The WSFA Journal, July 1990

The WSFA Journal


July 1990

ISSN 0894-2


Names in the News

WSFA Publications Committee spokesfan Lee Shehr today announced several changes to WSFA membership.

Mr. Steve Featherhoff will be known as Steve Featheroff in the future. Mr. John Pomerantz will henceforth be known as John Pomeranz. In each case, the reason is the request of the persons involved.

Ms. Erica Van Dommelen will henceforth be known as Erica Dommelen. The reason is that "Van" indicates nobility of Dutch extraction. Since Tom Schaad, President of WSFA, pronounced her to be a "commoner" during the Third Friday in June, Erica is no longer entitled to the aristocratic prefix. Shehr commented that Mr. Schaad must be mistaken since there is nothing common about Erica.

The WSFA Journal would like to thank Chris Callahan for suggesting that the Journal be divided into sections such as News, Travel, Movie Reviews, Disclave Reports, Art, Entertainment, and so forth.

Submit to The WSFA Journal. It's your Journal, too.


First Friday in June

The First Friday meeting was called to order at 9:13, 1 June 1990, by Vice President Steve Smith in the absence of President Tom Schaad. A Ms. Erica Dommelen attempted to adjust reality to start the meeting at 9:12 but she was ignored. [See Third Friday minutes and related story.]

The Publications Committee unveiled the new The WSFA Journal. The membership Oh'd and Ah'd at the sheer magnificence of the new format.

The Treasurer reported that the club had $9,292.05 on hand. Various suggestions were made to have a party or to buy a car. Both failed for lack of a second.

Disclave Past (1990): Covert Beach reported that 1172 paying members showed up plus ? number of program participants. The ConComm is still counting. Department Heads should submit reports on who should receive honoraria for outstanding services to Disclave 90.

The Art Show reported $9500 in sales. One piece, valued at $400, will have to be returned to the artist. When contacted, the purchaser of the badge claimed to have resold the badge.

Eva Whitley said the con made money and has turned about $4000 back. GOH Mike Resnick had a good time. He pronounced Disclave to be the best con in the world. And Eva is planning to be Con Chair again at an unspecified date.

Disclave Present (1991): Chairfan Peggy Rae Pavlat reported the following appointments: Tom Schaad, Vice Chairfan; Beth and Mike Zipser, Programming; Covert Beach, Hotel Liaison and Cabana Captain; John Sapienza, Registration; Beth Smithmore, Art Show; Steve Featheroff, Treasury; Tracy Henry, GOH Book; Scott Dennis, Hucksters. The Program Book will be printed in advance. Talk to Peggy Rae if you're either interested or interesting.

* [Inserted] John Sapienza reported to The Journal that Disclave 91 sold 117 memberships at this year's DISCLAVE. Membership cost will be $20 until 1/1/91. The address for membership information is: DISCLAVE 91, Box 677, c/o John T. Sapienza, Jr., Washington, D.C. 20044-0677.

Erica Dommelen, speaking for the Trustees, announced that no one had submitted to the Trustees, and that they were disappointed.

The Entertainment Committee announced that if the members needed to be entertained so soon after Disclave, they were hopeless. John "P", Chairfan of the Committee to Spend a Great Deal of Money On Something incredibly Expensive and Controversial, said that his committee had a         . Susan "C" told John to "slip it right in". John responded manfully by          Susan          before the assembled club. Erica "D" was so impressed that she asked John to          her as well, also before the assembled witnesses. John responded heroically by          both women in succession. The club Oh'd and Ah'd at John's display of          prowess.

While Susan and Erica were still smoking, John proceeded to deliver his Committee report. The committee had noticed that the First Comrade [Mikhail Gorbachev, President, Moscow in '95] really enjoyed walking along Connecticut Avenue, talking to the crowds. Therefore, in the interests of glasnost, the Committee proposed to extend Connecticut Avenue all the way to Moscow in '95, although there might be some trouble getting the project through Lithuania. Details to follow.

Old Business:

New Business: The 29th of June will be a Fifth Friday. There will be a party at Peggy Rae's house.

The 4th of July will be a Fourth of July. There will be a party at Elaine and Steve Stiles' place, Randallstown, MD. There will be maps available. Randallstown is West North West of Baltimore. Doll Gilliland will coordinate food. WSFA will buy the meat and drink courses. Remember to select food contributions carefully from the four basic fannish food groups: grease, salt, sugar, and chocolate.


The Publications Committee invited all to submit articles and announcements to the Secretary, Lee Strong.

Rebecca Prather made three announcements. First, she is trying to sell a '68 Dodge Dart. Second, she is seeking travel information on Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Third, the Washington Area Mensa club is having a yard sale. Think about it. See Rebecca for details.

Terilee is looking for someone selling men's Colonial garb. She wishes to buy.

Susan Cohen announced that Jul Owings came out of the clothes closet in The Baltimore Sun. Copies of the Sun article are available from the Publications Committee.

Brian Lewis is looking for job opportunities in the Gaithersburg, MD area. "Miniskirts?" asked Steve.

Lee Uba announced that the Veterans' Administration and the Small Business Administration have granted Lee enough money for her to start an interior decoration business. Your tax dollars at work. Lee did not announce exactly what she is a veteran of.

John Sapienza announced that KLM airline has some nice Saturday and Sunday fares for Holland Worldcon attendees. See the Travel Section on pages 5-6 for further details.

Leo offered free scenic Air Force posters. Your tax dollars at work. They were snapped up faster than hyperdrive.

George Shaner announced a quickie review of Total Recall. It's worth seeing, a combination of Running Man plus Robocop (I).

Joe Mayhew didn't get any. Upon questioning, he clarified that his brother, Bill Mayhew had recently won the Maryland Lottery, but that Bill didn't give Joe any lots. Bill quit his secondary job as a teacher to become a full time storyteller. Just before he dropped out of school, Bill bought each of his fellow teachers a lottery ticket in the hope that it be would their route out. Your Lottery dollars at work. WSFA expressed sympathy for Bill who will now no longer get any holidays off!

Terilee is also looking for a Worldcon APA.

Kathi Overton announced that the last Jim Henson is in production. Entitled The Witches, this film stars Angelica Huston. It is directed by Nicolas Roeg, director of Track 29 and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

The meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:44.


The WSFA Journal is the officious newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA).

* * *

Publisher ......................... Tom Schaad
Editor in Chief ................... Lee Strong
Fashion Editor ............... Natalie Attired
Human Interest Editor ............ Dick Roepke
Nonhuman Interest Editor ... Hugo Van Capybara
Alien Interest Editor .......... John Pomeranz
Literary Editor ................. Sue Doh Nimh
Parliamentary Editor ............ Alister Park
Sports Editor ..................... Jonathan E
Spokesfan .......................... Lee Shehr
Travel Editor ................. Ewell Goh Farr
and a Cast of Tens of Thousands!

Third Friday in June

The Third Friday meeting in June convened at 9:16, 15 June 1990.

Tom Schaad, President of WSFA, called the meeting to order or at much order as this organization ever gets. A Ms. Erica Dommelen attempted to adjust reality so that the meeting would start at 9:15 but President Schaad refused to recognize "the commoner on the floor".

President Schaad asked for the minutes of the last meeting. Secretary Lee Strong stated that the minutes were 9:13 and 9:44. Mr. Schaad then proposed that we waive the reading of the minutes. The motion was adopted.

* [Inserted] Chris Callahan and Steve Smith remarked that it was going to be a lonnggg year.

Treasurer Bob MacIntosh announced that the club had $9,699.77 in the Treasury. President Schaad suggested an investigation of the Treasury since it had more money in it than he remembered. Bob reported that Disclave 90 had returned $4,000, and we had further income from the sale of books.

The Entertainment Committee reported that we had a Fifth Friday and a Fourth of July coming up. Go back and reread page 2: I'm not typing it again.

Disclave Past passed.

Disclave Present was not present.

Disclave Future has not happened yet.

The Chairfan of the Controversial and Expensive Committee was not present (physically) again.

The Trustees reported that one person had submitted to them. However, they had to reserve judgment since he was still being passed around. The new member has already broken the tradition of not attending the meeting at which he became a member.


(No, I didn't forget the Old and New Business. There wasn't any, so I didn't print any. Be logical.)

Hostess Mhary Mhorman announced, fhirst, that she was serving cornbhread bhreadsticks and mhelons in the dhining rhoom as well as the traditional bheer and sodhas in the bhasement. Mhary announced, second, that her office was looking for a technical trainer. Submit your resumes to Mhary.

The Publications Committee requested that everyone who wished their announcement to appear as they desire should write the announcement on a five dollar bill and hand it to Lee Strong. The club Oh'd and Ah'd at the sheer chutzpah of the Secretary. Former Secretary Rachel Russell announced that she had not previously realized the Possibilities of the job. Rachel was now interested in being Secretary again. It was immediately proposed that the Trustees be notified of Rachel's candidacy.

The Publications Committee also announced that copies of previous Journals are available, and invited submissions to The WSFA Journal.

Lee Strong announced that the mundanes considered him to be a science fiction author. However, this is because they consider writing for fanzines to be a literary achievement. Lee displayed a copy of The MTMC Expediter with an article about himself. Lee quickly denied a rumor that he had written the article himself!

Larry Baker announced that the Fifth Friday party would be..... Wait a minute! I I said that I'm not retyping that again! Go back to page 2 and reread it there!

Larry also announced that Joe (My Ghod) Mayhew was visiting West (By Ghod) Virginia.

Texas Matt is back. "Hacker escapes from Feds", announced President Schaad.

Ben Miller is back from the '70s to announce that San Francisco is bidding for the '93 Worldcon. Ben also is looking for a way back to Crystal City, Virginia.

Mike Walsh, bookseller, is back with books to sell. Mike is also supporting the proposed Bravo 20 National Park. This park would commemorate the U. S. Navy's attempt to shell the American Booksellers' Association con out of existence. Or out of Las Vegas, Nevada, anyway.

Mel Scharadin is back from Minneapolis. She will not be moving there. On Tuesday, 19 June, she will interview for a position with the Space Station. Think good thoughts!

In other announcements, Disclave GOH Mike Resnick thanked WSFA, and a broach was found at Disclave. It does not appear to be a probability broach, but, then, it might.

Dan Hoey announced that the Baltimore Science Fiction Society will hold a writing workshop in the near future. Authors such as Scott Adelman will critique your work. Registration deadline is 14 July 1990.

The meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:28.


Travel Tips: Holland and WSFA

by John T. Sapienza and John Mansfield

John T. Sapienza, Jr., has bought a house, and will be moving to Maryland in September after the house is fixed up. His new address will be [censored], College Park, MD 20740. His new telephone will be (301) 474-6579.

Holland Worldcon Travel Tips

0) KLM has $500 round trip airfares from BWI to Amsterdam!

1) Please obtain travellers cheques, even if they are in U.S. currency. This is due to the banking differences. Travellers cheques are a more negotiable "currency" than actual money because all that needs to be transferred is the numbers and then the paper itself may be destroyed. Actual currency must be transported, thus the exchange rate is lower than travellers cheques.

2) Credit cards, due to the large fees charged to businesses, are not well received in Holland. Cash advances are available through banks and currency exchange bureaus, but many have minimum amounts of 300 guilders, (roughly $150.00) at a time. During our short visit this spring, we were unable to find any automatic tellers which could access North American accounts. I'm not saying they don't exist, just we couldn't find any amongst the seven banks we located around the con site and the train station. Also, few of the small hotels and pensiones will accept credit cards for payments. Apparently the Visa/Mastercard charge to the business is more than they can afford to lose, nor can they pass that extra amount on to the customer, hence the refusal.

3) In a pinch, the currency exchanges frequently have someone who speaks English, so if you are having a major problem, try either there, or an information kiosk.

4) DO BRING A CHANGE PURSE OF SOME SORT. Dutch currency uses the decimal system, but much of the smaller currency is in coin, so you end up with a bunch of coins, which can really clutter up your pockets if you aren't used to it. Imagine if anything lower than $10 was all in coin currency. Got the idea?

5) Many places such as washrooms and small hotels do not provide soap, so you may want to carry a small bar in your travel pack. Those small, around the waist bags are perfect to carry your important things with you, such as your passport, travellers cheques, hotel key, etc. They are a wonderful addition to your travel gear, and a wise investment. --- JS/JM

Robocop 2

Not many sequels live up to the promise of their originals, and Robocop 2 is, alas, no exception. But, it's still a good film.

Most of the original survivors are back, reprising their characters, along with a murderous new crew. Returnees include Murphy/Robocop, Officer Lewis, the Old Man, Johnson (now head of OCP's robotics division), and police Sergeant Straight Arrow. Newcomers include the vividly drawn druglord/apostle Cain and his sidekick and successor Hob. OCP's latest vermin, Dr. Faxx, provides an multifaceted example of corporate moral dysfunction.

And the future Detroit is sleazier than ever. When we meet the hyperactive Mayor Kuzak, we understand why. Who else can make the menacing OCP look good by comparison?

The plot, however, seems to wander around before settling down to the clash of the golems. There's a brief sequence in which Murphy confronts his former (?) wife that doesn't accomplish anything. It should develop Murphy's emotional character, but, if it had a long term impact, I missed it.

Eventually, we get down to the war of the dreadnaughts in which satisfying property damage is done to downtown Detroit. Once again, the outcome depends as much on brains (literally!) as armored brawn. A good thing in the literature of ideas.

And, was it my imagination, or did Murphy hint at Robocop 3 on the drawing board in the final scene?

Caution: some of the medical scenes might prove offensive to those who have eaten before entering the theater.

I rate Robo 2 Above Average.

Total Recall

At first the thought of Arnold Schwarzenegger doing Philip K. Dick struck me as like Pee Wee Herman doing Rambo. But, hey!, it works!

Total Recall is far more violent than any Dick novel that I have read. Even Dick's frequent use of World War III happened tidily off screen. But the original, 1950s material is adapted well to today's more violent expectations. In addition, there are lots of other "phildickian" touches worked into the script. How many people noticed the surgeon's hand from "War Veteran"?

But, overwhelming most of these grace notes are the typical Dick themes of reality breakdown and political conspiracy. Arnie portrays an ordinary joe who dreams of greatness only to discover that he has to live up to his dreams. In the process, he becomes not only the hero but also a major villain.

The parts are played well and the logic holds together. While the climax can be criticized, it is properly foreshadowed, and not the deus ex machina that some have claimed.

I did have some trouble with the cinematography. It appears that the producers ignored NASA's location shots in favor of the 1950s version of Mars shot through red tinted glass. And why is 2086's glass more fragile than 1986's?

But it does work. And well.

I rate Total Recall Above Average. /s/ Sue Doh Nimh

Dick Tracy

This IS a comic strip. Unfortunately, it never gets beyond being one.

Tracy isn't a bad movie. It just isn't very good, either.

For one thing, the two halves of the film don't come together into a coherent whole. The title character violates a few constitutional rights in the first half of the film. Presumably, this establishes him as human after all. But, when he's under real stress in the second half of the film, he's straight arrow all the way. The two portrayals don't add up.

The scriptwriters apparently realized this since a major plot twist occurs about halfway through. The two man confrontation between Tracy and Big Boy Capice abruptly turns into a three way fight when the mysterious Noface suddenly appears. Everything gets resolved in the big climax (more than a little reminiscent of Batman), but, by that time, who cares?

Surprisingly, Madonna manages to create the most rounded character (no pun intended). Breathless Mahoney is the only character who really develops her persona as the movie unfolds. And she has to cheat to do so. All of the other characters are hopelessly cardboard.

The cinematography is interesting. Most of the anonymous 1930s city is done in matte paintings with a few primary colors standing out from the backgrounds. The effects are striking at first and properly place the characters at center stage. However, when the shock value wears off, the cardboard heroids and villainoids are left without the help that Gotham City lends Batman.

I rate Dick Tracy Average.

May 31, 1990

Well, Disclave is over for another year, and we can all spend the next several months catching up on our sleep and regaining sanity points. But before I crawl 'back under my rock, I would like to thank everyone who made the film program happen this year. We had our share of problems, of course: a projector malfunction seriously hampered smooth operation and increased the amount of labor involved in running films; the art auction pushed our Saturday night schedule back even further than planned; and the video projection setup took too much time (and a lot of money).

These things happen. Hopefully, most of our problems were overlooked (or not even noticed) by the viewers. Overall, the movies were surprisingly well attended, considering our hours of operation, and I cannot tell you how gratifying it is to have even a small group of people stand up at 6:30am and applaud after the final film of the night.

I am always looking to improve the film program, so we tried a couple of new things this year. I have already mentioned the video projection system, which will probably be the standard presentation method at conventions within a few years (sorry!). On Monday, we set up and showed a couple of titles in the Outer Darkness portion of the con suite, and there may be a possibility of expanding that next year. I also had a brief article inserted in the registration packet which discussed the special problems of science fiction movies adapted from other sources.

I want to give special thanks to the people who really made it work - the folks who graciously donated their time and know-how throughout the weekend. John Pomeranz, Mark Barker, and Robyn Rissell all put in long hours setting up, running films, and tearing down. Lee Moyer made signs and a lovely T-shirt design for the crew. Covert Beach helped drag equipment all over everywhere. Jeff "Hunter" Jordan was an equipment angel, especially when it came to the dance, and Kim Van Auken, Jim Belfiore, and Kevin Fallin came to my rescue more than once, projecting films while I wandered off to stare at a nice blank wall for a while.

While Disclave is primarily a book oriented convention, I am pleased that we also make an effort to offer attendees some media programming. For the past four years I have attempted to obtain varied and interesting films, from old favorites to seldom seen art titles. I welcome input from Disclave members as to what they would like to see. Feel free to write to me with your suggestions, or talk to me at club meetings or cons. Let's do this again in 1991!

Kathi Overton