorn, speaks “On Believing Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Magic in the Real World as a Source for a Fantasy Novel” at the Library of Congress, Madison Building, 3rd floor, Pickford Theater, at 12:10 pm. No reservations are needed: open to staff and the public.

Tuesday, January 25th: SF&F discussion group at Germantown Borders
The SF&F discussion group at Germantown Borders will be discussing Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon, at 7:30 pm. Free event.

Wednesday, February 2nd: Ayn Rand Centennial
One hundred years since the author of Anthem and Atlas Shrugged was born.

Friday, February 4th: WSFA First Friday Meeting
Regular WSFA meeting (at the Gillilands' as usual). Newcomers welcome.

February 11 - 13: Farpoint
A fan-run media convention in Hunt Valley Maryland.

Friday, February 18th: WSFA Third Friday Meeting
Regular WSFA meeting. At the Madigans, as usual.

February 18 - 20: Boskone
A convention in Boston.

February 18 - 20: Katsucon
An anime convention in Crystal City.

February 25 - 27: Shevacon
A “Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, & Gaming Convention” in Roanoke Virginia.

May 27 - 30: Balticon 39
The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) brings you another Balticon. At the Wyndham Baltimore one last time before it moves to Hunt Valley.

August 4 - 8: 63rd World SF Convention: Interaction
Glasgow, once more with ceiling.

SMOFcon Time Travel

On the evening of Friday December 3rd at SMOFcon 22, Geri Sullivan hosted a time travel event. People filled out time travel itineraries. These were posted around the Monticello Ballroom where the event was held. After the event, they were relocated to the con suite. At the end of the con, at my suggestion Geri gave them to me to include in WSFA Journals. There were three possible forms: “Forward into the Past” on a scroll showing signs of age, “Backward into the Future” on a cloudscape, and “Tagging Along,” on white paper with a tie-dyed border. There were a total of 46. They were all handwritten, so please forgive any errors of the secretary's in transcription. Here are the first bunch:

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Michael Mason
    When: London England
    Where: End of the last ice Age
Purpose of visit: to collect snow to give to grant
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: keeping the snow solid before it melts
    I'd meet that challenge by: Keeping it in an ice
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: putting it in a time free zone
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? Snow!

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Priscilla Olson
    When: 8000 BP
    Where: La Brea, California
Purpose of visit: Consorting with Ground Sloths
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: Avoiding being eaten by Saber tooth tigers or Dire wolves
    I'd meet that challenge by: throwing other people into the path of Saber tooth tigers / Dire wolves
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: Running
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? Learn to Delegate! Eat Avocados

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Gay Ellen Dennett
    When: 49 AD BC
    Where: Alexandria, Egypt
Purpose of visit: To do research on the first convention Art Show - Finding out who are the top Artists
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: Keeping all the fans from sitting around and reading books instead of participating and attending panels
    I'd meet that challenge by: Throwing a convention-wide banquet - free of charge
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: Ice Cream Social!
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? The first How-to-run convention book - before it burned down

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Margene Bahm
    When: 1255
    Where: Sultan's Palace, Arabia
Purpose of visit: To retrieve my jewelry for dancing
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: Getting away without being detected
    I'd meet that challenge by: dancing my way out
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: running
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? Teaching them how to have a harem - male or female - and still have fun

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Tomoko
    When: Whenever Kubla Khan was around
    Where: Mongolia
Purpose of visit: To see the galloping hordes ...and the coats look nice + warm.
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: Finding each other in the Gobi Dessert [sic]
    I'd meet that challenge by: GPS
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: smoke signals
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? How to make a yurt. That way we'd always have shelter.

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Renee Babcock
    When: 17th c. Scotland
Purpose of visit: to grab a man in a kilt and drag him into the 21st century via some unknown time travel device. Also to check and see what is really under said kilt
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: lack of indoor plumbing
    I'd meet that challenge by: coming into the 21st century
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: to invent the toilet in a 17th c Scottish manor.
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? the ability to rise above technological challenges

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Kevin Standlee
    When: July-August 1776
    Where: Philadelphia
Purpose of visit: Tour soon-to-be historic sites.
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: convincing the Pennsylvania legislature to let us use the hall for the Business Meeting.
    I'd meet that challenge by: Talking to Ben Franklin
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: Wait for the British to chase them out of town and move in.
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? Dealing with conventions under severe civil unrest and force majeur situations.

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Ian Stockdale
    When: 1810
    Where: Brighton
Purpose of visit: Dancing.
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: Not running out of real ale.
    I'd meet that challenge by: Working on the pub early
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: drink cider
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? Grace under pressure.

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Beth Zipser
    When: 1815
    Where: England
Purpose of visit: Get Jane Austen as Lit GOH.
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: Convincing her to speak
    I'd meet that challenge by: explaining fandom as a fit subject for social comedy
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: quoting her works at her till she gave up
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? A letter from Jane Austen relating her new acquaintance with fandom. We need to see ourselves as she would - and we wouldn't notice the stab wounds because they would be so delicately done.

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Forward into the Past

Time Travel Itinerary

Time Traveler's Name: Sam Lubell
    When: 1840s + 50s
    Where: Washington DC
Purpose of visit: Observe Missouri Compromise + Compromise of 1850 to see pre-Civil War
The greatest sf convention-running challenge at my chosen destination would most likely be: Lack of sf. Finding space + members
    I'd meet that challenge by: Get some sf in print
    If that approach didn't work, I'd try: Use 19th century sf
What information, lesson, or artifact could you carry back from your travels that would be of benefit to your fellow convention runners here at SMOFcon? Bring some pre CW materials

Please complete all parts of this itinerary to assure your safe return to SMOFcon 22

Three Anime Reviews by Lee Strong

[ Editor's note: Lee Strong has resigned from WSFA, and prefers that no WSFA member except Sam Lubell contact him for any reason. However, he has not rescinded his permission to print the material he had previously submitted to the WSFA Journal. ]

Now and Then, Here and There: Volume 1: Discord and Doom (2002)

Reviewed by Lee Strong

This Japanese anime is well subtitled. After watching it, I felt a sense of discord and doom.

Many anime transport their lead character(s) into an alternate universe where various imaginative adventures ensue. This leaden effort attempts that but fails to deliver on the adventure once the hero reaches the universe of Hellywood.

Our hero meets a mysterious girl while climbing smokestacks and witnesses her kidnapping by humans riding mechanical dragons. Their return to the giant spaceship of Hellywood drags him into their universe. Once there, he loses the magical bauble that the local mad king wants and is dragooned into the royal army of children. While there are some interesting emotional relationships among some of the characters, the whole thing seems to be a pretentious exercise leading somewhere that I don't want to go. My advice: Stay out of Hellywood.

I rate Now and Then, Here and There: Volume 1: Discord and Doom as * on the five star system, equivalent to an “E” on the high school A-F scale. -- LS

Kurogane Communications: Volume 1: Wilderness Paradise (2002)

Reviewed by Lee Strong

I rented this epic thinking that it was a robot wars story. Instead, it seems to be Swiss Family Robinson with robots but without a clue.

Our heroine appears to be the last human alive on an Earth devastated by wars and natural disasters. The ruined cities are populated by killer robots. Fortunately, she is protected by 5 more or less friendly robots: a trigger-happy sniper, a floating mystic, a muscle man who wears a dress, a female ninja with emotional problems, and an adolescent boy. Certainly the kind of nutcases that I'd want protecting me if I were surrounded by iron killers. Fortunately, the killer robots prove to be fairly sparse, leaving our characters plenty of time for picnics, swimming parties, and cheap thrills.

I didn't see much in the way of plot or character development here. The female ninja had an interesting back story that showed some characterization, but it was so implausible that willing suspension of disbelief failed. Most of the time seemed to be taken up with scavenging for human food and the adolescent boy robot getting frequent but accidental peeps at the human girl while scantily clad. Andre Norton told ten times as good a post-apocalypse story fifty years ago and it's a pity that the filmmakers didn't translate one of her novels instead of taking up time with this iron bomb.

Danger, Will Robinson, danger! I rate Kurogane Communications: Volume 1: Wilderness Paradise as *½ on the five star system, equivalent to a “D-” on the high school A-F scale. -- LS

Utena: The Revolutionary Girl: The Movie (2001)

Reviewed by Lee Strong

It's easier to be weird than good, and this anime proves it.

At first, this seems like an admirable story in which a young woman (Utena) competes with arrogant male students at a prestigious high school and beats them at their own game... which, in this case, is high risk fencing. However, it quickly degenerates into a rather bizarre story in which high school is a fantasy world with pompous architecture and the real world is the Dakota Badlands. I know people who believe this, but it's still disconcerting to see it realized on film.

While pursuing her goal of becoming a prince, Utena stumbles into membership in the Dueling Society that dominates her high school. By luck and pluck, she turns out to be a superior duelist, and wins custody of the Rose Bride who has a 3 foot sword in her chest and is the servant of the dueling champion. This sets up a lesbian come on that occupies Utena throughout the movie without coming to any real resolution. Meanwhile, the other duelists are worried about “the End of the World” which turns out to be the edge of the high school grounds where the real world intrudes. In the big climax, Utena turns into a car that the Rose Bride drives into the real world. I'm sure that the filmmakers had something deeply symbolic in mind, but I found it just weirdly stupid.

There is also a serial version with a slightly different title but I gave up on that after two volumes.

I rate Utena: The Revolutionary Girl: The Movie * on the five star scale, equivalent to an “E” on the high school A-F scale. -- LS

Third Friday Minutes

Note that there's a brief summary at the end.

The regular Third Friday meeting of the Washington Science Fiction Association was called to order by President Samuel Lubell at 9:15 pm on December 17th, 2004 in the upstairs of the Madigans' in Greenbelt, Maryland, the new usual Third Friday location.

In attendance were President Samuel Lubell, Vice President Cathy Green, Secretary Keith Lynch, Trustees Adrienne Ertman and Barry Newton, Capclave '05 Michael Walsh, Capclave '06 Elspeth Kovar, Colleen Cahill, Chris Callahan, Mark Fischer, Alexis and Lee Gilliland, Erica and Lydia Ginter, Kindra Gresham, Paul Haggerty, Scott Hofmann, Eric Jablow, Jim Kling, Bill Lawhorn, Ernest Lilley, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Wade Lynch, Candy and John Madigan, Cat Meier, Walter Miles, Judy Newton, Larry Pfeffer, Evan Phillips, George Shaner, Gayle Surrette, Michael Taylor, Elizabeth Twitchell, Ivy Yap, and Madeleine Yeh. 37 people. William Squire arrived after the meeting. Someone marked Judy and Sam Scheiner present, but they weren't present.

The president asked the secretary what had happened last time. The secretary replied that our last meeting was at SMOFcon, and was the first time in more than a quarter century that the Washington Science Fiction Association had met in Washington. We tabled a motion to comp Capclave '05 memberships for Capclave '04's workers, we passed a motion to pay Capclave '04's debts out of our main account, and Lee Gilliland volunteered to staff the Capclave/WSFA table at Philcon.

Nobody had any additions or corrections.

TREASURY: Bob MacIntosh wasn't present.


Lee said we lost about $3000. The final numbers await Bob MacIntosh.


Michael Walsh said we have an offer from the Silver Spring Hilton [the Capclave '02 and '03 hotel], but it has a room rate of $129 per night, and we would also have to pay $6200 for function space. This would be a two year contract. They currently have an Internet rate of $89 per night for the same weekend [October 14-16, 2005]. Elspeth said it's currently a seller's market, i.e. the hotels have the upper hand. Michael said we'd need 300 to 350 paid members to break even.

Readercon, which had Howard Waldrop as a guest of honor last year, will give us access to their mailing list. NESFA will include our fliers in their monthly newsletter Instant Message for free.

Michael said that the hotel said there were a limited number of rooms available at the $89 rate. He will make sure the contract says that Capclave will get credit for any Capclave member who books a room, no matter how or at what rate.

Elspeth said that the hotel said that the $89 rate applied if you book a year in advance. She argued that signing a contract we are effectively booking a block of rooms a year in advance. The hotel market has changed, but at least she managed to get them to knock $1500 off the function space cost. Sam asked how this compared to two years ago, when we were last in that hotel. She responded that it was higher, and that two years ago function space cost $2000 more than three years ago, but that it's comparable to the Tysons Marriott and to other hotels this year. To get it as low as she did, she had to negotiate a two-year contract without an escape clause. She and Michael have the authority to sign such a contract together, but she would prefer to run it by WSFA first. Nothing has been signed yet.

Lee asked if it would help if each of us were to book rooms at the $89 rate today. Michael said no. He suggested we could negotiate a lower room rate in future years if we had more members, and that we should publicize the convention more. He said we are lucky we have our World Fantasy surplus, which buys us time.

Alexis suggested not reimbursing volunteers. Michael responded that he would feel awkward about asking volunteers to pay to work for a club that has a $40,000 surplus.

Keith asked if we can get a better deal by signing a longer-term contract, perhaps five years. Staying in one place seems to lead to growth, and moving seems to lead to shrinkage, and we need growth.

Colleen asked if the hotel would even be willing to sign such a long-term contract.

Alexis said conditions are very different than in the Disclave days. But that contracts were always signed one year at a time in those days.

Michael said changes in tax laws have made hotels more expensive.

Elspeth said that the hotel might be willing to sign a five year contract, but she thought it was a bad idea.

Eric suggested asking people who had been to previous Disclaves and Capclaves but not '04 why they stayed away. Michael responded that he had done so, and gotten a wide variety of unrelated answers.

Eric suggested we write past Capclave members something completely unlike the infamous Boskone '87 letter, asking them to return.

Rich said hotel costs are just too high for most people. He asked how much we are willing to lose.

Elspeth said there is a tradeoff between function space cost and hotel room costs. We could probably get the hotel to lower the room rate if we agree to pay more for function space. She said “I can do it such that the club commits to, say, ten thousand dollars to the hotel, and that can get them to drop the rate down to maybe $115, before taxes.”.

She also complained about the constant side conversations. [Those also made it more difficult for the secretary to keep accurate minutes.]

Lee, speaking as the ghost of Joe Mayhew, suggested we look for a cheaper hotel, perhaps one further out.

Elspeth said we don't want to encroach on Balticon's territory, and that cheaper hotels usually don't have enough function space, or at least not enough for future growth.

Keith suggested that in a tradeoff between function space costs and hotel room costs, we lean toward lower hotel room costs, since that will attract more members. He also objected to the idea of holding the con outside of Metro's reach, since that would cause the loss of more members. He also asked if anyone had a response to his December WSFA Journal editorial suggesting that we approach Anime USA about co-hosting our con with theirs.

Several people immediately objected to co-hosting our con.

Ernest suggested holding it far out of town, as the Lunarians do.

Alexis suggested scaling it down. Michael objected that this would drive people away.

Someone asked what was wrong with Keith's co-hosting idea.

Sam said Anime USA were so much larger than us. Michael said that we'd be the “lint in their navel”.

Gayle suggested a retreat instead of a con. Elspeth responded that retreats have been tried and don't work.

Rich moved that we authorize Michael to sign the best contract he can while aiming for not more than $2000 loss, and that he present us his plan at the next meeting.

Sam asked for a “sense of the club”: Do we want lower room rates or lower function space rates? The former would potentially attract more members, but cost the club more money. This is not a binding vote. Nine preferred lower room rates. Two preferred lower function space costs. Some objected to the question.

Elspeth said function space would cost about $6600. Other costs total $2000 to $3000, for a total of about $10,000.

Rich restated his motion, replacing $2000 with $3000, and emphasizing that it isn't binding. A voice vote was held. The result was close enough to even that the president called for a show of hands. After some discussion in which it sounded like everyone was talking at once, Rich withdrew his motion, as it would have no effect, since the Capclave chair already has discretion.

Michael said that Capclave has been described as the Microbrew of Conventions. It's up to all of us to publicize the convention.

Elspeth said she just wants to make sure people don't complain to her when there are cost overruns.

Lee moved that all complaints about Elspeth go through her (Lee). The motion failed for lack of a second.


Elspeth had nothing additional.


Sam said we probably made some money. SMOFcon is cheaper to put on than Capclave since there's less function space and no film room. [Also, SMOFcon memberships cost a lot more, $70 compared to $45 at the door for non-WSFA members.] Elspeth said that Adrienne had a good review of SMOFcon on her blog. Sam suggested she submit it to the WSFA Journal.


Michael Walsh said he'd be doing the final billing soon, including about $5000 from Tor. Keith asked whether the recipients would object to getting a bill for 2003 in 2005. Michael said no.

PUBLICATIONS: Keith said issues of the November and December WSFA Journals were available. They're also online, as are the past 26 years of WSFA Journals.

ENTERTAINMENT: Alexis said Linda Cropp demolished Washington baseball. The support for Washington baseball was from the suburbs, and all those who had to pay for it were opposed to it.

ACTIVITIES: Lee mentioned Philcon, which was the previous weekend. She organized a trip to a Titanic exhibit.

INVESTMENT: The president read the following email:

From: "Scheiner, Samuel M." [email address redacted from online edition]
Subject: Investing WSFA's money
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 14:10:27 -0500


Because I will not make a WSFA meeting until the beginning of February, here is what I found out about investing that chunk of change we have lying around. Because we are a tax-exempt organization, our best strategy is to invest in taxable securities, since we do not have to pay any taxes. That means CDs. Given the current interest-rate structure, the best deal is on 9-month CDs in terms of yield relative to possible movement of rates in the near term.

My broker recommends that we create a ladder. That is, we start by dividing the money into thirds and get 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month CDs. As the 3- and 6-month CDs come due, we roll them into 9-month CDs. Then each 3 months, 1/3 of the money is available for reinvestment. If the interest-rate structure changes in the future (e.g., W gets us more into debt so interest rates shoot up), we can readjust the length of the deposit.

I also did some digging for rates on banks in this area. The best that I could find was Nexity Bank at 2.62% for a $1,000 deposit. So, we could do three $5000 chunks of our money. If we are able to put more money away, at $10,000 the options for banks and the rates get much better. (There are also the internet banks.)

We are not really locking our money up. Nothing in WSFA happens faster than 3-6 months, so the money would be available as needed. Meanwhile, we earn something. Each $10K deposited gets us about $250 a year, enough for a few good parties.

Sam Scheiner

No action was taken.

Elspeth asked if we were exempt from sales tax. Sam Lubell will ask John Pomeranz.


Lee moved that the motion to comp Capclave 2004's workers for Capclave 2005 once again be tabled, pending a full financial report on Capclave 2004. The motion passed.

Sam pointed out that the club's official mailing address is Erica's, and asked if Erica objects. She said she didn't object.

Michael Walsh thanked Lee, Alexis, and Cat for staffing the Capclave table at Philcon. Cat said she was the wrong Cat. Kat Morrison, not Cat Meier, sat at the table. Elspeth said Ernest should also be thanked.


Sam proposed that we hold a Capclave meeting at Peggy Rae's house in Silver Spring, and asked whether January or February would be a better time. The consensus was February, so long as it's not opposite Boskone [which is February 18-20].


Keith announced that announcements should be submitted in writing, or via the email address on WSFA Journals, or best of all to the WSFA email chat list. There is a sign-in sheet circulating, and everyone should be sure to sign in. He also announced that BSFS had won a tax victory in court, exempting their clubhouse from property tax. Today is Jack Chalker's 60th birthday. He is seriously ill, hospitalized with congestive heart failure. Rebecca Prather is hosting a holiday party on Sunday afternoon, to which all WSFAns are invited. John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton are once again hosting a New Year's Eve party, to which all WSFAns are invited.

Rich interjected that BSFS's victory was featured in USA Today today.

Sam asked if it was anyone's first, second, or third meeting. It wasn't.

Candy announced that the white bunny bites, the dog can be fed anything except chocolate, and that the bathroom door still isn't working, so we should use the other one. Elspeth asked which was “the other one”. John said the downstairs bathroom works now.

Rich said there are books for sale downstairs. No reasonable offer refused.

Lee announced that the Pedersons were hosting a New Year's Eve party at their home in Stafford to which all WSFAns were invited.

Colleen announced that Sarah Micklem, a local author who wrote Firethorn, would be speaking at the Library of Congress in late January. She will inform the secretary when she finds out when.

Ernest announced that DC's old convention center would be imploded at 7:30 tomorrow morning. He made brownies with Splenda®. He has a box of books available free to people who promise to review them.

George Shaner said he had had an angioplasty.

Jim said he was leaving Monday, with Ivy Yap, for Bellingham, Washington. He was giving away VHS tapes including Total Recall and The Land that Time Forgot.

Rich pointed out that Ivy Yap was present. [It was her first meeting of 2004.]

Erica said Lydia has pierced ears.

Adrienne got an A on her microbiology finals.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15. 60 minutes. [23 seconds of tape were left on the secretary's recorder.]

There were still a few people present when the secretary left at 1:10 am.

The weather was cold, clear, and windless. Roads and sidewalks were dry and completely free of ice and snow.

[Splenda® is a registered trademark of McNeil-PPC, Inc.]

Summary of 12/17/04 meeting:

The WSFA Website,

by Secretary Keith Lynch

The WSFA website was founded by John Pomeranz in early 1997. I took it over in 2000, and have greatly expanded it, but kept the same basic structure. Joe Mayhew, Sam Lubell, Evan Phillips and others also made major contributions.

Speaking of contributions, the site was hosted for free by MAI.NET and its successors from 1997 until 2002 (apparently sometimes without their knowledge). It's been hosted for free by PANIX.COM since April 2004. Between 2002 and 2004 we solicited donors at WSFA meetings. Those donors included Old Earth Books, Sheri Bell, Colleen Cahill, Lee Gilliland, Erica Ginter, Karl Ginter and Associates, Cathy Green, Scott Hofmann, Eric Jablow, Judy Kindell, Brian Lewis, Sam Lubell, Nicki & Rich Lynch, Bob MacIntosh, Barry & Judy Newton, George Shaner, Steve Smith, and Michael Walsh.

The site currently contains 11,943 files, including 8057 HTML pages, 1090 JPEGs, 890 GIFs, 428 directories, 15 PDFs, 9 PNGs, and 2 BMPs. Panix allows us 150 megabytes, of which we're currently using 144. The past 26¼ years of WSFA Journals take up 82 megs. Archives of the email list from its beginning three years ago take up 35. Logs of all web hits since April (when we moved the website to PANIX.COM) take up 11 (compressed). (Earlier logs, dating back to 1998, are saved elsewhere.) “Pichist” takes up 10. Disclave takes 2. Capclave takes up 1. Attendance information takes up 1.

(“Pichist” consists of hundreds of photographs. It is marked “this area isn't really open to the public yet”. I hope someone with a graphical browser will volunteer to work with me on it, and figure out what, if anything, needs to be changed. My browser is text-only.)

The entire site is mirrored at Since that's hosted by PLETHORA.NET in St. Paul, Minnesota, far from PANIX.COM in New York City, the main site and the mirror site should never be down at the same time. Indeed, since I selected both hosting companies for reliability, it should be extremely rare for either site to be down at all, ever. I of course have additional copies on my PC at home, which is nowhere near PANIX.COM or PLETHORA.NET. There are also several complete copies on CD-ROM, some of which are buried in the woods. It would take a truly stupendous catastrophe to destroy all copies.

There is a lot of stuff I can remove to save space if necessary. For instance I already removed two Capclave '01 fliers in PDF format, which took up more space than all the text of all the WSFA Journals of this century. (They're still online on the mirror site, where I have more space, and the main Capclave '01 page is cross-linked to them, so anyone who really wants to can still view them.)

The most frequently updated pages include:

The WSFA Journal online

We currently have the past 310 issues of the WSFA Journal online on our website: 26¼ years, November 1978 through January 2005. That's all but three of the Second Series issues. For comparison, we had all but eight of them online at the start of December, and all but 77 of them online a year ago. The help of Assistant Editor Wade Lynch has been essential in getting the text of them online. Sam Lubell is helping with graphics. Not all of the back issues have all their graphics online yet, but they soon should.

Here are how many issues we have had online at the start of each year:

2000:   6
2001:  51
2002:  66
2003: 124
2004: 220
2005: 309

Here are who edited them, by number of issues:

92 Sam Lubell
55 Joe Mayhew
55 Lee Strong
22 Jane Wagner
18 Beverly Brandt
12 Erica Ginter
11 Rachel Russell
10 Ginny McNitt
10 Mary Morman
10 Marianne Petrino-Schaad
 7 (including this one) Keith Lynch
 6 Somtow Sucharitkul
 1 Dan Joy
 1 Rosa Oliver

Here are the editors by number of pages. Note that the order is somewhat different. (“Pages” in the sense of a non-blank side of a sheet of paper, not in the web sense.)

1153 Sam Lubell
 626 Lee Strong
 369 Joe Mayhew
 146 (including this issue) Keith Lynch
 102 Beverly Brandt
 101 Jane Wagner
  68 Rachel Russell
  46 Erica Ginter
  52 Mary Morman
  40 Marianne Petrino-Schaad
  39 Somtow Sucharitkul
  34 Ginny McNitt
   4 Dan Joy
   4 Rosa Oliver

2784 total pages of WSFA Journals online

The three more Second Series Journals, totalling 15 pages, were all edited by Somtow Sucharitkul. After (i.e. before) that, I believe there were 85 First Series issues, all edited by Don Miller. Some of these issues were very large, so they should keep Wade and I busy for a while. Don Miller's total page count exceeds everyone else's put together twice over, even if you don't count The Son of The WSFA Journal, which Don Miller also edited at the same time.

We also have several index pages to articles in The WSFA Journal, including indexes by date, by author, and by title, and indexes of reviews by author of the work reviewed and by title of the work reviewed. Also indexes of obituaries, of meeting minutes, and of original fiction. I update all of these whenever I put another issue online.

Other highlights of the website include:


The total number of hits (page views) on all our web pages since mid-1998 (as far back as our logs go) is about 2.8 million, of which about ¼ are during the nine months we've been on PANIX.COM. The time, date, and IP address, and sometimes the referring page, are logged, but there is usually no way of determining who the viewer was.

Not all hits are from people. Some are from search engines such as Google. But those lead to even more hits from people, since many people find us through Google or other search engines.

The twenty most popular pages during those nine months (excluding graphics files, some of which are linked to from multiple HTML pages) have been:

12588 index.htm -- Our main page
11978 journal/j95/2/index.htm -- February 1995 WSFA Journal
 7506 wsfa.htm -- The right side of the main page in frames mode
 7101 menu.htm -- The left side of the main page in frames mode
 5093 capc04/index.htm -- Capclave 2004
 3070 capc03/index.htm -- Capclave 2003
 2733 calendar.htm -- Calendar of upcoming events
 2703 capc04/capclave1.png -- Capclave 2004 flier
 2664 journal/j99/6/index.htm -- June 1999 WSFA Journal
 2332 capc05/index.htm -- Capclave 2005
 2207 journal/index.htm -- WSFA Journal main page
 1563 fenzance.htm -- Pirates of Fenzance
 1419 email.htm -- Our current disposable email address
 1326 journal/index/date.htm -- WSFA Journal date index
 1288 otherfen.htm -- other local fan groups
 1232 journal/j91/9/index.htm -- September 1991 WSFA Journal
 1223 journal/j97/4/index.htm -- April 1997 WSFA Journal
 1192 journal/j95/9b/index.htm -- September 1995 WSFA Journal
 1191 dischist.htm -- Disclave history
 1102 journal/index/title.htm -- Index of WSFA Journal article by title

The median number of hits each issue of the WSFA Journal has gotten is about 540. Of the issues that have been online for a year or more, the median number of hits is about 1100. Two issues have gotten over ten thousand: June 1999 with about 18,000, and February 1995 with about 16,000, most in the past year. February 1995 should soon overtake June 1999.

Our website gets hits all around the clock. The peak hour is 3 pm, when we get 2½ times more hits than at the quietest hour, 3 am. The peak days are Monday and Tuesday. Volume is down ten percent by Friday, and drops to 2/3 of the peak on the weekend. It would seem that most people are viewing our website during business hours. In the past nine months we've gotten hits from over 73000 unique IP addresses. It's not possible to determine how many different people this represents, since sometimes one person has multiple IP addresses, and other times one IP address goes to multiple people.

The referring page is only logged about half the time. About 90% of the time, the referring page is another WSFA page. Of the remaining 10%, about half the time the referrer is Google, i.e. we were found via a Google search. Here are the top twenty referring sites:

393067 Another page
  18258 Various Google sites

Some of these are “deep linking,” borrowing various graphic images of ours out of context. If we ever approach our download limit, I'll take steps to put a stop to this. Until then, I see no point in worrying about it.

Plans for the future

I plan to thoroughly overhaul the history of WSFA page with both older and newer material. I will create a page about WSFA Press, since we're bringing it back, and since two of the previous four books are still “in print” (i.e. we have unsold copies in storage somewhere).

Once I finish placing the Second Series WSFA Journals online, which will certainly be in January, I can continue with First Series WSFA Journals until they're all online, or I can add First Series WSFA Journals and The Son of the WSFA Journal in parallel, or I can just put old meeting minutes online, or I can forget the '70s for a while, and place all the more recent Disclave and Capclave program books and souvenir books online. Does anyone have a preference?

WSFA.ORG is more than just a website. We also have email addresses. President, vp, treasurer, capclave, etc. work as addresses at, as can be seen at officers.htm. And any WSFA member can get their own, e.g. (These are forwarding addresses only. You need to already have an email address elsewhere.) Contact me to get one.

WSFA has more domains than just WSFA.ORG. Sam Lubell registered CAPCLAVE.ORG, Michael Nelson has WORLDFANTASY2003.ORG, SMOFCON22.ORG, and DCIN2011.ORG, and Ernest Lilley got FUTUREWASHINGTON.COM. Of course many WSFA members also own domains unrelated to WSFA.

Coming next month...

The deadline for February's issue is Friday, January 28th. Earlier if possible. As always, I eagerly solicit material. Especially entries for our very own fan gallery. If you missed seeing the fan gallery at Noreascon, it's available online at I'm looking for material similar to that. Ernest Lilley is willing to take pictures, but I'll accept entries without pictures if you prefer. Or just pictures with no text if you like. I'll never print anything about anyone without their permission. I have two so far, and they will appear in February's Journal along with any others I receive by the 28th.

I'm also looking for book and movie reviews, con reports, letters of comment, thoughts about the future of Capclave, and pretty much anything else that you think WSFA members will enjoy reading.

Also in the February issue I'll have more by Lee Strong, more Alexis cartoons, more SMOFcon time travel, and of course the regular features: meeting minutes, February '5 in history, upcoming events, and what to look forward to in the March issue.