The WSFA Journal


DECEMBER 1981                             VOL. 5 NO. 7




At Gilliland's, Rosa B. Oliver, R. N., presiding. Joe Mayhew acted as secretary (Editor's note: your secretary was at an abysmally boring reunion). The meeting was growled to order at 9:25 PM, and the minutes were approved as read. The Treasurer reported $8,419.46 in the vaults.


MEMBERSHIP: Two fen have joined: Flash and Donna Gause.

CAPICON: Lee Smoire and Jack Heneghan have seen the Hotel in Baltimore, and have arranged for a con suite adjacent to the jacuzzi. They have blocked 20 rooms on the top (7th) floor, and the hotel will block more if needed. We might have a second activity room upstairs.

ENTERTAINMENT: Doll asked when WSFA would prefer to have the Solstice Party, and the vote was for Saturday, December 19. The second meeting in December will be at the Gilliland's (Dec. 18), and will be the Tree Trimming (bring ornaments). Anyone intending to go to the Solstice Dinner must talk to Doll about what to bring. You must sign up in advance for the dinner. WSFA will discuss a movie party for "Time Bandits" at the Nov. 20 meeting. Charlie Ellis showed two films after the meeting ("Rappaccini's Daughter" and "Recorded Live").

(1) Ed Sobansky, Esquire reported on the possible incorporation of WSFA. Reasons in favor of this action were (a) Incorporation would limit individual liability for suits resulting from WSFA-sponsored activities, (b) The IRS would be pleased, and (c) There are some advantages possible from legal non-profit status. He would handle the matter for a $150 stipend and $40 registration fees (he is a member of the Maryland Bar). (Editor's note: how much are their drinks?) It was moved, seconded, and passed first, that WSFA initiate the appropriate moves to achieve incorporation; second, that Ed Sobansky be retained to handle the incorporation as directed by WSFA's Board of Directors, and be paid for his services. It was noted that the act of incorporation will have to be voted on as a change to the WSFA Constitution.

(2) It was moved, seconded, and passed that the WSFA officers be authorized to purchase insurance to cover suits against WSFA resulting from WSFA-sponsored events.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Dave Hastie had a birthday this year.

Mr. Mayhew is sure that we adjourned - there was a lot of noise....


At Oliver's, Rosa Oliver presiding. The meeting was called to disorder at 9:11 PM. The minutes were approved as corrected. The Treasurer was off flying (?), but the Treasury stood at $8,419.46.


CAPICON: The flyer is being put together - it should be available at the first Friday in December meeting. The Guest of Honor will be Seabury Quinn, Fan Guest of Honor will be Ronnie Lake, and Francis Towner Laney has been suggested for Toastmaster. (All of the above are deceased,)

ENTERTAINMENT: The movie party for "Time Bandits" will be Sunday, November 22 at Springfield Mall. It was moved, seconded, and passed that WSFA pay for the tickets. You must let Doll know if you are coming to the Solstice Dinner, and what you will be bringing. Joe Mayhew presented his annual WSFA Christmas carol, and a motion was made for formal condemnation of Mr. Mayhew. (The song is reproduced elsewhere in this Journal.)



(1) Dalroy had hotel cards for Balticon. (He was promptly mobbed.)

(2) Rosa said that Bob's birthday was the previous day, and that birthday cake would be available later. Round-to-Robin #14 was in the typewriter, and Jane's work for Philcon was on display.

(3) Both the first and third Friday meetings in December will be at Gilliland's. (Remember that the Tree Trim will be the third Friday.)

(4) Sharon Harris' younger brother was killed in a car accident (deepest sympathy). If you would like, you may make a contribution to the National Kidney Foundation in the name of Paul Peter Smatusek, Jr. Please give Sharon's address.

(5) There is a new Szechuan restaurant in Baltimore.

(6) Shirley Avery was at the meeting.

(7) Today, the Library of Congress was about the only institution (?) with funding for next year, and Reagan was hiding out there. It was noted that Garfield was the first president to be assassinated by a disgruntled government employee.

(8) John Sapienza was there! Today was Phil of Moonstone's 70th birthday.

(9) Newton wants to know if anyone can read Japanese.

The meeting was adjourned by a sneaky trick at 9:40 PM.


By Doll Gilliland

Your editor asked me for a bit of background on these annual rites. Well, it all started in the '60s, when we Gillilands began hosting the WSFA meetings at our apartment in DC. It was our custom at the time to drive to Lafayette, Indiana to spend the holidays with Alexis' family. But it struck us that a lot of people in this area aren't able to get home for the usual festivities, so we decided to proffer a surrogate celebration.

Since then we have furnished a tree every year, inviting WSFA to bring the decorations. We go into the attic for the lights and some of the ornaments from previous years. This way everyone has a hand in trimming the tree, and its garb changes each year, based on what the individual members bring. Cookies and eggnog are the evening's standard fare.

If Chanukah is occurring concurrently, you will find the candles lit appropriately.

The dinners started after our move here to Virginia in the mid-70s, and basically for the same reason. By this time, Alexis' family was scattered all over the country (the globe, if you count his sister in Tasmania), and we were spending the holidays here. So we decided to open our home to the WSFAns in the area to share a bountiful dinner. The club provides the basic bird(s) and beverages, and the attendees provide the rest. The only thing constant on the menu is turkey and champagne punch. Everything else depends on you, including the card tables or snack trays and folding chairs. The meal is what you all make it.

If we're lucky, we start around 6-6:30 PM with hors d'oeuvres and mulled wine on the street level, while the buffet tables and dinner arrangements are set up on the lower level. Desserts are stored upstairs in the dining room (no poker this night) and are not served until everyone has dined on the main course.

As you must have guessed by now, this is a multi-hour happening, especially if there are a lot of people. The more guests, the more food and the more variety, so the more visits to the buffet tables. We recommend small portions so you have room to try the various dishes.

In any event, it is essential that you let me know in advance if you are coming and what you'll be bringing so that I can coordinate the menu and assure that there's enough meat and drink for everyone. Holes in the menu are plugged by those people who don't know what to bring; just ask when you call (Tel: 920-6087).


By Joe Mayhew

With two black stripes on a plain white cover and looking like a generic can of peas, a sinister little 58-page book has hit the market like an "in" joke at a prep school. It says that it is a "no-frills book" but it costs $1.50 (or in real money, 3.33 machine cokes) which is a lot per page. Its title is simply Science Fiction, and it is part of a quartet which includes three other pulp genres: "Western," "Romance," and "Mystery," all of which are published without Author, Title, Cover Art (that hurts!) as a sort of wry joke, but also as a bit of sly merchandising from Madison Avenue-based Jove Publications. The only credit given on the cover is the publisher's logo, which seems to say that nothing should get between the corporation and its market.

The story, I suspect, was written on a word processor by a team of non-SF writers from a checklist of pulp ingredients, but it manages an absurd humor worthy of Phil Farmer at his worst. It begins with a nicely pathetic hero, "Alex skipped down the corridor in the style known systemwide as the Academy Shuffle, one foot probing ahead like a blind man's cane, the other dragging behind, wearing a groove in steel flooring." He promptly stumbles into a colonel and by the end of the book the Earth is destroyed by aliens. Good stuff to read on the plane or toilet.

Parody sometimes is itself a part of the vice. SF has one side to it which sets it apart from the other three pulp genres: it also has a lot of non-formula, seriously-written work, which is yoked to the same market as bulk skiffy, the SF equivalent of a Harlequin Romance. Writers like Tom Disch, Gene Wolfe and such get the same little marketing key as Orson Scott Card and Alan Dean Foster. What a pity: Olaf Stapledon's Sirius and Perry Rhodan are thought to be for the same market. Maybe it's the lack of better terminology that lumps such differing works into the same category.


The WSFA Journal is the awful publication of the Washington Science Fiction Association. Editor-in-chief: Jane Wagner, 1000 6th St. SW #312, Washington, DC 20024 (202-554-2730). Assistant Editor: Joe Mayhew. SEE YOUR NAME IN PRINT! BE INFAMOUS!! CONTRIBUTE TO THE WSFA JOURNAL!!!


By Joe Mayhew
(Tune: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen)

The WSFA meeting poker game
in which our addicts play
whenever cash and poker chips
are present, come what may,
goes on and on for endless hours
of grim and greedy play
Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)

The Smofs who entertain us all
where WSFA gathers in
concocting schemes and fannish plots
which time and time again
result in feuds and broken hearts
(for all our skins are thin)
Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)

The minutes read, the treasurer
reports we've lots of dough.
A motion's made to spend it all,
debate is long and slow.
The quorum flees, the meeting's o'er
despite a thund'ring "NO".
Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)

Oh stuff ye merry, Gentlefen
come on and feed your face
for covered dish and specialties
abound around the place
that is, if you've signed up with Doll,
if not please go away.
Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)

Sometimes we meet at Gilliland's
in Arlington, V.A.
Sometimes we meet at Oliver's
down Clinton, Maryland way,
We never meet in Washington
except on fifth Friday.
Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)

Each year we put a Disclave on
around the end of May.
Our year 'round bread and circuses
are paid for on that day
The True Fen all work hard on it
the dead beats come and play
Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)

There's Avedon, Chris Callahan
Somtow, Kent Bloom and Lee,
Jack Chalker, Dalroy Ward, Mike Walsh,
Mark Owings, Beverly
Joe Mayhew, Alan Huff, Tom Schaad,
and even Dave Hastie
Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)


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The following are free at the Air and Space Museum:

First Men on the Moon (1964), Friday, January 22, 7:30 PM.

The Angry Red Planet (1959), Friday, January 29, 7:30 PM.

The Conquest of Space (1955), Friday, February 5, 7:30 PM.

The Space Children (1958), Friday, February 12, 7:30 PM.

Marooned (1969), Friday, February 19, 7:30 PM.

Dark Star (1974), Friday February 26, 7:30 PM.

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964), Friday, March 12, 7:30 PM.

Star Trek - The Motion Picture (1979), Friday, March 19, 7:30 PM.


Update your address list from the November Journal as follows:

Betty Lockwood (left out by mistake)
Frederick, MD 21701

Lisa Peoples (new address)
Binghamton, NY 13905
(607) 722-0850

David J. Kaplan (new address)
Ringwood, NJ 07456