The WSFA Journal, January 1988

The WSFA Journal





JANUARY 1988     EDITOR: Joe Mayhew. [censored], Bladensburg, MD 20710     ISSN 0894-5411



December 4, 1987

At Bloom/Morman House. Mike Walsh presiding. Attending: Joe Mayhew, Kent Bloom, George Shaner, Alexis Gilliland, Mark & Jul Owings, Kim & Jim Elmore, Vicki Smith, Kevin Earthling, Walter Miles, Keith Marshall, David Busch, Mel Scharadin, Tom Schaad, Evan Phillips, Dick Roepke, Chris Callahan, Steve Smith, Bob MacIntosh, Neil Ottenstein, Erica Van Dommelen, Steven Fetheroff, Bill Mayhew, Covert Beach, Elaine Normandy, Linda Melnick, Kathi Overton, John Pomeranz, Art Coleman, Bill Squire, Bill Jensen.

The meeting was called to order at 9:22. The minutes of the previous meeting were published and not contended. Thank you, Erica.

The Treasury stood at $15,413.00.


There was to be a meeting on December 13th at Kent's. An ad to be placed in the BOSKONE program booklet was there for anyone interested in seeing it.


Tom Schaad reminded the faithful that the cost of the DISCLAVE (WSFA Associate Membership) would go up from $15 to $20 as of January 1st, 1988. There are still major jobs to be filled.


Mike Walsh has located a current address for his first choice GOH, and will be writing soon.


Alexis Gilliland read the following note from Doll: The next meeting is at the Gillilands - it's the pagan tree trimming; bring an ornament. And the next day, that's Saturday, December 19th, is the annual WSFA solstice dinner. If you plan to attend, please give Dolly a call, preferably within the next week, so she'll know how large a turkey we need. If you have a card table, folding chairs, or both, we encourage you to bring them.

The meetings revert to their usual rotation, with the 1st meeting in January at the Gillilands, which means they will be hosting New Year's Day night.


A New Year's Eve Party was discussed and, as the WSFA meeting was the next night, it was suggested that we not sponsor one, Erica Van Dommelen offered her place, but said that it was rather small. It was decided not to sponsor a NYE party. Alexis mentioned that January had a 5th Friday, and wondered if anyone was interested in sponsoring one.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:46.


December 18, 1987

At Gilliland House. Mike Walsh presiding: Attending: Joe Mayhew, Tom Schaad, Jane Wagner, Alexis Gilliland, Doll Gilliland, Eva Whitley, Jack Chalker, Bob MacIntosh, George Shaner, Jul & Mark Owings, Erica Van Dommelen, Steven Fetheroff, Walter Miles, Lee Uba, Terilee and Jim Edwards-Hewitt, Steve & Elaine Stiles, Jim & Kim Elmore, Lance Oszko, Keith Marshall, Covert Beach, Dan Hoey, Naomi Ronis, Vicki Smith, Kent Bloom, Abner Mintz, Chris Callahan, Dick Roepke, Mel Scharadin, Robyn Rissell, Steve Smith, John Madigan, Keith Evans, Jeannie Yarsawich, Laura Majerus, Cat Slusser, Judy Fetter, Tish Wells, Bill Jensen and Jake Waldman

The meeting was called to order at 9:12. The minutes of the previous meeting were not available. The Treasury totalled $15,324.31.


Tom Schaad reminded WSFAns that the cost would go up to $20.00 at the first of the year. Only those with DISCLAVE memberships are eligible to continue as voting members in 1988


Kent Bloom reports that the Poker Table Committee had dissolved. The two poker tables had arrived and were upstairs awaiting use at the Solstice Feast.


Doll Gilliland announced that she had cancelled the dinner as only four or five had contacted her by last Wednesday. If anyone is interested in continuing this WSFA tradition next year, much earlier and more enthusiastic response will be needed.


Despite the lack of WSFA official backing, both Erica Van Dommelen and Eva Whitley are inviting WSFAns to their New Year's Eve parties.


The Bloom/Morman house will not be available for the 3rd Friday in January. Other arrangements must be made. Doll said they would take it as a last option. Any volunteers?



Kent Bloom moved that up to $150.00 be authorized for a 5th Friday Party at BOSKONE, to be co-hosted by the DISCON III bid group. The motion passed without dissent.


Ray Ridenour's mother died on December 13th.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:36.


They have no pockets, but each member of the gang is a novelty act. There is the empath with the Lebanese accent, the blind negro with the cocaine glasses, the android "candide"-figure, the identity figure kid who gets to play with the big boys, The most amazing consort of clichés have been assembled for our delectation- surely you can identify with one? The plots, at least, are familiar. The message seems to be, "The future is all re-hash." Oh, well, I'm a sucker for special effects and space ships.


by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Ten years ago, on a blustery fall day, I was picked up by a friend I had met at the West Virginia University Science fiction society, Monogamoot. It was a rainy day, as memory recalls, with more than a little hint of winter in the wind. I had been standing outside the WVU Mountainlair, the student union, for several minutes. Contemplating my rain dampened shoes, I thought about going home. I stayed though, and eventually my ride appeared. The car was already filled with my new-found comrades from the University SF club, but room was found for me. Debbie drove us north on I-79, the road twisting with the hills, as we made our way to Pittsburgh and Phlange 7, my first convention.

I was 19 then. I had just recently come to WVU to go to graduate school in history. It was a time of many changes for me. I had been raised in the backwoods of Appalachia. There, like so many of us in fandom, I had had to be content with being a bright dreamer in a world which had little regard for those who wandered in the realms contained between a book's covers. To this day, one of my sharpest memories is the summer lightning of the mind when I realized that the marks the page meant the word, "look." I was not the only one in my family with this commingled blessing and affliction. My maiden aunt Carol, who lived on the upper floor of my grandparents' farmhouse, loved science fiction and fantasy. Behind the glass doors of a small set of book shelves, she kept Bullfinch's Mythology, dog-eared Ace doubles from the 1950's and Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. She was a quiet woman, but I knew she was pleased that I often walked home from school half a dozen books precariously balanced in my arms. One day she took me upstairs. It was always hot there and the air sounded with the wasps who could never be banished from the attic. She unlocked the bookcase and looked at me then, "You may borrow no more than one or two books at a time," she said, "and you must always let me know when you want another and not come up by yourself." I agreed, and she gave me the Bullfinch's and a Tarzan novel to start my reading with. The spark of my joy in reading was fanned to a fire which has never gone out.

So it was that several years later, I walked into the old hotel which housed, what I would later learn, was one of the last stands of Pittsburgh fandom. In 1960, the fans of southwestern Pennsylvania had held a WorldCon for several hundred of their best friends. WorldCon memberships were measured in the thousands when I found fewer than a hundred fans gathered in the faded halls of the convention hotel.

I wasn't surprised or disappointed by anything I found there. This was because I had had no idea of what I would find. Our science fiction club had emerged in isolation without the encouragement of other fans. Conventions were mere rumors, their reality attested by the faith in the SF convention calendar in Analog. One or two of us had attended conventions before, but they were quiet and only their enthusiasm was articulate.

The guest of honor was Joe Haldeman. His star was rising then. THE FOREVER WAR was newly honored with a Hugo. I admired his work greatly, but when I spoke to him I could barely speak at all. Mr. Haldeman, having far more experience with shy fans than I with well known authors, made me feel at ease and I finally managed to tell him that I enjoyed his work. Later, at the then obligatory banquet, he spoke about his desire to go into space himself. It was a dream we all shared.

There was a small art show. Then, I knew nothing of science fiction art; I only knew I liked it. The only artist whose work I can still recall was Phil Foglio's clever cartoons.

At the time, I didn't know how tiny the dealer's room was. It seemed enormous to me then. I spent hours pouring over new and old books and I knew how Ali Baba felt in his treasure cave. Fitzgerald's RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM came to mind as I wondered, what the dealers could buy that was half so precious as what they sold? I left the dealer's room with hardly a penny to my name, but wealthy in dreams.

The structure of a convention is only a prelude to the real reason many of us fly to Brighton or a few dozen gather together in York, Pennsylvania. The true drive of a convention is that it brings the lonely dreamers together. My don't find it in the program book or in the video listings, but in the halls and rooms, in parties and gatherings. My first convention was no exception. I met many people, made several friends, and was even a witness to a certain famous bit of fannish foolery involving a bathtub, green jell-o, an attractive young woman and an unnamed science fiction writer.

When I left the convention, I knew I wanted to go again, and so, I have. In the more than a hundred conventions I have been to since, I have made good friends and met the lovely lady who I am blessed to be able to call my wife. Perhaps the most important one, though, was that first one; because I left it thinking I must come back again, for so I have, time and again, and so I will in the times coming.



by Alexis A. Gilliland

A paragraph on the "Spirit of Washington" outing, which took place on Sunday afternoon, November 8, 1987. This was WSFA exercising the social side of its charter, as 32 members went for a two hour boat trip with buffet brunch and entertainment provided by a quite talented group of young people who also waited the tables. The brunch was surprisingly good, starting with a fruit cup and coffee, through baked ham, chicken tarragon, and seafood Newberg, a tossed salad, new potatoes, pasta, rice and little croissants or double chocolate cake, with beer and wine available from the cash bar. After the meal, most of WSFA went up on the top deck to watch the sights of Washington side past from a perspective unfamiliar to the automobile. The weather was beautiful, one of the last warm days of the season, and as we sailed along East Potomac Park, we saw the runners of the Marine Memorial Marathon going by. Well along in the race, they were strung out into individuals and small groups from the great mass that had started that morning. Such devotion to physical Fitness warms the cockles of one's heart and makes thrice blessed the essential indolence of the activity in which WSFA was engaged. The consensus, if not the unanimous declaration of all concerned (some being the merest of infants), was that it was a wonderful outing and we ought to do it again, sometime.


Dolly and I saw Spielberg's "EMPIRE OF THE SUN," the movie based on J. G. Ballard's book of the same name. The movie is strange, and quite moving at times, with memorable scenes of cinematic spectacle that owe nothing to explosions and special effects. However, it seemed to me that EofS was cut a tad self-indulgently, justifying a comment overheard in the lobby: "The movie was true to the book, but the book was shorter."



Our Lance Errant has been trying to acquire some very hard to get television items. This is how he tells it:


                Lance Oszko
                Alexandria, VA 22304

Coreen Wallace
c/o WNET
356 West 58th Street
New York, NY 10019

Dear Ms. Wallace:

I am interested in arranging a public showing of "LATHE OF HEAVEN". I understand it is a WNET production. Whatever technical or procedural requirements that you may have will be satisfied. I look forward to your response.

I would also request a listing or catalog of programs or films your organization handles.

                  Lance Oszko


All rights for the above production has expired. I am sorry but this particular production is not available under any circumstances. Renewal costs are in excess of $10,000. WNET at the present time has no plans to renew.

Coreen Wallace
WNET Distribution & Sales

(and so...)

Dear Ms. Wallace:

Thank you for your prompt response to my previous letter. Could you please send me the address of the producer of "LATHE OF HEAVEN" or have all rights reverted to Ms. LeGuin? I shall attempt to arrange separate limited rights.

                  Lance Oszko

...And so, confident that something would be possible, Lance awaited the logical reply, which would no doubt make sense of the whole matter, and so....


WNET is the producer of the production and all rights for this production rest with us. To renew the rights, performers, the writer, director, music etc. must all be paid additional fees. At the Present time WNET does not have any plans or funds to do this. The program is therefore unavailable. Sorry.

Coreen Wallace
WNET Distribution & Sales.


(Surely, Lance, you Joust!)



Jarrett Wollstein, who professes a Black Belt in Karate, Kung Fu and Jujitsu, phoned to say he will be giving free martial arts lessons Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM, starting on January 10, 1988 at Providence Recreation Center in Falls Church. For more information, call him at (703) 522-5776

He also says he's trying to form a small writer's group. If interested, call him at the same number.



The WSFA dues year runs from January 1st to December 31st. Unless you are a life member or you have first paid for a membership in the 1988 DISCLAVE and then paid your fee to the WSFA Treasurer as a Charter Member, you are no longer eligible to vote, hold office or propose business in WSFA Those who receive complimentary memberships in DISCLAVE have not met the first requirement for voting membership in WSFA. The Treasurer may inadvertently accept your dues, but until you pay for DISCLAVE'88 your membership is void.


Laura Majerus
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 641-0175


There was a young mutant, quite radiant,
Whose social life climbed a steep gradient.
When asked was s/he gay?
' said, "by my DNA,
I obfuscate preferences lady-ent."


(Given to us by Mel Scharadin)



by Neil A. Ottenstein

At 3:30 on Thursday, December 3rd, Joe Haldeman gave a reading at the University of Maryland, College Park. It was lots of fun. He does a very good job talking about his work and the background things that he is putting in his novel. He read from the novel that he is working on right now: THE LONG HABIT OF LIVING. It might be out in the stores in a year, if everything goes smoothly. The basic concept behind it is that there is a technique (I believe it is) called the Stowman process, which can rejuvenate you for about 10 years. You need about $1 million (or so) to be considered. You have to give up all your worldly goods for the process. Thus you will have to start from scratch in order to be able to get yet another 10 years. Apparently, if you don't get rejuvenated again you return to your "proper age" quite rapidly. The novel centers on two "immortals" (people who have been periodically rejuvenated). There seems to be lots of bits about this future world thrown in. Apparently he has researched it quite a lot. He mentioned that he has some pages included from editions of a future almanac. The difference between two of these pages are some changes in the world's population. He said that he has a nine page essay which explains it, but it was only for his own benefit and is not in the book. The thing which seems to start the action rolling is that some of the "immortals" are being killed off... It looks like a fun book from what he read. I am looking forward to it.


[The following is excerpted from Bill Berg's report on the 1967 DISCLAVE:]

WSFA held its annual Disclave on May 12th and 13th at the Regency-Congress Inn, in Washington, D.C.. The Regency is a new motel, and was very well appointed and comfortable. The convention was held in one of the Regency's basement rooms. It was isolated from the rest of the motel, so no matter how much noise we made, it bothered no one.

...The GOH was Jack Gaughan, the artist. We were entertained by a trio consisting of Ray Ridenour on the trombone, Alan Huff on the tuba, and Don Wolz on the cornet; it played loud and at times very well, sounding somewhat like a German band. ...Jay Haldeman conducted the program, there being nothing in print as to what it was to be. He announced that the first thing on the program was a panel consisting of Roger Zelazny and L. Sprague de Camp, its subjects being whatever the two of them wanted to discuss. Sprague told of his various travels around the world and of the books he is writing...Roger talked about some difficulties he has encountered in writing some of his stories. ...Next on the program was an auction of S-F books (mostly British) and artwork by Jack Gaughan, with most of the proceeds going to the WSFA treasury (which it needed badly). ...The final panel...consisted of Fritz Muhlhauser III, Ted White, Andy Porter, and Banks Mebane. The Subject was Fritz's attack on SF. Although Andy Porter was appointed moderator, little was heard from him. In fact, little was heard from anyone on the panel except Fritz, who managed to drown out most of the opposition. Fritz was of the opinion that fandom should have some great purpose; the rest of us seemed convinced that fandom's purpose was to have fun and enjoy ourselves. Personally, I think Fritz likes to get into these arguments merely for the sake of argument. The program ended at about 5:30 p.m., at which time Alexis Gilliland presented Fritz with a caricature of himself, with sword in hand, saying,"Bring on the damn fans!" ...


[From the same Con, Harriet Kolchak reported:] ...It was Roger Zelazny's birthday, and they gave him a can of beer and a bottle of Alka-Seltzer...L. Sprague de Camp and Roger led off with a discussion on Sword & Sorcery: Pro and Con. Roger said he liked to write about people who felt strongly toward each other. They discussed "love." Sprague said ...Colt pistols were the most inaccurate items ever devised by man, but people get a thrill from reading about these things, escaping all the ills they would get if they went in for the real thrills (such as dysentery...) Roger said he wrote his Dilvish stories for Fantastic, but that he intended to uphold the boycott on Cohen's magazines. He aid that NEW WORLDS had been subsidized by the Arts Council, but that the first issue was not very good. ... Next was Gaughan on art ... G. said he does his work out of sheer instinct for survival --reads the book, picks what he think will sell, and does 3 illos, one of which is picked for the book. For covers you remit some rejected sketch and someone writes a story to it. He likes to work for F & SF because they have character, and so he does his best work for them. GALAXY lacks character. He went on the explain some of the things which go into making a good work of art, and some of the pitfalls of being an artist. Finally came a panel with Fritz Muhlhauser, Andy Porter, Banks Mebane, and Ted White, called "Is Fandom Going to Hell in a Bucket?" I got no sense out of this at all, and I'm sure most of the panelists didn't understand what Fritz's beef was, either. It was short, not so sweet, and far from the point.


[It is often interesting to get more than one point of view - Brian Aldiss fawned all over the Arts Council NEW WORLDS in his TRILLION YEAR SPREE, Roger Zelazny, at the time of its issuance seemed less impressed. Does anyone long for a return of the Huff/Ridenour/Wolz trio? Huff used to be able to scare up a dozen bagpipers at the drop of a sporran. Those were the days! -- as indeed, are these! ]