The WSFA Journal

December 2009

Steve Smith, Editor
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First Friday, December 4, 2009

Meeting called to order at 9:15 PM by President Lee Strong


President: Lee Strong

The President proposed stopping at 1015PM for the David Bartell. He then announced several resignations:

Treasurer Tina Abel resigned, effective the First Friday in February.

Trustee Chris Newman resigned, effective immediately

President Lee Strong resigned, effective immediately

Vice President Judy Newton took the gavel for the rest of the meeting.

Vice President: Judy Newton

Took over as President.

Our next meeting is NY day. This is too early to have a special election. Sam Lubell suggested the Third Friday in January.

Barry Newton points out that there is no time requirement for the election. Trustees have the authority to set the date for the special election.

Colleen wants a consensus of the club. She made a motion to have the trustees announce candidates at First Friday in January and vote on the Third Friday. This is nonbinding on the trustees. Colleen won't be there. We may have to push it back a week if Charles Abel (the only other trustee) can't make it. The motion passed unanimously.

Secretary: Steve Smith
Treasurer: Tina Abel










CD 1 (Feb)



CD 2 (May)





This does not include hotel bill & payment to Erica Ginter.

Trustees: Charles Abel, Colleen Cahill

We're gonna have an election, a bit earlier than expected.

Entertivities: Sam Lubell

Brian withdrew his tour of Christmas lights suggestion; there aren't enough lights to make it worth a tour.

Publications: Steve Smith

Journal: Steve Smith

The October WSFA Journal is in the hands of the Webmasters.

We need submissions!

Website: Paul Haggerty & Gayle Surrette

Journals are up. Store is working. We sold a book! We're handling coupons from NESFA.

Locus asked for review copies!

WSFA Press: Ernest Lilly

No info. Will make full report in Jan. Working on xmas sale. Not enough numbers.

Facebook: Colleen Cahill

Everything is connected together now.

Capclave Past: Bill Lawhorn

Numbers on WSFA list are close but the Baen invoice is not listed. We need the numbers for cash transactions.

The hotel screwed up numbers in our favor.

Capclave Present: Gayle Surrette

Message to Tina – Gail wants verification of the Capclave 2010 payment of $1000 to the hotel. Otherwise, we could lose the hotel.

Capclave Future: Cathy Green

Meeting with the Holiday Inn Gaithersburg; looked over Crowne Plaza Silver Spring – their function space is weird but worth followup. We may go back to the Hilton Silver Spring if we can get in before NCAA.

New Finance: Tina Abel

Not here

The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction: Bill Lawhorn

The Author is here & ready to go!

Awards: Colleen Cahill

Committee needs to meet.

Old business:

Bylaws changes:

Article IV: All communication w/ the Capclave GOH is through/by authority of the Capclave chair.

Article V: Committees, plus having “official” control of Capclave publications with the con chair.

Vote to table. One opposed, no abstentions

New business:

Yeah, right!

New people:

Eric Jens & Olga Hadley were here for their first meeting. They saw a card at Hole in the Wall Books.

David and Leilani Bartell were here


Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:18 PM.


David Bartell, Leilani Bartell, Drew Bittner, Colleen Cahill, Cathy Green, Olga Hadley, Paul Haggerty, Eric Jens, Sarah Katz, Bill Lawhorn, Brian Lewis, Sam Lubell, Sandra Marshall, Sarah Mitchell, Barry Newton, Judy Newton, Judy Scheiner, Sam Scheiner, George Shaner, Steve Smith, Lee Strong, Gayle Surrette, Emily Whitten, Ivy Yap, Madeleine Yeh.

Third Friday, December 18, 2009

Meeting called to order at 9:10 PM by President Judy Newton


President: Judy Newton

New policy – Old and New business issues will have discussion limited to five minutes. If there is no consensus after five minutes, she'll appoint a committee. The committee shall report when they have a consensus, or a point that everybody can agree on.

Committee Reports – be brief. [More detailed reports can be e-mailed to the Secretary for inclusion in the WSFA Journal – Editor]

Vice President:
Secretary: Steve Smith

Abbreviated meeting minutes

Treasurer: Tina Abel

Not here.

Trustees: Charles Abel, Colleen Cahill

The Special Election is scheduled for January 15. Colleen can't be there, so Charles will run the meeting if he's there. This is tentative; we have to have at least one Trustee present to run an election.

Proposed slate:

As usual for WSFA elections, nominations from the floor are welcome.

Entertivities: Sam Lubell

Publications: Steve Smith

Journal: Steve Smith

The November WSFA Journal is on line.

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

Gail has Future Washington. The future is here, and it is Analog

Amazon cut us off and blocked us. Why??

Capclave Past: Bill Lawhorn

Still trying to finalize books. Finally sent bill to Baen. Need to get numbers straightened out by 1 Jan.

Capclave Present: Gayle Surrette

Still gearing up. Sent out Dec. notice of price increase & got 1 member. Planning on an announcement before each rate increase.


Capclave Future: Cathy Green

Met w/ HI Gaithersburg Got RFP. Possibly first choice. Good room rate. Free shuttle from Shady Grove. Unfortunately, no nearby restaurants. Hotel bar & restaurant are reasonable.

New Finance: Tina Abel

Not here. Work is done. Need to do the actual report.

The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction: Bill Lawhorn

Sam brought an Asimov's, Bill is leaving early.

The event at First Friday went well; we're looking at doing it again, maybe 3 times a year.

Question - what about 990? Still waiting for info from John P.

Awards: Colleen Cahill

Meeting via e-mail or maybe Skype.

Old business:

Bylaws amendments, tabled from previous meeting.

Bill L. withdraws them.

He then proposed two changes to the Standing Rules:

  1. It shall be Considered Standard Practice that official contact w/ GOH(s) is through the convention chair or his/her official designate..

2 against. Motion carries.

  1. It shall be considered Standard Practice that WSFA Committee chairs can appoint & remove members of their own committee. This is in addition to the president's power.

2 against. Motion carries.

New business:


New people:



Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:04 PM.


Colleen Cahill, Adrienne Ertman,, Erica Ginter, Cathy Green, Paul Haggerty, Bill Lawhorn, Brian Lewis, Sam Lubell, Candy Madigan, John Madigan, Sarah Mitchell, Barry Newton, Judy Newton, Evan Phillips, George Shaner, Steve Smith, Bill Squire, Lee Strong, Gayle Surrette, Mike Taylor, Ivy Yap, Madeleine Yeh.


Monsters vs. Aliens


DreamWorks, 2009
Directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon
Reviewed by Lee Strong

Many a young woman has wished for a big wedding and a giant rock on her hand on her special day. Susan Murphy (voice of Reese Witherspoon) gets both those things in spades when a meteor hits her on her wedding day, transforming her into a 50+ Foot Woman! Before she has a chance to catch her breath, she’s captured by a secret government task force headed by General W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland) and deposited in a secret holding facility for monsters! There she meets such charming fellows as the Missing Link, Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D., B.O.B., Insectosaurus and the Invisible Man (Will Arnett, Hugh Laurie, Seth Rogan, Mothra, and Sir Not Appearing in This Film). Meanwhile, interstellar menace Gallaxhar and his Computer assistant (Rainn Wilson and Amy Poehler) land a giant robot probe on Earth searching for the quantonium energy that transformed Susan into a ginormous woman. When Presidential music (Stephen Colbert) and military muscle fail, the monsters are dispatched to save San Francisco and the world from the invaders from outer space. Can the monsters defeat the alien invasions? Will Modesto, California accept its strange new neighbors? And, more importantly, can Susan’s jerk of a fiancée, Derek Dietl, (Paul Rudd) accept a truly powerful woman in his life? Stay tuned for Monsters vs. Aliens!

Okayyyy…. This is silly stuff but it’s really good silly stuff. There’s a good solid plot about people confronting overwhelming problems with courage and skills while wrestling with personal issues. Like most good literature, the resolution depends on accepting oneself and using one’s power for the benefit of others. The characters are well drawn in a well realized world. Practically all of the sentients are silly in various ways but they also have realistic hopes and dreams to tug at our heartstrings. Most of them rise to the occasion, accepting each other as people rather than “monsters”, and helping each other physically and emotionally. Not a bad lesson for non-monsters as well.

One of the delightful features of this film is the many, many earlier science fiction and monster movies it pays tribute to. The theater party that I watched the film with counted over a dozen greats and not-so-greats among the honorees. How many references can you count?

I rate Monsters versus Aliens as 3.5 stars on the 5 star scale because it’s good silly fun. – LS

The Wizard of Oz


Metro Goldwin Meyer/United Artists, 1939
Re-released 2009
Directed by Victor Fleming
Reviewed by Lee Strong

I’ve actually seen this movie about a dozen times before but never in an actual theater until its 70th anniversary re-release. I got to the theater an hour before show time because I suspected what was going to happen and it did. The theater was packed and the audience applauded at the end. “It still has the magic.” – The Great and Powerful Fan

Dorothy Gale’s (Judy Garland) life certainly seems to be heading for a crisis since the most powerful woman in Kansas, USA, Ms. Elmira Gulch (Margaret Hamilton), wants to destroy the young woman’s dog, Toto (Terry). Her loving foster parents, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry (Clara Blandick and Charley Grapewin), try to defy Ms. Gulch but the latter has the law on her side. So, Dorothy runs away from home seeking a land “somewhere over the rainbow” where she will never get into trouble. Fortunately or unfortunately, a friendly practitioner of the mystic arts, Professor Marvel (Frank Morgan), persuades her to return home just in time for a tornado to strike and whisk her off to the distant and colorful Land of Oz.

Once there, Dorothy’s troubles seem to multiply as her house lands on a wicked witch, killing the latter and incurring the wrath of her sister, the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton). So, it’s off to see the Wizard of Oz despite the natural hazards of the magical land such as lions and tigers and bears (Oh, my!) and the unnatural hazards that the Wicked Witch throws into Dorothy’s path (Oh, no!). With the help of new friends including Glinda the Good Witch, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion (Billie Burke, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, and Bert Lahr), plus her own American courage and resolve, Dorothy wins thru to the Emerald City where the Great and Powerful Oz (Frank Morgan) imposes an impossible task on the young heroine and her friends. Can the dauntless five some overcome magical fireballs, drug laden poppies, the Haunted Forest, the Flying Monkeys, and the Winkie Guard to defeat the Wicked Witch on her home ground?

As you might guess, I immensely enjoyed this classic story all over again. Its story of love, courage and kindliness never go out of style. The characters are vividly drawn and portrayed with a brilliant combination of humor, resolution and daring do. The cinematography is excellent and the many songs effectively advance the plot and reveal the inner longings of the characters. It’s true that the special effects are incredibly cheesy by modern standards but they were state of the art when the film was made in 1939. The color coded contrast between drab Kansas and the Technicolor Land of Oz is extremely effective at setting the tone for the different parts of the film. As a long time Oz fan, I didn’t like the film’s treatment of the magical land as a dream rather than a real country where bluebirds fly, but I suppose that you can’t have everything in an otherwise outstanding movie.

The theatrical presentation is preceded by a Making of the Movie featurette that presents a number of interesting facts about the actors, the groundbreaking special effects and how an American fairy tale made the transition from beloved book to the silver screen.

I rate The Wizard of Oz as 4.5 stars on the 5 star scale because its timeless story of courage, mutual acceptance and affection never grows old. – LS


Mark Owings, 1945-2009

Bibliographer Mark Owings (b.1945) died on December 30 from pancreatic cancer. Owings worked with Jack Chalker to publish The Index to the Science-Fantasy Publishers and The Revised H.P. Lovecraft Bibliography. Owings was also the publisher of Croatan House, in conjunction with Chalker and Ted Pauls. Owings was a founder of BSFS, served as con chair for Balticon multiple times, and served as the Chair of the Compton Crook Award committee.

— From Locus Online

WSFA History

Ten Years Ago

December 1999

Evan Rubenstein gave us an X-Files Xmas.

Twenty Years Ago

December 1989

The exchange of nasty letters from last month continues. No one was pleased.

Thirty Years Ago

December 1979

Joe Mayhew had a bit of Disclave history, and there was an announcement of WSFA's Fifth Friday party for February 1980, which was the original Datclave. It was to be held at Lankhmar on the Potomac.


From the Editor

Another obituary. It's a heck of a way to ring out the old year. I've known Mark since I got into fandom, back when they served trilobites at the Hugo banquets. I last talked to him at Darkover, just after Thanksgiving, and he seemed fine then. He was moving a bit slowly, but that tends to happen to all of us as time goes on.

I, and WSFA, send our condolences to Marks's family, his extended fannish family, and especially to Jul.

— Steve Smith, Editor, The WSFA Journal

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