A PUBLICATION OF THE WASHINGTON SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION INC, WASHINGTON, DC
The regular First Friday in May business meeting of the Washington Science Faction Association (WSFA) convened at 9:15, 7 May 1993, in Chez Gilliland. President Steve Smith presided.
Before the meeting, Joe Mayhew asked if we could "Do it in the road?" He is now driving a bull [a Ford Taurus]. Lee Uba asked if we could have a meeting in a squeaky voice.
Steve asked Secretary Lee Strong for the minutes of the previous meeting. Eva Whitley interrupted to ask, "Where is the address list?" Lee replied that that fanac was backed up behind other stuff like the minutes which he then attempted to read. The lynch mob then waived the reading of the minutes.
Treasurer Robert MacIntosh reported $3825.78 in the Treasury. There was a motion to have a party, which was then seconded, thirded and fourthed. However, Steve ruled the motion out of order, thereby saving the club from anything resembling real parliamentary procedure.
Disclave Past? Covert Beach reported, "It's dead, Steve."
Disclave Present? Covert reported, "There will be a Disclave." The club went Yay! Registration is down a little but we saved about $2000 by toning down the color cover of the Official Program Book. Yahhh! Karl Ginter thinks the Program Book might turn a profit. Will he prove prophetic?
Winton Matthews asked for the pre-registration number. About 350. Covert didn't think we would go broke this year. Another Yay! Winton opined that half of us aren't's going on Saturday; we're going to the "other con". Cries of "Heretic! Heretic!" broke out. Robert sneered, "Who cares? We've got his money...." A voice of sanity.
Disclave Future? John Peacock announced, "There will be a Disclave Future." He showed the neat poster, provoking an Ohhh! of wonder from the crowd.
Did the Fine Arts Committee have a report? "No," rebuffed Chairfan Lance Oszko.
Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, ordered Joe Miller's jokebook. It has a 44 page essay on what traveling salesmen are.
Joe Mayhew suggested having the Fourth of July Party at Eva's. She's willing but doesn't want to deprive someone else if they really want to host the party. Joe assumed that Jack Chalker is in on Eva's offer. Eva noted, "He will be." A wave of laughter greeted Eva's coordination.
Are the Trustees doing anything of note? Mike Zipser announced there will be an Election.
The club slid thru Old Business into New Business. Joe moved the question on Eva's generous offer. Alexis moved that Jack have a chance to say No. Mike quickly rejoined, "No, let's not [let him have the chance]." Steve asked if anyone was interested outside of Jack and Eva. The motion was adopted in the following format, "All hail Jack and Eva for hosting the 1993 Fourth of July Party."
Well, we honored the Third New Tradition.
Townsend Reese was here for his first time. He was greeted with cries of "Fresh meat!" and "Hi, Townsend." There was also a shy person in back. "Hello!"
Samuel Lubell was here for his second visit. He complained about his name being misspelled in The WSFA Journal. He didn't get any sympathy from this crowd. No one was here for his or her third and last time. We scared them all off.
My notes say that the Secretary names Beth Zipser. I can't figure it out, either.
Michael Walsh is selling books, The Rude Astronauts, Princeton University Press, and other "things". Balticon and Icon "et" the books.
Covert announced you must be a Disclave member in order to vote tonight.
Alexis announced that _____ Freeman is looking for more roommates.
Lee Uba hated to say that some children are dragging food upstairs and not cleaning it up.
Chris Callahan has 2 Confrancisco memberships for sale.
Joe Mayhew has a Confrancisco membership for sale. In addition, Tomorrow magazine has published his short story on the elephants of "Lost Virginia"
Dan Hoey says that Daniel Pinkwater writes good for kids (and adults). The Pajama Game will be presented at the Naval Research Lab. This is apparently a follow-on to the "Love Boat" incident during the Gulf War. Perrianne Lurie did a musical interpretation.
Jack Chalker is publishing his first Well World novel in 15 years. It costs $10 and is well worth it. (No bias here.)
Dan Burgess is employed again as a MIS for environmental engineering.
David Chalker's school is having its annual Readercon or Readerthon. If successful, the principal will dress up like Barney the Dinosaur. The club gave a massive "Ugg!" as the thought of such child abuse.
Eva is tripping to Atlantic City, trying out for Jeopardy.
Brian Lewis is on the short list for promotion at work.
A Disembodied Hand is accepting orders for a new Isaac Asimov stamp. It's due out in 9 years.
Perrianne announced the Australia in '99 Worldcon bid. We should have a flyer somewhere in this issue of the worlds' best informed newsletter. She will be spending the month of June in Geneva. Linda Melnick is trying to sell a Winnipeg Worldcon membership. Perrianne also referred to Physics Today and Aboriginal SF but I can't decipher my notes so ask her yourself.
Lance announced a pirate television series on the Discovery Channel. The Polish fanzine Red Dwarf will publish its next edition in English.
Terilee Edwards-Hewitt is researching 7th and 8th graders. "Using vivisection?" asked Mike Zipser. Terilee survived P.G. County schools.
Lee Uba had a strange one. <As compared to what???> The National Kidney Foundation asked her to donate to their National Chili Cookoff. "It'll be a gas," stated Joe. Lee rejoined that there are no beans in real chili.
Matt Leger hollered, "Achtung!" He does this when he's trying to restore order to WSFA meetings. He does this a lot, obviously.
Hal Haag was in the hospital with a heart attack. Joe and he are forming a small club of their own.
Matt reported on his own employment status: the upper echelons have dictated other interviewees. Steven Hawking will appear as himself in an upcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. Matt also has inside information on upcoming Deep Space Nine episodes.
Dave Wendell is looking for a LAN manager.
Vicky Smith is now an International Committee person. Everyone
congratulated her on surviving
P.G. County schools the exam.
Covert announced that the Sheraton Pit is soliciting us. Seems that they couldn't fill the hotel without us. He stopped by to review the situation. The Outer Darkness is now padlocked. (The Environmental Political Administration requires this for Superfund sites.) Otherwise things are almost the same.
The meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:56.
* After the meeting, Mike Zipser whispered that he was escaping. Wrong!
The regular 1993 election meeting convened about 10:00, 7 May 1993. Trustees Robyn Rissell, Tom Schaad, and Mike Zipser presided for themselves.
The Trustees' nominations for President was Steve Smith. There were also a couple of nominations of "Steve Smith" from the floor. Beth Zipser moved Steve Smith be elected by acclamation and this was unanimously approved.
The Trustees' nomination for Vice President was Terilee Edwards-Hewitt. Covert Beach moved acclamation and this was adopted with one abstention (courteously).
The Trustees' nomination for Secretary was Lee Strong. "We were boring," claimed Mike. Terilee moved acclamation and this was adopted with one abstention. <I notice that this abstention wasn't "courteously.">
The Trustees' nomination for Treasurer was "the guy in the corner [Robert "Bob" MacIntosh] and the nomination was accepted by acclamation.
The Trustees' nominations for Trustees were Robyn Rissell, Dan Hoey and Dan Burgess. Eva Whitley nominated herself from the floor and Lee Uba seconded her nomination. Dan Hoey and Dan Burgess were elected to the first two Trustee positions by secret ballot.
Terilee then nominated Paula Lewis for trustee and she accepted the nomination. Robyn Rissell was then elected by secret ballot. Eva and Paula led a round of applause for the winners. Mike Zipser stated that all of the elections were close. Eva asked if she should suck up to Robyn. He regally extended his hand for her to nuzzle.
The elections meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:35.
The WSFA Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. Frightening thought, isn't it? All material is © 1993, WSFA, Inc., except as noted. Material from Time magazine is © 1993 Time magazine and Time Warner Communications, and should be considered fair use. Twilight of the Dogs is © 1993 Twilight Productions and is used by agreement.
Publisher ........................................... Steve Smith
Editor-in-Chief ...................................... Lee Strong
Treasurer ...................... Robert "Guy" MacIntosh
Fashion Editor ........................... Terilee Edwards-Hewitt
Membership Committee ... Dan Burgess, Dan Hoey, and Robyn Rissell
Programming ........................................ John Hammond
Security ................................. T. Rex and Jack Slater
How to Find a Real Magic Ticket ............ Read Science Fiction
The regular third Friday in May business meeting convened at 9:00 Clinton Standard Time, 21 May 93, in Stately Ginter Manor. President Steve Smith presided.
Before the meeting, Peggy Rae Pavlat appeared to the applause of the multitudes. She could have died, but postponed it as long as possible.
* Also before the meeting, Kit Mason asked Secretary Lee Strong, "What happened to starting the meetings at 9:00?" "Ask your husband," rejoined our heartless Secretary.
Steve hollered the now traditional, "Yo! Let's have a meeting!" which was answered by the also traditional, "Why?" "Why not?" rejoined Steve, who called the meeting of the Washington Science Friction Association to "what is laughingly called order" at 9:22 Eastern Standard Time.
The Secretary asked that the minutes be waived and stated that the 1993 WSFA First Contact List © would be out soon.
Robert MacIntosh reported $3535.78 in the Treasury. A call for a party was met by a reminder that we will have one next week (Disclave 1993).
Covert Beach, Chairfan of Disclave Present, stated, "There will be a Disclave." John Sapienza asked if Covert would be there? Yes. "Well, that breaks that tradition," noted John S.
Covert continued, saying that there is no set up fee as we are almost at the no fee threshold. Robyn stated that movies are coming in, including The Thief of Baghdad (the old version) and The Corpse Grinders. <Yum.>
John Peacock, Chairfan of Disclave Future, added, "We'll have a Disclave next year, too." The club went Yay! The room rate will be $85/night. There will be more Programming space. The club went babble, babble. Steve asked if there was any more future. John P said No. This prediction provoked wild Aaahhhing of gloom.
Steve asked if there were any Fine Arts? Lance Oszko, speaking from the floor, noted that the committee was lying recumbent. Mike Walsh just had to say that the committee was lying down on the job.
By contrast, Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, was doing stand up. Ohhhh!
The club then went sliding right along thru Old Business into New Business. Steve announced that New Business was "falling off the shelf."
There will be no First or Third Fridays in August. (Does the Naval Observatory know about this?) Erica of Dommels and Karl the Burly will be at the Pennsic War. Peggy Rae checked her datebook while a drumroll echoed in the background. It's possible if someone else buys the stuff. She will be leaving the next day for Worldcon. Elspeth Kovar moved to postpone the issue but suffered the usual fate of real parliamentarians in WSFA. Erica Van Dommelen suggested we do the First Friday in August at Stately Ginter Manor. The club agreed unanimously. The Third Friday in tentatively set for Peggy Rae's. Or the Washington Monument.
Robyn Rissell reported for the Trustees that we elected some officers. It was the same old crew except for a couple of dans. Dan Burgess got weird.
No one was here for their first, second or third visits to WSFA. "No virgins tonight," commented one.
The Secretary gave the traditional announcement.
Lee Strong announced a rumor, which he stressed was a rumor, that the Clinton Administration planned to reduce funding for the space station to zero on the grounds that there were no practical benefits to the American people to space research. Erica began reciting a lengthy list of space technology spin-offs. Another WSFAn reported the same rumor on Capitol Hill. Matt Leger cautioned that Clinton had campaigned for office in favor of a smaller space station but a space station none the less. Lee commented that Clinton campaigned for lower taxes too.
* Subsequently, the space station funding did pass the US House of Representatives by a narrow margin with President Clinton's support.
Terilee Edwards-Hewitt arrived. She is now poor and selling earrings to support herself.
Erica noted that cat Griffin is trying to get inside. Keep him out. He is not properly potty trained.
Perrianne Lurie noted that she is not going to Geneva as previously announced. The World Health Organization wants someone for 2 months and her boss can't run the office without her that long.
The Australia in 1999 bid is now a Melbourne bid. If successful, the bid will not be in Perth, home of former WSFAn Lee Smoire.
Lee Uba will be in a Chili Cookoff.
Mark Owing had a heart attack. He is alright. He will be home for 2-3 weeks.
Recent deaths among science fiction people include Walter Breen, Avram Davidson, Baird Searles, and Harold P. "Sandy" Sanderson. Walter was once married to Marion Zimmer Bradley. Avram was a long time author of science fiction and borderline fantasy works. Baird was a reviewer for Asimov's and founded the SF Shop in New York City. Sandy was a Fifties fan and fanzine publisher, and engineered the classic Joan W. Carr Hoax.
Noted author-publisher Lester del Rey suffered a stroke but is still alive.
John Peacock made some strange hand gestures.
Lee Uba is missing the first volume of The Complete Sherlock Holmes. Please return this book. No questions asked.
John Lewis need help... putting things together for the Art Show.
Chris Valada, John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton are doing fine. Chris got her law degree.
Robyn Rissell has heard great things about Defending the Caveman. How about a theater group?
Sarah Cole's life has gone to Mars in a handbasket at hyperspeed. She is looking for a roommate.
Matt Leger had 2½ announcements. 1. Rob Becker does stand up comedy on the difference between men and women. 2. He has no word on whether his temp job will become permanent. 2½. Joel Hodgson will retire as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to devote himself to writing.
The Flying Brothers Karamazov will be juggling Russians at the Krieger Theater. Alexis pronounced them "very funny".
Lance announced that Boston is officially dropping out of the 1998 Worldcon competition. He got a $1000 bonus, which the club greeted with applause and hands out. Terilee asked, "Wanna buy an earring?" provoking a howl of laughter. She pointed out that pirates have to have earrings. It's in their dress code.
Covert Beach's car died last month. It cost a lot of money. He replaced the whole thing with a '87 Nissan Stanza. He has also joined the Baltimore Worldcon bid committee.
Lance noted that ½ of the Baltimore 1998 Worldcon Bid Committee's Board of Directors are WSFAns and the other ½ are BISFians.
The meeting unanimously adjoined at 10:02 Post Meridian. That's Latin for "after the middle". Just thought you'd like to know.
The regular First Friday in June business meeting convened at 9:21, 4 June 1993 in the Downstairs Conference Room of Chez Gilliland. Before the meeting, President Steve Smith remarked to Secretary Lee Strong, "We better have a meeting or throw them some meat." And people wonder why the Secretary refuses to preside over this mob.
Steve hollered the traditional, "Yo! Let's have a meeting!" and declared the meeting of the Washington Science Faction Association open at "9:21 6-4". This provoked a couple of lisping jokes.
Lee Strong cleaned his apartment.... John Peacock added, "...and
you lost the notes on the last meeting." The club graciously
excused the idiot waived reading of the minutes.
Guy MacIntosh reported $3967.08 in the Treasury. There were subdued calls to have a Disclave and a party.
Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee reported that Jurassic Park was opening today.... Several people corrected him, stating that the park opened next Friday. Alexis allowed that the Clinton Administration had withdrawn the opening. Today is Bob Hope's 90th Birthday.
Covert Beach, Chairfan of Disclave
Present Past, stated,
"We had a con. Many things worked. The hotel loved us. Can
they talk us into coming back next year? Their normal constituency
[pilots] is worse than us. The same is true for next year's hotel.
Their constituency is about 200 sixteen year old soccer players.
This year, they set a few fires. Chris Kelly got bonus points from
management for already having an alternative." Science fiction
fans: the quiet, dignified people.
Covert continued, saying that Disclave had fewer than 900 people. He expects to generate a couple of thousand [dollars] for the club. Honoraria will be subtracted from that amount. Tom Veal is moving to Chicago in the middle of the month.
John Peacock, Chairfan of Disclave
Future Present, announced
that he will have "measureless function space." Eva
Whitley asked, "Big enough for a Worldcon?" The club
went Owwwwwwwwww! The chairfans hastily backtracked. Covert said,
"We can crunch it down."
John reemphasized, "We will have a con!" The club went Yay! and the WSFA Choral Club began singing *We wish you a Merry Disclave!* Many positions are still open. Steve asked about the missionary position.
Eric Jablow asked about a "certain author and bookseller". John Sapienza's report on this incident was published in the June 1993 issue of The WSFA Journal.
Lance Oszko, Chairfan of the Fine Arts Committee, stated that there was a race on between the Committee's letter to the Hirshhorn Museum and Clinton's health care plan. The latter is currently reported to be due out in September 1993.
Steve then asked for reports by Committees That I'm Forgetting About. Everyone in that category forgot to report.
Eva Whitley had 75 copies of directions to Nuevo Rancho, the site of the WSFA Fourth of July Party. Lee Uba is chief coordinator for food. The Fourth of July Party will be on the Fourth of July. Ooooooo! There will be croquet for putzes and a clean swimming pool for wetbacks. Bob MacIntosh deserves a Gold Palm for Pool Cleaning.
Steve asked if we should crawl on our bellies like reptiles to New Business? Since we didn't have any, I suppose we don't have to.
A forest of hands greeted Steve's call for first time visitors. "Ohhh! We've got a crowd," remarked our sagacious sachem. Sam Pierce, John and Judith Chapman, and Rosie Smith and Will Strang are all here for their first time. Sam was a Disclave Art Show helper. John and Judith were ejected from Los Angeles and hope to become friends. Lee Strong thought that Will Strang might be a cousin but Lee was wrong again.
Townsend Reese was here for his second time. He hollered, "Hi, everybody!" Everybody hollered, "Hi!" back.
Steve asked for any third timers. "Guilty!" answered Samuel Labelle. Robert Martinez was also here for his third time. He works in the Pentagon which must be the home of voodoo economics since the unofficial newsletter of military fiction readers is called The Pentagram. Samuel and Robert are now eligible to become a voting member of this zoo. This was greeted with lots of weird noises. There will be no coercion. Buy a Disclave membership and get a membership from the man with the hat. Get it filled out and signed by the Trustees. There was a look of panic of the hapless victim's face.
Lee Uba asked for volunteers to clean up.
The Secretary invited everyone to submit their announcements to him in writing after the meeting. (Bet you thought we couldn't do this straight, didn't you?)
Lance passed out directions to the BISFIS Annual Barbecue. "Roast Bisfis: my favorite," proclaimed T. Rex. "A little dry for me," rejoined Vel O'Ciraptor. There will be a Baltimore Worldcon meeting and buttons by Hannah Shapero.
Paula Lewis announced a lost and found item from Disclave Just Past. "Describe it and get it." Art Guest of Honor Patricia Davis thanked everyone involved.
A Disembodied Hand [Winton Matthews] announced an exhibition of Fables and Fantasies: The Art of Felix Lorioux at the Corcoran Gallery. See flyer attached.
Joe Mayhew announced a free Worldcon membership but not for re-sale.
Rachel Russell announced Susan and Gary's wedding was last weekend. "Susan Who?" asked Joe.
Another Disembodied Hand [Charles Webber] had an accident, hitting a wall on I-495. His boss was not hurt but was drugged. As a result, she upped the WSFA discount at the Fantasy Forum to 25% off all paperbacks and 20% off all hardbacks and trade paperbacks.
Nicki Lynch has a flyer for the James Tiptree Quilt Project.
Dick Lynch announced a second major con in the D.C. area. Corflu, the fanzine con, will appear the week before Disclave 1994. (Hey! Come for one; stay for the second.) A Wealth of Fable is selling for $20.
Peggy Rae Pavlat is now a grandmother. Her daughter, Melissa Catherine, gave birth to Bryce Kendall. Miss Bryce is potentially the first 4th generation fan.
Mike Zipser announced that Fast Forward is now on Montgomery County public access cable, Wednesdays and Thursday. Mike will shortly interview award winning fanzine publishers Dick and Nicki Lynch. Tom Schaad will interview Tad Williams and Mike will interview Josepha Sherman. Fast Forward will soon be on in D.C.
Martin Wooster is doing The Washington Post science fiction column in July. He is also acting in an independently produced science fiction film, Twilight of the Dogs, during the month of June.
Mike Walsh has books for sale. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! They have sticker shock prices. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 2nd edition, has 1.3 million words for only $75.
Lee Uba requests that people sell books upstairs. Steve announced that The Wall Street Journal reported that Jeremy Rifkin and his band of Luddites will picket Jurassic Park on the grounds that the movie glorifies genetic engineering about which nothing good can be said. This produced a howl of laughter from the scientifically literate audience.
Covert announced that The Adept 3 by "our Guest Of Honor [Katherine Kurtz]" is out.
Alexis moved that we adjourn and the meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:53.
500 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
One half-block west of the White House
* Metro Stops
Farragut West, 17th & I Streets, N.W.
on the Blue and Orange Line
Farragut North, Connecticut Avenue & K Street, N.W.
on the Red line
* Bus Stop
17th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Bus numbers: 30, 32, 34, 36, 80, 81, M5
* Museum Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.,
Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Closed on Mondays and major holidays
* Admission (Suggested Donation)
Adults $3, Students and Senior Citizens $1
Family Groups (Any size) $5
Members and children under 12 free
Guided tours of the Permanent Collection
Tuesday-Sunday 12:30 p.m.
Thursday 7:30 p.m.
* Museum Shop
Open during regular Gallery hours
* Café at the Corcoran
Tuesday-Sunday 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday 11:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Café reservations (202) 638-1590
Museum (202) 638-3211
School of Art (202) 628-9484
Information Line: (202) 638-1439
Tour Reservations: (202) 638-1070
(From The Washington Times, 6/24/93)
RED FALLS LAKE, Minn. - Fans of the original "Star Trek" television series will gather Aug. 15-28 in northwestern Minnesota for what's billed as the first Klingon Language Camp.
Klingons, the swarthy, militant adversaries of the Federation spoke English in front of TV cameras. But Paramount Studios enlisted a linguistic expert to devise a language for one of its movies so the Klingons could talk in their own tongue.
The language seems to have found a niche. Besides five language lessons a day and small group session for learning conversation, the camp will feature softball, volleyball, tubing on the Red Lake River, Bingo (using Klingon numbers) and treasure hunts.
(From TIME, May 31, 1993)
EVEN BEFORE ANDREW GOBEA WAS born, doctors knew his future would be clouded. Prenatal tests showed he had inherited a set of defective genes that would leave him defenseless against infections. Had he been born 10 years earlier, he could have survived only in a sterile environment, as did David, the famous "Bubble Boy," who died after 12 years inside a sealed plastic enclosure. Andrew, however, has a chance to lead a normal life. In a new test of gene therapy, doctors at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles, using blood extracted from his umbilical cord moments after he was born, separated out some white cells and inserted a new gene into them. The altered cells were injected into Andrew's body four days later in what could become part of a remarkable medical milestone: the first attempts to cure a disease by gene therapy.
Andrew was one of three youngsters with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency treated with the new technique in the past two weeks. Doctors at the University of California at San Francisco performed an operation identical to Andrew's on Zachary Riggins, a three-day-old infant. And at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, an 11-year-old girl underwent a similar procedure. These three cases mark an important new phase in the the rapidly expanding field of gene therapy. Earlier experiments involved inserting beneficial genes only to treat disease, not to cure it.
The new work is based on the landmark experiment performed in 1990 by NIH Drs. W. French Anderson, Michael Blaese and Kenneth Culver on two Ohio girls, ages 4 and 9. Neither child was producing ADA, an enzyme that rids the bloodstream of harmful metabolic products. The absence of ADA can cause SCID by allowing toxic substances to accumulate and destroy immune-system cells. Both children had been kept alive by weekly injections of PEG-ADA, a costly synthetic enzyme, but neither was in good health.
In the first approved gene-therapy trials, the pioneering NIH team extracted immune-system T cells from the Ohio girls, inserted normal ADA genes into the cells and reinjected them. As the team had hoped, the T cells began churning out natural ADA, enabling the children's immune systems to function effectively. While that result marked the first successful treatment by gene therapy, it was not a cure; the altered T cells die out after several months, and the little patients must return to the NIH periodically to repeat the procedure.
Seeking a cure, researchers have now focused on so-called stem cells--long-lasting cells that continually give rise to fresh blood cells. If ADA genes could be inserted into the parent stem cells, the scientists reasoned, the genes would be passed on to all newly formed immune cells, including T cells, and the patient would be ensured a permanent supply of the enzyme. But stem cells are rare, and most of them reside in the bone marrow.
In his latest experiment at the NIH, Blaese administered a drug to one of his two original Ohio patients that coaxed some stem cells out of the bone marrow and into her bloodstream, Extracting blood, he painstakingly separated out the rare stern cells, inserted normal ADA genes into their DNA and injected the cells back into the girl's bloodstream, hoping that they would migrate back to the marrow and take up permanent residence.
Genetically altered cells could give Andrew Gobea, left, and Zachary Riggins a defense against infections
While stem cells are scarce and difficult to extract in children and adults, they are plentiful in umbilical-cord blood. For that reason, the new gene therapy technique is particularly applicable to newborns. And the parents of both infants involved in this month's California experiments had ample warning that they would need the new treatment.
Although Richard and Lori Riggins, of Exeter, California, have a normal four-year-old daughter, a son born to them in 1991 was diagnosed with SCID at the age of four weeks, and ever since has required treatment with PEG-ADA to survive. His disorder was evidence that both his mother and father, while healthy themselves, carried a recessive gene for SCID. This meant that any of their offspring would have a 1-in-4 chance of being stricken with the disease. The outlook was equally gloomy for Crystal Emery and Leonard Gobea, from California's Imperial Valley; their first child died from SCID at five months.
Aware of the risk, both mothers chose to have amniocentesis after becoming pregnant again last fall. The test results showed that neither fetus was producing ADA and that the babies would have SCID. It was then that Dr. Diane Wara, the pediatric immunologist who had treated the Rigginses' other child, suggested the stem-cell trial. Lori Riggins was easily convinced, "You only get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get large amounts of stem cells," she says. "That's at birth, and we didn't want to pass up that chance."
Emery and Gobea also agreed to have their son be part of the experiments. Immediately after Andrew was born, the obstetrician snipped his cord and drew out the umbilical blood. She rushed it to Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles, where a team led by Drs. Donald Kohn and Kenneth Weinberg separated the stem cells and endowed them with normal ADA genes. Then the newly equipped stem cells were injected into the baby's bloodstream. Two days later, Wara went through the procedure on Zachary Riggins in San Francisco, after his stem cells had been shuttled to Kohn and Weinberg in Los Angeles for genetic engineering.
To guard against the possibility that the gene therapy will not work, doctors will initially treat both infants with weekly injections of PEG-ADA, "We have no intention of letting these children get sick while we're waiting to see if the stem cells [become functional]," says Wara. "When we see that this has happened, then we will start withdrawing the enzyme replacement." But will it happen? "My personal hunch is that this is going to benefit these two children," says Kohn. "If it does, then we can goon to more common diseases." --Reported by David S. Jackson/San Francisco and Larry Thompson/Bethesda
(From TIME, May 31, 1993)
Vitamin E's ribald reputation as a sexual enhancer has made it one of the most ballyhooed--and best-selling--of all dietary supplements. Truth is, E does little to lift the libido but it does appear to influence matters of the heart vitally. Two studies, reported in last week's New England Journal of Medicine, found that people who swallowed large doses of the vitamin in pill form--at least 10 times the federal daily recommended allotment--had a nearly 40% lower risk of heart disease than those who consumed more modest doses. That two studies, involving a total of more than 120,000 people, came to the same conclusion was especially striking, says Dr. Meir Stampfer, who directed one of the studies at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Sometimes, things pop up by chance, but to see it twice, that's when you start to believe it."
The studies followed 87,000 female nurses ages 34 to 59 and 40,000 male health professionals ages 40 to 75 for a period of four to eight years. Participants were not actually given the vitamins; instead, they made their own choices and were questioned repeatedly about all aspects of their health habits and diets. Those who took more vitamins tended to exercise more and have a somewhat healthier life-style, but even when researchers corrected for such differences, there was a major advantage for those who took at least 100 units of the nutrient daily for at least two years. Significantly, those who took just the recommended daily allowance (10 units), which can be obtained from such foods as nuts, whole-grain bread and vegetable oil, or even three times that amount showed no such advantage. On the other hand, there was no greater benefit in taking more than 100 units, which is the amount of E in some popular brands of multiple-vitamin pills.
The studies provide some of the best evidence so far that the popular practice of ingesting large amounts of vitamins may turn out to be more than just an expensive fad. Still, experts caution that the research does not provide a conclusive link between vitamin E and healthy hearts. "We cannot yet make public-policy recommendations," says Claude Lenfant, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. "We need randomized trials" in which the subjects do not know if they are taking the vitamin.
Chances are that if the protective effect is real, then the explanation lies in vitamin E's ability to prevent oxidation of fatty compounds in the blood--the same biochemical reaction that turns butter rancid. Researchers believe that when low-density lipoprotein, the "bad cholesterol," is oxidized, it builds up more easily on artery walls. By blocking oxidation, vitamin E may counteract some of the risk of heart attack associated with LDL.
Should Americans start stocking up on vitamin E? Not necessarily. Although most scientists believe that large doses are not toxic in the short term, no one knows about safety over the long run. Some researchers caution that taken in such large amounts, the supplement is no longer a vitamin but a drug and should be thoroughly tested. In any case, vitamin supplements cannot substitute for good health habits. Unfortunately for a quick-fix society, getting plenty of exercise, cutting down on dietary fat and quitting smoking remain far better prescriptions for preventing heart disease than anything one can obtain from a vitamin bottle. -- With reporting by Janice M. Horowitz/New York
By LEON JAROFF COLD SPRING HARBOR
(From TIME, March 15, 1993)
IT WAS A NIGHT TO CELEBRATE. Raising their glasses in the Eagle, a pub near the campus of Cambridge University in England, a euphoric Francis Crick, 36, and James Watson, 24, drank to what they had just accomplished. Over the hubbub in the crowded pub, Crick's voice boomed out, "We have discovered the secret of life!"
Indeed they had. The year was 1953, and that afternoon in the university's Cavendish Laboratory, the two brash overachievers had at last solved a puzzle that had for years stymied scientists seeking to understand how traits are passed from one generation to the next. By finally discerning the double-helix structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the giant molecule of heredity, they had cleared the way for a great leap forward in human understanding of the processes of life.
Last week Watson and Crick were euphoric again as they gathered with a brilliant galaxy of scientists, biotech executives and other friends to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the discovery that opened a new era. The site was the century-old Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on New York's Long Island, where Watson, host of the glittering symposium, has served as director for 25 years. The appearance of the reclusive Crick helped highlight the event; he seldom ventures forth from California's Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where for the past 17 years he has been studying the brain. "Jim is an administrator and manager," Crick explains. "I'm still caught up in research."
UNRAVELING THE THREAD OF LIFE:
40 YEARS OF THE GENETIC REVOLUTION
The setting could not have been more appropriate. Representations of the fabled molecule abound at the campus-like laboratory, which Watson calls "the University of DNA." Twisted, twin-strand, DNA-like designs border the ceiling of the auditorium and circle the lab's ubiquitous CSH insignia. A delicate steel model of the molecule sits in the auditorium lobby, and a DNA rendering hangs from the wall behind Watson's desk. The laboratory's lofty bell tower is not exempt. Each of its four sides is labeled with a letter representing one of the four nucleotides that constitute DNA'S code letters: A, T, C and G. And visible through arches in each of the tower sides is a central staircase--spiral, of course. As an added touch, Watson and several of his guests who had investigated DNA's handmaiden, RNA, in the later 1950s wore their RNA Tie Club ties, each bearing the image of the single-strand molecule.
DNA was also very much on the minds of the scheduled speakers as they described the events flowing from the Nobel-prizewinning Watson-Crick discovery. In the four decades since, scientists, building on their knowledge of DNA's structure, cracked the genetic code, described the machinery of the living cell, identified and located specific genes and learned to transfer them from one organism to another. Their work has already transformed biology, created the biotech industry and new pharmaceuticals, is beginning to affect business, industry, agriculture and food processing, and promises to change drastically the way medicine is practiced. "In five years the impact on medicine will be big," predicts Crick. "In 10 or 15 years, it will be overwhelming."
Key to the rapid progress in genetics is the 15-year, $3 billion Human Genome Project, which Watson headed from its beginning in 1990 until he left last April over differences with Dr. Bernadine Healy, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The ambitious project, which Watson helped persuade Congress to fund, has as its goal the discovery and mapping of all the estimated 100,000 human genes and the sequencing, or arranging in order, of all 3 billion chemical code letters in the human genome, the long strands of DNA that make up the chromosomes in the nucleus of each* of the body's 10 trillion cells.
*Except red blood cells, which have no nucleus.
TOGETHER AGAIN: James Watson and Francis Crick with a model of the world's most famous molecule
The genome is in effect a blueprint for the complete human being, containing instructions that not only determine the structure, size, coloring and other physical attributes, but can also affect susceptibility to disease, intelligence and even behavior. "We used to think that our fate was in our stars," says Watson. "Now we know, in large part, that our fate is in our genes."
Scientists funded by the genome project have their work cut out for them. As of last week, only about 6,100 human genes had been identified, and only a tiny fraction of the genome sequenced. But the rate of discovery is picking up.
Even as the gala event at Cold Spring Harbor was proceeding, news came that a collaborative group of scientists from 13 institutions had identified the gene that, when faulty, is responsible for at least some cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, the untreatable degenerative nerve disorder that crippled and eventually killed Lou Gehrig, the New York Yankee first baseman. Victims of "Lou Gehrig's disease" usually die because of fast-spreading paralysis in as little as three to five years. A small percentage of ALS sufferers, including famed British physicist Stephen Hawking, manage to survive for decades, mentally alert but trapped in a completely immobilized body. The new finding, reported in the journal Nature, could someday result in treatment and perhaps even prevention of the disease.
ONLY A WEEK EARLIER, IN ANOTHER Nature report, scientists revealed that they had found the gene that appears to cause X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD, the rare degenerative disease depicted in the movie Lorenzo's Oil. Other researchers have just discovered that at least 23 different mutations in a single gene can lead to the development of type II (adult) diabetes.
The identification of disease genes has already resulted in the development of tests for such disorders as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy; people from families with histories of these diseases can now be tested for the faulty gene long before any symptoms show up. But little testing has been done so far because the diseases are relatively rare and the results are merely informative; no cure is yet available, and if the test is positive, there is little action the recipient can take, except to avoid having children, who might inherit the gene.
"That kind of diagnosis does not influence the present generation, except in an indirect fashion," says Walter Gilbert, a Harvard molecular biologist who spoke at the Cold Spring Harbor meeting. But Gilbert, awarded a Nobel Prize for his method of sequencing DNA, foresees more massive screening as tests become available for genes that simply predispose people-that is, make them susceptible--to more common illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. In these cases. he believes, people will seek out the tests because they will have some control over their fate. Depending on their genetic susceptibility, they can watch their diets, exercise, have frequent checkups, avoid the sun or practice other forms of behavior that may ward off the onset of disease.
The first genes of this kind will be diagnosed as early as 1995, Gilbert predicts. Then, "by the year 2000 we will have genetic profiles, with 20 to 50 disease genes identified on them." Ten years later, genetic profiles will display between 2,000 and 5,000 potential disease genes, he says, "and by 2020 or 2030, you'll be able to go to a drugstore, and get your own DNA sequence on a CD, which you can then analyze at home on your Macintosh,"
By that time, Gilbert believes, genetic testing will be commonplace and medicine will have drastically changed, Instead of emphasizing treatment with surgery or drugs, it will have become largely predictive and preventive.
Yet medicine of the future will undoubtedly be complemented by a technique that is still in its infancy, but suddenly shows signs of taking off: gene therapy, which, simply stated, involves the transfer of beneficial genes into the human body.
Encouraged by the apparent success of the first approved use of the procedure--on two young girls being treated for an immune deficiency disease--the NIH and biotech companies have begun channeling funds to medical researchers eager to apply variations of gene therapy to a host of diseases.
"The number of investigators getting involved has mushroomed over the past year," says Dr. W. French Anderson, a molecular biologist at the University of Southern California and a pioneering advocate of gene therapy. At Cold Spring Harbor last week, he reported that the number of approved trials of gene therapy, designed to treat diseases ranging from cystic fibrosis to cancer to AIDS, has now reached 47, involving 92 patients.
GENE HUNTER: Dr. Teepu Siddique, a leader of the team that identified the Lou Gehrig's disease gene
It was Anderson who took gene therapy out of the realm of science fiction when he got approval for the transfer of a beneficial gene into a sickly five-year-old Ohio girl who suffered from an immune deficiency. Because of a faulty gene, her body could not manufacture an enzyme called adenosine deaminase (ADA). Without it, toxic substances accumulated in her bloodstream and destroyed the white cells, specifically T cells, inactivating her immune system and making her, like AIDS victims, vulnerable to many diseases.
Anderson, then at the NIH, with colleagues Dr. R. Michael Blaese and Dr. Kenneth Culver, extracted T cells from the little girl's blood and exposed them to a mouse leukemia retrovirus that had been rendered harmless and endowed with a normal ADA gene. Invading the T cell, the retrovirus acted as a vector, depositing its genetic material, including the ADA gene, in the cell nucleus. After the re-engineered T cells were cultured, a process that produced billions of them, they were infused back into the child's bloodstream, where their new gene began producing the ADA enzyme.
Now, 2½ years after that historic experiment, Anderson reported to the Cold Spring Harbor symposium, both this child and another young Ohio girl who began the same treatment a few months later have acceptable levels of the ADA enzyme and are leading normal, healthy lives: needing only to return every six months for repeat treatments. This study, and one conducted by the University of Michigan's Dr. James Wilson on a Woman with familial hypercholesterolemia, represent the only gene-therapy treatments to date with beneficial results. But Anderson expects more success from other projects getting under way.
"Short term," he says, "I think that gene therapy will be applied to a broader and broader range of diseases, with more and more clever approaches." He points to one brain-cancer trial that received initial approval just last week. Researchers will splice a herpes simplex gene into a mouse-leukemia virus that has been rendered harmless by genetic engineering, and insert the altered virus directly into the brain tumor, The virus, as is its nature, will promptly invade the nucleus of the tumor cells, endowing them with the herpes gene and making them susceptible to ganciclovir, an anti-herpes drug. The patient will then be given the drug, which should kill both the virus and the tumor cells.
Another, more startling strategy, not yet approved, would use the AIDS virus itself as a vector to deliver antiviral genes to white blood cells infected with the AIDS virus. After incapacitating the virus so that it cannot reproduce and splicing a therapeutic gene into its genetic material, researchers would inject it into an AIDS patient's bloodstream. It could be the ideal vector for treating the disease, zeroing in on the T cells normally infected by the AIDS virus.
Other methods are more straightforward. In a forthcoming cystic fibrosis trial, Anderson says, doctors will simply "infuse the vector right down into the lungs. And there are even enemas of vectors for colon cancer,"
Eventually, Anderson told his fellow Cold Spring Harbor celebrators, he looks to the day when "any physician can take a vial off a shelf and inject an appropriate gene into a patient."
Like the others gathered to mark the anniversary, Anderson paid tribute to Watson and Crick, whose accomplishment made all that followed possible. Watson was equally appreciative. "I just wish to thank everyone for being here," he said, "to help Francis and me celebrate what is really a very wonderful birthday party." -- With reporting by Larry Thompson/Washington
(From TIME, March 15, 1993)
WATSON AND CRICK. Their names, like those of Lewis and Clark, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Stanley and Livingstone, are enshrined in tandem. Yet a few years after their epochal discovery, the men--James Dewey Watson and Francis Harry Compton Crick--began to drift apart. Though they have remained in touch--except for a cooling-off period after Crick took exception to some of the material in Watson's best-selling book, The Double Helix--they have seldom met in recent years.
Watson remained a working scientist for only a few more years, then bounced back and forth in academe, studying and teaching at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard, and writing The Double Helix. In 1968 he assumed the directorship at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he has spruced up the once shabby campus and added to the scientific prestige of an already renowned institution. Taking on an added burden, Watson lobbied vigorously for the creation of the Human Genome Project and in 1988 became its director, guiding it through its first four years.
Crick, who had actually begun his career as a physicist, remained ever the scientist, first investigating the workings of the living cell, turning next to a decade-long study of developmental biology and finally, in 1976, moving to California. There, he joined the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where for most of the past 17 years he has been involved in a study of the brain, specializing in the visual system because "I want to know how we see something." To requests for interviews or appearances, he politely replied by cards listing multiple choices ("Dr. Crick does not give interviews." "Dr. Crick does not do TV shows." And so on) with the appropriate rejection checked off. On this special occasion, TIME's Leon Jaroff received no such card. Some highlights of his interview with the awesome twosome:
Q. Your famous 900-word article 40 years ago seemed a little understated. Were you being modest?
Crick: The structure of DNA gives the game away, once you've seen it. A schoolboy can understand it. it's not something like relativity or quantum mechanics. It's a Tinkertoy, as somebody once said.
Q. Jim, your book The Double Helix. in which you colorfully described the events leading to the unveiling of DNA, gave many people their first glimpse of the human side of science--the competition, the egos, the jealousies, In retrospect, do you wish you had written any sections differently?
Watson: No, I wouldn't touch a word. There were a couple of phrases they [the publisher] made me take out for good taste. I saw it as a story that was almost a novel and thought it would be useful to keep young people going into science from being disillusioned. A lot of people go in with idealistic ideas, only to find out that scientists are driven by the desire to make a discovery before someone else does.
Q. The first line of the book is, "I have never seen Francis Crick in a modest mood." Francis, I understand the publication caused you some distress?
Crick: Oh, it did. When Jim read me a chapter in a restaurant, I thought nobody will want to read all this stuff. You see how wrong I was. It wasn't what I would call a scholarly account. I objected to it because of that.
Q. Francis, why until now have you been rather reticent about granting interviews and making public appearances?
Crick: It's just the way I am. I decided I did not want to become what's called a celebrity. For a long time, I refused to let people put my photo in textbooks. Unfortunately, I have a very good press agent. [He gestures toward Watson.] Now it's hopeless.
Watson: I think virtually anytime you grant an interview and your name appears in the newspaper, your colleagues are upset. Publicity-seeking scientists generally aren't thought of very well.
Q. Jim, why did you resign last year as head of the Human Genome Project? Was it strictly over differences with National Institutes of Health director Bernadine Healy? And since she is now scheduled to depart this summer, do you regret having resigned?
Watson: No. I had the position for almost four years, and I was trying to hold down two full-time jobs. I was beginning to get worn out. Anyway, if you have no respect for your boss, you should quit, because you're going to be fired. I left over policy matters concerning the patenting of DNA sequences.
THE DOUBLE HELIX: An awesome twosome living in its reflected glory
Q. What about the requested genome-project funding of about $200 million a year? How does that square with the push to reduce the deficit and cut spending?
Watson: It's a much better use of the money than many other ways we're now spending the money. The project will pay for itself many, many times over. They've already found a gene on chromosome 14 that is responsible for much early onset of Alzheimer's disease. Another medical objective is to understand why some women are at greater risk than others for getting breast cancer, and it's hoped that the gene responsible will be isolated over the next several months.
Crick: The fallout from the genome project will not only be tor medical things. It'll illuminate, for example, the nature of evolution and the origin of life.
Q. Do you ever worry about where gene therapy will lead, especially the manipulation of germ cells that will affect future generations?
Crick: There could be problems. Patients in gene therapy experiments can give their formal consent, but that's not quite so easy for a child that isn't born.
Watson: You can worry when we start trying to improve human beings. But if we could make ourselves resistant to AIDS, you would say that we should go ahead and do that.
Crick: All the worries about genetic engineering pale in significance with the question of what you are going to do about there being so many people in the world and the rate at which they increase.
Watson: Yes, that's what I worry about--overpopulation.
Q. How would you summarize the importance of unlocking the secrets of DNA?
Crick: Everything we want to know about biology--and ourselves--will flow from the foundation of genetics, which is based in DNA. That's not to say that everything we do is determined by our genes. Heredity is modified by experience.
Watson: The molecule is so beautiful. Its glory was reflected on Francis and me. I guess the rest of my life has been spent trying to prove that I was almost equal to being associated with DNA, which has been a hard task.
Crick: We were upstaged by a molecule.
Third Friday in June meeting convened at 9:21, 18
June 1993 in the Command Deck of Stately Ginter Manor. President Steve
Smith bellowed, "Yo! Let's have a meeting!" Treasurer Guy
MacIntosh stated, "Sounds wonderful to me." "Or at
least loud," clarified Steve. He then called the "Second
Friday Meeting of the Washington Science Faction Association" to
* Before the meeting, Dick Lynch gave the Secretary 100 Polish zlotys to spell his name right. This sounds impressive until you realize that 100 zlotys are approximately equal to 6/10 of one US cent.
Secretary Lee Strong actually had the latest issue of The WSFA Journal, but reading of the minutes was waived anyway.
Guy reported $3731.08 in the Treasury. (If you translate this amount into Polish zlotys, it sounds bigger.) There was a weak call for a party but this motion failed for lack of a second.
Covert Beach, Chairfan of Disclave Just Past, stated, "There was a Disclave." "We heard rumors," remarked Guy. Evan Phillips is the wild card as his bills have not yet been processed. On the positive side, Dick Roepke has been collecting checks from previous Disclaves and presented a check for $1.93 to Covert, who pronounced it to be a "princely sum." This amount was interest on the account of Disclave Past Past. "Disclave Ancient History?" asked one. "Jurassic Disclave," suggested another. The club applauded and laughed at Dick's financial acumen. Rowdie Yates asked Guy what the new club balance was.
Tom Veal has moved to Chicago. Dan Hoey asked if he was involved in any of the 4 Worldcon bids based in Chicago?
Steve Chalker began beating up Eva Whitley. I didn't see David Chalker but I presume he was a young gentleman.
Disclave Future/present was absent. The President noted that Disclave Present was not present. Okay, so it's now Disclave Not Present.
Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, was not present either. "Well, he won't get any presents," noted Erica Van Dommelen. The Skepna was actually friendly tonight.
Lance Oszko, Chairfan of the Fine Arts Committee, reported that the committee is in hiding. It hasn't done anything.
Eva asked about the Committee to Discuss Science Fiction. Steve asked if she wanted to discuss something? Eva is reading the Hugo nominees. Nicki Lynch asked if Eva would discuss Foundation and Dune, by Janet Asimov and Brian Herbert? Barry Newton stated that there is a CD ROM version of the Hugo nominees out.
Terilee Edwards-Hewitt arrived for what she termed "general vice presidential supplication".
Erica noted that we were actually discussing science fiction and offered the coat room upstairs for this purpose. There is now a sofa in this room. Steve officially appointed Eva to head the Committee to Discuss Science Fiction.
Trustees Dan Hoey and Robyn Rissell were here and were trustworthy. <Prove it.>
Eva has been cleaning house. The club went Ohhhhh! in wonder. There is now more trash in the landfill than the house. She has maps. As hostess for the Fourth of July party, she unilaterally decided that all non dues paid WSFA members must bring 2 dishes. John Sapienza asked if they must also work on "the committee." Eva said she liked the idea. Steve said, "Now you have a party committee."
To coordinate food, call Eva in the Baltimore area or Lee Uba in the Washington area. The Fourth of July will actually occur on the Fourth of July. Ohhhhhhh!
Steve attempted to move to New Business but no such luck.
Steve announced that "the August meetings are weird." "As opposed to what?!?!" challenged Lee Strong. This produced some laughter.
Steve elucidated that the First Friday meeting will be in Stately Ginter Manor. Will the Third Friday meeting be at Peggy Rae's Place? John Sapienza stated this was unlikely. The Third Friday in August meeting is up for grabs. If you have a desire to host it, talk to Steve, to the club..." "To your psychiatrist," finished John.
Lance raised the question of the First Friday in September. The Baltimore Worldcon bid offers its suite at Worldcon. Perrianne Lurie noted that last year, there were 2 meetings: one for the Worldcon attendees and one for the non-attendees. This produced sheep jokes and lots of baaing, but no decision.
When we got to the real New Business, there wasn't any. Parliamentary procedure in WSFA is a strange and wonderful thing.
Steve Smith upheld the First New Tradition by remembering it. He pointed out that Lee Uba was not here to harass him so he had to remember by himself.
Steve Chalker abused Steve Smith. The President noted he does not appreciate orange pop being poured on him. Karl Ginter threw in the towel. While Steve was cleaning his shirt, Terilee began chanting, "Take it off! Take it off!" Eva clarified that "'No, Stevie!' does not refer to the President."
Turned out that were no newcomers here this week. Not even for the free floor show.
Steve called on Erica first but she graciously yielded to the Secretary.
The Secretary stated that everyone who wished their announcement to appear as they wished should write it down on a piece of dinosaur hide.... "Consenting dinosaur hide," clarified Erica. ...and submit it to the Secretary after the meeting.
Lee Strong announced that Charles Gilliland was now a movie star. Charles can be seen in an upcoming film, Twilight of the Dogs, machine gunning post nuclear survivors. Lest anyone think that this behavior is typecasting, Charles prevented two potential real world accidents. He noticed that two rifles intended to fire blanks had not been properly secured. Charles secured both guns, put them on Safety, and notified the film's weapons master of the boo-boo. "Better a boo-boo than a bang bang," noted one WSFAn. The club applauded Charles' intelligent and conscientious action to prevent accidents.
Additional details about Charles Gilliland and Twilight of the Dogs appear elsewhere in various issues of The WSFA Journal.
Erica had several announcements. First, humans must prop the downstairs bathroom door open after they use the facilities. Otherwise, it shuts automatically and prevents the household cats from using the facilities. You don't want to see cats walking around with their legs crossed. Or worse, cats walking around with their legs uncrossed after visiting your jacket.
Second, a certain purple plesiosaurus belongs to cat Freya. Let her have it. The club laughed in sympathy with Freya. (Hey! Would you want your plesiosaurus taken?)
Third, Erica is now running "Layers of Meaning", an imaginative cakemaking and decorating service. Eva gave a testimonial, "This is the woman who made a Three Mile Island Birthday Cake with sparklers." Erica continued, "I have pictures of cakes and of what happens when good bunnies go bad." Laughter. "I can accomplish really exciting things with frosting and icing...."
At this point, the Secretary lost it. Two fans began fanning him to cool him off. Thanks, people.
Terilee announced that she's unemployed and selling earrings. "Buy my earrings." Dan Burgess asked, "Do you do frosting?" Erica announced, "Butter cream is extra."
Someone has a new job with a P.R. firm but I don't know what his name is so he's not that good a P.R. person. Hah!
Chuck Divine has begun training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. The distance is 26 miles, 385 yards. You get a free T-shirt if you survive. Steve encouraged Chuck, "You can probably do that by October." Chuck also announced a Race For Space on 18 June 1993.
Nancy Loomis announced that Matt Lawrence got a job in Austin, Texas on short notice. She could become the wandering contract midwife. Rowdie Yates asked, "Do you do icing?"
Sarah Cole now has a roommate "that I can live with". She is looking for a part time market.
Christine Valada has passed the bar. (Not another lawyer!) Matt Leger suggested, "Tom Haxton, call your office."
Lance Oszko, chairfan of the Baltimore Worldcon Bid Committee, announced the committee had been advised to protect its tax status by doing more educational work and less sales. Therefore, he was no longer selling amber. Instead, he was selling dinosaur starter kits -- as seen in Jurassic Park. This produced a massive burst of applause and laughter as the club celebrated Lance's dedication to education.
Steve noted Jurassic Park has been called a comedy movie for genetic engineers.
Matt Leger is still working.
We overlooked a first time visitor previously. Anne Balodeau attended her first Disclave and hasn't been the same since. (Sadly, there's no cure for that.) She's from Silver Spring. (That either.)
Chuck Webber's store, Fantasy Forum, will be open. It's an easy 3 miles away. Do you get a T-shirt if you make it? Yes, Mr. Clinton, you get a free T-shirt for $10. WSFAns get 25% off.
Matt Leger moved we adjourn. Steve noted that we had "a fairly serious motion on the floor." People began looking around for it and shouting "Let it up!" (Well, they should look for it. Anything serious in WSFA is a major novelty.)
The meeting unanimously adjourned sometime during the Cenozoic Era. (I got that one off Dan Hoey's T-shirt so ask him what it means.)
Washington SF Society
c/o John Sapienza Jr.
Washington, DC 20044
In June, Tor Books will publish my fantasy novel, BY THE SWORD, in hardcover. BY THE SWORD was originally serialized in weekly installments on Prodigy, the two-million member computer network, where it attracted 100,000 readers.
I have an offer to make to any of your members who are interested.
I've printed up a bunch of bookplates, featuring an original b&w illustration of characters from the book. The artist is Paul Jaquays, and the bookplate is printed on label stock, so it can easily be pasted into a copy of the novel. It has a space for my signature; I'm enclosing a sample, so you can see what it looks like.
I'd be happy to send a signed bookplate to any member of your group who wants one; simply drop me a line, enclosing a 29 cent stamp and your name and address. Don't send an SASE; the bookplate won't fit in a standard envelope.
Also, if any members of your club are into roleplaying games, I've published a four-page guide to roleplaying in the world of the novel. It, too, can be had for a 29 cent stamp. If you want both, one stamp will do.
I'd appreciate it if you could let people know about this at your next meeting -- and if you have a newsletter, I'd be very happy if you'd announce it there, too.
Also, if any of your group gets as far north as Delaware, I'll be
doing a signing at:
Between Books, Claymont, DE, June 26th, 2-5PM
I remain, your humble and obedient servant,
(From THE FUTURIST May-June 1993)
Today Then: America's Best Minds Look 100 Years Into the Future on the Occasion of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, compiled by Dave Walter. American & World Geographic Publishing. 1993. 226 pages. 47 illustrations. Paperback. Available from the Futurist Bookstore for $12.95 ($11.95 for Society members), cat. no. B-1658. To order, use the coupon on page 51.
In the early 1890s,a news agency commissioned 74 prominent Americans to write brief essays on what life would be like in 1993. Newspapers published the essays as part of the fanfare for the future-oriented World's Columbian Exposition, which opened in Chicago in May 1893.
The forecasts gathered dust in newspaper archives for the past century, but this year they have re-appeared in a timely and fascinating book entitled Today Then, edited by Dave Walter, research director of the Montana Historical Society in Helena. Walter has written brief biographies of each author along with an informative introduction to the period in which they wrote. Rather than critique the essays, he lets them speak for themselves.
And speak they do, though not in the way the authors intended. For the most part, the forecasts have turned out to be not just wrong, but hilariously wrong. Even when a forecast went right, it seems to have been due largely to luck. Yet the forecasters included the best and brightest of their time--industrialists like George Westinghouse and W.R. Grace, reformer Henry George, the great orator William Jennings Bryan, and members of President Benjamin Harrison's cabinet.
Treasury Secretary Charles Foster expressed the common opinion that, in 1993, the railroad would still be the fastest means of travel. A few forecasters enthused about air travel, but only in balloons. Senator John J. Ingalls told his rapt readers that, by 1993, "it will be as common for the citizen to call for his dirigible balloon as it now is for his buggy or his boots."
Journalist Walter Wellman correctly forecast the coming of the airplane, but he thought it would be powered by electric batteries. As for transportation within cities, Wellman saw no future for subway trains. Instead, he suggested, Americans in 1993 would ride in elevated trains moving along glass-enclosed tracks. The overhead transit system would not only spare Americans the horrors of subterranean transportation, but would shelter pedestrians from rain and snow.
Election night, 1888, in New York's Madison Square, as depicted in Harper's Weekly. Projection on screen flashes updates on Benjamin Harrison's presidential race. With a view of the world that contained horse-drawn vehicles, no skyscrapers, and few females amid the crowd of voters, Today Then's nineteenth-century pundits pondered life in 1993.
Oddly, none of the 1893 forecasters seems to have anticipated the automobile, which was to revolutionize travel in the decades just ahead; Postmaster General John Wanamaker, best known today for the department store he founded, was utterly convinced that mail in 1993 would still travel by stagecoach and horseback rider. He conceded, however, that urgent communications would be transmitted by telegraph and telephone.
The telephone enabled Senator Ingalls to make perhaps the best forecast in the book:
The electric telegraph will be supplanted by the telephone,
which will be perfected and simplified. Telephone instruments,
located in every house and office, will permit the communication
of business and society to be conducted by the voice at will
from Boston to Moscow and Hoang-Ho, just as readily as now
between neighboring villages.
Ingalls's successful forecast impresses mainly because it is surrounded by so many howlers. If the 1893 forecasters had been right, the workday now would last only three hours. The greatest U.S. city would be Chicago, or maybe Denver. Transcontinental mail would be transmitted in pneumatic tubes. Laws would be so simplified that there would be no work for lawyers. Railroads would be public property. The clergy would wear jewelry at services. Religion would have solved the alcohol problem. All the forests would be gone, so builders would have to use stone, iron, and other materials. The Protestant churches would be united. There would be little crime because criminals would be prevented from breeding. Marriages would be happy because couples unsuited to each other would be executed.
Why did the 1893 forecasters go so far wrong? Wishful thinking and propagandizing for their social goals clearly distorted many forecasts, but the 1893 group also fell victim to two fundamental problems that still confront anyone trying to anticipate future events:
First, significant changes occur constantly all around the world, but we are totally unaware of--or unimpressed by--most of them. In 1893, Europeans had long experimented with automobiles; and gasoline-powered cars were successfully run in Germany in the 1880s. But our 1893 forecasters either did not know about these primitive "horseless carriages" or did not consider them important. Today, events unknown to us are doubtless already revolutionizing the world of the future, making it quite different from what we now expect.
Second, recent events, especially those experienced personally, dominate our thinking about the future. The railroads were developing feverishly in the 1880s and 1890s; it took little imagination to think they would become faster and more widespread in the future. So one forecaster was quite certain that, by 1993, travelers would be able to ride in a railway train all the way from Chicago to Buenos Aires. Yet, we still can't: A development that was "obviously" going to happen never did. And we are left to wonder how many of today's foregone conclusions about the future will turn out to be quite wrong.
Could we today do better if we try to forecast life in 2093? Probably not. Whatever modest gains we may have made in the science or art of forecasting are trivial compared to the expanding possibilities of error due to the increased pace of social and technological change. Perhaps the safest forecast we can make about the world of 2093 is that it won't be like whatever we think it will be like. The more we commit our views to paper, the more ridiculous we will look to the people a century hence. Our defense must be that we make forecasts not because we know how to make them accurately, but because we have to make some assumptions about the future in order to make decisions.
More startling than their blunders is the extraordinary optimism of the 1893 forecasters. They looked forward to the years ahead with eager expectation, anticipating rapid improvements in world conditions. Their hero was Thomas Edison, who was then mass-producing miracles that benefited millions of ordinary people as well as the privileged. This optimism about technology flowed over into similar enthusiasm for improvements in society and even man himself. Senator W.A. Peffer, a Populist from Kansas, predicted that war would be abolished in the years ahead, unemployment would disappear, poverty would fade, and justice dealt to everyone. "Men will grow wiser, better, and purer," he declared.
Others bubbled with equal or greater enthusiasm for human prospects. Poet Joaquin Miller thought humans in 1993 would be "handsomer, healthier, happier too, and ergo better." Lawyer Van Buren Denslow agreed that the race would be handsomer, healthier, and happier, opining: "Its longevity will so increase that lives of 120 years will be as frequent as now are those of 90." Politician Andrew Green foresaw an apotheosis for his city, New York: "I do not say that the New York of the next century is going to be ideally perfect. But I do say that it passes the comprehension of men now living to conceive the majesty of this great city as it will be in the next century."
Baptist minister Thomas Dixon Jr. declared that "democracy will reign triumphant to the farthest limits of civilization."
Cotton manufacturer Matthew Borden confidently (and correctly) forecast that "the commercial development of the United States in the Twentieth Century will be prodigious." He added: "It is going to be a great century to live in, this one which begins seven years hence."
It's doubtful that a group of prominent people today would speak in such glowing terms about the century ahead. Easy optimism about the future suffered its first great shock with World War I. Then came World War II, death camps, atomic weapons, and environmental destruction. And so, as Arthur C. Clarke has noted, the future is not what it used to be.
About the Reviewer
Edward Cornish is president of the World Future Society and editor of THE FUTURIST
Source: Today Then
Worldcon Bid Advertising Committee:
Delightfully Fannish Faulconbridge
DF2, 43 Chapman Pde, Faulconbridge, NSW 2776, Australia
email [email address censored]
Committee members (in alphabetical order):
Ron & Sue Clarke, Eric Lindsay, Lewis Morley,
Ken & Marea Ozanne, Marilyn Pride, Jean Weber
This flyer designed by Eric Lindsay, and created by Jean Weber
Look for our bid parties at a convention near you...
or ask how to help us hold a bid party
The Advertising Committee is not accepting pre-supporting memberships.
We do not believe it is appropriate to accept 'membership' money at such an early stage in any bid.
In addition, pre-supporting contributors may plausibly see their support as entitling them to a discount on membership. It is possible that this may be excluded by Worldcon rule changes sometime in the future, so we would not wish to encourage such expectations.
If you would like to support us, we would prefer you do so by helping distribute our flyers at conventions, by running or contributing to convention parties in support of Australia in 1999, by mentioning in your contacts with other fans that you would like to visit Australia in 1999, and by planning such a visit.
When an Australian site is decided upon, the actual Bidding Committee for that city may then be forced to raise money by pre-supporting memberships, however we don't presently expect to select a site until 1995 or 1996.
In Australia, at the best possible site available.
We know this answer won't satisfy convention SMOFs, however it is the only reasonable answer, given that the convention isn't on for seven years.
Australia is in the middle of a recession that affects different cities to a different extent. Several building projects could affect the distribution, quality and costs of hotels. A major international event (such as the Olympics or America Cup) would change the relative desirability of cities.
Unlike the USA, we would not really have to book the hotels until about two years prior to the convention. Naturally, due to Worldcon rules, the actual hotel decision must be made and publicised by mid 1996 (in practice, it would have to be well before then).
The Advertising Committee refuses to make predictions as to which Australian city will offer the best venue by 1996. However, to encourage speculation, we will mention that at present (1992), Melbourne has the most active club (but the state is disadvantaged by economic problems), Perth has the best conventions (but is a smaller city, and very distant from other Australian fans), Adelaide has the most serious fans (but may not be interested in running the convention), Canberra has an enthusiastic club (but may not have the facilities or resources), and Sydney is a little light on active fans (but may have the best facilities, especially if it wins the Olympic bid for 2000).
The precise composition of the Bidding Committee win be decided and announced around the time the bidding city is decided.
Fans on the Bidding Committee would be mostly from the bidding city, with some positions (those not dependent upon local knowledge or contact) held by active supporters in other cities.
We are not encouraging discussion of the possible qualifications of committee members at this time, as any suggested list would be bound to change dramatically over a period of seven years. Historically, the committee members (including the chair) of Worldcons have altered within the life of the bid. This is often seen as a destabilising factor, however we recognise it is inevitable, as interests change and as other commitments alter. We should remember that the average stay in fandom is probably only relatively few years, and that older fans may not have the energy to take on an active position through all the many years of activity required.
We would hope to have a large proportion of younger, newly active fans in key positions, with a core of long tenn fans to provide continuity and advice based on prior experience. We would anticipate that the long term fans would each have a decade or two of convention running experience.
Fans from Faulconbridge and area, and associates of Faulconbridge fans, can become members of the Advertising Committee.
This strange restriction is designed partly to ensure that the Advertising Committee does not unduly favour any particular Australian bidding city or bidding group.
More importantly, Faulconbridge is too small (1500 people) and lacks the facilities (one small motel, one convention hall) to be considered in any way a threat to ANY full scale Australian bid.
We hope by this means to avoid losing support for advertising from Australian fans in general, regardless of whether they themselves favour (or more likely, dislike) some particular city for the bid. We also feel that this restriction will help keep us closely focused on advertising and publicity, and not get diverted into con planning and fan politics.
The Advertising Committee for the 1999 Worldcon Bid goes from strength to strength, having gathered every fan in Faulconbridge into its clutches... sorry, that should read... committee. The most recent member is Michael McGuiness, who was the major contact person for Sydney fandom in the 1950s and early 1960s (although I suppose Graham Stone and Kevin Dillon are the only people in Australian fandom old enough to recognise Michael).
Ron Clarke has published 80 issues of The Mentor, and participated in many conventions since he was at high school in the mid 1960's. He is probably the only Australian fan to have driven to London in a double decker bus, and is certainly the only Australian fan to be a GoH at a Russian SF convention. Ron is an active member of several local science fiction discussion groups.
Sue Clarke was originally known in fandom as Sue Smith. Although she may not have been in fandom quite as long as Ron, she is probably even more active as both a convention organiser, and publisher of many Star Trek and other media fanzines. The Clarke house seems perpetually a party, full of visiting fans.
Eric Lindsay attended his first Worldcon in 1972, to help promote the first Aussiecon. He has attempted to dodge committee membership ever since, but has not always managed this. He organised various well received Medventions, but tried to escape his fannish obligations in Australia by taking numerous long trips to US conventions (1972, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1992). His fanzine Gegenschein has been published (possibly declining in both size and quality) since 1971, and is now up to issue 67. He is exceedingly annoyed that Ron Clarke has published more issues for longer. His apa memberships have now declined to a mere two, FAPA and FLAP.
Lewis Morley and Marilyn Pride are two thirds of the three finest serious artists in Australian fandom, and bring a very welcome artistic talent to the area. Their business is making movie monsters and special effects. They are past DUFF winners, and have the most interesting wall ornaments I have ever seen.
Ken and Marea Ozanne are no longer active fanzine fans, however they do seem to manage a pilgrimage to the USA every three or four years and see lots of fans there. Ken has helped with many conventions.
Jean Weber attended the first Aussiecon to see some visiting US friends, met John Bangsund, and did her first fanzine shortly after. WeberWoman's Wrevenge is still going strong. She co-chaired several Circulations in Canberra with Sandra Hyde, as well as working on other SF and professional conventions over the past twenty years.
I'd like to thank those who have offered to help or who are already helping distribute our flyers. Andy Andruschak, jan howard finder, Mike Glicksohn, Gay Haldeman, Janice Murray, Bruce Schneier, R Laurraine Tutihasi, Leah Zeldes and Dick Smith. And by the time this reaches you, probably many more (and I may have missed a few).
Adult Memberships: $20 until 12/31/93, $30 until 4/30/94, then $40. Children: $10 6-12 years old, $5 under 6 years (and must be "in tow"; we regret DISCLAVE cannot provide babysitting.) Hotel is $85 per night, single to quad. Hotel phone: (703) 448-1234.
[Upper Marlboro, MD] Local director and former member of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) John R. Ellis is shooting his third film in Maryland. The post apocalyptic adventure tale, TWILIGHT OF THE DOGS, is set in a desolate, dust ridden tobacco house in Upper Marlboro and surrounding rock quarries for an otherworldly mood well suited to this feature length film for international release. Present and past members of WSFA (WSFAns) are prominent as members of production staff and as actors.
The adventure story includes a religious cult led by the evil Reverend Zerke, played by Ralph Bluemke of Hollywood fame. Mr. Ellis has proven himself not only as a producer but also as a special effects wizard. He has become something of a young lion of directing and will add the special effects to his latest film. He continues to recruit professionals from his previous science fiction hits, Invader and Star Quest, as well as adding a seasoned cinematographer to his team, Alicia A. Craft. Ms. Craft has years of experience as a first assistant camera and as director of photography. Her recent work includes the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well as the movies Meteor Man and Warlock II.
Pyrotechnics and military hardware including a Russian tank (Armored Personnel Carrier) are provided by technical advisor and weapons master Walter F. Suarez, Jr., of Newport News, VA. Mr. Suarez, recently called the Hunter S. Thompson of pyrotechnics by the Virginia Pilot, cultivates the mystique that Lord Byron called "mad, bad and dangerous to know" with a good sense of humor and a high degree of safety. Mr. Suarez has worked with Roma Films in Italy as well as providing explosions for the popular television show Rescue 911.
The film stars another former WSFAn, science fiction author and screenwriter Tim Sullivan. A Hollywood resident, Mr. Sullivan is an award winning novelist as well as an accomplished actor in his own right. He plays the male lead, Sam Asgarde, a loner who defends the community of "Scavenger Dogs" from Zerke's evil forces. The female lead is Gage Sheridan of Alexandria, VA. She is a local favorite of many theater audiences in the Washington/Baltimore area. She stars as Kuray, an alien benefactor who brings a new source of food and medicine (a genetically engineered cow) to the survivors of the nuclear holocaust. Also appearing is Donna Abrahms of Hollywood, CA. Ms. Abrahms was formerly a Top Forty singing star. She plays Espee, the dignified and caring leader of the "Scavenger Dog" community under attack by Zerke and his murderous "Deacons".
Other WSFAns appearing in the film include Charles Gilliland, Walter Miles, Lee Strong and Martin Wooster. Mr. Gilliland is an Arlington, VA resident who plays one of Zerke's elite "Deacons" who capture Kuray. Mr. Miles and Mr. Wooster appear as happy members of Zerke's congregation of followers. Mr. Strong lives in Alexandria, VA and portrays a "Deacon" who attempts to capture Sam Asgarde. He also appears as a "Scavenger Dog" in other scenes. Another former WSFAn, Somtow Sucharitkal, is currently filming "The Making of 'Twilight of the Dogs'".
In the interest of family entertainment, and to present the story as written, Twilight of the Dogs includes trained trick horses and the trained dog that appeared in Sommersby. Trained cow Bambi appears as the genetically altered cow, Gertrude, who is the last hope of health and nutrition for the desperate survivors. Stuntman Doug Sloan of Richmond, VA has performed stunts and provided animals, carriages and training for more than 17 feature films.
From a business perspective, Invader, Mr. Ellis' second film, defied all expectations with video market sales totalling $6 million worldwide. Twilight of the Dogs is expected to surpass this total and to have theatrical release sometime in late 1993 or 1994. Since the film deals with the timely topics of religious cults, genetic engineering, plagues and antidotes, love and reason, the film is expected to have a universal mythic appeal to an international audience. "People will be drawn to the action, adventure and effects," says John Ellis. "It is my vision that they walk away with something more... with hope for the future."
For additional information, contact Ms. Aloma Denise Alber at (301) 627-1849; FAX (301) 627-9283.