The WSFA Journal, August 1988

The WSFA Journal


The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association     ISSN 0894-5411



Available from the secretary: Mary Morman, [censored], Silver Spring, MD 20902-4008


Minutes of the First Friday Meeting in July held on July 1st, 1988 at the home of Doll and Alexis Gilliland. Joe Mayhew reporting.

The meeting was called to order at 9:15pm, the minutes of the previous meeting were not available. The treasurer reported a balance of $12,075.08.

ENTERTAINMENT: Doll Gilliland said she is interested in hiring the sloop "Mystic" for a WSFA trip sometime in September or October. She says it would cost around $50.00 per person ("The club has a lot of money"). Doll also went over the menu for the 4th of July Picnic. The affair is to begin around noon.

DISCLAVE '88: Tom Schaad said he was going over his records prior to issuing reimbursements to the deserving. Joe Mayhew reported that L. Sprague DeCamp had written a nice note to the Green Room staff saying how much he and Catherine had enjoyed their hospitality, especially as they hadn't been able to locate the Con Suite. (hmmm...)

DISCLAVE '89: Mike Walsh reported that the Hotel is sending him a contract offer.

DISCON III: There will be a work session at 1:00 in the afternoon at the home of John Pomeranz. All are welcome to come and join in on July 10th.

There was no new or old business. The meeting was adjourned at 9:36pm.

ATTENDING were Erica Van Dommelen, Joe Mayhew, Tom Schaad, Alexis, Charles, and Doll Gilliland, Steven Fetheroff, George Shaner, North Lilly, Robyn Rissell, Lance Oszko, Matt Lawrence, Lee Strong, Bob MacIntosh, Erica Lilly, Mel Scharadin, Covert Beach, George Koelsch, Dennis Carroll, Keith Marshall, Walter Miles, Martin Wooster, Vicki Smith, Brian Lewis, Rebecca Prather, Joe Hall, Jim and Kim Elmore, Susan Cohen, Steve Smith, Naomi Ronis, David Hastie, Ginny Vaughan-Nichols, Nancy Loomis, and Jack Heneghan. Approximate attendance was 35.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * [First World War Snails]

Minutes of the Third Friday Meeting in July held at the home of Kent Bloom and Mary Morman.

The meeting was called to order at 9:12pm by WSFA President Erica Van Dommelen. The secretary read the minutes of the last meeting, but said that no WSFA Journal was available. It was at the printer and the secretary was in a traffic jam on the beltway when the printer closed. The treasurer reported $11,942.43. The trustees reported that we have a new member - Erica B. Lilly.


DISCLAVE '88: Tom Schaad is still busy refunding memberships. The gross for the con was about $34,000. After everything is said and done we will still make money.

DISCLAVE '89: Mike Walsh said the GOH is trotting around the world. He will be in Honduras. Mike also announced that he has found two suckers. Steve Fetheroff will do the Art Show and Little John Pomeranz will do Programming. Little John then announced that he is arranging a special 24 hour attendance programming item featuring left handed Argentinian science fiction writer pederasts.
(On writing this up, the editor commented, it doesn't make any sense at all, but that's what my notes say and everyone laughed a lot so I think it's one of those jokes where you had to be there....)

DISCON III: Kent Bloom stated that we're having our August business meeting at his home on August 7th. To join the bid you need a little money and a great capacity for masochism. BUT... you don't have to join to come and help out. Anyone attending NOLACON who wants to help with the bid party needs to talk to John Pomeranz.

ENTERTAINMENT: Alexis Gilliland reported that Dolly says thanks to those who brought food to the 4th of July Picnic. It was moved, seconded, and carried that the club give a vote of thanks to Jack Heneghan for hosting the picnic. Alexis also said he contacted the fellow with the picnic site and that he is booked up until the end of the season.

OLD BUSINESS: The 3rd Friday meeting in August will be at the Heneghans. The 5th Friday meeting in July will be at the Heneghan's (also known as Jack and Elaine's house).

NEW BUSINESS: At the suggestion of the secretary, it was moved, seconded, and carried that WSFA authorize $200 to purchase a sturdy wooden cabinet to hold the WSFA archives - now sitting perilously close to Mary Morman's fireplace. Mary Morman will make the purchase.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: John Pomeranz announced that he got File 770 and read something nice about DISCLAVE by Martin Morse Wooster (after picking apart Balticon).
Robyn has had some changes. He bought a new car and moved to Arlington and his bomb went off.
Dan Hoey received a check from Phoenix refunding his membership. He thought this was really fast work until he realized that it was not for this year's Westercon but for last year's NASFIC.
Mike Walsh has free books for $1.00.
Joe Mayhew says the Library of Congress wants someone to make a list of hard science fiction authors to send to Russia.
Irv is having a party on the 30th of July. (Yes, he did give me a written announcement, and yes, he did give it to me in time. Mea culpa. Mea culpa.)
Anonymous recommended that you do NOT rent the video of Surf Nazis Must Die.
Tom Schaad said that Paul Parsons needs people to volunteer for Unicon. He needs experienced helpers. We do need a presence to bid up DISCON III. If you are going to go to Unicon - help out! After all, they helped us at DISCLAVE.
Erica recommended the BOOK STOP at 109 S. Alfred Street in Alexandria. Phone number is 703-548-6566. Hours are 11-5 Monday, Tues, Wed, Fri, and Sat; 1-5 on Sunday; closed Thursday.

The meeting adjourned at 9:37pm.

ATTENDING were John Sapienza, Chris Callahan, Joe Hall and Associates, Laquetta Karch, Ed Karch, Walter Miles, Erotica Van Dominatrix, D.B. Mongo, John Pomeranz, Virginia Vaughan-Nichols, Robyn Rissell, Rise Peters, Candy Gresham, David Gresham, Kent Bloom, Dan Hoey, Covert Beach, Jul Owings, Keith Marshall, Lee Strong, Bob MacIntosh, Susan Cohen, George Shaner, Mark Owings, Steven Fetheroff, Michael Walsh, Nancy Loomis, Mark C. Wallace breah Sullivan, Lourdes Alicia Sullivan breah Wallace, Brian Lewis, Philip Davis, Abner Mintz; Dorothy Wright, Deborah Rothschild, Erica Lilly, North Lilly, Dale Schnsick, Joe Mayhew, Irv Koch, Victoria Smith, Dennis Caswell, Kathi Overton, Steve Smith, Lance Oszko, Matt Lawrence, Judy and Barry and Meridel Newton, Dick Roepke, Evan Phillips, and Bill the Qat. Approximate attendance: 50.


This copy of the WSFA Journal is done on MacIntosh electronic publishing equipment available at my office. I don't think they mind if I use the equipment on weekends (and it does look nice, doesn't it?), but they turn the air conditioning off on the weekends, and it was about 85 degrees in the office. I could try doing it on weekdays, but the boss has these funny ideas about working during business hours. Silly of him. Just maybe, we need our own equipment...

********************************************************************** [civic pride snails]

by Steve Smith

Once upon a time, I accidentally walked through a screen door. Yes, I strained myself. The opening of Roger Rabbit gave me that same sense of disorientation, of the Universe suddenly not behaving like it's supposed to.

Criticism? What am I supposed to compare it to? I have never heard of anything remotely like it. Well, the story isn't much, the bad guy is/most unsubtle, and the McGuffin is telegraphed pretty heavily. On the other hand, it has more one liners than I can remember seeing in any three other movies (and you can include The Princess Bride in that), and everything is done absolutely straight (vital to this kind of humor). The animation -- well, see it for yourself. Let's just say that the only flaw I noticed was that the animated characters looked awkward holding real guns.

My chief fear is that it will be another Fantasia. Fantasia pretty much killed serious animation. Potential serious animators took one look at it and said "My God!! I could never do that!!" and went back to doing mindless kiddie cartoons or selling vacuum cleaners. I can just hope that the Hollywood types will look at Roger Rabbit and say "Hey! I could use that technique in my movie!"

In case you've been stuck in a checkout line at Hechinger's or some such for the last month or so, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is set in Hollywood in 1947, and the cartoon characters are real, living in Toontown, just outside of Hollywood. Note that these are not your modern wimpy Masters of the Universe give-the-bad-guys-a-good-talking-to cartoons, but the super violent '40's and '50's hit- 'em-over-the-head-'till-everybody-is-laughing cartoons. The plot is the stale old "seedy private eye gets blackmail photos and somebody shows up dead" that you've seen a hundred times. The difference is that a good number of the characters are animated. The animation is so good that they often look more 'real' than the human characters.

AN EDITORIAL   by The Secretary

When worldcons started, they varied much more year by year than they do now. Each worldcon was a different interpretation of a new idea. What happens increasingly, is that the same group of fans...make repeat bids to hold repeat worldcons.... It is interesting that fandom is reading a number of fanzines, not on science fiction, but on convention administration.

This is a quote from Alan Grieve in the Down Under Press, the bidzine for Sydney in '91. I think he brings up some interesting points.

Back in the sixties and early seventies, when I first joined fandom, there were two kinds of fans, fanzine fans and convention fans. Both kinds read science fiction, but fanzine fans wrote about it in their own private publications and convention fans gathered to talk about it at local, regional, and world conventions. There was quite a bit of crossover. Fanzine fans attended cons, and convention fans often read fanzines and occasionally published pieces in them.

Then came media fans. Media fans became a distinct group while Star Trek was still in its first run. Media fans, many of them female, liked science fiction - but defined science fiction in terms of their Trek experience (pointed ears and dilithium crystals). Again, there was some crossover. Fans who found out about organized fandom through Star Trek went on to read, to attend conventions, and (prolifically) to publish their own fanzines. Star Wars hit us just as the original Star Trek movement was fading. Media fandom was here to stay. (And so were female fans!)

So we have media fans, fanzine fans, and convention fans. And a mass of hidden fans who don't really belong to organized fandom, but who read the books, enjoy the movies, buy the magazines, and attend local conventions when they happen to hear them.

And now we have yet another kind of fan. Fans whose major interest is not attending conventions, but putting on conventions. What does this do for fandom? What do we lose? What do we gain?

We gain a great deal. Expertise acquired over years of service can be applied again and again. The majority of fans, who are NOT interested in running conventions, can relax and enjoy the things they do like - parties, movies, readings, panels, dealers, or wombats. The con is in competent hands. Don't worry about it.

But there is another side to those competent hands. I think, in some ways, they make it too easy for us. Fans are coming to expect a professional level someone to see that things run on time, that the bheer arrives at the right parties, and that the GOH is picked up at the airport. Since someone is going to do it, Joe Fan doesn't have to worry about it. And in this loss of grassroots involvement I think we are losing something essentially important about fandom.

Think back to the early media cons - Star Trek conventions. Professional convention organizers took a look at science fiction conventions and created an abomination - like Sauron creating orcs in imitation of elves. A bunch of opportunists staged a show for the juvenile (and not so juvenile) trekkies, charged them lots of money, sold them plastic ears, and walked off with a fat wallet. But what did trufans object to in this? Not that the convention organizers were making money, but that all those prospective fans were getting a false idea of what a real convention was all about. Real fans organized, and participated in their own conventions. It wasn't something that was done for you or to you, it was something you did yourself.

And that's where I see a danger in the growth of that branch of fandom that is more interested in running cons than attending cons. When fans give up involvement in their own conventions they lose something essentially fannish. They cease to be participants and become simply part of an audience.

How do we avoid this? Shall we tear out the system and start over? Of course not! But the next time a neo-fan wants to help with something - think a little less about efficiency and little more about creating a fannish experience.

If you have opinions on these subjects - or any other subjects that take your fancy - the secretary would be delighted to publish your Letters to the Editor. How long has it been since you wrote a LOC to a local 'zine? Com'on! It's the fannish thing to do!