The WSFA Journal, June 1988

The WSFA Journal





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



May 6, 1988

At Gilliland House: Mike Walsh presiding: attending: Joe Mayhew, Dick Roepke, Peggy Rae Pavlat, Lance Oszko, Mike Wolser, Ray Ridenour, Kathi Overton, Covert Beach, Dan Hoey, Susan Cohen, Matt Lawrence, Irvin Koch, Walter Miles, Steven Fetheroff, Erica Van Dommelen, Alexis, Doll & Charles Gilliland, Bob MacIntosh, Mel Scharadin, John Pomeranz, Evan Phillips, Brian Lewis, Kent Bloom, Jean Yarsawich, Terilee & Jim Edwards-Hewitt, Jack Chalker, Eva Whitley, Cat Slusser, Steve Smith, Barry & Judy Newton, Alan Huff, Joe Hall, Chick Derry, Tom Schaad, Pat & Laura Jones, Bill Jensen, George Shaner, Abner Mintz, Lee Strong, Keith Marshall, Ginny McNitt, Judy Fetter, John Sapienza.

The meeting was called to order at 9:22. The minutes were summarized from the Journal, which was distributed. The Treasury stood at 4,638.84 (the Bid still has $3,030.75 available)

DISCLAVE'88: Kent Bloom reported 450 pre-registered. Tom noted that VISA (Courtesy NESFA) would be available for Art Sales.

DISCLAVE'89: Kent would be selling memberships at $10.00 at the meeting and again on Sunday at the con.

DISCON III: Disclave activities include a party suite and a table in the dealers room. Volunteers for bid activities were solicited from the members of the bid Corporation.

PUBLICATIONS: Kent Bloom reported that he had bought a printer for WSFA's computer, as authorized. The DBXL software bought for the computer causes it to crash. It was proposed by Joe Mayhew that DBXL be auctioned off at Disclave with proceedings to go to the DISCON III bid. It was passed unanimously as business.

BUSINESS (See Publications)

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Doll Gilliland got rave notices as the Town Crier in DROOD at the Kennedy Center. Somtow Sucharitkul is now writing for the Kiddie cartoon show DINOSAUCERS. Lee Strong has been promoted to a GS-13 on a permanent basis and has been selected to attend management college this summer out of the taxpayers' pocket.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:59 (followed by...)


Trustees Stevens Fetheroff and Smith and Cat Slusser presided with the assistance of Walter Miles. The election began at 10:10.

The Trustees Official Slate were all elected. The only contested election was for Vice President. Alexis Gilliland was nominated from the floor, but was not elected. The New Officers are:

Vice President: STEVE SMITH
Secretary: MARY MORMAN
Treasurer: BOB MacINTOSH
          JUDY NEWTON

The election was completed at 10:39

May 20, 1988

At Bloom/Morman House: Mike Walsh presiding. Attending: Kent Bloom, Joe Mayhew, Mark & Jul Owings, Irvin Koch, Steve Fetheroff, Erica Van Dommelen, Dick Roepke, Candy & Dave Gresham, Mel Scharadin, Kim & Jim Elmore, Covert Beach, Robyn Rissell, Naomi Ronis, Tom Schaad, Alexis Gilliland, Bob MacIntosh, Heather Nachman, Lance Oszko, Vicky Smith, Joe Hall, George Koelsch, Lee Strong, Peggy Rae Pavlat, Susan Cohen, Charles Gilliland, Barry & Judy Newton, Abner Mintz, John Sapienza, Walter Miles, Steve Smith, Chris Callahan, Bill Jensen, Matt Lawrence, Lee Anne Mitchell, Kate Terrell.

The meeting was called to order at 9:12. The minutes of the previous meeting were summarized. The Treasurer reported a balance of $13,712.62.

DISCON III; a WORK party was scheduled at Peggy Rae Pavlat's for the Sunday following Disclave at 1:00. Members of the Corporation were invited to attend.

DISCLAVE'88: Tom Schaad went over many areas where volunteers were needed and gave information concerning the Con.

OLD BUSINESS: Jack Heneghan's offer to host the WSFA 4th of July (on the 4th!) was accepted.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:12


After the meeting the executive boards of Current and Elect were polled by Joe Mayhew to determine whether the WSFA Facit typewriter should also be auctioned off at DISCLAVE to benefit the Bid. The Secretary Elect did not elect to use it and it seems to be dying. All voted for its sale by auction.

[At this point Joe Mayhew passes the Secretarial Burden to Mary Morman, Wishing her good luck and easy deadlines]. [free at at last, Thank (  ) I'm free at last!]


(a movie review)

by Alexis A. Gilliland

So what you have is a fairy tale with state of the art special effects. What the critics tell you is how everything is so-o-oo derivative, listing the sources to establish their critical credentials. Which is true because all fairy tales are derivative. What they don't tell you is that the tale is genuine intelligence by Ron Howard.

In a big, commercial movie is the outcome of the contest between Good and Evil to be in doubt? Be reasonable. Big money is hanging on the outcome. George Lucas badly needs another megahit. MGM itself could be subject to unwanted takeovers. SO the outcome is predictable. What is not predictable is the timing and details and the comedic touches that lend freshness to the necessarily familiar and predictable story.

An example of Evil is the wicked queen who seeks to kill the cute baby, and her loyal general who wears black armor and a gold and silver skull helm. Color them unmitigated. AN example of Good is Willow and the baby, a family man undertaking high adventure from the noblest of motives, and the cutest little kid that ever cooed for repeated closeups.

An example of characterization is the two brownies, who are assigned to lead Willow and the baby to their intermediate destination. Dei ex machina, and potentially cute, they are instead tough and funny, providing a running commentary on the proceedings that adds a welcome dash of salt.

An example of action? One would hardly suffice. What they have in common is that someone devoted enough attention to them so that they not only move with visual splendor, but also bear thinking about afterwards. The romantic subplot between Madmartigan and the Wicked Queen's tomboy daughter is as kinetic as one could wish. The swordplay is well done and reasonable in context, displaying tastefully little blood. The grand climax predictably pulls out all the stops on the special effects, but still manages to produce a surprise.

There is a lot of great stuff in Willow, and a lot of good stuff that is not immediately obvious. The bottom line is that you come out of the movie feeling good about it. Go and see it.



by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Bookstores are fragile. You don't get rich by owning, running or working in them. The chains aren't really an exception to the rule. Their owners do well by some standards, but the percentage of their income which comes from their book business is small potatoes to the corporate world. Individual bookstores -- one owner shops -- are often marginal enterprises. Why do we still have local bookstores, then? We do because the people who run them do so for the love of books, but sometimes that isn't enough. The number of independently owned bookstores has deciled with the years. We tend to think that since the ones we happen to go to haven't disappeared yet, they'll always be there. We can go on thinking this of course, but the chances will be better for their survival if we spread the word about these stores to our friends who read but who believe that Crown and B. Dalton are the only place to buy books.

Washington has been blessed with a number of bookstores which specialize in science fiction and fantasy. Two of my particular favorites are Moonstone Bookcellars and Chaos Unlimited.

Moonstone Bookcellars has been a Washington fixture since 1975. The Moonstone is a dealer in new books selling both science fiction and mystery books. Through the years, the staff have always been well-informed and helpful. This is a place where they know what novels won Hugos or Nebulas, where the mention of such authors as Rudy Rucker or Barbara Hambly doesn't draw blank stares. It is a welcome change from the mass-market bookstores at which we found Heinlein's Farmer in the Sky in the gardening section. The Moonstone probably has more new books per square foot than any other store I know. It's a bit cramped as a result, but in their limited space, they have an excellent selection of paperbacks and a small but concise collection of hardbacks. Where the store really shines is in the number of small press books and magazines they carry. Science fiction has had a long tradition of some of its better works being published by such specialty houses, but it has never been easy finding these books unless you were on their mailing lists. But at the Moonstone you actually can find Arkham House and Underwood & Miller editions. If you, for example, love Marion Zimmer Bradley's books and would love to have her Darkover novels in hardback, this is the place to go. The Moonstone Book cellars is located at 2145 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., close to Washington Circle, below a barber shop. It is open from 11 AM to 6 PM seven days a week.

A number of stores in the Washington area sell used science fiction. For some, it is a sideline to comic books, GI Joe action toys or film memorabilia, while others have a large SF section. For me, the premier bookstore for used SF in the Washington DC area was Chaos Unlimited. The price of running a business in the Washington metropolitan area has recently forced them nut of their store and into mail order operations only. We're the poorer for its loss and it demonstrates our need to support our SF bookshops.

No discussion of Washington's science fiction book sources would he complete without mentioning Robert Madle's book service. Robert Madle, a long-time fan, runs his enterprise from his home in Rockville. Simply put, if you're a serious collector, there is no better source for older science fiction on the East Coast. If you want to complete your run of AMAZING or acquire a first edition Stanley Weinbaum novel, he is the man to turn to. Mr. Madle can be reached from 10 AM - 8 PM from Monday to Friday at (301) 460-7712 - or you will also find him behind a dealer's table at many science fiction conventions.


(Editor's note: Hole in the Wall Books at 905 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA, is a first-rate dealer in both new and used books. Unmentioned also were the Maryland Book Exchange in College Park 4500 College Ave (at US Route 1) which has an excellent selection of new SF and the Book Nook at 8911 Rhode Island Ave. in Berwyn which has a wondrous selection of used paper and hardback SF. Bob Madle, is of course, well known to long-time WSFAns, as he is a Life Member of the club.)


by Joe Mayhew

C-640, the Sheraton Park suite which hosted so many Disclaves as the mythically perfect Con Suite, seemed somehow back with us at this year's Disclave. Last year I moved the con suite from the two small rooms under a rain-dripping ledge, bleak and uninviting - no place to talk or sit down, down into the bunker or "Discave" (as I renamed the Exhibition center one drowsy sign-making night). It looked good, the electrician told me that the large fan in the back corner of the room was an exhaust fan that would pull the air conditioning into it. As it turned out, the fan was a blower and not a sucker and despite Evan's well positioned fans, it was still too hot to make the suite a great success. So we moved the con suite out to the section just beyond the wall. Perhaps more people got the idea that, with our rented furniture, extended hours and nice nosh, not to mention Evan's mad shoshi - the paper playhouse to end all paper playhouses, complete with starlight panel and his curious fountain, with all that and more, they got the idea that the con suite was the place to be. With George Kochell cartooning, doing portraits, Ray Ridenour doing a Ray-In, and everything from hot funnel cake to fresh strawberries, Even the myth of of C-640 had to pale. It took two years but It was great! Evan Phillips and his faithful indian scouts did a damn fine job.

This year I built the program, some have accused me of over-programming. To which I reply: don't go to it all, just what you think you might enjoy. Chris Callahan made it work after I dreamed it up. She and her band of merry folk saw to it that it got on and off on time, that the participants had the opportunity to know what was going on, and kept my 6-ring circus rolling. Despite the odd location (10th floor parlours) the Author's Readings were successful. They were put up there and out of the way os that empty-headed wanderers would not disturb them. The discussion room and the publisher's presentations worked rather well, despite the logistical problems of the room set-up, microphones, and the novelty of the ideas. The track of storytelling did not go well because it was too early. It would have done much better on Saturday or Sunday. My Brother Bill got some very fine professional quality storytellers to come, but insisted on a Friday schedule, because of their other commitments.

There was too much said about the music selection at the Senior Prom. The salient point seemed that a "senior prom" seemed to many people to be a formal affair for dancing. Lote of fen went to a great bother getting formals etc, and then found the new-wave music didn't dance. Some got vocal and hostile, others just boogied their heart out, because they liked the music. I noticed that most of the steady dancers were informally dressed. The Formal dance does a lot of good, dressing UP helps the hotel cope. I think the should continue, but that the music be primarily DANCE music, mindless joy, strong moving rhythm, not LISTENING music. We had much the same problem with the DJ the previous year. Perhaps Dave Axler would do better at an informal dance, or as a radio DJ. Nevertheless, Terry Sheehan should be praised for a well-mounted and successful Prom.

There were an increasing number of badgeless hangers-on at Disclave this year. Next year It would be better to have door-guards to check badges and to have the hotel encourage people not to park their Gypsy caravans in the lobby.

Someone else can tell the rest of the story and thank those who made DISCLAVE'88 the success it was. Perhaps that's Tom Schaad's Job, then again, as DISCLAVE is WSFA's party for its friends, we all ought to thank Tom for the patient and intelligent management of it which found so many of the right people for the right jobs.