The WSFA Journal


"Moving Right Along"


Volume 7               Number 3



Meeting of July 1, 1983; at Gilliland's, Alexis Gilliland presiding.

The meeting was called to order at 9:14. The minutes were approved as read. The treasury stood at $5,205.92. Dues are due and payable.


MEMBERSHIP: No new members were taken in.

PUBLICATIONS: The July Journal was handed out.


  1. During the evening of Saturday, July 9th, there will be a festival at the Air and Space Museum celebrating the Bicentennial of Flight.
  2. The next WSFA meeting will be held at UniCon; location: Sheraton Inn on Colesville Road in Silver Spring.
  3. The First Friday meeting in August will be held at the StarCall Convention; location: Rosslyn Westpark Hotel situated at 1900 N. Fort Myer Drive in Arlington, VA.


A motion to hold a February relaxacon was voted upon and passed. It was then voted upon and carried unanimously to hold the con in memory of Bob Pavlat, one of the founders of WSFA who passed away recently. Elections for chairing the con were then held; nominated were Kent Bloom and Sue Wheeler, Sue Wheeler was declared the winner and chairperson of "Bobclave".


A location to hold the Fifth Friday Party in July was discussed. The home of Lee Smoire in Baltimore, Md. and that of Dick Preston in Vienna, Va. were volunteered for the event; Dick Preston won. The Fifth Friday Party will be held in Vienna, VA.


  1. Doll Gilliland announced a rehearsal for "Inside 2001:A Space Opera" after the official meeting tonight. Also, another one is scheduled for next Friday, July 8th.
  2. Rosa Oliver reported that last Friday, June 24th, "Woody" Woodward's father died. The Secretary will send a sympathy card from the club.
  3. Jane Wagner asked if anybody had any copy for the Constellation program book. Quote: "I really would like it this weekend 'cause the book is going into production and will be going to press real soon now." Unquote.
  4. Mike Walsh reported that there's only 1,481 hours until Constellation starts. Also, registration is $40 'til July 15th and then it's $55 at the door. The crab feast is virtually sold out.
  5. Lee Smoire noted that she's back from Australia. She had a great time, photos will be available to view sometime soon and there will be a poker game after the official meeting.
  6. Rich Kolker has "crash space" at the Hilton Hotel during Constellation.
  7. Dick Preston relayed the information that StarCall memberships for WSFAns are $15.00. Room rates at the Rosslyn Westpark Hotel are: $35.00 for singles and $40.00 for two or more persons. Tel. No.: (800) 528-1234. Bring your bathing suits for the pool.
  8. Mary Morman related that the Ladies' Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society has t-shirts for sale; price: $8.00. They're available in various sizes and colors. See Mary for details.
  9. Joe Mayhew announced the '83 NovaCon on October 14 - 16. Guests are David Gerrold, Richard Pini of "Elfquest" and others. Featured Artist: Teanna Lee Byerts. Membership is $8.00 until September 30, 1983 and $10.00 at the door. Write: NovaCon '83, P. O. Box 41, Marietta, PA 17547. Location: Treadway Resort Inn, 222 Eden Road, Route 30 and Oregon Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601. Room rates: Single, $40.00; Double, $47.00.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:44.



Movie Review, Part 2

- Geoffrey Gould

Although "Return of the Jedi" ("RotJ") is the most impressive film in the "Star Wars" trilogy for its special effects, even Industrial Light & Magic seems to say, "Look what we can do - !" through their imagery. Fortunately, all such feelings are in retrospect and do not come across during the grand feature.

But the most interesting item in "RotJ" is the famous tail ending by the fire. This glorious finale informs us that the entire series (at least Episodes 4 through 6) is Vader's and no one else's. The complete series would seem to revolve about this one character's fall and our sympathy for his redemption (such sympathy would emerge mostly by seeing the first three chapters).

As Episodes 7 through 9 are in the future, it is difficult to foresee ("Always emotions, future ...") what will occur in the Lucas universe. But as they will be giving us the previous three segments next, it is slightly easier to speculate.

Despite my apparent misgivings towards "RotJ", don't think me insane when I give the movie my highest recommendation and advise you to see it. In my opinion its entertainment still exceeds today's normal film-making. "A New Hope" had a number of noticeable errors, but it didn't stop one from seeing it enough times to memorize it; therefore, it is not surprising that one who appears to criticize "RotJ" (ahem) intends to see it many times.

Upcoming Cons

August 5 - 7
Atlanta Fantasy Fair IX
Omni Hotel & Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta GA; Rooms: $44.00. Guests: Theodore & Jayne Sturgeon, Gerald Page, WSFAns Ted White & Forrest J Ackerman, & more. Memb.: $19.00. Info: Atlanta Fantasy Fair, P. O. Box 566, Marietta GA 30061
August 5 - 7
For information see July 1st meeting.
August 12 - 14
MystiCon 2.5
Jefferson Inn, Roanoke VA. GOH: Orson Scott Card. Guests: Rudy Rucker, WSFAn Somtow Sucharitkul, & others. Memb.: $10.00. A relaxacon. Info: MystiCon 2.5, P. O. Box 1367, Salem VA 24153
August 19 - 21
VulCon '83
Akron OH. GOH: Roger Zelazny. Memb.: $8.00 in advance, $10.00 at the door. Info: Stargate, c/o Sarah Blick, 150 Conger Avenue, Akron OH 44303

New Books for August

(Courtesy of Moonstone Bookcellars, Inc.)

KEY: (H) Hardback, (P) Paperback, & (T) Trade Paperback

Ahern, Jerry: Survivalist #6: The Savage Horde - $2.50 (P)
Asimov, Isaac: Union Club Mysteries - $13.95 (H)
Boyer, Elizabeth: The Wizard and the Warlord - $2.95 (P)
Carter, Lin (Ed.): Weird Tales #1 - $2.95 (P)
                   Weird Tales #4 - $2.95 (P)
Crispin, A.C.: Yesterday's Son (Star Trek Novel) - $2.95 (P)
Elgin, Suzette Hayden: The Grand Jubilee - $2.50 (P)
Farmer, Philip Jos&eacut;: Gods of Riverworld - $50.00 (H)
Fitch: Castle of Deception - $6.95 (T)
Forstchen, William: Ice Prophet - $2.95 (P)
Foster, Alan Dean: The Man Who Used the Universe - $2.95 (P)
Gerrold, David: War Against the Chtorr - $6.95 (T)
Gordon, Stuart: Fire In the Abyss - $2.95 (P)
Heinlein, Robert A.: Friday - $3.95 (P)
Hodgell, P.C.: God Stalk - $2.75 (P)
King, Stephen: Different Seasons - $3.95 (P)
Lawhead: Dream Thief - $6.95 (T)
Pohl, Frederik: Midas World - $12.95 (H)
Russ, Joanna; The Adventures of Alyx - $2.50 (P)
Schmidt, Stanley (Ed.): Analog's War and Peace - $12.95 (H)
Silverberg, Robert: World of a Thousand Colors - $6.95 (T)
Slusser, Rabkin & Scholes (Eds.): Coordinates, Placing Science Fiction and Fantasy - $20.50 (H)
Spruill, Steven G.: Imperator Plot - $11.95 (H)
Staicar, Tom: Fritz Leiber - $13.50 (H) & $6.95 (T)

            A N D   C A L E N D A R S !

Return of the Jedi 1984 Calendar - $5.95
The 1984 J.R.R. Tolkien Calendar - $5.95
The 1984 Star Trek Calendar - $5.95
The 1984 E.T. Calendar - $5.95
Mary Stewart's "Merlin 1984" Calendar (Hildebrant) - $6.95 (T)
The Chronicles of Narnia 1984 Calendar: Book 3,
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Hague) - $6.95 (T)


The WSFA Journal is the rambunctious monthly newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association. Editor-in-Chief: Beverly Brandt, 3326 Lauriston Place, Fairfax, VA 22031 Tel. No.; (703) 573-8230 Assistant Editor & In-house Artist: Warren Rodgers

Stars! Learn About 'Em!

Blow 'Em Up!

A NASA satellite hangs from the ceiling in the entrance to the exhibit

New at Air & Space:

Astronomy for Everyone

By Michael Kernan

The 27,000 people who wander through the Air and Space Museum every day will probably love "Stars."

This new permanent exhibit, opening today, attempts to cover the story of astronomy "from Stonehenge to the Space Telescope" in a way that media-bombarded Americans can relate to: with the huge backup telescope of Skylab complete to the lifesize astronauts floating around it, with a video game called "Fusion" in which you set off your own hydrogen explosion, with a model of Stonehenge when it was still operating as an observatory, and a walk-in model of the sun's interior, and various space machines dangling from the ceiling (a museum trademark), and a tape that plays "Stardust" and "Aquarius" and even "Red Sails in the Sunset."

The problem with modem astronomy is that it is basically a lot of numbers.

"We had to design for several levels of interest," said curator David DeVorkin. "There are one-liners you can read as you stroll by, and demonstrations, and things you can operate, and there's still enough information on the walls so you can spend hours and hours in bere.

One thing people always want to know is how you're supposed to took through a telescope that's hanging 300 miles out in space. Walter Boyne, the museum director, pointed out the one-fifth-scale model of the Space Telescope that will be shot into space in 1985 aboard the shuttle and the exhibit that shows "how it sees objects," as the wall plaque announces.

Quite a bit of space is devoted to spectroscopy, the basic tool of astronomy since the 1860s, when a pair of Cal Tech scientists showed how the analysis of light given off by objects in space could tell us what they were made of, how fast they were traveling and some other things.

"We've tried to make it palatable, and even interesting," DeVorkin said, and certainly there is enough razzle-dazzle here to catch even the dullest eye.

You push a button to see how fast light travels to the moon and beck (a little over a second). You push another to learn about a star whose light started its journey to your retina in the year you were born. "When we look far away we see into the past," the wall tells us. You see what size the stars would be if the earth were a BB. The sun is a tennis ball. Alpha Centauri is a baseball. Gamma Apodis is a basketball.

One of the most instructive shows emanates from the operating console of the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite observatory. You can call up four different nebulae or other great sights in space, view them in the visual computer terms in which an astronomer would see them and watch as some area of the screen is analyzed for carbon content or other clues to its nature.

This exhibit dramatically demonstrates how spectroscopy brings us information from places we couldn't get to in a month of Sundays. We have come a long way from the day when astronomers discovered helium on the sun before its presence was known on earth.

"What do astronomers do with the light collected by a telescope?" the wall asks. "Rarely if ever today do they use their eyes to actually examine celestial objects. Cameras and electronic sensors have virtually replaced the eye at the telescope."


The above article appeared in The Washington Post newspaper dated Thursday, June 9, 1983.

Science Friction

Literary Agency to Edit Line for Pocket Books

By Curt Suplee

The Scott Meredith Literary Agency, long a deal-maker to the stars, is now taking on the cosmos--as the new editor and packager of science fiction and fantasy titles for Pocket Books.

The unusual agreement, announced yesterday in New York, means the literal end of the line for Pocket's esteemed Timescape series, which had developed a reputation for literary vitality and commercial anemia. It means the end of a tradition whereby agents do not act as purchasers, which the Meredith group will do in providing 48 books a year for the renamed Starscope line. And it means the end of the tether for the Science Fiction Writers of America, which is protesting that possible conflicts of interest in the agency's role as both buyer and seller will be not only "detrimental to our writer and artist members" and their agents, but "damaging to publishing in general."

But Pocket sees potentially astronomical returns from the new line, which is set to debut next Spring. Timescape "was losing a lot of money," Pocket Books president Ronald Busch said yesterday, and "we were paying too much for the product. We were getting great literary reviews and awards--but the science fiction audience is looking for more entertainment and fun than we were publishing."

In yesterday's joint announcement, agency head Scott Meredith said the behemoth popularity of "E.T." and the "Star Wars" trilogy, coupled with the fact that six of 15 titles on a recent best-seller list were science fiction novels, meant that the genre "has the power to reach beyond science-oriented readers to a broader national audience," including "women readers, who buy the largest percentage of books these days."

Marta Randall, president of the 800-member SFWA, said yesterday from her Oakland, Calif., home that "our objection stems from what we think is probably a conflict of interest. We fail to understand how a writer can benefit" from an agent "who is in a position, in effect, to sell the work to himself." Moreover, the Meredith agency, by acting as a packager, "would be under the same economic dictates as a publisher--that is, to acquire the maximum number of books at a minimum financial investment." Randall, whose latest novel "Dangerous Games," was published by Pocket books, said she also feared that Meredith would not "actively solicit works from people not represented by that agency."

The SFWA, she said, has demanded a "complete and detailed accounting" of the new arrangement from Meredith and Pocket, and "it will be reviewed by our officers and our legal counsel." SFWA's attorney, Henry Holmes, said from Los Angeles that he could not comment on the joint venture before seeing details of the deal, but speculated that the agency's buyer-seller function "could be some sort of restraint of trade that the federal government might want to get involved in."

"The paranoia in science fiction people is a little higher than most," Busch said. "We thought there would be a fuss, but if they would quit crying wolf until the wolf is at their door, they'd see that the conflict of interest doesn't exist." Meredith said, "it's really a joining of interests. We check every deal with our clients anyway, and the client ultimately makes the decision and won't take anything he doesn't like. It's nonsense to assume that we're going to buy our own people too cheaply." As for favoritism, he said, "obviously we'll he publishing a lot of our own authors," and if forced to choose between two equally attractive books, one of them written by his client, "of course I'd buy our own manuscript. But what I'd really do is buy both."

Some of Meredith'a clients--Arthur C. Clarke, Poul Anderson and Lester Del Rey among them--have attachments to other publishing houses. Might Clarke, published by Ballantine, end up in Pocket? "The forces of the marketplace are going to dictate that," Busch said. "But Scott's not going to jeopardize his relationship with one of his stars." Judy-Lynn Del Rey, editor in chief of Ballantine's Del Rey Books, agreed: "Before this even hit the fan, Arthur and I discussed the situation. He considers us his publisher. We consider ourselves his publisher. And Scott considers us his publisher." Besides, she said, Del Rey has a new Clarke manuscript in hand.

Timescape, which Randall called "one of our major markets," has stopped acquiring manuscripts, although backlist titles will remain in print. Its editorial director, David Hartwell, will leave the company in October for editorial consulting work. "I simply agreed to a no-fault divorce," Hartwell said yesterday. "According to my own knowledge of my budget, I wasn't losing money. But they can do their accounting any way they choose. It's their company. I am leaving with my reputation for doing good books intact.


The above article appeared in The Washington Post newspaper dated Wednesday June 8, 1983.


(Courtesy of Barry Newton)

Meeting of July 15, 1983; at UniCon, Alexis Gilliland presiding.

The meeting was called to order at 9:15. As the secretary was not present, the minutes were waived. The treasury stood at $5,130.06. Dues are due and payable.


ENTERTAINMENT: Brings you UniCon!!!

DISCLAVE '84: Chairperson Jane Wagner is still taking volunteers. Please put it in writing and give it to Jane ASAP!




  1. Lee Smoire announced that her Aussie photos are available to view. Also, there will be a poker game after the meeting in the Board Room (hopefully!).
  2. Rebecca Prather needs a ride to Constellation from Thursday, September 1, to Monday, September 5.
  3. Don't forget that the Fifth Friday Party will be held at Dick Preston's house in Vienna, VA.
  4. The First Friday meeting in August will be at the StarCall Convention.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:22.



- Jane Wagner

For those of you who might be interested, the AT-THE-DOOR RATES for Constellation are:

    Full attending, register
    on Thursday or Friday ....... $55

    Full attending, register
    on Saturday .................  45

    Full attending, register
    on Sunday ...................  30

    Full attending, register
    on Monday ...................  20

    One day, register any day ...  20

The rate that was printed in Analog was WRONG as the rates hadn't been set at the time of the magazine's publication date.

If you haven't voted on the site selection yet, you'll now have to vote DURING the con. As the closing date for the Hugo ballots was August 1, if you haven't voted already, forget it!!! You're too late!!!

Registration will be open during the following hours at the convention:

    Wednesday, 12 Noon - 6 PM
    Thursday, 10 AM - 8 PM
    Friday, 10 AM - 10 PM
    Saturday, 10 AM - 8 PM
    Sunday, 10 AM - 4 PM
    Monday, 10 AM - 2 PM

Progress Report 5 must be brought with you to the convention as it will make picking up your badge quicker; otherwise you'll have to show two pieces of ID.


8/6 Eva Whitley
8/7 Mary Morman
8/10 Alexis Gilliland
8/16 Rebecca Prather
8/20 Joe Mayhew
8/23 John Rubins
8/27 Elizabeth Rosenberg
8/30 Alison Munn

IMPORTANT NOTE: There was a mistake in last month's WSFA Birthday List. The dates should have read "7/...." instead of "6/...." My apologies to the six people concerned.