October 29, 2014

A ConQuesT 46 Preview #1

By David Sooby 
(with additions by Jan Gephardt)

ConQuesT 2015: Blowing the Doors Off!
A frequent topic of recent discussions by KAXFEN* is: Just how big will ConQuesT be next year? Consider our guest lineup:

Queen of Silk, by Nene Thomas
Artist Guest of Honor (GOH) Nene Thomas 
After years of working with such companies as Wizards of the Coast (on Magic: The Gathering, among other projects), Nene Thomas has spent the last several years as a successful print artist. View a gallery of her work on her website.

Fan GOH Mark Oshiro
Mark Oshiro chronicles his unspoiled journey through various television and book series in provides just such a thing on a daily basis on Mark Reads and Mark Watches. He received a Hugo nomination for Best Fan Writer in 2013.

Toastmaster Selena Rosen 
Selina is an accomplished writer with a long list of published short stories and 20-plus novels. She owns and runs Yard Dog Press, and is a popular and entertaining guest at sf conventions, particularly in our region and the South.

Author GOH Brandon Sanderson
Sanderson authors the Mistborn series, and completed Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. He has begun a planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive, and co-hosts a Hugo Award-winning writing advice podcast Writing Excuses with Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells.

Editor GOH George R.R. Martin
George's fans are certainly aware that in addition to editing the Wild Cards series, he is the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the fantasy series which is the basis for HBO's wildly popular Game of Thrones, for which George also produces and writes episodes.
The Kansas City Marriott Downtown can handle even a super-sized ConQuesT

So just how big will ConQuesT 2015 be? Well, the best indication is the advance registrations. They are running more than twice what we normally get, which suggests an attendance in excess of 1000. While the ConQuesT committee is not willing to guarantee that number to our dealers and artists, longtime KAXFEN are guessing at an attendance around 1200 or even more! One thing seems very nearly certain: This will be by far the biggest ConQuesT ever.

But not to worry; our hotel, the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, and its convention space, can easily accommodate that many fans. We do recommend you make your hotel reservations soon, though; our room block is already about half full.

*KAXFEN are members of the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society.

IMAGE CREDITS: The Queen of Silk image by Nene Thomas is from of the ConQuesT website. Prints of this copyrighted image are available on Nene's website. The image of the Kansas City Downtown Marriott is from the ConQuesT website.

October 23, 2014

SF&F Literati Meet October 26!

Time-Travel Fuels Steampunk Mystery

Date: October 27,2014-7:00 p.m.
Title: Infernal Devices
Author: K.W. Jeter
Publisher: Osprey Publishing Ltd.
Available from: Fine booksellers, including Barnes & Noble
Meeting Location: Barnes & Noble #2352
11323 W 95th Street, Overland Park, KS
 66214

Overview from Barnes & Noble:
He inherited a watchmaker’s store—and a whole heap of trouble. But idle sometime-musician George has little talent for clockwork. And when a shadowy figure tries to steal an old device from the premises, George finds himself embroiled in a mystery of time travel, music and sexual intrigue. A genuine lost classic, a Steampunk original whose time has come.” 

Please note that K.W. Jeter does not seem to have an official author website. If you would like to know more about him, you may enjoy looking at the biographical information from Wikipedia, Amazon, GoodReads, and Facebook.

Start reading now for November!  
Implacable Strangeness in the Universe
Date: November 24, 2014-7:00 p.m.
Title: Burning Paradise
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates 
Available from: Fine booksellers, including Barnes & Noble
Meeting Location: Barnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor
11323 W 95th Street, Overland Park, KS
 66214

Overview from Barnes & Noble:
From Robert Charles Wilson, the author of the Hugo-winning Spin, comes Burning Paradise, a new tale of humans coming to grips with a universe of implacable strangeness.

“Cassie Klyne, nineteen years old, lives in the United States in the year 2015—but it’s not our United States, and it’s not our 2015.

“Cassie’s world has been at peace since the Great Armistice of 1918. There was no World War II, no Great Depression. Poverty is declining, prosperity is increasing everywhere; social instability is rare. But Cassie knows the world isn’t what it seems. Her parents were part of a group who gradually discovered the awful truth: that for decades—back to the dawn of radio communications—human progress has been interfered with, made more peaceful and benign, by an extraterrestrial entity. That by interfering with our communications, this entity has tweaked history in massive and subtle ways. That humanity is, for purposes unknown, being farmed.

“Cassie’s parents were killed for this knowledge, along with most of the other members of their group. Since then, the survivors have scattered and gone into hiding. Cassie and her younger brother Thomas now live with her aunt Nerissa, who shares these dangerous secrets. Others live nearby. For eight years they have attempted to lead unexceptional lives in order to escape detection. The tactic has worked.

“Until now. Because the killers are back. And they’re not human.”

IMAGE CREDITS: Many thanks to the blog, "Solar Bridge" for the cover image of Infernal Devices, and to GoodReads for the cover of Burning Paradise.

October 21, 2014

Changes of note for KaCSFFS

The KaCSFFS Board of Directors has made a couple of notable changes recently, which our members and friends may want to know about.

New PO Box!
This is a Google Maps Street View of the Post Office.
Our Registered Agent still resides in North Kansas City, but the other current officers do not. Thus, it has become impractical to keep our official KaCSFFS Post Office Box in North KC.

If you need to mail anything to KaCSFFS, we now are making the transition to the new box.

Please note our new address:
P.O. Box 22515
Kansas City, MO 64113

The new box is located in the Country Club Station Post Office, at 108 W. 63rd Street. The lobby is open 24 hours, for access to PO boxes. This should enable us to check the box before each meeting, to ensure all communications are current.

New, Bigger, Better Storage Unit!
This entrance is accessible 24/7 via our unique key code.
For many years we have been forced to store the club's equipment in a unit that was as economical as possible.

That meant a small facility that was not climate-controlled, for items that did not strictly need the temperature control. As a break-in last year demonstrated, it also was not tremendously secure.

We've had to depend on trusted members to store more valuable, delicate or temperature-sensitive items in their homes.

Happily, those days are gone! Several successful ConQuesTs in recent years (THANK YOU, Concom!) have made it possible to upgrade and expand our storage.

Our unit is the one closest to the camera.

We have recently acquired Unit #339C4 in Dean's Downtown Underground Storage, located at 1201 W. 31st Street in Kansas City.

The new space measures 10X15 feet, which should be adequate to hold all the club and ConQuesT gear that's been in the old unit, as well as KaCSFFS Press materials, electronics, projection screens, and other items that could not be stored in the unheated unit.

With a year-round temperature of about 72 degrees, these items should be both secure and safe from weather damage.

This is a different dock, but similar to ours.

The unit's 24/7 access will make it possible to pick things up from the storage unit, transport them to the nearby Writers Place for meetings, and then return them to the storage unit afterwards.

The spaces around us are currently empty, but the club has acquired a new, very secure lock. Each section of units is separated from the others, and accessible via secured access through a dock and rolling door.

IMAGE CREDITS: Many thanks to Google Maps Street View, for the exterior shot of the Country Club Station Post Office. Communications Officer Jan Gephardt took the photos of the entrance to Dean's and the example of a typical loading dock; Club Quartermaster Ty Gephardt took the photo of our new unit.

October 17, 2014

Halloween Meeting focuses on Costumes

Monthly KaCSFFS Meeting October 18, 2014 
What: Monthly KaCSFFS Meeting
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
When: Open Board of Directors meeting: 5:30 p.m.; Set-up starts at 6:00; Meeting starts at 7:00.  

Best Holiday?
For many people, Halloween is the most fun holiday of the year. And it's almost here! What other theme could we have for the October meeting, besides Halloween?? 

Food: Please contribute a food, snack, or drink item to the party tables. Our president suggests that we try for variety this year, not just the traditional sugary Halloween treats (candies, cookies, cakes, etc). Example: He's bringing two one-topping pizzas, one sausage and one pepperoni. But the final decision is yours, of course.
Please post your food or beverage selection on the KAXFEN list to help avoid too much duplication of party items. Thanks very much!



Yvette models progres on her "Thorin."
Program: First up will be a special Halloween program: World-Class costume maker and cosplayer Yvette Rivadeneira, whose costumes and characters appear every year at ConQuesT, will present a half-hour intro (including a Q&A) to her costume craft, that will also include her latest meticulous creation.

If you're on Facebook, we encourage you to "Like" her page and take a more detailed work at the costumes she has, and is, crafting!

Oh, yeah: a Business Meeting! After Yvette has delighted our eyes and we've filled our plates with food, come back over for a meeting to discuss the latest developments and get caught up on all the things that have been done by the Board, Concom, and various other groups!

IMAGE CREDITS: Halloween image from Battery Park City Block Party website.The photo of Yvette in her "Thorin-in-progress" jacket is from her Facebook page, "Yvette's Costume Page."

October 12, 2014

Are you Reading?

SF&F Literati Announce New Fall-Winter Selections
Here are the selections for, L-R: October, November, January, and February.
If you haven't gotten the word yet, here is the latest group of book selections for the SF&F Literati book club group. The group meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month, except in May (when they meet on the third Monday because of ConQuesT) and December (too close to Christmas).

Barnes & Noble #2352 is the venue.
They meet at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Oak Park Mall, on the second floor by the windows. Here are location details:

Barnes & Nobles Booksellers-Oak Park Mall
Barnes & Noble 2352
11323 W 95th Street, Overland Park, KS
 66214
913-492-8187
Store Hours
Sun 10:00AM-7:00PM | Mon-Sat 9:00AM-10:00PM

The remaining meetings for 2014 and their selections:
Cover art for Infernal Devices
October 27: Infernal Devices, by K.W. Jeter
Available from Barnes & Noble and other fine booksellers. 
He inherited a watchmaker’s store—and a whole heap of trouble. But idle sometime-musician George has little talent for clockwork. And when a shadowy figure tries to steal an old device from the premises, George finds himself embroiled in a mystery of time travel, music and sexual intrigue. A genuine lost classic, a steampunk original whose time has come.”


November 24: Burning Paradise, by Robert Charles Wilson, available from Barnes & Noble and other fine booksellers.

“Cassie Klyne, nineteen years old, lives in the United States in the year 2015—but it’s not our United States, and it’s not our 2015.

Wilson's Burning Paradise
“Cassie’s world has been at peace since the Great Armistice of 1918. There was no World War II, no Great Depression. Poverty is declining, prosperity is increasing everywhere; social instability is rare. But Cassie knows the world isn’t what it seems. Her parents were part of a group who gradually discovered the awful truth: that for decades—back to the dawn of radio communications—human progress has been interfered with, made more peaceful and benign, by an extraterrestrial entity. That by interfering with our communications, this entity has tweaked history in massive and subtle ways. That humanity is, for purposes unknown, being farmed.

“Cassie’s parents were killed for this knowledge, along with most of the other members of their group. Since then, the survivors have scattered and gone into hiding. Cassie and her younger brother Thomas now live with her aunt Nerissa, who shares these dangerous secrets. Others live nearby. For eight years they have attempted to lead unexceptional lives in order to escape detection. The tactic has worked.

“Until now. Because the killers are back. And they’re not human.”

The meetings so far planned for 2015 and their selections:
January 26: Count to a Trillion, by John C. Wright
February 23: The Rapture of the Nerds, by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross

Watch this blog for more information!

IMAGE CREDITS: The photo of the four book selections is from the SF&F Literati Facebook Page. The photo of the Oak Park Barnes & Noble location is courtesy of Barnes & Noble. Cover art for Infernal Devices is from Solarbridge Files. That of Burning Paradise is from GoodReads. Many thanks to all!

October 10, 2014

KC Horror Book Club October 2014 Meeting

SUNDAY MEETING!

HORNS

By Joe Hill

Details:
Date and Time: October 12, 2014 (SUNDAY!) from noon to 1:30.
Location: The Green Room Burgers and Beer
Address: 4010 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite D, Kansas City, MO.
Event Notes: 

Come and discuss Horns and grab some food too.

Horns is a 2010 dark fantasy novel by Joe Hill and is the author's second published novel. The novel also incorporates elements of contemporary fantasy, crime fiction, and Gothic fiction. It employs the third-person omniscient, nonlinear narrative in telling the story of Ig Perrish, who—in the aftermath of his girlfriend Merrin Williams' mysterious rape and murder—awakes one morning to find horns growing from his head and diabolical powers at his command.

-Earline Beebe/Facebook Event Page


Check the Facebook Event Page for more information.

Please contact Earline Beebe for more information on the Facebook event page.
Image from: Amazon.com. Published by William Morrow.

October 06, 2014

Laser Rangers 2014 October Meeting

Hitchcock Goes Psycho: (Ee! Ee! Ee!) Beware the Shower
Date: October 11, 2014
Time: 4:50pm
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: Ken K.
Food: FOOD
Costume: COSTUME

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Event Page.


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

Psycho

(1960, 109 minuets) Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, and Janet Leigh

A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. -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!
Hitchcock

(2012, 98 minuets) Directed by: Sacha Gervasi

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Jessica Biel, James D'Arcy, and Michael Wincott

A love story between influential filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho (1960) in 1959. -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 23, 2014

September's Creative Corner

By Bryan Thomas Schmidt
For Creative Corner this month, we bring the following news.
Local Authors’ New Projects:
Robin Wayne Bailey will be editing the SFWA 50th Anniversary Anthology, an exciting collection celebrating the organization's upcoming anniversary. 

Meanwhile, he sold "Tombaugh Station" to Bryan Thomas Schmidt for the Baen anthology Mission: Tomorrow which features near future stories about space travel from Earth in a post-NASA dominated age. Congrats to Robin!

Aaron Hollingsworth's second science fantasy epic novel, The Geohex of Wraith County, second in his Four Winds, One Storm series, is now available via Amazon and all major outlets. Amazon has it on sale in paperback at $17.27 or you can buy it for Kindle.  Congrats to Aaron! The book was copyedited by our own Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt has sold CHOICES, a YA anthology, to Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy.

He also is developing a potential anthology in coordination with KacSFFS Press and MidAmeriCon II.  More details are coming.  The book will feature stories set in the local area and/or be written by authors with strong local ties.


Boyd Morrison Speaks at Barstow School, October 1
On Wednesday, October 1,  Science Fiction author Boyd Morrison will talk at 7:00 pm and hold a book signing after the presentation. The Barstow School is located at 11511 State Line Road, Kansas City, MO.

Charles Darwin, the Loch Ness Monster, international terrorists, and a post-modern hero named Tyler Locke: these characters collide over time and space in Boyd Morrison’s new novel The Loch Ness Legacy

Some of Morrison's other books include The Catalyst, Rogue Wave, and his Tyler Locke Series.  To find out more information about him, you can visit his website.

Before becoming a thriller author, Morrison earned a PhD in industrial engineering, worked on the space station project at Johnson Space Center, patented 14 inventions at RCA, and developed video games at Microsoft. 

Calls for Submissions:
A new online magazine, Acidic Fiction, edited by Steven X. Davis of Lawrence, KS, has launched. It is seeking submissions of 6000 words or fewer, and pays $35 per story on acceptance. Stories must be "contemporary speculative fiction, which includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, slipstream, and magic realism. As a general guideline, stories should take place within roughly the past 100 years or the next 10. Stories should be completely original and self-contained. I’m looking for innovative, well-written stories that explore the amazing aspects of everyday life through the lens of speculative fiction. Subtlety is crucial." See the Submission Guidelines page for complete details and a submission link.
 
Steven H. Silver has issued a call for articles: 
"On November 23, I'll be publishing this year's issue of Argentus. As that day coincides with the centennial of Wilson Tucker's birth, I plan to include a memorial section dedicated to him. I'm asking for articles about Bob. They can be biographical, personal recollections, stories about Tucker, or a look at his writing. My deadline for submissions is October 20. If you're interested in submitting, please let me know." 

Argentus is a science fiction fanzine that has been published annually by Steven H. Silver since 2001.  It has received numerous recognitions, including several Hugo nominations. 

Wilson "Bob" Tucker was an award-winning sf writer who was renowned for many novels, and much beloved at sf conventions, especially among Midwestern fandom. He lived in Champaign, IL during much of his life.

Two SF Cons in Wichita:
Air Capitol Comic Con, Nov. 16








Emerald City Steampunk Expo, Nov. 21-23 





That's all for this month! Keep creating! (Then let us know about it!)
Please send your news about attending conventions, book signings or appearances, publications or other sales, art shows, or other creative-business updates to "Creative Corner" editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

IMAGE CREDITS: The SFWA logo is from the organization's website.  The cover art for Aaron Hollingsworth's book is courtesy of Amazon Books. Many thanks to Boyd Morrison's website for his book cover art.  The title for Acidic Fiction is from the magazine's website. The image of Wilson "Bob" Tucker is from Midamericon's Wilson Tucker page. The Air Capitol Comic Con image is from the convention's website opening page.  The Emerald City Steampunk Expo logo is from their website's masthead

September 20, 2014

SF &F Literati Meet September 22, 2014

The Grace of Killing
TITLE: Graceling
AUTHOR: Kristin Cashore
WHERE:  
Barnes & Noble #2352 at Oak Park Mall
11393 W. 95th St., Overland Park, KS 66214
On 2nd floor by the windows.
WHEN:  
Monday, September 22, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
AVAILABLE FROM: Barnes & Nobles and other fine booksellers. 

Overview from Barnes & Noble:

Kristin Cashore’s best-selling, award-winning fantasy Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable yet strong Katsa, a smart, beautiful teenager who lives in a world where selected people are given a Grace, a special talent that can be anything from dancing to swimming. Katsa’s is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his thug. Along the way, Katsa must learn to decipher the true nature of her Grace . . . and how to put it to good use. A thrilling, action-packed fantasy adventure (and steamy romance!) that will resonate deeply with adolescents trying to find their way in the world.

Awards: Winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature, winner of the SIBA Book Award/YA, Indies Choice Book Award Honor Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, 2008 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Amazon.com’s Best Books of 2008, 2008 Booklist Editors’ Choice, Booklist’s 2008 Top Ten First Novels for Youth, 2009 Amelia Bloomer List, BCCB 2009 Blue Ribbon List

Don’t miss the sequel Fire, also a New York Times bestseller and ALA Best Book for Young Adults, winner of the 2010 Cybil for YA Fantasy/Sci Fi and the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award.

You may enjoy a trailer for this book: 



Come with ideas for new books to read!
This is Decision Month, when the selections for October, November, January, and February will be chosen!  Let your opinions be heard! 

IMAGE CREDITS: The cover image for Existence came from MacMillan, the book's publisher. The image for Graceling came from GoodReads.