The WSFA Journal, November 1991

The WSFA Journal



November 1991

ISSN 0894-5411

Disclave Returns To D.C.


Great Bird of the Galaxy Dies ........................... Page 2
Trustees Nominate Beach Chair; Smith and Mason to Wed ... Page 2
Hotel Lusts After Disclave .............................. Page 6


Iris, by William Barton and Michael Capobianco .......... Page 9
The Night Whistlers, by Dan Trevor ...................... Page 9
Q-In-Law, by Peter David ............................... Page 10
The Verdant Passage, by Troy Denning ................... Page 10
Visions of Infamy, by William C. Honan ................. Page 11

Fine Arts

Another Art Flyer ...................................... Page 12


70 Year Mission Over

LOS ANGELES (AP; edited for The WSFA Journal) Gene Roddenberry, a 70-year old former airline pilot who created the "Star Trek" television series, died 24 October 1991.

He died at Santa Monica Medical Center shortly after suffering a heart attack at his doctor's office.

William Shatner called Mr. Roddenberry "a physically large and impressive man. His stature was superseded by his towering imagination... The 'Star Trek' phenomenon will be his legacy and will live on forever."

Mr. Roddenberry "had an extraordinary vision about mankind and the potential of mankind's future," Leonard Nimoy said.

George Takei said: "Gene was a dear friend as well as someone who shepherded my career. We call him the Great Bird and he really was for me."

Paramount Pictures Chairman Brandon Tartikoff, whose studio made both series and all the "Star Trek" feature films, said Mr. Roddenberry's creations were legendary.

The original "Star Trek" debuted on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, proclaiming the most famous five year mission of all time: "To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before."

During his lifetime, Gene Roddenberry did, in fact, boldly go where none had gone before. His great achievement was that he took millions of human hearts along with him.


First Time Since 1979


A Beach Chair, That Is



The regular First Friday in October business meeting of the Washington Science Fiction Senate convened at 9:18 in Chez Gilliland. Mr. Tom Schaad, W-Alexandria, presided.

Mr. Schaad called upon Senator Lee Strong, W-Alexandria, Chair of the Publications Committee, for an interpretation of the minutes of the previous meeting. Senator Susan Cohen, F-Baltimore, suggested an interpretative dance but the Senate was spared that prospect. Several Senators noted that the published minutes of the previous meeting were very scanty. Sen. Strong explained that the tape recording was of poor quality. As a result, everyone sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks (except for Mr. Schaad, who sounded like Donald Duck). Several Senators suggested that the tape be played backwards. Sen. Strong said that he had, but only got something about "Paul" and a walrus. Reading of the minutes was waived by unanimous consent.

Senator Bob MacIntosh, W-Annandale, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported that the Fannish Treasury held $9445.22, which was $250,000,009,445.22 more than the Federal Treasury held. Motions to have a party and/or a Disclave failed for lack of seconds. The Junior Stockbrokers of Kiev moved that the Senate buy a Certificate of Deposit, but this was disposed of with the usual WSFA parliamentary sleight of hand. <More like light of head, actually.>

Senator Alexis Gilliland, W-Alexandria, announced that the Entertainment Committee was presenting the glorious intellectual food fight of the Robert Gates nomination. This will be followed by a Congressional check bouncing contest. Sen. Gilliland did not comment on rumors that the US Congress has become a subcommittee of the Entertainment Committee.

Senator Peggy Rae Pavlat, W-College Park, Chair of Disclave Past, stated that Ocean City was fine. Otherwise, she knew nothing.

Senator Michael Walsh, W-Baltimore, Chair of Disclave Present (1992), offered to give a brief recap of the hotel negotiations. "No, no!" pleaded Senator Erica Van Dommelen, W-Beltsville. Senator Cohen suggested Sen. Walsh recap his briefs, but the Senate was spared this prospect.

Senator Walsh said that negotiations with the Sheraton were unsatisfactory. They wished to charge a function space rental of $2000/day and hold a damage deposit of $3500. Senator Karl Ginter, F-Beltsville, searched high and low for many weeks; he even skipped his favorite soap opera. The bottom line is the Washington Hilton wants us: Disclave will return to D. C. in 1992.

The contract with the Hilton will be our "Sheraton" contract. Rooms will be $85/night. Parking will not be free as in the past. It will be, Walsh said, "a great adventure".

There were discussions with other hotels. In fact, they called us, and offered some good deals. The Hyatt Crystal City wanted us once they found out that WSFA was not Bruce Evry. The Omni Shoreham called the Sheraton and asked for a $10,000 damage deposit.

The unpleasant Sheraton situation will have to be resolved. Some rooms were rendered nonfunctional. The Sheraton is now badmouthing Disclave.

The Washington Hilton is located on Connecticut Avenue near Dupont Circle, Woodley Park and Adams-Morgan. Skip the local Irish pub. Facilities include running water and a nature film on spiders making sausage.

Sen. Walsh announced a Disclave committee meeting for the Third Friday. Come prepared to think. Several Senators groaned at the prospect.

During the report, Sen. Cohen did an interpretative dance. Mr. Schaad threw the gavel at Senator Vickie Smith, F-Pern. Parliamentary procedure in the WSF Senate is a strange and wonderful thing.

Senator Covert Beach, F-Alexandria, added that there was no Tom on the Disclave 1992 table of organization so Representative Tom Veal, F-Orlando, will join the con committee. Sen. Beach denied that he drugged Rep. Veal.

Senator Dan Hoey, W-Berwyn Heights, reported for the Committee on Credentials, Membership & Nominations that Steve Lloyd will not be a nominee for Chair of Disclave 1993. Instead, the Committee has nominated Sen. Covert Beach for Chair. Sen. Beach will get a job in the area.

The election will be held following the First Friday meeting in November. Nominations will be accepted from the floor.

Senator Bill Jenkins, F-New Carrollton, asked if the nominee would face confirmation hearings. Sen. Hoey stated that this was not that type of covert operation. The Senate Oooh'd at the 999th "covert" pun.

About this point, discussion was in its usual uproar and Mr. Schaad observed, "I should have at least a modicum of control." Senator Lee Uba, F-Gaithersburg, rejoined, "Dream on."

Senator Lance Oszko, W-Baltimore, Chair of the Fine Arts Committee reported a few more entrees for his projected SF art exhibition. The Delaware Art Museum has run some in the past.

Senator Walsh, ex officio chair of the WSFA Press Committee, reported that the 1992 Pat Cadigan book is on sale now for $27, the cheapest ever.

Mr. Schaad called for Old Business. Senator Yates, F-State of Mind, called for the New Tradition. Senator John Sapienza, F-College Park, observed that the Tradition has become Old Business.

Mr. Schaad called for New Business but none was introduced. In another display of the degree of control that Mr. Schaad exercises over parliamentary procedure, Senator A. Gilliland seized control of New Business and auctioned it off.

Mr. Schaad then forgot the New Tradition, which is now traditional, but was reminded, which is now also traditional. If you're confused, well, so is Mr. Schaad. Guests of the Senate included first time visitor Joe Fleischman, here in the fleisch, and second time visitor Travis, who left part of his name at home. The only third time visitor was Rep. Veal, who was greeted with a roar of approval. He's a twofer: a volunteer and a member. Mr. Schaad welcomed Rep. Veal to the Legion of the Doomed; please write a check on your Congressional checking account.


* Sen. Strong requests that all WSF Senators submit announcements, articles, and fiction to The WSFA Journal.

Senator Walsh announced that he's selling books for $1 apiece. Sen. Yates announced that this was close to being Old Business. Old books, anyway.

Senator Naomi Ronis, F-Baltimore, is back and she's beautiful.

Senator Van Dommelen said something or other about the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) Household of the Drunken Badger. Sen. Strong asked Sen. Van Dommelen what her name was. Sen. Van Dommelen stuck Sen. Strong on the head. Manners were apparently a lot cruder in the Medieval Period. And some people wonder why the Secretary is going bald and asks silly questions. Sen. Strong then amplified that he meant what was Sen. Van Dommelen's Society name as opposed to her mundane name. Sen. Van Dommelen replied that she was Erica of Dommels in the Society.

Senator Robyn Rissell, F-Fabulous Bungalow, announced several birthdays this week, and broke a glass to celebrate. Birthday people include Senators Jack Chalker, Jim Edwards-Hewitt, Rachel Russell, Tom Schaad, and Steve Smith. These Senators escaped the dreaded birthday song.

Sen. Oszko announced that the Baltimore Worldcon bid has space at Philcon.

Sen. Nancy Loomis, F-Earth, announced that former Senator Texas Matt was at Armadillocon.

Senator Pavlat is going to World Fantasy.

Senator Chris Callahan, F-Berwyn Heights, announced that Senators Beth and Mike Zipser, W-State of Mind, said "Hello!" The Senate replied "Hello!"

Senator Steve Smith, W-Silver Spring, announced that he had proposed to Senator Kit Mason, F-Earth, and that she had accepted. The wedding is planned for 15 February 1992.

Rep. Veal has a list of Magicon hotels. (Ever alert, The WSFA Journal printed it in our last issue.)

Senator Lee Uba announced that she is no longer working at Macy's. (That wasn't long, was it?) Instead, she has been hired an Interior Design Consultant for Legend Furniture of Chevy Chase and Rodeo Drive. (Not too many people can be a Legend in their own time.)

Senator Joe Mayhew, F-Greenbelt, Chair of the Sexual Harassment Committee, noted that Sen. Uba was still wearing a Macy's tee-shirt. He suggested that she take it off -- strictly in a spirit of loyalty to her new employer, of course. The Senate loudly agreed. "A tough meeting," opined Mr. Schaad. "In your dreams," declared Sen. Uba.

Senator George Shaner, F-Arlington, announced his birthday was on 9 October. Sen. Ronis led the Senate in a chorus of the dreaded birthday song. Apparently there's safety in numbers.

* Sen. Cohen announced that her friend Ric Meyers has the script to Star Trek VI The Movie. It promises to be good.

Mr. Schaad then asked for a motion to adjourn. The Senate unanimously adjourned at 9:52.


Notes and Explanations

The following terms are used in the minutes of the Washington Science Fiction Senate:

D- indicates Demogogic Party
F- indicates Fannish Party
R- indicates Reprehensible Party
W- indicates WSFA Establishment Party
* indicates inserted material.
Bold print or [ boxes ] indicate that Lee Strong has been playing around with Multimate on Government time. Again.


The WSFA Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. The Washington Science Fiction Senate and the United Fans of America are (C) copyright 1991 WSFA, Inc.

* * *

Publisher .............. Tom Schaad
Drunken Reporter ........ Lee Shehr
Legal Advisors ...
        ...Sapienza, Terrell,
        Pomeranz, Hill & Thomas
Reason for Needing Legal Advice
        ...Lee Strong
Committee on Sexual Harassment:
        Willie Maker, Betty Dont
1992 Democratic Candidate for President ... Lyndon LaRouche
1992 Libertarian Candidate for President ... Knott A. Chance
1992 Republican Candidate for President ....... David Duke



Michael Walsh Exhausted


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington


"Did We Adjourn?" Wonders WSFA

The regular Third Friday in October business meeting of the Washington Science Fiction Senate convened at 9:18, 18 October 1991, in the Mew of the Pink Pigasus. President Tom Schaad, W-Alexandria, presided.

Mr. Schaad called upon Senator Lee Strong, W-Alexandria, Chair of the publications Committee, for the minutes of the previous meeting. There were several garbled and unintelligible motions attempted. However, in the absence of something coherent, Mr. Schaad again requested that Sen. Strong read something. A motion to waive the reading of the minutes was then heard and passed on a voice vote. An unidentified voice thanked Senator Biden, D-Delaware, for the brilliant parliamentary ruling. The chair responded, "you're welcome, Mr. Hatch [R-Utah]".

Senator Bob MacIntosh, W-Annandale, Chair of the Finance Committee reported that the Fannish government had $9433.34 in the Treasury, which was about $300,000,009,433.34 more than the Feds do. There was a weak motion to have a party. This stealth motion failed for lack of a second.

Senator Dick Roepke, F-Berwyn Heights, reported that Disclave Past expects to receive additional sums from its VISA account. These monies will go to the Fannish Treasury. The Senate gave an Oh of glee.

Senator Michael Walsh, W-Baltimore, reported that life is good. Pressed for details, he gave a lengthy report on the progress of Disclave 1992. The Washington Hilton & Towers hotel signed our contract. We will be returning to D. C. for the first time since 1979. The hotel lusted after us. The Senate shivered in anticipation. There will be a walk-through for the committee in the near future.

Senator Robyn Rissell, F-Fabulous Bungalow, suggested that Justice Clarence Thomas and Rev. Jimmy Swaggart pick out the film program. Further, Sen. Rissell suggested that Ms. Rita Jeanrette speak. Sen. Walsh referred the suggestions to Senator and President Pro Tern Steve Smith, W-Silver Spring, the head of programming. Yes, Virginia, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in '92. (I'm glad someone else said that and not me.)

Senator Covert Beach, W-Alexandria, reported that he will recycle last year's flyers as much as possible. He hopes to have them out for Philcon.

Senator Walsh added, in a footnote to the Financial report, that the WSFA Press expects to settle the Shiner Book account from Nolacon North and the pre-sold Cadigan books. This should net about $1200. Citizen Cadigan is pleased that we're not returning to the Sheraton Pesthole.

Senator Lance Oszko, W-Baltimore, Chair of the Fine Arts Committee, reported that the Hirshhorn Museum has a curator's position open. He is also generating a flyer on the Washington Exhibit Proposal. Senator Perrianne Lurie, F-Silver Spring, will take some flyers to World Fantasy.

Senator Erica Van Dommelen, W-Beltsville, reported for the Committee on Credentials, Membership.& Nominations, that the Chair of Disclave 1993 will be elected at the First Friday meeting in November. The official nominee is Senator Beach. Senator Lurie pronounced herself shocked. Senator Van Dommelen agreed. Apparently, no one expected Sen. Beach to be nominated.

Senator Alexis Gilliland, W-Arlington, Vice Chair of the Entertainment Committee, was almost overlooked in another stealth move. He reported that Senator Doll Gilliland, W-Arlington, was the one who leaked the Anita Hill transcript to the press. When the reward gets big enough, she is going to turn herself in.

Senator Matt Leger, F-Arlington, inquired if there would be a Disclave Future? Mr. Schaad stated that the present Administration certainly had no future. Sen. Leger concurred.

Mr. Schaad called for Old Business but none was brought forward.

Mr. Schaad called for New Business. Senator Oszko requested that the Entertainment Committee investigate tickets for Hook. Senator Yates, F-State of Mind, clarified that Hook is not played by Long Dong Silver.

Senator Alexis Gilliland became confused by stealthy hand signals on the Senate Floor.

Mr. Schaad forgot the Second New Tradition by remembering the First New Tradition. This is now traditional. Senator Van Dommelen became confused by this cascade of traditional values.

Mr. Schaad introduced first time guest of the Senate, Ms. Lisa Warner from Albany. Senator Dan Burgess, F-Laurel, congratulated himself on his directions. Sen. Walsh stated that Ms. Warner arrived at the Mew of the Pink Pigasus while following Sen. Burgess' directions to Boston. "Oh, heavens," exclaimed Sen. Van Dommelen. "Now she thinks we're NESFA!"

There were no second time guests. Mr. Schaad introduced third time guests Mike Taylor and Travis Bailey. Candidates for membership in this august body should grovel before the Trustees, namely Sen. Van Dommelen. Not only is she the only Trustee available, but she's cuter than Senator Mike Zipser, W-State of Mind. There were several dissents from this cuteness ranking.


Sen. Strong stated that persons desiring their announcements to appear in their own words rather than the words of the Publications Committee should submit to the Committee after the meeting.

Sen. Lurie offered a ride to Philcon.

Sen. Leger offered three announcements. First, the Star Trek The Next Generation Technical Manual has just been published. It is not as comprehensive as the first generation equivalent.

Second, the Senator has heard from Canadians interested in Quantum Leap. Third, Peter David has just published a Star Trek (First Generation) novel, The Rift.

Sen. Burgess announced the discovery of a pair of gold rimmed eyeglasses at the last meeting in the Mew. Sen. Van Dommelen recognized them as the property of Senator J. L. Bait, F-Beltsville, and offered to convey them to him.

Senator Naomi Ronis, F-Baltimore, received a postcard from Worlds of Wonder. They are running an exhibit thru Halloween.

Sen. Ronis also stated that she had old pictures from Smofcon Zero. Sen. A. Gilliland said that people knew who they were; bring money. <In this crowd, it's entirely possible that people don't know who they are.> Sen. Ronis allowed that she no longer had the negatives. Sen. Yates claimed that that was what she wanted people to believe.

Senators Patrick Paul, F-Laurel, and Crystal Hagel, F-Laurel, announced that they have a room at Philcon. They need a warm body. They did not say what for.

Senator Kate Terrell, F-Euphoria, is leaving her job at the Maryland University Library. There were three librarian jokes told. My favorite is: Librarians do it in stacks.

Sen. Walsh made several announcements. First, Mr. Ted Dikty, long time fan, small press publisher, and husband to Ms. Julian May, recently died. Second, Mr. Lester Del Rey left Del Rey Books. It is not known whether the name of the company will be changed.

Third, the Senator is selling books at 3/$2; 10/$5. Senator Karl Ginter, F-Beltsville, expressed concern that Senator Burgess' books might accidently be sold by Sen. Walsh. The latter stated that he knew all of his books personally.

[After couple of drinks, The WSFA Journal reporter Lee Shehr noted Sen. Walsh's books trying to climb into Sen. Burgess' bookcase. However, the Burgess books were pushing the Walsh books back into their box.]

Fourth, the WSFA Press Lew Shiner book will be nominated for an award at Readercon. Since Senator Walsh is a judge, he is certain that the nomination will be made. In addition, one of the other judges is the Significant Other of next year's WSFA Press author. Cries of incest arose, but were ignored.

Senator Oszko announced that the Pirates of Penzance have room at Philcon.

Senator Barry Newton, F-Exhaustion, announced that he had made the AIDS Walk to raise money.

Mr. Schaad announced that the Star Trek book Probe has been cancelled due to a lack of cardboard. Seems that the latest author actually wrote about someone other than Kirk, Spock or McCoy. Paramount is having expensive sex with the authors as well as the fans. An unidentified voice asked if Mr. Schaad would like a saucer of milk with his sixpack of mice? Mr. Schaad was too high on catnip to answer.

Sen. Hagel stated that the official Star Trek book guidance is no non-humanoid aliens lest the fans be confused. (I've been confused by Paramount's policy on Star Trek for years.)

Sen. Gilliland then moved to adjourn. Mr. Schaad called for the votes. There was a very puny vote. Mr. Schaad then declared the Senate to be unanimously adjourned at 9:41.

Several senators declared this event to be a stealth adjournment.



by William Barton and Michael Capobianco


Let's see what we have here. Hmmmmmmmm. (Flip, flip; scan, scan; review; analyze.)

A lot of science fiction cliches not especially well handled is what. A new planet enters the Sol System from parts unknown; a spacefaring polygamous family/crew decides to colonize the moons thereof; a giant alien spaceship trapped under the ice; First Contact; threats from agents of an overbearing human government; a few paragraphs of future history and a few literary references. Nothing that the average fan hasn't read a dozen times before.

The book is competent enough. The science is up to date, and there's an extended but unnecessary subplot having to do with one character's futuristic fantasy role playing hobby -- an obvious extension of Dungeons & Dragons and the like.

The problem is that there's no drama. The characters are bland even when they're role playing. Robotic technology solves the problems of homesteading on an iceball without the humans having to break into a sweat. The aliens prove quickly friendly. The threatening human and alien governments seem to scare themselves off. In short, there's no challenge for the characters. And no interest for the reader.

Save your money and borrow this overweight slug from the library. Read it some rainy day when you want a good nap.

(Yawn. )


I rate Iris as only Average.


by Dan Trevor

Anyone who thinks that The WSFA Journal is a right wing rag should read some action-adventure yarns to appreciate the differences.

This macho tale is set about 40 years in the future when predominantly Oriental corporations have taken over the world and are running it into the ground. The Night Whistlers are the "pure warriors" who arise to battle the Corporate elite. Like other novels in this genre, there's lots of paramilitary action, kinky sex, and glib pseudo-history. As a novel, this works. But it will certainly not appeal to everyone.

This novel is the first in "the action packed series" and a lot of space is dedicated to setting up the basic situation. So we read batches of future history, both of the USA/world and of the main hero, John Grey. The story itself is rather simple, focusing on confrontations between Grey and his principal opponent, Corporate enforcer Erica Strom. Both are backed by their teams, staffed with complex if bizarre followers. Strom has a Good Cop on her side while Grey is mainly assisted by a Good Whore.

Typical of its genre, the focus is on "manly" things such as weapons and heroic defiance of impossible odds. Good Whore Christy Dwyer is clearly interested in Grey as more than just a leader, but as a "pure warrior", he's more concerned with planning the battles to come. A pity.

As science fiction, I rate The Night Whistlers as Below Average. -- LS


by Peter David

For once, the publisher's blurb is entirely accurate: two of the most powerful forces in the universe do collide... to the delight of Star Trek TNG fans everywhere.

This novel starts simply enough, with the Enterprise hosting a diplomatically charged wedding between humanoid aliens. However, the seemingly simple task takes on the usual Star Trek TNG (STTNG) twists with the arrival of Lwaxana Troi, mourning the death of her daughter, and Q, celebrating his humanity. Naturally, they fall in something-or-other with hilarious results.

I found the entire novel thoroughly enjoyable. The Troi/Q pairing was rather inevitable given their separate popularity in the STTNG universe, but very well handled. The ping pong scene alone merits a Hugo nomination.

Interestingly enough, Captain Picard comes across as something of a heavy, at least at first. For once, Q is acting relatively reasonably, and Cool, Calm And Collected Picard overreacts. This is understandable, tho, in light of "Admiral Q's" previous misadventures, and proves to be justified When All Is Revealed. And it does nicely set up Ms. Troi's initial interest in Q.

Several STTNG running gags are well continued here, notably the one involving Ms. Troi's luggage. However, this is also a weak point. I suspect that fans who don't follow STTNG closely will miss a lot of in-jokes, which is a pity because the in-jokes are very good.

I rate Q-In-Law as Superior.
            -- LS


by Troy Denning

In the interest of avoiding a conflict of interest, I suppose that I should mention that I am writing a novel for TSR Books' consideration. So I might be prejudiced about this fantasy novel.

I found Mr. Denning's work to be adequate although no great shakes. It's set on the world of Athas, which has been almost ruined by the magical equivalent of energy overuse. Much of the planet is a hostile desert due to sorceror-kings sucking the life out of the land. A rather obvious warning for Earth.

A bunch of gladiators and a couple of nobles interact to assassinate the evil sorceror-king of Tyr. The gladiator slaves want a vaguely defined freedom while the nobles pursue more complex goals. The king merely wants to transform himself into a dragon. No biggie.

For an adventure oriented novel, the action seems to move rather slowly here. The characters are as languid as any in Jack Vance's novels but lack Vance's liquid style. Somehow, they all seem to lack human feelings. As a long time mythologist and roleplayer, I also found Mr. Denning's depiction of the nonhuman races -- which have personalities already defined in literature -- as bizarre rather than refreshing. His creations don't quite jell into a coherent whole. Since this is the first of a five book series, presumably he has room to flesh out and smooth out the world. Right now, it seems to have bulk but relatively little else.

I rate The Verdant Passage as an Average fantasy novel. --LS


by William Honan

How important is science fiction anyway?

This well written biography puts forth the claim that a science fiction novel published in 1925 significantly influenced the course of World War II in the Pacific (1931-45).

The subject is British journalist-author Hector Bywater. Mr. Honan gives an excellent review of Bywater's life and times, focusing on his career as a military reporter and a brilliant if amateur spy. He succeeded in both fields. At the Washington Disarmament Conference of 1921, Bywater successfully published key Japanese proposals before the official delegation made them public. And he accomplished this feat solely by analysis of the public record and knowledge of naval science. As a spy, he ferreted out vital information that affected the course of World War I and developed espionage techniques still in use today.

However, Bywater's greatest achievement was the publication of The Great Pacific War in 1925. This imaginary war novel depicts a credible Japanese-American war set in 1931-33 (and is worth reading for its own literary merits). Mr. Honan makes a strong case that the Japanese and American admirals who actually fought the real World War II not only read the novel, but adopted key parts of the strategies invented by Bywater.

Mr. Honan shows, for example, that Japanese chief naval planner Yamamoto delivered lectures to naval and army officers using Bywater's novel as his text. The actual Japanese invasion of the Philippines occurred almost exactly at the points selected for the novel. And the greatest extent of the Japanese conquests were almost exactly those projected by Bywater. If the evidence of direct influence were not so clear, the coincidence would be astonishing.

However much he may have contributed to the initial Japanese successes, Bywater also seems to have planned the final American victory. Prior to the publication of the novel, the American strategy -- codenamed the Orange Plan -- projected a gallant rush across the Pacific followed by a decisive (and victorious) battle. Bywater's book showed how this strategy was fatally flawed by its lack of support. The author then suggested a strategy which we now call "island hopping". Following publication, the Orange Plan was revised to incorporate "Bywaterian" concepts and led to the real victory over Japanese militarism in 1945.

Mr. Honan's account is extremely well researched and soundly based. He explores several alternative explanations and shows why his theory is to be preferred. Speculation is clearly labeled as such. Nor is he blind to Bywater's shortcomings. (Bywater expected that the battleship would be the decisive weapon rather than the aircraft carrier.) A thoughtful and intriguing work well worth reading.

How important is science fiction anyway?

It could change the world.

I rate Visions of Infamy as Excellent. -- George Shaner and Lee Strong

Disclave '92 ARTSHOW advance notice

WASHINGTON. D.C. 22-25 MAY '92


[address censored] #73


Attention ASFA Artists






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