February 28, 2012

ConQuesT, Memorial Day Weekend, Kansas City

Make plans now to attend ConQuesT, the science fiction and fantasy convention sponsored by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS), held annually on Memorial Day Weekend in Kansas City, MO.

This year's convention will be held May 25-27, 2012, at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, Kansas City, MO. Guests include:

Club and Staff memberships can be paid at the March or April club meeting, or online. See the club email for instructions, rates, and deadline.

Regular memberships can be purchased online at the ConQuesT website, http://www.conquestkc.org/, and at the door.

  • Regular Full Weekend Adult (age 13 and up):
     - Through Feb 29: $40
     - March 1 - May 15: $50
     - At the door: $60
  • Children (age 6 to 12) - half the adult rate.
  • Military discounts available.
  • Day passes available at the door.

February 27, 2012

Highlights and Awards from Past Meetings

Fifteen extra minutes of fame!
In the past several months we've had a number of occasions to recognize some of our own, or join together in a group effort. This post was inspired by the Valentine King and Queen voting, at the February meeting, so let's start there!

Jo Dixon and Susan Ives are the 2012 KaCSFFS Valentine King and Queen.
Valentine King and Queen
The assembled group voted from among a number of very fine costumes, but the clear winners were Jo Dixon and Susan Ives.
Balloting and admission to the party brought in $92 and 29 food pantry items for Harvesters.

Valentine Food Item Winners
Lately, where there's food there's a contest, and the February meeting was no different. Members and guests brought some truly delectable items.

February Honorees were Bruce Marshall, for "Individual Strawberry Cheesecakes," and Mary Chambers for "Tomato/Cheese Kabobs" and "Red Velvet Cookies". Voters also gave a special Honorable Mention for Creativity to Cindy Norton, for her "Remains of an Andorrian Heart After Battle with Klingons."

Chili Cook-off Winners
At January's meeting we had our Third Annual Chili Cook-off. When the votes were tallied, the winners were Ron Davis for first place; Diana Bailey second; and Jim Murray third. 
Maybe someday we'll come out with an official KaCSFFS Cookbook that could feature the recipes that have won our various food/cooking contests . . . though perhaps we won't ask Cindy for her "Remains of an Andorrian Heart" recipe . . .

Recent Promo Photos 
Free stuff is good! And in recent months the club has had fun gathering for group shots with free T-shirts, posters, and other S.W.A.G. (stuff we all get), which prompts the film promotion company to send us yet MORE free T-shirts, posters, and other S.W.A.G. 
It's kind of like a Great Circle of S.W.A.G.

In January most of those present assembled at the Writers Place staircase to pimp the movie Underworld Awakening.  Yes, some of them are holding what look like packets of blood (it is actually colored sugar water).
In February, Party Coordinator Sherri Dean (at left) posed with prize winning cooks and Valentine royalty to promote the movie Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Halloween Costumes!
At the October meeting we had a great turnout of gifted costumers . . . but to our chagrin we can't find the names of the winners (We had them. Didn't record them. Augh!!). If the Halloween winners would please comment or contact the Communications Officer, we'd like to set the record straight!

40th Anniversary Honorees
Founder and former Director Ken Keller received
an Honorary Lifetime Membership.
Some of the most important awards given recently by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, Inc. were announced at the September meeting, when we celebrated our 40th Anniversary of existence as an organization.

Very few Honorary Lifetime Memberships have been awarded in the group's history, but the Board of Directors decided unanimously that it was past time to award one to one of the organization's primary Founders, Ken Keller

Keller not only was central to founding the club, but also chaired the 1976 Kansas City Worldcon, Midamericon, and he remains an actively-involved member to this day.

The Tom Reamy Award for Excellence in Science
Fiction Endeavors was presented to Jim Murray.
Another of the group's highest honors is the Tom Reamy Award for Excellence in Science Fiction Endeavors. The 2011 recipient of this honor was our own "Dr. Paisley," James ("Jim") Murray.

In addition to these awards, KaCSFFS Awards of Recognition for Outstanding Contributions to Fhandom were awarded to six individuals: 
Cindy Norton
Ruth Lichtwardt
Diana J. Bailey
Tracy Majkol
Keith Stokes
David Sooby

Each of these has been important and active in aspects of the club's mission and function. Congratulations to all of our recent honorees!

IMAGE CREDITS: The photos of the Valentine Royalty and Ghost Rider promotion are by Jan S. Gephardt, and may be used under a Creative Commons license which specifies they may be used with credit given and without alteration; the photo of the Underworld promotion and scans of the two awards are from Robin W. Bailey, and are used with his permission.

February 18, 2012

SF&F Literati Meet Feb. 27, 2012--Make New Book Selections!

Pittacus Lore's I Am Number Four
is the selection for February.

I Am Number Four . . . but what's next?

SF&F Literati meet every fourth Monday of the month at the Barnes & Nobles Booksellers at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. In February the book under discussion is I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

The group also will decide which books to read during the next several months. Watch this blog for an announcement of their next selections!

The Barnes & Noble Booksellers website offers this overview of February's selection:

     "Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.
     "Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing.
     "But they know.
     "They caught Number One in Malaysia.
     "Number Two in England.
     "And Number Three in Kenya.
     "They killed them all.
     "I am Number Four.
     "I am next."

CREDITS: The cover image for I Am Number Four is courtesy of the Barnes & Noble Booksellers website. The embedded map below is from Google Maps.

View Larger Map

February 11, 2012

Annual KaCSFFS Valentine Party!

Myxer.com's "Alien Spaceship Love"

An Out-of-This-World Kind of Love 
is this year's theme.

When? Saturday, February 18, 2012
What time? KaCSFFS meeting starts at 6:00. Party starts at 7:00. 
"Alien Love," by Scott Given
Where? The Writers Place3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64111-2820
Admission to the Party: $5 or 5 cans/boxes of non-perishable food per person, for Kansas City food pantries. (Or $1 and 4 cans. Or $2 and 3 cans. Or . . . you get the idea.)

What to Wear?
Party coordinator Sherri Dean advises: "Attire should be inspired by your fannish love, be it Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Anime--whatever it is, we've got a fan for that!"

Maybe The Voca People can inspire some local aliens!

And whatever you wear, make sure you can dance in it: "In addition to meeting and greeting with a wide variety of fans, there will be music, dancing, [and] karaoke," Sherri says.

There also will be "a Make Your Own Valentine station where you can make-n-take a card for a loved one, or give it to a new Valentine you just met! *Le sigh!*"

For recipes, look at the Wish Blog!
Don't plan on dinner here, but "we'll have light snacks and goodies," Sherri says, and encourages all club members who wish to do so to bring their own specialties. Many online sources (such as The Wish Blog, who furnished the photo at right), also offer great recipes.

We also will have "a non-alcoholic punch . . . for chasing away the thirsties." She adds. "Anything harder is BYOB, but please, nobody likes a sloppy drunk!"

Valentine Royalty card by Junkerman Jones
"Every Valentine celebration needs royalty to make the magic compete," Sherri concludes. "For the price of $1 you can nominate your favorite gal or pal for King or Queen. 

"In the fine KaCSFFS tradition, a woman can be a King, a man a Queen, or any combination thereof!

"Also, there's no limit to how many times you can vote, as long as each vote has a dollar with it. The winners will receive a nifty crown, a sash, and have their photo taken" for the KaCSFFS Blog (right here, folks!) and Facebook Page. 

PHOTO/ART CREDITS: "Alien Spaceship Love" is offered as a wallpaper by Myxer. "Alien Love" is by artist Scott Given. See this piece and more of his artwork at Elfwood. The photo of The Voca People is from Broadway.com--be sure to watch their video and learn their amazing back-story! The luscious Valentine food photo--along with recipes for most of these delights (hint! hint!) is from The Wish Blog. Finally, the card with the Valentine Queen and King is designed by Junkerman Jones Events, and featured on their blog page. Many thanks to all sources!

Laser Rangers set to see . . . "Femme Fatale"

From David Sooby: In a last minute schedule change, Ken Keller will host our February Laser
Rangers session.  The "Femme Fatale" theme will feature "Body Heat"
(1981) and "Basic Instinct" (director's cut).

Food theme: Mexican

Date, time, and location remain the same as previously announced.

February 03, 2012

Laser Rangers! The February Program

Date: February 11:
Time: Around 4:15 p.m., “fan time”
Place: 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 brand new seating for about 15 people without crowding.
Food Theme:   (fresh, theater-style popcorn available throughout the evening) Items appropriate for the mood of the evening (be sure at least some of it is edible!)
Captain Laser: Tracy Majkol 
The Program: “Singing in the Brains”: Cannibal! The Musical and Repo! The Genetic Opera

Cannibal! The Musical 
Before dinner, view the first movie. This 1993 film is the brainchild of Trey Parker, who wrote, directed, and stars (as Alferd Packer) in the film. It derives at least some of its inspiration from the ill-fated Donner Party of pioneers, who got lost in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1846, and resorted to cannibalism to survive.

In this movie “the sole survivor of an ill-fated mining expedition tells how his taste for gold was replaced by that of human flesh,” according to the IMDB website.

Watch the trailer . . . if you dare!

Repo! The Genetic Opera
After supper, step from the past into a frightening future. 

Created in 2008 and first shown in a flurry of international film festivals, this movie features more than one person you’ve heard of, and voices worth respecting. Stars include Alexa Vega, Paul Sorvino, Anthony Head, Sarah Brightman, and Paris Hilton at what must have been the apex of her acting career.

The IMDB synopsis: “A worldwide epidemic encourages a biotech company to launch an organ-financing program similar in nature to a standard car loan. The repossession clause is a killer, however.”

There's an available trailer for this one, too.

More information can be found at the Laser Rangers website. If you need directions to the program location, use the information inside the proscenium arch:

PHOTO Credits:
The poster images for the two movies are from the IMDB website: Look here for  Cannibal! Look here for Repo! The movie screen frame image used for the Laser Rangers contact information is courtesy of Psychology Today Online.