The WSFA Journal



January 1993

ISSN 0894-5411

"...something for the club to talk about...."


"Burn the cake! Burn the geek!" .......................... Page 2
Remembering Roger Weddell ................................. Page 4
Babylon Five: Some Notes and Asides
              ...................... Page 4
"Something for the club to talk about..." ................. Page 5


The Muppet Christmas Carol, with Kermit T. Frog ........... Page 7
The Lost Regiment 4: Fateful Lightning, by William R. Forstchen
              ... Page 8
Four Novels, by H. Rider Haggard .......................... Page 8


Wizenbeak and Chittabob Visit Planet WSFA ................. Page 9
Pirates of Fenzance Filksong Contest ...................... Page 10


Can't Prove It by Us



Dick Lynch Celebrates Birthday

The regular First Friday in December, 1992 business meeting convened at 9:28 in Stately Ginter Manor. President Steve Smith presided.

Before the meeting, Lee Uba was flashing lights from her ears. Those rumors of alien contact have been confirmed.

Steve yelled the usual, "Yo! Let's have a meeting!" "Why?" asked many. "We're all here," the President replied. "No, we're not!" denied several. Those rumors are confirmed as well. The meeting was called to disorder at 9:28 Eastern Fannish Time.

Secretary Lee Strong was goofing off and had no minutes. The club waived the minutes in a zen waive.

Treasurer Robert MacIntosh reported $3373.95 in the Treasury. There were calls for a party and for a small party, but these motions failed for lack of seconds.

Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, announced that George Bush is getting over the post election blues by invading Somalia.

Covert Beach, Vice Chair fan of Disclave Past, has the honoraria list except for the Con Suite. He will forward it to Disclave '93 and close out the account.

Covert Beach, Chairfan of Disclave Present, reported that Disclave Present was present. He delivered flyers to a few cons.

Steve asked for a report from Disclave Future. Covert started to answer automatically. He really is DISCLAVE CHAIRFAN FOR LIFE! "Is this an incipient coup?" wondered former coupmeister Steve. <More like an insipid coup.> Covert Beach, attendee of Disclave Future, reported that the Sheraton sent in a proposal.

Lance Oszko, Chairfan of the Fine Arts Committee, reported a sideline in pirate art. Call 1-800-243-4246 and ask for Don Maitz of The Forty Thieves. It's going for only $40 per item.... Judy Newton asked, "They pay you $40 to take their art?"

"Are their any committees that I'm forgetting about?" asked Steve.

Old Business

"Silence is golden," observed Mike Walsh.

New Business

"Even better," declared Mike.


The New Tradition

EVERYONE IN THE CLUB reminded Steve when he forgot. This is now the Eighth New Tradition.

Michelle the Very Quiet was visiting for her first time. No one was visiting for his or her second or third time.


The Secretary said something or other. The Pirates of Fenzance submitted an announcement.

Dick Lynch began the announcement of the death of Australian fan Roger Weddell. However, he became too choked up to continue. Susan Cohen read an announcement that Dick intended to submit to the Journal. Please see the text elsewhere in this issue.

Steve proposed an expression of sympathy from WSFA. The club agreed without dissent. Vice President Terilee Edwards-Hewitt was assigned card duty.

Perrianne Lurie announced an Australia in '99 Worldcon bid. She announced that Babylon Five will premiere as a 2 hour movie in early 1993 and may become a regular series in the fall. Does it have a plot? The answer was lost in static. See Babylon Five notes elsewhere in this issue. Warner Brothers is trying to construct a fifth television network.

Dick Lynch is celebrating his **th birthday with not one, but two birthday cakes. Joyful cries of "Burn the cake!" arose, followed by cries of "Burn the geek!" The potential riot was averted when someone asked which geek should be burned. A motion to sing "Happy Birth:-)ay" failed for lack of a second. The club then began dirging "Happy Birthd:-(y??"

Lee Uba will be investigating a Washington microbrewery in the old Greyhound bus station. This led to a lot of bow-wow jokes about "Old Downtown" brand. Lee will check out this possible source of bheer for Disclave.

Barry Newton has 4 bags of books for sale @ 50¢ ea.

Covert announced that Judy Newton did a lot of work for Disclave '92. She sure gets around [the con, the con!]. She served in many [staff] positions.

Hostess Erica Van Dommelen delivered a brief warning that a long haired tabby cat stays outside. An almost all black (inside?) cat is pettable.

* Brian Lewis has moved to [censored], Fairfax, VA 22030.

* The Edwards-Hewitts have moved to [censored], Alexandria, VA 22312. Their phone number is (703) 642-5479. Their Pyramid BBS is (703) 912-9878.

* Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodman have moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

* Mike Walsh has opened Old Earth Books, P.O. Box 19951, Baltimore, MD 21211-0951.

* This issue of The WSFA Journal is the first one ever produced by Lee Strong without stealing U.S. Government computer time and memory. Your tax dollars at play.

There was a motion to adjourn. Steve said to say "Something logical" to adjourn, and some did. The club unanimously adjourned at 9:42.


> The WSFA Journal < is the officious newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. All material contained herein is © 1993 WSFA, Inc., except as noted.

Publisher ......... Steve Smith
Editor-in-Chief .... Lee Strong
George Bush's Retirement Plan
... Become President of Somalia


by Dick Lynch

I regret to report the death of Australia fan Roger Weddell. Roger was this year's Down Under Fan Fund representative.

I hope that everyone who attended Magicon had the opportunity to meet him. He was one of the friendliest people in all fandom. Nicki and I had corresponded with Roger for several years but only met each other for the first time at a small convention the weekend before Magicon. It was during that convention that we found out he was having health problems. As DUFF representative, Roger had originally planned to spend six months here in the U.S., visiting all the centers of fan activity at least once. But, instead, he now could only spend four weeks here (most of which had already elapsed at that point), and would have to return to Australia right after Magicon to continue chemotherapy treatments for Lymphoma. A visit to see us in Maryland was no longer in the cards.

Roger fully intended to return and complete his DUFF trip, though, in fact, because of a two-for-one sale, he said he already had another trans-Pacific round trip airplane ticket for use sometime in 1993, which would have made him the only fan fund recipient ever to do two trips in consecutive years. When we last saw Roger, you would never know by looking at him that he was seriously ill; he was so hyperactive during Magicon, in fact, that hardly anybody had the stamina to keep up with him.

Right now I find that I'm angry that something as appalling as this could happen to someone we liked so well. And I'm sorry that I won't ever hear from Roger again; he was that special kind of person who could brighten up your day whenever he wrote or called. I will miss him, a lot.

He was my friend.



Unlike most space epics, which are set aboard space ships, Babylon Five is a giant space station set up as a meeting ground trading post for 5 races, one human, and the others definitely not. Unlike Universe Rodenberry -- at least in the current hands of Paramount Studios --, Universe Babylon will attempt to present aliens that are clearly non-humanoid in body and thought. Races include the hostile Minbari, the enigmatic Vorlon, the curious Narn, the near humanoid Centauri, and the ever popular Human. The first show concerns the arrival of the mysterious Vorlon ambassador whose bodily functions seem to defy description.

Casting an ominous across this galactic peace effort is the recent Human-Minbari War. The Minbari were winning the conflict hands (?) down, when they suddenly surrendered. Why? No one knows, and the thought that the war could resume with equal suddenness chills every Human heart.

I believe most fans will wish this innovative effort well. -- LS


Journal Pronounced "Bland"


Australians Launch Friendly Invasion

The regular Third Friday in December, 1992 meeting of the Washington Science Friction Association convened at 9:28, 12-18-92, in Chez Gilliland. President Steve Smith presided for the last time in 1992. "Yo! Let's have a meeting," he declared. The now traditional "Why?" was weak.

Steve asked Secretary Lee Strong for a report. Lee had another two-for-the-price of one deal. First, he had no minutes so the club was spared the agony of waiving them. Second, Lee Uba had suggested a change of policy before the meeting. She suggested that The WSFA Journal give the club "something to talk about." Mike Zipser agreed, stating that the Journal "is so bland". The Publications Committee will be receiving public comments for not more than one eternity.

Treasurer Robert MacIntosh reported $3230.14 on hand. There were calls for a party and a small party. However, these ideas failed for lack of seconds.

Lance Oszko, Chairfan of the Fine Arts Committee, has been plotting and has nothing to report.

Disclave Past? "It's past," declared nominal Chairfan Mike Walsh.

Disclave Present? Chairfan Covert Beach has an honoraria list. He is tracking down a proposal for the future. John Peacock lives in the State of Confusion.

Registrar John Sapienza is accepting memberships until the end of the month. Please fill out a piece of paper giving your entire past history.

Disclave Future? Eva Whitley is running for Chairfan of Disclave 1998. She will have a Guest of Honor from Perth, Australia.

And Disclave Alternate Present? Chairfan C. Overt Beach made a site visit. There is a small amount of space but it appears workable.

Steve stated that we were "sliding right along". He asked if the Trustees had a report. Tom Schaad clarified, "We're here." Physically, anyway.

Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, announced that George Bush has started the Invasion of the Month Club. The annexation of Somalia is only the prelude to the liberation of Bosnia. In addition, the Nondenominational Christmas Tree is up and people are invited to decorate it.

Will there be a First Friday and/or New Year's Party? Yes; it's coming. So are we. We're breathing hard right now. There was a call for the Trustees to protect the club's morals and health.

Lee Strong, Chairfan of the Publications Committee, reported that Alexis drew a neat little flyer advertising WSFA to the outside world. We printed a copy elsewhere in this issue so you can admire Alexis' artwork. The fine print is deliberate. It acts as an intelligence test of the reader.

There was no Old Business to round out the old year.

New Business

There will be a First Friday-New Year's party on 1 January 1993 at Chez Gilliland. If you attend the meeting, you will miss the last bowl game. The club gave a sarcastic Ahhh! at that news.

How about a WSFA First Night trip? No!!!

There will be a Fifth Friday in January. Our plans are not actual yet; just virtual. Steve pronounced that we are all reminded. Eva announced "You'll won't come to our house." John clarified, "With reason!"

The New Tradition

Steve remembered the First New Tradition of introducing guests who are attending their first, second or third WSFA meetings. This is not traditional. The club went Yay!! at Steve's feat of memory.

Mark and Vanessa Loney are Australians attending their first meeting, here from Melbourne. Mark is attached to the Australian Embassy. The mass descent of Australians is sponsored by the Invasion of the Month Club.

Arie Zola and Mike Bower are also attending their first WSFA meeting. No one was attending their second meeting.

Jan and Edwin Wyles are attending their third meeting. The club went Yayy!! again. Rowdie Yates hollered "Suckers!" Mike Zipser asked if they are related or if having the same name is just an incredible coincidence? They want to join anyway. Steve asked if the Three Stooges Trustees would make a distinctive gesture. The mind boggles.


The Secretary subtracted from human experience again.

Lance announced the Baltimore '98 Worldcon bid is selling Kelly Freas T-shirts and new bright shiny things.

The Edwards-Hewitts have moved into their new house. They have pictures. They are now part of the landed poor. Steve welcomed them to mortgage bondage. A few ears perked up.

Mel Scharadin announced that her daughter Rebecca got married in November and her son Tommy will marry is January. This is his third wife.

Winston is going to Boskone. He would like to share a ride and a birthday.

Joe Mayhew has a sack full of bags. "Feeding our habits!" proclaimed Steve.

Robyn Rissel got his grades. He has a B in Accounting.

Rebecca Prather announced that pictures do not do the Taj Mahal justice. She needs a dog carrier suitable for airplanes. She is investigating Medicare for senior citizens in a nursing home.

Mike Zipser does not have the schedule for MST3K. Gasp!

Beth Zipser announced former WSFAn Jay C. Haldeman, II's birthday.

Perrianne Lurie provided a Pirates of Fenzance flyer which we stuck on the back page. The grand prize is a bhottle of Tullamore Dew. My notes say Babylon Five.

Eva announced that today was 18 December. 19 December is David Chalker's birthday and 17 December is Jack Chalker's birthday. She brought two birthday cakes. The club sang "Happy Birthday" to the Chalkers... straight!

Someone announced a new science fiction, science and gaming store in Arlington on Clarendon Boulevard. Just drive around until you find it.

Mike Walsh has flyers for his new book. The author and artist are GOHs at Balticon.

Mike is selling paperbacks at $1 each. He takes promises from people he knows.

The Science Fiction Chronicle states that the 1995 World Fantasy Convention will be in Baltimore.

Tom Schaad announced 2 new s*f* programs on television. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premieres 4 January 1993 on Channel 20. Babylon Five premieres as a 2 hour film on Channel 20 on 26 February. All B5 exteriors are computer animation. Their universe is "darker" than Rodenberry's {Must have fewer stars.}

Peggy Rae Pavlat announced that Missy Pavlat is now Mrs. Bryan Koslosky.

Joe Mayhew showed his advance copy of Gene Wolfe's new book, which is dedicated to him. The club applauded Joe's honor.

CBS Television announced that Space Rangers will defend the galaxy at 8 p.m. on Wednesday nights. This epic replaces the Hat Squad which moved to Saturday nights where I could see it.

Terilee Edwards-Hewitt announced that John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton will be in the area in January 1993. Now Steve can call on another committee! There was an "Ah!" of glee as the club visualized John trying to think of something really controversial and expensive! Joe suggested that the last 12 years were pretty controversial and expensive. {Certainly among Democrats.}

Lee Uba suggested that we adjourn and consume more calories. Steve suggested we "Eat... for models are starving in New York City."

There was a movement on the floor. The club unanimously adjourned at 9:56.

After the meeting, Journal reporter Lee Shehr questioned legal scholar and student of history John Sapienza about WSFA's custom of adjourning unanimously. He didn't know either.



with Kermit the Frog and Michael Caine

This is a good movie. Go see it.

The plot and characters are all super-familiar to anyone this side of M31. What gives the film its strength is the basic story and the charm lent by the predominantly muppet cast. Michael Caine plays Scrooge with dour force and Kermit is his straight arrow best as Bob Cratchit. Other muppets get to act up more in the minor roles, especially The Great Gonzo as narrator/commentator Charles Dickens. Some gags fall flat, but overall, the Muppet Players do a good job with classic material. There are a number of special effects that contribute their magic to the total experience as well.

I rate The Muppet Christmas Carol as Above Average. LS


by William R. Forstchen

The dreaded t-word -- tetralogy -- strikes... and it is good.

This is crackling "blood and thunder" adventure science fiction from a rewarding author. A double regiment of Union Army soldiers from 1864 is teleported to another planet where they face a powerful, cunning and thoroughly evil foe holding the human inhabitants in a slavery viler than anything Earth has seen. Led by intrepid Col. Keane, the heroes lead a revolt and industrial revolution to free the slaves. Here, warfare between the outnumbered humans and overwhelming Merki hordes reaches a thrilling and believable climax, emotionally as well as militarily.

This is excellent work, with both the human and Merki characters splendidly realized. Forstchen is a modern master of making his opponents thoroughly nasty but thoroughly realistic as well. Few other authors balance the requirements as well as he does.

On the other hand, this is the fourth book in the series, and a great deal of power derives from the flow and menace of the background events. Newcomers to the series will have to use their imagination to fill in some of the gaps. Fortunately, this is easy to do, and filling in is greatly assisted by Forstchen finally learning to include maps of his alien landscapes.

I rate Fateful Lightning as Superior adventure science fiction. -- LS





by H. Rider Haggard

Steve Smith has a useful trick of adjusting his brain to the time period when a book was written. In this way, he can enjoy stories that have since been overcome by those pesky scientists rewriting the universe. Fans who employ this trick with the novels of H. Rider Haggard can enjoy some worthwhile 19th Century adventure science fiction.

These novels are generally similar in concept: quests, with various motives including general explorers' curiosity and wealth. What sets the stories apart is the distinctive details and incidents of the various quests. When you remember that the face of the Moon was more familiar to most Europeans when these novels were written than the center of Africa, you can see that these are, in fact, early SF and/or fantasy.

This is good, solid stuff with interesting characters and well developed plots. Technology plays a role, but is subordinate to human courage and ingenuity. Haggard has trouble presenting women and blacks as fully equal to his heroic "English gentlemen", but he does try. As I said, adjust your brain to the 19th Century and realize that Haggard was ahead of his time in this area as well. One of his imitators, the more famous H.G. Wells, did not do as well as he.

As a whole, I rate these novels by H. Rider Haggard as Above Average literature. -- LS

"Pirates of Fenzance"

Filksong Contest

The Baltimore in 1998 "Pirate of Fenzance" are pleased to announce our first filksong contest. Just write a filksong about pirates (the song must not have been published prior to September 1, 1992), and send the typed lyrics and your copyright information (and a written score for original tunes) to the address below. If the tune is original or obscure (i.e., the judges may not have heard of it), please include a cassette tape as well. All entries must be received by July 1, 1993.

Prizes will be awarded at ConFrancisco; first prize is a bottle of Tullamore Dew.

Send your entries to:

Baltimore in 1998 Filksong Contest

c/o Perrianne Lurie


Silver Spring, Maryland 20904