The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction
Association -- ISSN 0894-5411
Edited by Joe Mayhew
LC's Literary Science Fiction & Fantasy Discussion Forum
Away Team Address Update
WSFA Minutes March 3, 1995 at Gilliland's
Publishers Weekly / February 20, 1995
Deathrealm & World Horror Convention Awards
Edited by Joe Mayhew
The last of WSFA's founding members died of chronic obstructive lung disease on March 8, 1995. Charles Franklin Derry to paperwork, Chuck to his wife, C.F. to his neighbors, and Chick to fandom, was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania and lived most of his life in Wildercroft, Maryland (near East Riverdale). He was a veteran of World War II.
He was a particularly valuable to Fanzine Fandom, as he was by profession an office Machinery Technician who kept everything from ditto machines, mimeographs to photo-offset systems going long after anyone else would have given up in despair. Mimeographs used to be very close to the essential center of Science Fiction Fandom, and so in the 1950's and 60's men like Chick Derry were legendary figures. In the 1950's he published 12 or 13 issues of his own fanzine, ODYSSEY. The number is a little less than certain because he used to number them with ancient Mayan glyphs.
Chick was a pleasant, good natured and easy going sort of man. Tinkering was close to his heart. His back yard had elaborate home made gadgets to foil birdseed plundering squirrels, and, among other demanding hobbies, he to build 1930's style balsa wood RC model airplanes from plans, rather than from kits.
In the fall of 1992, Chick retired. He and his wife, Juanita, had planned to travel, but his health was by then rather uncertain and there never seemed to be a period long enough to do it.
In 1987 Chick was Disclave Fan Guest of Honor. Naturally a mimeographed "one-shot" fanzine was planned for the con, but an adequate supply of the right kind of stencils could not be found, thus only a few pages were produced.
He is survived by his wife, Juanita Derry, by his children: Miles R. Derry, Jan Derry, Susan Gibson, Alex Derry, two sisters, 1 brother, 4 grandchildren, and by the Washington Science Fiction Association which he founded.
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Richmond, VA 23227-3747
Attending: Pres. Covert Beach, VP Terilee Edwards-Hewitt, Sec. Joe Mayhew, Treas. & 96 Disclave Chair Bob MacIntosh, Trusts. Dan Burgess & Jim Edwards-Hewitt & Paula Lewis, 95 Chair Dan Hoey, 97 Chair Michael Nelson, Chris Callahan Grinner Cleveland, Art (Boots) Coleman, F. L. Ettlin, Alexis Gilliland, Lee Gilliland, Karl Ginter, Erica Ginter, David Grimm, Eric Jablow, Kitty Jensen, Judy Kindell, Dick Lynch, Nicki Lynch, Keith Marshall, Winton Matthews, Walter Miles, John Peacock, Dick Roepke, Rachel Russell, Tom Schaad, George R. Shaner, Dale Sharrick, Steven Smith, T R Smith, Michael J. Taylor, James Uba, Michael J. Walsh, Michael Watkins, Miles Weissman, Ben Zuhl.
Covert called the meeting to order at 9:16. Two items were on the agenda: 1) the site of the next meeting: Joe reported that the Ginters will be hosting it. 2) A host is needed if there is to be a 5th Friday party on March 31st.
Bob reported a treasury balance of $6421.10.
DISCLAVE 95: Dan Hoey has done another walk-through of the Hotel. He found the facilities satisfactory. Dan is looking for help running parties at Lunacon and Balticon. WSFA was asked to help stuff and fold Disclave Fliers after the meeting.
DISCLAVE 96: Bob MacIntosh announced an art GOH: Hannah M. G. Shapero.
DISCLAVE 97: Michael Nelson said he had narrowed down his possible GOH list to the SFWA Directory.
NO BUSINESS WAS CONDUCTED. No one volunteered to host a March 5th Friday party.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:36.
Samuel R. Delany. Illinois State Univ./Black Ice Books, $24.95 (223p) ISBN 0-932511-88-0
Hugo-and Nebula Award-winner Delany--whose early books were fascinating but whose recent efforts have grown increasingly obtuse--has been trying to get this pornographic novel published since 1973. The main narrator here is an 11-year-old boy who joins up with a raping, murdering pederast named Hogg. Coprophiliac Hogg violates women for pay. He enlists the help of other pedophiliac murdering rapists--Nigg, Dago and Denny--and the group sets off to perform acts of hideous violence. After the attacks, a biker friend of Hogg's sells the boy into sexual slavery to dockyard slum resident Big Sambo, who keeps his 12-year-old daughter for prostitution and his own perversions. The traumatized little girl is gang-raped by Hogg's crew as well. Meanwhile, teenaged Denny goes on an insane mutilating and mass-murder spree, eludes the police and finally returns to Hogg and the hopelessly confused narrator, who has been "rescued" after Hogg murders Big Sambo. Gang-rape attacks and criminal sex orgies are detailed at excruciating length, with photographic realism. This potent emetic is all the more disturbing for want of modulators of honest outrage. In other works, Delany has examined the role of the criminal within society; with Hogg, he apparently was content merely to inhabit the criminal mind without exploring it. (Mar:)
The World Horror Convention was also the site of the Deathrealm Awards, presented by Malicious Press, publishers of DEATHREALM. Lawrence Watt-Evans was ballot counter.
The Deathrealm winners are:
Best novel: STRANGE ANGELS, by Kathe Koja
Best short fiction: "Driftglider," by Jeffrey Osier
Best single-author collection: BIBLIOMEN, by Gene Wolfe
Best anthology: YEAR'S BEST HORROR XXII, edited by Karl Edward Wagner
Best fiction magazine: TERMINAL FRIGHT, edited by Ken Abner
Best non-fiction magazine: THE SCREAM FACTORY, edited by Peter Enfantino & Robert Morrish
Best artist: Alan Clark
Congratulations to Clive Barker, winner of the World Horror Convention's Grand Master Award.
Cordwainer Smith, edited by James A. Mann, introduction by Alan C. Elms. NESFA Press, $21.95 (222p) ISBN 0-915368-61-7
Cordwainer Smith, pseudonym of the late Paul Linebarger, a professor and part-time spy, wrote only one SF novel, but it is in keeping with the picture of a future world he built in his other fiction. This novel, originally conceived and published in two parts in 1964 and '68, and later issued in paperback by Ballantine in 1975, begins like a more traditional SF tale. Protagonist Rod McBan's Norstrilian peers consider him inferior because he lacks their telepathic abilities. Nearly "culled" as part of the strictly regulated society's population control, McBan uses a computer to arbitrage the galactic financial markets, enabling him, literally, to buy Earth. While the first half would merely have made an interesting novel, the second, more lyrical part displays Smith's superior writing abilities as he describes both the Underpeople (genetically designed combinations of humans and other species-and the Instrumentality (an organization for keeping humanity from becoming stagnant). The result: a novel that transcends its time. Though not a 'scholarly edition (the variorum is incomplete and ilie introduction leaves much to be desired), this composite text, ably edited by James A. Mann, is a fine companion to the author's complete short fiction, The Rediscovery of Man. (Mar.)
Ever since the Greeks started debating philosophy over lunch, Homo Snobians has asserted smugly that he is the only animal capable of developing and communicating abstract concepts.
Despite the time polished arguments of the best paid traditional authorities, a chimpanzee who was being taught some American Sign Language, Ms. Washoe, who didn't know she wasn't supposed to, went right ahead and made up a sign "water-bird" for "duck." Nobody had taught her the word for duck and so she described it. Obviously she thought it was the right thing to do. Obviously she thought.
So, it looks like we'd better come up with a new sine qua non for our species, as it looks like rational thought [the "sapiens" part] isn't the sole property of human critters.
We've always insisted that our Godlike special nature entitled us to dominion over our fellow Earthlings, including the right to work them without mercy, torture them for our own edification, to eat them, or worse, to turn them into poodles.
However, confronted by the possibility that we aren't unique in our power of abstracting ideas into speech, what then justifies our managerial status? Some of the invincibly ignorant assert triumphantly that Ms. Washoe was just a trick done with smoke and mirrors. They continue to vomit up banalities about how superior MAN is to the tasty wee lambs, the succulent piggies, the handy little rhesus monkeys and the rest of the dumb creatures "over which we have been given dominion."
But those of us who want to keep on eating bits and pieces of our neighbor critters must come up with a new doctrine of justification by special capacity. To this end (baked ham), I suggest slough off discredited "Homo Sapiens" and adopt a new species tag, "Homo Publicans: Man the Publisher"
Getting into print is the one activity which is actually unique to Man. There simply aren't any shrew fanzines, otter anthologies, parakeet paperbacks or gnu best sellers. Despite racks of Penguin books, none of them are actually by penguins. Neither do they produce a corresponding "People books" for themselves. All evidence is that publishing is unique to our species and thus writing, editing and publishing is what sets us apart from the lower animals.
This brings up a problem, of course. Everyone doesn't publish, so, then, is it ok to eat them? Should those who have never pub'd an ish, submitted a LOC, APAed or even xeroxed a dirty limerick be used in laboratory experiments? Should they sell the people chops of those who have never even written on a bathroom wall?
Not if they read! For reading is the other side of publishing. Without readers, some publishing would cease (Academic publishing would, to a large extent, be unaffected). Readers are clearly an important part of the species Homo Publicans.
But what about illiterates? Is it ok to julienne a couch-potato; to test suspected carcinogens on the cast of Beverly Hills 90210; or to show trendies copulating on Wild America? Lamentably, no. Genetically, they are part and parcel of our species, as are mongoloid idiots. Even if the paramount defining characteristic of humanity is atrophied, dormant or simply wasted on them.
Just as the use of abstractive thought or wisdom to distinguish MAN from the LOWER ANIMALS brings up some questions about how stupid can you be and still be a "Sapiens" the use of the "Publicans" criterion has its problems as well. All publications are not of equal merit. After all, while there are many excellent publications, there are also crudzines like PEOPLE MAGAZINE, which is the literary analogue to flatulence. Which brings us to another question: as PEOPLE MAGAZINE is the sort of ish a swine would pub if it could, what if our succulent piggies developed literacy?
To that, I reply: IT WILL DO THEM NO GOOD! I shall continue to add bacon to my burgers and BLTs whether I risk the loss of a porcine Shakespeare or not. If piggies develop a publishing industry, Mankind will explore some other sine qua non such as social class, proper accent, schooling, or knowledge of the secret handshake could be used to determine who is to be supper and who is to be guest.