The WSFA Journal, August 1987

The WSFA Journal





AUGUST 1987     Editor: Joe Mayhew. [censored], Bladensburg, MD 20710     ISSN 0894-5411



JULY 3, 1987

At Gilliland House, Mike Walsh presiding. Called to order at 9:10. The prior minutes were read and approved as they appear in the July WSFA JOURNAL. Bob MacIntosh reported that the Treasury stood at $13,403.72. A party was suggested.


The following letter was received from the Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland, Re: DISCLAVE Convention:

"Dear Mr. Mayhew:

We received the documentation substantiating your Application for Exemption for the above event. Accordingly, we have determined that your fundraiser is exempt from Admissions Tax." etc.


Doll Gilliland asked those attending to tell her what they were bringing, so that she could coordinate the feast. Eva passed out maps and information.



Martin Wooster announced that he had an article on Public Housing in READER'S DIGEST.

Erica Van Dommelen has a new job copy editing for the American Association for Microbiology. She said she used the DISCLAVE program book as part of her credentials.

Bill Jensen gave a new address:

Bill Jensen
New Carrollton, MD 20784
Phone: (301) 552-4786

The meeting was adjourned at 9:25.

JULY 17, 1987

At UNICON'87, Erica Van Dommelen, Vice President, presiding. The meeting was called to order at 9:02. The reading of the minutes was postponed, the Treasurer was not present, and no committees reported. The Vice President said she hoped for a very short meeting as she planned to attend the Clam Chowder performance scheduled at the same time as the WSFA meeting (but which did not actually get started for an hour or so). Many WSFAns arrived after the meeting broke up.


Alexis Gilliland reported that Doll had had a successful Biopsy, that all of the malignancy had been removed, that she was recovering nicely, at home.

Joe Mayhew announced that personalized name badges using the BID business cards had been made up and could be picked up at the Bid Table outside the meetingroom. Members of the Bid were invited to help out at the table.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10.

At which time, a large number of WSFAns came in for the meeting. A long party, called "UNICON'87" followed and continued on through late Sunday.


Paul Parsons, Vice Chair of the Con, kindly arranged for a table in the registration area of UNICON. A letter thanking him and the Unicon Committee has been sent. The Bid also sponsored a party Friday and Saturday nights. Both were well attended and pleasant, less than $50.00 was spent on foodstuffs -- the convention provided mountains of cheese doodles, etc. -- none of which were consumed by our guests. Lance Oszko was head caterer for both parties, he did a splendid job. The Friday party was held in his room, the Saturday night party was held in Joe Mayhew's. 55 bid-support buttons were sold during the convention. Lance sold one to the GOH, David Brin. A number of Volunteer forms were picked up, some completed on site. Joe Mayhew was assisted in staffing the table by Lance Oszko, Naomi Ronis, Dan Hoey, Chris Callahan, Eric Pavlat, and Brian Lewis.

At 7:00 on Friday night, Unicon had scheduled a Bid presentation for the 1992 bidders. Tom Veal represented the Orlando MAGICON bid, and Joe Mayhew spoke for DISCON III. Lots of other bid members were present, but as Orlando only had Tom Veal (who lives in nearby Virginia), we felt it would be silly to surround him, so we provided the audience instead. Tom explained that he had not rejected our bid, but had been involved with the Orlando bid before he moved here. The bid presentations were friendly and open. Orlando admitted that no Science Fiction convention has ever been held in Orlando but that it is hoped that they'll be able to hold a regional there soon. DC noted that its hotels must, by law be low to the ground and have unlocked, freely accessible stairways between the floors; which reduces the elevator fatigue syndrome common to worldcons. We also have on hands experience in two of the three hotels we are bidding, and have non-S.F. con experience with the third (Hilton).

Unfortunately, the new Bid T-shirts with the Vicki Wyman design were not available for the Con. They are now available. 48 were produced and will be sold for $7.00 each. If anyone wants the design printed on a sweatshirt or other garment they provide, the printer will do it at $2.00. Such requests will be sent forward in batches for specified ink color.

The New DISCON III T-SHIRT DESIGN by Vicki Wyman is surrounded by lettering: WASHINGTON * DISCON III * DC IN 1992 *** 50th WORLD S.F. CONVENTION *** BID * Available from Joe Mayhew.


Dear Joe:

Thanx for the Journal. It's funny, as soon as I saw it, I started wondering whatever happened to those minutes I took that were never seen again - and there they were. It's like a time capsule, isn't it? (I don't remember what Offut was up to, either ...)

I miss WSFA. I always feel like I'm losing something important and irretrievable whenever I think about missing a Disclave - two Disclaves, now - after having been to every one since my first one in 1974. My first convention, as a matter of fact. Gosh, those heady times in the old Sheraton Gormenghast, eh? Hotels here are significantly smaller, but being old and British they are even easier to get lost in than the old Sheraton Park was.

I don't know what Worldcon hotel is like - haven't seen it, I suppose I should warn WSFA that the weather here is seriously undependable. We just had three weeks of what the British consider unbearably hot weather (I think it actually reached 83°), and I was actually reasonably comfortable for a while. The general consensus seems to be that the summer is now over, though it clouded and cooled considerably on St. Swithin's Day. and since then it has been 'pissing down,' as the locals put it. The theory is that whatever the weather is on St. Swithin's is what you'll get for the next four months,

Something you should know if you're coming over for the Worldcon - never, never go out without a jacket, no matter how hot and sunny it may be when you leave the building. Within minutes it could be hailing and cold. The weather always cools down as soon as the sun goes down anyway, but sometimes it just doesn't wait that long.

Another thing to remember is that restaurants tend to close down between 3:00 and 6:00 PM, may don't open at all on Sundays, and the shops generally close at 5:00. That includes all chemist shops (drug stores), so if you think you might possibly need something, don't put off going out to get it. In an emergency, you're out of luck. There is also a much smaller selection of certain items - you usually only have your choice of, say, two brands of contact lens fluids, or if you need coated aspirin you can get the expensive kind with the heavy shell, but not the thin-coat kind (you can get over the counter aspirin/codeine, though). And I haven't seen a normal bristled hairbrush since I've been here (unless you count the one I brought with me from the States).

For your own protection, never assume that anyone is English. The Welsh, Scots and Irish deeply resent being called English, although I recon it is not quite as insulting as being taken for American. The British have an interesting love/hate thing about Americans - sort of the way most of us feel about the Rich - you hate them and you wish you were one of them. Britons tend to be fascinated by Americans, but they think we are all manifestly crazy.

Tipping in Britain is different from in America. When in doubt, ask a reliable source (I'm not sure who is one - in a pinch, I always consult someone named Langford), but in restaurants you should always check the menu and the bill for notations of whether service has been included. Tips are only 10% unless you have fallen in love with the waiter or something. Barkeepers are not generally tipped in the normal fashion, although I have seen someone paying for a round say when handing over a fiver, "and have one for yourself." In groups of men or mixed groups, it is standard procedure for people to take turns going to the bar to buy rounds. Bars do not have table service, so I suppose this is necessary. Among all-female groups the general practice tends to be collecting a kitty, since women of course make less money and also have less of an investment in this sort of macho behavior.

Numerous Brits may joke with you about how you Americans can't speak English. Intimidate them by asking them if they know what a colon or semi-colon is for. They stopped teaching grammar here altogether about 20 years ago, so unless they are over 32 and went to Oxbridge, you probably know the language better than they do. Also remember that the British think that all Americans come from Texas and that every single one of us voted for Reagan and loves him mindlessly (which is the only way one could, of course) and slavishly. I often get the impression that they think we all drive Cadillacs, too.

Of course you know that elevators are called 'lifts' and trucks are called 'lorries'. It's all even more confusing than you know. For example, 'bum' here means 'fanny', but 'fanny' doesn't. 'Fannies' are located on the other side of the body from 'bums', and only females have them.

If you enjoy reading newspapers, look forward to being deprived during your trip. The Independent is almost decent but very thin, The Financial Times is tolerable in a pinch, and The International Herald Tribune (thank god) prints articles from The New York Times and The Washington Post, but is also incredibly thin. The Guardian is survivable but their editorial style is basically, "If the reader can stay awake, reject the article." The rest of them will give you nightmares, though, so I recommend staying away from them. Bear in mind that The Official Secrets Act makes it illegal for anyone to know anything about what is going on in the country, so you may read a lot about the rest of the world in British newspapers, but not a lot about what's going on in Parliament, unless it involves a Minister caught fooling around on the side ("SEX CHANGE VICAR IN LESBIAN LOVE NEST WITH QUEEN'S MP COUSIN!"). But you're fans, you'll read books, right? However, in Britain (as elsewhere in Europe) they know that it was Syria, not Libya, that was responsible for all those terrible things that supposedly justified Reagan's bombing of Tripoli which is more than most Americans know.

But now that Oral Roberts can raise the dead, we have nothing to worry about, anyway, right?

Now, about the beer. That crummy tasteless yellow stuff you buy over there that looks like urine is called "lager" and is not considered to be beer. You can buy it here, and the local lager will taste a lot better than any of that horrible Budweiser you've been drinking, but why waste your time on lager when you can get real beer? Local breweries still reign supreme over here and there are quite a number of good bitters available - on draught. Guinness is on draught in any decent bar, and the popular fannish watering hole, the Wellington Tavern (at Waterloo Road across from the Station from the Old Vic exit) has a second and very nice stout, Murphy's, as well as more other beers than you can count. Also highly recommended - but not for long drinking sessions, as the brews are quite strong - are the Bruce's pubs, which are usually called something like The Frog and Firkin or Something and Firkin (I Just call them "Thing & Firkins", but to the South Londoners, they are all "The Fing & Firkin").

Our house probably won't be finished before the convention, but our phone number is (01) 522-4405, and my work number is 379-3021. Remember, with BT (British Telecom), no one can phone home.

Avedon Carol
[censored]         Best,
East Ham                 Avedon
London E6 1AB
England, UK



Dear Joe:

Thanks very much for the WSFA JOURNAL. I like the new layout -- easy to read, attractive, and certainly allows for more material. Looks downright professional. I hope you can keep it looking this good. One quibble: I would have appreciated a report on panels as Readercon.

By the way, did anybody tape Gene Wolfe's GOH speech at either DISCLAVE or Readercon? Do you know of anyone planning to publish either. The outline of his DISCLAVE speech is just enough to make me wish I'd been able to hear it in person.

HOMO PUBLICANS....Hmmm. There must be something you could do with the fact that bartenders are called publicans. Maybe some connection with the popularity of the bar at cons or with well-known mundane writers, etc. By the way, where would The National Enquirer, National Review, and Commentary fit in with your swinish-type pubs?

                  Chris Callahan.


Readercon taped all of its program and may publish. If anyone taped the Wolfe GOH presentation, I'd like a copy.


Dear Joe:

I'm returning this check to you because I seem to have been confused with someone else (I'm confused enough, from day to day, as it is). I was not a program participant at Disclave.

Disclave'87 was a wonderful convention, as Disclaves always are. My thanks to you, the committee and the workers I fondly await the next Disclave.

                   Pam Fremon

note: Well, I thought she was on programming....chairman (or is that charman) is not the ideal vantage point to know what went on. Still it's nice to know.


NB: Their street address is NOT their mailing address! Street address:

[censored], Ashton, MD.
Phone (301) 774-0929

DIRECTIONS FROM WASHINGTON Beltway: go North (away from DC) on New Hampshire Ave (Md. Rt. 650) for an awfully long way. Then turn left (West) on Md. Rt. 108. See detail:
FROM BALTIMORE: Take I-95 South: take either Md Rts. 32, 216 (scaggsville) or 198 (Spencerville Rd.) west. 32 & 216 both connect with Rt. 108. Continue West until you cross Md. 650. Md 198 connects with 650 just before Ashton. Go north and turn left on 108. the 198 route is probably the fastest. DETAIL MAP

[map censored]





by Lance Oszko

When, in the course of sapient events, it becomes necessary for one Rabble to unite the Hoi Polloi of fandom who are spread far and wide, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's Ghod entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinion of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to host a Worldcon.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all discerning Entities, whether natural or uplifted, are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are the Creation of a literary genre whose necessary and sufficient conditions are the presence and interaction of Estrangement and Cognition, and whose main formal devise is an Imaginative framework alternative to the Author's empirical environment...and Bheer.

That to secure these Rights, Worldcon Bid Committees are instituted among Humans, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Fen. It is the Right of the Fans to institute Worldcons laying their Foundations on such Principles and organizing their Powers in such form (per NESFA recommended guidelines) as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Worldcon sites long established should not be changed for light and transient Amusements.

We, therefore, the Fans of Science Fiction, in General Congress Assembled; Disassembled, Pureed, Genetically recombined, appealing to the Supreme Jhudge of the World in the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good Fen everywhere, solemnly (HAH!) Publish and Declare, that the 1992 Worldcon should, and of Right, ought to be, DISCON III. As a reasonably priced and Independent Worldcon, DISCON III shall have full Power to levy Parties, conclude Parties, Contract Parties, establish Parties and to do all other Acts and Things Worldcons may of right do.

And for the support of this declaration, with firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each our lives, our Fortunes and our fannish Honor.
(sign here)


From WSFA Minutes:

July 3, 1955

...(Ted) White asked why we weren't bidding for the (World SF) convention. No one wants to work. Some discussion....

July 17, 1955

...Bill Evans asked if we were instructing any members who might be going to the (World SF) convention in regard to an official club stand on where the next convention should be. (Bob) Pavlat explained the convention rotation plan. A discussion was held on whether Washington would bid for or accept a bid.

(Phil) Bridges moved we accept a bid if one is made. This was seconded, and passed on the second voting, the first being tied.

August 7, 1955

Bill Evans brought up the point that we won't get the convention unless we put in an active bid, as we must have an accredited representative.

Pavlat said that Bulmer, now visiting the country for the convention on the fan exchange program, will put in a bid for London.

White said that the Bulmers had been whisked off to New York by some New York pros, hence would not be at our meeting as originally planned. In view of this development, White wanted an official representative so we could help to keep the convention in the fans' hands, White said he would entertain a motion.

Pavlat moved that his earlier motion forbidding official representatives be rescinded. Seconded.

Evans amended the motion to the effect that we present an official bid, and have a convention committee appointed. Seconded and passed.

Volunteers to serve on such a committee if its is set up were asked for and obtained: White as chairman, Bridges as Secretary, Cole and Evans as co-treasurers.

Pavlat's motion was then voted upon and passed. White made interim appointments of the above four for the committee.

White was appointed as official representative to the convention, with Pavlat and Magnus as alternates. The secretary was instructed to notify the convention executive committee.

Pavlat suggested a special meeting, perhaps a party, for the first Saturday after Labor Day, so the Bulmers could come...

August 21, 1955

The President approved the convention committee as appointed by White at the last meeting.

White said that he thought the committee should be dissolved and no bid submitted, as the consensus of some of the most active fans was that there wasn't enough willingness to work, or enough enthusiasm for holding a convention here. He made a motion to that effect, instructing the secretary to notify the 13th Convention committee.

There was a discussion on reasons -- we don't really want a convention, so there wouldn't be enough active and willing workers. This was supported by Pavlat. Vallin seconded the motion.

Pavlat amended that notification be done by the ex-chairman, White, at the convention. This was passed, and the motion carried.


July 3, 1955:

White suggested that either honorary members should not vote or else they should count in the quorum. The secretary pointed out that in that case we'd never have a quorum. Also, that voting is an honor! We would have to change the by-laws. No further action was suggested.


January 16, 1955:

A spirited discussion a nickname for the members was carried out. White said he had heard and seen 'WSFAns,' and thought it very appropriate.

Sara Griggs had suggested 'WSFul Thinkers,' which was greeted with interest but no enthusiasm.


September 20, 1953:

Miscellaneous discussion consisted of a rumor that McArthur, who is in the Army, has been assigned to a project which will build a space platform. Also of an offer by Tom Turek, a guest, to procure a speaker on dianetics.

October 4, 1953:

The minutes were read and provoked a discussion of the exact nature of McArthur's assignment in the Air Force. Briggs asserted that he was going to school and Irene Baron claimed he was going to school to be an astronaut. We await further clarification.

[ No further mention of McArthur's exact assignment was found. Perhaps it all happened in an alternative universe. JM]