The WSFA Journal, October 1986

The WSFA Journal


VOL.10, NO.4



Meeting of September 5, 1986 at the Gillilands; President Michael Walsh presiding, Secretary Erica Van Dommelen taking minutes. The meeting was called to order at 9:03 p.m. Minutes were waved. Treasurer Steve Smith reported $4810.36 in the treasury and noted that dues are long past due...$3 for voting members who attended Disclave, $3 for associate members being sponsored for voting membership, $5 for entirely new members being sponsored. He also reminded those holding club property to let him know for the inventory of WSFA's belongings.

Disclave 1968 [sic] will hand over $10,00 [sic] to the club next meeting.

Disclave 1987: Joe Mayhew announced that Michael Walsh will be Program Chair. David Mattingly has confirmed that he will attend. Joe will hold a staff meeting in October.

Entertainment Committee: "After a Worldcon you want to be entertained?!"

Poker Table: No news.

Old Business: None.

New Business: Let's have a Worldcon! Kent Bloom and Jack Heneghan have contacted the Sheraton/Shoreham/Hilton hotel complex on Connecticut Avenue in DC, and they have agreed to have Worldcon there should we win the bid. After discussion, a motion was made for the club to appoint a study committee to investigate WSFA's sponsorship of a Worldcon bid, for 1992. The motion passed unanimously. Kent was appointed chair of the study committee. He will take names of those interested in serving on the committee.


Joe Mayhew's father died last week.

Alan Huff and Kate Terrell are expecting a baby in February.

Lee Smoire reported that she was an extra, playing a nurse in the film "Tin Man," a Disney/Touchstone production, directed by Barry Levinson, starring Danny DeVito, Richard Dreyfuss, and Barbara Hershey. The movie is filming in Baltimore. If she doesn't end up on the cutting room floor, you may see Lee for 5-10 seconds in the hospital scenes. She'll keep us posted.

And via Lee Smoire, Ron Bounds says hello from Princeton, NJ. He uttered a moan when he heard about the DC in '92 bid.

Lee Strong has received a promotion from his employer, the world's greatest fantasy organization (commonly known as the U.S. government). No longer is he a humble Government Subservient Grade 12 but is now an arrogant Government Mismanager 13. Congratulations!

I have no idea when the meeting was adjourned. So impeach me.

Attending: Joe Mayhew, Michael Walsh, Bob MacIntosh, Erica Van Dommelen, Flash, Lee Strong, Steve Smith, Alexis Gilliland, Charles Gilliland, Vicki Smith, Candy Gresham, Dave Gresham, Joe Hall, Kent Bloom, Tom Schaad, Judy Newton, Barry Newton, Laura Jones, Mary Morman, Cat Slusser, Lance Oszko, Jack Heneghan, Alan Huff, Tom MacKay, Lee Smoire, Mary Hagan, Bill Mayhew, Allison Munn, John Pomeranz, Jack Chalker, Eva Whitley, David Kirby, Linda Melnick, Jim Edwards-Hewitt, Terilee Edwards-Hewitt, George Koelsch, Kathi Overton, Steve Swartz, Elspeth Kriser, Phil Cox, Art "Boots" Coleman, Nancy Handwork, Steven Fetheroff, Walter Miles, Todd Treichel, Max Robinson, George Shaner, Ginny McNitt, Keith Olson, and Lee Hagee.


SEPTEMBER 19, 1986 (Bloom/Morman House)
Joe Mayhew, Tom Schaad, Larry Proksch, Mike Walsh, Kent Bloom, Mary Morman, Jack Heneghan, George Shaner, Lance Oszko, David Hastie, George Koelsch, Kay Koelsch, Alison Munn, Vicki Smith, Bob MacIntosh, Walter Miles, Beverly Brandt, Charles Gilliland, Alexis Gilliland, Naomi Ronis, Joe Hill, Dick Roepke, Chris Callahan, Dan Hoey, Alan Huff, Kate Terrell, Mary Hagen, Steve Smith, Terri Lee Edwards-Hewitt, Jim Edwards-Hewitt, Evan Phillips, John Pomeranz, Lee Strong, Cat Slusser, Phil Cox, Wayne Dionne, Will Loomis-Stewart, Randy Smith.

Mike Walsh called the meeting to order at 9:05. Joe Mayhew recorded the minutes, at the request of the Secretary, who could not attend. The previous minutes were not read. Steve Smith reported that the Treasury held $4,938.16. Dues for the remainder of 1986, our special short dues year have been fixed at $3.00 for those who attended DISCLAVE'86 and $5.00 for those who did not. Those who wish to vote must first pay their WSFA dues.

DISCLAVE'88 Chair to be elected

Walter Miles, speaking for the Trustees, set the date for the election of the next Disclave Chairman for the second meeting in October, which will be held at Kent and Mary's. The Trustees will announce their candidate at the first meeting in October (at Gilliland's), as they are required by the Constitution. Other nominations can be made during the election.

DISCLAVE'86 Chairman Jack Heneghan gave WSFA Treasurer Steve Smith a check for $10,000.00 for deposit in the WSFA account. Jack invited anyone who felt they deserved a reimbursement for their membership fee to request it of him, and he would do so when their work justifies it.

DISCLAVE'87 Chairman Joe Mayhew scheduled the Disclave staff meeting for Sunday at 1:00 on October 5, 1986. It will be at the home of Chris Callahan and Dick Roepke. Maps will be available at the next meeting. Only one full staff meeting is presently scheduled until just before the Con. All those interested in working on the con should attend. Disclave'87 will have a Fan Guest of Honor: Chick Derry. Chick was one of the founders of WSFA back in 1947. The con will celebrate WSFA's 40th anniversary. Former WSFA Presidents and DISCON Chairmen George Scithers and Jay Haldeman will attend and both will contribute an article for the souvenir booklet about the two WSFA Worldcons.

DISCON III Investigation Committee

Kent Bloom announced a meeting to be held at Jack Heneghan's home on Saturday, September 20 at 3:00 for those interested in discussing the organization of a bid for the 1992 World Science Fiction Convention. The DISCON III committee will report back at the 1st meeting in October.


Mary Morman reported for the Poker Table Committee with the result that the following motion was passed: That $130.00 be authorized for the purchase of 2 round folding tables for use by WSFA card players and at other appropriate occasions.


Bob MacIntosh's offer to host the next 5th Friday party was enthusiastically accepted. He lives at [censored] in Annandale, Virginia (703) 573-3172.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15.


A Full report of the WSFA investigation Committee is being issued separately as the first issue of the Bid Fanzine DISCONtinuity. Jack Heneghan, Kent Bloom, Joe Mayhew, Dan Hoey, Naomi Ronis, Kate Terrell, Alan Huff, Vicki Smith, Mark Owings, Jul Owings, Eva Whitley, Barry Newton, Mike Walsh, and Lee Smoire attended.

The committee suggests incorporation as a non-stock, membership corporation with a board of directors of 7 to be elected annually by those current in their corporate dues. Those wishing to join the corporation must pay a fee of $25.00 which will entitle them to vote in its chartering and for its officers. After the Corporation's structure is set, any wishing to join must be voted in. Continued participation will require the payment of dues to be set by the membership. Pre-supporting (non-voting) bid memberships will be sold at $5.00. For this one gets a Discon III button and a plenary indulgence. Kent Bloom was accepted as acting Bid Chair, Joe Mayhew as acting Bid Secretary until corporate elections can be held. Kent will approach a lawyer for incorporation, Jack Heneghan will work with the hotels, Joe Mayhew will coordinate the publicity. Eva Whitley will edit the fanzine. A Hotel tour is set for October 25th.


Windmaster's Bane, by Tom Deitz. Avon Books, 278 pp, $3.50.

It can be argued that each science fiction story is based on a central "what if?," with everything else extrapolated from that. Often fantasy is, too; it's just that the what ifs are a little more iffy. Windmaster's Bane leaves our world essentially intact--but what if the Sidhe of Irish mythology are dwellers on another plane that intersects ours at unvarying points, points along their uncanny roads, the Straight Paths between the worlds? There's one tiny what if affecting us: what if a very few of us can see them with the legendary second sight? (Is that really a what if? Let's not argue that now.) Man's encroachment on the once-remote areas the Straight Tracks run through have the Sidhe worried: they fear a confrontation, but can't abandon those parts of the Tracks. One faction wants to continue carefully avoiding us, but another wants to take action and if necessary wipe humankind out.

Adolescent David Sullivan of the mountains of Georgia, a farm boy who reads all kinds of crazy books, finds himself face to face with an entire parade of the Sidhe one moonlit night. He bests one at a riddling game, earning both an enemy (Ailill, the Windmaster) and a friend (Oisin, once a human) in their factions, and is left with a ring as a token of the encounter. Thus he becomes a pawn in their intrigues.

Don't dismiss this gem of a book yet another of those teenager-on-a-quest juveniles. It's not. It's an adult novel told from a teenage point of view, and it's about us as teenagers--a bit different, unsatisfied with the mundane world, readers of legends old and new. The characterization and detail are artful and always ring true. David's Christmas gift to his best friend, Alec, is a wooden staff carved with a protective rhyme in Norse runes. Alec loves to remind David of the time he tried to turn himself into a werewolf, or failing that, a werepossum. And Liz, whose feminine motives David is a year or two short of understanding, is serious and smart instead of being a Blue Ridge valley girl.

This is a first novel, but you'd never know if the "About the Author" didn't tell you. It's full of imagery that evokes but doesn't intrude. The story builds quiet but steady and the climactic chapters are engrossing. The ending ties up all the loose ends and is refreshingly unbloody. And for once I was pleased to discover that it wasn't really the end, because I want to see more of David, Alec, and Liz. We are promised that we will, since David is destined to be our world's unofficial ambassador to the Sidhe.

                --Erica Van Dommelen

Less Than Human, by Robert Clarke. Avon Books, 194 pp, $2.95.

If you read the about the author and the copyright, you'll find the author isn't Robert Clarke. And this is also a bit less than a novel. It's a not-too-polite satire of Stranger in a Strange Land. Now that I have satisfied those who worship Mr. Heinlein and those who don't have a sense of humor I'll tell you about the novel.

The hero is a robot who is grown on the moon and doesn't do as he is programmed. He goes to Earth and starts saving souls. Of course he can do anything, and does. Burt, the robot, meets a wide variety of inane, silly, and serious characters. Everybody is there. If you don't see yourself in one of the characters you are displaying self-denial and should seek professional help.

Less than Human is a slap at Heinlein and Stranger but it seems to have bean done with kindness. Either way it's a funny book. It has everything a pulp science fiction book should have--robots, space travel, evil rulers, romance, and a picture of the Chrysler Building. It can't be critically analyzed as a serious novel as it wasn't meant to be one. There is not much to say about plot or characters except that the book is enjoyable light reading and sometimes that's all that matters.

                --Steven Fetheroff

        WHAT do your
          warts reveal
            about you?

          Readings. $5.00
        Warts, Wattles, Scale Patterns
          Confidential. M. Paul. D.MPh.

              --a flyer found at Worldcon


Joe Mayhew's opinion

1: The art show is usually below the departmental level. Because it does not report directly to the Chair, its needs much be combined by procrustean methods with those of unrelated activities and the attention to administrative detail is not given as the function is not viewed as major. The vast amount of money, expensive personal property, volunteer staff, hotel facilities, fan interest and real responsibility, should indicate that the art show is worthy of separate consideration not as a part of "exhibits", "fixed functions" or or some other gerrymander.

2: The Art Show Director tries to run the Worldcon show the way he runs his local show. Actually, most small, regional shows are bungled but the waste of man-hours, economic chaos, poor communications and casual planning can be compensated for on-site by a team of familiar faces who pitch in and make it work, despite the system. This is possible because the shows are small and the staff is familiar with the local customs. But the Worldcon differs in that there are so many other activities going on, that many of the local regulars will be recruited for other things, and the crew must be made up from people from all over the country who work by different systems (which usually conflict). Thus greater detail in staff planning needs to be done. Specific job descriptions, hour schedules, etc. need to be prepared.

3: The rules are made up in in a vacuum. The paperwork, fees structure, auction procedures and times have been painful for the artists and fans alike because the means of communicating needs hasn't been developed. ASFA has had little to offer by way of sound and responsible advice because it has had too many dreams and goals. The ASFA guidelines in no place suggest that an artist can improve his lot in the shows by helping run them. The shows, even the Worldcon, are planned and run by volunteers. ASFA cannot succeed in improving the Worldcon, or any other art show, until its leadership learns more about the administrative realities of the shows. It cannot help solve any of the problems until it understands why they occur and what is possible in the real circumstances. Fiats and Ukazes from on high will be ignored, but collaboration would be welcomed from any legitimate group which can present the artist's needs, viewpoints, and offer a resource of on-site help.

The Worldcon art show is principally an exhibit, that is, programming. It has large, ponderous moving parts which need careful attention in great detail so that they don't fall apart. It needs an internally coherent administrative structure and should report directly to the chair (in effect, the art show is a con-within-the-con) because of the immense responsibilities involved in it. Every year Worldcon committees and their art show directors re-invent the wheel, and it usually results in a trapezoid or some other form which is difficult to roll. Perhaps it is time to document and discuss what is actually going on. Some committees seem to view the art show as a specialized dealer room, a sort of vast garage sale. While the sales opportunity helps to draw both sellers and buyers, the art show is still primarily programming. It is there for the fans to enjoy, for the artists to present themselves to their public and to celebrate what is good about the visual aspect of the field of science fiction and fantasy.



How did I spend ConFederation? Running around like a crazy person, of course. There just wasn't enough time in five days to get to all the program items that looked interesting (I actually got to exactly one, and that one wasn't high on my list!); do real justice to the outpost of heaven called the dealers' room, even with two money-waving attacks on Thursday afternoon alone; find all the people I wanted to talk to (even on a very hit-and-run basis I saw only a few, partly because of the area of the con); put in my volunteer time in the green room AND in the masquerade photo areas (part of the photo area time was spur-of-the-moment and meant missing the Secular Humanist Revival Meeting, which I really wanted to get to; but friendship called); go to all the parties that sounded interesting; give the Marriott Marquis the attention and photographing it deserved (I never did get to the upper-floor elevator, damn it!); occasionally just sit down and relax for a while; get anything like enough sleep. Oh, well, it's all part of con-going.

Of course there were individual interesting moments: being jammed in an elevator next to Ray Bradbury and being surprised by how short he is (beautiful white hair, though!) and later seeing him leaving the main function room in what seemed to be tennis whites; watching Jerry Pournelle throw a fit because the green room staff wasn't providing beer during his panel; running into Joe Mayhew approximately every ten minutes while running around the tenth floor con suite on Sunday night; watching the airborne workmen in the Marquis being applauded and photographed by fans on various levels of the atrium; admiring the dragon-lizard with moving head and jaws that rode on the shoulder of the Alien when he was being human; looking at photo albums and slides at the Aussiecon 2 reunion party; finding a Cabbage Patch Cthulhu in the dealers' room--of course I bought one! He wears my Campus Crusade for Cthulhu--it found me! button on one digit; admiring the aplomb of the Marquis staffers who ran the food service table till 4 a.m. outside the main function room (I mean, how often do they see people in strange clothes buying beer, sandwiches, and cookies at two in the morning?!).

Now if I can just find time to read all the books and magazines I bought and lugged home in the ConFederation carryall and extra nylon bag I packed for the purpose and which made the rented car ride a bit in back...

                  --Chris Callahan

I had a schizophrenic Worldcon. On the one hand, it was my first Worldcon and I felt like a neofan all over, seeing all those people behind the badges with Very Important Names on them, and even meeting a few of them, but at the same time I had a staff badge (for helping Eva Whitley run the Hugo ceremony) and a program Participant ribbon (for being in "The Crosstime Bus"), and some people were treating me as if I were one of the Important Names.

I met Frederik Pohl and had a lovely conversation about Iceland; I met Tappan Wright King, editor of Twilight Zone magazine and, far more important to me, grandson of Austin Tappan Wright and keeper of the Islandia flame for our generation, and we had a wonderful talk about the book and lots of other stuff; I ended up, much to my surprise, on stage at the Hugo ceremony, handing Bob Shaw the correct Hugo for each category, just in case that fifth of whiskey in the podium should have an effect on his ability to read the little cards; I went to some great parties--New Orleans had the loudest, Tor Books the most interesting guests, but the Scientologists had the best food; I saw part of the masquerade from the best seat in the house--just outside the door where they emerged to be photographed!; as usual for me at cons, I met lots of people from the Washington area, but lots of others from all over, too; and I discovered that if you throw a penny in the fountain at the Marriott, you get your wish--it might be worth a trip back for some wishes, like wishing I could do it all over again.

                --Erica Van Dommelen

Eva Whitley
Jack L. Chalker
David Whitley Chalker
Westminster, MD 21157
[phone number censored]

Note: This is an unlisted, unpublished number, given by Eva and Jack for WSFAns only. Please don't give it out to others.