A PUBLICATION OF THE WASHINGTON SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION INC, WASHINGTON, DC
ISSN? Don't ask.
The First Friday in June business meeting convened at 9:23 on 7 June 1991.
President Tom Schaad asked Secretary Lee Strong III for his assessment of The WSFA Journal. Lee flipped through the pages of the latest newsletter and pronounced it a "darn fine Journal." Tom shook his head at Lee's foolishness. Offended, Lee held up a copy with the headline in red, saying "You want it red? There! It's red!" Tom appealed to the audience for sympathy, "I try! I try [to work with this man]! And what do I get?" Mercifully, the club waived the reading of the minutes. Jack Chalker said something or other.
Treasurer Bob MacIntosh reported $5282.02 in the treasury. Is this an estimate?
Peggy Rae Pavlat reported that Disclave Just Past just passed. About 1100 paid; about 1200 attended. The Con was better behaved than last year. No one died. Our hosts proved to be discrete problem solvers. It will take a while to tote up all the bills, but there will be a profit.
Lee Strong IV asked all department heads to get lists of hard working people to Dan Hoey or John Sapienza. The lists might be forwarded to Disclave Future.
Disclave Future Chairfan Michael Walsh said, well, there would be a formal Disclave Future meeting after the coming Third Friday meeting. He will be in Anaheim, CA on Disclave weekend. "I may be silly, but I'm not foolish!" <No comment.>
Evan Phillips does not want to be Mr. DisCave (tm) again. Michelle Smith-Moore is interested in doing the Art Show, but may be transferred. Jack asked if everyone was jumping ship now that the Chair has? The position of Chair might be available.
Where will Tom be Disclave 1992 weekend? At the ADA? No, but he is going to a Coast Guard hardship post: Saint Thomas, American Virgin Islands. Joe Mayhew remarked that Tom was going to be Saint Thomas soon. The club appeared nonplussed at this theological development.
Entertainment Committee Vice Chairfan Alexis Gilliland announced the the Mother of All Victory Parades on the morrow. There will be fireworks, 5000 pounds of potato salad, and a watermelon. The parade participants will spread out considerably so be prepared for traffic problems. The Secret Service has removed the firing pins from the soldiers' guns.
The Entertainment Committee also announced the Mother of All Fourth of July Parties. We need someone to volunteer a space. Susan Cohen volunteered her house. [However, this offer had to be withdrawn. The picnic was rescheduled for Mayhew Manor.]
Fine Arts Committee Chairfan Lance Oszko had no report but looked real neat.
John Pomeranz, Chairfan of the Committee to Spend Lots of Money for 5000 Pounds of Potato Salad and a Watermelon, reported that he took the 9 o'clock flight to Los Angeles, along with committee staffer Kathi Overton, and he didn't pay for the tickets. Pomeranz for Congress?
Relaxacon Committee Chairfan Eva Whitley reported that 1/2 a hotel had responded. Prices may be higher than expected.
Old Business ______________
John also had some possible New Business. Question: Who is coordinating WSFA's Books for Bulgaria? Answer: Mary Morman. Paula Lewis is willing to help if WSFA pays for postage. This is not a motion yet.
Tom forgot the New Tradition again to the hoots and applause of a really cruel audience. "I may be stupid, but at least I'm consistent." Eric Chalpleau, a fast reader, attended for his first time. Gordon Dean attended for his third time.
Tom Schaad announced a SF film festival at the Smithsonian's Byrd Auditorium sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates. Films will be introduced and discussed by Big Name Advisors. Good attendance will encourage the Associates.
The University of Taxachusetts con Not Just Another Con 7's GOH will be Dead Elvis, presented by the Eye of Argon.
Lee Strong IV will hold an Inventory Party on the Saturday after the Third Friday to reorganize WSFA's storage space on Annapolis Road near Capitol Plaza. Joe will help.
Alexis Gilliland announced that the Gillilands pater et mater have closed on Gilliland fils' house and bed. Presumably he will move out now. Hoots and hollers followed this announcement. Susan Cohen suggested a picnic at Chez Charles (Chez Gilliland II).
Mike Walsh attempted to announce that the University of Pennsylvania Press will publish Enterprising Women, about Star Trek fandom, in August 1991. There was a mass Aargh at the apparent sexism. Mike hastened to add that the editor was a serious sociologist in folklore, Camille Bacon. Will she deconstruct Kirk and Spock? (And, if so, will either of them care?)
Mike also announced that he is (surprise! surprise!) selling books, and that he is considering buying Locus for resale.
John Pomeranz announced a Tag Sale at the Fabulous Bungalow.
During their announcements, John and Mike also engaged in a stupidity contest. They lost.
Joe remarked that brevity is the soul of wit. John looked at his shorts, saying, "Yes. I know."
Social observer Eva Whitley provided a cultural note: the Baltimore Sun reported that propeller beanies are the current fashion rage among drug dealers. At least they have some good taste.
Joe announced Readercon, 14 July, in Taxachusetts. See Joe for a ride.
Rachel Russell had a wee little announcement. Remember Steven Fetheroff? (No.) Well, the former whatever he was is doing fine. Hoots and hollers followed this announcement.
Eric Somebody announced that This Old Con is scheduled for the same weekend as Arisia. It will have science, space and educational programming. It is NOT a Bruce Evry con.
Erica Van Dommelen announced that the hospital said that she was well and let her out. We're glad. Erica wasn't too sure she would survive the experience when a humanoid in a nurse's uniform chirped, "Hello. I'm Charlene, and I'll be your nurse today!"
Susan Cohen announced that PBS would show I, Claudius reruns.
Traincon is on track for $215 round trip. GOH is Shariann Lewitt. You must be ticketed by 1 July so if you're reading this, it's too late! The con leaves at 4:05 p.m. 28 August, Eastern Amtrak time.
Rebecca Prather presents a slide show of her trip to Spain, Morocco and Portugal.
Jack Chalker had several minor announcements. He has 3 books coming out in Romanian. Polish fans are more important because Polish zlotys are real money now. Someone suggested that Jack buy a castle with his Romanian lei.
Someone in the computer business confused Jack with Jerry Pournelle and sent him a 1000 X 1000 grid DPI typesetter.
Alexis went to Juvenile Court the previous Monday where he waited around to testify about his Mace in the face. Macer Peter Stephan got 30 days and a $200 fine.
Bill Jensen just dropped by for a quick one. He has lots of copies of Lew Shiner's book left. It was good for us.
Crystal Hagel has a free mattress. The club immediately put her in touch with Alexis.
Lance Oszko announced that a Wiccan television show, Kestryel and Company, debuted on the local public access channel. In addition, the Worlds of Wonder art gallery has opened in Georgetown, DC.
The business meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:08.
The regular Third Friday in June business meeting convened at 9:17, 21 June, 1991, the first day of summer, at the Bloom/Morman house. Treasurer Bob MacIntosh presided in the absence of the President and the Vice President.
* Prior to the meeting, informal club parliamentarian Joe Mayhew advised Bob and Secretary Lee Strong that the Secretary was third in line to preside, not the Treasurer. Lee was horrified at the thought. Not only is it hard to take good notes while presiding, but presiding would require him to be polite to the Chair! Lee therefore declined to preside and passed the gavel to Bob.
* During his brief period of power, Lee did appoint Erica Van Dommelen to be Squeaker of the House. Upon hearing this, Chris Callahan attempted to kill the dictator.
There was a brief discussion about whether the first day of summer was Beltane and/or the Summer Solstice, and in what calendar.
The Publications Committee, shaken by the brush with power (not to mention the assassination attempt), requested that the reading of the minutes be waived. The club agreed.
The Treasurer reported that we have $5172.86 in the kitty. There was a suggestion that we have a party, but it was pretty weak.
Lance Oszko reported "a dearth of silence" from the letters sent out by the Fine Arts Committee. English expert Perrianne Lurie noted that a "dearth of silence" should be a huge response.
Peggy Rae Pavlat reported that we had a Disclave Past. We made some money, several thousand dollars, but the standard deviation is too high at this time given the number of unpaid bills. Mary Morman asked if there was enough money for a down payment on a house. Peggy Rae graciously replied that we could not afford what the Bloom/Morman house was worth. See New Business.
Peggy Rae will be in Los Angeles for two weeks worth of work in the future. She babbled something or other for a few minutes, and then returned to lucidity.
Peggy Rae related the story that the Sheraton had neglected to automate GOH Lew Shiner's room reservation. So the maids cleaned his stuff out, including a fruit & cheese plate. The front desk didn't think to check why there was stuff in the room. <In fact, the front desk didn't think period.> The hotel then booked Steve Smith into the room. Chris Callahan and Lee Strong IV solved the problem with another room. Lee IV remarked, "Thank Ghod this happened to mild mannered Lew rather than gun toting Mike Resnick!" Peggy Rae said that we got a neat letter from Lew.
She also stated that the Sheraton General Manager had requested comments. Overall, the hotel was easier to deal with than previously. (They ought to be: we've spent enough time training their staff.)
However, the Bunker still leaks and/or fries people. Unfortunately, this is not the same as a jacuzzi.
Disclave Future Chairfan Mike Walsh announced that there will be a Disclave meeting after this meeting in the Bloom/Morman basement office. Many positions are vacant, including that of Chair. Laughter and giggling was heard. Mary Morman asked if the missionary position was open. Mike did the standard joke about the Vice Chairfan's position being a covert operation.
Alexis Gilliland, Vice Chair of the Entertainment Committee announced the 4th of July Party at Bill Mayhew's house, Greenbelt, Maryland. There are no facilities for grilling so bring a grill. PLEASE coordinate with Dolly. Alexis noted that Bill had recently bought a house with a 1 acre outdoor party space.
Joe Mayhew announced that the WSFA Little Storage Area has lots of pegboard, legs, strange lumber and lots of strange stuff in it. <Sort of like WSFA.> In an emergency, we could build our own Disclave hotel out of pegboard. The strange stuff includes a cash register left over from Unicon. Peggy Rae asked if we should write a thank you note to Unicon. Joe said that he was Unicon if it came to that. Lee III chirped, "Thank you, Joe." Peggy Rae asked Joe to write himself a thank you note.
Joe also announced that Saint Thomas had appointed him to be Club Archivist. He has taken over the Sturdy Woman Cabinet.
Old Business was conducted according to the Rufus T. Firefly Manual of Parliamentary Procedure.
Under New Business, a bus shuttle to Chicon was announced.
The point of contact, D. Ann Lipscomb, asked if they could use WSFA's mailing list. Lee Strong III pointed out that we were still building our mailing list. In addition, the club was concerned about handing out our list to people whom we know little about. The club decided to print the bus flyer in The WSFA Journal and allow interested individuals to contact the bus themselves. See flyer in the back pages.
Librarian Paula Lewis said that she had access to lots of SF that her library was weeding out. She suggested sending the discards to Bulgaria, in response to an earlier request. Would WSFA pay the postage? Joe so moved, after setting an upper limit of $100. The motion passed unanimously.
Kent Bloom, Mary Morman, Bo T. Cat and the Bloom/Morman family will be moving to Colorado Springs in the near future. The house will be available on the Third Friday in August but not on the Third Friday in July. Mary volunteered Trog's house for a short term solution. She also suggested that WSFA buy the Bloom/Morman house for a permanent clubhouse. It has lots of bookcases, spare rooms for dispossessed fans, cookie ovens, etc., etc.
Peggy Rae half-volunteered the Pavlat Place for the 3rd Friday. Dick Roepke suggested renting a Metro car. Nothing was decided at this meeting.
Bill Jensen moved a vote of thanks for the Bloom/Mormans for hosting the Third Fridays for 7 years now. Applause. John Pomeranz suggested we spill drinks on Mary's floor as a tribute. Hostess Mary suggested another place for John's drink. Unabashed, John agreed.
John reported that the Committee to Spend a Great Deal of Time On Mary's Carpet, has bought John Sununu a ticket for Traincon. The electronic umbilical cord will cost extra.
Bob remembered the New Tradition. Tom Veal is attending WSFA for his first time while Eric Chapelo is attending for his second time.
Lee Strong III announced that anyone who wished his or her announcement to appear as he or she wanted it to should submit to the Secretary, right here, right now, on Mary's carpet. The club looked at Mary's carpet and flinched.
Dick Roepke announced that the Library of Congress had a Ray Bradbury film at 1200 Wednesday 26 June.
Alan Huff has a job. Cheers and applause rocked the club.
John Pomeranz announced the Fabulous Bungalow Moving Sale 13-14 July. He will bring samples to the next WSFA meeting. Interesting items being sold include two decks of fizzbin cards, the Pomeranz family gredunza (three handled, of course), assorted friedbergers, an ark missing since 1936, some 5000 pounds of potato salad and a watermelon.
Mike Walsh announced the sale of cheap ex-library hardback books.
Robyn announced that Traincon II will be happening this year. The theme is "Throw Susan From the Train." A rustle of tittering stirred the club.
In another cultural note, propeller beanies are In for inner city youth. Apparently, the inner city youth bought the beanies from the drug dealers mentioned last meeting.
Joe Mayhew announced that Walter Miles thanked him for many valuable contributions to the world of fandom.
Matt Leger gave a brief review of Fallen Angels, a new book by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn. The cover is by Steve Hickman. The story is both depressing and enjoyable. It's depressing because it depicts a world in which the power structure has turned its back on both science and freedom. However, it's enjoyable because it depicts SF fandom on an intimate level.
* Lee Strong III adds that Fallen Angels also depicts fans as heroes when the chips are really down.
Peggy Rae Pavlat recommended The Quiet Pools.
Mike Walsh moved that we adjourn, and the club unanimously adjourned at 9:54.
Following the meeting, Mike held a Disclave 1992 meeting in the Bloom/Morman basement office. The bulk of the meeting was devoted to reviewing lessons learned at Disclave 1991.
Lee Strong III encouraged people to write about Disclave for The WSFA Journal so that insights could be shared and good ideas discussed. Asked about the deadline, Lee stated that there was always another Journal coming out (for the foreseeable future).
* Worldcon Roommate Wanted. Wanted: A fan to share a room at the WorldCon in Chicago - female, non-smoker, no children. Call Eileen Shaivitz at 484-3240.
* Valerie Pastor is looking for a ride (and possible room) to Chicon. Contact her at (703) 827-4851.
* Former WSFAn Mary Hagan Mosier and husband Gary Mosier announce the birth of beautiful twin baby girls, Sarah Elizabeth and Anne Marie. Mary also announced that publication of her junior prozine, The Mad Engineer, must be suspended indefinitely.
* The Society for Interactive Literature now has a new name: the Foundation for Interactive Literature.
* * *
The WSFA Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. If you violate our copyright, we will not only sue your buns off, but we will write you into our novels and short stories so that people will laugh at you for thousands of years to come.
St. Thomas Schaad Steve
Smith Lee Strong
Vice President .....................
Steve Smith Bob MacIntosh
Treasurer .......................... Bob MacIntosh
Secretary of State ................. Lee Strong III
Ambassador to Australia ............ Lee Smoire
Ambassador to Bulgaria ............. Mary Morman
Ambassador to California ........... Kathi Overton
Ambassador to Disneyland ........... John Pomeranz
Ambassador to Mars ................. J. Danforth Quayle
Ambassador to the Soviet Union ..... Joe Mayhew
Ambassador to Swaziland ............ Larry Baker
Ambassador to Texas ................ Jack Heneghan
Ambassador to Washington (state) ... Steven Fetheroff
Ambassador to Washington, D.C. ..... Terminator
Let's see, now. Robin Hood is a legend; legends are fantasy; and fantasy is closely related to science fiction. O.K. I can review Robin Hood, POT, in the Journal!
This is not really a bad movie. Not great, but not hopeless either.
It's all very politically correct, although, perhaps not correct enough in places. Morgan Freeman has a nice juicy part as a thoroughly anachronistic "Moor" roaming England to repay Robin for saving his life. He brings 14th Century gunpowder and a 16th Century telescope to 12th Century Robin's aid. Maid Marian appears here as a politically correct warrior woman and proto-feminist, too. Personally, I never saw anything demeaning about her role as clever and adroit spy in the original story. But, Robin has A Message For Us, so Marian is uppity and righteous without being very charming instead.
She gets to peek at someone's buns, too. According to a lady...er, ah, womyn I was sitting with, the buns in question are not Mr. Costner's, though.
But the basic Robin Hood story has enough strength to carry this epic through its 2 & 1/2 hour length satisfactorily. Most of the familiar incidents appear in a new framing story along with plenty of action. And, odds' bodkins, but someone actually inserted some realism from British history among the anachronisms!
The meeting with Little John and the beginning of the war with the Sheriff are here, and well done. I especially liked way that the minor characters -- Little John, Friar Tuck, and Will Scarlet -- came alive in small but telling ways. Listen carefully to Friar Tuck's sermons.
Unfortunately, this admirable trait seems to have been carried out to excess with the Sheriff and his henchmen/womyn. Prince John disappears entirely from Prince of Thieves, which alters the legal setting considerably. The main plot driver becomes Nottingham's scheme to steal the throne as well as the cash. This just doesn't work too well, given the class structure of 12th Century England.
Alan Rickman does a fine job portraying the Sheriff as a bullying scoundrel, and a threat to life and limb. However, many aspects of his personal life come across as buffoonish and unrealistic rather than revealing. This considerably weakens the element of menace needed to highlight Robin's heroism. It's as if Darth Vader was the court jester in his spare time.
One startling note was the Sheriff's counselor: an evil, satanic witch straight out of the worst of Grimms' Tales. In a politically correct film, this addition is particularly jarring.
But, as I said, the basic story overcomes the false and unsettling themes. The music is adequate and the cinematography excellent. The trick shots with the arrows add touches of verve. For once, the horse manure IS vital to the plot. Even the sweat sparkles!
So, set your brain on medium, and enjoy Robin Hood, Prince of the Politically Correct. I rate this film as Above Average. --LS
No doubt about it. The superhero is back. This film adds a fresh and welcome face to the existing stable.
The plot is straightforward enough: pilot Cliff Secord wants nothing more than to win the Big Air Race and his girl Jenny. Instead he and his gadgeteer-mentor get mixed up with gangsters, Nazis, movie stars and FBI agents battling over an experimental rocket pack invented by Howard Hughes. Cliff wants to fly real bad so he straps on the pack....
This is fairly light stuff but nicely done. The characters are pretty standard but well performed. There's some personality development and a few twists to add depth.
Most of the emphasis here is on the action, tho. Watch Cliff fly! Watch him discover that it's really not safe!
The action, or lack thereof, becomes something of a weak point. While the plot develops quickly enough, the pace is slow to get moving. You have to invest some time before things pick up. But the time is worth the wait.
The music is good; the dialog snappy; and the 1938 period references are excellent. The inclusion of invented Nazi propaganda and references to the upcoming 1939 World's Fair adds greatly to a sense of realism. The thoughtful use of 1938's moral codes are especially relevant to character and plot.
This light hearted mixture of Batman and Indiana Jones succeeds when heavier fare fails. I rate The Rocketeer as Superior entertainment. --LS
For those who wonder what purpose the Disclave dealers' room serves, the answer is that it makes older fiction available to today's readers. I found this classic to be both interesting and enjoyable.
By any standard, this is fringe SF, since it deals with the discovery of a historical Atlantis in the middle of the Sahara Desert. The "Atlantida" of the title is an Anglicization for the female lead, the siren queen of Atlantis whose fatal beauty lures men to their doom. There, in the eloquent words of the book, "they die of love".
Alienness, that requirement of SF, is provided by the early century setting. (The novel was originally published in 1920, and is set about 1904.) The assumed French rule of North Africa is merely the most obvious element of strangeness. Far more alien, and more interesting, is the fatal attraction exerted by the siren's beauty. In our more brutal and sex saturated age, the male leads' moral dilemmas seems both quaint and oddly fascinating.
Atlantida is not without its flaws. The Russian general's story is both unnecessary and quite long. Benoit's editor should have sent him back to the typewriter.
But it all comes together. The hero and the villain seem clearly defined at first. But, through the magic of the story, they aren't at all what you expect.
I rate Atlantida as Above Average. --LS
Shuttle departs late 8/27/91,
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TO THIS YEAR'S WORLDCON IN CHICAGO
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Enjoy your trip in our luxury coach. Watch your favorite SF thriller on our VCR, listen to our stereo. There is booth seating to play your favorite board and card games. Kitchen and restroom facilities also on board. Enjoy a cold brew, sit back, and leave the driving to us.
Seats are limited to the first 16 reservations that are paid in full. So make your reservations early and start your con partying early on the Chicon Shuttle!!!
For Information & Reservations Contact:
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(301) 386-3953 7:00-10:00 eves.
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