The WSFA Journal, November 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



[tough unicorn]

The first Friday meeting of October was called to order at 9:18pm at the home of Alexis and Doll Gilliland. Erica Van Dommelen presided. Joe Mayhew volunteered minutes. The secretary, while absent, sent a WSFA Journal which contained the minutes of the previous meeting. They were accepted conditionally. Bob MacIntosh reported that the Treasury stood at $9,190.88.

As required by the WSFA Bylaws, the Trustees nominated Eva Whitley to chair the 1990 Disclave. Other nominations can be made from the floor at the election, which will be held at the next meeting.

Tom Schaad reported for DISCLAVE '88 that he expected to receive a check from NESFA for the sales at Disclave using their plastic account.

Mike Walsh reported for DISCLAVE '89 that he plans to produce a 500 copy hardback special book to include cover and illos by J.K. Potter and a text by Lucius Shepherd, a third story in the milieu of the "Dragon Griaule". All copies are to be signed by the author.

Kent Bloom reported for DISCON III announcing a meeting of the Bid Corporation at the home of Chris Callahan and Dick Roepke. An election of a Committee Chair is on the agenda. Those having suggestions about GOH and other featured persons should give them to Peggy Rae Pavlat.

Eva Whitley reported for DATCLAVE that she has looked at the BWI Marriott, which is marvelous but too big for our little relaxacon.


As determined at the previous meeting, the matter of whether WSFA should buy a computer was raised for discussion and decision. The president raised the first of the five propositions presented by Mary Morman and after some discussion, the first proposition, that "WSFA should not purchase any further computer equipment at this time." was passed with 20 in favor and 3 opposed.

Susan Cohen raised the question previously presented by Evan Phillips that WSFA should buy a soda dispenser. The question was tabled until Evan Phillips could report.


Eva Whitley's offer to host a Halloween party was accepted. It will be on Saturday October 29 starting around 7pm. Those attending are requested to wear a costume related to Rock and Roll, or to have some High Concept explaining what they are wearing.


Erica Van Dommelen has a new job, after only 8 months and 22 interviews. She is Assistant Editor of Professional Publications for the American Diabetes Association. John Pomeranz is also employed again. Everyone is invited to go to Tucson and be killed by Somtow. George Shaner turns 30 on October 109th. Steve Smith offered his bookcases for the last time.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55pm.


Joe Mayhew, Erica Van Dommelen, Alexis, Doll, and Charles Gilliland, Bob MacIntosh, Steve Smith, Mike Walsh, Steven Fetheroff, Mel Scharadin, Tom Schaad, Mike Zipser, Walter Miles, Matt Lawrence, Chris Callahan, Dick Roepke, Vicki Smith, Jack Chalker, Eva Whitley, George Shaner, Susan Cohen, Lance Oszko, Kent Bloom, Jack Heneghan, Brian Lewis, Covert Beach, Dan Hoey, Irvin Koch, Keith Marshall, John Pomeranz, Mark Barker, and others (no list was made).


The Third Friday meeting for October met at the home of Kent Bloom on the 21st of October. The meeting was called to order at 9:16pm. The secretary, Mary Morman, reported that the minutes from the last meeting, taken by Joe Mayhew, were at her office in Reston awaiting entry in the WSFA Journal. The WSFA treasury sat at $8963 and some odd cents. The Trustees reported that they have an election to run later in the evening.

DISCLAVE PAST: Tom Schaad reported that "It was."

DISCLAVE FUTURE: Mike Walsh reported that 1 - Disclave wants $1000 for expenses; 2 - The hotel is still dithering on the contract; 3 - He has a draft of the prospectus on the Disclave book The Father of Stones which will cost about $20 each to produce for a print run of 500.

DISCON III: Kent Bloom announced that Peggy Rae Pavlat was elected Chairman of DISCON III. A mailing to Noreascon members is planned for Sunday, November 20th at the Pavlat's. Please come and help out at this work meeting - we need all the hands available.

ENTERTAINMENT: Alexis Gilliland announced the possibility of a boat trip on the Spirit of Washington on November 6th or 20th. It would include a meal (lunch) and 'something that passed for entertainment'. The cost would be $16.95 for adults and $9.45 for children. Not enough people were interested to make this feasible right now. Alexis got a call from the people who did the promotion for Alien Nation, and they would like us to attend the premiere of Cocoon the Return on November 15th at the Odeon Theater. He hopes to have tickets to hand out at the November 1st WSFA meeting. There will be no cost to the club, interested parties should sign up with Alexis.



Mike Walsh requested the club to authorize a $1000 draw fund for Disclave. This will be used to pay for the flier and typesetting for the book. The book is by the Guest of Honor and illustrated by the Guest Artist. It will cost $20 to produce with a $30 buy-ahead price. WSFA stands to make $1200 if the book sells out. Joe Mayhew seconded the request and moved the question. The motion was passed unopposed.

There is a Halloween party at Eva and Jack's house. "You didn't get the invitation?"

The next WSFA meeting will be at Philcon on the 1st Friday in November. A volunteer was needed to take minutes since the Secretary will be in Israel. Joe Mayhew grudgingly volunteered.


Susan Cohen needs a job, she'll do anything. Steve Smith announced that the incredibly hideous bookcases go to Matt. The essay entries will be published in a future WSFA Journal. Steve Fetheroff just bought a bookcase from Trog for $5. Terilee is selling bugs. Alexis will run an alternate WSFA meeting at his home on Philcon weekend. Mary Morman will run an alternate WSFA meeting from her hotel room in Tel Aviv on Philcon weekend. Joe Mayhew is running from his family and it's all on VCR. He's picking up Susan. Trog is telling stories. Mike Walsh has books for $.50. Lance has commie videos - see Joe and Susan. Peggy Rae Pavlat said that she was trying to locate the WSFA electric screwdriver. Chip Hitchcock has asked to borrow it. Steve Fetheroff said he has them at home. Erica Van Dommelen disavows all knowledge of her last announcement. She is now the Assistant Editor of BioScience magazine. Her first assignment was to edit a rhinoceros. This is difficult as first you have to make them hold still and they don't like red pencils. Tom Galloway sends the following announcement: While hitting the '92 bid parties (Washington DC and Orlando) at ConClave, two thoughts occurred to me: How about a WSFS Constitution amendment to establish the "Mickey Mouse" WorldCon bid zone? This'd be limited to Anaheim, Orlando, Paris, and Tokyo. And how about the following for the bid/con committee t-shirt of Discon III, the Washington DC bid; "Hi, I'm from the Discon committee and I'm here to help you." Born to Kim and Jim Elmore on October 12th, 1988, Ian Thomas Mac Elmore weighing in at 8 pounds and 5 ounces. Dick Roepke and Chris Callahan have new work phones. The numbers are the same, but the exchange (first three digits) is now 707. (Chris gave me a more specific written message, but I misplaced it. Fire me. Please!)

The meeting was adjourned at 9:46pm.


John T. Madigan, D.B. Mongo, Erica Van Dommelen, Peggy Rae Pavlat, John Sapienza, Dick Roepke, Jim Edwards-Hewitt, Terilee Edwards-Hewitt, Nancy Loomis, Matt Lawrence, Keith Marshall, Dan Hoey, George Shaner, Jane Wagner, Linda Melnick, Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Ronald Leonard, Judy Fetter, North Lilly ( and South Dakota), Erica Lilly, Dale Sharrick, Walter Miles, Steven Fetheroff, No Award, Mary Morman, Skippy, Lance Oszko, Player to be selected at a later date, Anne Corbridge, Christine Valada, Kent Bloom, Tom Schaad, Joe Mayhew, Michael Walsh, Chris Callahan, Susan Cohen.


The meeting to elect the Disclave ConChair for 1990 took place five minutes after the adjournment of the Third Friday WSFA meeting. Eva Whitley Chalker was the Trustee's Candidate. Joe Mayhew was nominated from the floor. The Trustees administered an Australian ballot, which was pretty silly with only two choices, but kept them in line with club policies. The winner was Eva.


July 14 - 16, 1989

Guest of Honor: TIM POWERS

Featured Author: RICHARD GRANT



Site: COLLEGE PARK HOLIDAY INN (US Rte. 1 and the Beltway) $50.00 for one or two persons in a room ($6 for each additional person up to a maximum of four people.)

Memberships: $20.00 until midnight July 1, 1989: thereafter $25.00. Mail membership checks to: Joe Mayhew / [censored] / Greenbelt, MD 20770.

Dealers Tables: $45.00 for the first table, $50.00 for the second table. A membership is included with each table. Contact: Larry Sands / P.O. Box 70013 / Baltimore, MD 21237-0013.

Art Show: Contact John Nelson / 1500 Wilson Blvd. #152 / c/o ADS, Arlington, VA 22209. Exhibitors must be members of the Con. 10% commission.

Masquerade: Amanda Allen / [censored] / Owings, MD 20736. "Novice Friendly"

General Information: UNICON / P.O. Box 7553 / Silver Spring, MD 20907

There are still some staff positions open and volunteers are decidedly welcome!

Crab Feast 2020 A.D.

by Lee Strong

A bushel of savory, steaming crabs cascaded onto the picnic table. Eagerly, hungry diners dug into the pile. One hand reached out for a crab, then stopped.

"Ah, nuts. Jerry do you have any unmarked crabs?"

The host put down his crustacean. "Murray, we've been through this before. The markings on the shells don't affect the flavor."

"It's just not the same. I grew up eating real crabs with a mallet and chisel like everybody else. It's just not the same with advertisements for Chicken of the Sea on the back shell and color coding on the underside."

Jerry sighted. "Look, Murray, people have been playing around with their food for years. If it weren't for genetic engineering, these 'fake' crabs would be half as small and would only come in one flavor. It's like commercial television: the advertisements are the price you pay for otherwise free broadcasting. If the crab farmers didn't advertise, crabs would cost twice as much. Just ignore the brand names and dig in." He tried to take his own advice.

Murray wasn't satisfied. "It's just not the same. In fact, it's not natural. look at this." He tapped a mandible. "Real crabs have claws to defend themselves in the wild. this thing is more like a sausage. Probably tastes like a sausage, too."

Jerry put his crustacean down again, and tried logic. "It does not taste like a sausage. See, pink and white stripes: original Baltimore softshell crab flavor."

His guest's voice became heated as the dinner. "That's exactly my point. Real crabs don't have pink and white stripes on their bellies after steaming. Or Betty Crocker cooking instructions before steaming." He tried to throw the crab back into the general pile one handed. Too heavy, it fell short. Another diner, however, murmured thanks and attacked.

Jerry offered, "Murray, if you feel that badly about it, I can get you some turkey breast for a sandwich." A twinkle lit his eye.

Murray failed to notice, and brightened up. "Thanks a lot, Jerry. I'm sorry to be a pain. I just don't like eating engineered food."

Jerry pounced. "Then you won't want the turkey."

"Why not? Don't tell me that it's genetically engineered."

"Afraid so, although not in a laboratory. Wild turkeys are ugly, scrawny things. Look like pigeons with thyroid conditions. Commercial turkeys were bred for size, texture and flavor for decades before Frank Perdue ever hear of test tubes. In fact, that's generally true of all food nowadays. When I said that people had been playing with their food for thousands of years, I meant it. With the possible exception of some quasi-religious, back-to-nature communes, there isn't any food anywhere in the world that Ook-nook, the hunter gatherer Neanderthal would recognize."

"Now. Do you want the turkey breast cold or a jumbo crab lukewarm?"

"Murray had sense enough to realize defeat. "Well, let me finish eating some crow, and then I'll have a crab." He addressed the other diners. "Are there any butter flavors left?"

"Just one," replied a thankful diner as he handed over a pink and yellow striped shellfish. "Enjoy."

"Thanks." Murray flipped his crab onto its back and yanked the pull tab off vigorously. As savory steam bathed his nose, he pulled the flippers and propellers loose from the meat and tossed them into the trash can.

I wish to apologize for my rudeness at the last WSFA meeting. It had been a very late and trying day and I was just not ready to face a house full of guests. Please do forgive my churlish behavior. To make up for it, I'm baking cookies tonight!


Hot and Steamy In the Big Easy

by Susan Cohen

Nolacon II proved to be a very hot con, both in terms of the weather and the D.C. bid. I'd swear it never go below the 90's, because the humidity was incredible! I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all and sundry for the rotten weather: every time I put on the sunscreen, it rained buckets! Of course; the senior partner of the "Uncle Den and Mikey Show" insisted that his very presence has wrought watery havoc across the Midwest, and why should "N'awlins" be any different?

Lance Oszko and I knew we were in for a heated convention the moment we got on the plane: seven or eight people in our immediate vicinity were WSFCOn bound. It turned out that Tom Canty (one of my favorite artists, okay?) had not only been on on our plane - I saw his painting packages with his name on them on the luggage conveyer belt - but was the little guy in the really neat Hawaiian shirt two rows behind us.

The water started to get hot when we got our luggage: American Airlines had ripped the suiter I had borrowed from Mom. A few degrees were added when we bumped into Vicky Smith, who turned out to be in need of crash space. I immediately offered our room, which was perhaps not the smartest thing I've ever done: it was actually Lance's room and not my place to offer. But, I assume she didn't need it, as she never took us up on the offer. It was just as well: we were on the 36th (!!) floor of the Marriott (or was that the Sheraton...?)

We lucked out by hooking up with Josie Phan going to a hotel right down the street from us, and split a cab three ways. Split turned out to be an appropriate word for, half-way to the hotel, the inner wheel did just that, blowing the tire off the rim. The aforesaid rim then proceeded to cut into the tire, causing a great deal of smoke and none-too-pleasant smell. As we dragged off the road, a native car pulled off the road on the other side. A young man jumped out and yelled that we were on fire. Keeping calm and with our natural aplomb, the three of us scrambled out of the car, tore our luggage from the trunk and worried about how we were going to get into town. It was then that the man called that he - or rather they, there was a woman in the car as well - would take us in! What luck! Bravely (stupidly?) dodging cars in the nighttime traffic, we three and our bags made it across the highway and jammed ourselves into the tiny vehicle - only built for four to begin with...

It was still a pleasant ride. The couple's names were Petry and Lynn Bailey, who will be married sometime in November (??). Warm and friendly, they pointed out everything of interest on the way in, and refused to take any money, even though they went out of their way to take us directly up to our hotels. Southern hospitality indeed.

Discon III really burned 'em up, despite our initial fumbling - primarily caused, I must say, by the Sheraton's (Marriott's?) refusing to tell us where our suite was on Thursday. The Other Bid was already at their information table, loaded with pamphlets (and curious fen...) while all we had were the Joe Mayhew/Evan Phillips handbill holders: L.E.D.'s set in a wonderfully whimsical Mayhew color cartoon. However, as Joe so worriedly pointed out, the very attractiveness of the piece was detrimental to us as it only called attention to the fact that it was empty! Hoping I might have something stashed in with my Discon-Nection propaganda, I went back to my room where, sure enough, I found a handful of leaflets which, while not saying a great deal, did not call for a (still) non-existent room number.

Three o'clock rolled around. The Sheraton told us what suite we had. I went upstairs to look around. It was a pretty interesting set-up. Actually two rooms with an adjoining door, it consisted of a conference/sitting room with wet bar and bathroom (not in the same section), and a bedroom designated a suite by the addition of a hair-dryer, tv set, and telephone... in the bathroom! Both rooms had small rolling bars which I suppose were there for back-up, because they were never used, save as goodie tables.

Some of us - Vicky, Mark Owings, Mike Stein - were folding our new information sheets when I arrived, so, naturally, I volunteered to take a stack and go down to man the table. This I did, in my usual loud, enthusiastic way. I actually got people to the table, so I suppose that's all that counted.

Somebody somewhere had gotten the supplies to the hotel within the hour, because sometime after I sat down, you would have thought a minor explosion had occurred. Dan, Peggy Rae, and John Sapienza came down to the table, loaded for bear - including the long-awaited Friend of Discon buttons!! - and proceeded to set up shop. Talk about hot! I think it was all uphill from there.

Our suite was beautifully decorated with all the posters we'd ever bought for DC in '92, bunches of helium balloons specially bought for Nolacon, and red, white, and blue bunting we appropriated from the Republican leftovers at the airport (I told you we should have, Lance!). And even though the Other Bid had more rooms than we did - closer to the ground, too, the Lucky dogs! - I honestly don't remember them having anything more spectacular than Printmaster banners hung around. I can't even complain that they were "sucking up" by having a special one welcoming Guest of Honor Donald Wollheim, because I asked him to be a Friend of Discon. (He remained scrupulously neutral!)

Our parties were a blaze of success, though the Nolacon 'zine, "Domino Theory" ("What type of mask does Harlequin wear... ?"), never gave us top rating. I strongly suspect they were simply missing our peak hours: they did start from the top of the hotels and go down. We were open 24 hours, and the Fen were just waiting until later to converge on us. Of course, one of "Theory's" entries had to do with us not laying out food quickly enough. It seems to me that would suggest that we had more people than was humanly possible to serve instantly, which, in turn, should suggest that we were really cooking! It never heard a single word of complaint about our parties, and Fen - well, some Fen - have been honest (read "rude") enough to tell us to our faces when they didn't like our parties.

I hardly heard a word against us in general, and what I did hear was ridiculous. The Myth of Connie came up again, and, of course, we spread the gospel: no, it did not go bankrupt; no, we did not stick any hotel for the bill; and yes, most everyone who went to the con enjoyed themselves. One man heatedly accused us of trying to hide DC's "expensive" dining-out prices (they're right on the "Executive Briefing"!), but, when I tried to answer him, finally revealed he really wanted a place to take his kids. I tried to point out the cheaper and more educational benefits of the entire Smithsonian collection, but he ignored me and left the elevator. I subsequently agreed with Tom Schaad that he obviously wasn't interested in a WorldCon - he had his mind made up about a vacation for his kids, and that was that. A member of Generic Fandom wanted rock and roll music instead of the Sousa theme music we were playing, and kept trying to get me to turn over the party to him. The only other negative thing I heard was from Matt Lawrence, who complained that the Metro was too expensive from Gaithersburg. What this had to do with the question at hand - i.e., the immediate proximity of Discon III's slated hotels to the Metro and thus the attractions of the city - I don't know. I only hope that the fen around us were discerning enough to disregard his accusation that I was lying.

Lance and I had decided to go all out for the Bid. We brought navy suits, white shirts, bright power ties, and dressed as, I guess, Georgia Bushette and her evil twin Skippy. Joe Mayhew impishly suggested we looked like Congressional pages. All right, long-in-the-tooth Congressional pages. Most people called us the "R" word, leftover from the convention previous to ours. We placed our name tags in precise harmony and stepped out to glad-hand every party in both hotels, introducing ourselves with the phrase, "Hi, we're here from Washington and we're here to help you!" We got a myriad responses, none negative. Amid the screams, groans, and good-natured put-downs, one answer stands out in my memory. As soon as I finished my schtick, one Joe Phan (a partier, by the looks of him), without missing a beat, stood up and held out his hand: "Eric Stratton, Rush President, damned glad to meet you." I lost it. Lance and I also doubled as bodyguards when the bid had as its special guest President Andrew Jackson, and helped pipe (well, kazoo) the Hero of New Orleans in and out of the hotel to make his speeches. We weren't needed when Rough Rider Theodore Roosevelt and his daughter were our guests the following night, and it was just as well: the irrepressible Alice would have managed to give us the slip anyhow.

The Hugo Awards were a special treat for me, and, I hope, any DC supporter. Every other nominee, and the winner of the top award for the year (Best Novel), Dr. David Brin, were Friends of Discon III. The Guest of Honor for Chicon V, none other than the well-loved Harry Stubbs, aka Hal Clement, is also a Friend of Discon. Though he was certainly high up on Discon III's list of potential guests, I think everyone agrees that is is more important that the author of Mission of Gravity is so honored than that we get to do it.

Scuttlebutt has it that we made quite an impression on everyone, including and especially the Other Bid, and that they will now have to kick into overdrive to even catch up with us. Unfortunately for them, I heard some news from Marty Gear, Costumer Supreme, who informs me, from previous experience, that the "D Place" will not allow anyone to enter in costume of any kind. That's right, neither "D-type" or fannish. Tell all your friends!

I think the final note on just how hot and steamy New Orleans was should be the fact that John Sapienza - reserved, dapper John Sapienza - was spotted by yours truly in a restaurant, surrounded by three women, without his tie!