The WSFA Journal, June 1992

The WSFA Journal



June, 1992

ISSN 0894-5411

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington


Stealthcon Strikes! ....................................... Page 2
Chris and Dick Turn 21 .................................... Page 3
Balticon Overwhelms Third Friday Meeting in April ......... Page 6
Election' 92: Smith Acclaimed President ................... Page 6
Lame Ducks Quack Up As Mew Moves ......................... Page 10
Hugo Nominees ............................................ Page 13
Magicon Notes ............................................ Page 18
Maps to Paula's Place .................................... Page 24

The News Behind the News

A TWJ Policy Statement .................................... Page 6
WSFA Elections: Science Fiction or Fantasy? ............... Page 7
Tom Schaad and the First Amendment ....................... Page 19
Another Star Has Fallen: A Tribute to Gerard K. O'Neill .. Page 20


Alien3 (the Novelization), by Alan Dean Foster ........... Page 21
Split Second ............................................. Page 21
Our Next President, by Russell Baker ..................... Page 22
The WSFA Journal Review Rating System, by the Staff ...... Page 22
Strange Tales From the Nile Empire,
    Created by Greg Gorden and Bill Slavicsek ............ Page 23

WW III: Arctic Front, by Ian Slater ...................... Page 23


They said it wasn't going to happen.

But, it did.

And, it was it was a world of fun!

"It" was Disclave 1992, also known as Stealthcon, the first Disclave in the District in N years. It happened in the spacious corridors and rooms of the Washington Hilton and Towers over Memorial Day Weekend, 1992.

The layout was the most notable feature of the con. For once, there seemed to be adequate room for every activity. Those of us who built the con suite was amazed by the vast expanses of space that we had to wall off. The downside to the room was a definite loss of intimacy. For better or for worse, the crowded conditions of the Sheraton Generic created a certain excitement. This was missing this year.

The layout very definitely contributed to con security and administration. The general area containing Registration, Information and the general seating acted as a buffer for the programming and other activities. This area allowed newcomers a chance to conduct the business part of attending apart from the entertainment and provided a place to warehouse the riffraff pseudo-attendees. Badge checking was definitely made easier by only having one entrance to the entertainment areas.

Covert Beach's innovation of setting up a throne at the entertainment entrance made administration easier, too. For once, the Chairfan Pro Tern could be located quickly and easily. This daring departure from WSFA tradition should be repeated in the future. Covert's suggestion to make his regal chair a true throne surrounded by courtiers lends the proper fannish note of humor to a practical idea.

The DisClub (tm) con suite was excellent as usual, and benefited from the expanded space. The high point of the con, of course, was the birthday celebration for one of Science Fiction's true gentlebeings, Hal Clement.

The art show seemed somewhat sparse this year. 1992 was the first time in ten years that I have not bid on or purchased any artwork. Whip those artists on!

The hucksters' room was about par. They shrank from the previous DisCave (tm) which squeezed things somewhat. Not uncomfortably, tho.

The panel/general purpose rooms also shrank but benefited from the change. The Sheraton rooms were somewhat hard to fill. The Hilton rooms were large enough but, except for the gigantic Green Room, not overly large.

The film program was very mixed, with several first run and first rate films alternating with... how can we say this politely?... other films. Actually, I watched the "others" since I've already seen the first rates. I wonder if the people laughing at Mars, Red Planet realized that it was a pretty accurate prophecy... at least on the metaphorical level?

Overall, the programming was very good: kudos to Ms. Russell.

A word of advice: if someone pounds loudly on your hotel room door at 3:00 a.m, he can be driven away by asking him his name. The intellectual challenge was apparently too much!

All in all, Disclave 1992 was an very nice con. I'd like to do it again! -- LS


Now Legal in Virginia


Griffin and Skittles Join Pride

The regular First Friday in May meeting convened at 9:16 p.m. 1 May 1992 in the recently redecorated Chez Gilliland basement conference room. President Tom Schaad noted the multitude assembled, and proclaimed, "We have a mass meeting. OK, folks. It's going to be a long night. Let's do this as humanely as possible."

Tom asked the Secretary, Lee Strong, for the minutes of the last meeting. Lee flipped thru the latest issue of the worlds' greatest newsletter, The WSFA Journal, and began reading the headlines. Mike Zipser hurriedly moved that the club be spared this experience, and further reading of the minutes was waived.

Treasurer Bob MacIntosh reported that the Treasury was down to $3431.12. There was a motion to have a party. However, Tom refused to recognize an attempt to second the motion. Lee Uba asked Tom to reconsider, but Tom was not in that considerate a mood. WSFAn parliamentary procedure is a strange and wonderful thing.

Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, reported that the outside of Chez Gilliland had been painted. He also got a new cat. This one was a lot cheaper and a whole lot more fun [than Cat Warwick the Kingmaker Gilliland]. Lee Uba mentioned that the new cat's name was Skittles.

At this point, Skittles attempted to mug Elspeth Kovar. Ericat Van Dommelen suggested Alexis get aluminum sliding for the cat.

Perrianne Lurie noted that Disclave Present was absent. However, in the absence of the Big Cheese, all of the Little Cheeses reported.

Joe Mayhew called for a Con Suite Committee meeting. He has been going thru the WSFA lock-up and finding amazing things. These include various con supplies. Ask Joe for a tour of what we think we have.

Chris Callahan informed the club that Information Department sign-up sheets were available.

Mike Z asked for green room volunteers. Elspeth asked for con suite volunteers.

Dan Hoey reported 425 pre-registration memberships, including a couple of cases of checks being in the mail. See Dan for your voting riots.

Lance invited all to come at 6:30 Thursday night and help set up the Art Show. Someone whose name I missed reported that he had several volunteers to help set-up, provided they could use the power tools. This prompted raucous laughter and comments about how to use power tools.

Disclave Future is not here.

Disclave Past is past, stated Tom. Chairfan Peggy Rae Pavlat was here, but Tom, a gentlebeing of note, would not force it upon the woman. Peggy Rae graciously volunteered that Disclave Past Treasurer Steve Smith had given a check for $3281.16 to club Treasurer MacIntosh. This liquidates the Disclave 1991 account.

Lee Strong got loose again. Speaking as the Chairfan of the Publications Committee, he reported that the committee had completed its work on the idea of establishing a separate book fund. The committee recommended the idea and Lee officially presented the required petition to amend the By-Laws to the President. The petition was passed to the Treasurer for verification of voting status.

Bob reported that a sufficient number of petitioners were voting members, and that the petition was therefore valid. The proposed amendments to the By-Laws were automatically laid on the table for future voting. A complete copy of the committee report was printed in the last issue of The WSFA Journal.

Michael Walsh, Head Cheese of Disclave 1993, showed up. Did he wish to add anything to the reports of the Little Cheeses? No! However, there would be a short con meeting after the election meeting after the business meeting.

The Trustees proposed the following candidates for office, 1992-93: For President, Steve Smith; for Vice President, Terilee Edwards-Hewitt; for Secretary, Lee Strong; for Treasurer, Robert MacIntosh; for Trustees, Robyn Rissell, Tom Schaad, and Mike Zipser.

Covert Beach insisted that we actually have an election. He brought the pencils and slips of paper from last year, and they should not go to waste. The Trustees reminded the club that nominees could be accepted from the floor. Tom urged everyone to put themselves up for public humiliation.

Disclave Future Chairfan Covert Beach reported that the Art GOH would be Patricia Davis. Now that he has a slate, he will put out a flyer.

Under Old Business, Paula Lewis invited the club to hold the Fifth Friday in May party at our house at [censored], Silver Spring, Maryland. The telephone number is (301) 946-4027. These are changes from the WSFA First Contact List (C). Perrianne asked if we could hold Third Friday meetings there? Taken under advisement.

Under New Business, Elspeth reported some notes from the field on Disclave Past and Disclave Future. Some people get certification as worker bees and some don't. This has been a problem in the past when some feel they are not rewarded as are others. This may create a problem in collecting volunteers. Tom noted that we are dependent on the department heads naming the worker bees for honoraria.

Lee Strong got loose again, offering to discuss the proposed By-Laws amendments in advance of the actual voting. No one accepted.

Tom noted that the proposed amendments will be discussed at the next meeting... when he will cleverly not be there. Steve, who will be in charge then, commented, "Good planning."

The New Tradition

Once again, Tom forgot the New Tradition. The audience hooted and hollered. Forgetting the First New Tradition is, of course, traditional and is the Second New Tradition. However, Dan Hoey reminded Tom of the First New Tradition, which is not traditional since the Third New Tradition calls for Lee Uba to remind Tom. There is also a Fourth New Tradition but I forget what it is. By this time, Tom would probably like to forget that he started this whole idea, but we'll remind him about it for years to come. Kidding Tom about the New Tradition is now the Fifth New Tradition.

Attending their first WSFA meeting were Don Milvan, science fiction fan, and Chuck Burke, a recovering science fiction fan. There were no second time attendees or third time attendees. "We've scared them all off! Good!" shouted our untraditional President.


The Secretary reminded everyone who wished their announcement to appear as they wished that they were in the wrong organization. Laughter.

Perrianne Lurie brings greetings from John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton. (Who are these people?) They survived the earthquake and the smog, but don't know yet about the riots. They do live in the affected area.

The Annual Chesapeake Bay Bridge Walk will be held on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Bus service will be available.

Ericat's new cat's name is Griffin. The precise spelling has yet to be determined.

Chris Callahan and Dick Roepke recently celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary. The club greeting this happy occasion with massive applause. Steve noted, "You can now legally drink in Virginia."

The Woolly Mammoth theater is presenting Morticians in Love. The stiff acting and limited emotional ranges left theater lover Robyn Rissell cold.

Someone with a Dayton T-shirt announced the existence of the Star Trek Association of the National Capital Region. Their acronym, STANCR, is pronounced "stank-kur". Script writer Dennis Dailey will be somewhere at Stardate 920517.1300 (1 p.m., 17 May 1992).

Once again, Mike Z has the May MST3K schedule.

Peggy Rae relayed greetings from Lewis Shiner. They had dinner in Houston.

Hal Haag noted that 2 first timers had just walked in. Rowdy Yates bellowed, "We finished the other two. Send them on down!"

The fresh meat proved to be Michael Peck, who got lost coming here from New Jersey by way of Orlando, and Sir Not Appearing in This Film.

Gilbert & Silicon has lots of vacancies for connish role playing. Bring your self, your friends, the new cat....

Eva Whitley announced that Elvis sang. The former rock 'n' roll legend, who is now the principal at her son DAVID'S school, came out of retirement and sang in the cafeteria. He was celebrating the students raising money and books for a Maryland homeless shelter.

Beverly Brandt, longtime WSFAn and former Editor in Chief of The WSFA Journal, is looking for a Disclave roommate. Bev is visiting after a long absence.

Michael Walsh announced that our GOH did not win Best Novel Nebula. That honor went to Michael Swanwick's Stations of the Tide. Michael W does have BISFIS relaxacon flyers and an advance copy of Home By the Sea. The club went Ohhhhh! at this treat. The interior art and words prompted further Ohhhh!s of delight. For you old geezers, there is slightly larger type.

Beth Zipser said

Joe Mayhew had a flyer for Science Fiction Trends and Research Sources.

Dick Lynch said something about a new book by W. J. Kinsella, author of Shoeless Joe -- which was filmed as Field of Dreams -- and The Iowa Baseball Confederacy.

Lance Oszko announced that Balticon in '98 is selling pirate loot.

Scientist Gerard K. O'Neill died Monday, 27 April 1992, of leukemia. Please see a tribute on page 20.

Alexis moved that we adjourn. Tom announced that there would be a five fannish minute break before the beginning of the Election Meeting. The club unanimously adjourned at 9:50.

* There was no business meeting on the Third Friday in April. A couple of WSFAns got together at Balticon and tried to have a meeting, but lacked a quorum. So they went out and enjoyed themselves at Balticon.

* After the First Friday business meeting, Mike Zipser, secret mastermind of WSFA, gloated to Lee Strong, "Aha! I figured that the worst thing that I could do to you was to get you nominated again. I'll force you to do this another year. Ha, ha!" Lee responded, "Don't throw me into that briar patch, Br'er Wolf." Statesmanship at WSFA is a strange and wonderful thing.


We're sorry. But the staff of The WSFA Journal doesn't know who you are or what your accomplishments are as well as you do. This is because we're human, not stupid.

Please help us overcome our limitations. Correct our mistakes; give us notes and maps; don't assume that we caught your witty remark just someone else did. And, we really do print announcements as written!


Others Fight It Out


The 1992 Election Meeting convened at 9:55 on the First Friday in May, 1992. Dan Hoey presided for the Trustees. Dan and Mike Zipser attempted to establish order but proved too soft spoken. Matt Leger hollered, "Achtung!" and the electorate settled down. Dan suggested all non-charter members should "leave for your comfort and ours." Treasurer Bob MacIntosh read the list of eligible voters. How many voters does that make? Many.

Steve Smith was unanimously acclaimed President.

Dan stated that Terilee Edwards-Hewitt was the Trustees' nominee for Vice President. Dan Burgess began singing, "Terilee we roll along, roll along...!" This drew a loud Boooooo! from the music loving audience.

Joe Mayhew nominated Alexis Gilliland, who declined, stating that he had been V.P. before and "this is an honor that should be passed around as much as possible." The mob nominated Walter Mills who agreed to run so that the trees that died to provide the ballots wood not have died in vain. Terilee was then elected Vice President.

The Trustees' candidate for Secretary was Lee Strong. John Sapienza moved that the nominations be closed but another candidate came forward. Eva Whitley nominated herself. Is this legal? Yes. Eva stated Jack Chalker campaigned against her the last time she ran for office.

Dan announced the results of the ballot, stating that it seldom happened that we have an exact tie in a two person race, and that was not what had happened here. Lee Strong was chosen Secretary. There were also comments made about the Secretary's past performance.

Dan tried to skip over the Treasurer's election in favor of the Trustees' elections, but was reminded of proper order. Lee Uba nominated Joe Mayhew who declined. Robert MacIntosh was then acclaimed Treasurer with a thunderous AYE!!!

The meeting then came to the election of Trustees. Tom Schaad nominated everyone in the room. They did not accept Tom's effusion. A voice nominated Daryl Gates. Mr. Gates is not a member of WSFA. The floor nominated Lee Uba who declined. Matt Leger nominated Peggy Rae Pavlat, who declined. All nominations from the floor were declined, and voting returned to the Trustees' slate: Mike Zipser, Tom (Lame Duck) Schaad, and Robyn Rissell.

Dan attempted to have the Trustees elected by acclamation. However, Joe reminded the meeting that the By-Laws required three separate elections for Trustee; that all unelected nominees must be on each ballot; and that the ballots must be displayed. There was some discussion about the practical necessity for these requirements. Dan met the constitutional requirements by asking if anyone wished a secret ballot. The requirement to have an Australian ballot was waived by unanimous consent. Dan then wrote the candidates' names on a list and called for three votes in succession. The three Trustees elected were Mike Zipser, Tom Schaad, and Robyn Rissell.

The 1992-93 election meeting adjourned at 10:27.


by Lee Strong

Have you ever wondered why some officers of WSFA resemble wombats or Tasmanian devils? It's because they're elected by Australian ballots!

A little more seriously, many WSFAns are confused and/or upset by WSFA's seemingly arcane election requirements which regularly delay elections and the all important post-election parties. I would like to offer a few comments and, hopefully, spark some debate on possible changes.

First of all, what is an Australian ballot? Article II, paragraph B.4. requires 'All elections shall be counted by the "Australian" ballot.' Many people confuse our other election procedures -- discussed below -- with the mysterious Aussie ballot. In fact, an Australian ballot merely means a secret ballot. Nothing else is intended or required. For more information on the origin and definition of the Australian ballot, see the reproduced encyclopedia article following this feature.

The secret ballot is, of course, intended to protect the individual's right to vote as he or she sees fit. And this right should be carefully guarded.

However, individuals can voluntarily waive their rights to secrecy if the protection is not needed. Since WSFA generally operates more by consensus than division into factions, this is frequently done. In regular meetings, this is done by a device known as unanimous consent. In election meetings, it is done by acclaiming an individual as the winner.

I believe that these devices are perfectly acceptable: they get the real job done without wasting time. And since anyone voter can stop them by hollering, "I object", I think there is little chance of them being seriously misused.

More trouble arises from the WSFA Election Procedures which require each officer be elected separately; all remaining candidates for an office be on each ballot; all candidates must be on a list which is displayed to the voters; and that the voters fill in their ballots. Written ballots are not actually required but they are strongly implied.

These requirements usually present trouble when we are trying to elect Trustees. In recent years, there has been little if any competition for the job of Trustee, and the club has generally been content to approve the Trustees' nominees. Parliamentary chaos usually results when the club tries to approve the three "official" candidates as a bloc. Someone objects to being casual; we start thru a process which most people aren't too familiar with; someone tries to speed things up with a well intended but poorly phrased parliamentary motion; someone else objects.... The Marx Brothers could do some really wonderful things with this stuff. We WSFAns usually manage to frustrate ourselves.

As I see it, there are two basic things that we can do to achieve our real goals. These goals include electing officers; insuring that peoples' rights are not trampled under foot; and trying to enjoy life without unnecessary gyrations.

The first option is to have the chairfan prep up on the subject and ram the elections thru in a parliamentary railroad. I've seen this done before. You can accomplish a lot of work very quickly. However, it doesn't allow for real debate and you have to trust the chairfan an awfully lot. If not done carefully, it becomes a legalistic dictatorship. This is not WSFA's style, even for the best of purposes. Therefore, I recommend that we avoid this option.

The second option would be to amend our Election Procedures to allow greater flexibility. The changes need not be extensive. We need merely insert a clause allowing the election meeting to waive requirements when a majority considers them to be unnecessary. In such cases, we could quickly vote "Mr. Right" into office and return to regular procedures to allow a full airing of the virtues of less obvious candidates. I recommend that we pursue this option in order to save ourselves a lot of trouble and frustration while still accomplishing the real goals of our club.

Some may object to changing our constitutional documents without a major crisis. Certainly we can continue to limp along essentially forever, or even just ignore the By-Laws completely. However, this presents the danger that we will start ignoring important matters like people's rights once we get in the habit of ignoring the inconvenient. Better to make smart changes to improve life for all concerned, and to make them at our leisure rather than in the heat of a crisis.

What's your opinion?

Australian Ballot, the system of voting in which voters mark their choices in privacy on uniform ballots printed and distributed by the government or designate their choices by some other secret means. South Australia was the first state to introduce secrecy of the ballot (1858), and for that reason the secret ballot is referred to as the Australian Ballot. The system spread to Europe and America to meet the growing public and parliamentary demand for protection of voters. The means for securing secrecy vary considerably. Arrangements found in the Federal Republic of Germany are typical of continental Europe. The voting urns are required to be four-cornered, of certain dimensions. and closed. the only aperture being a small slit at the top. These urns are examined before the poll begins and cannot be opened until the count begins. The voter indicates his choice by marking his ballot and placing it into an officially stamped envelope. The latter is given to him by an official, and no other envelope is legally valid. The envelope is made of opaque paper of a legally determined size. The voter places his ballot into the envelope in a special stall, or voting booth, so arranged as to preserve secrecy. The envelope containing the ballot is then given by the voter to the returning officer, who takes the name of the voter, verifies his right to vote, and then puts the vote into the urn.

In Great Britain the secret ballot was finally introduced for all parliamentary and municipal elections by the Ballot Act of 1872. In the United Kingdom, as in the Commonwealth generally, the ballots are officially provided and issued from a counterfoiled volume, but no envelope is provided. The voter marks his ballot with an impersonal "X" and casts it directly into the box.

Until 1913 the French system was full of defects; the candidates circulated the ballots, even outside the polling sections, and the voter merely folded the paper and gave it to the presiding official to put into the ballot box. After 1913 the envelope system was adopted. After October 1919 the state printed the ballots, though at the expense of the candidates, sending them to the voters by mail under an official stamp. No voter could be offered ballots on election day except from the returning officer's staff inside the polling station.

Before 1884 the general practice in the United States was either open voting or, where this rudimentary and clumsy process had been superseded, voting by ballot. After the presidential elections of 1884 the Australian Ballot system was extensively adopted: ballots were printed at the public expense, distributed in the polling stations, and secretly marked and folded and were in some states officially numbered and identifiable by reference to the counterfoil retained by the official. Increasing use was also made of voting machines or ballots in the form of punched cards, which assured a greater speed and honesty in counting.

In countries where large numbers of illiterates vote, special voting arrangements have to be made. In parts of India voting is done by tokens, and each candidate has his own ballot box in each voting booth, which is identified by a symbol placed on the outside. Each voter puts the token in the box of the candidate he wishes to support.


Lame Ducks Quack Up


"Ghod Help Us!"


They Asked For It

The regular Third Friday in May meeting convened at 9:24, 15 May, "whatever year this is". Vice President and President Elect Steve Smith presided in the absence of President Reject Tom Schaad. Steve discovered that pounding on the arm of the presidential chair did no good whatsoever.

Treasurer Bob MacIntosh reported $5258.00 in the Treasury. Several people found the lack of cents to be suspicious. Erica Van Dommelen noted that WSFA seldom has any sense.

Steve asked Secretary and Secretary Elect Lee Strong for the minutes of the previous meeting. In a daring break with WSFA tradition, Lee courteously replied, "Yes, Mr. President Elect?" This set off an etiquette contest in which Steve allowed that he was yet merely a Vice President, despite V. P. Elect Terilee Edwards-Hewitt's claim to be Ms. Vice President. Lee corrected Steve's title to Mr. Vice and started reading the headlines to the minutes of the last meeting. However, a cry arose from the floor and the club waived further reading of the minutes. Lee got into the act and actually waved the minutes.

Trustee Dan Hoey proclaimed, "I'm out of here!" Various voices quickly corrected him, noting that he is still a lame duck until the First Friday in June. At the request of the floor, Dan actually announced the results of the recent election.

Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, reported that Hugo balloting was underway. Someone suggested that the astronauts' walk in space was pretty entertaining. {Not to mention a classic refutation of the No Humans In Space argument.}

Lance Oszko, Chairfan of the Fine Arts Committee, reported that David Cherry will submit slides. He is approaching the Hirschorn Museum about his work. Perrianne Lurie noted that she had approached the Hirschorn just last Saturday.

Disclave Past is past. Perrianne noted that the past is prolog.

Steve asked Michael Walsh, Chairfan of Disclave Present, if we would have a Disclave. "Ghod help us, it looks like we are," replied Rev. Walsh. A con committee meeting was called to insure this. Currently we have 462 pre-registrations. We expect about 1000, maybe more.

Rachel Russell, Head of Programming, reported we would have a vintage dance workshop run by Terilee, followed by a vintage dance. <Oooops!> Other programming includes the Hal Clement Birthday (Federal Observance), the Second Circle of Hell, a filk contest, and a Sunday Tribute to Isaac Asimov.

Someone suggested killing Rachel for setting such a good example. Steve announced that the usual fannish rules applied: you kill someone, and you have to do her work. Erica announced the Van Dommelen Addition: doing her work includes her mundane work at Bioscience magazine (Rachel is Assistant Editor for Cute Animals.) These threats quelled the suggestion.

Michael, acting Production Manager of WSFA Press, announced the appearance of Home by the Sea. The club Ohhhhed in appreciation. Michael noted that author and completely unbiased critic Pat Cadigan pronounced it "incredible,... astonishing...." The short story "Dispatches From the Revolution" is up for a Hugo. Michael Walsh, chief salesperson for WSFA Press, reported that he had 4 copies for immediate sale, 104 have been pre-sold, and 80 sent to dealers for sale.

Covert Beach, Chairfan of Disclave Future, was not here yet. That's why he's Disclave Future. (I just write these things down, folks.)

Old Business

Dan Burgess noted that this must be the last meeting in the Mew of the Pink Pigasus. Henceforth, the doors will be locked and the locks changed. He asked if we have a new Third Friday home? The club gave Dan and hostess Elspeth Kovar a round of applause in appreciation for their donation of the Mew for several months. Erica quasi-volunteered the anticipated new Ginter/Van Dommelen home come September, but this is not final. Paula Lewis re-volunteered her house to the cheers of the multitude. (Paula's Place is also the house of John Peacock.) Maps were provided later. Also see elsewhere in this issue of the Journal. A fan attack dog is available.

Lee brought up the amendments to the WSFA By-Laws proposed by the Publications Committee. He noted that they were supposed to be debated & voted upon tonight, but it would be better for all to focus on Disclave. Besides, it would be unfair to deprive Tom Schaad of the pleasure of debating his original concept. The motion was quickly seconded and adopted without objection. The proposed changes are placed on the table for future consideration. {After all, if the United States can take 203 years to adopt one amendment, WSFA can take a few weeks for five...!}

New Business

Chip Hitchcock of NESFA and Magicon asked to borrow our lights for Worldcon. He helps tear down the Art Show anyway so he's right there to take possession. Some discussion ensued on terms and conditions. It was decided to be gracious and waive any fees that Magicon offered. However, Steve will get an inventory, and it is understood that they will be returned to us unharmed or compensated for. Magicon plans to make a reverse supply run after the con, returning all of the borrowings in one trip.

Paula Lewis noted that Disclave will feature the Second Annual Tiptree Memorial Sale.

New Tradition

Steve forgot it, thus proving he's presidential material. In 1992, this is still not saying much. Dan Hoey reminded Steve, which may or may not violate the Third New Tradition. Since Dan has reminded the chair twice, we now have a Sixth New Tradition!

Once reminded, Steve asked if there were any lost souls attending their First WSFA Meeting, any fools attending their Second WSFA Meeting, or any masochists attending their Third WSFA Meeting? Michael Peck allowed that he is this type of fool.


Dan Hoey announced a nominee for Poorest Taste in Journalism: some journalists held a function in the hotel in which Abraham Lincoln entered alive and emerged dead. The headlines read Prom Night at the Hinckley Hilton. Now, why is it that mundanes think that we're off-beat?

Lee Uba announced that Waldenbooks will hold a gala at Springfield Mall for local authors. A number of WSFAns looked at Alexis and claimed not to know any. Contact Lee Uba at (703) 920-6087 for details.

Jim Edwards-Hewitt, WSFA's Vice Presidential Consort Elect, announced that a journal called X reviewed him favorably.

Dan Burgess announced that visual aids were important in good communication. He asked all Disclave volunteers to raise their hands. Practically everyone did so. He cried out, "I love you people!" Well..., ah, thank you, Dan, but I don't do crowds.

The Star Trek Association of the National Capital Region (STANCR, "stanker") will host scriptwriter Dennis Dailey at the Galleria at Tysons Corner.

Dick Lynch has handouts for DUFF and Hogu nominations.

Robyn Rissell, Trustee Elect, announced that John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton survived the LA riot. <Did they get a new TV out of it?> John is now a second year law student. <That answers that question.>

Joe Mayhew noted that with the Lynches, Dick and Nicki, Mark Owings and Jack Chalker on the Hugo ballot, WSFA includes Four Hugo nominees. Unfortunately, none of them are Joe.

Peggy Rae Pavlat noted that Chris Valada survived the earthquake. She is now graduating from law school. However, the earthquake did screw up the school schedule, forcing the postponement of finals for one week.

Lance announced that the Balticon in '98 bid will be throwing an extra-large party Saturday night. In addition, the bid is selling more pirate treasure, including garnets and malachite goodies.

Paula Lewis threw maps to her home on the table, leading to a map feeding frenzy. No blood was spilled.

Marie Skofolino's mother died recently. Sympathy would be appreciated.

Erica Van Dommelen moved that the meeting adjourn. The vote was pretty weak but the club unanimously adjourned at 9:50.


The WSFA Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. (C) WSFA, 1992



President Reject .... Tom Schaad
Vice President ...... Steve Smith
Treasurer Reject ...
    ... Bob MacIntosh
Trustees Reject Dan Hoey,
    and Erica Van Dommelen

Future History

President Elect .... Steve Smith
Vice President Elect ...
    ... Terilee Edwards-Hewitt
Treasurer Elect ...
    ... Robert MacIntosh
Trustees Elect ...
    ... Robyn Rissell, Tom Schaad,
    and Mike Zipser

Deserves to be History

Secretary, Secretary Elect,
Chairfan of the Publications
Committee & Editor in Chief ...
    ... Lee Strong
Father of Murphy Brown's Baby...
    ... Dana English
Just Close Friends of Murphy
Brown ................ The Alien, III,
    Blaise Jeannot Andrieux, Panc
    Ashash, Bill Clinton, Jill
    Ireland, Dr. Noble Moreau,
    Qadgop the Mercotan, Hillary
    Rodham, William K. Smith






Contact: Laurie Mann
    Press Relations Area Head
    508-393-9492 (6pm-10pm EST)

May 9, 1992

Hugo Nominations

The nominations for the 1992 Hugo Awards have been tabulated and the nominees have been notified. Here is the list of this year's nominees:

The ballots will be distributed with Progress Report 6. Any MagiCon attending or supporting member may vote for the Hugo awards. The Hugos will be awarded on Saturday, September 5.

Membership Statistics

As of April 25, 1992 MagiCon had 4746 members. Here is the membership breakdown:

  4213 Attending
   333 Supporting
   161 Child
    23 Kid-in-tow
     8 Guest
     8 Other

MagiCon preregistration closes on July 15, 1992. Until then, the attending rate is $110 and the children's rate is $55 for those twelve or under. Kid-in-tow memberships (for children born after September 3, 1986) are free. Supporting (non-attending) memberships remain at $25 until MagiCon.

Our at-the-door rates will be announced in June.

We now take MC/VISA. When sending us registrations that you wish to pay for with a credit card, don't forget to include the credit card name, number, expiration date, the name that appears on the card, and your signature.

Hotel Statistics

As of April 15, 1992, MagiCon members had booked rooms over 1800 rooms. Here is the hotel room breakdown:

    700 Peabody Hotel
    580 Clarion Hotel
    325 Quality Motor Inn
    165 Best Western
     35 Embassy
     15 Marriott

We've added another hotel, the Orlando Heritage Inn. It's next to the Peabody (the headquarters hotel) on International Drive. The room rates are $55 (single-quad) for a standard room, and $65 deluxe.

Many hotel rooms remain within a short distance of the convention center. If you have any questions, call the Orange County Housing Bureau at 800-258-7666. If you will require a suite, be sure to write to Suite Allocations, c/o the MagiCon PO Box.

Special Art Retrospective

Guest of Honor Vincent Di Fate, and Robert Reed, the co-curator of the American Society of Illustrators, are working with MagiCon to present a major exhibit of historic speculative art. The exhibition covers the period 1870-1970. As Di Fate explains, "We want to focus on artists whose names might not be familiar to science fiction fans, but whose art definitely is." Art collectors and museums from all over America are lending their art for this show.

The Retrospective will feature paintings by diverse artists ranging from Charles R. Knight, the paleontologist who created the earliest scientific paintings of dinosaurs a hundred years ago, to Jack Davis, the designer who created poster art for movies like It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World and whose controversial comic art led to the establishment of the Comics Code. The Retrospective will be in the Orange County Convention Center, and will be open during the same hours as the Art Show. Detailed information about the Retrospective will appear in a press release this summer.

MagiCon to Host Astronaut John Young at a Special Luncheon

Commander John W. Young, an astronaut on Apollo 16 and on the maiden voyage of the space shuttle Columbia, will be the keynote speaker after a banquet at noon on Friday, September 4. Young will speak about his experiences in NASA.

The lunch will consist of chicken, salad, vegetables, beverage, and desert; a vegetarian entree will also be available. Tickets are $16.50, which includes tax and gratuity. If you wish to attend, send your name, your entree selection, and $16.50 for each ticket to MagiCon Luncheon, PO Box 52545, Philadelphia, PA 19115. You may make reservations for a complete table when you purchase your ticket.

There will also be a lunch with the Hugo nominees on Saturday. Details about this lunch will appear in the next Progress Report; the tickets for this event will be sold at the convention.

Walt Willis Enchanted Miniature Golf Course

The Walt Willis Enchanted Miniature Golf Course will open in Exhibit Halls B and C of the convention center. This 12-hole course, based on Walt Willis and Bob Shaw's The Enchanted Duplicator, will feature miniature golf holes designed and built by Worldcon bids and fan clubs. If your club would like to participate, please write to Miniature Golf Course, c/o Pat Vandenberg, 15 Park Ave. Ext., Arlington, MA 02174. Course materials will be supplied by MagiCon; you supply the imagination and ingenuity!

Program Book Ad Rates

Full Page400100
2/3 Page30080
1/2 Page25070
  (horizontal only)
1/3 Page19055
1/6 Page12040

These are the black and white rates. Color is available for the inside covers. For more information, write to Program Book Ads c/o the MagiCon PO Box, or to Stu Hellinger, PO Box 561, NY, NY 10150-0561 (718-438-0853).


Since MagiCon will need to hire a number of licensed babysitters, there will be additional charges for babysitting. Any child with a child's membership will receive a discount. Any child without a membership, or with a kids-in-tow admission will pay the full babysitting rate.

Progress Report 6

The Progress Report, along with the final Hugo ballot, will be mailed out to all MagiCon members in May.

Huckster Room

The Huckster Room is sold out. If you want to be added to the waiting list, write to Dealers' Room, c/o the MagiCon PO box.

Art Show

The Art Show still has room for more artists. If you want to exhibit your artwork, please write to: MagiCon Art Show, PO Box 46, MIT Branch PO, Cambridge, MA 02139.


MagiCon is run completely by volunteers. We really need your help. If you can spare a few hours at the con, please write to Volunteers, c/o the MagiCon PO Box.

Ways of Reaching MagiCon

The MagiCon PO Box is: MagiCon, PO Box 621992, Orlando, FL 32862.

The MagiCon phone number is: 407-859-8421. There's an answering machine attached to it, so you can leave MagiCon a message.

MagiCon can be reached via GEnie, USENET/Internet, CompuServe, AmericaOnline or DELPHI. On GEnie, the MagiCon topic is category 26, topic 14 and the E-mail address is D.RATTI. On USENET, MagiCon is discussed in the rec.arts.sf.fandom news group, and the Internet E-mail address is magicon@jjmhome.uucp. The CompuServe E-mail address is 70732,761. On AmericaOnline, MagiCon press releases are posted in the Isaac Asimov Science Fiction Center, in the Conventions folder of The Written Word area, and the E-mail address is magicon. On DELPHI, the E-mail address is s.gold6.




MagiCon PO Box 621992 Orlando, FL 32862-1992

Press Relations magicon@jjmhome.uucp (Internet)
    Laurie.Mann (GEnie) magicon (AmericaOnline)
    May 9, 1992 7:10 pm
Press Questionnaire

To learn more about what you need to effectively cover Magicon, we've created a brief survey. Please take a minute to complete this survey, and either return it to the MagiCon PO box, or complete it on-line and E-mail it to one of the addresses above. Thanks.

Name of Publication ______________________________________________

Do you plan to attend MagiCon? ___________________________________

Do you plan to cover MagiCon in your publication? ________________
   (If no, please stop here and return the survey. Thanks.)

How many people associated with your publication will attend? ____

Do you need press releases before the con? _______ at the con? ___

How do you want to receive MagiCon information?

     Disk      Mac      IBM (3 1/2, 5 1/4)     Word Perfect      ASCII
     E-mail      AmericaOnline      CompuServe      GEnie      USENET
    Paper only

Suggestions for improving pre-con press relations ________________






Suggestions for improving at-con press relations _________________









by Lee Strong Shehr

The hapless President visibly cringed at the prospect but gamely asked, "Mr. Secretary, where are the minutes of the last meeting?"

"On my watch," smirked the insolent rascal.

Many people have wondered about the origin of the great Tom Schaad-Lee Strong feud which has raged through WSFA meetings and the pages of WSFA's own yellow press for almost two years now. The truth can now be revealed.

Science fiction fans can basically be divided into two tendencies: engineers and free spirits. Actually, most fans are combinations. But the proportions vary in interesting ways.

Tom is an engineer... which means that he orders the bheer & pretzels before the party starts. Generally, this is A Good Thing since it means that he keeps things moving right along. However, when he orders bheer that hasn't been brewed yet....

When Tom was elected President, no one asked for minutes of the First Friday meetings at Third Friday meetings. Everybody (except Tom) knew that the minutes would appear in the upcoming WSFA Journal. Every presiding officer (except Tom) made some brief reference to the expected appearance and moved on.

At his first Third Friday meeting upon becoming President, Tom asked the Secretary for the minutes of the previous meeting. Lee was caught somewhat off guard. However, an engineer himself, the cheeky rascal quickly recalled the motto of the Louis Gridley Wu Academy of Tactics ("An adequate answer when it's needed is better than a perfect answer too late.") and blandly replied, "9:16 and 9:48." The club broke into gales of laughter, and the pattern was set. Hidden in the back of the room, Chris Callahan and Steve Smith remarked, "It's going to be a lonngggg year!"

And, indeed, it has been a long two years, but happy ones. Unlike many fannish feuds, the great Schaad-Strong fight is pure entertainment... for the principals as well as the fans. Mr. President gleefully tries to pin the Secretary down to the agenda while Mr. Secretary merrily evades his efforts. Both are completely serious about getting club business done right, and completely maniac about the details.

The differences in humor contribute mightily to the mutual enjoyment. Tom's forte is the spontaneous but unrepeatable jabbing of the funnybone while Lee specializes in studied but droll characterizations. Both are foils for each other's cut and thrust, and great friends once out of their respective chairs.

What does the future hold now that Mr. Serious is leaving the Presidency while Mr. Silly retains the Secretaryship? As Doc Brown remarked in Back to the Future, Part III, "It means that the future is yours to create." Mr. Smith enjoys a style of humor different from Mr. Schaad. So we can expect some different approaches in the future. Lee was complaining that he can't use his standard jokes anymore. A certain WSFA Elder cheered things up, saying, "Well, create some new ones!"

It's going to be a lonngggg year. And a happy one. -- LS


A Tribute to Gerard O'Neill

by Lee Strong

Gerard K. O'Neill was one of those rare individuals who change history. And yet, his distinctive contribution defies the usual categories. Altho he was both a scientist and an author, his major achievement was as a science popularizer. And his ideas may yet drag humanity kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

The idea of space stations long predated O'Neill. What he (and a bunch of Princeton graduate students) did was to redefine the economics and sociologies of space stations. He made them human.

Most pre-O'Neill concepts of space stations were quasi-military outposts dedicated to vague goals of "science" and "the exploration of the universe". Worthy goals, but ones that most humans have trouble grasping on the emotional level.

O'Neill did the details that showed how space stations could work for people. He took the contemporary energy crisis and showed how solar power satellites could address a real world problem. He showed where we would get the materials and laid out the plans in a fair amount of detail. And he radically revised our concepts of life aboard the stations. Instead of the sterile quasi-military base, he showed us communities, human communities, in space. He showed us that we need not lose our quirky humanity to live "life out there" as many 1950s films suggested. Gerard O'Neill renewed our faith in ourselves.

It came at a time desperate for renewal.

I first heard the O'Neill plan in 1975 as a college student. The previous fifteen years had been pretty rough emotionally for a lot of people. Jack Kennedy's assassination, the Vietnam War, social disruption without apparent purpose, endless recriminations, Watergate, the strangulation of the space program .... It wasn't a happy time to grow up.

O'Neill changed that. His plan shouted, "yes! We can do wonderful things! The future is just beginning!" It was a breath of fresh air.

The plan struck fire. It was adopted by hundred authors. Most future fiction novels written since the 1970s have at least one O'Neilloid colony -- or habitat, as he preferred to call them -- somewhere in the universe.

Indirectly, O'Neill colonies led me into WSFA. There was this author named "Alexis Gilliland" who wrote about a place called "Rosinante". Then a mundane friend mentioned an article about Gilliland in the paper....

O'Neill's ideas may yet accomplish what a thousand other dreamers have only imagined: get us into space to stay. Apollo was a one-shot political deal, and NASA remains under constant attack. But let one corporation grok the gold mine in the sky... and it's all over but the details. And once we're up there, someone will take a little time to check out something interesting. ...The Universe is full of magical things waiting for our wits to grow sharp enough to discover them.

As Ray Bradbury said, "Space travel has made us all young again." So did Dr. O'Neill.


(The Novelization)

by Alien Dean Foster

They'rrrre back! And Ripley's got them! Or vice versa.

I found this effort to be one sequel too many for this popular series about interstellar cockroaches. While the Aliens retain their chilling power to terrify, this story just doesn't entertain like its predecessors did. The reasons for this are simple: logic got bent too far out of shape and I lost the willing suspension of disbelief.

The first appearance of these interstellar vermin in this tale literally caused a shiver to caress my spine. However, I got better. Without giving away the plot, I realized that the latest appearance of the Alien was illogical since it assumes that Ripley suddenly forgot everything that she learned in episodes 1 and 2 before the conclusion of Aliens. This sudden gap in logic is necessary to support this plot and it doesn't work.

In addition, once the plot gets going, it's the same old thing. Aliens succeeded because it broke new ground compared to Alien. This version simply transfers the slaughter from the Nostromo to a prison planet where the beastie runs around killing prisoners at will until the Big Finale. The Alien is now so godlike that Aliens is invalid. Ripley is again thoughtful, forceful, resourceful, and truly heroic. However, her supporting cast is second rate, and the lame plot logic defeats the attempted entertainment.

Many will enjoy this one, but I don't. I rate Alien#3 as Inferior. -- LS


This is one of the best cyberpunk-mean streets movies that I have ever seen. Of course that's still not saying too much.

This film is Dirty Harry Versus the predator 2 in more ways than one. Even tho there is (was) no prequel, flashbacks and frequent references to previous events suggest a sequel rather than an independent effort. Gunplay and cheap sex predominate over exploring a possible future.

Actually, it's not too 'oribbly bad. The basic characters are okay, altho few show much development. The nerdish sidekick's sudden affection for guns is amusingly done and properly contrasts with "Harry's" more limited changes.

In addition, the setting is rather novel. By 2008, global warming has partially flooded London, and driven the rat population out of the cellars. As a result, characters routinely splash thru water up to their ankles and rats up to their shoulders. Cheap special effects, but well done, and fairly original on film. The Britishisms add a further exotic touch for most Americans.

The plot is only so-so, however. Maniac Harry hunts for the occult-minded monster, exhibits bizarre behavior traits, and gradually falls in love with his ex-girlfriend. We've seen it all before. Fans may appreciate his fannish diet of chocolate, coffee and cigarettes. In addition, having seen his living quarters, I will never feel guilty about not cleaning my apartment again.

I rate Split Second as Below Average. -- LS


by Russell Baker

I dragged this golden oldie out of the second hand book store because it might yet come true, ... and do so this year.

This is the story of the 1968 Presidential election... as written in late 1967. In its time, it would be considered future fiction. Now, of course, it is an alternate history.

Mr. Baker projects a three way election in which no one is elected President. With independent candidate Ross Perot currently running ahead of both George Bush and Bill Clinton in the polls, you can immediately see the relevance. What if...?

Mr. Baker's story is, of course, tied to the events and officials of his day, and was considered rather fantastic even then. Of six Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, the author predicted only one correctly. Still, it can be read and enjoyed even today.

Briefly, Mr. Baker describes the events that occur when neither Lyndon Johnson, John Lindsay or George Wallace obtain a majority of the Electoral College votes, and the election is thrown into the US House of Representatives. He glances over the Democratic convention, which he considered to be a foregone conclusion, and spends a great deal of time on the Republicans, apparently considering them to be more interesting. As we now know, almost exactly the reverse happened.

He then traces the constitutional steps that must be followed, but which lead deeper and deeper into national paralysis. Altho basically a light novella, this exercise retains a real power to chill.

As a novel, this short effort is rather minor. The theme is excellent, and certainly timely when Mr. Baker wrote it months before the actual events. (First publication was in the January and February, 1968 issues of Saturday Evening Post. That publication included cleverly created photographs of the imaginary events!)

However, its broad brush approach prevents us from really examining most of the characters. The imaginary Robert Kennedy emerges as a real hero, but he is the exception. I am also dubious about Mr. Baker's treatment of the story as a long flashback. Since the "winner" of the election is announced up front, a lot of the suspense goes out of the story. Still, I cannot deny its continuing power to fascinate.

So, pick this oldie up (if you can) and read and reflect.

It just might happen. I rate Our Next President as Average science fiction. -- LS


An Explanatory Note

Most reviews of books, cons, movies, television shows, and other media presentations which appear in The WSFA Journal are written by staff member Lee Shehr, and are so indicated by his initials. Lee uses a system of plain language descriptors to rate all presentations, rather than the 1-5 stars system which many others use. The ratings are, from highest to lowest:

Above Average
Below Average
Did A Tree Die For This?


Created by Greg Gorden and Bill Slavicsek

Well, I think this is science fiction! It's definitely not mainstream!

This collection of short stories derives from a role playing game, TORG, in which several "realities" from alternate timelines have overlapped, forming the rather chaotic world of the "Near Now Core Earth". The namesake Nile Empire controls North Africa with a reality which combines ancient Egypt and 1930s pulp literature. Simultaneously, at least some of the United States has Madonna and MTV overlapping with dinosaurians in the northeastern states. Sort of Indiana Jones does Jurassic Park. All clear?

I found these tales to be of rather uneven but generally adequate quality. Being a gamer myself, I expected to read a labor of love.... What I found reads more like a parody of pulp literature than a loving continuation. In addition, the background is rather poorly explained despite the use of literary devices such as science reports and lectures.

However, if you can accept the initial scenario, good things happen. The several authors depict various struggles by heroic "Storm Knights" of various genders to oppose the spread of the ramshackle but deadly Empire. They use many styles and touch many bases. At first, I was unimpressed, but found myself enjoying it more and more as I got into it. A weird place to visit, but a fun one.

I rate Strange Tales from the Nile Empire as Average. -- LS


by Ian Slater

Isaac Asimov isn't the only one who writes 4 book trilogies. Mr. Slater here continues World War III beyond the logical conclusion contained in the third book in this sprawling series of techno-thrillers.

A little too sprawling for my tastes. Mr. Slater can write some snappy semi-science fiction but his literary shortcomings become more and more obvious as this series progresses.

The plot driver is that a successful Soviet coup overthrew the Russian Federation and re-installed the Soviet Union. In the first three books, the Soviets attempted to conquer Europe and Korea but were defeated by brilliant General Freeman, who is obviously Captain Kirk's ancestor and inspiration. In this book, the Siberians refuse to accept the Soviet surrender in book 3 and the insane daring general has to do it all over again.

Unfortunately, much of the action makes little sense, military or otherwise. The well done battle of Ratmanov Island in the first half of the book is strictly a sideshow to the plot resolution, which, in turn, displays great knowledge of weapons systems but a pathetic ignorance of sound strategy and tactics. In addition, the author's major characters are weak. Almost all are from the same family and rather hard to distinguish. More characters and more characterization, please! Most SF fans will choose to overlook this effort.

As science fiction, I rate WW III: Arctic Front as Below Average. -- LS

Fifth Friday

Directions to the Home of John Peacock and Paula Lewis

[address censored], Silver Spring, MD

Phone: (301) 946-4027

Least confusing: [Directions censored]

Somewhat Confusing, but Quicker: [Directions censored] The house is the first driveway after the bus stop on the right.

Even more Confusing, but Scenic: [Directions censored]

[hand-drawn map censored]