October 16, 2018

Haunting the Writers Place on Saturday!

Annual KaCSFFS Halloween Party and Meeting is October 20
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
When: Saturday, October 20, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. - Setup; 7:00 - Readings begin
Food Theme: Seasonally appropriate food

Sean Demory has read for a KaCSFFS Halloween before.
Also shown: David Means, Allison Stein, Sherri Dean.
Come for the Readings . . .
Two distinguished local authors will bring some of their spookier works of short fiction to share with us.

KaXFEN may remember being riveted by the marvelous reading voice and fascinating fiction of Sean Demory, from last year. What's the plan for this year? "I'll potentially be reading something old, something new and something very new depending on time," he said.

Aaron Hollingsworth will read from
The Apothecary of Mantua:
A SupernaturalSequel to Romeo & Juliet.
Aaron Hollingsworth has been a KaXFAN, but this'll be his first time reading for a KaCSFFS meeting. He's chosen selections from The Apothecary of Mantua: A Supernatural Sequel to Romeo & Juliet.

Stay for the Party . . . 
KaCSFFS Halloween Parties are a tradition for the October meeting. Many of us love to wear costumes (what better opportunity, right?), but don't feel you must. If you'd rather come and enjoy the results of others' labors, there probably will be plenty of fun costumes to admire (admirers are always welcome!)


Glimpses from past Halloween Party Meetings: L-R Corey Barber, the Means Family, Susan Ives, and Carol Doms.

And bring food!
KaXFEN also love to eat. Whether it's trick-or-treat themed goodies, hearty autumn fare, or some kind of pumpkin marvelousness, please bring food to share!

The Halloween Party food table in 2014.

PHOTOS: The photos of Sean Demory at last year's Halloween meeting, those in the Haloween Costume montage, and the photo of the food table all were taken by Jan S. Gephardt, for the purpose of KaCSFFS publicity. If you'd like to use it, please attribute Jan, and provide a link back to this blog post. The photo of Aaron Hollingsworth is courtesy of Aaron's Facebook Author Page.

September 24, 2018

Laser Rangers 2018 October Meeting

Visitors from the Forbidden Depths
Date: October 6, 2018 (First Saturday!)
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: David S.
Food: Horrific
Costume: Halloween Costumes

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Event Page.


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

Creature from the Black Lagoon

(1954, 79 minutes) Directed by: Jack Arnold

Starring: Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno

A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study.-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!
The Shape of Water
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/37/The_Shape_of_Water_%28film%29.png
(2017, 123 minutes) Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer

At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.-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!

September 15, 2018

SF&F Literati go Interstellar Sept. 24!

Reading beyond the Solar System
Book: Noumenon
Author: Marina J. Lostetter; Amazon Author Page; Facebook 
Discussion Where: Oak Park Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214, on 2nd floor by the windows
Discussion Date: September 24, 2018
Discussion Time: 7:00 p.m.
Dinner Before Discussion: Keep your eye on the SF&F Literati Facebook Page for updates on the optional dinner destination.
No, you DON'T need to have read/finished the book to participate!

The Reviewers say:
A Publishers Weekly "Best Books of 2017" pick!
A Kirkus Reviews "Best Books of 2017" pick!
A B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasty Blog "Best SFF of 2017" pick!

Book Description:
With nods to Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series and the real science of Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, a touch of Hugh Howey’s Wool, and echoes of Octavia Butler’s voice, a powerful tale of space travel, adventure, discovery, and humanity that unfolds through a series of generational vignettes.

In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth’s solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go?

Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He’s discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics, and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon, or something manufactured.

The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind’s greatest ambition—to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy— is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated Convoy Seven) changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie’s mysterious star and explore its origins—and implications.

A mosaic novel of discovery, Noumenon—in a series of vignettes—examines the dedication, adventure, growth, and fear of having your entire world consist of nine ships in the vacuum of space. The men and women, and even the AI, must learn to work and live together in harmony, as their original DNA is continuously replicated and they are born again and again into a thousand new lives. With the stars their home and the unknown their destination, they are on a voyage of many lifetimes—an odyssey to understand what lies beyond the limits of human knowledge and imagination.

Next Month's Selection: Flex, by Ferrett Steinmetz, October 22, 2018

IMAGES: Many thanks to Amazon Smile, for both the Noumenon cover and the cover image for Flex.

September 13, 2018

Belated birthday and physics of science fiction this Saturday!

"Rocket Cake" from 2017
Meet us in Kansas City for KaCSFFS!
Date: September 15, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. setup, 7:00 Program starts, 9:30 close down.
Location: 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
Food theme: Decorated birthday cakes
Program: Prof. Mark Brodwin on the Physics of Science Fiction

Calling all cake-decorators!
"Full of Stars" Cake from 2017
Our 47th birthday as an organization was in July, but the meeting had to be held a week early that month. We decided to postpone our birthday celebration till September, but now it's time to party! 

Let us eat cake!

And yes, there will be a contest. Who will decorate their cake with the most crowd-pleasing sfnal or fantasy theme for Number 47? We'll take pictures of decorated entries and post them, but only ONE can rule the night! Will it be your design?

We welcome NASA-recognized astronomer & TEDx Talk alumnus Mark Brodwin
Prof. Brodwin was interviewed about the 2017 total eclipse
by KMBC Channel Nine News last year.
We're honored to welcome UMKC Professor Mark Brodwin, to join us as our program speaker He'll speak about the Physics of Science Fiction, a topic he teaches in more depth as a class. His other teaching areas include Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory, Observational Cosmology, and Practical Astronomy.

Prof. Brodwin is a recognized expert on massive, rare galaxy clusters. His UMKC Galaxy Evolution Group won a NASA Group Achievement Award from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California in 2016, and continues to conduct research today.

MaDCoWS cluster MOO J1014+0038
(Brodwin et al. 2015)
Brodwin and his group study "most-massive collapsed systems both as unique astrophysical objects, which permit the study of galaxy formation and evolution in extreme environments, and also as cosmological probes of the growth of large scale structure," according to his biography from UMKC.

His TEDx Talk from 2015 is titled "A new paradigm for cosmology in the 21st Century," still available on YouTube. It's less than 20 minutes long, and offers an illustrated overview that many of our astronomy-minded readers probably will find fascinating.

IMAGES: The cake photos from July 2017 are both by Jan S. Gephardt. They were taken for the purpose of KaCSFFS publicity, and are used with permission. The photo of Professor Brodwin is originally from KMBC Channel Nine News, but it's no longer available from KMBC. This file was provided by the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences. The photo of MaDCoWS cluster MOO J1014+0038 (yes, astronomers apparently have a sense of humor) is courtesy of the UMKC Galaxy Evolution Group. Many thanks to all!

August 28, 2018

Laser Rangers 2018 September Meeting

Poetry, The Meaning of life, and other small matters
Date: September 08, 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: Cafeteria Food
Costume: School Clothes

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

Dead Poet Society


(1989, 128 minutes) Directed by: Peter Weir

Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings. -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!
Educating Rita


(1983, 110 minutes) Directed by: Lewis Gilbert

Starring: Michael Caine, Julie Walters

A young wife decides to complete her education and take her exams. She meets a professor who teaches her to value her own insights while still being able to beat the exams. The change in her status causes friction between her and her husband.-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!

August 18, 2018

SF&F Literati meet Monday, 8/27/2018!

Now's your chance!
In case you somehow missed this science fiction classic, or want to read it again!
Announcing the August 27, 2018 meeting of the SF&F Literati 7:00 p.m.
Meeting LocationBarnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor, 11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214

Discussing
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
Available from: Fine Booksellers, including Barnes & Noble

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.

ALSO! Important decisions to make!
This is also the meeting where they'll decided on the fall-winter book selecti.ons If you have ideas for future reading selections, please show up and be counted!
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.

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.