A PUBLICATION OF THE WASHINGTON SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION INC, WASHINGTON, DC
"I keep coming back each year. You must be doing something right." -- Josepha Sherman, Baen Books, Friday.
"Aarrgghhhhhhhhhhhh!" -- Covert Beach, Disclave Chairfan, Saturday.
In addition to the usual disclaimer, I have to add that I was half burned out from mundane work during this year's Disclave. So I didn't see as much of the action as usual. What I did see was still a darn good con.
Covert Beach is known for his businesslike approach to things and his con reflected it. There were some problems, but, overall, things worked well.
The Dulles Airport Marriott Hotel worked very well, with a nice layout, efficient staff and good service. The layout of rooms seemed especially effective in keeping core con activities together while spreading the parties and other "loud" activities out. Good job. There were some complaints about the unusual location, but we have to put the thing somewhere and Dulles is no worse for me than New Carrollton. I consider these comments as something that can't be helped. On the negative side, I hope no one else had any diarrhetic attacks from the hotel food.
Information and Registration worked very well. Of course, I'm prejudiced since I worked on the former. Placing the Information desk at the interface between mundania and most con activities acted as a buffer for all concerned, and kept the Registration workers from being bombarded by random questions. I suggest a repeat whenever the layout allows. Also, I suggest that "Mike Zipser and Dick Roepke at the Information Desk" be considered for a major Programming event next year.
The Con Suite received several good comments in my hearing. The layout of several connected rooms allowed and effective mix of small, relatively quiet groups and a dense hearty party mass. Many attendees appreciated the long hours. I'm sure the workers have other ideas.
The Art Show was notably compact compared to previous years, but I enjoyed it. There were some negative comments about the small size but I don't know what the realistic alternatives were. I saw a good selection of objects and themes in the show for serious buyers. My only regret was that my wallet would not accommodate my eyes.
Unfortunately, I missed most of the Programming (films and panels) and the Dance due to the burnout mentioned previously. I did catch parts of Big Trouble in Little China and Katherine Kurtz' GOH speech. A very gracious lady, indeed, and I hope she continues writing Dernyi novels for another 900 years.
I heard that some of the panels were less than successful. Since I wasn't there and the Con Chairfan already knows about the problems, enough has been said. We always need a goal for the future. Also see John Sapienza's reports starting on page 4.
The Hucksters' Room had the usual tons of "stuff" for sale. I considered it a success since I found several books that deserved to be in my library along with my usual dozen or more buttons. I'm probably not really the profit margin for the button makers, but it certainly seems that way from the way they start rubbing their hands when I appear. Like the Art Show, the Hucksters' Room presented a good variety of SF products -- mostly books, but also buttons, tapes, games, objects, clothing, toys, and other items.
I didn't see too many costumes this year but even that has its positive side, since the usual armored cyberpunkers were also absent. Dan Burgess and Elspeth Kovar won this year's John Sapienza Award for Best Dressed Attendees.
In short, Disclave 1993 was a nice, enjoyable con. It seemed quieter than many other Disclaves but no less fun. My congratulations to Covert and the cast of hundreds who made it possible to have such an excellent event. I understand one is not supposed to enjoy one's own con, but I certainly enjoyed this one.
Now, if I can just figure out what "Static Functions" are...?!
"It was a great con." -- Anonymous attendee, Monday.
"And a great con crew." -- Lee Strong, Tuesday
The WSFA Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. All material is (C) 1993 WSFA, Inc., except as noted.
The WSFA Journal prints material generally of interest to the paid (Charter/Life) membership of WSFA. This includes but is not limited to club records, including minutes of meetings; nonfiction articles about science, science fiction, or fantasy; and short fiction.
Personal attacks on individuals are generally not acceptable, and will be edited or rejected. Criticisms of policies are generally acceptable. Persons whose policies or behaviors are criticized will be offered an opportunity to reply in a comparable format to the original criticism.
All material submitted is subject to editing for content or format. We do not guarantee approval of any material. Comments and material may be addressed to The WSFA Journal, c/o Lee Strong, [censored], Alexandria, Virginia 22311.
Publisher .......... WSFA, Inc.
(Steve Smith, President)
Editor-in-Chief .... Lee Strong
Treasurer ........ Bob MacIntosh
Legal Representatives ...
... Smith & Wesson
Complaint Department Head ...
... T. rex
John T. Sapienza, Jr. (W) 202-622-4920
[censored] (H) 301-474-6579
College Park, MD 20740-3010 June 2, 1993
DISCLAVE '93 Registration Report
There were a total of 876 memberships for DISCLAVE '93. Preregistration was 457, and we took in 419 people at the door, counting paid and complementary badges. There were 41 prereg no-shows, so we had 835 warm bodies at the con.
This was about 200 fewer members than last year. We took a hit from being at a new hotel, but the major problem was having two competing cons in town the same weekend, the movie monster con in Crystal City, and a comics con at Tysons Corner. In particular, the monster con took away dealers and pros who would otherwise have been at DISCLAVE. We hope to have them back with us again next time.
John T. Sapienza, Jr. (W) 202-622-4920
[censored] (H) 301-474-6579
College Park, MD 20740-3010 June 4, 1993
Darrell Schweitzer's DISCLAVE
As secretary for the convention, I received a letter from Darrell Schweitzer about two months before DISCLAVE '93 in which he protested the fact that the programming department had not contacted him to be on the program. The letter was distinctly rude in tone. I passed the letter on to Terilee Edwards-Hewitt, head of the programming department, to handle. She wrote to him saying the program was filled.
Schweitzer called convention chair Covert Beach shortly before the con and demanded to be put on the program, stating that this was likely to be his last DISCLAVE because of the way he had been excluded from programming. Covert told him the program was full for this year.
At the con, Schweitzer confronted Terilee in the green room and demanded to be put on several specific panels. When he persisted after she refused, Terilee came up to the registration desk to consult with me about what to do. Since Covert was out of the hotel, I took her into the dealers' room to talk with another department head, Scott Dennis, because Schweitzer was a dealer and whatever we decided would affect Scott's department. Covert came in at that point, and Covert, Terilee and I went to the green room to talk with Schweitzer.
I had been prepared to offer Schweitzer the chance to purchase a membership at the early preregistration rate of $20. However, we never got to that point, because he demanded to be put on panels and given a free membership, and I told him he had no right to make such a demand. This ended with his saying he would buy a membership and stalking out of the room.
Schweitzer did virtually all of the talking, pushing the line that con committees are confronted with from time to time: The convention could not exist without pros, and therefore the con should give a free membership to all pros, and particularly to the one making the demand. Schweitzer went farther than that, denouncing DISCLAVE for insulting every pro who was there but not on the program.
He said that he would organize a Science Fiction Writers Association boycott against all future DISCLAVES. He also threatened to organize a counter-con to be called READERCLAVE in the DC area. These two measures are intended to kill DISCLAVE.
I do not believe he has any chance of succeeding with either threat.
I spoke with Charles Sheffield, a former president of SFWA, who said
he doubted any pros would support
to this boycott. Remember
that many pros are fans who have worked on convention committees, and
know the economics of running a con.
Schweitzer did follow through with his SFWA boycott threat during DISCLAVE. He had the bad taste to take his campaign to our guest of honor, Katherine Kurtz, who had worked on SF cons and SCA events. She was not amused, and told him to get a grip. She also came to the gripe session, where she graciously praised the committee for a job well done.
I also do not believe that Schweitzer has any chance of organizing a
READERCLAVE in the DC area as an effort to torpedo DISCLAVE. This is
in no way like the BOSKONE/ARISIA situation in which fans were
excluded from the first and organized the second in self-defense.
DISCLAVE is open to all fans and pros and will continue to be so.
Furthermore, we already have
a second two other DC area SF
conventions, EVECON and CASTLECON. I believe that Schweitzer would
have great difficulty recruiting committee and staff for another DC convention.
I wrote this up for the WSFA Journal for the general information of WSFA members. Some of us are likely to be asked about wildly distorted rumors of what really happened with Darrell Schweitzer at DISCLAVE, and it is important that the truth be known.
John T. Sapienza, Jr.
Secretary, DISCLAVE '93
10,191 years have passed since the creation of the Foundation, and the galaxy is in anarchy.
The massmind of Galaxia has collapsed from "impossible" internal turmoil. Known space is divided between warring kingdoms and petty empires, between religious sects and tyrannical guilds. And as for the Foundation...
The Foundation is dying.
But on the distant planet of Arrakis, a movement has taken hold. A movement led by a supposed prophet named Muad'Dib. A movement that could reunite the galaxy.
If the Foundation can control him, it could mean the end of millennia of conflict.
And if they can't, it will ignite a galactic holy war.