MIT Science Fiction Society

84 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02139

MITSFS Meeting Minutes

Friday, September 2, 2005

MITSFS meeting called to order, 1700 SST, Andrew Clough, Skinner, presiding; John Carr, Pseudo-Onseck, recording.

Minutes read.

The Skinner is impressed that the onseck actually put in 18:-30. Motion passes by Skinnerial decree.


Committee Reports


Somebody calls about a donation from Inman Square.


Ed pops in briefly. He is handling the midway because Kat is on a boat. He seems harried. Is anybody else helping? We don't know. Margaret is not here. Ed returns to say Kevin and Margaret are helping.


We now have a quarantine for sick books. Or a triage chamber, because sick books don't get better. Unless you soak them in Tilex. Or irradiate them. We could use the reactor to kill the mold. It's a neutron source so the books could be read in the dark later. Electron beams are better.


A person is trying to be a prentice but the Star Chamber is not very responsive. Brian is now Pianocomm.

War Council

There is a brief lament over the space we almost got, followed by a longer one later in the meeting, somewhere in Future Business. We should form a spinoff group to get its own space. The Fantasy Appreciation Society? The Paper Preservation Association?

Where does the Tech have their newspaper printed?

Can we have an alumnus donate space? Endow a MITSFS wing?


SCC is closed so we need to divert the books in the ZGT that are waiting to be returned to them. We also need to replace SCC. Pandemonium? NEMBF?


Do we have an LHE? Andrew was going to talk to Kevin about that. Would we have an Onseck? That's a problem.


350 books are over at APO book exchange. Better World Books will be taking our hardbacks on consignment. We get 20% of their revenue from our books and a literacy charity gets 15%. We need to discuss office organization with LCS.

A brief digression to cat mysteries and efforts to sell them. A further digression to eBay and the difficulties of selling there. Chris on eBay: ``If you want to part a fool from his money, you have to deal with the fool.''

We can't sell at Arisia because Ellen is staff (Filk) and won't have time. It's hard to sell to used book stores. The Wellesley Booksmith is starting up a used book section; we should talk to them. Maybe they want cat mysteries?

Part of our surplus comes from old MITSFS members who are moving into smaller spaces or dying (i.e. moving into much smaller spaces).

Ellen whips out a handful of books.

Vox Sciurorum

Update. John's fingers were gently nibbled by his squirrel.


Old Business


New Business

There is a movie currently in the throes of opening made out of the Bay Bradbury short story: ``The Sound of Thunder.'' Discussion of Bradbury and ``Golden Apples of the Sun'' which is good despite the setting of the thermostat to -1000 degrees F to keep the spaceship cool. Chris defines negative temperature.

A freshman walks in! Then he leaves.

Andrew is turning into an absent-minded professor even though he doesn't have a doctorate. An absent-minded grad student is the larval stage of an absent-minded professor. The non-absent-minded ones go into industry and do stuff. If they remember to go into industry. If they don't, they must be absent minded and become professors.

Everybody waves to Famous Author Geoffrey Landis, who rejoined the Society this week. (He is a visiting professor at MIT.)

The Nature web site has an article about a bacterium that sounds just like the one in Neal Stephenson's Zodiac. It turns the covalently-bonded chlorine in perchlorate into ionic chloride.


Future Business

We haven't had an inventory of the library in the past two years. On the 17th we will gather as many people as we can and attempt to inventory the library, even if Jamie isn't there. Brian may help; the Skinner is urged to formally nominate him now as pseudo-Dexmistress to run inventory because it takes preparation to run inventory.

Ed says two weeks notice is not enough and Andrew should appoint people now and wait for them to make a plan. October 1st? John remarks, October the First is Too Late but has to identify the source of the phrase (a Fred Hoyle novel). Can we hold a meeting where people speak entirely in book titles?

Discussion moves on to Buffy and Dante and who gets chewed on by whom in Dante's hell. Y's bad pun for this week is a quotation from Inferno (``what in hell's eating you?'').

Do we have a space management plan? No. We need one. A real one, not a hypothetical one.

The Skinner's suggestion that somebody make a banana motion is approved 10-1-8+Spehn.

Meeting adjourned, 17:$\infty$ SST.

Respectfully submitted,
John Carr, Pseudo-Onseck