July 24, 2017

Since our time is linear, order or reserve a copy now!

The clock is ticking! Optimize your time to read the August selection for the Kansas City SF&F Literati by making arrangements now, to get a copy! This time around, the book is Jodi Taylor's Just One Damned Thing After Another, the first book in Taylor's popular British "Chronicles of St. Mary's" series.

Several copies of each month's selection are normally available through the Johnson County Library or Mid-Continent Public Library. It's also available from meeting host Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Amazon, and Kansas City's own Rainy Day Books.

"Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place," the Barnes & Noble overview explains. "Just don’t call it “time travel”—these historians “investigate major historical events in contemporary time.” And they aren’t your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster-magnets.

"The first thing you learn on the job at St. Mary’s is that one wrong move and history will fight back—sometimes in particularly nasty ways. But, as new recruit Madeleine Maxwell soon discovers, it’s not only history they’re often fighting."

Taylor's Amazon author profile offers a taste of her sense of humor: "Jodi Taylor, International Woman of Mystery, spent some time working undercover for North Yorkshire County Library Service. Heavily disguised as the world's most incompetent Facilities Manager she shifted dead dogs, fell out of mobile libraries, and spent far too much time in the gents' toilets. The idea to re-write history first came to her while studying history 'A' level at an evening class. Just One Damned Thing After Another is her first novel and was originally self-published on ebook where it was downloaded by more than 60,000 readers on Amazon. Jodi lives in Gloucestershire."

IMAGE: Many thanks to Goodreads for the cover image.

July 20, 2017

A quick reminder: KC SF&F Literati meet Monday, July 24!

Date: Monday, July 24, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Title: Radiance
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
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.

This "complex and imaginative novel" takes us to a mythical alternate era that never was, steeped in the classic traditions of Golden Age science fiction and Hollywood, in a way that only Catherynne M. Valente could have conceived them. "This is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets."

IMAGE: Many thanks to Amazon.com for the Radiance cover image.

July 16, 2017

Meeting Follow-up

KaCSFFS' 46th Birthday Party is now part of history, but it needs a few follow-ups. The July meeting was held 7/15/2017 in our usual venue, The Writers Place, in midtown Kansas City, MO.

Third-place
"Out of This World" cake.
The pastry chefs of KaCSFFS rock!
We had a nice assortment of cakes for this birthday party, which were formally presented before the tasting. Then we tasted, voted, and here are the winners:

Second-place
"Artificial Gravity"
cake.
Third place: The Means Family, for their "Out of This World" cake (lemon cake with dark chocolate frosting).
Their prize: A copy of the Rocket Jockey card game.

Second place: Liz Gooch and Luke Plumb, for their "Artificial Gravity" cake (Banana with coconut and walnut topping, "adjusted for the spin"--i.e., sort of lopsided. But tasty!)
Their prize: A DVD of Aeon Flux, a movie from 2005.

First-place
"Rum-Soaked Fruitcake"--
Not a crumb left behind!
First place: Beth Moscato, for her runaway favorite, the adults-only "Rum-Soaked Fruitcake."
Her prize: a pair of tickets to the historic Screenland Armour Theatre (films), plus a coupon for popcorn.

These bested a field of other entries that ranged from an imaginatively-decorated cake featuring a rocket surrounded by little green (gummy bears) men, to a package of Fig Newtons ("It's not a cookie--it's fruit and CAKE!")

Special thanks go to Earline Beebe, and David and Marisa Means, who secured the prize donations.

Puerto Rico NASFiC presentation
Jan and Ty Gephardt put together a photographic presentation about their trip to NorthAmeriCon '17, the 2017 North American Science Fiction Convention, held July 6-9 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We've included it below, for your potential enjoyment:



Great stories from KaCSFFS' past!
We capped the evening with a funny and enlightening panel discussion by four longtime KAXFEN, Ken Keller (one of the co-founders), Robin Wayne Bailey, James "Jim" Murray (AKA Dr. Paisley), and Paula Helm Murray.

L-R: Ken Keller, Robin Wayne Bailey, Jim Murray, and Paula Helm Murray told some great stories from KaCSFFS' past.
They regaled us with stories of how the club was founded, friendships and a mutually-supportive community established, and also some humorous and/or hair-raising tales from the rich history of BYOB-Cons, ConQuesTs, and other notable events through more than four-and-a-half decades.

Members! Check your emails!
The summer 2017 selection for the Reviewers' Reading Circle, Stupid Humans by V. R. Craft, is now available for free download as a reviewer's copy.

This offer is open for all dues-paid KaCSFFS members. We are featuring this book starting with the July meeting through a live author interview with V.R. Craft at the August meeting, and concluding with the September meeting.

IMAGES: All the photos on this web page, and at least half of those in the NASFiC presentation, are by Jan S. Gephardt. Most of the remaining photos in the presentation are by Tyrell E. Gephardt; the remaining photos (credited at the end of the NASFiC presentation) are from the official website of the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, where the NASFiC was held. The Stupid Humans book cover image is from AmazonMany thanks to all!

July 11, 2017

It's our birthday party! Saturday, 7/15/2017

What: Monthly KaCSFFS Meeting
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
When: Saturday, July 15, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Food Theme: Birthday Cake! (or bring ice cream)

It's our birthday!

The first-ever meeting of the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society was held in July, 1971--and 46 years later we're celebrating all over again with a birthday cake bakeoff.

Can you bake a tasty birthday cake? Decorate one with creative flair? Show us your cake chops on Saturday! We'll have a short business meeting, then a cake tasting, and take votes for favorites.

Requerdos de Puerto Rico
While the votes are being tallied, Ty and Jan Gephardt will share photos and memories from the 2017 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC), NorthAmeriCon '17.

It was held this year in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a bid that won because of votes cast last August at MidAmeriCon II, our own Kansas City Worldcon.


IMAGES: The "birthday cake parade" consists of cake images courtesy of Expat Living (a Singaporean birthday cake); Konditor Meister (an adult's birthday cake); and Virtual University Social Network's VU Help (the cake with twisted candles). The aerial view of the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino is courtesy of the hotel's websiteMany thanks to all! 

July 09, 2017

Have you achieved Radiance yet? You have TWO WEEKS.

In about two weeks, it'll be too late! If you're still deciding whether to read Catherynne M. Valente's book Radiance, the July selection of the Kansas City SF & F Literati, perhaps this overview from meeting host Barnes & Noble Booksellers will help:

"Radiance is a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood-and solar system-very different from our own, from Catherynne M. Valente, the phenomenal talent behind the New York Times bestselling The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

"Severin Unck's father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986, in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family.

"Rebelling against her father's films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.

"But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony's last survivor, Severin will never return.

"Told using techniques from reality TV, classic film, gossip magazines, and meta-fictional narrative, Radiance is a solar system-spanning story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film."

Several copies of each month's selection are normally available through the Johnson County Library or Mid-Continent Public Library. It's also available from meeting host Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Amazon, and Kansas City's own Rainy Day Books.

The meeting will be held on the second floor of the Oak Park Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Overland Park, KS, at 7:00 p.m. the evening of Monday, July 24, 2017Everyone is welcome to come, even if they haven't read the book.

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

July 07, 2017

Laser Rangers 2017 July Meeting

Laser Rangers Brothers and Blu-Ray Bailey presents
"The Greatest Shows On Earth"
or
"Lions, Acrobats, and Clowns, Oh My!"


July 8, 2017: July 8, 2017
4:30: 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: Tracy M.
Food: Carnival
Costume: Carnival

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Event Page.


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

Water for Elephants

(2011, 120 minutes) Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz, Hal Holbrook

Set in the 1930s, a former veterinary student takes a job in a traveling circus and falls in love with the ringmaster's wife. -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!
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

(2012, 91 minutes) Directed by: Andrew Adamson

Starring: Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov, Gareth Hopkins, Lutz Halbhubner, John Clarke, and many more!

Mia, a young woman in a small American Midwestern town, goes to a traveling carnival one evening, where she is urged by a silent clown to visit the carnival's circus and see the Aerialist, the show's star attraction. She is entranced by the Aerialist, but during his act he misses a catch and falls to the ground. She rushes to help him, but then the ground beneath them gives way and they fall into the dreamlike world of Cirque du Soleil. Separated, they travel through the different tent worlds trying to find each other, interacting with the strange and wonderful performers and performances of Cirque du Soleil. -Wikipedia

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!

It would sort of make sense

Beware! It's Fannish Friday . . . 



IMAGE: Many thanks to ETS only for this image.

June 29, 2017

Snapshots from SoonerCon 26: a convention review by Jan S. Gephardt

I always plan to do better with my social media at sf conventions than I do. I get involved, and forget to tweet or upload Facebook photo albums. So I thought, "Why not make a blog post from a collection of things I should have posted from SoonerCon 26?"


Wait. What's SoonerCon 26, you ask? It's a science fiction convention held in Midwest City, Oklahoma (metro Oklahoma City), that brings together some of the best aspects of literary, media, gaming, comic, and costuming conventions. 

This year's edition began Thursday, June 22 with a Writers' Workshop, headed by Workshop Clinician Jody Lynn Nye, and ran through Sunday, June 25, 2017.

Since it is such a multi-focus convention, their theme this year was a nod to a three-ring circus, "Welcome to the Show!" Toastmaster--er, Ringmaster Selina Rosen did full justice to this theme in her Opening Ceremonies performance.

L-R: Jody Lynn Nye, Larry Nemecek, Selina Rosen in Ringmaster garb, Matt Frank, and Todd Haberkorn, at Opening Ceremonies.

As ever, my first stop upon arrival (well, after checking into the hotel and Convention Registration) was the Art Show. It had a larger area this year than in recent past years, but still seemed cramped to me, and the straight-down-from-above lighting was not terribly illuminating for fantasy paper sculptures in shadowboxes or deep mats (too much shadow, not enough art visible). There was a lot of wonderful art on display, however, and despite the crowding it was well worth the look.

Art Guest of Honor Peri Charlifu brought a large and imaginative collection of gorgeous ceramics and prints. Featured Guest Mitchell Bentley also brought a wonderful, colorful display of his astronomical and illustration work, and other attending artists brought a nice variety of interesting work.

My art display at SoonerCon 26

Other highlights of the Art Show for me included a large, new painting in Angela Lowry's display, two new paintings by Dell Harris, and a lovely display by Hazel Conley. Perennial favorites Sarah Clemens, Jim Humble, and many others also mailed in artwork to the show, to expand the selection brought by attending artists.

Some of the most magnificent artwork this weekend was wearable, however--remember, one of SoonerCon's strong areas is costuming. Here's just a small sampling of the wearable art walking around the Reed Center this weekend.




SoonerCon 26 offered up a nice collection of interesting and thought-provoking panels for attendees of varied interests. These touched on podcasting, comics, film, writing, art, and media (specific discussions geared to fans of individual shows or franchises, including Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, and a wide range of others).

The witty committee behind the "Worst Novel Ever," L-R, seated: Phillip Drayer Duncan, Vickey Malone Kennedy, Craig Wolf, and KaCSFFS' own Tyrell Gephardt and James Murray. Behind them, standing: Larry Nemecek, facilitator (with microphone) and the unflaggingly-gracious Leonard Bishop.

A pair of wildly funny "SoonerCon @ Midnight" panels assembled a committee of quick-thinking wits and writers (including my son Tyrell Gephardt) to develop the "Worst Novel Ever" (held in the bar, where else?). The next day, a group of equally talented quick-draw artists conspired to create the "Worst Cover Ever" for it. In between gasps of laughter, I could only conclude that convention chairman Leonard Bishop is the "Best Sport Ever."

Probably my most gratifying moment this weekend was when the couple came up to me after my reading and asked, "Where can we buy your book?" I urged them to watch my blog for further updates, and I've been smiling ever since. I hope to have actual news about that very soon!

Literary Guest of Honor Timothy Zahn shared thoughts about his SoonerCon experience at Closing Ceremonies. To his right (our left) Artist Guest of Honor Peri Charlifu, and on the other side Writers Workshop Clinician Jody Lynn Nye attend to his comments.

Most of my panels dealt, not surprisingly, with writing, art, or some combination of the two. Using your creativity for Fun and Profit (focusing on best practices for creative small entrepreneurial businesses) and Imaginary Creatures: Essential to Fantasy? (with panelists from both art and writing backgrounds) definitely touched on both of my art forms.

Ethics and Art focused pretty exclusively on visual-art intellectual property, and the protection of both the creator's and others' rights.

Failing Better shone a spotlight on the rejection-fraught lives of writers, and how to deal with setbacks in a way that leaves one (a) not suicidal and (b) better equipped, going forward.

By far the best-attended of my panels, however, was the one titled A Girl is . . . about persistent gender issues, both outside of fandom and within. It quickly became apparent that not all "within fandom" groups are the same, when it comes to views on gender equality. Experiences of younger women--particularly some of those in the online gaming community--reveal we've come less far than we'd like to think.


All too quickly, SoonerCon 26 came to an end. Time to strike the photo-background sets, fold up the tabletop games, and pack the costumes or new T-shirts into suitcases. But I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I'm looking forward to coming back next year, if all goes as planned.

IMAGES: The green header-banner is from SoonerCon's website. The other photos are my own snapshots, taken by me at SoonerCon 26 (they may be reposted online with an attribution of Jan S. Gephardt as the photographer, and a link back to this post). 

June 26, 2017

Radiant idea: Why not order or reserve it now?

The next Kansas City SF&F Literati meeting will be July 24, 2017. That gives you four weeks to round up a copy of the July selection, Catherynne M. Valente's book Radianceand read it.

Several copies of each month's selection are normally available through the Johnson County Library or Mid-Continent Public Library. It's also available from meeting host Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Amazon, and Kansas City's own Rainy Day Books.

The Barnes & Noble overview describes the novel as "a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood-and solar system-very different from our own."

Kirkus Reviews listed it as a starred review. "...descriptions are lush and striking, her worlds reveling in the dreamiest of nods to classic science fiction, where alien planets are full of life and easily reachable... A heady, strange, and beautifully written novel about how stories give form to worlds."

The meeting will be held on the second floor of the Oak Park Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Overland Park, KS, at 7:00 p.m. the evening of Monday, July 24, 2017. Everyone is welcome to come, even if they haven't read the book.

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

June 22, 2017

Remember: SF&F Literati meet Monday, June 26!

Date: Monday, June 26, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Title: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge
Author: Paul Krueger
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.

The June selection stirs up a potent brew of troubles for a freshly-graduated millennial who's taken a bartending job that lands her among a secret society of bartenders who fight demons with alcohol-magic.

What do reviewers say about Paul Krueger's debut novel?

“Krueger’s enjoyable light contemporary fantasy novel will satisfy fans of bars and bartenders…the winning main characters and the occasional histories of the drinks provide plenty of fun.”—Publishers Weekly 

“…one of the most fun urban fantasies that I have ever read, with a sharp, kick-ass heroine who faces demons, a pushy mom, a possibly unrequited love interest and a plot to take over the world. You know you should be reading this with a tall, cool glass of your favorite libation close at hand.” –San Diego Union Tribune

“The main character makes this book great, as the voice and insight are believable and fun. This book will appeal to a wide range of sf fans as the rest of the cast is believable and the hidden world of tremens (demonlike creatures) is great.”—Booklist

IMAGE: Many thanks to Amazon.com for the Last Call cover image.

June 15, 2017

It's picnic time! Saturday June 17, 2017


When: Saturday, June 17, 2017--Setup begins at 5:30 p.m.; plan to eat 6:30-7:00 p.m.
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64111
Bring: Beverage of your choice, plus a side dish to share (members can sign up on the KaXFEN email list!)

It's the Annual KaCSFFS Picnic
Our traditional evening of gathering to share food, play tabletop games and eat or distribute all the ConQuesT Con Suite leftovers while they're still fresh is upon us!

Join us for an indoor-outdoor event that accommodates all abilities and respiratory capabilities. KaCSFFS provides hotdogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, condiments, ConQuesT Con Suite leftovers, and table service. Please bring your own beverages and a side dish to share (there's a sign-up on the KaXFEN email list for members).

But WAIT! There's more!
Reviewers' Reading Circle Summer Selection


We'll kick off our new summer Reviewers' Reading Circle selection, Stupid Humans, by V. R. Craft. This is the program's first humorous selection.

What's it about? "What if all the intelligent humans abandoned Earth... and we're what's left? Samantha is a journalist who travels through the wormhole to New Atlantis and discovers that embarrassing reality when she meets the People, humanity's more intelligent--and smugly superior--distant relatives. Unfortunately, thanks to humanity's penchant for fighting, a Human/People conflict is brewing. She could almost forget she's not on Earth, except the People have tails and don't slap idiot warning labels on everything . . . "

KaCSFFS' Reviewers' Reading Circle program offers free downloadable copies of current books by lesser-known and emerging authors, available to dues-paid KaCSFFS members via links provided through the email KaXFEN list. Members may download the selection as a review copy during the two-month period following the first announcement. Read some or all of it, and if you choose, write a short review.

At the July 15, 2017 meeting, we'll have a live author interview with V. R. Craft via Skype or FaceTime, to discuss the book and answer questions. The selection will remain available through our August meeting.

KantCon presentation


There also will be a presentation about KantCon, the annual gaming convention, to be held July 14-16, 2017, in Overland Park, KS. It features lots of different gaming possibilities and a costume contest.

For more information, please come to our presentation at the meeting! You can also learn more at their website. Get some fun glimpses of their events at the KantCon gallery.

Dare we mention it? Membership cards!
As promised, new, 2017-18 KaCSFFS membership cards will be available for all dues-paid members, on a laminate-while-you-wait basis. Show your card for a discount at Prospero's Books!

IMAGES: The "KaCSFFS Picnic" header was made for this event by Jan S. Gephardt, based on a photo taken in 2015 by Jan S. Gephardt. The Stupid Humans header is from V. R. Craft's Stellar Sarcasm website, the Stupid Humans book cover image is from Amazon, and the KantCon header and gaming dragon logo are from their website. Many thanks to all!

June 11, 2017

Not quite last call yet: you have TWO WEEKS!

Have you started Paul Kreuger's Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge yet? Still considering whether to read it or not? It's the June featured selection for the Kansas City SF & F Literati.

They'll meet to discuss it in about two weeks, on Monday, June 26, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the Oak Park Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Overland Park, KS.

What's the book about? The website of location host Barnes & Noble offers this overview:

"In this sharp and funny urban fantasy novel, booze is magic, demons are real, and millennial Bailey Chen joins a band of monster-fighting Chicago bartenders instead of finding a 'real' post-college job.

"Bailey Chen is fresh out of college with all the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and an awkward relationship with Zane, the old friend she kinda-sorta hooked up with during high school.

"But when Zane introduces Bailey to his monster-fighting bartender friends, her demons become a lot more literal. It turns out that evil creatures stalk the city streets after hours, and they can be hunted only with the help of magically mixed cocktails: vodka grants super-strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and rum lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy. But will all these powers be enough for Bailey to halt a mysterious rash of gruesome deaths? And what will she do when the safety of a 'real world' job beckons?

"Perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and grown-up readers of Harry Potter. Includes 14 recipes from a book of ancient cocktail lore."

A limited number of copies are available through the Johnson County Library or Mid-Continent Public Library. It's also available from meeting host Barnes & Noble Booksellers,  Amazon, or our local Kansas City bookseller, Rainy Day Books.

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

May 29, 2017

Sturgeon Award Nominees Announced by Gunn Center


Finalists for this year's Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction have been selected, announced Christopher McKitterick, Director of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The Sturgeon Award will be presented during the Campbell Conference Awards Banquet on Friday, June 16, 2017, as part of the annual Campbell Conference.

The Sturgeon Memorial Award trophy
Finalists for the 2017
 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award
Nina Allan, “The Art of Space Travel,” Tor.com, 27 July 2016. 
Amal El-Mohtar, “Seasons of Glass and Iron,” The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, eds. Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, Saga Press, 2016. 
Carolyn Ives Gilman, “Touring with the Alien,” Clarkesworld, April 2016.
Victor LaValle, The Ballad of Black TomTor.com, February 2016
Ian R. MacLeod, “The Visitor From Taured,” Asimov’s, September 2016
Sam J. Miller, “Things with Beards,” Clarkesworld, June 2016
Dominica Phetteplace, “Project Empathy,” Asimov's, March 2016.
Catherynne M. Valente, “The Future is Blue,” Drowned Worlds, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris Books, 2016. 
Kai Ashante Wilson, A Taste of Honey, Tor.com, 13 October 2016.
    
A full house at the authors' panel, at the 2015 Campbell Conference.

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award recognizes the best science fiction short story of each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon's children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.

Here's a glimpse of the 2015 Campbell Conference Banquet.

The Campbell Conference has been held each year since 1978, usually in Lawrence, Kansas. It includes a Friday-evening banquet where the annual Theodore Sturgeon and John W. Campbell Memorial Award are presented; a Saturday round-table discussion with scholars, scientists, and writers of science fiction; and other events.


Another view of the Campbell Conference held in June 2015.

For information about attending the Conference or Awards Banquet, see the Campbell Conference page.

IMAGES: Many thanks to the Gunn Center's website for their banner, to File 770 for the photo of the Sturgeon Award trophy, and to the Campbell Conference Facebook Page for the three photos from the 2015 Conference.

May 22, 2017

Avoid the rush: get yours now

Be prepared for the next SF & F Literati meeting, on Monday, June 26, 2017!

Order or reserve your copy of Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge, by Paul Krueger now! 

A limited number of copies are available through the Johnson County Library or Mid-Continent Public Library. It's also available from meeting host Barnes & Noble Booksellers,  Amazon, or our local Kansas City bookseller, Rainy Day Books.

Krueger says his book is "about a secret society of bartenders who fight demons with alcohol-magic." According to Barnes & Noble, it's a "sharp and funny urban fantasy," in which "booze is magic, demons are real, and millennial Bailey Chen joins a band of monster-fighting Chicago bartenders instead of finding a 'real' post-college job."

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

May 20, 2017

Quick reminder: SF&F Literati Monday night!

Date: Monday, May 22, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Title: Quantum Night
Author: Robert J. Sawyer
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.

The May selection is a recent book written by this year's ConQuesT Writer Guest of Honor (the May meeting is held on the third Monday, so it won't conflict with the Memorial Day Weekend timing of ConQuesT, Kansas City's longest-running science fiction convention. This year's Writer GoH is Robert J. Sawyer, a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author with a reputation for writing provocative, cutting-edge science fiction. The May selection, Quantum Night, was published in 2016.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Amazon.com for the Quantum Night cover image.

May 16, 2017

Ideas needed! Craft future programming at May 20th meeting!

What: Monthly KaCSFFS Meeting
When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, from 6:00 till 9:30 p.m.
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64111
Food theme: Favorite meeting-fare samples

Time to get creative
Join new Director David Means and your KaCSFFS friends for an evening of creative development this Saturday! It's time to plan the meeting programs for the next twelve months.

Barry Haldiman starts with a puzzler's overview.
Recent Directors have encouraged the discovery of interesting, hitherto-unknown-by-KaCSFFS collections, skills and talents of our members.

For instance, we've gained fascinating insights from Barry Haldiman's crossword-puzzle-creation skills.

We've been amazed and delighted by William McCullough's collection of Armed Services Editions, the half-sized paperback books that turned a generation of American soldiers into a nation of readers.

We've enjoyed Corey Barber's extensive collection of wonderful fantasy and sf art, and been enlightened by David Means-and-Family's collections of tabletop games (still providing us with interesting blog posts a year and a half later), plus most recently YA books (last month's fascinating program).

William McCullough and (most of) his collection of Armed Services Editions, many of them sf.

We also have been beguiled by interesting speakers, such as YM Rivadineira and her amazing costumes--and who could forget the R2 Builders, whose presentation has been considered by some the "best program ever"?

Then-Director Margene observes the R2 Builders presentation
We also have brought together authors doing readings, artists exhibiting fantasy and sf artwork, as well as panel discussions, such as the one in March, when Earline "Cricket" Beebe and Ty Gephardt gave an inspiring presentation on how to throw a great room party, or the one presented several years ago about the Kansas City connections to authors in our genres.

Recent meetings also have been more multi-media, combining live presenters in the room with remote interviews via FaceTime with authors K. B. Shaw, Julia Mandala, and P. R. Adams, or movie previews and videos, such as those produced to promote MidAmericon II. If you like that trend, please tell us!

And don't forget the food! KaXFEN love to eat, and we include some amazing cooks among our number. Several of our meetings each year are organized around food (the Annual Picnic; Thanksgiving, the Chili Cook-off). Are there other food-centered events we should consider?

The possibilities are as wide-ranging as our genres and interests. Please take some time to think about presentations you'd like to see, or any other hidden talents or amazing collections we haven't yet explored.

IMAGES: The photos of Barry and William were taken by Jan S. Gephardt. the photo of the R2 Builders' presentation is by Ty Gephardt, via Facebook. All are used with permission.

May 09, 2017

Laser Rangers 2017 May Meeting

Two Classics by C.S. Forrester
Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017
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: Ken Keller
Food: Navel Rations
Costume: 19th Century Navel Officer

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Group Page.


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

The Pride and the Passion

(1957, 132 minutes) Directed by: Stanley Kramer

Starring: Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren

It's based on Forrester's novel "The Gun."

A British naval captain and artillery officer is sent to Spain to retrieve a huge, long range siege cannon abandoned by the Spanish army before Napoleon's forces can acquire it. Spanish rebels now have control of the monster weapon and are planning to use its 100 pound solid shot against the high, cannon filled walls of the Spanish city Avila, now under the iron control of French occupation forces.-Ken Keller


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!
Captain Horatio Hornblower

(1951, 117 minutes) Directed by: Raoul Walsh

Starring: Gregory Peck, Virginia Mayo, Robert Beatty, Terence Morgan, James Robertson Justice

Lots of stirring sea battles and land action in this classic adventure film based on a trio of Forester's British Navy novels set during the Napoleonic Wars.-Ken Keller

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!

May 07, 2017

Have you read Quantum Night? You have 2 WEEKS.

Whether you're a fan of Robert J. Sawyer's work, have heard of him but don't know much about him, or you're just now learning his name, here's a great excuse to read one of his books before he arrives in Kansas City to be this year's ConQuesT Author Guest of Honor.

Quantum Night, a Locus #1 bestseller, is this month's selection for the Kansas City SF & F Literati. This local book club group will meet to discuss it Monday evening, May 22, at 7 p.m., on the second floor of the Oak Park Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Overland Park, KS.

What's it about? Here's the overview from location host Barnes & Noble's website:

"The Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues, FlashForward, and the novels of the WWW Trilogy explores the thin line between good and evil that every human being is capable of crossing…

"Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined in court about his breakthrough, Jim is shocked to discover that he has lost his memories of six months of his life almost twenty years ago—a dark time during which he himself committed heinous acts.

"Jim is reunited with Kayla Huron, his forgotten girlfriend from his lost period and now a quantum physicist who has made a stunning discovery about the nature of human consciousness. As a rising tide of violence and hate sweeps across the globe, the psychologist and the physicist combine forces in a race against time to see if they can do the impossible—change human nature—before the entire world descends into darkness."

Note that everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, whether they've read the book or not.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Amazon.com for the Quantum Night cover image.