December 24, 2013

Jon Moss Reviews "The Hobbit" (Book)

Book Review by Jon Moss
Title: The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkein
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Reviewed by: Jon Moss
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
A delightful introduction to the world of Middle Earth. Follow the adventures (or misadventures) of a respectable hobbit turned burglar, a wizard and a baker's dozen of dwarfs in their quest to slay the dragon, redeem the lost treasure and restore peace and prosperity among dwarfs, elves and men. Along the way, the young audience will learn the pitfalls and consequences of greed, pride and arrogance, tempered with a hobbit's good sense, good cheer, compassion and self-sacrifice. 

(Editor's Note: With Peter Jackson's movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug out in theaters since Dec. 13 and with his earlier movie based on this book, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey now available on DVD and Blu-Ray, this seemed an apt moment to publish this review from our intrepid reviewer friend, Jon Moss.)
Email to Jan S. Gephardt.

IMAGE CREDIT: Many thanks to School Library Journal's A Fuse 8 Production blog, for the classic book cover image.

December 22, 2013

Remember, No SF&F Literati Meeting in December!

SF&F Literati Meet Again January 27, 2014
Meanwhile, if you haven't started reading the January selection, get going!
Save the date:
When: January 27, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Oak Park Mall
11323 W 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214 
On the 2nd floor by the windows 
Book of the Evening: Ack-Ack Macaque
Author: Gareth Powell

Overview from 
Barnes & Noble:
Startling, fast-paced SF from one of the most striking new voices. A cigar-chomping monkey, nuclear-powered Zeppelins, electronic souls and a battle to avert Armageddon.
In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain's best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed 'Ack-Ack Macaque'. The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he's starting to doubt everything, including his own existence.
A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s and nuclear-powered Zeppelins encircle the globe, ex-journalist Victoria Valois finds herself drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who butchered her husband and stole her electronic soul. Meanwhile, in Paris, after taking part in an illegal break-in at a research laboratory, the heir to the British throne goes on the run.
And all the while, the doomsday clock ticks towards Armageddon.

IMAGE CREDIT: Book cover image is courtesy of Barnes & Noble Booksellers

December 21, 2013

KaCSFFS Meeting Postponed!

Winter Storm Cancels KaCSFFS Holiday Party!
 Due to icy conditions, the KaCSFFS meeting scheduled for 12/21/2013 is postponed.

The management of The Writers Place has advised us to postpone the meeting because "we cannot guarantee your safety on our sidewalks and in our parking lot during an ice/snow storm."

And, quite frankly, we were leaning that direction anyway.

Stay safe, everyone! And HAPPY Holidays, everyone!

IMAGE CREDIT: Thank you, Alpine Daily Planet, for the "Road Conditions" image.  It captures our situation today pretty well! 

December 16, 2013

December Meeting 12/21/13 at 6 p.m.

Come to the Christmas Holiday Celebration Event of Cheer and Merriment! 

"Wreath of Khan" by Annie Shapiro. Just 'cuz.
The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
When: Setup at 6:00 p.m., Business meeting at 7:00.
Meeting agenda:
Old Business: We had a great Thanksgiving! A BIG Thank You to Everyone who helped make it possible.
New Business
BOD Reports
-ConQuesT: First Science Guest Bridget Landry.

Food Theme:
Holiday goodies!  Bring your favorites to share with the group.

Holiday Book Fair!
We've had advance notice that at least one person will be bringing books to sell.  If you'd like to bring a few for swap or sale, you might be helping another KAXFAN find just the right gift for just the right person.

Our apologies: the art display that was previously discussed will not be held.

IMAGE CREDIT: The Wreath of Khan by Annie Shapiro is courtesy of Makezine.

December 15, 2013

Let's talk Star Wars.

Star Wars Hockey, anyone?
The Missouri Mavericks professional hockey team is sponsoring a Star Wars Night December 20. 

Star Wars fans can get a discount on tickets two different ways, according to Ticket Account Representative Steve Christiani:

"Anyone wearing any sort of Star Wars gear will receive $5 off their ticket at the Box Office.


"Anyone who calls in and mentions Star Wars Night can get Buy One Get One Free Tickets."  The phone number for tickets is 1-800-745-3000.

Home games are played at the Independence Events Center, 19100 East Valley View Parkway, Independence, MO 64055.

How much about Star Wars can YOU draw from memory?
Knowing this blog's readers--probably a lot!

But an artist named John Hendrix might give you a run for your money.  Neatorama recently posted a drawing in which he challenged himself to sit down and draw out everything he remembered about Star Wars, just from memory. According to the Neatorama article, Hendrix wrote, of this work:

"I can never repay George Lucas for what Star Wars gave me. Star Wars is so close to my heart, I honestly couldn’t decide what image to make for this show, it was just all too important. So I just decided to draw everything… from memory."

Here's his drawing, courtesy of Neatorama:
I hope you can see enough detail!  This thing is pretty amazing.
Hendrix is an illustrator from St. Louis.  Browse his website, and you may recognize some of his book covers!

IMAGE CREDITS: Many thanks to the Minor League Hockey Report, for the Missouri Mavericks logo image, and to Neatorama for sharing the Jonn Hendrix Star Wars drawing.

December 14, 2013

KC Horror Book Club December 2013 Meeting


By Joe Hill

Date and Time: December 15, 2013 (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 NOS4A2 and grab some food too.

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son. -Harper Collins Publishers & Earline Beebe

Check the Facebook Event Page for more information.

Please contact Earline Beebe for more information on the Facebook event page.
Image from: Published by Simon & Schuster.

December 10, 2013

Laser Rangers 2013 December Meeting

Good Movies You Missed: 2013
Date: December 14, 2013
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: NO CAPTAIN!
Food: Pub Food, Pizza & Beer, Salad (Let's send 2013 out with a bang!)
Costume: Please wear something, the year's not over yet. ^_^

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Event Page.

Short features may or may not happen. While the captain is away, the officers will play!

The World's End

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike

"[T]he third in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, following Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). The film follows a group of friends who discover an alien invasion during an epic pub crawl in their hometown. -Wikipedia

Before the festivities, please watch this infomative video trailer! It could save your life and turn a sad night, into a glad night.

After the feature, we will have our pub crawl, of sorts, to David's Kitchen & Dinning Room: Where Good times are had by all!

Feature Presentation!

Now You See Me
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Mélanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Common, with Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman

"An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money. -IMDB

Look closely, you don't want to miss anything in this amazing trailer! It could save your life and turn a sad night, into a glad night.

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 03, 2013

Upcoming Opportunities for KAXFEN

Dates to Remember!
KAXFEN may be interested in taking advantage of two opportunities this month!

Your Membership is Valuable: 
Get Extra Discounts at Prospero's Uptown this Sunday!
THE HOBBIT: The Desolation of Smaug Feast and Party!
Learn more at their Facebook Event Page! (Must be a Facebook user to access).
The movie comes out 12/13/13, and since the owners are Tolkien fans, they are throwing a pre-party!

Smaug the Golden is featured on the movie's production hoodie.

Where: Prospero's Uptown location, 3600 Broadway, #107 (next to Papa Murphy's), Kansas City, MO 64111--across the street and beyond the parking lot from The Writers Place where we have our monthly meetings!
Starts 6:00 p.m. THIS SUNDAY Dec. 8, 2013
What's the Discount?
Show your current KaCSFFS Membership card to receive:
$3 off the regular $15 price (so it's only $12) for FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, and ONE DRINK.
$5 off any purchase over $20.
Can't make the party?  You still get 10% off purchases at Prospero's any day.  Just show them your current KaCSFFS Membership Card.

Discounts on Memberships to ConQuesT 45!
Remember, rates go up January 1!  Buy your ConQuesT 45 Membership now--only $30 for adults ($25 with military ID; $15 for kids 6-12 years old).
For many more details about ConQuesT 45, visit our website!

ConQuesT 45 promises to be a great party!  Don't miss it--and get low rates this month!
IMAGE CREDITS: many thanks to MovieWeb for the image from the production hoodie for the new Hobbit movie.  The ConQuesT 45 Noir logo is from our website.