The WSFA Journal, February 1994

The WSFA Journal



February 1994

ISSN 0894-5411

Vice Reigns at WSFA


Biology Lessons at WSFA ................................... Page 2
Terilee Conducts WSFA Meeting With Speed and Efficiency ... Page 4
The WSFA First Contact List Updates ....................... Page 6
Asexual Reproduction Weakens Species ...................... Page 6


"Could you be less specific?"


We Don't Know, Either!


President Succumbs to the Pressure of Office

The regular First Friday in January business meeting convened at 9:29, 7 January 1994 in Chez Gilliland. President Steve Smith bellowed, "Yo! Let's have a meeting!" Someone asked, "Why?" "We're going to sit here until we get 'it' right," proclaimed Steve. "Oh, Lhord! We'll be have a long time," whined someone. "We have food," stated hostess Lee Gilliland. "Let the games begin," said the President.

Caesar Augustus Steve asked Secretary Lee Strong if he had anything waivable. Lee waved the folder with the notes from last meeting, and the minutes were deemed waived as well.

Treasurer Robert "Guy" MacIntosh reported $2249.87 in the Treasury. There were cries for a small party and for a hostile takeover. Both ideas failed for lack of seconds.

Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, stated, "Normally after the last WSFA meeting, I would sit around saying, 'Boy, what a great WSFA meeting that was...' However, my better half reminded me that young Steven Chalker was running amuck.... Loose anyway. I called Eva. She's forming a rival club [of 3 people.]" "Does the word 'Familycon' mean anything?" asked Erica Van Dommelen.

Lee Gilliland stated that there were two other offending families. Lee did not mention names or identify the families. One has an adolescent boy, the other had adolescent girl. They were found in the bedroom. "What were they doing in the bedroom?" asked one member. "Reading," suggested another. "No;" rejoined Lee, "biology lessons." "Could you be more specific?" asked one inquiring mind. "Could you be less specific?" implored another. Henceforth, subadults are restricted to the bathroom plus the lower three floors in Chez Gilliland.

Terilee Edwards-Hewitt, President of Vice, professed to be shocked that Lee did not provide condoms for her guests. This led to giggling and silly comments. There was a motion that the club provide condoms. This failed due to improper use. Erica stated that people could not use the bedrooms in her house because Karl and she have not figured out the scale yet.

Lance Oszko, Chairfan of the Fine Arts Committee, said that he had a video.... "Of the biology lessons?" asked one. "No, of the Evan Phillips Confrancisco Masquerade."

Steve said, "This seems like a good time to remind everyone that it is the official policy of WSFA that meetings are at the invitation of the host and hostess. Their word goes in their abodes."

Steve then asked John Peacock, Chairfan of Disclave Present, if we had any presents this year? John asked everyone to get your stuff in for the flyer. Next month we will have paper cuts and new origami designs.

Dan Hoey, Chairfan of Disclave Future, is composing a letter to invite a Guest Of Honor (GOH). Mike Zipser asked, "Anyone in particular, or is this a form letter?" Mike suggested it be addressed to "Sir, Madame or Other:"

Are there any Committees That Steve is Forgetting About? I forgot.

Old Business

What about The Tradition? Well, it's now traditional that someone asks about The Tradition.

New Business

Nature abhors a vacuum, but we don't.

The New Tradition

Ah, hah! He remembered!

There was no sucker here for his first or third time. However, Sylvia rebutted, "Yes, I did come back." The club chorused, "Hi, Sylvia!" "A triumph of hope over experience?" mused one back lit individual.


The Secretary announced that anyone who wants his or her announcement to appear as they wish rather than as the Secretary might transcribe it should submit the announcement in writing to the Secretary after the meeting.

Lee Gilliland announced that Critter does not have front claws. Please keep it inside as he it cannot defend himself itself. Alexis characterized the cat as "A sly devil but very stupid." Joe Mayhew commented that this was "Possibly true of all cats." There were several meows of protest.

Mike Zipser announced that Fast Forward is announcing that Tom Schaad will be interviewing Michael Swanwick, author of Iron Dragon's Daughter, in January. Autographed copies of this book are at B. Dalton in Ballston Common and Skyline. Joe characterized Daughter better than [award winning] Stations of the Tide by the same author.

Tom announced that Fast Forward will also interview Jenny Wurtz and Don Maitz, and local filmmaker John Ellis in the near future.

Paula Lewis has finished fanzines and some nifty stamps for distribution. Lance is not allowed to take them and sell them.

Dr. Lurie made the usual announcements about the Balticon Green Room and the Disclave Program Book. In addition, Babylon Five (the series) started on 26 January. The NESFA recommended reading list for this year is out. Steve commented that this is for those of us auditing the class....

Joe Mayhew asked, "What the heck was I going to say?" {We don't know either, Joe.} Anyway, he is driving up to Boskone and is looking for a car mate.

Lance has new flyers for the Baltimore Worldcon bid. He is submitting papers to the state of Virginia to incorporate as SF Amber, Inc. He is selling amber.... "Oh! What a surprise!" interjected Lee Gilliland. Lance advised that the Atlanta bid is dead. Therefore, 1998 Worldcon looks like Baltimore, Buffalo, New York City (I), New York City (II), New York City (III) or New York City (IV).

Steve Smith lost it [the official gavel]. He had a choice and saved the bheer. {The man knows his priorities.}

Lisa Steele got paid for writing 2 gaming articles. The club cheered Lisa's pro-dom. She had a flyer to shamelessly plug the magazine. We printed it last time. Don't look for it in this issue.

The Public Library has Peterson's Catalog to Colleges.

Beth Zipser announced that Mike Zipser is switching demographic categories. He is becoming an old fart rather than being a young stud.

Guy MacIntosh announced that dues are due and payable.

There was a motion on the floor to adjourn. The club unanimously adjourned at 9:51.

After the meeting, someone asked how the Secretary "does it"? By using shorthand? No, actually we make it all up and adjust reality to match our fantasy. Napoleon remarked that "History is the fiction we agree to accept."



The WSFA Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA), Inc. All material is © 1994 WSFA, Inc., except as noted. Mess with us, and your credit rating isn't worth spit!

Publisher .......... Steve Smith Terilee Edwards-Hewitt
Vice Publisher ..... Terilee Edwards-Hewitt Jim Edwards-Hewitt
Editor-in-Chief .... Lee Strong
Complaint Department ... Lorena Bobbitt


Mr. Smith Goes to San Francisco

The regular Third Friday in January business meeting convened in Stately Ginter Manor at a freckle past 9 o'clock [9:20 p.m.], 21 January 1994. Vice President Terilee Edwards-Hewitt presided in the absence of President Steve Smith, who was in San Francisco. "Hello! Hello!" begun Terilee, waving a heavy wrench instead of Steve's bhottle opener. "This is the Official Wrench of Office." Most Presidential transitions are wrenching experiences.

Terilee basically ignored the Secretary. <Let's hope this idea catches on!> There was no Treasurer present and therefore no Treasurer's report.

Alexis Gilliland, Chairfan of the Entertainment Committee, reported that the Lorena Bobbitt verdict gave new meaning to the old saying that you should never sleep with a woman crazier than you are. The City Paper published a picture of the critical evidence in the trial.

Disclave Past

Is there a Disclave Future? Is there a Disclave Present? Robyn Rissell asked, "Is there an origami party?" Do we have a future? Someone said that we don't have one, but Dan Hoey, Chairfan of Disclave Future, said, "Yes, we do." No details yet.

Terilee asked the Trustees have anything? That you can repeat in public? Apparently not.

Old Business

New Business

Dr. Perrianne Lurie relayed a request from Woodie Harper of Phoenix, Arizona. He wants to put SF on local cable access. Could someone from Fast Forward send a tape? Joe Mayhew volunteered to transmit the request to the Fast Forward staff.

The New Tradition

No one was here for the first or second time. Sylvia was here for her third time. The club chanted, "Hi, Sylvia!" She chanted, "Hi, WSFA!" Terilee noted that Sylvia does not have to pay the Treasurer tonight since there is no Treasurer to pay. The WSFA Glee Club started singing the Jeopardy theme.


The Secretary made the usual announcement.

Lee Strong announced that his reputation as "Lee On The Right" might be in jeopardy. He recently joined a Toastmasters club otherwise composed entirely of libertarians. Politically, he is the most left wing member of that club! WSFA Oo'd in awe at the thought.

Terilee had emergency dental surgery on 3 January. The club went OHH! in sympathy. Three teeth were bad and infected her gums. "This was why people have not seen me," explained Terilee. Hopefully, the problem is now completely cleared up.

Terilee started working Saturday mornings as an eating disorder counselor. Dr. Perrianne Lurie has heard from John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton. {Who?} They're O.K., but Kathi won't be taking the Santa Monica Freeway to work for a while. Bruce Peltz lost a cat. Harlan Ellison fell down a spiral stair. He suffered a broken nose, a concussion and a bruised ego. The ego is expected to recover.

Perrianne also mentioned that articles for the Disclave Program Book are due in the Balticon Green Room on Babylon Five by 26 January.

Erica Van Dommelen had multiple announcements. Please don't eat the house cleaning supplies.

The stupidest secretary in the world cursed Erica out. This individual understands why the United States invaded Iraq, but can't understand why we don't invade other troublemaking foreign nations such as Africa and Alaska. The club sagely nodded in agreement, especially about those silly Alaskans.

Anyway, if Bioscience magazine does not fire the stupid secretary, Erica will bid the magazine "Hasta la vista!" "Retirement is great," noted Joe Mayhew. "More like semi-retirement," clarified Erica. "You're going to retire in an 18 wheel truck?" asked Rowdie Yates.

In sadder news, Matt Lawrence's father passed on. He had suffered from bone cancer for a long time.

Susan Cohen and Gary Romain are running a Live Action Role Playing Game (LARPG) set in London, 1892 for $40 a person. The site is the Columbia Inn, Columbia, Maryland. See Susan and Gary for details.

Lee Gilliland announced, "It snowed." "Thank you, Amazing Kreskin," Terilee said.

Terilee announced a Hell in '99 Worldcon bid. Hell, it seems, is located on Grand Cayman Island. Not quite as hot as many had feared.

Terilee then wanted to adjourn, and the club unanimously granted her wish at 9:32.

* Following the meeting, a number of people updated their listing in the WSFA First Contact List © 1993, 1994.

Brian Lewis, [censored] Falls Church, VA 22041. Telephone (703) 820-1496. Brian is currently unemployed, but will begin a career as a student of computer science in March 1994.

Sam Pierce, [censored], Ashburn, VA 22011. Telephone (703) 729-4863.

Dale Sharrick, [censored], Waldorf, MD 20601.



Genes from males key to survival

NEW YORK (AP) A study suggests why females of so many species have sex. And it ain't candlelight dinners. It seems that males keep the species from being decimated by bad genes and parasites.

Females of some species, such as some beetles and lizards, can reproduce on their own without having sex. By producing only females, asexual reproduction should lead to twice as many descendants. So why do most plants and animals reproduce sexually instead?

R. Stephen Howard and Curtis Lively used a computer simulation for an explanation. In the simulation, asexual organisms were introduced into a predominantly sexual population to see what would happen over many generations. The asexual organisms were subjected to 2 pressures that have been proposed as fatal flaws: mutations and parasites. In asexual reproduction, the same genes are passed from generation to generation rather than mixing with genes from males. So harmful mutations can keep accumulating until some generation gets stuck with such a load it can't keep going. Also, asexual creatures may become highly vulnerable to parasites, viruses and other tiny invaders become they have no ready source of new genes to make them resistant. The resulting disease could cut into reproductive ability. Results of the simulation showed that a combination of parasites and mutations doomed the asexuals before they could take over the population. Parasites periodically devastated the asexual population, which kept recovering until mutations finally finished it off.

Biologist Michael Lynch of the University of Oregon said his own work suggests that mutations alone are devastating enough to explain why asexual reproduction is far less common than sex. But the new work makes sense in showing that adding parasites speeds up the extinction, he said.

Lieutenant Commander Data, Lwoxana Troi, and the Clone Ranger could not be reached for comment.