Meeting of July 6, 1984, at Olivers'; Joe Mayhew presiding. The meeting was called to order At 9:17 P.M. As the July WSFA Journal was available, it was decided to waive the reading of the minutes. The treasury stood at $4,513.92, Please check the three lists in the kitchen to find out where you stand pertaining to your dues.
PUBLICATIONS: The July WSFA Journal was available.
DISCLAVE 1984: Zip!
DISCLAVE 1985: Ditto!
Dick Preston announced that he'd appreciate any help he can get from fellow WSFAns in registration and other departments at his teachers' conference and sf convention which will be taking place during the Columbus Day weekend (October 5 - 7) at the Skyline Hotel and Southeastern University. Also, the University has said that they will give credit to anyone interested in an sf teachers' classroom workshop. C'mon folks, help out a fellow WSFAn!!!
The meeting somewhat confusedly adjourned at 9:28 P.M.
(Courtesy of Joe Mayhew)
The following minutes are exactly as submitted by Alexis Gilliland:
Minutes of meeting at Unicon:
Adjourned at 9:12 P.M.
Treas. 4 k
No New Business, Old Business, or Monkey Business
Elapsed time: 6 minutes
In a dramatic bid to keep America ahead in the high-tech race, President Reagan has approved a program that he hopes will shake young Americans out of the educational doldrums and focus their attention on technological challenges.
He wants to introduce children to the space age by encouraging them to become young astronauts. One of them will probably be invited as an observer on a future space flight.
The plan is to form "Young Astronaut" units in neighborhoods across the country. Children will be eligible to enroll as early as age 6, with the right to wear astronaut insignias and participate in NASA activities. The intention is to have them work closely with their schools to acquire technical skills that will prepare them for the high-tech age.
The program will be sponsored by the National Space Institute, with NASA's close cooperation. The president will call upon local businesses, schools, churches, science centers, youth clubs and community organizations to support the young astronaut units.
I played a modest role in getting "Operation Liftoff," as the program is called, off the ground. With a columnist's effrontery I called on Reagan privately last October to add another idea to the array of unsought suggestions before every president.
I presented him with evidence that the quality of education in the United States is declining at the same time that foreign competition is increasing. I pointed out that there is a serious shortage in most states of math and science teachers, that American students suffer in comparison with those in industrialized nations.
Then I left a memo with the president urging a program "big in scope and dramatic in impact" yet "easy to understand and simple to carry out." I suggested forming a young astronauts organization.
I argued in the memo: "America's young people are fascinated with space. They swarm to movie theaters to watch interplanetary adventure; they play space games on video sets. The opportunity to become young astronauts - with official credentials and insignias - should attract youngsters, stir their imaginations and stimulate their spirit of adventure. It might help lift their gaze from video games to real high-technology and fix their eyes on the stars."
The president was more than polite; he listened with genuine interest. He saw the need, he said, to see beyond today's limited horizon. He has a deep concern about tomorrow, and is placing new emphasis on long-range planning. The other day, he telephoned me to say that he was adopting my idea. I hope the young astronauts program will be ready to launch when school starts in September.
The above article was printed in The Washington Post
dated Friday, July 6, 1984.
Wolfgang Petersen, who wrote and directed DAS BOOT so well, has done the same for the fantasy department, having written and directed The NeverEnding Story (TNES). The worst thing about this film is that it does end ...
Co-written by Herman Weigel, we are introduced to Bastian, played by young Barret Oliver, who reads and loves fantasy books. Not comics, but the real titles such as The Wizard of Oz, Treasure Island and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Eluding three bullies whose daily exercises include plunking Bastian into an alley dumpster, he finds himself in an antique bookshop. Although one might find Lovecraft's Necronomicon in this particular shop, director Petersen tricks us by not having the shop dark and dust covered, but bright and daylight filled.
The old bookseller, surprised to find a young person still interested in true fantasy, allows him to "steal" a large book with the enigmatic title, The NeverEnding Story.
Late for school, Bastian hides in the school's ancient attic and begins to devour the story's contents. At first the basic fantasy story-line gives us the idea it is merely a story-within-a-story, but as the film progresses we begin to realize that the book is no ordinary book.
The book's story is that the land of Fantasia is being eaten away by a mysterious dark force they call The Nothing. Fantastic beings from all over the land come to beseech the young Empress, but learn she is dying, the illness connected somehow with The Nothing's ravages over their land.
The Empress has sent for a warrior of the plains to combat the Nothing, but the court is stunned to learn that the great Atreyu is a boy (just happening to be about Bastian's age). Hero Atreyu (played well by Noah Hathaway, the Boxey of Battlestar: Galactica) goes off to learn the secret of the eroding power of The Nothing, unaware that he is being tracked by a vicious wolfen-like creature called Gmork.
Around Atreyu's neck is the symbol of Fantasia, the Auryn, a gold and silver medallion of two braided snakes biting each other's tail. As the story progresses, we begin to realize that it is Bastian's reading of the book that gives the land its' power.
Before being captured and destroyed by the Gmork, Atreyu is rescued by a huge and beautiful white luckdragon named Falkor.
This film takes its mechanical characters more seriously than in Gremlins or Star Wars. Falkor and the Gmork say their lines with startling realism. So believable is the evil Gmork, that his explanation to Atreyu about the reality behind Fantasia and The Nothing is most affective, as well as effective.
The Gmork is the agent for The Nothing, which is humankind's growing disbelief in fantasy. As humans turn more towards dull, mundane reality, The Nothing grows in strength.
When Atreyu confronts the lovely young Empress (played by Tami Stronach) with what he believes is his failure to save his country, the girl explains the secret of TNES.
By then it has already been deduced that it is now up to Bastian to decide Fantasia's fate. His belief in fantasy and the book's story will either rescue or destroy the (mythical?) land.
This is not a film for critics, but for audiences of all ages and is recommended highly. This reviewer easily worries that this film won't be given its deserved chance; individuals will either love it or hate it!
Those who enjoy this fabulous feature are true fantasists; perpetually young at heart. Those who dislike TNES are part of the malicious strength of The Nothing and are only to be pitied.
8/3 Mike Bartman
8/6 Jul Owings
8/6 Eva Whitley
8/7 Mary Morman
8/9 Rich Kolker
8/10 Alexis Gilliland
8/14 (Amber Dionne)
8/16 Rebecca Prather
8/20 Joe Mayhew
8/26 (David Benzino)
8/27 Elizabeth Rosenberg
8/30 Alison Munn
Terry McCune's lead-off monthly art is a high-flying dragon. I can only hope that he's flying high enough to avoid the sweltering heat drafts that abide with us at this time.
Terry's art also appears on page 2. Other artists this issue include: Joe Mayhew on Pages 1, 2 and 3; Alexis Gilliland on Page 1; Lou Benzino on Page 4; and Warren Rodgers on Pages 2, 3 and 4. Thanks for the art, folks; keep it coming!
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The WSFA Journal is the supposititious monthly newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association. Editor-in-Chief: Beverly L. Brandt, 3326 Lauriston Place, Fairfax, VA 22031. In-House Artist: Warren A. Rodgers