August 06, 2018

Laser Rangers 2018 August Meeting

Spies of the World
Date: August 11, 2018
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: TBA
Food: Spy Food
Costume: Inconspicuous


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

Hopscotch


(1980, 104 minutes) Directed by: Ronald Neame

Starring: Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson, Sam Waterston, Ned Beatty, Herbert Lom

Grounded with a desk job by incompetent superiors, a clever CIA agent retires and writes a tell all memoir that will embarrass his bosses, prompting him to go on the run and elude them.-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!
TITLE

(2015, 141 minutes) Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda

During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.-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!

July 31, 2018

Reading outside the Western World

How "worldly" is your sf & f reading?
Reblogged from Jan S. Gephardt's Artdog Adventures,
and post author Jan S. Gephardt's Artdog Studio website.

This post started as a panel at Westercon 71/ Myths and Legends Con 6. It was presented on Saturday, July 7, 2018, by panelists Olivia WylieStant Litore, and Amalie Howard.

From L-R: Amalie HowardStant Litore, and Olivia Wylie at their Saturday Westercon/MALCon panel.

They discussed the lively and fascinating world literary scene, and the diverse literary works that are becoming more and more widely available in English. During the panel, Wylie announced that she was compiling a list of the books, stories, and resources mentioned during the panel discussion.

She has kept her word. Better yet, she has agreed to let me share her list on here on my blog. Links within the list are those provided by Olivia Wylie. Cover artwork and other imagery chosen to illustrate the list on this post, as well as links embedded outside the list, have been my choices.

Resources

These logos represent some but far from all of the resources on Olivia's valuable list!



Books

Yet a fourth collection of covers, and we still haven't exhausted the list! L-R: Arresting God in Kathmandu, by Samrat UpadhyayMemories of Sun, ed. by Jane Kurtz; Wavemen, by Robin and Cory Childs & associatesThe Roads of the Roma, ed. by Ian Hancock, Siobhan Dowd, and Rajko Djurićand Nyota's Tyrannosaur, by Stant Litore.

For The Kiddos
The Desert Is My Mother/El Desierto Es Mi Madre-Pat Mora

Yes, I did have a hard time narrowing it down. Here are young peoples' book covers for: All the Colors of the Earth, by Sheila HamanakaMing Lo Moves the Mountain, by Arnold Lobel (bilingual English and Hmong); The Story of Noodles, by Ying Chang Compestine, illustrated by YongSheng XuanAru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi; The Desert is my Mother, by Pat Mora, illustrated by Daniel Lechon (bilingual English and Spanish)and The Serpent's Secret, by Sayantani DasGupta 

As panelist Amalie Howard put it, "Diversity isn't a 'trend.' It's a reflection of the world as it is." This list is truly a trove of wonders that traverse the world as it is--and as it might be, given a rich imagination and a world of fantastic possibilities.

I hope you'll explore it for untold riches! And if you have additional suggestions, please offer them in the Comments section! We'll all be the richer for it!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS and IMAGES: First of all, MANY, many, many thanks to Olivia Wylie, for compiling this list, and also to Stant Litore and Amalie Howard, for their suggestions for it and participation in a fascinating panel discussion.
The photograph of the panelists at Westercon 71/MALCon 6 was taken by Jan S. Gephardt, with permission. If you wish to reblog or repost it, please credit Jan as the photographer, and identify (ideally with hyperlinks to their websites!) AmalieStant, and Olivia, plus please include a link back to this post, as well. Thanks!
The logos representing some of the websites in the "Resources" list are those of Escape PodPodCastleNative Realities Press, and Singing Bones, for all of which, I thank them!
For the five covers in Book Collection One, I owe many thanks to Amazon: Lagoon, by Nnedi OkoraforAmericanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieIs'Nana The Were-Spider, by Greg Anderson Elysee, illustrations by Walter Ostlie; and Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi; and to  Marcellus Jackson, via Djele's DeviantART page, for the Steamfunk! cover.
For the five covers in Book Collection Two, I once again owe thanks to Amazon, for Dream Keeper, by Morrie RuvinskyLabyrinth Lost, by Zoraida CórdovaMulengro, by Charles de LintThe Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Weckerand The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline.
For the third set of book covers I'd like to thank Penguin/Random House, for the cover for Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed, as well as Amazon for these covers: Want, by Cindy PonThe Sea is Ours, ed. by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng The Mistress of Spices, by Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni; and  The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson
For the fourth set of book covers, I'd like to thank Moko Press for the cover of Wavemen, by Robin and Cory Childs & associates; and Stant Litore for the cover art for Nyota's TyrannosaurMany thanks to Amazon, for these covers: Arresting God in Kathmandu, by Samrat UpadhyayMemories of Sun, ed. by Jane Kurtz; and The Roads of the Roma, ed. by Ian Hancock, Siobhan Dowd, and Rajko Djurić
Certainly not least, I am grateful to Amazon, once again, for all the covers in the Youth Collection: All the Colors of the Earth, by Sheila HamanakaMing Lo Moves the Mountain, by Arnold LobelThe Story of Noodles, by Ying Chang Compestine, illustrated by YongSheng XuanAru Shah and the End of Timeby Roshani ChokshiThe Desert is my Mother, by Pat Mora, illustrated by Daniel Lechonand The Serpent's Secret, by Sayantani DasGupta
My deepest gratitude goes out to all resources named!

July 23, 2018

The tale of a fireman who gets burned

It's not too early to think about next month! 
SF&F Literati will take one of their periodic returns to the past in August, when they pull another science fiction classic from the shelf.

Somehow missed this science fiction classic? 
The August 27, 2018 meeting will discuss
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
Here's a synopsis from the publisher, for the 60th Anniversary edition:
Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

Available from: Fine Booksellers, including Barnes & Noble
Meeting LocationBarnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor, 11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214
NOTE: ALL ARE WELCOME to the meeting, whether you’ve read the book or not.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Amazon for the 60th Anniversary book cover image.

July 21, 2018

Death or the stars . . . NEXT MONDAY!

Do you have the next book?
SF&F Literati meet next week July 23, 2018. Do you have your copy of the book they'll discuss?

Title: The Wrong Stars 
Author: Tim Pratt
Available from: Fine Booksellers, including Barnes & Noble
Meeting Location: Barnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor, 11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214
NOTE: ALL ARE WELCOME to the meeting, whether you’ve read the book or not.

Publisher's plot overview:
Finalist for the 2018 Philip K. Dick Award.

A ragtag crew of humans and posthumans discover alien technology that could change the fate of humanity… or awaken an ancient evil and destroy all life in the galaxy.

The shady crew of the White Raven run freight and salvage at the fringes of our solar system. They discover the wreck of a centuries-old exploration vessel floating light years away from its intended destination and revive its sole occupant, who wakes with news of First Alien Contact. When the crew break it to her that humanity has alien allies already, she reveals that these are very different extra-terrestrials… and the gifts they bestowed on her could kill all humanity, or take it out to the most distant stars.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Amazon for the book cover image.


July 20, 2018

Laser Rangers 2018 July Meeting

2nd Generation Westerns
Date: July 21, 2018
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 NAME
Food: Mexican
Costume: Western

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Event Page.


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

3:10 To Yuma

(2007, 122 minutes) Directed by: James Mangold

Starring: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Ben Foster, Dallas Roberts, Alan Tudyk, Vinessa Shaw, Logan Lerman

A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who's awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.-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!
True Grit

(2010, 110 minutes) Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper, Hailee Steinfeld

A stubborn teenager enlists the help of a tough U.S. Marshal to track down her father's murderer.-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!

July 11, 2018

KaCSFFS meets THIS SATURDAY July 14, 2018

Save that CHANGED date!
When: This coming Saturday, July 14, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. Set-up; 7:00 p.m. Program
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
Food Theme: Movie munchies
Program: Filmmaker Kevin Willmott discusses and screens one of his movies.

Kevin Willmott
KaCSFFS Welcomes Kevin Willmott
We're incredibly honored to host American filmmaker and KU Professor of Film and Media Studies, Kevin Willmott.

His reputation has been growing for several decades. He's been involved in many aspects of writing and filmmaking for both movies and television. An early project which he wrote, produced, and co-directed was Ninth Street, an independent film based on his boyhood in Junction City, KS, that starred Martin Sheen and Isaac Hayes.

He's also worked with well-known director Oliver Stone, and on a project that Whoopi Goldberg executive-produced. His 2004 film, CSA - The Confederate States of America, is an award-winning comedy/drama alternate history, which he wrote and directed.



His comic foray into science fiction was 2013's Destination: Planet Negro (instead of landing on Mars in 1939, they time-travel to . . . Kansas City in 2013).



Most recently he's received even more acclaim. His 2018 project with Spike Lee, BlaKkKlansman, a comedy/drama set in the 1970s, recently earned him a 10-minute standing ovation and the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.



Prepare to have your consciousness raised, particularly if you're not a person of color. This should be a fascinating, provocative, and entertaining evening. Don't miss it!

IMAGE AND VIDEOS: Many thanks to KU's faculty page for the photo of Kevin Wilmott, and to their respective IMDB pages for the Destination: Planet Negro, and CSA - Confederate States of America film trailers and to YouTube for the official BlacKkKlansman trailer

June 21, 2018

Laser Rangers 2018 June Meeting

We’re All Animals at Heart
Date: June 30, 2018
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: Ty G.
Food: Nuts & Berries
Costume: ?



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

Zootopia


(2016, 108 minutes) Directed by: Byron Howard, Rich Moore

Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, J. K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, Shakira

In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.-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!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

(2011, 110 minutes) Directed by: Rupert Wyatt

Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo, Andy Serkis

A substance designed to help the brain repair itself gives advanced intelligence to a chimpanzee who leads an ape uprising.-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!

June 16, 2018

The price of a perfect world

Kansas City SF&F Literati to meet!
Date: Monday, June 25, 2018
Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Schusterman
Available from: Barnes & Noble and other fine booksellers.
Meeting LocationBarnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor, 11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214
NOTEALL ARE WELCOME to meetings, even if you haven't read the book. 

Publisher's plot overview:
Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honorwinning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind Dystology.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

Would you believe there's a book trailer?


IMAGE: Many thanks to Amazon for the cover image, and to Neal Schusterman via YouTube for the book trailer.

June 14, 2018

Annual Picnic This Saturday!

What: Annual KaCSFFS Picnic
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64111
When: Saturday, June 16, 2018
6:00 - Setup
7:00 - Program: KantCon Presentation 
Please bring Tabletop Games to share informally afterward - playing time up to 60 minutes.
Food Theme: Picnic Food! Please bring Side dishes, Salads, or Dessert to share!

Our Annual Picnic
The KaCSFFS Picnic is traditionally held in June, because it's the month after ConQuesT.

We wanted to just relax and eat all the ConSuite leftovers, plus it often was a little cooler in June than July or August: back when the club was almost exclusively made up of 20- and 30-somethings, we'd reserve a pavilion or shelter in a local park for this event.
One of the last outdoors-only photos of a KaCSFFS Picni, held
in So-Ko-Par Park, Lenexa, KS, in 2006.

Now we've made different arrangements for most ConSuite leftovers, and some of our members have health or mobility issues, so we've moved it to an indoor-outdoor event. We still try to make it fun.

KaCSFFS provides burgers (including Veggie-burgers), hotdogs, buns, condiments & tableware. Please bring Side dishes, Salads, or Dessert to share!

Please also bring Tabletop Games to share informally afterward - playing time up to 60 minutes. Lawn games also are welcome, but the lawn at the Writers Place faces west, and the forecast is for temperatures in the 90s, so there may not be as many takers for those.

KantCon Presentation
We are pleased to host a group of the organizers of KantCon, set for July 13-15, 2018, who will present information about their tabletop game convention.

Many KaXFEN love tabletop games. Our meetings frequently have been enlivened by tabletop games brought by members to share with other members, and this blog has posted an ongoing series, "Not Your Parents' Board Games."

A photo from KantCon 2017.

KantCon's website tells us that "KantCon is a gaming convention for tabletop hobby gamers in the Kansas City area, created by tabletop hobby gamers in the Kansas City area. The only available gaming conventions and large gatherings of gamers in the Kansas City area are limited to the beginning of the year, and the end of the year, in March and November, respectively.

"As most gamers are increasingly busy, in school, or have children in school, there is a void of a centralized gaming convention in the summer months in Kansas City. KantCon will fill that void with three days of tabletop fun in the form of tabletop role-playing games, card games, board games, and miniatures games."

More photos from recent KantCons.

IMAGES: The "KaCSFFS Picnic" banner design is from Jan S. Gephardt, who also took the photo of members Jim Murray and Margene Bahm at the Writers Place during the 2015 picnic. The 2006-in-the-park photo is by Tracy Majkol, and is used with permission. We also are grateful to KantCon's Gallery for the photos from several past KantCons, used here with their permission! The KantCon Dragon logo is from their "About Us" page. Many, many thanks!

May 18, 2018

Yes, we're having a meeting on Saturday!

When: Saturday, May 19, 2018, setup at 6 p.m.; program starts at 7 p.m.
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64111
Food Theme: Favorite party snacks
Program: Preview of the Campbell Conference

ConQuesT is almost upon us
'Twill be the Saturday Before ConQuesT, and all is being made ready. Check the online schedule of programming events, the party hosting guidelines, info on UnderCon, the Gaming part of the convention, and check out the at-the-door admission information, in case you haven't acquired your membership yet.



Learn more about the Campbell Conference
SF and fantasy fans in the greater Kansas City Metro are blessed to have the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction so nearby--it's in Lawrence, KS, on the University of Kansas Main Campus. Better yet, they are the home of the annual Campbell Conference.

A writing panel at the 2015 Campbell Conference.
As noted on the website, "This year's Campbell Conference delves into the shape of things to come - What is the "Posthuman," what does SF have to say about it, and where will science and technology take the human experience as we reshape ourselves into something more than human? The Conference takes place on June 22-24 in Lawrence, Kansas, where we use the University of Kansas Student Union for most of our activities, including a mass signing by the attending authors and editors."

As ever, "the Conference provides a setting for intelligent discussion about SF centered around the presentation of [several] science-fiction honors."

Our presenter will be Christopher McKitterick, an author, editor, and faculty member at KU. He teaches "fiction writing, creative writing, and science fiction; he serves as the [Gunn] Center's Director and serves on the Campbell Memorial Award jury.

His short fiction, nonfiction, and essays have been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, and his debut novel, Transcendence, was published by Hadley Rille Books. Chris teaches the Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop and Intensive Institute on the Study of SF, as well as a number of other regular-semester writing and SF courses."

IMAGES: The ConQuesT 49 header is from the convention's website; many thanks to the Gunn Center for the photos from the Campbell Conference and of Christopher McKitterick.