The WSFA Journal, October 1992

The WSFA Journal



October 1992

ISSN 0894-5411

Perrianne Lurie Assassinated by Demented Journalist


Not the Minutes of a WSFA Meeting ............................ Page 2
Perrianne Lurie's Character Assassinated by Demented Journalist:
    story by Demented Journalist Lee Shehr ................... Page 4

Darkness Gathers Fritz Leiber ............................... Page 14
Smithsonian Associates Do Science Fiction ............... Pages 19-20
Ken Badger's Guide to Life, Part I .......................... Page 21
Map to the Household of the Drunken Badger .................. Page 22


Magicon Moments, by Perrianne Lurie .......................... Page 5
Aftershock, by Chuck Scarborough ............................ Page 12
Man-Kzin Wars V, by Jerry Pournelle, S&M Stirling, & Thomas T. Thomas           ... Page 12
What Might Have Been 4: Alternate Americas,
edited by Benford and Greenberg ............................. Page 13

WWIII: Warshot, by Ian Slater ............................... Page 13


Not a Land Speed Record ..................................... Page 14
Triple Coup Shuffles Presidential Chair ..................... Page 15


WSFA Returns to D.C.


Calvinball Declared Official Sport

The irregular Third First Friday in September business meeting convened at 9:15:00, 4 September 1992 in the spacious Lower Conference Hall of the Peacock Palace. President for Life Steve Smythe presided with the immortal words, "Well, we may as well have a meeting."

Secretary Lee Strange presented the minutes of the last meeting in Old High Martian. No one understood them, including Lee. <No news there.> Lee then reported that The Best of the WSFA Journal, 1991 would be published in limited edition hardback by WSFA Press next year.

Treasurer Bob Macadame reported we have $703,496.53 in the Treasury. There was a call for a party but this failed for lack of a second. Steve directed all hard core party people to Orlando, FL. Steve then asked Bob what happened to the rest of the money. Bob stated that this was all that was left after we purchased RFK Stadium for the new clubhouse, and hired architect Q. Teal to redesign the building. "We should have some more money when Mikey comes back from Magicon." A bake sale was suggested.

Fester Uba, representative of the Entertainment Committee, reported that the Committee was in Orlando entertaining themselves. He did not specify how.

Hostess Paula Louise reported that the Food & Drinks Committee would serve a light dinner after the business meeting. The menu included soup de journal, fresh garr, triffid salad, whole baked baby gregarian, chocolate covered manhole covers, grease terminatore', salt of the earth, sugar pooffles, mixed nuts, and Chateau Dr. Peppre' 1992.

Captain Henry Morgan, representative of the Fine Arts Committee, reported that the Committee was sponsoring a fantasy art exhibit including pictures of Woody Allen's good taste, Marion Barry's humility, George Bush's economic policy, Bill Clinton's military competence, and Ross Perot's personality. There will also be the usual dragons, elf maidens, and unicorns.

L. Ron Hubbard was appointed new Chair of Disclave Past. His acceptance speech will be published in unlimited edition hardback by WSFA Press next year. Rowdie Yates stated that L. Ron's acceptance speech was ghost written.

Miami Beach, representative of Disclave Present, checked out Washington Cathedral. "It seemed like a good idea because [Guest of Honor] Katharine Kurtz writes about medieval clerics a lot. But, the owners had some idea about Sunday being a 'day of rest' so we turned them down."

Lee Strange, Chairfan of the Publications Committee, moved that we take up some new constitutional amendments. They were debated and approved 16-0. WSFA is now a monarchy under the benevolent rule of the House of Smythe.

In addition, parliamentary procedure at WSFA will now be considered a subset of Calvinball, except when it's not.

The Committee to Discuss Science Fiction at WSFA Meetings sponsored a discussion Dungeons & Dragons: An Avant Garde Literary Form? The panel concluded that role playing games were related to fantasy and science fiction, but that role players were still scum. {Orcs, actually.}

Old Business

There was none. "Good," ruled His Majesty.

New Business

Rowdie Yates proposed that all charter members present at this meeting receive a dividend of $25,000. Susan Coven proposed that the books be audited. Bob Macadame moved to amend the motion to require that we have books. Lawrence Walsh asked if Bob meant accounting books or novels. Bob allowed that our accounting was pretty novel. When things settled down, Lawrence proposed a friendly amendment to Bob that we have either accounting or literary books. Bob retorted that they weren't that good friends. Lawrence then proposed a hostile amendment to some effect. Mike Wish stated that we were trying to audit our literary books anyway so this amendment was "Ehh." Mike Zippy moved that Lawrence's amendment be referred to the Publications Committee.

Eva Witty came in and asked that we repeat everything that happened in the last two hours, so we did. His Majesty asked the Secretary what was going on here. Lee didn't know either.

Tom Shod called the question. A round of "Here, Question! Here, boy!" ensued. His Majesty finally restored what passes for order around here and called for the vote. This set up a chorus of "Here, Vote! Here, boy!"

At this point, things began to get silly.

John Poppycock pointed out that the food was now trying to escape from the refrigerator. That pronouncement quieted things down. Lawrence's amendment that the club have either literary or accounting books was referred to the Publications Committee.

Tom moved that the Secretary be allowed "to play with the amendment a little". His Majesty ruled this an unnecessary instruction. Moi?

The New Tradition

His Majesty called for people "foolish enough to admit their presence at this august meeting for the first time". Lois McMaster Bujold, Larry Niven, and Jerry Pournelle announced that they were in the area & foolish enough. Lois is a wannabee writer & former reader. Larry & Jerry are both from California: they're here on an exchange program with Kathi Overton & John Pomeranz. Larry designs theme parks, while Jerry does technical writing on space science. All expressed interest in joining WSFA as soon as possible.

No one admitted to being here for their second or third time.


Lance Ozone announced that he is selling his body to raise funds for the Baltimore in '98 Worldcon bid. All the women present left the room. Some men did, too.

Jack Chalk announced that he is publishing 48 books this month, 78 if you count books by other authors that Mirage Press is publishing.

The Secretary announced that anyone who believes what he or she reads in The WSFA Journal is in deeeeeep trouble.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Humans then moved that the meeting adjourn, and the meeting unanimously adjourned at 4:38:20 a.m.


Brainy Beauty Was 29

The character of WSFA member Dr. Perrian Luriee was assassinated by demented journalist Lee Shehr during the Third Friday business meeting, 18 September 1992. Dr. £urie succumbed to multiple stab wounds from §hehr's overactive imagination.

Perianne was born on 14 February 1963 to Dr. Albert Einstein Lurray and Dr. Marie Curie Lurie, formerly of Tasmania. Named for the contemporary Walt Disney character, Peri Ann enjoyed a normal childhood, completing high school by age 9. She then entered the University of East Virginia where she took a triple major in law, medicine and science. The 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade was based on her first year law review article. Graduating summa cum laude in each of her three majors, she began distinguished careers in public administration, science and fandom at age 14.

President Carter employed her to create his new Departments of Education and Energy, which she organized, staffed & administered while Carter's permanent appointees were awaiting Senate approval. President Reagan offered Parryann her choice of a Supreme Court seat or the Administership of NASA. She chose NASA, where she revived the moribund US space program, designed Space Station Freedom, and proposed a plan to put a man on Mars. When Dr. Sally Ride fell ill the night before her historic journey into space, Porrieann secretly took her place and performed the entire mission without anyone knowing. While in orbit, Perrione discovered two new planets and seven Uranian and Neptunean satellites by unaided eyesight. The satellites were later confirmed by Voyager. Perigrine gave all credit to Dr. Ride.

Pfairyanne received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980 for her work negotiating the Camp David Peace Accords, and the Nobel Economics Prize in 1990 for her analysis of the 1982-90 economic boom. She earned an estimated at $1.1 billion by playing the New York Stock Market 2 hours a week, and donated most of her fortune to homeless cats.

Spokesbeings at Bell Labs and Sony Electronics credit Pollyana Lurid with inventing the basic technology behind the personal computer, VCR, word processing software, and the Ginsu knife.

Purryann wrote science fiction and fantasy in her spare time under a variety of pennames including Margaret Atwood, Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffrey, John Norman and James Tiptree, Jr. Her most recent novel, Barrayar, won the 1992 Hugo for Best Novel. Other authors created characters based on her, including Friday Jones, Warrant Office Ripley, Red Sonja, and Doogie Howser.

Perreanne was a 12th Dan Secret Master Of Fandom at the time of her assassination. She was responsible for the success of Magicon Worldcon following the disasters of Nolacon South, Nolacon North and Hurricon Andrew.

At the time of her assassination, Perion was working on peace plans for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kampuchea, Somalia, South Central Los Angeles, and Ward 8 of the District of Columbia.

Vice President Dan Quayle declared Periere "a woman of traditional values with a bright futur cut untimely shorte."

Magicon Moments

© 1992 by Perrianne Lurie

Magicon, the fiftieth Worldcon, was held at the Orange County Convention Center and Peabody and Clarion Hotels in Orlando, Florida, from 3-7 September, 1992. The facilities were quite spacious (perhaps too much so), but the convention seemed to be far too spread out. Perhaps this was due to the abysmal Orlando weather (temperature and humidity both in the 90's every day) which had to be suffered in travelling from one building to another. In reality, the venues were close together and the street crossings were either controlled by traffic lights or over lightly travelled streets. Still, it seemed like they could have eliminated the function space in the Clarion quite easily.

The programming I was able to attend was by and large of high quality. Highlights included an Isaac Asimov memorial (with taped comments from Arthur C. Clarke, a phone conversation with Harlan Ellison, and live panelists including Ban Bova, Hal Clement, David A. Kyle, Fred Pohl, Julie Schwartz, Bob Silverberg, and Jack Williamson), "The Seven Deadly Sins of SF" (which spent a lot of time discussing Pat Cadigan's obsession with a male fan "dressed" in a G-string), a preview of the new "Dracula" movie introduced by Francis Ford Coppola himself, and George R.R. Martin's preview of his new television series pilot, "Doorways" (which is still looking for a new title). There was also a panel made up of past Worldcon chairmen (many of whom were invited up to the podium from the audience when the assigned panelists failed to show up) who told us how they were able to survive their experiences; some had no trouble while others gafiated or had nervous breakdowns after their worldcons.

I did not attend the Opening Ceremonies, where the con was dedicated to three "Ghosts of Honor": Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, and Isaac Asimov. Chairman Joe Siclari invited fans who liked what was going on to "thank gofers, staff, and committee members, give them a hug or buy them a drink", but no one did so for me (sigh!). The Closing Ceremonies featured the closing of the Magicon time capsule (with a display of each and every item before it went in) which went on WAY too long, and the gavel-passing ceremony (this year it was a golf club from the Walt Willis miniature golf course) to ConFrancisco. ConFrancisco gave out fortune cookies with special messages to the assembled multitudes. (Mine was "You will learn 11 new words for fog at ConFrancisco.")

There was no Hugo banquet, but there was a food function. For an additional fee (which was more than I was willing to pay), fen could attend a "Keynote Luncheon" with astronaut John Young. Young, who had to commandeer a T-38 to fly to Orlando after Delta canceled his flight, is a veteran of the Apollo program and is one of the men who walked on the moon. (He's also pretty important in Orlando; there's a highway named after him!)

The Hugo Awards Ceremony was marred when Toastmaster Spider Robinson was given the wrong name for the winner of the "Best fanzine" award. The award was initially presented to George "Lan" Laskowski for Lan's Lantern, but the real winners were Dick and Nicki Lynch for Mimosa. Several minutes later, Laskowski presented the award to Dick Lynch (Nicki was not in the auditorium at the time). Later still, during a lull in the proceedings, Nicki joined Dick on stage to accept the award. Magicon chairman Joe Siclari published an official apology in the next day's con newsletter.

The rest of the Hugo ceremony ran smoothly and featured a slide retrospective of the past fifty worldcons and thirty-eight Hugo winning novels. This proved to be a popular feature with the audience, which enthusiastically applauded for the books! A list of the winners announced at the ceremony follows.

Chiang's award was accepted by Eileen Gunn who recycled an old Hugo acceptance speech from a previous year, "Howard says buy his books," because Chiang had not provided her with one of his own. Since Charles Addams is, according to Toastmaster Spider Robinson, "existence challenged", his award was accepted by Thing (incorrectly referred to as "Hand" by Robinson). Janet Asimov accepted Isaac's award to a standing ovation. Bujold seemed particularly thrilled to repeat last year's Best Novel Hugo, saying that last year the fans chose their favorite novel and this year they chose hers.

The Hogu Ranquet was held at a local Sizzler restaurant (almost makes you long for the bad old days when it was at McDonald's) and featured Guest of Honor Esther Friesner. The results of the Hogu and Blackhole awards were printed in the hoax zine and a list follows.

Hogu Awards:

Black Hole Awards:

The Masquerade, held on Sunday night, was especially good this year, with many wonderful costumes at all levels of competition. Masquerade coordinator Marty Gear dedicated the event to Fritz Leiber who died on Saturday. Co-M.C.'s Rick and Wolf Foss did an admirable job, but were required to read off endless lists of staff and volunteers responsible for the lighting, sound, videotaping, care and feeding of contestants, etc., to the dismay of many in the audience who just wanted them to get on with the show. Unfortunately, the line of sight to the stage was very poor from almost all areas of the auditorium, and there was no video feed for an overflow area. (This was deemed too expensive by the con com.) During the intermission Wolf Foss entertained the audience with his storytelling abilities; he was pretty good, but the audience for a masquerade is seldom interested in storytellers. Of course, he ran out of stories before the judges results were available (sometime after midnight as usual). Congratulations are due to all the winners including "Best in Show" Duane and Catherine Elms and David Chalker for "Heros" (whose highly effective presentation consisted of David opening very large copies of Gordon Dickson books out of which stepped Duane and Catherine as characters from the books) and class winners Ricky and Karen Dick (Master for "Ice Spirits"), Jeff Bergeron (Journeyman for "Pumpkinhead"), and John and Laura Sims (Novice for "At the Ball"). A favorite humorous presentation was "Costumer's Nightmare" by journeymen Susan and Jeff Stringer which began as a typical regal tableau until the lighting and music failed, the presenters tripped over each other and collided, and the seams of the gowns started to open.

The filk program featured panels, concerts, one-shots, workshops, and rendezvous and open filking (both smoking and nonsmoking) with noted American and British filkers in attendance. The film program included all five Hugo nominees as well as a mix of classic and recent SF films, and he requisite fall movie previews (and the aforementioned Coppola "Dracula" preview. There were two video tracks: Japanese animation an main video (including the premiere of "Doorways" and an Isaac Asimov Memorial Video.) Gaming panels and tournaments, as well as open gaming were situated in the Peabody (along with filking, the con suite, and most parties).

The WSFS business meeting ran for four sessions, but each of these finished in under two hours. During the Friday preliminary session, two controversial motions were removed from the agenda ("objected to consideration" in the parlance of Robert's Rules of Order): the first would have required speakers at the business meeting to provide proof of working on the current worldcon; the second would have restored the two-year lead time for site selection. All of the constitutional amendments passed last year were ratified by this year's business meeting (some with minor wording changes). As a result, teddy bears may no longer vote for Hugo awards or at the business meetings. (They were already prohibited from voting other than "no preference" on site selection.) Also ratified was a provision allowing electronic (computer BBS, etc.) fan writing to be eligible for the Best Fan Writer Hugo.

New business considered included a motion to forbid the reimbursement of bidding expenses by the winning worldcon bidder (which also forbade giving membership discounts to presupporters). This proposal had been amended to take effect in 2525, but was then defeated. An amendment to open up site selection for the year 2001 by redefining the Eastern Zone to encompass the entire world (for that year only) was passed and awaits ratification at ConFrancisco next year. (A motion to retroactively open up the site selection for 1984 was ruled out of order.) Amendments to reduce the NASFiC lead time to two years and to add "states and provinces" to the zone definitions (to assure proper placement of Nunavut) were also passed along to ConFrancisco.

The 1995 site selection process ran very smoothly (especially when compared with recent years) despite a record-breaking number of votes cast (2564). The 1995 Worldcon, Intersection, will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and Moat House International Hotel from 24-28 August. Guests of Honour will be Samuel R. Delany and Gerry Anderson (more to be announced at a later date). For more information, contact the American agent for Intersection, Theresa Renner, Box 15430, Washington, DC 20003.

Since a non-North American bidder won, a NASFiC had to be selected. The NASFiC site selection process was chaotic and rushed. Bidders had until 12:30 pm to file their papers in order to appear on the NASFiC ballot. The Dragon Con organizers (Atlanta) and Gotham in '95 (New York City) managed to meet this deadline. The I-95 in '95 bidders did not, but were able to file just before the close of voting (thus becoming eligible should their write-in campaign be successful). 381 ballots were cast between 1 and 10 pm on Sunday (including some 1-day Magicon attendees who are technically not members of WSFS) and the Atlanta bid won on the third ballot, edging out I-95. The as yet unnamed 1995 NASFiC will be held 12-16 July (Dragon Con's usual weekend). All those who paid the $20 NASFiC voting fee (including your humble narrator) are automatically attending members. Further NASFiC information can be obtained by writing to the Dragon Con people in Atlanta (sorry, I have no address).

As a result of the NASFiC voting chaos, at the Monday business meeting a committee was appointed to discuss the NASFiC and a proposal to remove all references to it from the WSFS constitution. The chair of this committee is Ben Yalow and a report from them is to be presented at ConFrancisco.

The main exhibit hall was divided into three areas: exhibits, art show, and dealers' room. A "ConCourse"-like area included the Enchanted Duplicator miniature golf course, the voodoo message board, the standing exhibits (History of Bidding, International Fandom, Rogue's Gallery, etc.), special interest group tables, bid tables, site selection voting, concession stand, and exhibits from GEnie, Compuserve, the SciFi Channel, and others. The ConCourse was originated by Noreascon 3 (Boston, 1989) and has proven to be quite popular. This year's version did not have as many areas for sitting and schmoozing (but seating was available just outside the hall by another group of concession stands), but the miniature golf course was a clever and fun way to get people to move around the room and at least pass by the exhibits.

The Art Show included a retrospective of SF art, "Looking Back at Looking Forward", an area devoted to computer animation, prominent displays of the works of Guest of Honor Vincent Di Fate and the Hugo nominated artists and artworks, and a lot of superior professional art. There seemed to be fewer amateurs in the show than in previous years (and thus the overall affordability level was rather low), but those that were there were on a par with the professionals. There was a special area set aside for people wishing to resell art previously purchased (a truly great idea that should be adopted by other con coms as soon as possible). There was also a print shop run by ASFA and located just outside the entrance to the art show. The winners of the art show awards follow.

The Dealers' Room was one of the largest ever with sellers of new and used books, jewelry, blown glass, fanzines (mostly media-related), semiprozines (Locus, Aboriginal SF, and Pulphouse), tee shirts, prints, filk and folk tapes and songbooks, movie and television merchandise, gaming supplies, and a variety of other neat stuff (chain mail, swords, brass statuettes, etc.). The layout was fairly easy to understand once you figured out that the areas were named with words beginning with the letter of the alphabet listed on the map in the pocket program.

The "Pocket Program" was over 60 pages long and included the restaurant guide, maps of the facilities (including the dealers' room and exhibit areas as well as programming space), and program information in chronological order (in addition to the ubiquitous TV Guide type grids) and separate listings by participant and type of program (art, autographing, children's program, costume, filk, gaming, kaffeeklatsches, readings, science, SIG, films, video, and events). There was a guide to the pocket program, "Finding Your Way Around the Pocket Program", on the first page, but it was of limited assistance in navigating the treacherous waters of the book. I still couldn't find the closing times for the Art Show and Dealers' Room despite what seemed like hours of trying. Also missing were descriptions of the program items which would have been helpful to both attendees and panelists (who often don't know what the panel is supposed to be about, either). As the size of pocket programs continues to grow, it becomes more and more impossible to fit them into a pocket (even if you are a kangaroo). Is it time for a pocket guide to the pocket program?

The con newsletter, The Duplicator's Apprentice, produced eight issues, two fewer than their stated frequency of twice each day, plus an extra issue with the Hugo results on Saturday night. The Monday edition (with the masquerade and NASFiC results) did not appear until late in the afternoon (most of us received them at the Closing Ceremonies), but otherwise the paper came out pretty much on time. It featured useful con info (party lists) and little tidbits of useless information. My favorite article told fen to "avoid violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act" by not tuning their bathroom TV's to the unmarked area above UHF channel 69 where "if you were to do so" you could listen in on cellular telephone conversations.

The Program Book featured a color wrap-around Di Fate cover and fiction by James White, M.J. Engh, George Barr, Avram Davidson, A.E. Van Vogt, Geoffrey A. Landis, and William F. Wu in addition to the usual guest of honor bios and photos and Magicon and WSFS information (membership list, staff list, WSFS constitution and business meeting agenda, previous Worldcons and Hugo winners, etc.). Noticeably missing was an index of advertisers (which I would find useful), but a quality book all-around (although I still haven't actually read it!).

There were the usual assortment of bid and con parties located mostly in the Peabody Hotel (which did not have stairway access below the fifth floor). The best parties, according to Dana B. Siegel (reporter for the hoax zine, Grandson of Daley Planet) were Minneapolis in '73 (I guess they can become a real bid again in another 75 years) and Glasgow (which featured single malt Scotch whiskey). I somehow seem to have missed both of these, but I had a good time at the GEnie party (meeting all sorts of folks I'd only known virtually), and at the Boston and L.A. bid parties and the "Slightly Higher in Canada" party. (I guess they're getting ready for that Nunavut bid!) California, here I come!


by Chuck Scarborough

This techno-thriller is admittedly SF only by virtue of a generous definition but enjoyable nonetheless.

The basic plot is a major earthquake pretty much destroying New York City, meaning Manhattan, fairly thoroughly one crisp October afternoon in 1994. The author knows "the City" and key organizations pretty well, and does an adequate job of holding our attention.

On the plus side, we have some reasonably novel ideas and a good cast of characters. Scarborough takes a couple of yuppie families and shows how each member is affected when "the Big One" hits. The multi-talented families -- apparently on loan from Heinlein -- include the obligatory Earthquake Expert Who Tries to Warn the Citizens, his estranged wife, their cute little son, his cute his little dog Toto, Mayor Straight Arrow, his children and his mother. Everybody's a hero in this one, even the AIDS patients who jump up out of bed and run around Manhattan playing doctor.

I found very few real negatives, altho some elements seemed superficial or done previously elsewhere. The author wraps up his major plot threads nicely and concluded on a stirring note. Well done, Mr. Scarborough.

If I have a complaint, it's a lack of drama. Somehow, the geological upheaval and the human tragedies didn't strike the chords I would have expected. As suggested above, a number of the characters are rather stereotyped and the author fails to bring the power of nature to life.

I rate Aftershock as Average literature. -- LS


by Jerry Pournelle, S&M Stirling, & Thomas Thomas

If you read the third collection in this series, you can skip this one. The two novellas contained here are adequate if taken in isolation, but they both repeat an idea already explored in Man-Kzin Wars III by Poul Anderson's "Inconstant Star" and, for that matter, by Niven himself in World of Ptaavs.

The idea is the survival of an alien from the ancient Slaver Empire. In Pournelle and Stirling's story of gold mining kzinti the survivor is a Slaver enemy, a tnuctipun spy. In Thomas's visit to a planet covered by trees, it's a Slaver slave balladeer. While the details are different, the lack of originality works against enjoyment of the stories.

In the case of Pournelle and Stirling, the principal characters have starred in previous Man-Kzin Wars stories. Here, they seem to be having an angst attack between adventures.

I found the introduction of a poorly defined historical anti-scientific conspiracy into Niven's timeline to be a major irritant. The "Silent Reign" is built up as a major threat, but then it's knocked down in a few paragraphs. Are our two authors clear on what they're doing?

In the case of Thomas, his adventure on planet Beanstalk is rather minor with little new ground. The character of any Slaver Era species seems rather like every other one.

Together, these authors have succeeded in making Known Space boring.

I rate Man-Kzin Wars V as Below Average. -- LS


edited by Benford and Greenberg

Never mind what it says on the table of contents. There are really only three short stories in this collection. All the others are merely clones.

The three stories plots here are: Columbus and the Jews; Columbus makes a fantasy voyage; and the American Indians get technology. The repetition of basic ideas is very noticeable -- even on minor points -- and detracts considerably from the enjoyment that each story might convey if it were not grouped with so many near duplicates.

On the plus side, I enjoyed L. Sprague de Camp's "Round Eyed Barbarians", which is a lot more solidly based than most of the others. In this work, Chinese Mandarins reach North America ahead of the roundeyes. De Camp's dry humor is quite effective. I also liked "Red Alert", which depicts Indians flying modern jets to keep the palefaces confined to their one foothold of Manhattan Island. This is well written, but its improbable premise is rather fantastic.

"Such a Deal" proposes a Columbus backed by a Jewish patriarch rather than Queen Isabella. A novel idea, but its invasion of Spain by American Indians is quite incredible. "Ship of Jews" merely proves that Barry Malzberg should not be allowed near a typewriter.

Columbus' visits to Atlantis and modern New York City are rather pathetic by contrast. And stories of modern bureaucratic committees rejecting Columbus' grant request have been done to death elsewhere.

I rate WMHB 4: Alternate Americas as Below Average. -- LS


by Ian Slater

A WSFA attendee started to become irate over my previous review of the fourth novel in this techno-thriller series. He felt that a newsletter of the quality of The WSFA Journal should not descend to reviewing Mr. Slater. I remarked that we printed this stuff so that people could take warning and avoid the trash.

Sadly, this, the fifth novel in the saga of WW III, should also be avoided. Mr. Slater has selected a great theme but his awkward handling of his material cripples the enjoyment.

Among Mr. Slater's problems are his limited knowledge of us Army organization & strategies. Since these are key elements in this story of the United States fighting the neo-Soviet Siberian and Chinese armies, the knowledgeable reader quickly loses the willing suspension of disbelief. Despite some learned comments to the contrary, the author also has little idea of the terrain on which he conducts his imaginary war. Mr. Slater does have an impressive amount of information about specific weapons systems but they do no good if he (and his headstrong Admiral Kirk General Freeman) doesn't know how to use them.

The characters are also poorly handled. Most are members of the same family, which causes significant confusion about which "Brentwood" is doing what at various points. And what happened to the nuclear devastation of the United States in novel #3? Lack of continuity is another sign of poor writing.

So take warning and avoid. I rate WWIII: Warshot as Inferior science fiction. -- LS


Fritz Leiber died Saturday 5 September, 1992 during Worldcon 1992.

A long time member of First Fandom, Leiber was one of the first authors to write both science fiction and fantasy, and to enjoy both. He probably best known for his fantasy work, especially his series of novels and short stories starring Fafrhd and the Grey Mouser. These stories are set in the fantasy world of Newhon [which is "nowhere" spelled sideways]. His heros are richly textured rascals who captured the imagination of many readers jaded by overmuscled but underbrained barbarians whose sense of style was limited to selecting the right sword for slaughter. Leiber's heros gust, guest, and lust after life in a world brilliantly their own.

Leiber's best known single SF novel is Gather, Darkness, which depicts a pair of scientific conspiracies masked as medieval religions. Set long after an understated nuclear war, the novel focuses on the efforts of rebels to turn an oppressive theocracy's symbols against itself, and the struggle of one man to avoid being co-opted by the different faces of evil.

By contrast, much of Leiber's other works comment sardonically on the fads and foibles of America. Examples include the dated but still enjoyable The Green Millennium and A Specter is Haunting Texas.

On hearing the news of Leiber's death, Magicon immediately dedicated its masquerade dance to the great storyteller. It was so very appropriate.

Somewhere in Heaven, the angels are gathering to hear a telling of tales....


The Regular Third First Friday business meeting in September convened at 9:20:34, 4 September 1992 in the Lewis/Peacock house. President Steve Smith presided. Secretary Lee Strong presented the latest WSFA Journal. There was no Treasurer's Report, Committee Reports, Old Business, or New Business. The New Tradition welcomed Tom, Tamana, and Lewis. Noone was here for his/her second/third time. Walter announced Joe is spending the weekend with Gene Wolfe in Chicago. Keith Marshall moved we adjourn. Roepke objected. Keith moved we have a semi-secret ballot. Everyone put one hand over their eye. Meeting was unanimously adjourned at 9:23:00. Steve noted that the meeting of 2 minutes, 26 seconds was "not a land speed record but we had fewer committees in The Old Days."


Who's Got the Gavel?


Club Congratulates Assassin;

"Tough Crowd" Comments Fan


Corrects Secretary's Spelling

The regular First Third Friday business meeting convened in the Downstairs Conference Room of Chez Gilliland at 9:18 on 18 September 1992.

President Steve Smith and Vice President Terilee Edwards-Hewitt were both absent. Secretary Lee Strong was next in line constitutionally but he didn't want to preside over this zoo. So, it got wished onto Treasurer Robert MacIntosh. Since Robert was wearing his usual silly hat, this action was pronounced a "coup de hat" rather than a "coup de tat". Handmaiden Lee Uba presented a gavel to Robert.

Robert asked Lee to read the minutes and he started. He got about halfway thru before Mike Zipser moved that the reading be waived. The members waved their copies of the minutes and that put an end to that experiment.

Robert, speaking as Treasurer, reported $7497.45 in the club Treasury. There was a call for a party or a Disclave, whichever came first, but these motions failed for lack of seconds.

Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, reported that H. Boss Perot was thinking about getting back into the Presidential race. It seemed kind of funny as Alexis turned the TV off.

Robyn Rissell reported that Blade Runner (Director's Cut) was playing at the Uptown.

In other entertainment notes, Mike Zipser was wearing a shirt showing a Martian firing a ray-gun at Bugs Bunny, who was taking shelter in Mike's pocket.

There were no reports from Disclave Past or Present.

On the subject of Disclave Future, attendee Tom Schaad reported that a "mega-horror con" would be meeting on Memorial Day weekend. The guests would include Kelly Freas, Ray Bradbury, Forrie Ackerman and the star of every grade B horror movie ever made. Do we want to compete with this extravaganza?

Suddenly, a scream rang out! Vice President Terilee Edwards-Hewitt showed up. She was punished for her absence by being required to run the meeting. Robert retired to his corner to count his blessings (and our money).

Joe Mayhew asked if we should move Disclave to avoid competition from the horror freaks fans? We could, but would lose the walk-in traffic. The horror con will be well advertised. Lee Uba asked "Will we lose the hotel rates?" Covert Beach, Chairfan of Disclave '93, was not present to answer. Dick Lynch asked what if the horror continued for another year? Lee Uba then moved that the issue be referred to Covert's committee. This was unanimously approved.

Lance Ozsko, Chairfan of the Fine Arts Committee, reported that he has an environmental moon suit. He will be cleaning up Fort Belvoir.

Old Business

Terilee stated that our constitutional questions had been referred to the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts.

New Business

None! "Thank you!" said the Vice President.

Alexis insured that New Business was over by calling "Going once! Going twice! Going three times!" When Alexis finishes a job, it's finished!

The New Tradition

Terilee called for "the old New Tradition". However, Tom Schaad remained hidden in the crowd.

Madame la Farge was here for her first time. Terilee asked if she had a different name that she would like to appear in the Journal. Madame proved that she already knew how The WSFA Journal works by sticking with "la Farge".

Lisae Steele was here for her second time. She said that her name had an "e" on the end of ite. Rowdie Yates called out that "potatoe" did alsoe. Joe Mayhew stated that the Secretary's name was spelled "L-E-E  S-H-E-H-R". (I love amateur assistance.)

Somebody was here for the third time, but the announcement of this milestone set off cheers ("Yay! Yay!") and cries of "Fresh meat!" Terilee invited the Newcomer newcomer to "run down any Trustees you care to". <Sounds like fun to me!>


Secretary Lee Strong Shehr announced that anyone who would like their announcement to appear as they would like it to appear is reading the wrong newsletter.

Terilee announced that the Vice President goes second. {Sounds logical to me.} She is now employed... A cheer went up. Children's Hospital, where she is performing painful and unusual experiments on teenagers. The club cheered Dr. Giggles Terilee's new career. {Tough crowd.}

Terilee announced that she was going from left to right thru the crowd. Archconservative Michael Walsh denounced the radical Ms. Edwards-Hewitt as a "Leftist!" {Actually, if she is moving to the right, .... }

There is little science fiction in Lee Uba's son's school's library: a mere 5 Heinleins and no Clarkes. Please donate old books to help educate the fans of tomorrow.

Lance announced that the Baltimore Worldcon bid spent $1500 at Worldcon and brought back 2 kegs of rum.... "Here?!" asked a thirsty fan. Alas. Lance also has more Soviet Russian badges and posters for sale.

Kate Terrell is now a meteorological indexer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Karl Ginter went to sleep. She needs an assistant. Karl began snoring. Help rescue data from obscurity. Applicants should have some scientific background. Covert Beach was nominated. Anyone interested and/or qualified contact Kate.

Joe Mayhew thanked the club for allowing him to have his way with the Sturdy Woman. The club applauded Joe's manly deeds.

Joe has persuaded the Library of Congress to catalog mass market science fiction. Currently, it is being sent directly to the Warehouse of the Lost Ark. Please advise Joe of notable works of mass market and quality science fiction. (Just read The WSFA Journal review pages!)

Dick Lynch has interesting Worldcon photos. The Lynches appreciate the support given by WSFAns.

Dick is selling A Wealth of Fable by Harry Warner for $20, rather than the $25 Magicon price.

Texas Matt is back! Hi, Matt!

Denise Devine has vicious chicken pox. Apparently, as opposed to polite chicken pox.

Erica Van Dommelen provided directions to the Ginter-Van Dommelen household, also known as the Household of the Drunken Badger, along with a few helpful tips. No smoking. If you have children, watch them. If not, they will die. Cats are members of the household and have more rights than visiting humans. One cat is 16 years old. The hot tubs are off limits.

Future Third Fridays will be held at the Ginter-Van Dommelen household.

Perrianne Lurie attempted to protest The WSFA Journal's misspelling of her name not less than five times in one issue. The club interrupted this complaint by applauding the Journal's good taste. One fan shook the hand of the chief culprit, Mr. Lee Strong Shehr and suggested that the worlds' most accurate newsletter go for a new record in the next issue. (I humbly accept this challenge.) Joe Mayhew reminded the crowd that the Secretary's name was spelled S-H-E-H-R. Perrianne's whining complaint was drowned out by the crowd's reaction. "A tough crowd," noted one fan. Well, now Perrianne knows how Dan Quayle feels.

Someone attempted to announce something about the recent Nasfic voting. However, he was drowned out by miscellaneous shouting. See "Magicon Moments" by the late Perrianne Lurie elsewhere in this issue.

Mike Walsh handed checks to the Treasurer valued at $1668. Someone in the crowd attempted to think about having a party but the Thought Police put an end to that experiment.

Mike announced that there is a Sirius Book Company in the United Kingdom. Allan Steele has recently published Rude Astronauts.

Tom Schaad announced that the Smithsonian Associates are doing science fiction. See the two page ad elsewhere in this issue.

Mike Zipser is trying to get Fast Forward shown on Montgomery County cable. He needs a county resident to sponsor this fine cultural achievement.

Chris asked What the latest word was on the Science Fiction Channel being shown in Fairfax County?

A nameless being intoned the cryptic words that the '95 in '95 Committee would sponsor Arkham Worldcon in '98: C'thulhucon: The con with soul: Yours! The being did not specify 1998 or 1898.

Volunteers for Balticon are needed.

Lisae Steele works for White Rose Publishing publishing Role Playing Games (RPGs). She is doing a survey on women in RPGs.

Matt Leger announced that the Arlington Channel will run the Science Fiction Channel on the slot used by the Monitor Channel.

Quantum Leap is going into syndication. Sam will get to re-experience the first four years of the show. {Sounds logical to me.} NBC will premier a fifth season, with Sam leaping into Lee Harvey Oswald, November 1963. Sam will start absorbing parts of his hosts' personalities.

Mike Walsh moved that we adjourn. Perrianne protested, saying that she still had more business to discuss. But, the club ran roughshod right over her. A really tough crowd! The club unanimously adjourned at 9:49.

Further Announcements

Lee Uba is still looking for published SF novelists who may be interested in a grand opening of a new Waldenbooks in Fairfax County, probably Thanksgiving weekend. She recognizes most of the local SFWA members, and they will be contacted, but if you know of any non-SFWA members who write SF and may be interested, please contact Lee. If you have any doubts as to if they are SFWA or not, she can tell you.

Lee Strong Shehr wishes to announce that those who submit an announcement in writing to the Secretary following a meeting will find that The WSFA Journal really does print them pretty much straight.

* *** *

The WSFA Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. All contents are (C) WSFA, Inc., 1992, except as noted. "Magicon Moments" is (C) Perrianne Lurie, 1992.


Publisher .............. Steve Smith
Vice Publisher ...
    ...Terilee Edwards-Hewitt
Editor-in-Chief ......... Lee Strong
Treasurer ......... Robert MacIntosh
Staff ................... Lee Shehr,
    Leon D. Right, (Ernest Intent),
    <Lord High>, [Strate Shooter],
        {Lee Don MacDuff}
Latest Victim of Lee Strong's
Alleged Humor ...... Perrianne Lurie
Best George Bush Impression ...
    ... Walter Mitty
Best Bill Clinton Impression ...
    ... Brave Sir Robin
Best Albert Gore Impression ...
    ... Chicken Little
Best H. Ross Perot Impression ...
    ... Hurricane Andrew
Best Dan Quayle Impression ...
    ... Luke Skywalker
Best Harry Truman Impression ...
    ... The American Voters

WSFA Journal Complaint Department

Please write your comments legibly within the space provided. Thank you in advance for your opinion.

    /s/ The Editors and Staff


Tom Schaad, host of Fast Forward, introduces his latest guest, 2 October, 1998

The Smithsonian


Conversations with Leading Science Fiction Authors: New Worlds and Future Generations

Book Signings

Peggy Rae Pavlat, Coordinator

Mike Dirda and Charles Sheffield, Moderators

The sense of adventure so vividly communicated in science fiction transports the reader to another dimension and time. In this electrifying series, distinguished science fiction authors discuss their ideas and explore alternate futures.

RESIDENT ASSOCIATE PROGRAM (Code: 303-509) Thurs., 8 p.m, (1 1/2 hours)
Oct. 15 through Dec. 10 (8 sessions)
Members--$96; Nonmembers--$136
No class Nov. 26.

Register with this flyer and receive the RAP member rate.

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Cancellations and refunds: The Resident Associate Program reserves the right to cancel, substitute individual speakers and/or session topics within a course, or reschedule any course or event because of emergency situations, unanticipated scheduling conflicts, or insufficient enrollment. A full refund is made if an activity is cancelled by the program. For complete cancellation/refund policies and procedures, please see the Associate or call (202) 357-3030.

The Smithsonian Institution reserves the right to refuse to register any individual or to require any participant to withdraw from an activity at any time when such action is determined by the Smithsonian staff representative present to be in the best interests of health, safety, or general welfare of the entire group or the individual participant.

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$14 of dues designated for SMITHSONIAN magazine. $12 of dues designated for the Associate.

Conversations with Leading Science Fiction Authors

QUAD 3077-STOP 701

Ken Badger's Guide to Life, Part I:

Etiquette for the Household of the Drunken Badger
(Erica and Karl's Place)

No smoking.

Watch your children.
If you don't watch your children, they will die.

Members of the household have more rights than visitors.
Cats are members of the household.
One cat is 16 years old; this cat is The Senior.

The hot tubs are off limits.

[ Hand-drawn map to Ginters' censored ]