At Chicon, Alexis Gilliland presiding. The meeting was called to disarray at 9:15 PM with barely a quorum. The minutes and Treasurer's reports were waved with banners, since both were helpfully located back in Maryland.
ENTERTAINMENT: At great effort and expense the committee brings you CHICON IV! (Editor's Note: Are you sure you want to claim responsibility, Doll?) There is also the possibility of free tickets to three one-act science fiction plays at the Kennedy Center.
OLD BUSINESS: (probably also located back in Maryland.)
NEW BUSINESS: WSFAns were urged to attend the WSFS business meeting on Saturday at Chicon to discuss the fanzine Hugos and a proposal to incorporate WSFS. (Bah, Humbug!)
The meeting was adjourned in favor of Worldcon partyhopping at 9:21 PM.
(Bring out the barrel and roll me home......)
At Oliver's, Rosa Oliver presiding. Determined to regain control of the club after the rumored coup at Chicon, the president called the meeting to order at 9:16:37. The minutes were approved as meekly read. The Treasury weighed in at $3,933.35.
PUBLICATIONS: The September Journal, which was entirely the work of Joe Mayhew (your editor is innocent!), was distributed.
MEMBERSHIP: New member Sally Lewis.
ENTERTAINMENT: The "free plays" previously referred to are actually black tie affairs with a $25/couple donation. HA!
DISCLAVE 83: George R. R. Martin will be Guest of Honor.
OLD BUSINESS: Continuing a winning streak (or is that winless streak?) there was none.
NEW BUSINESS: A proposal to make Alexis and Somtow life members (by virtue of having won Campbells and Hugos) caused a lengthy discussion on what we actually did with the new constitution (that is, in reference to life members). Eventually the president was asked to appoint a committee to examine the whole subject. In other words, "It's Dead, Jim."
MINUTES (secondus) (sick)
The meeting collapsed at 9:42:22 PM.
ConStellation Lives! (Despite the best efforts of everyone concerned.) At the corporation meeting on September 26 Mike Walsh was re-elected. Chairman (kicking and screaming), and Ted Manekin, Scott Dennis, and Shirley Avery were re-elected Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer.
HARD AS IT MAY BE TO BELIEVE, some local fen have not yet been put to work. PLEASE VOLUNTEER (or risk being drafted). That address again, ConStellation, Box 1046, Baltimore, MD 21203. (Not-so-local fen are also asked to volunteer!)
For your editor's opinion, see below.
The WSFA Journal is the frankly incredible publication of the Washington Science Fiction Association. Editor-in-Cheap: Jane Wagner, 1000 6th St. SW #312, Washington, DC 20024. Assistant Editor: Joe Mayhew.
Kathleen Aranyosi, [censored], Takoma Park, MD 20902 (301) 588-5770
Craig/Marsha Glassner, [censored], Michigan City, IN 46360 (219) 874-2575
Linda Sweeting, [censored], Greenbelt, MD 20770
Ray Ridenour, [censored], Baltimore, MD 21211 (301) 366-7365
Gary Bennett's novel The Star Sailors was nominated for the Libertarian Futurist Society's Prometheus Award for Best Libertarian Novel of 1979/1980. CONGRATULATIONS!
"THEM" IS BECOMING "US"
The article at right appeared on the front page of the financial section of the Wall Street Journal on June 18, 1982.
P.S. For anyone who hasn't heard, there is a third Hitchhiker's book out - Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Scene: a spaceship filled with public-relations executives, Personnel managers, management consultants and "tired TV producers." They are colonists on a planet that turns out to be Earth two million years ago.
They have problems. "Five hundred and seventy-three committee meetings and you haven't even discovered fire yet," exclaims Ford Prefect, a major character in the story. Responds a colonist: "When you've been in marketing as long as I have, you'll know that before any new product can be developed it has to be properly researched.
"We've got to find out what people want from fire, how they relate to it, what sort of image it has for them."
And that Is the flavor of two books by Englishman Douglas Adams -- "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" -- that have become cult reading among college students and some executives.
Gifts for Friends
Rosemary Bruner, director of community affairs for Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., a admits to "running around like an idiot giving copies to her friends and colleagues. And Arnold Brown, a management consultant urges corporate clients to forget the beleaguered state of the economy for a while and consider instead the plight of Arthur Dent.
The hapless Mr. Dent is the hero. Rescued from Earth seconds before the planet is destroyed to make way for an intergalactic freeway, he undergoes a series of adventures with wacky philosophical overtones.
The guide offers portentous advice such as, "Don't panic," and poses questions such as, "Why do we live?" "Why do we die?" and, "Why do we spend so much time in between wearing digital watches?"
Zany and Weird
"Hitchhiker" and "Restaurant" are the hottest sellers in the history of Harvard Square's Science Fantasy Book Store. Around the country. "Hitchhiker" has sold more than 200,000 paperback copies. One youthful aficionado explains the books' popularity thus: "They're zany, nonrespectable and weird."
Mr. Adams is a graduate of Cambridge University who, according to a book jacket, has worked as a chicken-shed cleaner and bodyguard as well as writer. In a fashion typical of the book, the jacket discloses that he "is not married, has no children and does not live in Manhattan."
Technology baffles in the Adams universe. In a memorable passage, Ford Prefect and a "marketing girl" discuss the invention of the wheel. "We're having a little difficulty there," she says. Mr. Prefect can't see why.
"All right, Mr. Wiseguy," she responds, "you're so clever, you tell us what color it should be."
This is the second in a series, occasionally produced and induced by science fictional or wacko circumstances in the fair metropolis of Binghamton, NY.
The other day I had occasion to help the set up for a wedding reception. It was to be held in the back yard of the people for whom I work. This sounds ordinary enough, but strangeness soon sets in. For starters the same back yard was to be used for a clambake the day after. Two events involving over 100 people each in two days would be enough to put anyone into orbit. A side issue was the state of the ground in said backyard. It may not be known that Binghamton is second in the country only to Seattle, WA in number of days without sunshine. Without anything else to do the weather rains. Over a month before these happenings the owners of the yard had put in a retaining wall to terrace the yard. They then had railroad ties to make the steps and smaller terraces. Of course nothing ever runs to schedule or on time and through such mishaps as one of the workers hitting himself on the head with a drill bit (No, don't ask... he's Polish), and the rain, the backyard was left in a muddy mess. Picture the wedding party, long dresses and all sinking up to their ankles in damp topsoil. Neat, huh? Well something had to be DONE. My boss who is a man of infinite resource and sagacity called the Volunteers of America and got all of the loose carpet that they were going to scrap and CARPETED the yard! Ingenious. Of course they didn't have all that much that matched... So the wedding party sat on an American Oriental, the commoners made do with striped indoor-outdoor, and mottled purple-red, and they danced on purple shag and blue shag. The food was served on green sculptured pile, and the beer was served over gold carpet. Very tasteful. Well it worked, and while the jokes were rampant, everybody admired it. One person was heard to mutter "I can't even grow grass and he grows carpet.". But it got me to thinking about floor coverings in SF. Larry Niven has mutated grass serving for rugs in A Gift from Earth and a number of his other books. So did Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land. But that seems to be it. Oh, every so often the people land on a strange planet and notice that the grass is a different color, but they never notice how it feels, or that it dies when they walk on it, or whatever. It seems to me that this basic part of our environment has been neglected.
This started me thinking (very dangerous) and I came up with a series of topics, scenarios and/or characters I haven't seen in SF. Because of my job, I would like to see a story with an auctioneer as a character; have an auction; have a character with undistinguished bad taste (you should see what we get out of houses); people who think that a vacuum cleaner is an antique; a total professional packrat on a spaceship (you should see all the stuff we get from houses); and so on.
One last small non-worldly event. My co-worker sold an angel for $ 150. She used to stand in his front hall and hold mail, until his stuffy sister moved her into the dining room where she held fur hats and coats. She wasn't very tall, about five feet, and was really pretty. Would you pay $ 150 for an angel?
Notes from the Hinterland is produced irregularly by Lisa Peoples of [censored], Binghamton, NY 13905 (607) 722-0850. She appreciates any feedback that doesn't take the form of missiles. This issue is destined for the WSFA Journal and then anyone who wants it can have it.