The WSFA Journal

October 2009

Steve Smith, Editor
Comments? Contributions? Contact !



First Friday, October 2, 2009

Meeting called to order at 9: 24 PM by President Lee Strong


President: Lee Strong
Vice President: Judy Newton
Secretary: Steve Smith
Treasurer: Tina Abel same as last time










CD 1 (Feb)



CD 2 (May)





Our bank account is still blocked. The problem is that we're not officially authorized to do business in Virginia. Getting Sam Lubell as our “agent” didn't work. There is a loophole that they might get the account unblocked ASAP. We're working on a permanent fix – we get copies of our corporate paperwork from Maryland and sent it to Virginia

Fundraiser – Uno in Merrifield. Send out coupons, anybody who hands one in, 15% of their bill goes to the org. 20% if it's more than $1000. Not include tips. Tina suggests Bethesda. Need fixed date and time. Suggestion of 7th, 13th or 14th of Nov. Not seated as a group. 7-10 PM

Trustees: Charles Abel, Colleen Cahill, Chris Newman

“They tell me nothing”

Entertivities: Sam Lubell

Sam Scheiner tells us that John Pomeranz has Xmas Revels stuff, but the deadline was 30 September.

Publications: Steve Smith

Journal: Steve Smith

No Journal.

Website: Paul Haggerty & Gayle Surrette
WSFA Press: Ernest Lilly

Capclave Present: Bill Lawhorn

Sarah Mitchell reported.

Brian got bookmarks in a couple of Borders' supply of Turtledove books

Capclave Future: Gayle Surrette

Gail is trying to get artwork for a steampunk dodo. She wants to get it by Capclave. She's still filling out her committee and has a temporary budget.

Capclave Far Future: Cathy Green

Still looking at hotels. Heard from Hyatt Bethesda –they're expensive and they have some weird issues. Looking mostly at the three in Gaithersburg, plus the Crowne Plaza Silver Spring.

Food is getting to be an issue – Montgomery County is getting pissy about requiring food to be packaged. We might end up with a suite instead of a function space.

Price (room rates, function space, con membership) is a matter for negotiation. Perhaps we can also figure in money from the book.

New Finance: Tina Abel


The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction: Bill Lawhorn


Awards: Colleen Cahill

Pretty much done for the year; only thing left is to hand them out.

Old business:

Brought motion to raise dues off table. The motion is to raise basic annual to $20; $15 active military/student, to take effect 1 Jan 2010. It was unanimously accepted. The definition of “student” and “military” is simply to be able to provide ID.

New business:


New people:



Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:33 PM.


Charles Abel, Christina Abel, Drew Bittner, Cathy Green, Paul Haggerty, Bill Lawhorn, Brian Lewis, Bob Macintosh, Sarah Mitchell, , Barry Newton, Judy Newton, Judy Scheiner, Sam Scheiner, Steve Smith, Lee Strong, Gayle Surrette, Ivy Yap, Madeleine Yeh.

Third Friday, October 16, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 8:08 PM by President Lee Strong at Capclave, who immediately turned the meeting over to The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction, with Cathy Green leading the discussion of the November Asimov's with Editor GoH Shelia Williams.

Short Story

[This is the prequal to Mr. Strong's What Would You Have Me Do?, in the July WSFA Journal. – Editor]

The Queen’s Consent: A Story of the Beauchamp Universe

By Lee Strong

The Death of Queen Elizabeth I, by Paul Delaroche

Richmond, Surrey, Kingdom of England,
March 23, 1603

The great queen lay dying. A week ago, Elizabeth Tudor, first of that name, Queen of England and last of her dynasty, had danced like a young girl at a court reception. The ambassador of the nation that her seamen had defeated so stunningly 15 years before had compared her to a fairy princess. But now, the Angel of Death’s hand was on her shoulder, minutes away from escorting her into the Great Unknown. But he would wait those few minutes as she performed her very last service for her people.

“Your Majesty,” whispered her Chancellor. What was his name? She had outlived so many….

“Your Majesty, you must name the heir to your Throne. We will read a list of candidates and ask you to make a sign to indicate your Consent. Is this acceptable to you?”

Her hoarse breathing faltered for a moment but resumed. Her stricken face looked at her courtiers and her forefinger gestured upward, signifying acceptance. Her gentlemen nodded gravely. The Chancellor gestured to a clerk chosen for the latter’s clear, carrying voice.

The clerk began reading slowly from a list of royals and nobles related in one way or another to the dynasty. The Queen listened intently as the names rolled past.

“Edward Seymour, Lord Beauchamp?”

The Queen’s finger gestured upward. The clerk repeated the name. The Queen painfully lifted both hands to her head, backs of her hands to her forehead, fingers aloft, forming the image of a royal crown. The courtiers stirred in quiet excitement.

“What about James Stuart of Scotland?” loudly demanded one partisan.

The Queen’s hands lowered to her bedcovers again. The royal finger waved back and forth, signifying negation. Her courtiers bowed in acceptance. The Queen’s eyes closed in repose. It is time to go, she thought.

Edinburgh, Kingdom of Scotland,
Several days later

“Who?” blurted James Stuart, the sixth of that name. “Lord Bow-schamp?” He stumbled over the French name imported into English. “Who is Lord Bow-schamp? And how has he usurped Good Queen Bess’ affection for me?”

The Earl of Lennox cleared his throat. “Edward Seymour is the son of Edward Seymour, the Duke of Hertfordshire and Baron Beauchamp, and Lady Catherine Grey. King Henry VIII named Lady Catherine as the next in line for the throne in the event of the death of his daughter Elizabeth in his will. Therefore, young Edward is the heir….”

“Was not there some question of the legality of the marriage?” interrupted the king. He was no traveler and depended on his courtiers for news of the larger world.

“There was, but that proved to be a false report. Hertfordshire and Grey married in 1560. Since she was an heir to the Throne, she required the Queen’s Consent to lawfully wed. While there was a report that the couple did not receive the Consent, in fact, they did. Had the Consent not been received, the marriage would have been illegal under English law. It is very doubtful that Elizabeth would have named young Edward her heir had his parents attempted to marry without her blessing. In that hypothetical case, I most respectfully believe that she would have named Your Majesty to the Throne of England.” He bowed deeply to express both respect and regret.

James was officially a Presbyterian like most of his subjects. In fact, he was deeply superstitious. “What demonic luck! What does this mean for Scotland?” he mused aloud. “And for England?”

London, Kingdom of England

His Majesty, Edgar Seymour, the first of that name, frowned. “I understand that I now own the former Dutch colony of New Netherlands. My question concerns this proposal to redraw the maps of my new colonies and rename this city and colony after the English city of York. What is the rationale for changing the maps and city name?” He only used the royal plural in public.

The gentlemen of the Privy Council shifted in their chairs. Edgar’s efficiency and toleration of local customs was well established. One spoke up. “The intention is to honor your subjects of York, England and to encourage them to emigrate to New York, thereby populating it with loyal subjects.”

The king tapped his finger on the table for a few minutes as he pondered the logic of the proposal. “Gentlemen, I must disagree. We must give my new subjects the chance to demonstrate their loyalty rather than assuming disloyalty. We can best do that by respecting their dignity and traditions and persuading them to become Englishmen, not forcing them. Let them keep their traditional city and provincial names.

“Likewise, I must disagree with this proposal to carve up New Netherlands into the provinces of….” The king consulted a written copy of the proposal. “The provinces of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. The same applies to this carving up of New Sweden and this artificial extension of Massachusetts Bay Colony almost to the Hudson River. Set the boundary line between Massachusetts and New Netherlands halfway between their capital cities of Boston and New Amsterdam. They are all my subjects now and I will not treat them as so many chess pieces.”

Christiana, New Sweden
July 2, 1776

John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, quickly read the clerk’s notes and solemnly intoned the fateful words. “The Colonies of Massachusetts, Rensselaer, New Sweden, Virginia, Roanoke and Kingsland have voted in the affirmative. No colony has voted in the negative. The colony of New Netherlands has abstained….”

“Courteously,” amended the affable Mr. Smoire of New Amsterdam.

“… and, therefore, the Declaration of Independence is adopted,” finished Hancock.

Under his breath, John Dickinson of New Sweden cursed his monarch. “If only Edward VIII were half the king Edgar was…!”

Edinburgh, Kingdom of Scotland

His Majesty, Henry Stuart, the first of that name, should have been a clergyman. He would have greatly preferred to renounce his crown for a monk’s tonsure or a bishop’s miter. But Fate, or possibly his ancestor’s demons, had placed him on the secular Throne of Scotland where he was determined to do his best for his Earthly kingdom as well as for His Lord’s Heavenly One.

He spoke excellent French, which was not only the mark of a gentleman but especially fortunate at this juncture, as the French general holding a map in front of him spoke no English.

“Therefore, Monsieur le Roi, with your permission, the French Directory will place an army commanded by myself in Scotland. Transporting my army to your country will require the combined efforts of the French and Scottish navies. Once our armies are established in Scotland, we will march south and overthrow the Seymour kings who have so long thwarted the natural ambitions of Scotland and France.” The French general was short but full of energy. His eyes glittered as he traced the proposed military movements on the map of the British Isles and the surrounding seas.

Henry studied the map carefully, especially the middle sized kingdom south of his own smaller one. “And it is definitely agreed that I will become the King of England, Wales and Ireland? As God and His Majesty King Henry Tudor VIII intended.”

The French general looked directly at the Scottish monarch. “Of course, Monsieur le Roi, of course. France merely desires an end to English hostility and trading rights with your empire. With yourself on the Throne of Scotland-England, our two great nations will be in complete accord.” His face glowed with sincerity.

Henry simply said, “Very well, General Bonaparte. I agree.”

Executive Mansion, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America
3 May, 1829

“Her Majesty the Queen of England to see the President of the United States,” announced the Executive Mansion’s chief butler.

Catherine Seymour, the fourth of her name, was a handsome woman, English roses still abloom in her cheeks. Age had merely admonished her beauty. Her entrance into the sternly republican Executive Office was graceful as was her acknowledgment of the butler’s service. He closed the door behind the queen and her host.

“Mr. President Jackson, I am honored to meet you at last.”

“Madame, it is my pleasure,” rejoined the tall militia general and now chief executive. He bowed abruptly rather than gracefully, the gesture polite enough but bespeaking a scarcely concealed sense of power. Well, she thought, it is no secret why I am here. She sighed to herself. In a different – and better! – world, our roles might be reversed. He offered her a chair and refreshment courteously enough.

The conversation soon came to business. “Madame, the American people are always pleased to welcome our northern neighbor to our more temperate climes. However, your ambassador tells me that you have more weighty matters on your mind than our fine spring weather.” The presidential eyebrow arched inquiringly.

Catherine placed her teacup on the table separating their chairs to gain a few seconds of time. “Yes, Mr. President, I have come to request that the United States loan the Kingdom of England the sum of 100 million pounds, or….”

“Twenty million American dollars,” Jackson interrupted.

“Yes, Mr. President.” Her voice trembled despite herself. “We need….”

“Madame,” he interrupted again. “The answer must be ‘No.’ Your kingdom already owes the United States over a billion dollars in principal and interest. Your predecessors have been borrowing money from the United States since Napoleon Bonaparte drove your family out of England. Always there has been the promise of repayment… someday. But that day never arrives. My Federalist predecessors were more than generous with the People’s money.” Jackson openly sneered at the memory. “I must be a better steward of their funds. There will be no more loans. Thirty years of charity is enough.” He enunciated his stinging words carefully, clearly, almost savagely.

“‘Charity’!” exploded the queen, English phlegm giving way to pent up frustration. “‘Charity’? Is that what you call it? England is your Mother Country! And your ally against Bonaparte’s aggressions! Perhaps you have forgotten, sir,” she barely remembered to include the honorific, “that we fought together against Bonaparte in the Second Napoleonic War. A War in which this very elegant mansion was burned to the ground while he watched. We, English and Americans alike, fought together then and we, the English nation in exile, have fought against him on five continents since! Your money buys you safety while English men, and, yes, English women, sir, die in foreign lands and seas to keep Bonaparte in Europe rather than here!

“And, if you have money, sir, it is because you trade freely with our empire as the price of your loans. And because millions of European immigrants – even native Englishmen and women – prefer your ‘temperate climes’ to our northern ones. ‘Temperate climes’ that were once English as well!” She came to a sudden stop, horrified by the thought that years of hidden anger had carried her too far.

“Calm yourself, Madame,” ordered the President coldly. “I, too, fought the French in the Second Napoleonic War… as I fought the English in the Revolutionary War. I am not indifferent to Bonaparte’s military ambitions. What I object to is your English habit of always borrowing and never repaying.”

“We Have No Money!” Catherine shouted. “You Americans have taken the best lands, the best people and the best of what wealth escapes Bonaparte’s grasp for yourselves, leaving us nothing! Do you really think that we spent ‘your’ money on knickknacks and pastries?! No! We spent it to buy warships and weapons to fight the Master of Europe! We have repaid your ‘loans’ a thousand times over with the blood of our sailors and soldiers from North America to Australia while you sit here like some Shakespearean banker ready to foreclose on us and cast us out into the snow!”

Again she stopped, breathing heavily, choking in bitter rage, glaring at the arrogant President. There was a long silence, finally broken by the latter.

“Yes, Madame,” he spoke bitingly, his voice slowly gathering volume. “I, the representative of the American People, am your ‘banker.’ And I hereby call due all the loans that your predecessors have taken out and promised to repay. Madame, I hereby foreclose on the entire English Empire!” His hand swept upward and his fist crashed down on the small table, rattling the tea cups violently.

“‘Foreclose’? What do you mean ‘foreclose’? You are not Shylock and I am not Antonio. Nations do not foreclose on other nations,” rejoined the puzzled Queen.“Do they not?” sneered Jackson. “Centuries of European history say otherwise. Consider Edward the Confessor’s promise to William of Normandy, better known as William the Conqueror. But I have something other that a Conquest in mind.” He leaned forward, a strange satisfaction on his rugged face.

“What?” she breathed.

“A union.” He paused for effect. Her eyes narrowed.

“A union somewhat like the one proclaimed between Scotland and England by Henry Stuart when Napoleon presented him with your family’s kingdom but on a grander scale and a more democratic basis. You as Queen of England and your other territories will sign a treaty of union with me. The entire English Empire – North America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, your protectorates in India, everything – will merge into the United States. Your subjects will gain full citizenship in the United States and the various states that we will create. In return, the government of the United States will assume all of your debts.” He leaned back into his chair in satisfaction.

Catherine was awestruck by the proposal…. No, this was not a proposal, this was an ultimatum. Jackson’s face brooked no argument. American troops already garrisoned parts of “her” empire….

“So you will be King Andrew I of England and America…,” she said listlessly.

“No, I will still be President of the United States. George Washington refused one crown and earned everlasting glory; I will refuse another. Instead, your people will become Americans.” His face radiated triumph.

The Queen shrank into herself. Did the Tudor kings and queens of England treat the Irish with this much magnanimity? “I seem to have little choice. I must agree to your proposal. We will need to work out many details….”

“Certainly. But, Catherine, there is one other thing.” His voice was no less powerful but now surprisingly gentle.

Surprised by his use of her personal name, the Queen asked, “And what is that, Mr. President?”

He leaned forward, supremely confident.

“Please call me ‘Andrew.’ Catherine, you are a widow. I am a widower. I suggest that we make our union closer yet.”

She suddenly remembered that a English officer had humiliated this man during the American Revolution. In the years that followed, she would often think of England.


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Nasty Flash SiteSony Pictures Animation, 2009

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Reviewed by Lee Strong

This cartoon is delicious fantasy for the young at heart as well as being a feast for the eyes.

One day everyone in the world realizes that sardines are really gross and stops eating them. As a result, the tiny sardine exporting island of Swallow Falls hits the skids economically and emotionally. Yesterday’s heroes, the slimy Mayor Shelbourne (Bruce Campbell) and overaged child star ‘Baby’ Brent (Andy Samberg), merely contribute buffoonery to the problem while policeman Earl Devereaux (Mr. T) holds the line against jaywalkers and shenaniganizers. Enter our hero, boy-man scientist Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) who hopes that – this time! – his screwy food making invention will work. Mama Mia! It does – and food made to order rains down on the town. Flint’s father Tim (James Caan) is unimpressed but Flint soldiers on. Lovely weather woman Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) arrives to cover the news just in time for the eruption of spaghetti tornadoes, pancake showers, and landslides of leftovers! Will our heroes win the resulting food fight with sentient pizza slices, carnivorous roast chickens, and a food processor gone berserk?

Okay, the basic plot idea of food raining from the sky is a little silly and the science of mutating water into food is really silly! But this film is still a lot of fun with appealing if clichéd characters sprinting thru delightful visuals and over the top action to save their town and its people. The comic script nicely balances energetic action with intelligent emotional drama and a word or two about good nutrition and cleaning your plate. The family and romantic relationships are rather obvious but still heart felt and worth exploring. I particularly liked Flint’s dedication to science and service and Sam’s revelation that her brain is as big as her heart. Underneath the lunacy of foodfalls are some timeless themes of love, following one’s dreams, accepting responsibility, and sticking together in times of crisis. Watching this fun film left a good taste in my mouth.

I rate Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as 3.5 stars on the 5 star scale because it’s good silly fun for the young at heart. – LS

Press Release

Author's Cooperative Goes Direct to Kindle

Book View Café launches new press and "Rocket Boy and the Geek Girls"

(National)--Traditional publishing, new media, ebooks, and now "vooks" – the publishing world is gripped by unprecedented upheaval. In the middle of industry revolution, what's a working author to do?

For the authors of Book View Cafe, the answer is band together and take charge. This group of twenty-six award-winning and best-selling authors have elected to bypass traditional publishing and bring out their latest work directly on Amazon's Kindle and Sony's eReader.

All professionally published, and many currently under contract with traditional New York firms such as Random House, Tor Books and Simon & Schuster, the Book View Cafe authors first came together in 2008 to create bookviewcafe.com, a destination website for online fiction. Armed with a century's worth of experience in all aspects of publishing, members include multiple-award-winning authors like Ursula K. Le Guin and Vonda N. McIntyre, bestsellers like Sarah Smith and Laura Anne Gilman, and new talents like Seanan McGuire.

Once the main site was established, the authors formed Book View Press to take their titles out onto the wider Internet world.

"The e-publishing infrastructure is now firmly in place," says Project Manager Sarah Zettel. "BVC authors have both content and the experience to take full advantage of it."

Book View Press titles will be created and edited by the BVC's members, and made available through the Kindle and Sony eReader stores, as well as at bookviewcafe.com. No outside publishing house will be involved and the profits go directly to the authors.

Book View Press's first project is an anthology of science fiction titles, ROCKET BOY AND THE GEEK GIRLS (http://www.bookviewcafe.com/index.php/BVC-eBookstore/), which will include work by SF mega-star Vonda N. McIntyre, best-seller Katharine Kerr, and a host of other notables including Amy Sterling Casil, Irene Radford, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, and C.L. Anderson.

The next project from Book View Press is more ambitious. An entirely original anthology of linked short stories titled THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY. With a release date of December 15, 2009, SHADOW CONSPIRACY is set in an alternate Victorian age filled with airships, and automata where a human's soul can be stolen and a machine's soul can be born. As with ROCKET BOY, the project will go straight to the Kindle, the eReader and the iPhone.

"Ebooks give us a fantastic opportunity to bring our best work straight to the readers," says Zettel. "It's truly an exciting time to be an author."


Sue Lange
Book View Café
media.relations at bookviewcafe dot com

WSFA History

Ten Years Ago

October 1999

There were articles on Aussiecon III, including a discussion of the problem of a split WSFA meeting, partially in Austraila and partly in Arlington. Legality? Quoum? Timezones?

In a sad note, we learned of the death of Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Twenty Years Ago

October 1989

Another sad note, the announcement of the end of Unicon, due to committee burnout.

We had an exchange of letters with a Boston fan who was really disappointed that Disclave was not Boskone. [The thing that bothered me about the foursquare games was not the noise, but the miserable quality of play. Any kid in my fifth-grade class could have dusted the lot of them. – Editor]

Thirty Years Ago

October 1979

There'll be an election for Disclave chair at the next meeting, and also an election for Disclave GoH. Score one for creative parliamentary procedure.

Somtow Sucharitkul (who now writes as S. P. Somtow) sold his first novel, The Starship and the Haiku, to Pocket Books.


From the Editor

The Book View Café is an interesting idea. It's no secret that the book publishing industry is in trouble, between spiraling costs, distribution problems, and competition from electronics. BVC looks like an interesting attempt to, as Jim Macdonald put it, “move money toward the author”. (Yog's law) One of the problems with online publishing is that it's too easy – anybody can put up a Web page. A publisher provides services that any publication needs; one of these is copy editing. How many grammar errors can you find in the press release?

— Steve Smith, Editor, The WSFA Journal

The WSFA Journal is the official publication of the Washington Science Fiction Association.
Copyright © 2009 WSFA, Inc.
All rights reserved
ISSN 0894-5411