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The WSFA Journal

October 2008

Steve Smith, Editor
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Contents

Minutes

October 3, 2008, First Friday

Meeting called to order at 9:16 PM by President Cathy Green at the Scheiners’.

Treasurer’s report:

Tina Abel

No change from last meeting. The bank statements are still going to Bob Macintosh. They’re going to try to get it straightened out this weekend.

Capclave Present:

Sam Scheiner

Going well with no major hassles. The main issuers have been sorted out and things are coming together. Sam showed off the paintings we’ll be giving to Jim Morrow and Michael Dirda. Sam commissioned them from Lynn Perkins. He credits Colleen Cahill with the idea.

Please volunteer. There will be a brief Capclave meeting after the WSFA meeting. The membership currently stands at 230 attending, with 168 paid. This is in line with expectations from last year.

Cathy has flyers for folks to hand out. She has sent out press releases to University newspapers, English departments, and radio stations, all via the Net. 295 flyers were handed out at the Gaiman signing at the National Book Festival on the mall.

Capclave Future:

Bill Lawhorn

Gettin’ by and working on flyers. He intends to get them out as soon as possible in order to have them in hand by Capclave. The rates have risen to $35 to start, going up to $60 at the door. The increase is the result of the hotel’s 20% add-on fee.

Capclave Far Future:

Gayle Surrette

Is still looking for a hotel. Suggestion was made of Peggy Rae’s house. Gayle is still looking for a hotel liaison.

Entertivities:

Sam Lubell

Capclave! Two weeks! Also, Gaylaxicon is the week before at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda (the hotel that’s on top of the Bethesda metro).

Publications:

Steve Smith (Editor), Paul Haggerty & Gayle Surette (Webmasters)

A suggestion was made to put a copy of the WSFA Journal in the membership bags for Capclave. It was decided not to.

The Webmasters note that the Website is still there.

Awards:

Sam Scheiner

Has the award in hand!

The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction:

Bill Lawhorn

On hiatus until Nov, where they will discuss double issues.

Trustees:

Colleen Cahill, Judy Newton, Lee Strong

No change on tax questions. There won’t be any chance for input until 4 Nov.

First Fri in November, the Trustees will hold the election for two positions on the Awards Committee. The Trustees’ Nominees are Charles Able, Colleen Cahill, Paul Haggerty and Sandra Marshall. Debates were debated. Lee Strong described election procedure.

Old business:

None

New business:

President Cathy Green pointed out that John Pomeranz and Lee Strong are doing a lot of work to Get Us Right with the tax folks. She proposed that, when it’s over, we give something nice to John and Lee. Suggestion was made of a gift certificate. Bob Macintosh suggested $100, and to contact Kathi Overton to see what he would like. Cathy made a motion to give John something nice, in consultation with Kathy Overton , value $100, at the conclusion of the tax work. Lee Strong asked that any gift to him be in the form of a donation in his name to Pfeiffer University.

Motion passed with1 against.

New people:

None

Announcements:

Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:01 PM.

Attendance:

Drew Bittner, Kat Bittner, Colleen Cahill, Gayle Dixon, Adrienne Ertman, Cathy Green, Paul Haggerty, Elspeth Kovar, Bill Lawhorn, Sam Lubell, Bob Macintosh, Sandra Marshall, Sarah Mitchell, Michael Nelson, Barry Newton, Judy Newton, Judy Scheiner, Sam Scheiner, Steve Smith, Lee Strong, Gayle Surrette, Michael Walsh, Ivy Yap, Madeleine Yeh.

October 17, 2008, Third Friday

Meeting called to order at 9:08 PM by President Cathy Green at Capclave.

Treasurer’s report:

Tina Abel

No change from a month ago

Capclave Present:

Sam Scheiner

We are here.

Capclave Future:

Bill Lawhorn

  • The Chair wants minions.

  • Has guests.

  • Preregistration will start tomorrow.

  • There will be a party in room 544 after the meeting. They will be discussing the F&SF double issue.

  • Capclave Far Future:

    Gayle Surrette. No report

    Entertivities:

    Sam Lubell

  • There is a Capcalve!

  • If anybody’s interested in going to see a play, talk to Sam offline.

  • Publications:

    Steve Smith (Editor), Paul & Gayle Surette (Webmasters)

  • There are paper WSFA journals for the last two months.

  • Webmasters — the latest journal is on line.

  • Awards:

    Sam Scheiner

    Will be giving the award tomorrow. Y’all come!

    The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction:

    Bill Lawhorn

    There’s a Capclave!

    Trustees:

    Colleen Cahill, Judy Newton, Lee Strong

  • No change in tax/corporate status.

  • There will be the election for the Awards Committee at the November First Friday meeting.

  • Rules:

    Steve Smith. No report.

    Old business:

    None

    New business:

    None

    New people:

    First:

    Shahid Mahmud, Tom Cuepeau

    Announcements:

    Meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:23 PM.

    Attendance:

    Chris Callahan, Tom Cuepeau, Adrienne Ertman, Carolyn Frank, Cathy Green, Sarah Katz, Judith Kindall, Bill Lawhorn, Brian Lewis, Sam Lubell, Bob Macintosh, Shahid Mahmud, Sandra Marshall, Marian McBrine, Judy Newton, Lance Oszco, Kathi Overton, Rebecca Prather, Harvey Roberts, Dick Roepke, John Sapienza, Peggy Rae Sapienza, Judy Scheiner, George Shaner, Steve Smith, Laura Somerville, Terry Somerville, Bill Squire, Lee Strong, Michael Walsh, Eva Whitely, Emily Whitten, Ivy Yap, Beth Zipser, Mike Zipser.

    Poetry

    A Sestina on the Eve of Voting, 2008, by Kit Mason

    (With some help from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison)

    We hold these truths to be self-evident,
    we, the people of the United States.
    All are created equal, all of us,
    free to speak, to write and to assemble
    to petition for grievances' redress.
    We choose our future in the voting booth.

    We choose our future in the voting booth
    where choices are not so self-evident,
    where we ask fate for grievances' redress,
    we, the people of the United States,
    as we speak with our hands, as we assemble
    quadrennially voting, all of us.

    Quadrennially voting, all of us,
    we trust our future to machines in the booth.
    We talk, we write, we hope and assemble.
    We hold these truths to be self-evident,
    we, the people of the United States,
    hoping now for grievances redressed.

    Hoping now for grievances redressed
    as a country, as equals, all of us,
    we, the people of the United States,
    call our soldiers home in the voting booth,
    call for our truths to be self-evident
    free to speak, to write and to assemble.

    Free to speak, to write and to assemble
    we have waited for grievances' redress
    still holding faith in truths self-evident.
    (All are created equal, all of us.)
    We call for justice in the voting booth.
    we, the people of the United States.

    We, the people of the United States,
    told not to speak or write or assemble
    now choose our future in the voting booth.
    We petition for grievances' redress
    all of us as equals, yes, all of us.
    We hold these truths to be self-evident.

    From villages to states, hear the calls for redress;
    Let us assemble our lists, bring them with us
    Into the voting booth; our choice is self-evident.

    (Copyright © 2008, Kit Mason, all rights reserved. Used by permission of the author.)

    Reviews

    Death Race (2008) Reviewed by Lee Strong.

    Death Race (2008)

    Universal, 2008

    Directed and written by Paul W.S. Anderson

    Reviewed by slowpoke Lee Strong

    This film is a remake of the 1975 cult classic Death Race 2008. It even has the same executive producer, Roger Corman. What it doesn’t have are little things like story, character or science fiction. But it does have violence!

    In the aftermath of the 2012 economic collapse, the world enjoys the sport of Death Race, in which convicted felony prisoners drive armed and armored cars around Terminal Island and kill each other in exchange for the promise of freedom. Our hero, Jensen Ames (Jason Statham), is just trying to earn a living and support his family when he’s framed for murder and sent to Terminal Island. Hard core Warden Hennessey (Joan Allen) picks him out to play the role of one of her best drivers, the masked Frankenstein. Assisted by Coach (Ian McShane) and a couple of geeky mechanic-prisoners, the new Frank tries to survive the death traps strewn along the course including machine guns, flamethrowers, juggernauts, the other drivers, and the fury of two women scorned!

    While this paean to motorized violence is technically well done, I found it only somewhat appealing. Most of the futuristic sociology and campy performances that made the inexpensive but thoughtful 1975 film a delight to see have been stripped out and replaced with guns, expletives and napalm. The characters are mostly clich├ęs — the overbearing warden, the stalwart and colorful drivers, and their sexy navigators — and the plot is mostly Learn and Survive the perils of the video game like race course and its dominatrix. A number of the characters, including Frankenstein’s navigator/betrayer Case (Natalie Martinez) and opponent Machine Gun Joe (Tyrese Gibson), show courage, ingenuity and human fellowship but almost everything else is slam bang action. If this is your cup of tea, then start your engines and go for the gold. Most science fiction fans would be better rewarded by finding the original on DVD and enjoying an offbeat future world and sport that fortunately never materialized.

    I rate Death Race (2008) as 2.0 stars on the 5 star scale because its story is only minimally science fiction and because the violence almost overwhelms the characters’ real heroism. — LS

    WSFA History

    Ten Years Ago

    October 1998

    Long collection of quotes from various folks at Bucconeer. Bob Devany sure eavesdropped on some interesting conversations. Probably from Those Parties that we never seem to get invited to.

    The issue ended with a collection of really bad Halloween puns.

    Twenty Years Ago

    October 1988

    There was much ongoing discussion of the Secretary’s wish to have WSFA buy a Macintosh computer to put the WSFA Journal together with.

    The Sturdy WomanWooden Cabinet had arrived and was full of WSFA stuff.

    Thirty Years Ago

    October 1978

    According to the theater, it was too early to think about a theater party for Lord of the Rings. (About 23 years too early. Bad editor! [whap!] No coffee! )

    This issue also had the WSFA Mailing List; it’s interesting to see how many names we can recognize.

    Letters

    From the Editor

    To Sam and everybody who worked on Capclave, thanks for an excellent convention. Sam, you’ve set a high standard for future cons, but I’m sure Bill and Gayle will come through.

    To everybody involved with the WSPA, congratulations on a very successful contest. When we started with the Award, I doubted that anybody would be interested. Capclave cleared out all of those doubts; the Award is a spectacular success. (I’m a naturally a pessimist, but there are times I’m glad to be proved wrong. This is one of them.) All the stories nominated are excellent; if you haven’t read them, you’re missing a treat. (Six treats, actually.)

    Kit’s poem started out as a writing exercise in a very difficult verse form; the result was considerably more than “just” an exercise, like Rachmaninoff’s etudes are considerably more than “just” finger exercises.

    I have strong opinions about voting. If you are eligible to vote and don’t, you’ve forfeited your griping rights for the next two years at least. You had a chance to affect things; you didn’t. Take a look through the election results (especially the down-ballot races and propositions, amendments, etc) and see how many of them were decided by just a few votes. For example, Montgomery County’s Question B was decided by 613 votes out of 381,346. About 0.16%.

    Voting is one of the things we do to keep this country working, along with obeying laws, paying taxes and serving on juries. If you don’t vote, you’re not pulling your weight. Freeloading. You take what you get.

    — Steve Smith, Editor, The WSFA Journal


    The WSFA Journal is the official publication of the Washington Science Fiction Association.
    Copyright © 2008 WSFA, Inc.
    All rights reserved
    ISSN 0894-5411