February 16, 2019

NO! We're NOT having a Meeting 2/16/2019!

Two months in a row is a record for KaCSFFS, but we don't have a choice. Many thanks to Tim Keltner and Natural Grocers in Shawnee, KS, for setting up a venue, but weather conditions have forced us to cancel the regular monthly meeting AGAIN THIS MONTH!


See you in March? Weather permitting!?!

IMAGE: Thank you, Alpine Daily Planet, for the "Road Conditions" image. 

February 09, 2019

YES! We're having a meeting 2/16/2019!

Many thanks to KaXFAN Tim Keltner, we have a place to meet in February, after losing our longtime home at The Writers Place in Kansas City, MO. Unfortunately, we'll have to postpone that Chili Cook-off.
Where: in the community room at the Natural Grocers at 13335 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Shawnee, KS

When: February 16, 2019
Hours: we need to start the meeting at 6:00 p.m. and end at 8:30.

Program: "The best and Worst of Last Year's SF/Fantasy/Horror TV, a discussion led by Carol Doms and Ken Keller

Food Theme: FORMERLY the Chili Cook-off, we might be able to buy food at the grocery store where the meeting will be held. The Chili Cook-off has been POSTPONED to a later date when we have a meeting place where we can bring home-cooked food.

The search for a new place to meet more regularly continues. Director David Means and several other Board members have viewed, considered, and attempted to book several different places, but so far we haven't found a place that is available on our regular meeting night, that we can afford. If you know of any possibilities--preferably located near the center of the Kansas City Metro area--please contact us!

Come to the February meeting, or reach out directly to David or any of the Board of Directors, or use the KaCSFFS email. Thanks for any help you can give us!

Maybe no Chili, but a Program!
Our annual review and discussion of the best and worst shows in our speculative genres that came to television in 2018 will be the topic of a lively discussion, led by Carol Doms and Ken Keller.

This annual favorite program is back by popular demand. We hope you can join us, and weigh in with your opinions.

Carol Doms and Ken Keller introduce their discussion of 2017's Best and Worst in SF/Fantasy/Horror TV Shows at the January 20, 2018 meeting.

IMAGES: The Natural Grocers Logo is from the parent company's Facebook Page. The photo of Carol Doms and Ken Keller is by Jan S. Gephardt, and was taken with their permission for KaCSFFS publicity purposes during last year's "Best and Worst on TV" program, which they also hosted.

January 29, 2019

Laser Rangers 2019 February Meeting

Food Porn - POSTPONED!
Date: February 9, 2019 February 23, 2019!!!!
Time: 4:15pm
Location: David Sooby’s home theater with 51-inch Samsung HDTV, a 5.1 Surround Sound Dolby Digital sound system, a full set of audiophile-grade speakers, and upgraded seating for about 15 people without crowding.
Captain Laser: Chef
Food: Gourmet
Costume: Apron



Short features will be shown before each feature. Don't miss them!

The Hundred Foot Journey


(2014, 122 minutes) Directed by: Lasse Hallström

Starring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon

The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred eatery. -IMDB

Watch the trailer here!







~~~~~
After the first feature, please join us for a potluck dinner. Bring something to share. It can follow the theme, or be something you prefer.
~~~~~

Feature Presentation!
Chef


(2014, 114 minutes) Directed by: Jon Favreau

Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Amy Sedaris, Emjay Anthony, Robert Downey, Jr.

A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family. -IMDB

Watch the trailer here!






The home of the Laser Rangers is located about four miles north of the Kansas Speedway, NW of the intersection of I-70 and I-435 on the Kansas side of the Greater Kansas City area.

IMAGE CREDITS: The information for all of these shows come from the invaluable IMDB. The movie posters come from Wikipedia or the movie's respected distributors. 


The movie screen frame image used for the Laser Rangers contact information is courtesy of Psychology Today Online. Many thanks to these websites!

January 16, 2019

January 19 KaCSFFS Meeting CANCELED

The January 2019 meeting of the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society has been canceled due to adverse weather. 

We said our mournful goodbyes to The Writers Place in December. The KaCSFFS Board continues to search for a suitable new regular venue. As we moved into the "week of," questions still hung over us about where we could meet.


Time grew short, and the weather forecast for Saturday kept growing more dire. If the snow didn't get us, the temperatures were poised for a major plunge.


KaXFEN come from all over our metro area. We have members in the Northland, members in Raymore, MO, members in Independence, MO, and members in Lawrence, KS



We want ALL of you to stay safe and warm, out of snowdrifts, off of the black ice, and snug in a warm place. So the Board has decided to CANCEL Saturday's meeting.

Let's all hope for better weather in February.

We already have a plan for Feb. 16, 2019!
We're still looking for a venue, but the planned program is our annual look back at the best and worst of the past year in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and speculative fiction on TV. Once again our knowledgeable discussion leaders will be Carol Doms and Ken Keller. This annual review of the previous year has become a highlight. Don't miss it!

But wait! There'll be chili, too!
Yes, the February meeting will see the return of our annual Chili Cook-Off. Break out your best chili recipes, your favorite sides and/or toppers, and plan to share them. Keep watching this blog and our Facebook Page, for the latest details.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Vermont Public Radio, for the "colorful question marks" illustration; to KSHB Kansas City Channel 41 for the 7-day Weather Forecast image, featuring a 100% chance of snow on Saturday, Jan. 19; to Destination Kansas City, for the multi-county, two-state map of the Kansas City metropolitan area; and to SYFY Wire for the retro TV image.

January 08, 2019

Laser Rangers 2019 January Meeting

Justice January
Date: January 12, 2019 POSTPONED! January 26, 2019

Time: 4:15pm
Location: David Sooby’s home theater with 51-inch Samsung HDTV, a 5.1 Surround Sound Dolby Digital sound system, a full set of audiophile-grade speakers, and upgraded seating for about 15 people without crowding.
Captain Laser: Captain Justice!
Food:
Chili and Mexican
Costume: Justice Costumes!

Short features will be shown before each feature. Don't miss them!

Incredibles 2


(2018, 118 minutes) Directed by: Brad Bird

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huckleberry Milner, Samuel L. Jackson

The Incredibles hero family takes on a new mission, which involves a change in family roles: Bob Parr (Mr Incredible) must manage the house while his wife Helen (Elastigirl) goes out to save the world. -IMDB

Watch the trailer here!





 
Ant Man and the Wasp


(2018, 118 minutes) Directed by: Peyton Reed

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip "T.I." Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas

As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past. -IMDB

Watch the trailer here!

~~~~~
After the first feature, please join us for a potluck dinner. Bring something to share. It can follow the theme, or be something you prefer.
~~~~~

Feature Presentation!
Ant Man and the Wasp



(2018, 118 minutes) Directed by: Peyton Reed

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip "T.I." Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas

As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past. -IMDB

Watch the trailer here!







The home of the Laser Rangers is located about four miles north of the Kansas Speedway, NW of the intersection of I-70 and I-435 on the Kansas side of the Greater Kansas City area.

IMAGE CREDITS: The information for all of these shows come from the invaluable IMDB. The movie posters come from Wikipedia or the movie's respected distributors. 


The movie screen frame image used for the Laser Rangers contact information is courtesy of Psychology Today Online. Many thanks to these websites!

December 12, 2018

Last hurrah at the Writers Place

End of an era
The owners have spoken. The Writers Place organization is moving, and the "stone castle" on Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed.

The KaCSFFS Holiday Party of Saturday, December 15, 2018 is the final scheduled event for the venue that's been our home since 2001.

The KaCSFFS Board is still looking for a new home for us, starting with the January 19, 2019 meeting. Stay tuned. But meanwhile, let's say goodbye to our longtime home with a great party!

Where: The Writers Place--ONE LAST TIME! 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64111
When: Saturday, December 15, 2018
Time: Setup starts at 6:00 p.m.; Program at 7:00; Frivolities till 9:30.
Theme: Holiday Party and Seasonal Readings
Food: Fun-fueled Holiday finger food

The Readings
Our guest readers all are local writers, who've graciously agreed to share "something seasonally appropriate" with us. Please help us welcome Rob Howell, Karin Rita Gastreich, and Sean Demory.

Rob Howell
Rob Howell
Rob is a reformed medieval academic who draws upon those skills and resources for his stories and settings. He has also been an IT professional, a cook, and a soda jerk. As a child, his parents discovered about the only way to keep him quiet was to give him a book. Without books, either he or his parents probably would not have survived. Possibly both.

He decided to write professionally when he discovered he was too educated for most jobs, and not quite educated enough for a few. Fortunately, he had always written and this was his chance to follow in the footsteps of Forester, Tolkien, Weber, Drake, Parker, Chandler, and Francis. Rob is the author of the Shijuren series and other stories.


Karin Rita Gastreich
Karin Rita Gastreich
In her website bio, Karin writes of herself: "In November of 2007, a curious dream sparked the opening lines of what would become my first full-length fantasy novel, Eolyn. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had opened the door to yet another exciting world: the world of publishing.

"I balance my life as an ecologist and writer. I treasure all living things and weave many fantastic creatures into my stories. The worlds I create are a strange amalgamation of medieval Europe and colonial America, with misty forests, vast savannas, and steamy jungles. They are populated by brave heroines, noble heroes, and twisted villains.  They reflect the magic I’ve known all my life, of dance and music and play, as well as the hardship that I and many of the people I care for have encountered along the way.

"These stories come from the heart. I give them to you in hopes that you will make them your own."Eolyn is the first book in the Silver Web Trilogy. Find Karin's writing on Amazon and elsewhere.

Sean Demory
Sean is a frequent reader at KaCSFFS meetings, as well as repeat appearances at ConQuesT. His last appearance at a KaCSFFS meeting was in October, when he shared a supernatural tale inspired in part by his own childhood experiences.

He also is the power behind Pine Float Press, which has published a variety of books (including the anthology Palookaville, which held a release event last year at a KaCSFFS meeting).

IMAGES: Many thanks to The Writers Place for the photo of our longtime venue; we'll hate to lose you! The authors' photos for Rob Howell and Karin Rita Gastreich are courtesy of those authors, and used with their permission. The photo of Sean Demory is from the Johnson County Library website, though the original source-page has since been removed).

November 26, 2018

Laser Rangers 2018 December Meeting

Marvel Superheroes IV
December 8, 2018: DATE, 2018
4:50: 4:15pm
Location: David Sooby’s home theater with 51-inch Samsung HDTV, a 5.1 Surround Sound Dolby Digital sound system, a full set of audiophile-grade speakers, and upgraded seating for about 15 people without crowding.
Captain Laser: On Holiday
Food: Potluck
Capes and Cowls: COSTUME

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Event Page.


Short features will be shown before each feature. Don't miss them!

Black Panther

(2018, 134 minutes) Directed by: Ryan Coogler

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis

After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T'Challa's mettle as king -- and as Black Panther -- gets tested when he's drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.-IMDB

Watch the trailer here!


~~~~~
After the first feature, please join us for a potluck dinner. Bring something to share. It can follow the theme, or be something you prefer.
~~~~~

Feature Presentation!
Avengers: Infinity War

(2018, 149 minutes) Directed by: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.-IMDB

Watch the trailer here!







The home of the Laser Rangers is located about four miles north of the Kansas Speedway, NW of the intersection of I-70 and I-435 on the Kansas side of the Greater Kansas City area.

IMAGE CREDITS: The information for all of these shows come from the invaluable IMDB. The movie posters come from Wikipedia or the movie's respected distributors. 


The movie screen frame image used for the Laser Rangers contact information is courtesy of Psychology Today Online. Many thanks to these websites!

November 17, 2018

A woman's place is . . . among the stars?

The Kansas City SF&F Literati November Selection
Have you read it yet?
Next meeting: Monday, November 26, 2018; 7 p.m. at the Oak Park Barnes & Noble.

The Calculating Stars
by Mary Robinette Kowal
Book One of the Lady Astronaut series, based on the premises behind her Hugo Award-winning "Lady Astronaut of Mars."

The Calculating Stars has received acclaim since its release:
Goodreads―Most Popular Books Published in July 2018 (#66)
The Verge―12 fantastic science fiction and fantasy novels for July 2018
Unbound Worlds―Best SciFi and Fantasy Books of July 2018
Den of Geek―Best Science Fiction Books of June 2018
Omnivoracious―15 Highly Anticipated SFF Reads for Summer 2018

The Story:
On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

Available from booksellers everywhere, including host location Barnes & Noble Booksellers. And don't forget to check for it at your local library! 

IMAGE: Many thanks to Macmillan Publishers for the cover photo. Thanks also are due to Amazon, for the list of recognitions and the book description, and to Barnes & Noble for saving me the trouble of looking up a source for "Lady Astronaut of Mars."

November 15, 2018

Come feast with us Saturday 11/17/2018

It's time for "Fans-Giving" 
The annual KaCSFFS Thanksgiving Dinner
KaCSFFS has a long tradition of getting together to eat a great potluck meal together. We have no official activity planned, other than eating and talking. The club will provide plates, cups, flatware, napkins, etc., plus two turkeys: one smoked and one roasted. We need you, the attendees, to provide suitable and/or traditional side dishes. (See "What to bring" below).
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018
Time: setup starts at 6 p.m.; eat around 7.
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111.

Here's a glimpse of part of the crowd in 2016. Photo by Jan S. Gephardt.

We hope to have guests!
We've invited a few loosely-connected fannish groups from the area to join us. We hope to welcome new faces, and maybe new members. Let’s do our best to make any newcomers feel welcome.

Part of the 2016 Thanksgiving feast crowd plays a card game after dinner. Photo by Jan S. Gephardt.

What to bring
* If you have a short-playing-time tabletop game or card game you think our members might enjoy, please bring it.
* Folding/portable tables or even square card tables. The Writers Place has plenty of chairs, but they don’t have as many tables as they used to, and most of what they have will be used to hold the food. If you want to have a place to eat, bring a table!

Ty Gephardt and Paul Burns attack the meat-and-
drink table in 2016. Photo by Jan S. Gephardt.
Food to bring
We’re not going to assign salads, vegetables, desserts, and so forth by last name -- we’re going for a genuine “pot luck” meal: whatever people bring is what we’ll eat. However, some suggestions to get your culinary inspiration going might include:
Appetizer tray (remember, if you bring fresh veggies for dipping, long experience tells us KaXFEN don't eat broccoli)
Cranberry sauce/jelly/salad
Mashed potatoes (giblet gravy will be provided)
Dressing
Sweet potato something (whole, candied, pureed, etc.)
Vegetable dishes (corn something, creamed peas, glazed carrots, etc.; and what is Thanksgiving without at least one green bean casserole?)
Rolls of various types, with butter
Pies (Pumpkin, apple, and pecan are traditional, but don’t be afraid to bring something adventurous such as butterscotch, pineapple, or coconut crème), Brownies, cakes, and/or cookies.
A bag or two of ice for drinks, and a cooler to keep it in.
Although there will be a small selection of sodas, you should bring your own favorite beverage(s). David and Marisa probably will bring a gallon or two of un-sweet tea to share.

At left, Jim "Dr. Paisley" Murray carves a turkey, at the 2015 feast; at right, the dessert table from 2015. Photos by Ty Gephardt.

IMAGES: Many thanks to photographers Jan S. Gephardt and Tyrell Gephardt, as well as all the folks who allowed us to take their pictures for KaCSFFS publicity purposes. Please feel free to re-post or reblog them if you wish, but kindly include an attribution and a link back to this blog post! Thanks!

November 03, 2018

See Nnedi Okorafor at KU Nov. 8-9!

Nnedi returns!
Our 2016 ConQuesT Author Guest of Honor, Nnedi Okorafor returns to the Greater KC metro area early this month! She'll be making two appearances in Lawrence, courtesy of the Lawrence Public Library's Ross and Marianna Beach Author Series and KU's Hall Center for the Humanities.

Nnedi Okorafor, courtesy of Cheetah Witch via Wikimedia Commons, via the Lawrence Journal-World.

Nnedi's November 8 appearance at Liberty Hall (644 Massachusetts St., Lawrence, KS 66044) is open to the public for free admission. No tickets are required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. event, "An Evening with Nnedi Okorafor." After the program, The Raven Bookstore will offer her books for sale and host a signing.

As noted in Joanna Hlavacek's article in the Lawrence Journal-World, Okorafor is an "Award-winning author and Black Panther” writer. She is "the author of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism novels and comics for kids and adults, according to a news release from the library. Born in America to Nigerian parents, her Black Panther Marvel Comics series were used as a foundational text for the screenplay of 2018’s blockbuster film adaptation of the same name.

"Okorafor’s 2010 novel Who Fears Death, winner of the World Fantasy Award, is currently being adapted as an HBO series with Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin serving as producer. Other works include the award-winning Nebula and Hugo Award-winning novella series Binti and the acclaimed Akata Witch series, affectionately dubbed by some as 'the Nigerian Harry Potter.'”

The following day, Nov. 9, Hall Center for the Humanities will host a student program with Okorafor, who has been an Associate Professor of English at The State University of New York at Buffalo.

IMAGE: many thanks to Cheetah Witch via Wikimedia Commons and the Lawrence Journal-World, for the photo Nnedi Okorafor with Insects.