The WSFA Journal, March 1991

The WSFA Journal



March 1991

ISSN 0894-2

Schaad Struggles To Regain Control

Schaad Foils Coup ................................. Page 2
Vice Reigns in Schaad's Absence ................... Page 4
The Neverending Sequel ............................ Page 6
The War in 2020 ................................... Page 6
The Lost Regiment ................................. Page 7
The WSFA Journal: Science Fiction or Fantasy? ..... Page 8




The regular First Friday in February business meeting was called to order by newly triumphant President Tom Schaad at 9:19, 1 February, 1991.

Before the meeting began, John Pomeranz staged a coup and took over the Presidential Chair. Mr. Pomeranz announced the formation of an Imperial Guard to protect his royal person from any counter-revolutionary attempts.

However, the Imperial Guard failed to protect the usurper from the U. S. Coast Guard as Tom easily retook the Throne in a counter-coup. Defeating John in single combat, Tom relegated the pretender to another chair.

Tom immediately announced that Joe Mayhew needed a hand. The club applauded. Tom clarified that Joe's car had suffered not one but two flat tires and was parked on Capothole Hill near the Botanical Gardens. A five hole, GM "baby" tire is needed to rescue Joe's car.

Tom then asked for a Publications Committee report. John moved that we wave at Secretary Lee Strong. Lee, abashed by the swiftness of the loyalist counter-coup, quickly presented the latest issue of The WSFA Journal. He then announced that he had recently sold Covert Beach's name. During the last meeting, the President directed the Secretary to take the name, and I did. If this catches on, Covert Beach franchises will be appearing in your neighborhood soon. ______ _____ asked if he would receive any royalties. Lee announced that proceeds would benefit the club. The members appeared to be nonplussed by Lee's latest money grubbing scheme.

Tom asked for the Treasurer's report. John moved we wave at the Treasurer. The club did and Bob MacIntosh waved back. He further stated that the Treasury included $7701.43, but that $3000 was a revolving fund for a book.

Entertainment Committee President Doll Gilliland announced that someone left 2 Donald Moffitt books at Chez Gilliland last December. Steven Fetheroff immediately claimed them. Doll asked if they were his. Steven said, "No, but you asked if anyone claimed them, not owned them."

Disclave Present Chairfan Peggy Rae Pavlat announced that the previously announced Disclave Origami Festival had been delayed by Virginia Vaughan-Nichols. Now, however, we have sponges and a list of payees. The Festival will commence in the Dining & Origami Room after the business meeting.

Disclave Future Chairfan Steven Fetheroff said "Hi." The club rejoined, "Hi." Tom Kidd will be the '92 GOH. Steven then moved that we wave at John. Doll objected that we shouldn't make waves. These motions failed for lack of seconds.

Former President Pomeranz got up to speak. ______ _____ moved that we wave at John, but the true President, Tom Schaad, refused to recognize him. John tried again, "The Committee to Spend a Great Deal of Money seldom accepts suggestions...." "Get a job!" shouted Rowdie Yates. Joe pronounced this to be a case of reportus interruptus. "Thanks for the segue" said John. "My boss is going to become a Peace Corpsman in Papua New Guinea. Therefore, the Committee will be hiring a headhunter to replace him." Tom announced the execution of the deposed John at the end of the meeting.

[The astute reader will notice no Disclave Past reports, Old Business or New Business in this article. That's because we didn't have any.]

The true President then continued the New Tradition by asking if anyone was here for the first time. Alan Lane asked, "In what time period?" Alan was last at a WSFA meeting five years ago. The club applauded anyway.

Keith and Genara complained that the Secretary had misspelled their names. Lee twirled his finger in airy disdain. The club chuckled at their dismay. Joe expressed his theory that the Secretary is deliberately misspelling names rather than being an illiterate.

"Hi Pat" also appeared for the second time. After the meeting, Pat told me her last name was not 'Pending'. Unfortunately, I since forgot she said it was.

(If you want to find out what Keith's, Genara's and Pat's real names really are, introduce yourself is a true fannish manner, and ask.)

Fred and Dee appeared for the third time each. Tom announced that they were now deemed Worthy, especially compared to this crew.

Dick Roepke joined the ranks of the hucksters, announcing that Chris Callahan and he were selling books for 50 cents each.

Terilee Edwards-Hewitt announced fliers for Silicon VI, to be held in Annapolis.

David Lastman announced that John Barth, David Brin and Douglas Adams will be signing books at Dupont Circle. See David for details.

Lance Oszko announced that the seldom seen Honor Blackman episodes of The Avengers are now airing. In addition, he has a sofa bed at Balticon.

Alexis Gilliland announced that there had been a crime wave in the Arlington area on 29 January. Between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m., several people were Maced. Alexis was Maced at 3:30. It's not fun.

Bob MacIntosh announced that dues are due and payable.

Judy Newton broke her leg. A card was circulated for signatures and sent to her.

Dick Lynch announced that Don C. Thompson, con chairfan and fanzine editor, died 15 December 1990 in his sleep. He had melanoma for several years and suffered a relapse at Holland Worldcon. A good friend, he will be missed.

Rachel Russell announced that an asteroid just missed the Earth. Joe suggested that the rock swing around and try again.

Virginia Vaughan-Nichols announced that husband Steve was no longer a wage slave.

The business session adjourned at 9:35. Deposed dictator John Pomeranz was executed in a colorful ceremony cheered by millions. Video cassettes of this event are available at Blockbuster Video.

The Disclave 1991 Origami Festival convened shortly afterward. An assembly tesseract was established in the Gilliland Dining, Living and Office Rooms under the direction of Peggy Rae Pavlat. Only True Fans were allowed to attend, and a good time was had by all.



The Third Friday in February business meeting came to a semblance of order at 9:17, 15 February, 1991. Vice President Steve Smith presided in the absence of President Tom Schaad. In the absence of the Presidential gavel, Steve popped the top of a soft drink can to signal the start of festivities.

Steve asked Treasurer Bob MacIntosh if we had any money. "Yeah," responded Bob. His yen to know unsatisfied, Steve rejoined, "Elucidate, oh, sage." "Oh, you want details!" returned Bob. We have $8084.22 in the bank.

Steve asked Secretary Lee Strong if the Publications Group had a report. Lee said No and asked that the reading of the moments be waived. Unanimously waived.

Alexis and Doll Gilliland, chairs of the Entertainment Committee, were not present to report. Is Alexis ill, or just captured by the pirates of Boskone? Steven Fetheroff pronounced the couple to be entertaining. Expertise is always welcome.

Disclave Past has been captured by the pirates of Boskone and was not present.

Disclave Present reported that the book has gone to the printer. We have received interior artwork for the program book from Alicia Austin. "Are there any more Disclave Presents?", asked Rowdie Yates.

Disclave Future Chairfan Fetheroff said, "Hi", as usual. The club, reinforced by Hi Pat, went "Hi" right back. Steve said, "Not yet." Rowdie asked "Why not?" Steven eventually managed to announce that there will be a Disclave Future meeting on 24 March at Tracy Henry's house.

______ _____ reported for the Trustees that elections were coming. The Trustees can usually scare up candidates for the executive positions, but are looking for a few good fans to fill the Trustees' slate for Trustee. If you think you're trusty enough, submit to the Trustees for Trustee.

Old Business had been captured by the pirates of Boskone and was not present.

Under New Business, Lee Uba announced the formation of a Baghdad in '94 Bid Committee. Rowdie objected that there would not be any Baghdad left in '94. Lee responded, "Not true. The Allied Air Force is even now creating the world's largest jacuzzi on the banks of the Euphrates River."


Steve asked if the Secretary would like to say a word. Lee said, "Yes." Steve asked if the Secretary would like to say some more words.

The Secretary announced that those who would like their announcements to appear as they would like and not as the Secretary will mangle them should submit, in writing, to the Secretary after the meeting.

Judy Newton debuted at WSFA, following her successful appearance at the local hospital. She was hit by a truck and now suffers a broken leg. She got the number of the truck: there was only one of them. While she was not personally able to hit the truck back, her lawyer will. Go, lawyer, go!

Erica Van Dommelen announced that Karl, Jailbait and she went to Arisia. Upon their return, they discovered that their house had been broken into. "They" evidently hated jewelry and electronics but took Karl's 90 pounds of change. (American pounds, not British.) "They" dumped Erica's burgundy WSFA briefcase out to get at the change. Be on the lookout for someone with their knuckles dragging the ground from hefting 90 pounds of loot.

Misfortune has not dampened household hospitality. Erica invited friends to drop by any time. Just break in through the back door.

Erica also announced that the household cats did not leave despite the broken back door. Cats aren't dumb.

Vicky Smith announced a promotion at work. Maybe now, she can make her mortgage payments. Recognizing Vicky's house ownership -- ownership of Vicky by a house--, The Washington Post reported an upturn in the area real estate market on 18 February.

Lee Uba is looking to hire trained interior decorators. Her Decorating Den business is a success, and she needs help. Professional help.

Laurie Manning is looking for a roommate. She has recently escaped from Cthulhu's Dungeon & Boarding House.

New Tradition

Steve asked if anyone was attending their first WSFA meeting. A Richard Siegal announced that this was his first business meeting, although he has previously attended many social meetings. This man has his priorities right.

There were no two timers present.

People attending WSFA for their third (and final?) time included Laurie Manning and Hi Pat, also known as Pat Pending. After the meeting, the Secretary finally got Pat's real name straight. However, she said that she liked "Pat Pending" so I shall not say what her mundane name is!

Following the New Tradition portion of the meeting, there were six motions to adjourn. The club unanimously adjourned at 9:30.

Following the meeting, the Publications Advisory Committee discussed the idea of exchanging newsletters with other clubs. We thought it was a neat idea. Unfortunately, we don't know the addresses for other clubs. Yet.

Also following the meeting, the Publications Committee secretly met to discuss disclosing the fact that Lee Strong is misspelling people's names because he's an illiterate, and not an evil genius as some people think. The Committee decided to keep this our little secret.


The WSFA Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. If you violate our copyright, we will sue you for 900 times the total amount of money in existence.


President & Publisher........................Tom Schaad
Vice President..............................Steve Smith
Treasurer.................................Bob MacIntosh
Secretary & Editor-in-Chief..................Lee Strong
Trustees.....______ _____, Dan Hoey, Erica Van Dommelen
Chair, Entertainment Committee...........Doll Gilliland
Chair, C2SAGD$SICE........................John Pomeranz
Chair, Disclave '91....................Peggy Rae Pavlat
Chair, Disclave '92....................Steven Fetheroff


The Neverending Story II:

The Next Chapter

Sequels inevitably stand in the shadows of their originals. And most suffer for it.

Actually Next Chapter is a fairly good movie. It just suffers by comparison with the first chapter.

The characters are all well drawn. Heros Bastian, Atreyu, Falcor and the Childlike Empress return to face new villains Xayide, Nimbly and Tri-face. And Bastian's father, a cipher in the original, emerges to share the screen with his son.

The plot closely resembles the original in basic structure but manages to surprise (and reward) the viewer. The main villain surrenders only half way through the film! The final battle should surprise most as well. The scenery is a pleasant mixture of old and new scenes. I would like to find out how Atreyu manages to ride a horse across the Sea of Acid, tho.

If there is a major flaw in this film, it is the music. The first chapter had a lively, moving sound track that accentuated the various moods and bound, the film tightly together. Next Chapter lacks the same inspired sounds and suffers badly for the lack.

Having said that, I reemphasize that this is a worthwhile film, capable of standing on its own. Fans not familiar with the first chapter will enjoy this visit to the Neverending Universe.

I rate The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter as Above Average.

The War in 2020

by Ralph Peters

Somewhere in the shadowy zone between science fiction and mainstream lies the techno-thriller. This hybrid genre shares many of the characteristics of 1930s SF, principally a focus on the gadget (broadly defined) at the expense of the character. Happily, Mr. Peters avoids this pitfall with a good balance of human interest and politico-military action.

This is basically a war story, set a generation into the future. The US is taking detente to new heights as the "Seventh Cavalry" attempts to save the Soviet Union from Japanese backed rebels.

The story started very slowly. The first half of this 434 page book is set up for the main action. Once it got underway, it achieved some real excitement and insight into character.

Having the disadvantage of knowing sometime about the U. S. military, I found some of the details lacking in authenticity. The author is supposedly an Army foreign service officer. Why doesn't he know that our helicopters are named after Indian tribes? An odd and annoying oversight.

Wait for this one to appear in your public library. I rate The War in 2020 as Average.


Literary Note

The system of rating books and films used by The WSFA Journal staff reviewers uses the English language rather than the common 0-5 star system. From highest to lowest, the ratings are Fantastic, Tremendous, Excellent, Superior, Above Average, Average, Below Average, Disappointing, Inferior, and Why Did a Tree Have to Die for This? Guest reviewers may use other systems.

Rally Cry


Union Forever

by William R. Forstchen

With two superior novels, Mr. Forstchen joins the authors of the newly defined janissaries sub-genre.

Like Jerry Pournelle's eponymous novel, Forstchen strands a group of American soldiers, The Lost Regiment of the series title, on a world dominated by alien villains. Forstchen's heros are a Union Civil War unit, the 35th Maine, armed with rifled muskets and Napoleon cannon. And the aliens are very villainous indeed since their favorite food is roast beef made from human "cattle".

I find these books to be clearly superior in many areas. The human heros, led by intrepid Colonel Andrew Keane and Quaker-turned-warrior Vincent Hawthorne, are exceptionally well drawn. Hawthorne's moral qualms about killing admirably reflect the inner struggles of the conscientious citizen soldier.

Nor are the "cattle" neglected. One peasant, Kalencka, emerges as a true hero, wrestling with unexpected freedom" and the attendant responsibilities.

Some of Forstchen's finest writing emerges when he paints his aliens reacting to the challenge posed by their unruly "cattle". The aliens -- curiously they seem to have no specific species name -- emerge as real, coherent individuals. They're tough; they're adaptable; and they're no pushovers. The worst of them are capable of reacting intelligently and quickly to human technology and using it to their own ends. And the more perceptive realize their own race's tragic fall from former greatness.

The darkest villains of all are the human traitors, one a "cattle" boyar, Mikhail of Pskov, the other a Union "immigrant", Captain Tobias Cromwell.

As in all "janissary" novels, the heros have to carry out an industrial revolution to meet the military challenge. Here, Forstchen has chosen exceptionally well in selecting a home time period: his 1865 soldiers possess the broad range of skills necessary to leapfrog technology from the first century to the nineteenth. Lord Kalvan would appreciate them and their accomplishments. If only Captain Cromwell were not equally accomplished!

Forstchen's heros discuss their military and industrial logistics knowledgeably. While some might find this a distraction from the blood & thunder, I consider this a strong point, showing the real intelligence and scientific outlook of the characters. It makes their careful planning and desperate improvisations all the more meaningful. Not all battles are against flesh and blood.

As a military buff, I would have appreciated some more maps. It seemed hard to visualize the situation when the action ranges across a whole landscape. Especially when the 35th Maine is systematically renaming parts of it!

Many will not care for the military theme. Don't be misled! These novels are first and foremost about people. Some are good, some are evil, some have smooth skin, some have fur. All are people.

I rate The Lost Regiment series, Rally Cry and Union Forever, as clearly Superior.

The WSFA Journal:

Science Fiction or Fantasy?

An unusual phenomenon has been occurring in WSFA lately. People are asking about The WSFA Journal's editorial policies and publication data. In our neverending search for novelty, we here at the Journal thought we'd give some (relatively) straight answers to these questions.

When does the Journal publish? Our publication date is the First Friday meeting of each month. We would like to publish at each meeting, but our underpaid staff would rebel.

What type of material does the Journal Publish? Generally speaking, things of interest to WSFA. Club business has first priority, followed by nonfiction items and articles about science fiction, fantasy, and science. Other material is judged on a case-by-case basis.

What about fiction in the Journal? We occasionally publish fiction, although nonfiction retains priority.

When can and should articles be submitted to the Journal? We accept items at any time, especially at WSFA meetings. Alternatively, send material through the maul in care of Lee Strong, [address censored], Alexandria, VA 22311. The usual deadline for publication is the weekend before the First Friday meeting. While we try to type up material, especially minutes, in advance, the weekend before the meeting is usually when it all comes together.

Is there anything that you would NOT accept for publication? Yes; the Journal will not print personal attacks or obscenity. We will print criticism, even severe criticism, of policies and we very obviously will print innuendo. We also edit to fit the newspaper format. We agree with Dominic Flandry about seduction.

The Journal's format has changed quite a bit during the Strong Secretaryship. Do you foresee further changes? Not too many changes in the basic format, at least as long as Your Humble Servant is Secretary.

What other projects is the Publications Committee up to? Primarily, the WSFA Membership & Contact List. Originally published in November, 1990, it already needs revision. If we ever collect enough fiction at one time, we might publish a WSFA fanzine. We are plotting to exchange newsletters etc. with other clubs.

Are back issues of the Journal and other projects available? Yes, when the Secretary remembers to bring them to the meetings.

How do I contact The WSFA Journal? Contact Lee Strong at home at (703) 671-3592 after hours, or at work at (703) 756-0781 during business hours. However, please be gentle (i.e., mundane) with the office secretary. She's used to a different type of strangeness.

Why does the Secretary refer to himself as "we"? Newspaper editors customarily refer to themselves in the plural. Also, Lee Strong has multiple personalities.

The WSFA Journal has kidded the pancreas off WSFA President Tom Schaad without a let up for several months. What is your real opinion of Tom Schaad? Tom is, without a doubt, one of the finest Human beings to walk the Earth.

Any last minute thoughts? Yes, submit to The WSFA Journal. It's YOUR newsletter, too.