The WSFA Journal



May 1993

ISSN 0894-5411

Empress to Wed


Trustees Nominate Same Old Crew ........................... Page 2
WSFA Abolishes Announcements Portion of Meeting ............ Page 4


The Frightened Fish and Flight Into Fear, by Kenneth Robeson ...           ... Page 7


Unreality ................................................. Page 8


"We're all for progress; we just don't like change."

The regular First Friday in April business meeting was called to order at 9:15 p.m. 2 April 1993. President Steve Smith presided, hollering "Contact? Yo! Let's have a meeting." "Why?" rejoined the club. "Because otherwise we brought the chains out for nothing."

Before the meeting, Lee Uba was making silly faces. <How can you tell?> Lance Oszko was wearing a coat and tie.

Steve asked Secretary Lee Strong if we had some minutes. Lee confessed, No, we were still on Clinton time. Joe Mayhew proclaimed this a right wing fl*p.

Treasurer Robert MacIntosh reported $2624.28 in the Treasury. There was a call for a dance party, but this failed for lack of a second.

Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, pronounced himself "stupefied with boredom". Lee Uba saw a Fire in the Sky. Alexis asked if this was current weather?

Disclave Past? "It's dead," reported Mike Walsh. Disclave Present? Not here. Terilee Edwards-Hewitt announced she was prepped for an origami party. Covert Beach will be a dead man.

Disclave Future? Not here either.

Lance Oszko, Chairfan of the Fine Arts, has been partying up and down the East Coast for the last seven weeks. A tough job but someone has to do it. The club gave an Ah! of appreciation at Lance's dedication.

Trustee Tom Schaad introduced Trustee Mike Zipser who reported that there will be an election on the First Friday in May. The Trustees' nominations are Steve Smith for President; Terilee Edwards-Hewitt for Vice President; Lee Strong for Secretary; Robert MacIntosh for Treasurer; Dan Burgess, Dan Hoey and Robyn Rissell for Trustee. Tom noted, "In this business, you're danned if you do and danned if you don't." Dan Quayle was nominated for honorary trustee from the floor. Mr. Quayle did not accept the nomination.

Steve announced that we were staggering thru Old Business. Under New Business, Lance noted that there will be a 5th Friday in April. Terilee declined to host a party, saying that she was in a wedding the next day. Further discussion was interrupted by the arrival of Covert Beach.

"Covert's here!" shouted one. A chant arose, "Covert! Covert! Covert!" The club applauded wildly while the WSFA Whistle & Bugle Corps whistled "Hail to the Chief". Lee Uba offered Covert her seat.

The order of business was returned to Committee Reports by unanimous consent. Covert Beach, Chairfan of Disclave 1993, reported he had a flyer upstairs.... "Only one?" asked Rowdie Yates. Actually, 2400 or so. Matt Leger thought Covert said he had a fire upstairs. Covert is looking for a volunteer to use the Ginter postage meter.... The Whistle & Bugle Corps began whistling, "Taps".

Matt stated, "I have a question...." "42," replied Mike. "Who has the membership list, and am I on it?" John Sapienza assured Matt he was #42 on The List.

The New Tradition

Here for their 1st visits to WSFA are Slawek Wojtowicz, John and Donna Bobblick, and Mark Gordon. Slawek is here from the Gdansk, Poland S.F. Club. John and Donna work with Mike. Perrianne Lurie said, "We're sorry." Mark is a friend of Michael and Lee's.

Here for their second time are Chuck the bookseller, Rachel Dan's wife, and Mike Grimm. Mike is a friend of Mike Stein. Rachel stated her choices were, "come to WSFA or do the laundry". The club applauded her selection. Matt said, "It's nice to know where we stand."

Here for her third time was Sarah Cole. The club applauded her selection. Tom pronounced her "a sacrifice". Eric Jablow started a chant of "Festival!" When the Red Hour was over, Sarah was declared eligible to become a member of this zoo. She avoided the Lunarians but not us! Steve reviewed the rules.


The Secretary

Covert announced, "I was a little late." The New Carrollton Mall Bookstore has all paperbacks for 50¢ each, and Mission to Earth 7/10 for $3.50. L. Ron Hubbard was nominated for Ghost of Honor. Mr. Hubbard did not accept the nomination.

Tom announced that Romantic Times magazine has a section called "Rave Reviews: the Best of Women's Fiction", including science fiction. Reviews included Ms. Jack Chalker's latest release, Echoes of the Well of Souls.

Mike Walsh was selling Terry Pratchett, Lucius Shepard, The Rude Astronauts, and various books. The Astronauts have the author's preferred text.

Erica Van Dommelen announced that Karl and she went to the Grand Cayman Islands where she got kissed by a stingray. {I'm sure they're just good friends.} Karl was floundering around about 30 feet away.

John Sapienza announced that Peggy Rae Pavlat is out of the hospital, at home, and recovering. She had abdominal surgery while on a business trip.

Perrianne announced this is your last chance to volunteer for the Balticon Green Room [1994].

Terilee announced that Brandon Lee died, like his father, while filming a movie. There was a gun that wasn't supposed to be loaded....

The proofs of Terilee's Psychology Journal article came in.

Today is Jack Webb's birthday.

Rebecca Prather welcomes artistic suggestions for her house.

Sarah is looking for odd jobs, the odder the better.

Joe Mayhew asked if anyone was going to Readercon.

Lee Uba announced that the Unitarian Church was considering Rod Serling for a postage stamp. <Not sainthood? I'm disappointed.> {I didn't even know the Unitarian Church issued stamps.} Joe asked if we would lose control of our dial? Lee stated grandly, "Joe, you lost control of your dial a long time ago." Dan asked if the stamp would feature the old Rod Serling or the young one? This provoked a gale of laughter.

Speaking of stamps, supermarket newspapers report that the adhesive on the backs of Elvis stamps cures cancer.

Lance is selling amber rings for $6 and bad quality tee-shirts. They come pre-ripped.

Lance invited anyone wishing to become a con chair to see him. Terilee volunteered Covert, who volunteered to kill Terilee and gave a demo.

There were several premature motions to adjourn.

White Rose Publicity was plugged.

Matt is working again, this time at a Rockville research firm working on cancer vaccines.

Lee Uba has a Polish tape of S.F. fans.

Mike announced a telephone call from the New Carrollton Sheraton/Generic sale manager. Said manager did a lot of sucking up. They noticed that we didn't fill the hotel last Memorial Day weekend. They want us back. They got a whole new management to please us. A possible home for 1995?

The meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:54.


The WSFA Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. All material is © WSFA, Inc., 1993, except as noted. Got that?



Also Sells Story;

WSFAns Rejoice at News

The regular Third Friday in April business meeting convened at 25 minutes past a freckle, 19 [sic -- 16] April 1993. Vice President Terilee Edwards-Hewitt presided in the absence of President Steve Smith.

* Before the meeting, Dick Roepke and Lee Strong were discussing various revenue raising devices. Lee suggested a cat tax. Dick suggested a Value Subtracted Tax. Some people would owe the club millions!

Terilee looked around for a ballpeen hammer to conduct club business with but couldn't find one. She attracted attention by addressing the club, "Dingdongs! Dingdongs!'

The Vice President then asked, "What's first?" Was it Disclave Past? "No!" said Covert Beach. Very firmly, I might add.

Robert MacIntosh reported $2509.28 on hand. There was a suggestion for a party but this failed for lack of a second.

Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, is looking to the future. (So are most of us in the club.) He signed a contract with a hotel for Corflu in '94. Dick Lynch will do as much work as the con chair can push off on him.

Lance Oszko, Chairfan of the Fine Arts Committee, has had some free time lately. <Obviously not a true fan!>

Dan Hoey reminded Trustee Robyn Rissell to remind the club of the Trustees' slate. The slate is the same as it was on page 2 of this issue.

Was the next item of business the Fifth Friday? No. Covert Beach, Vice Chairfan of Disclave Past, reported the official end of Disclave 1992. He received the list of people nominated to receive honoraria and concluded the last minute business. He then closed the account and presented the official check for $1411.98 to Robert. He will now get on the Concorde for Smofcon.

Covert Beach, Chairfan of Disclave Present, reported that Evan Phillips saw how little space there was in the hotel and joined the queue of people to kill Covert. This major event will be part of Sunday afternoon or Monday Programming.

All (other) Programming slots are filled. We haven't done the Readings slots yet. We will have Open Readings on Sunday. You can bare your soul to your heart's content. Is this legal in Virginia?

Terilee reported that she has bronchitis or tuberculosis. Is this considered entertainment?

Daniel Pinkwater will not be at Disclave '93. He suggested we tell people he's there but in disguise.

John Peacock, Chairfan of Disclave Future, signed a contract with a lovely Tyson's Corners hotel. We have a confirmed Artist Guest of Honor (AGOH). Lois McM. Bujold will be Author GOH. Paula Lewis dropped the right name at the right moment.

Old Business

A discussion of a possible Fifth Friday party produced the Silence of the Lambchops. One person tactfully suggested we think of the situation as "marshalling our energies for Disclave".

New Business


Applause greeted Terilee's upholding of the Second New Tradition.

The First New Tradition

Samuel Lubell of Rockville was here for his first time. The club said, "Hi!" No one was here for his 2nd time.

Mr. Carris Abat was here for his third time. The club Ohhh____ed! Terilee grunted, "You win big prize. Three idiots sign your form." The theory of membership was discussed by various idiots members.


"Now can we do Announcements?" asked Terilee. "No!" shouted the club. Well, that ends that tradition.

Extended Comments

The Secretary invited anyone who wished their announcement extended comments appear in their words rather than the Secretary's words should submit to him in writing after the meeting.

Lee Strong was selected for a one year traffic management educational assignment at the taxpayers' expense. He thanked the taxpayers present. The club applauded. John Sapienza asked if Lee would finally learn to become a truck driver?

Ericat Van Dommelen commented that Stately Ginter Manor has 4 cats. They don't have thumbs. They can't open doors with knobs. This is generally a good thing, this requires that WSFAns leave the bathroom door propped open. All too often, Ericat finds wistful little kittie faces saying :-( :-( I have to go!! :-( :-( If you don't leave the door open for them, they will go on your coat conveniently located on the floor in the upstairs room.

Ericat also has "SF" stuff -- science fiction from San Francisco -- and a picture book of medieval dress accessories valued at £40.

Rachel Russell commented that Unreality magazine accepted her short story. It should appear this summer. See advertisement on the last page of this issue.

** Rachel and Eric are engaged. They are planning a traditional wedding in June 1994. The club applauded the news. **

Ericat began chanting "Presents! Presents! Presents!" Upon questioning, she explained that any wedding gifts are "loot" until you write the Thank You notes.

Paula needs a medievalist contact. Ericat said, "Yea, verily, thou searcheth not in vain for I am one."

Matt Leger commented that his recent temp assignment led to an offer of permanent employment at the Oregon Institute of Biotechnology.

Two Star Trek books are out. The crew of the Next Generation Enterprise seek The Romulan Prize while the crew of Deep Space 9 endure The Siege.

Upcoming cons include the filksinging Conterpoint, the week after Disclave, with GOH Bill Roper, and a fan run Star Trek con in Tysons Corner at the end of July. See Matt off line.

Nick Pollotta works at Labyrinth bookstore in Baltimore, owned by Kevin Davis.

A new Star Wars trilogy has been released.

Lance's Baltimore Worldcon Bid Committee has $4000 in the bank. He is selling new pirate treasure including a Soviet "Hugo" pin <by famous Soviet artist Hugo Ripoff>.

A cute tall blond guy in the back of the room brought some cream eggs.

Dan Hoey commented that Peggy Rae Pavlat is back at home and is going back to work next week. She's not 100% but she's O.K. (Hey. Peggy Rae's always O.K. in my book.)

Various club members began barking. I'm not going to be the one to say this club is going to the dogs.

The club unanimously adjourned at 9:50.


President, WSFA, 1992-94...
        ... Steve Smith
Vice President, WSFA, 1992
        ... Terilee Edwards-Hewitt
Secretary, WSFA, 1990-Too Long
        ... Lee Strong
Treasurer, WSFA, 1990-2001 ...
        ... Robert MacIntosh
President, USA, 1989-93 ...
        ... George H.W. Bush
President, USA, 1993 ...
        ... William Jefferson Clinton
President, USA, 1993 ...
        ... Albert Gore, Jr.
President, USA, 1993-97 ...
        ... Hillary Rodham
President, USA, 1997-2100 ...
        ... Nehemiah Scudder

The Frightened Fish


Flight Into Fear

by Kenneth Robeson

Ah! Doc Savage is back!

Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be up to his usual breathtaking style, to the disappointment of his faithful fans.

Doc Savage, for the culturally deprived among our gentle readers, was a "science adventurer" from the 1930s and '40s -- back when science itself was considered heroic rather than dangerous. He and his gallant band of "brothers" and one "sister" roamed the world defeating evil and righting wrongs wherever they found them. While the primary emphasis was on action and exotic adventure, there was always a strong scientific element which brings this series into the science fiction realm.

After a long absence, "Robeson" -- actually Will Murray using a house penname -- revives the hero for additional adventures set in the postwar 1940s. To be polite, these tales are not the finest examples of Savage supersagas.

The first story is an original contribution by Robeson-Murray in which Doc and his Fabulous Five sidekicks tackle a mysterious warlord who plots world domination by frightening fish. This is not as silly as it might sound since the economies of several regions and whole nations depend on fishing for food and trade. In the postwar world, this is a deadly threat calculated to destroy Japanese disarmament and world peace.

This is a pretty good Doc Savage story with gangsters creating a mystery to baffle Doc, only to discover that they have brought down the wrath of the great avenger. Most of Doc's sidekicks are well displayed here with snappy dialog and real heroism. The gadgets are timely but don't overwhelm the human beings. I found the threat to be rather contrived and the plot weak but this is basically good reading.

The second novel is, to use contemporary language, a real stinkeroo. Many of the characteristics of real Doc Savage novels, especially the contributions of the Fabulous Five and the helpful gadgets, are missing here. In addition, Doc's personality is radically different compared to previous novels. All in all, it's a much weaker novel which I found rather tedious.

The reason for the letdown is found in Murray's afterword in which he reveals that the book is not really about Doc at all. It's an adaption of a totally different novel by an earlier version of "Kenneth Robeson" (Doc's creator Lester Dent) which Murray re-wrote to force "the Man of Bronze" into another character's shoes. It doesn't work because the characters of Doc and Banner are too different. As Hal Clement said, Calling a dog's tail a leg does not make it a leg. Mr. Murray should stick with what works, and can the re-writes.

I rate The Frightened Fish as Above Average period science fiction and Flight Into Fear Inferior period science fiction. -- LS


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