WSFA Logo The WSFA Journal

August/September 2010

The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association -- ISSN 0894-5411 Edited by Samuel Lubell

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After phone booths joined police boxes on the vanished from civilization list, the Doctor was forced to use the only remaining similar sized box

Metropolis Makes Sense With Added Character

The First Friday meeting in July (7-2-10) opened with VP Sam Scheiner presiding. The meeting was called to order at 9:15, but Sam said his watch runs fast. "Our esteemed president is at a party so might be late or not show." Secretary Sam summarized last meeting. Treasurer Steve told about the money.

<Aliens abducted the treasurer's report from the web version>

Gayle for Capclave present said her committee is working on programming, and talking about appreciations for our GoHs. There are four or five new members. We have a person willing to do filking. Capclave future said board is reviewing hotel contract to clean up a few details. The room cost is favorable and a fixed two-year contract so it won't go up. The date is Oct 12, 13, 14 moving back a week. Far future: ditto - two year contract.

Publications is working on June/July Journal issue. Ernest is out of the loop. We have a cover for VanderMeer book, still working on cover for Connie's. Had four variations so far. Sold several more preorders over the internet, even a bundle of three (w Turtledove). Still a ways to go to be in the black before print. Majority of sales will be in person at Capclave.

Intertivities - Sam S. talked up the one man Lord of the Rings August 1st, Woolly Mammoth Theater. Starting Monday through August 1st. Does someone want to organize a trip? Ernest raised his hand. Whoever is in charge with should organize this - John Madigan. Candy said thought of meetup but didn't want to volunteer John. John will organize. Fourth of July party at the Pomerantz's. Fifth Friday, Candy and John volunteered. "If it wasn't for WSFA my house would never be clean," said Candy. <The same is true of my apartment!> No trustee business.

Committee to Talk SF will discuss the stories in the contest. Small press - Paul said, "Everyone who is a member is permitted and encouraged to read the stories and vote, if become a member of WSFA tonight, can read the stories and vote. Sent out passwords to all members for whom he had email addresses." If you are a member and do not have your password, see him tonight and he will give it to you on a piece of paper that will not vanish into the ether. Sam S. said can put on flashdrive. Ernest said Gayle has the epub versions. Paul said, please remember they are to be shared only with WSFA members, do not share them with others. When done with vote delete them. Deadline for voting is August 1. Stories are anonymous. Judge by the merits of the story. Based on the last three years, we kicked out some of the biggest names in the field. Do not look up the names. If you do this, you are subhuman. Cathy - big selling point that this is blind. Once vote tallied, we send a press release so you'll know. Sam L. said that Hugo voters will recognize one of the stories. Paul said, "...but forget the writer." <You mean, what's his name?>

No old business. Reminded people, in Sept First Friday will be at Candy and John's because Sam S. and Judy will be in Australia. So three in a row at Maryland. Sam S. said third Friday in Sept is Yom Kippur. Here for second meeting: Brian Peterbaum from Reston. Also Eric and Olga Jens, Olga is professor of Musicology.

Announcements: Mike Walsh - This month at Avalon theater, the restored version of Metropolis will be screened at Avalon , not only does it make more sense but there's a whole new character. <Not Chloe Sullivan!> Starts sometimes in July 9th. May be eligible for Hugo since has new material. Mike showed a robot centerfold of 1968 Lunacon program book. Paul said some work related issues. Same work, new boss. Judy Newton apologized for being late, but had a fancy dinner for her 37th wedding anniversary., Cathy asked, 'so you got tattoos? Judy said the folklife festival was giving free tattoos. Lance said the Nasfic hotel block closes this week. Meeting unanimously adjourned at 9;54.

Attendance: Cathy Green, Paul Haggerty, Sarah Katz, Bill Lawhorn, Brian Lewis, Ernest Lilley, Sam Lubell, Bob Macintosh, Candy & John Madigan, Sandra Marshall, Sarah Mitchell, Barry & Judy Newton, Mark Roth, Judy & Sam Scheiner, George Shaner, Steve Smith, Gayle Surrette, Michael Walsh, Ivy Yap, Erik Jens, Olga Haldey, Lance Oszko, and Bryan Puterbaugh.


Waiting for Sequels

By Samuel Lubell

Due to the overwhelming attention given to the movie Waiting for Superman, about the state of public schools and the need for charters as a solution, film-makers are already gearing up for new films to tap this audience. Here's what we can expect for future documentaries:

Superman.jpgWaiting for Batman - This film will focus on the dangers of urban crime and the failures of the public system of crime and punishment. It recommends paying for a private force of uncontrolled vigilantes.

Waiting for Aquaman - This movie will show the overfishing of the oceans, damage from the melting of the polar ice-caps, and the need to put the oceans under a single manager - a sea king.

Waiting for Spiderman - This film will expose our dependence on insects and arachnoids to pollinate crops and flowers and to do whatever a spider can. As more insects become extinct, humans will have to do their jobs become human flies, spidermen, and B-movie actors.

Waiting for Wonder Woman - This documentary will present the history of the feminism, its role in defeating the Nazis and creating paradise, and the need for equal pay for equal work.

Waiting for Captain America - Has our nation's military might been frozen? Is the current generation of winter soldiers able to replace those from the greatest generation? Are we equipping the military with too many offensive weapons without even giving them a simple shield for protection?

Waiting for Green Lantern - The need to militarize space and have a corps of space patrolmen to protect the planet from dinosaur-killing asteroids.

Waiting for the Greatest American Hero - The inevitable spoof of the documentary trend (see above) covering the need to read instruction manuals carefully before operating new equipment.


Stickers with Dodos on Them

The July Third Friday 7-16-10 was called to order at 9:21. Do we have quorum? asked Prez Judy. We have exactly 15. We put a notice on WSFA list that all September meetings will be here at the Madigans. Minutes unanimously adopted but Bill objected. Move to table Bill, Candy yelled, I don't have a table strong enough. Officers report, person offered to send his self-published book, if anyone wants to read it. No VP. Sam L. said new journal sent to webmasters who will encode it. Paul said, 128 bit encryption, crack that. Mike W. asked who would want to. Sam protested, describing all the good stuff in it. Steve said, If you want to join, give me money. That way you can vote on the stories. Trustees had nothing to report.

<The web version of the treasurer' report was burnt by dragons>

John posted a date on Meetup for the One Man Lord of the Rings show. WSFA Press - Gayle said, artist is doing final cover and expect to have it soon. Signature sheets will probably be sent out end of month so they can be signed by the author, artist, person doing forward and afterword. Want to make sure enough time. Discussion about Connie's new book All Clear being published a few days before Capclave. Since Larry Smith will not be at Capclave since doing Ohio Valley filk fest, we will have a new new book dealer. Paul: At Readercon we sold two Reincarnations and one Darkest Resnick for *** given to treasurer and no bill. Cathy, can we get books for the NASfic? Talk offline. Gayle: If want to post on WSFA website, see her. With no content, nothing will change. Colleen for Facebook. Not a lot of comments, but fan sites don't get much. Gayle. Need more WSFAns to join the MeetUp group. It would be good if more of us were on there.

Capclave past. Bill said, "We're completely wrapped up. Yes." Judy asked if we can stop asking Capclave Past to report? Bill answered yes. We've found other projects. Capclave Present Gayle - Working on programming. Brian is checking out restaurants for the guide. On target or slightly above for memberships, not way ahead so in the noise factor. So talk them. Sam L. pointed out that the rack cards don't have the current rates. Cathy said people at NASFic should sit at the table, email her for small_dodo_transparent.gifschedule. People will distribute at Confluence. And Sam said there should be an ad in the program book. Far Future: George or Sam S are talking to the hotel. Negotiations are ongoing.

Talk SF will talk Asimovs. Small Press Awards has 11 people voting. That's 25%. To get chocolate we need 60% so all need to vote. Cathy said her fudge was at the 4th of July party. So please vote. Colleen said, there are only 8 stories to read, and we in the committee had to read many more, some of which were quite crappy. And long. So don't cry to me about eight stories. These are to be judged blind. I know one won the Nebula so you probably know the author but ignore that. Vote for the ones you like. Bill said, and the one that won the Nebula sucks so don't vote for it. Colleen said, you can read and vote in just a couple of hours. Judy - in the next real world election, when they give you the I voted sticker, we should save them. Colleen said, no we need stickers with dodos on them. Judy showed her dodo with the spinning propeller.

Old business: We are meeting at the Ginters for fifth Friday.

New business: Erica said she got a letter because her address used for WSFA Press. A convict wants a list of WSFA press books. Erica said that if no one objects, she'll send a print out of what we have on the website. Bill said to remind him about the full bundle. Erica has the whip from when dominatrix for Disclave.

A new person was here for his first meeting. Dusk Peterson (in steampunk goggles). He heard about us at World Fantasy. Read SF since was a kid. Lives in Greenbelt.

Second meeting, third no.

Announcements: Bill said marooned sailors joke. Steve said there was earthquake in Rockville. Brian offered transportation to or space at Nasfic. Mike has books and cds. Colleen, library of Congress will have book festival in September. A few people on the edge of sf. Publishers pay people to show up so they get the say. Don't always tell the authors they've been invited. Peter Beagle will be at Onacon in Baltimore. Peter Beagle will be at Philcon too. Move to adjourn. Unanimously adjourned at 10 oclock.

Attendance: Colleen Cahill, Carolyn Frank, Erica & Lydia Ginter, Cathy Green, Paul Haggerty, Bill Lawhorn, Brian Lewis, Sam Lubell, Bob Macintosh, Sarah Mitchell, Barry & Judy Newton, Evan Phillips, Steve Smith, Bill Squire, Gayle Surrette, Mike Taylor, Michael Walsh, Ivy Yap, Greg & Diana Swiger, and Heather Peterson.


Review of Cinda Williams Chima's The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms Book 2)
Hyperion Books Hardcover $18
Reviewed by Samuel Lubell

The Exiled Queen is a perfectly adequate, even good, YA epic fantasy with strong romance elements, despite the absence of any exiled queens in the novel (calling it the Runaway Princess would have been more accurate). The book has some interesting elements, including combining the thief and the student-wizard into one character) but the background is fairly paint-by-number (quasi-medieval setting except that females can join the military academy and rule as reigning queens, and magic works but is never clearly defined). Although the second book in a trilogy and not meant to stand alone, the author does an excellent job in providing enough background and in-context information about past events that this new reader had no trouble following along.

There are two main viewpoint characters. Princess Raisa, heir to the Queendom of the Fells is a typical 21st Times New Roman fantasy heroine willful and brave, "able to hold her own in the rough and tumble world outside the court" as her childhood friend Amon Bryce taught her fighting and tavern games. When the Queen agrees to marry her to Micah Bayar, the son of her chief wizard, in violation of the law that wizards should not be kings, the sixteen-year-old Raisa runs away. She journeys to join the military academy under a false identity with Bryce as her guard, falling in love with him in the process. Meanwhile Han "Cuffs" Alister, the former leader of a street gang and the attempted murderer of the chief wizard, has discovered that he has magical powers of his own, with the help of an amulet he stole from the Bryce family. He too travels to the academy town but to join the wizard academy.

For most of the book the two main characters have separate plotlines. Raisa talks the leader of the Waterwalkers out of slaying her troop, talks her way into a customized program at the academy, and learns military strategy. Han feuds with Micah (although his sister seems more desiring to partner with Han) and appears to get involved in a power struggle between the head of the academy who has her own reasons to hate the Bayars and Crow, a mysterious magical advisor who only appears in the Aediion (sort of a combination of dreamtime and nirvana that wizards can visit). Slowly, Han learns how to use him amulet to store magical power for later use. But as his training goes on, he starts tiring and having strange memory lapses. The two meet up again when Han, told by Crow that he needs to learn how to navigate in upper-class society, hires Raisa (still not knowing she is the princess) to teach him. The two soon fall in love (even though Raisa also loves her friend Amon and knows she cannot marry either one).

The experienced fantasy reader will find little new here (but then again, the book is aimed at the YA market). The motivations of the Bayars are mostly unclear and even though much of the book is in a wizard school, the magic is not explained and there is no sense that the magic follows rules (other than the idea that the amulets store power and can run out depending on how much is used.) Even so, adult readers can enjoy the book as a fast moving fantasy read (although the book is long at 586 pages, it is not complicated). This series is okay as a YA generic fantasy kingdom series that is acceptably written and makes no major errors, although it also does not surprise the reader with plot twists or brilliance of writing. The Exiled Queen does not hold up against the likes of Tamara Pierce or Diana Wynne Jones or Greg Keyes "Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone" which it resembles, but is certainly worth getting in the library or purchasing for the YA audience (girls age 14 - 18 would seem to be the target.) I enjoyed reading the book, but can't see myself re-reading it.


Minutes - WSFA meeting Aug 6, 2010
By Sam Scheiner

Called to order at 9:30 PM

Standing Committees: In the absence of the secretary, the reading of the minutes was waived.

Treasurer report: <Web version went off the summer revels.>

Entertivities: A small group attended the One Man Lord of the Rings and had a great time. Several others reported also seeing it. Thumbs up for the resorted Metropolis and Inceptions.

Publications: The Willis and VanderMeer books are nearling completion. The anticipated printing date is Sept 24.

Capclave Present: The con is on track to at least break even. People are encouraged to sign up for one or more workshops and to volunteer to help out.

Capclave Future: A two-year contract has been signed with the Gaithersburg Hilton. The dates of the cons will be Oct. 14-16 in 2011 and Oct. 12-14 in 2012.

Small Press Award: 24 people voted so Cathy will not be making fudge. The identities of the nominees were revealed (see separate annoucement).

Old and New Business: none

New attendees: Two people attended for the first time ( Charity Helton and Zach Pirtle); one person attended his third meeting and joined the nuthouse became a member (Bryan Puterbaugh).

Announcements: The Washington Shakespeare Company will be doing an evening of Shakespeare in the original Klingon with George Takei. The performance will be at the Rosslyn Spectrum in Arlington. Information at:

Sam Scheiner has had one of his books translated into Chinese <but not Klingon>.

BAWAWA will be having its next meeting on Aug 21 at Peggy Rae Sapienza's. Anyone interested in joining and working on the Nebula Weekend or World Fantasy Con are encouraged to come.

Madeleine announced that she can now beat up anyone in WSFA.<But we're not supposed to talk about fight club.>

Adjourned at 10:10 PM.

Attendees: Barry and Judy Newton, Bob Macintosh, Sandy Marshall, Mark Roth, Bryan Peterbaugh, Ivy Yap, Ernest Lilley, Drew Bittner, Madeleine Yeh, George Shaner, Steve Smith, and Sam and Judy Scheiner.


Memo from the Vulcan Ambassador to Earth

Spocks World book cover

To: People of Earth

From: Planet Vulcan

RE: Supreme Court Decision

It has come to our attention that in 2010 in the Supreme Court of the Earth district then known as the United States, there was a case involving minors having access to violent computer entertainment. Justice Sotomayor asked a lawyer, "Would a video game that portrayed a Vulcan as opposed to a human being, being maimed and tortured, would that be covered by the act?" The lawyer said that torturing a Vulcan would be okay "because the act is only directed towards the range of options that are able to be inflicted on a human being."

We Vulcans think it is illogical to torture Vulcans for entertainment if it is not acceptable to depict humans being so tortured. It is Earth-centric ideas like this that make us speculate as to whether the presence of humans taint the whole Federation. If we were a more emotional people, given to sarcasm, we might wonder what was next - making a movie in which the whole planet Vulcan is blown up?

The government of Vulcan demands that Earth repudiate this discussion and acknowledge that the maiming and torturing of Vulcans, simulated or not, is not to be tolerated in a civilized society.


Who Will Be The Head Twit of WSFA?

The 8/20 Third Friday in August 2010 was called to order at 9:19. "Do we have a quorum?" asked Judy? Yes said Brian. Darn, said Erica

Sam Lubell read the minutes - the good parts version. There were no reports from the President or the Vice. Secretary Sam said nothing had been submitted to Journal, please submit.

Treasurer report. <The web version of the treasurer's report succumbed to the dog days of August>

Upon hearing the total, many WSFAns said, "Let's go to Australia."

Committee reports - Standing committees were all sitting.

Trustees report, Barry said there was one new member, who was not here. This led to a debate over Virginians being too afraid to cross the Potomac or maybe the Mason Dixon line, which digressed into a debate over where the line was. NASFIC was small in number but big in location. SIRUS Radio is honoring Ray Bradbury <laughter> on his 90th birthday with some of his radio drama. <This led to concern over who will sing the birthday song for the minutes>. Ernest said that many WSFAns watched the Ray Bradbury or Jane Austen fight club videos and recommend them. Sam asked people to contribute to the Journal for the second time in the same meeting <not that it did any good.> Quoth the Raven, 404 [not found]. That was a Poe joke, said Mike Walsh.

WSFA Press: Ernest for WSFA Press reported on year-to-date WSFA Press sales/orders: <The web version of the WSFA Press Orders/Sales similarly went to a better hereafter>

At NASFIC we sold two Turtledoves. Everyone sang, "and a partridge in a pear tree."

For the website, Paul and Gayle asked officers to log in and post. Someone tried to order Firewatch from Canada, only to be told the website said can't be shipped to Canada. It turns out there's a setting three levels down where you have to authorize shipments to Canada again. Fixed. Cathy said, "Blame Canada". Paul said he enfranchised an entire country! I have that power. Gayle is still putting things up on Facebook. Not twittering. Anyone want to volunteer to be a twit? Brian asked, "Does anyone want to be the head twit of WSFA?" Steve, added, "As opposed to who deserves it."

For Meetup, membership is still in the 50ithish range but got a people to come. Ernest posted pictures up. So there's a face to WSFA. Judy suggested linking all this stuff up. Colleen said, WSFA central. Cheers to John for doing Meetup.

Capclave 2010, meeting last Sunday of everyone on programming. Fleshed out a draft. Two appreciations for GoHs done. Sent bookmarks to GoH. Got notes from Ann and Jeff, saying they will hype Capclave on their blog. Wrote love letter to Capclave. Question of whether they keep kosher, no. Things moving on. Would help if everyone brings a new person who has never been to WSFA. There now is someone to do the con suite. Need volunteers. Don't have to be WSFAns. Gayle said have workshops for Capclave. Sign up on website. For the VanderMeer writing workshop the story has to be to them by end of August. Only 12 slots.

Cathy for Capclave 2011 said we have the hotel. She emailed first choice for GoH, but is in holding pattern. She is leaning toward two specific authors.

Committee to talk SF - Ernest said last time they had a discussion on the ending of Inceptions, and brief reports on books people are currently reading. Ernest suggested doing this again. Gayle said Jeff does a column on his blog so could do a column on WSFA favorite books.

The small press awards have a winner, someone knows and the rest of us will find in a couple of months. "I know," said Paul. "It was one of the finalists." Gayle said notices were sent to those who were not finalists, the finalists, and people who nominated them. So far one finalist, who may or may not be the winner, has said s/he will come. Paul said Carolyn did a fantastic job. Round of applause. Cathy said to send notices to newspapers.

No old business.

New business. Cathy proposed not putting our finances up on the web and not including the treasurer's report in the Journal in the website. Mike asked about tax requirements. Sarah, speaking only for herself said the 990s are available for C3s, but is good practice. You don't have to have running record, but it has to be available on request. Barry said there is no need for hotel reps with whom we are negotiating to have access to our finances. Paul said that for years before we had the Internet, this info was not available to outsiders. The motion was modified so that the Journal would be sent to Cathy for review before going on the web. Motion passed. <All hail Cathy, the Lord High Text-icutioner>

Brian proposed sending a card to Ray Bradbury. Approved.

Sam asked about the official copies of the Journal. Steve has them.

New people: Cecilia, found out about WSFA through MeetUp. She is a writer who recently got into SF. Looking to pick brains about authors and books. Charity was here for her second time. No one was here for the third time <People do learn!>

Announcements: White bunny has been replaced by a free-range black and white bunny who does not bite. Transporter accident. But still can't feed the dogs chocolate. Colleen September 8th, What If, 10th anniversary of Strange Horizons, a small press magazine. Book Festival at end of September. It now has a big endowment of a million bucks so may be more SF authors next year. Steve spent a month on jury learning about blood clots. While there, he handed out Capclave bookmarks and one of the other jurors will be at Capclave. He works for hotel. Mike Walsh has cheap books. He recommends the Heinlein bio. Biographer discovered a new unknown wife of Heinlein. The book ends with the marriage to Ginny <He stole that ending from Harry Potter!> Sarah has a birthday tomorrow.

Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:05.

Attendance: Colleen Cahill, Erica Ginter, Cathy Green, Paul Haggerty, Sarah Katz, Bill Lawhorn, Brian Lewis, Ernest Lilley, Sam Lubell, Walter Miles, Sarah Mitchell, Barry & Judy Newton, Evan Phillips, Steve Smith, Bill Squire, Gayle Surrette, Michael Wash, Ivy Yap, Madeleine Yeh, Cecilia Carey, and Charity Helton.


Library of Congress Presents WHAT IF

Library of Congress Professional Association What If... Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum Presents:

Two October Programs

John Ashmead
"The Physics of Paradox"

October 21, 2010 - Thursday

Leona Wisoker
"The Anatomy of a Finished Novel"

October 25, 2010 - Monday
West Dining Room

Both Presentations 12:10 to 12:45 p.m.
Madison Building
No registration required: open to the public. For information contact Colleen Cahill