The WSFA Journal

The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association
April 2006 – ISSN 0894-5411
Ernest Lilley, Editor / Gayle Surrette, Assistant Editor

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- Top 10 Rejected Stories for Future Washington by Samuel Lubell

- What I Did On My Winter Vacation (2004) by Lee Strong

- Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan

Essays, Letters and Other Musings

Top 10 Rejected Stories for Future Washington by Samuel Lubell

Last month the futurist book group at Politics and Prose selected Future Washington, WSFA Press’ 2005 title, as their book of the month. Sam Lubell attended and reports: “Both Brenda (Clough) and Nancy (Jane Moore) showed up and not only commented on their own story but gave ideas and interpretations of some of the others.  People generally liked the stories although they thought there were too many stories where DC had been abandoned or where global warming flooded DC. Anyway, on my way home, I thought up the follow article for the Journal.

 “Ray Gun BB Ray Gun” by Bozo Chimp - A lowly BB gun, through the power of self-actualization, becomes a super Buck Rodgers-style ray gun.  And not just any ray gun but a veritable of ray guns.

“Poly Ticks” by Manny Fleas - A group of bloodsucking insects of many shapes and sizes attempt to establish rules for their society.

“Vanilla in Chocolate City” by Ben and Jerry - Imagine what the nation would be like if the white elite that rule the country lived and/or worked in an otherwise all black city, forcing them daily to experience what it is like to be a minority.  Wouldn't they have more compassion for the poor and disadvantaged?

“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomber” by Dr. Strange Love - Military men in love, with death!

“Gov - a - Mint” by Wriggley Twin - Governor of a nearby state tours the place where money is made as part of his campaign fund-raising effort.  Rejected for being too commercial.

“Dems 'n Pubs” by Party San - A group of Democrats go drinking in enemy territory.

“Wash A Ton” by Monu Ment  - Musings of an overweight laundry owner who charges his clients by weight.

“Jiminy Carter” by Walt Bisney - Stargate SG-1 Crossover.  The SG-1 team gate to a planet where the Disney stories are real.  Their only way home is for Samantha Carter to combine her scientific genius with the insect that serves as Pinocchio's conscience.

“Washington DC” by Con Edison - Instead of Franklin, it was General Washington who discovered direct current electricity and became electrocuted rendering him unable to carry out the duties of the president.  But his name still carries enormous weight with the people...


What I did on my winter vacation (2004)
By Lee Strong, Traffic Management Specialist
SDDC G5 (Deployment and Distribution Analysis Division)

Lee Strong originally wrote this account of his 2004 Holiday Season for the house journal TRANSLOG magazine, published by the Military Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC).  It gives us an look inside a place most of will (thankfully) never visit, and is being reprinted here with the permission of the editor.

 “Got any special plans for the holidays?”

“Live in a warehouse with 50 other guys in the middle of a desert with terrorists not too far away, eat industrial food three times a day, and work 72 hours a week including Saturdays and Sundays.  How about you?”

O.K.  That’s a fictional conversation, but I really did spend my 2004 Christmas and New Year’s holidays in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert doing my part for the War on Terrorism.

One of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s many missions is container management and one of the many required tasks is analyzing data and presenting metrics to the SDDC and Central Command leadership.

I got picked to spend my winter vacation away from home because of my background in operations research and systems analysis and corporate metrics.  Many people were considered but only a few had the necessary skills, willingness to go, and health.  So off I went… to Fort Eustis, Virginia for deployment training.

Previously, I knew that SDDC’s Operations Center directed cargo movements around the world.  Now, I saw another side – the people who train and equip soldiers and civilians to deploy.  Two days of medical examinations determined that I was physically fit to go.  Five vaccinations in 2 minutes is something you don’t soon forget!  As it was, the doctors skipped the flu vaccine because I had a raging head cold at the time!

I was also outfitted with the full “battle rattle” of Desert Camouflage Uniform, body armor, gas mask, and chemical oversuit.  Kuwait really is a nice place but 9/11 proved that the bad guys could reach everywhere.  The Deployment Branch got me ready with intensive training in safety and force protection, first aid, and operating in chemical environments.  No weapons, though.  Civilians do their part by supporting the shooters, not shooting themselves.  It all became final on Thanksgiving Day when a nurse officially declared that I had no negative reaction to the vaccinations.  Suddenly, all systems were “Go.”

The flight over was routine.  There was an added chill passing over Iraq where terrorists take pot shots at aircraft while dodging our guys and gals, but we arrived safely.

Kuwait itself is a flat desert reminiscent of parts of southern California – monotonous tan sand relieved by occasional plants that are mostly tan themselves.  Most of the people live in or near Kuwait City – which is a fascinating mixture of the modern and the timeless – and its gritty port and industrial suburbs.  Much of the architecture is blocky brick and concrete.  The reason is the pitiless sun that bleaches everything it touches.  As a result, Kuwaitis reserve their best architectural efforts for the insides of their buildings, with results that show why “the Arabian Nights” is a synonym for exotic splendor.

Most Kuwaitis are personable and professional.  All of those that I come in contact with speak adequate English… which is more than I can say about my Arabic!

Camp Arifjan is a major Coalition logistical based for much of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  It’s a Spartan slice of American life in the middle of the desert where the countless details of supporting the war go on day and night.  Up-armoring vehicles?  This is where it gets done.

I’m lucky.  I do live in a converted warehouse with 50 other guys in the same room and a bathroom down the hall.  A lot of guys and gals live in tents instead.  We do eat well.  O.K., we eat a lot.  The dining facilities offer a multitude of food choices each day.  Nothing gourmet; it’s basic American food including hamburgers and hot dogs, but also chicken, fish and beef entrees, soups, salads, fruits, and deserts.  One soldier checking my identity doesn’t know what an “SDDC” is.  I tell him that we’re the people who hauled the food he’s eating and the stuff he’s using.  He thinks that’s a good idea and lets me in.

Checking identities is part of everyday life here.  Safety and security are constant concerns with the bad guys so close and so much industrial equipment in use.  Barbed wire, concrete barriers, tire claws, and “unfriendly” speed bumps to prevent anyone from ramming the gates surround the camp.  More importantly, the camp is inhabited by hundreds of well-trained, well-armed Coalition service members.

Life is not all grim duty.  The service members are on duty 24/7 and the civilian workweek is 12/6.  A lot of people do extra work for lack of any other entertainment.  But there are a variety of amusements including movies, a theater, a library and community center, gymnasiums, and countless sports.

Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s and major U.S. holidays are all workdays.  But spiritual values are not neglected.  On Christmas Eve, some of our Kuwaiti contractors hosted a dinner that included Christmas songs, skits, humor, and presents.  A Jewish employee gave “Twas the Night Before Christmas” a special SDDC interpretation and his Christian colleagues wished him “Happy Hanukah!”  And where else in the world does Santa Claus arrive riding on a camel?

So the work here is long and often frustrating, but it’s also challenging and rewarding. Everyone here is doing his or her part against terrorism.

O.K.  It’s not really a vacation, but it is an adventure… and a pretty good way to spend the holidays.

The article was accompanied by two photographs.  The first showed an MSC ship at the port of Ash Shuaiba, Kuwait.  The second looked Lee Strong dressed in Desert Camouflage Uniform and standing in front of the unofficial seal of the 598th Transportation Group (Provisional).


Book Reviews:

1862 by Robert Conroy
Random House Presidio Press, 2006
Reviewed by Lee Strong

First of all, I need to declare a conflict of interest.  I am planning a Civil War alternate history and Mr. Conroy duplicated some of my ideas not to mention the ideas of other and better authors.  Unfortunately, he failed to duplicate the quality of their writing.

Mr. Conroy’s tale diverges from real history when British Prime Minister Palmerston decides to declare war on the upstart United States using the real 1861 Trent Affair as an excuse.  The Brits then reinforce Canada and the Confederacy and attack New York City and Washington in the eponymous year.  General Grant brings the Federal Army north and liberates much of British North America before a peace treaty ends the war.  While this is going on, General Lee attacks Washington and manages to capture Fort Stephens, Maryland before Federal forces give him a sound thrashing not to mention a bullet with his name on it.  Much of the grand military action is seen thru the eyes of veteran Nathan Hunter, who is also carrying out a sedate 19th Century romance with widow Rebecca Devon.  In contrast, the slaves Hannibal and Abigail Watson fight the Confederacy in their own, and quite appropriate, ways.  In the end, we win and the Brits and Confederates lose.  Rah.

I was simply not very impressed by this leaden effort.  Alternate Civil Wars are a common idea and I was naturally looking for something exciting and original.  I didn’t find it here.  Mr. Conroy seems to have “borrowed” the Trent Affair from Harry Harrison’s Stars & Stripes Victorian pastiche and the battle of Fort Stephens from Forstchen and Gingrich’s well-researched drama.  The other battles of America’s greatest conflict mostly happen uninterestingly offstage while other characters merely talk about them.  Still, Mr. Conroy might be smarter than I give him credit for:  the battles that he does describe are mainly unrealistic pushovers.  Pedestrian writing simply does not do justice to an epic struggle.

I also thought the treatment of the characters weak.  The nonhistorical characters were generally good as was the historical architect of Federal victory, General Winfred S. Scott.  They showed real courage and personal development.  However, many of the major historical figures, Lincoln, Seward and Palmerston in particular, seem to be caricatures of their 19th Century namesakes.  British Prime Ministers have a lot of power but they can’t start wars just because they’re in bad mood.  In contrast, the historical Napoleon III was eager to “slay the dragon of democracy” but here he meekly succumbs to Seward’s wagging finger.  Mr. Conroy’s failure to capture the flavor of 19th Century America and Europe is a serious problem for the armchair historian.

I rate 1862 as 2.5 stars on the 5 star scale because Mr. Conroy does not do justice to the grand theme that he selected.  – LS


The Clone Republic by Steven L. Kent
Ace, 2006
Reviewed by Lee Strong

This book is well named since Mr. Kent seems to have cloned his story from various Hollywood fantasies including George Lucas’ Star Wars, Paul Verhoven’s Starship Troopers and Michael Moore’s United States.

Our hero is a naturally born solider in the clone Marine Corps of the future Unified Authority, a galactic imperium descended from the current United States.  He serves a series of trash can assignments on unappealing worlds and gradually learns that All Is Not What It Seems.  He survives various adventures by a combination of luck and sponsorship by political mentors With Agendas Of Their Own.  The novel ends with a cliffhanger in which he is supposedly dead while half of the 180 planets in the entire Milky Way Galaxy declare their independence as the Confederate States.

This book isn’t so much bad as it is horribly mediocre.  Actually being bad might be an improvement.  Neither the technology nor the plot is very futuristic.  Take out the space warping transportation system and this could be a horribly mediocre anti-military novel set in 2006.  And the writing itself is not very good with the author forgetting things such as the names of his imaginary military units from one paragraph to the next.  There was some minimal character development but it was pretty predictable.  While The Clone Republic does possess some minimal literary merits, the only reason that I can see to buy this book is sheer pity for the author.

I rate The Clone Republic as 1.5 stars on the 5 star scale because of a basic lack of both imagination and good writing.  – LS


Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan
New York: Tor, 2005
Review by Colleen R. Cahill

It is nigh impossible to review the eleventh book in a series for someone who has not read at least a few of the earlier titles. In this review of Robert Jordan’s Knife of Dreams, I will not even attempt to describe the back story, which would be a massive undertaking: instead I will speak first to those who have read at least a few of the previous volumes and then address why you might want to attempt Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.  One major reason to read this book is the closing of some plot lines in the series, giving real hope that the next release will complete this saga.

The book opens with the main characters scattered across the land.  Egwene is captured and returned to the White Tower where she has been demoted to a novice.  Perrin is still tracked the trail of his kidnapped wife and finds his best hope for recovering her is to join forces with the Seanchan, even though they are “the enemy.” Meanwhile, Mat is trying to escape Seanchan-controlled territory with the a run away future empress in tow. A pregnant Elayne weaves a perilous political dance as she seeks to gain enough support to claim the throne of Andor.  And Rand is gathering the forces for the Last Battle which not only prophesies the end of the Dark One, but also Rand’s death. All are in different locations, but slowly turning toward each other, preparing for the big fight.

There is more resolution of story threads in this volume than any other in this series, and it even has one character taken hostage and freed in the same book!  The pacing is definitely picking up, which is a refreshing change from the last two Wheel of Time books.  Jordan has captured part of the original feel of excitement the first books contained.  I enjoy Egwene’s method for conquering the White Tower from within, which has a Gandhi-like feel of passive resistance.  The culture clashes between Mat and Tuon, who see each others signs of the Dark One as ignorant superstition, are fascinating, especially when both appear to be correct.  One of the main reasons I read this series is for its contrasting civilizations and cultures: these books are almost an anthropological study, one with lots of magic.

If you have never read any of this series, you might want to start now: by the time you get through to this book, the twelfth (and hopefully final) volume could be in print.  If you are one of many who have given up a few volumes into the series, you might want to try this again.  With some plot lines complete, you should find this a more satisfying experience.  And for those of us who have read our way through almost 10,000 pages, be strong: the end is near.


Media Reviews:

Dr. Who Returns – You Can’t Keep A Good Time Lord down
Review by Cathy Green

Warning! Danger! Review contains some spoilers.

Dr. Who was my second obsessive fandom, Star Wars having been the first.  I’ve been a fan of the long-running series since I was twelve years old and first saw a Tom Baker episode on WOR Ch. 9 in NYC.  So I was very happy to learn that the series was being revived.  I was fortunate enough to be able to see the new series first with the Northern Virginia Dr. Who Viewing Society in 2005, as it was shown on the BBC, with no commercials.  I’ve also watched the new series debut on the SciFi Channel, with commercials.  I had hoped there would be no cuts, given that the episodes on the BBC only ran around 45 minutes, but the SciFi Channel has made some cuts, in addition to smushing the end credits.  For instance, in The End Of The World, when Cassandra first brings out the “iPod,” the first tune to be played is “Toxic” by Britney spears, not “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell.  It would have made more sense to leave in “Toxic” and cut “Tainted Love” as the use of “Toxic” throughout the rest of the episode would then make more sense.  Other than that, I did not find the cuts noticeable, and they were placed at logical points in the episodes. 

Christopher Eccleston makes an excellent Doctor.  I found his interpretation to be a bit of a throwback to the Hartnell years when the Doctor’s alienness was conveyed through his attitude rather than his eccentric clothing.  In the early Hartnell episodes the viewer was left with the impression that the doctor would happily have abandoned Ian and Barbara if it suited his purposes.  While Eccleston’s Doctor does not quite give the impression that he would happily toss Rose out of the TARDIS, he certainly gives the impression that his agenda is not on our level and that our concerns are not very high in his mind.  For instance, in Rose, around halfway through the episode, an Auton disguised as a trash receptacle eats Rose’s boyfriend.  Later a duplicate shows up and attacks Rose, who is rescued by the Doctor.  It does not occur to the Doctor that Rose would assume her boyfriend was dead and would be upset, nor does it occur to him to tell her that he could still be alive and a prisoner of the Nestene Consciousness.  It’s too bad Eccleston only wanted to do the show for a year (although from what little I’ve seen of Doctor #10, David Tennant, in the Dr Who Christmas Invasion, he’ll do just fine).  Billie Piper does a nice job as Rose.  As with several of the later companions, she’s fairly assertive and not a screamer except on those occasions when any normal person would react that way.  From comments posted on the internet when news of her casting first broke, I got the impression that casting her as a companion would be the equivalent of Britney Spears being cast as the Vulcan Science Officer on Enterprise, so I was pleasantly surprised by her performance.  Fortunately, she’s staying with the show, so they’ll be some continuity when they begin filming the second series with David Tennant as the next Doctor.  Also, the current story length seems to be working nicely, since it allows for sufficient plot development without the need to resort to padding.

Rose did a nice job of defining Rose’s character and personality before the Doctor ever appeared.  Rose’s mum is played by Camille Coudori , who should be most familiar to American audiences as the love interest in King Ralph and Nuns on the Run.  I was very happy to see the return of the Autons.  I’ve always found them to be creepy, probably due to the expressionless countenance of the mannequins inhabited by the Nestene.  Of course, one of the problems with the Autons, is that like zombies they are rather slow moving, so there has to be a good story, solid acting and creepy background music to make them sufficiently scary.  The fact that they’re armed helps too.   It was a solid start for the series.  I liked the new theme, which was a nice riff on the old theme, and the new title graphics.  The new design of the TARDIS interior is pretty spiffy as well, although the use of a hand crank to help get the TARDIS going is a bit odd, since in my mind at least, a craft that travels through space and time shouldn’t need to be wound up like a Model T. 

In the second story, in an effort to impress Rose, the Doctor takes her to The End of The World, literally.  He takes her forward millions of years to when the sun is about to go nova and destroy the Earth.  The story was uneven but enjoyable.  For instance, the last “true” human was basically a bit of skin with a face stretched on the frame, “a bitchy trampoline” in Rose’s words.  There was a couple amusing but obvious jokes about old Earth culture, such as when a jukebox is misidentified as an iPod, and Britney Spears’ “Toxic” is identified as a classic.  On the other hand, the episode did address what being a companion to the Doctor actually means.  There is a nicely creepy scene where Rose is talking to one of the maintenance workers on the orbiting observatory from which they’re awaiting the end, and realizes that she’s gone off through space and time with a complete stranger and that at that moment everyone she’s ever known is long dead and gone, and she’s completely gob smacked by the realization.  The scene where the Doctor has to save the day was unfortunately slightly reminiscent of the scene in Galaxy Quest where they have to make their way through the corridor with the giant mallets, but it does set up the death of a character the Doctor has grown fond of and a fairly dramatic scene later where the Doctor stands by and allows the last human to die.  However, the tension of the scene and the Doctor’s zen moment where the doctor makes his way through the giant fans was slightly marred by the fact that in the back of my head I was hearing Sigourney Weaver shouting “this episode was badly written!” which took me out of the scene a bit.  But over all, a pretty good story.  

The third story, The Unquiet Dead, was amazing.  As usual, the Doctor doesn’t end up where he intended, instead running into Charles Dickens in Cardiff at Christmastime.   The story is nicely gothic, with most of the action taking place at a funeral home where the dead keep getting up and walking out.  The story nicely balanced both the gothic and humorous aspects, and was an example of the Doctor getting things wrong with tragic consequences for those around him.  Also there was a lot of nice location filming, although in Swansea, rather than Cardiff.  Still, it made a nice change from the old series, where most planets were obviously studio sets or rock quarries.

While I thought the first three stories each topped each other, I was disappointed with the fourth story, Aliens of London and World War III (a two parter).  My main disappointments were that the aliens looked really fake, and I though the fart jokes were pretty juvenile.  On the other hand, this was also a story that dealt with the consequences of traveling with the Doctor in a believable and funny way.  While claiming to have returned Rose the same day she left, the Doctor was a bit off and got her home a year late.  As a result, Rose’s mother is surprised, happy, and furious when Rose shows up after having been gone for a year without sending word.  In fact, she had filed a police report and missing persons posters were up all over the place.  And when the Doctor first comes into the apartment, Rose’s mum hauls off and smacks him for having seduced and run off with her little girl and the Doctor ends up being questioned by the police.  While Rose’s boyfriend is happy she’s back, he’s upset and jealous.  She’s happy to learn he didn’t start seeing anyone else and then a bit guilty when he explains it was because everyone suspected him of doing away with her, which made dating somewhat difficult.  Soon a spaceship crashes in the Thames, taking out Big Ben in the process.  Naturally the Doctor has to go take a look, and UNIT makes a reappearance as well.  I’m going to assume that the obvious zippers on the people whose bodies were taken over by the aliens were a joking reference to the series’ low budget past when the zippers could be seen when the monster of the week was filmed from the back.  Otherwise it was just kind of cheesy.  The story did have some clever bits, which I won’t give away because they were key plot points. 

On the whole, the hits very much outweigh the misses on the new series, I’ll be asking for the DVDs for my birthday.  The U.S. release for the new series is July 4.  If you can’t wait, I believe the series has already been released on DVD in Canada, which is also Region 1.

WSFA Meeting Minutes

First Friday – March 3rd, 2006
Location: The Madigan’s
Started at: 9:17 PM - Ended at: 10:00 PM

Synopsis: First Friday met in MD. Started 9:17. Mike Walsh reported on the chapbook. It’s not done yet. Elspeth Kovar spoke at length about Capclave Present, but it defies synopziation. Capclave Future wasn’t there but a meeting was immanent. Publications reported on the March WSFA journal, Future Washington sales and The upcoming Politics and Prose (first Wed in April) Futurist book selection. No Old Biz, No new Biz, several announcements, we adjourned at 10pm.

Officers: Sam Lubell (President). Cathy Green, (Vice President). Bob MacIntosh (Treasurer), Ernest Lilley (Secretary)

Trustees: Elizabeth Twitchell, Lee Gilliland, and Barry Newton

Members: Mike Bartman, Drew Bittner, Katherine Bittner, Colleen Cahill, Chuck Divine, Adrienne Ertman, Carolyn Frank, Alexis Gilliland, Erica Ginter, Paul Haggerty, Sally Hand, Scott Hofmann, Elspeth Kovar,  Bill Lawhorn, Don Lundry, Nicki Lynch, Rich Lynch, Candy Madigan, John Madigan, Will  Maynard, Deidre McLaughlin, Walter Miles, Judy Newton, Kathi Overton, Sam Pierce, Rebecca Prather, Jennifer Rosenbaum, Judy Scheiner, Sam Scheiner, George Shaner, Steve Smith, Bill Squire, Lee Strong, Gayle Surrette, Michael Walsh, Ivy Yap (Not Seen), Madeleine Yeh

President Sam Lubell called the meeting to order at 9:17 by his watch. He congratulated everyone who managed to pass the IQ test and show up at the correct, if irregular, Maryland location.

Capclave Past: Michael Walsh reported on the chapbook progress, showing a mockup of the Capclave Chapbook to the meeting. Ernest and Mike Nelson are still working on the book.

Capclave Present: Elspeth reported on Capclave progress. Sam Pierce will be hotel liaison. Hotel rates are yet to be determined. Function space has been assigned, including a new area (Columbia). There was a committee meeting the previous weekend. Publicity was discussed. Flyers need to be distributed. Cathy Green is in charge of PR. We have a fan table at Lunacon and Elspeth canvassed for folks to man it. Alexis tentatively agreed to do so. Elspeth announced that Ernest was now working programming with Elaine Brennan. Dodos, historical budgets and previous cons were mentioned.

Ernest wanted to know how many programming rooms we were going to have. Elspeth isn’t sure yet, pending more information about the new space. Annapolis and Severn, the small spaces we had last year, are evidentially not available.

EK agreed (at Ernest’s urging) to send a committee report before any meeting that she would not be attending.

EK mentioned that Live Journal was getting a lot of traffic and Cathy G said she would post room rates at “con central” when they were established. We should all do more Live Journal stuff.

Capclave Future: Cathy Green said that Colleen had scheduled a meeting for the following Saturday.

Entertainment Committee: Alexis regaled us with a story about Lee and airport security. She was in London and could not make the meeting.

Publications Committee: The March WSFA journal (eligible for a Hugo) was handed out. Mike Walsh talked about the Future Washington sales (see last issue for the same information).  Owing to the lag in distributor payments, we should see payments from Ingram and Baker & Taylor in the next month or so. Mike encouraged members to review the book on Amazon. Future Washington is the April Politics and Prose Futurist book club selection. Ernest promised to contact the moderator about authors (Moore, Clough) who would be attending.

Bylaws Committee: Not Present

Committee to Actually Talk about Science Fiction: Not Present

Old Business: None

New Business: None

Search for Visitors from Other Worlds: None Found

Announcements: The Usual from Secretary and Hostess.

The Hostess said there would be a party on the 24th so she could get the house clean.

Barry Newton: Urged people to sign up now for Capclave.

Cheryl Hayes has her artwork being used at a craft fair. In July (third Friday) she will be hosting WSFA at the Madigan’s.

Mike Walsh had copies of a collection of stories which were a tribute to John and Judith Clute, and their house, which had been fortuitously renumbered 221B.

Steve Smith had a new black cat announcement. He did not mention if it bites.

Elspeth mentioned that it was Walter Miles’ Birthday.

Meeting adjourned at 10:00pm.

Barry asked (and got) volunteers to help put labels on the envelopes for the chapbooks so at to be ready for the next meeting when we hoped to mail them out.


Third Friday – March 17th, 2006
Location: The Gillialands
Started at: 9:15 PM - Ended at: 9:41 PM

Officers: Sam Lubell (President), Cathy Green (Vice President), Bob MacIntosh (Treasurer), Ernest Lilley (Secretary) Trustees: Barry Newton, Elizabeth Twitchell

Members: Matthew Appleton, Adrienne Ertman, Charles Gilliland (Host), Erica Ginter, Paul Haggerty, Bill Lawhorn, Brian Lewis, Judy Newton, Rebecca Prather, Gayle Surrette, Ivy Yap (Not Seen), Madeleine Yeh

Treasury: $5, 156.31 not counting CDs.

Capclave Present: Not present, but reported by email. We have the same room rates as last year, $119 single/double or $129 triple/quad. Also there will be the same beverage and eating arrangements. Marketing will include the Silver Spring area’s attractions. More hotel details followed. Rooms booked for activities: Potomac, Chesapeake (large) Council and Quorum (med) and the new Capitol Room (first floor – possibly the old restaurant). A table will be available for Capclave at Lunacon. Or we might share with Nippon 2007. Also a fan table for Ravencon. Also Worldcon.

Capclave Future: Not present, but a meeting had been had the previous weekend, and it should be a wonderful con. Colleen is negotiating with the hotel and is trying to get the same weekend.

Entertainment Committee: Charles Gilliland stood in for Alexis and invited members to stay and watch a Dr. Who episode after the meeting.

Publications Committee: Ernest reported that the Capclave 2005 chapbook was finished. (Wild applause, cheers, and stamping of feet followed.) The color booklet’s printing, done by Kinko’s, had been estimated at slightly under $2,000, but due to liberal sweat equity and a discount came in at $450. An envelope stuffing party, led by Barry Newton, readied the chapbook for shipping.

Committee to Actually Talk about Science Fiction: Kathi Overton not being present, Bill Lawhorn encouraged folks to meet upstairs to discuss the March issue of Asimov’s, though he had to run since he was taking off in the morning to go scuba diving in Honduras. The next issue is the April-May double issue.

Rules Committee: Lee Strong was surprised to find he was chairing the committee to unearth changes in our rules as reported in the Journal and never codified. They’re working on it.

Activities Committee: Not present and nobody wanted to plan a group movie event.

Election Committee: Trustees will be putting together a slate for the election to be held the first Friday in May. There will only be one voting meeting.

Old Business: Zip

New Business: Nada

Announcements: Secretary and Host (Charles) made the usual pleas for information and restraint, respectively.

Rebecca Prather offered copies of the latest MENSA newsletter for anyone who wanted it.

Elizabeth pined for someone to use her Ravencon ticket as she could not go.

Erica has three Worldcon memberships for sale.

Fifth Friday will be hosted by the Scheiners at their home. There will be no business session, just socializing and the possible discussion of science fiction.

Bill Lawhorn is trying to get Occupational Outlook Quarterly to do an article on Ghosthunters. The best he may be able to do is to get them to state that they can neither confirm nor deny the existence of other worldly beings.

Sightings, Events, & Announcements

Please email upcoming events to with the word “submission” in the subject line for consideration.


Lee Strong received the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service 16 March 2006 for his service in Kuwait 2004-05.  He tracked down and recovered missing commercial shipping containers for which the Federal Government was paying $13 million per month in detention charges.  As a result of the work of Lee's team, detention charges have been reduced to $4 million per month with the savings gong to the American taxpayers.