The WSFA Journal, December 1990

The WSFA Journal


December 1990

ISSN 0894-2

Is A Coup Imminent?


Recycle your old books... intellectually... by donating them to one of several groups.

American Peace Corps volunteers in Swaziland, Africa. Point of contact (POC) is Larry Baker. Arty genres accepted.

American soldiers in Saudi Arabia. Send books through the mail to "Any Service Member, Operation Desert Shield, APO NY 09848. Please be careful about sending books whose themes might offend Moslems. It's their country.

Virginia state minimum security prisoners. Point of contact is Lee Strong. Science fiction has been requested. Please do not donate books with prison break or similar themes.

Public libraries and/or their parallel "Friends" organizations accept science fiction for placement on the shelf or re-sale to raise money.

Perrianne Lurie Takes Over Club


First Friday In November

The First Friday in November business meeting convened at 9:21 in the evening, 2 November, 1990 in Chez Gilliland's Conference Room.

President Tom Schaad shook his head at Secretary Lee Strong's sartorial elegance and asked for the Publications Committee Report. Lee, tastefully attired in solid black highlighted by a colorful snake and skull emblem on his T-shirt and a pair of bright yellow, rubber gloves, stated that publications had two items of business.

First the Committee was chagrined to realize that our efforts to deliver "straight" reports during October had been misinterpreted as possibly discriminatory based on sexual orientation. Accordingly, the Committee's report this evening would be just a little bit bent.

Lee handed Tom a towel and a rubber. He then placed the Minutes on the floor. Torn bent over to receive it without any additional instruction, a fact which Lee noted publicly.

Susan Cohen, Chairfan of the Generic Anti-Defamation League, officially protested the donning of gloves by Lee Strong in delivering the Bent Report as discriminatory. Gloves must be worn for all reports or none. No problem, sweet thing.

Second, Lee announced that the Committee was developing the Annual WSFA Membership and Telephone List. He passed around a copy for the members to correct prior to final publication.

Treasurer Bob MacIntosh reported $7895.28 in the Treasury as we draw down from Disclave '90. Three people suggested that we have a party but the motion failed for lack of a second.

Doll Gilliland, President of the Entertainment Committee reported, for the Committee's First Call, that the meeting places would be reversed in December, subject to confirmation. The Third Friday in December will feature the Pagan [non-denominational] Tree Trim Festival. Other suggestions were made to have a festival of St. Landru, a bizarre and Silent Auction, a book swap, and a silent book swap. Another proposal was to trim the tree with books. Doll vetoed that idea.

Disclave Past was not attending.

Disclave Present spokesfan Covert Beach announced that the Disclave GOH book will be The Edges of Things, by Lewis Shiner and Alicia Austin. She will do the art and he most of the words. He will rewrite three short stories especially for this WSFA Press book.

A computer, equipped with WordPerfect, which is looking for a home.

Disclave department heads should submit advance program copy to Covert. Covert will introduce a new party game at Third Friday in December: Pick Apart Covert's Copy. Bring your blue pencils!

John Sapienza has registration forms for Disclave 1991.

Disclave future Chairfan Steven Fetheroff is here, hungry and he has a hotel. Actually, he has an option on a hotel. He is pruning hos short list for (Author) GOH and has no idea for an Artist GOH. His selections for Fan GOH develop mysterious headaches when Steven asks them to be his best GOH. Talk to Steven after the meeting.

The Entertainment Committee, Second Call, offered East German Red Star bheer to to toast the end of the Cold War. "The bheer without a country, now," remarked Doll. The club chuckled. "Is it the bheer that came in from the cold?" asked Lee. The club made disgusting sounds.

Another entertaining fact: Regina Cohen is back from Japan. The club applauded. "Our other Cohen" characterized Doll. They're a pair; collect the whole set.

Trustees Dan Beach and Covert Hoey reported a new member: Perrianne Lurie. She's been around [WSFA].

John Pappalucci, Chairfan of the Committee to spend a Great Deal of Money on Something Incredibly Controversial and Expensive, reported that national elections were coming up. The club thought that one over. John continued that the elections would not be by Australian ballot, although you could vote for an Australian if you wanted to. Instead, the SGDMSICE Committee has purchased the old Hostility House hotel to be renovated into an Old Incumbents' Home after the election. The Committee was applying for a Federal grant now.

No [X] Old
   [X] New
   [X] Monkey Business.

Tom Schaad attempted to start a new WSFA tradition of introducing visitors. He asked all first time visitors to announce themselves. Madeline Pow, Rosa Roe and Chuck Goh did so. No two timers were present. The only three timer was the above mentioned Perrianne Lurie.


To the gasps, squeals and yips of disbelieving fans, Hostess Doll Gilliland threatened the meeting: don't mess with the artwork upstairs. Quivering with fear, the members obeyed.

The Secretary announced that the chances of your announcement appearing as you think it should will be increased if you write it down and submit (it) to the Secretary after the meeting. Bob MacIntosh noted that the chances were improving but still not guaranteed.

Lee further announced that he had won a Toastmasters Division extemporaneous speech contest. The club applauded. A plant in the audience asked what the topic was. Lee answered, "'you have just been chosen NASA's Chief Astronaut. What planet would you like to visit?'" Lee's answer was (Edgar Rice Burroughs') Mars. The mundane contestants had to stop and think what other planets there are.

Dan Burgess is selling his new carpet for $110,000. It comes already installed in a home.

A lady with a cane whose name the Secretary did not catch has a room to share in Ballston.

Rachel Russell babbled on aimlessly for several minutes before the President could bring her back to this planet. She was excited about Roger's new book The Ring of Charon. Further questioning clarified that the Roger that she was so enthusiastic about was Roger Alien McBride rather than Roger Zelazny ,Roger Rabbit or Jolly Roger.

Perrianne Lurie has a ride to Philcon to share. Please see her.

Peggy Rae Pavlat noted that Carolyn Sayer, noted Philfan, will be getting married during Philcon weekend but not at Philcon. "It's not phannish," pronounced Tom.

George Shaner has a new job that is no better than the last one but the color of the money it pays is right.

Kathi Overton thanked Halloweinies Robin, John, Jim and Terilee for their Halloween efforts. Every children in the neighborhood of The Fabulous Bungalow was properly terrorized. Some children returned two and three times. Just to be sure.

* The Fabulous Bungalow has competition. Elsewhere in this issue of The WSFA Journal, Crystal Hagel, Patrick Paul, Gail Pittaway, Pyanfar, and Kami announce the debut of The Emerald City.

John Pappalucci announced an Inside Smof Scoop. The club went Ooohh! San Antonio, Taxes will bid for the '97 Worldcon. Joe Mayhew suggested a rallying cry, "Dismember the Alamo!"

Lee Uba wanted to make an announcement but found she had been scooped by The WSFA Journal. So she recommended that people the Journal -- always a good idea! -- for her Grand Opening of The Decorating Den of Woodbridge.

Also, contrary to an opinion expressed by the Friends of the British Royal Family, Lee's Grand Opening is NOT in honor of Prince Charles' birthday!

Robin announced several birthdays: Kathi Overton, 1 November; Susan Cohen; 3 November; and Erica Van Dommelen, 5 November. The club dirged "Happy Birthday?" for only one chorus before the music lovers managed to restore good taste.

It was moved. and seconded that the meeting adjourn. In a brutal display of Presidential power, His Majesty postponed the motion for later consideration.

Matt Leger announced that no one had claimed the America On Line software that he was offering for free. The club snored. Please talk to Matt off line.

Further, MacWorld, the fanzine of Apple Computers, published Matt's letter in their most recent issue. The club applauded.

His Majesty now graciously allowed the motion to adjourn to be voted on. The club unanimously adjourned at 9:44 p.m.

Following the meeting, Susan Cohen presented Erica with a truly enormous chocolate cake. The candles did not set off the smoke detector.

Erica also discovered that Lee Strong was born on 6 November. Lee led a serious chorus of "Happy Birthday!" for himself. Some people are really desperate for some attention.

After the meeting, one person submitted to the Publications Committee.

Membership Deserts WSFA

Quorum Scarfs Cookies While Philcon Phrolics


Third Friday in November

The Third Friday in November business semi-meeting convened at 9:20, 16 November 1990. A quorum of 16 paid members including most of the officers and Trustees was present.

Secretary Lee Strong reported that the Publications committee did not have the minutes of the last meeting since the Generic Anti-Defamation League was still reviewing them to see who we offended this time. The club waived the reading of the minutes. As a substitute, the Committee presented the semi-annual WSFA Membership and Contact List, free to members of this fine organization.

Treasurer Bob MacIntosh reported $7868.28 in the Treasury. A suggestion to have a party right NOW failed for lack of a second.

Disclave Past was not here.

Disclave Present spokesfan Covert Beach reported that department heads were slow about submitting their blurbs to him for consolidation into the con flier. If you don't hurry up and submit to Covert, Lee Strong will write one instead, But you will have to live up to what Lee writes! (Heh, heh, heh.)

Disclave Future Chairfan Biff Fetheroff stated that nothing has changed. He is going to Philcon on Disclave business the following day. See announcements.

The Entertainment Committee presents Philcon 1990.

Sub-Entertainment Committee Chairfan Mary Morman reported that the club had too many warm fresh, delicious chocolate chip cookies on hand. The club must bite the bullet (and other things) and exert itself to clean up all of the gooey goodness. Biff Fetheroff was nominated to sacrifice himself for the good of the club.

The Committee to Spend a Great Deal of Time Goofing Off Just When We Really Need It was at Philcon 1990. An unauthorized spokesfan pointed out that the Committee had just completed an nationwide election, and deserved to get off once in a while.

There was no Old Semi-Business or New Semi-Business.


The quorum announced that Steven Fetheroff is now Biff.

The Fifth Friday semi-meeting will be at Peggy Rae's Place.

The Third Friday in December semi-meeting will be the pagan [non-denominational] Tree Trim at Chez Gilliland.

Controversy arose over the location of the First Friday in December semi-meeting as the Bloom/Morman family will not be available to host the club. The club volunteered to use their house anyway. "No, thank you," responded Hostess Mary Morman. President Tom Schaad will call the Gillilands about possible back-to-back meetings. Someone suggested Steve Smith's shack, as he needs to clean his place anyway. Dick Roepke moved that the club buy a front loader to help Steve clean his house. This was seconded but mysteriously never came to a vote. Tom volunteered to make an executive decision on the location. He then volunteered the Secretary to send out a mass mailing with the scoop. Sigh.

Dan Burgess sold his old carpet (and house), and has bought a new carpet (and house). The House of Burgess is brand new. "A cherry," said Tom gleefully. "But the basement is unfinished" declared a worried Dan. "Our own little Wiscave," beamed Tom. Stay tuned for further news of the new Presidential bunker.

Dan is paying for the House of Burgess by working for K. L. Ginter and Associates.

Covert Beach announced that Alexander Sinclair, son of Mike Sinclair, was born on Election Day. No woman was mentioned as taking part in this remarkable feat of genetic engineering.

With one Election Day success under his belt, Mike will also sponsor a New Orleans in '97 worldcon bid. Representatives of the Permanent Floating Worldcon Committee made rude remarks. New Orleans' credit with the Committee is overdrawn for the foreseeable future.

Covert then gave a review of a Casio watch which shows Earth's Solar System in some detail, including: solar eclipses and Halley's Comet. It's perfect for your geeky friends.

The club attempted to adjourn. It was objected that we couldn't adjourn if we didn't have a quorum. Mary pointed out that we couldn't enjoy the chocolate chip cookies during a business semi-meeting. Impressed by this logic, the wannabe parliamentarian withdrew his objection.

The semi-meeting adjourned at 9:32. The WSFA Committee to Devour Large Numbers of Chocolate Chip Cookies convened at 9:33 and remained in session until the cookie problem was thoroughly digested.

Movie Review

Predator 2

Is it my imagination or has science fiction acquired an ultra-violent subgenre? This film is certainly a bloody success, in several senses of the word.

It's 1997 and Los Angeles cop Danny Glover finds that a new Predator has joined the war on drugs. Heavily armed druggies are better sport than Predator's Central American peasants.

Once you get past the sheer gore, this is a pretty decent film. The characters, of both species, are well drawn and show personal development. In fact, practically everyone displays some heroism, including the ones who you would least suspect. The cinematography is generally well done. And the dialog is snappy without being slapstick.

My principal complaint concerns the dramatic fight in the Los Angeles subway car. It starts well with a clever blend of humor and tension, but then someone shoots out the lights. The audience is left in the dark for too many minutes. An odd oversight for a film that prides itself on visual effects and lighting.

But, this is a minor flaw. For the bloodyminded, this second outing is no disappointment. Messy, but a genuine building on the first film's hints.

And, yes, the story about a cameo appearance by an Alien is true. Overall, I rate Predator 2 Average to Above Average.

Fair Warning Department

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

[Take over the world by being polite] Publisher...Tom Schaad
Editor-in-Chief...Lee Strong
Director of Security...Donal Graeme

General Security Committee: Natasha Yar, Chair; Barry Allen, Lije Bailey, Colossus, Zack Death, Calvin Dredd, Joe Dredd, James C. Gordon, John Grant, Jay E. Hoover, Kimball Kinnison, John L. Lampton, Ann Lewis, Calvin Morrison, Peter J. Murphy, R. Daneel Olivaw, W.O. Ripley, Virgil Samms,Terminator 600, Richard Tracy, Verkan Vall, Dalla Vall, Bruce Wayne, Derek Wildstar, Nova Wildstar

Insecurity Committee: Amanda Faxx, Chair; Ron Nissen, Q, Tom Schaad, Daimon Tog

Coup d'Etat Planning Committee: Adam Selene, Chair; Manual O. Davis, Mycroft Holmes, IV, Zeb Jones, Wyoming Knott-Davis, John Lyle, Bernardo de la Paz, Steve Smith, William Walker

Politeness Patrol: Harlan Ellison, Chair; Fred Ator,Saddam Hussein, Al Lien, Darth Vader, Worf

Presidential Guard: Vacant

Peer Review: Software for Hard Choices

Some agencies in the U.K. are experimenting with an electronic system that helps make funding decisions

[ Reprinted from Science, 19 October 1990. ]

Are you faced with a hundred innovative grant proposals, of which you can fund only a couple? Two hundred marvelous applicants for a single tenure-track position? Help could be at hand--literally--in the form of a new electronic gizmo that is already being used to assist tough scientific decision-making in Britain. Called Teamworker, the Agricultural and Food Research Council (AFRC) has been using this novel combination of software and hardware tor more than a year to assess funding proposals. The Ministry of Defense finds it concentrates the minds of committee members assessing new strategies or firepower. And some universities are even toying with it as an aid to the staff promotion process.

"It's a room-based communication system for groups," says Tony Gear, one of the two people who devised Teamworker. Each member of the group holds a handset resembling a TV remote. They send messages to a master unit via radio transmission. From there the messages pass into a personal computer, which uses its software to analyze them, then displays the results for all to see. Cost presently is between $6,000 and $20,000, depending on the number of handsets, each of which carries a numerical keypad and a small display screen.

The process can be applied to any sort of choice among a set of options: Consider, as an example, a committee awarding grants to proposals by scoring them on criteria such as timeliness, importance, feasibility, and so on. That seemingly simple procedure hides a plethora of problems. Do all committee members agree on the meaning of the criteria? Do they attach equal importance to each criterion? How do they know when they disagree and how do they cope with disagreement?

All these problems can be dealt with by a good chair--and a set of mathematical procedures. But mathematics takes time and skill, and good chairpersons are hard to find. The electronic system does these things automatically. Take the problem of weighting the criteria. The computer asks each member to decide whether timeliness, say, is more important than feasibility and to value the difference on a suitable scale. Each person presses a numbered button on their handset and the computer stores the answers. Similar pairwise comparisons are made among all criteria, and the system calculates the relative importance that the group attaches to each criterion.

The next task is to score all proposals. The computer prompts members to respond via their handsets and calculates the average on each criterion; projects are then ranked according to their total, weighted, and scored.

That's useful stuff. But the real strength of the system, according to everyone who has used it, lies its output: a display of histograms of the scores each proposal obtained. That display shows the pattern of votes (preserving as much anonymity as the group wants). Specifically, it reveals what the disagreements in the group are and where they are centered: about a proposal's feasibility, for example. That information will help the chairperson call on those who have divergent opinions and encourage them to speak before the proposal is reevaluated.

"One outlier in 20 might be insignificant in statistical terms," says Teamworker designer Gear, "but could be important in technical input terms. If you let that person speak, he may have a point of view that's important and could sway all the other 19 people."

Graphic argument. Teamworker software displays differences of opinion--quantitatively.

Isn't this what happens in a committee anyway? Well, no. The reason is that at a typical meeting, a few people do most of the talking, and many members come away with a feeling of frustration because they failed to make their point or were not given the opportunity to do so. Teamworker, says Gear, with its on-line display of divergent views, "offers the chair a natural way in."

Gear and his partner, Martin Read (who wrote the Teamworker software), arrived at this solution to the problem of committees from quite different starting points. Read was a specialist in battlefield simulations for Britain's Ministry of Defense. Gear is a physicist who has also specialized in operations research. They found themselves sharing an office at Royal Ordnance, Britain's state arms manufacturer, and discovered that they felt the same way about decision-making groups: they do not communicate well.

That is hardly a novel conclusion. But Gear and Read's solution--a package that formalizes scoring procedures and instantly indicates areas of disagreement--is innovative. Nevertheless, the two have discovered that their better mousetrap was not an easy sell even though they quit their jobs to form Decision Dynamics, Ltd., the company (based in Wigan in the north of England) that produces and markets Teamworker.

But they got some help from John Lake. Lake is now director of the newly established European Environmental Research Organization (EERO), but he was formerly head of policy at the AFRC. He was one of a half dozen people invited to a demonstration of Teamworker organized by a friend of Gear's in the Cabinet Office.

"I went with heavy-hearted cynicism," Lake told Science, "but I couldn't turn the invitation down." Gear and Read set up a group assessment of five daily newspapers. "My cynicism quickly vanished," Lake admitted. The rapid analysis swiftly revealed illogicality and inconsistency and fostered debate where it mattered." I liked the way it forced you to think and be consistent, whereas normally you just waffle.

Introducing the system to the AFRC, he met with varying responses, "from real enthusiasm to outright aggression." One grant-committee chairperson went through the whole procedure before announcing that they put all that nonsense to one side and agree to his rankings.

"The committee members were pretty upset," says Lake. But after one more session, the hostile chair had embraced the system and was referring to it as "the usual method." Lake believes that, using Teamworker, the AFRC "gets more information than before, with significantly more precision." He plans to use it at EERO.

The Ministry of Defense has also used the system for some committees and called in an outside consultant, the Centre for Operations Research and Defense Analysis Ltd. (CORDA), to report on Teamworker. Stewart Kempster, a senior manager at CORDA, judged the system very favorably:

"It provides the structure you should have anyway," he said, and "modifies the impact of the vociferous person."

Academic institutions are interested too. Mike Beveridge, professor of education at Bristol University, would like to see it available throughout the university, wherever groups meet to decide between options. He arranged a demonstration at which "the response was favorable."

But the innovation hasn't yet taken the world by storm. Other research councils have been slow to follow the AFRC's lead. John Lake expresses himself "surprised and disappointed that other public sector bodies making assessments of science feel that they can do without this, or something like it."

Perhaps the problem lies precisely in the system's strength: that it formalizes and democratizes decision-making. There are always those who use the informal, imprecise atmosphere of a committee to get their own way. And, says Beveridge, the electronic system "works against those people who regard themselves as good in working committees to their own advantage."


Which Patient Did Gallo's Virus Come From?

[ Reprinted from Science, 19 October 1990. ]

Having proclaimed that it has all but cleared National Cancer Institute virologist Robert C. Gallo of allegations that he stole the AIDS virus from a group of researchers at the Pasteur Institute (Science, 12 October, p. 202), the National Institutes of Health has decided to try to nail down once and for all which particular patient the virus came from.

This foray into viral archeology is the latest twist in a 6-year saga that began in early 1984 when Gallo announced that his lab had the virus. Almost immediately, questions were raised about the origin of Gallo's virus, which he called IIIB. It is remarkably similar in nucleotide sequence to an HIV isolate from the Institut Pasteur In Paris which was called LAV-BRU, BRU being the letters identifying the patient from whom the French virus came.

Allegations in the Chicago Tribune that Gallo stole the French virus prompted a 10-month inquiry, leading to what NIH acting director William Raub has called a verdict of not guilty "on the basis of the evidence." (NIH is, however, investigating alleged discrepancies in a key research paper Gallo published in 1984.)

[photo of Gallo] Still, for historical and scientific reasons, NIH wants to track down IIIB. To this end, Raub has asked Gallo for original samples of cells from his lab in the months in 1983 and 1984 that the work was going on. "We have given him what we have and will cooperate however we can," Gallo told Science. In addition, he has asked the Institut Pasteur whether they would be willing to cooperate in this virologic dig by supplying an original sample of BRU. "As for now, they say they have not been able to locate one," Raub reports. Montagnier was not available when Science called him for comment.

The Gallo lab's success in confirming that HIV causes AIDS depended on the fact that Mikulas Popovic, a Czech cell biologist on the Gallo team, was able to get an AIDS virus to grow in large quantities. He did it by pooling ten different candidate viruses in an admittedly unusual--one leading scientist sympathetic to the Gallo cause called it "crazy"--attempt to see if he could culture one virus from a viral soup. He succeeded.

Today, original frozen cells from nine of the pooled viruses are known to exist and the tenth is being sought. In addition, NIH has secured original samples of other isolates that were growing in Gallo's lab. According to Suzanne Hadley, deputy director of the NIH Office of Scientific Integrity, the plan is to send all this material to an independent laboratory where "blind" tests, including PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis of the viral DNA, will produce a profile of every virus.

If these studies show that IIIB was one of the patients in the ten patient pool, researchers will then know not only the origin of IIIB, which is of historical interest, but also have new information about the genetic closeness of certain AIDS viral isolates.

Virologist and Nobel laureate Howard Temin of the University of Wisconsin says the archeology is of interest because "if we can verify the origins [of IIIB and BRU], we could perhaps learn whether they came from patients who had close contact, or were exposed to AIDS from the same source, or, maybe, whether they each came from the same person." Data show that even though IIIB and BRU are so much alike, the 1% difference between them seems to translate into clear biological differences. BRU IS, for example, reported to be a more potent cell killer.

One possible route to unraveling the source of IIIB would be to find out whether Gallo and his French competitor, Luc Montagnier, happened to receive blood samples from the same physicians. Gallo's records show that in addition to numerous blood samples from U.S. patients, he got AIDS blood from physicians in France and Switzerland, but NIH officials do not yet know whether Montagnier received blood from the same people or whether his records still exist.

Scientists on Gallo's team have told Science that they have complete records of every AIDS blood sample that the lab received for testing. If IIIB is for some reason not among them, Hadley says, the NIH will go back to some of the physicians who sent early AIDS blood samples to see whether they might have kept the primary samples after all this time. "On the other hand, we may be lucky and find IIIB right off,"

Although the outcome of all this investigating may tell us who IIIB came from, there is, Hadley says, another possibility, "It may be that we just won't be able to find the source. "If so, what would it say about alleged misconduct in the Gallo lab? "nothing," Hadley told Science. "You certainly couldn't conclude that there was misconduct."

Hadley speculates that the analysis of original samples will be complete within 6 to 8 months, "at the outside."


Leftovers. NIH probers will examine early viral samples from Robert Gallo's freezer.


A Positive View of 1990's Politeness Patrol

by Lee Strong

"May I please see your con badge?" With those words, my career in law enforcement was launched. Contrary to some reports that I heard later, I actually enjoyed the 1990 Politeness Patrol and hope that 1991 will see another.

Con security is a must. We'd all like to have a no-security con, but that's become impossible. Free-riders are bad enough, but the increasing numbers of leather & chain wearers threaten to irreparably damage our good relations with the mundanes. And those mundanes control the hotel facilities that we require. Without them, no cons. Therefore, some form of security is necessary in our own self-defense.

The Politeness Patrol was 1990's attempt to create security in a non-threatening, fannish way as opposed to a semi-military occupation by Dorsai or P.G. County cops. Patrol Chief Dan Burgess deserves all WSFAns' thanks for balancing fannish courtesy with con safety and security. At all times, Dan stressed, Politeness was a real goal for con staff and attendees, not just Orwellian doublespeak.

Most attendees were not only pro-Patrol/security, but thankful that someone was keeping an eye on things. Leather & chains make people nervous. The Patrol is a fannish way to reassure the upstanding fans -- including odd dressers -- that things are and will stay non-threatening.

Most complaints which I heard came from the people who were not displaying their badges. While not all of these were leather & chainers, most were. Even so, most of those I asked were cooperative when I explained that we were looking out for free-riders. Practically everyone got the word to have a badge atter being stopped twice. In addition, I found that I could recognize people that I had checked before, which reduced the overall number of checks.

Several people, especially leather & chainers, complained that they were being singled out and generally hassled. I have little sympathy for this point of view: if some felt "singled out", it was because they were not displaying the required proof of membership.

Some things to avoid include an "official" attitude and arguing with the badgeless. Whenever someone tried to argue I gave him/her a few minutes explaining that fannish cooperation was all we were after. After that, I told the hardcores that I was leaving and coming back in 15 minutes. If they didn't have a badge, I was calling the real cops. Everyone got the message.

I suppose that one advantage that I had is my size. People are less inclined to argue with a 6' 4" gentleman who orders trained killers around at work than a petite lass with smiling eyes. Any future patrollers might be recruited from WSFA's biggest and ugliest!

Above all else, have the Patrol rules firmly in mind and be confident!

In conclusion, I think that 1990's Politeness Patrol worked as well as could be expected, and I hope that Disclave 1991 will have con security as effective and as fannish.


Not a dream!

Not a hoax!!

Not an imaginary story!!!

It's that great new hit fannish household:




and featuring those fantastic felines:

PYANFAR      and      KAMI

Why go through life endlessly repeating:

[ address censored ]

LAUREL, MD 20723

(301-) 776-9832

When instead you can quickly and easily say: