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.

October 29, 2018

Laser Rangers 2018 November Meeting

Laser Rangers Annual Planning Meeting
Date: November 03, 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: We're All Captains here
Food: Space Food
Costume: Space Suit

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Event Page.


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

Feature Presentation!
The Martian
(2015, 142 minutes) Directed by: Ridley Scott

Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Benedict Wong, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor

An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. -IMDB

Watch the trailer here!








~~~~~
Please join us for a potluck dinner after the feature. Bring something to share. It can follow the theme, or be something you prefer. Afterwards we'll discuss and choose movies for the upcoming year.
~~~~~

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!

October 23, 2018

Calculate this!

Get your copy today!  
The Kansas City SF&F Literati November Selection
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."


-- AND --

In case you missed it:
(because Jan missed the chance to promote it--sorry)
The October 2018 Selection was 


Flex ('Mancer Book One)
by Ferrett Steinmetz
See what the SF&F Literati thought of this book!

The Story:
FLEX: Distilled magic in crystal form. The most dangerous drug in the world. Snort it, and you can create incredible coincidences to live the life of your dreams.

FLUX: The backlash from snorting Flex. The universe hates magic and tries to rebalance the odds; maybe you survive the horrendous accidents the Flex inflicts, maybe you don’t.

PAUL TSABO: The obsessed bureaucromancer who’s turned paperwork into a magical Beast that can rewrite rental agreements, conjure rented cars from nowhere, and track down anyone who’s ever filled out a form.


But when all of his formulaic magic can’t save his burned daughter, Paul must enter the dangerous world of Flex dealers to heal her. Except he’s never done this before – and the punishment for brewing Flex is army conscription and a total brain-wipe.

Also available from the Library and host location Barnes & Noble Booksellers!

IMAGE: Many thanks to Amazon, for both the cover image and the book description.

October 21, 2018

Get FREE Tickets to Neil Gaiman TOMORROW!

Neil Gaiman?!? Where? When?
This is a rare opportunity, and we're certain these tickets will go fast. Plan accordingly!

Neil Gaiman in 2013, courtesy of
Kyle Cassidy and Wikipedia.
About GETTING tickets: 
Available starting 11:00 a.m. TOMORROW, Monday October 22, 2018.
FREE for the asking. 
Limit TWO.
IN-PERSON requests only.
Only at the Lied Center Box Office in Lawrence, KS

Gaiman's Appearance, NOV 19, 2018:
"An Evening with Neil Gaiman" is set for November 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Lied Center in Lawrence, KS, a program hosted by the Hall Center for the Humanities at KU in Lawrence. Gaiman's appearance is supported by the Hall Family Foundation.

In case you need a refresher about Gaiman, he is a bestselling author "listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers. He is the author of American Gods, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, The Sandman series, and countless other works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama," as the Hall Center announcement notes.

"Gaiman's work has been honored with many awards internationally, including the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. His books and stories have also been honored with 4 Hugos, 2 Nebulas, 1 World Fantasy Award, 4 Bram Stoker Awards, 6 Locus Awards, 2 British SF Awards, 1 British Fantasy Award, 3 Geffens, 1 International Horror Guild Award, and 2 Mythopoeic Awards."

IMAGE: Many thanks to Kyle Cassidy and Wikipedia for the photo of Neil Gaiman, and to the Hall Center and the Hall Family Foundation for sponsoring his appearance in our area.

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!