April 25, 2012

Correction! ConQuesT Deadline is Closer than We Think!

April 30 is the END (of the discount)!!
I apologize for contributing to confusion about the cutoff deadline for KaCSFFS discount rates on ConQuesT memberships.  Here is the straight story from our Web Maven, Allison Stein:

"The deadline for club members and staff to buy their memberships is not May 15, as published in the Kacsffs blog post about the April meeting. The deadline is April 30. This is posted on http://conquestkc.org/concom.htm and has been for months:

"APR 30   Deadline for concom, con staff, and club members to buy ConQuesT memberships at club rates. NO EXCEPTIONS."

April 23, 2012

April Meeting Follow-up

Sherri Dean Conquers All
With her Alien Eggs and her secretarial prowess, Sherri Dean
proved a hit with Kaxfen at the April meeting.
Our new Secretary is Sherri Dean. She leaped right into the job immediately, and began taking notes.

She also brought the winning *coughs -only!- * entry for the Eggceptional Eggcellence Awards with her very creative Alien Eggs entry in the "Cre-egg-tive Minds at Play" category.

Her Alien Eggs were concocted from dried figs, almonds and almond paste, and orange marmelade. They were tasty, as well as wild-looking!

Still Tweaking Bylaws till the End
More amendments were made
to the provisional draft of the
KaCSFFS Bylaws Saturday.
Several Kaxfen brought up questions and proposed adjustments to the provisional draft of the KaCSFFS Bylaws that had been submitted for examination at the March meeting by the Bylaws Committee. The process of bringing the club's bylaws into compliance with the Missouri requirements for a 501(c)3 corporation, begun more than a year and a half ago, continues.

The discussion session at the meeting Saturday night became rather lively at times, as the merits of various provisions were discussed. Several sharp-eyed persons also helpfully pointed out typos for correction.

At the end of the discussion, a majority of the quorum present voted to provisionally approve the Bylaws draft, as amended. The new version was to be posted as a PDF in the file "2012 Bylaws" on the KAXFEN Yahoo Group. It is now available there, for review by all interested members who have paid their dues and thereby have voting privileges.

A final vote to ratify this version of the Bylaws will be taken at the May 19 meeting. If it is not approved, the amendment process will continue.  Passage of an acceptable set of Bylaws is an important part of being approved for our 501(c)3 status, so this is an important issue for the club.

Do You Have Your Membership Card?
President Diana Bailey opened the meeting Saturday by reading aloud the names of persons who had not picked up their new membership cards.

Why is it so important to have your membership card? For one thing, it entitles you to a growing array of discounts!

First of all, there's your ConQuesT membership! The last chance to buy a membership in person with the club discount was the April 21 meeting, but you have until May 15 to buy it online! Check the instructions on the KAXFEN Yahoo Group for how to get the discount.

39th St. Minsky's now
offers us a discount!
We just learned on Saturday that Kaxfen now can get  a 10% discount at the 39th Street Minsky's Pizza! The discount is good anytime, but if you plan a run over there after a meeting, they request that you call ahead so they can be ready.

You also can get discounts at these other fine local merchants:

The Marrakech Cafe
Two Prospero's Bookstores locations
Aquarius books and gifts
Vulcan's Forge fine jewelry

IMAGE CREDITS: The photo of Sherri Dean's Alien Eggs is by Jan S. Gephardt. The photo of Sherri Dean is from her Facebook page. The "Bylaws Book" image is from the A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering "ByLaws/Standing Rules" page. The ConQuesT 43 logo/lettering is from the ConQuesT website. The photo of 39th Street Minsky's is courtesy of Yelp! Many thanks to all!

April 21, 2012

Clockwork Britannia Rules!

SF&F Literati step into the Doomsday Vault Monday 23rd
Steven Harper's Steampunk novel is
the April feature for SF&F Literati. 
When: April 23, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
WhereBarnes & Noble #2352, 11323 W 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214, 2nd Floor. 

SF&F Literati meet every fourth Monday of the month at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. 

The Barnes & Noble's overview says of their featured selection, The Doomsday Vault, by Steven Harper: 

“In a clockwork Brittania, Alice's prospects are slim. At 21, her age and her unladylike interest in automatons have sealed her fate as an undesirable marriage prospect. But a devastating plague sends Alice off in a direction beyond the pale-towards a clandestine organization, mad inventors, life-altering secrets, and into the arms of an intrepid fiddle-playing airship pilot.” 

This recent release (November 2011) is the first of the new "Clockwork Empire" series from Harper, a prolific and established writer. You can buy the book from Barnes & Noble online.

May: Different Day, Special Book

Balance of Trade is the May selection.

When: May 21, 2012, 7:00 p.m. (Note: THIRD Monday!)
WhereBarnes & Noble #2352, 11323 W 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214, 2nd Floor. 

ConQuesT Guests of Honor Steve Miller and Sharon Lee wrote the May selection, Balance of Trade, available from Barnes & Noble online. The Barnes & Noble overview says: 

“Assistant Trader Jethri Gobelyn was an honest, hardworking young man who knew a lot about living onboard his family's space-going trade ship; something about trade, finance, and risk-taking; and a little bit about Liadens.

“It was, oddly enough, the little bit he knew about Liadens that seemed like it might be enough to make his family's fortune, and his own, too. In short order, however, Jethri Gobelyn was about to find out a lot more about Liadens... like how far they might go to protect their name and reputation. Like the myriad of things one might say-intentionally or not-with a single bow. Like what it would take to make a Liaden trade-ship crew trash a bar. Like how hard it is to say ‘I'm sorry!’ in Liaden.

“Pretty soon it was clear that as little as he knew about Liadens, he knew far less about himself. With his very existence a threat to the balance of trade, Jethri Gobelyn needed to learn fast, or else help destroy all he held dear.”

Come talk about it in May!

You may also enjoy the April 26 interview with Miller and Lee, conducted by writer and KaCSFFS member Bryan Thomas Schmidt, posted on the "Grasping For The Wind" blog. 

IMAGE CREDITS: Both covers are courtesy of Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

April 20, 2012

Announcements and April Meeting

Last Chances and Important Votes!  And Eggs.
See below for details about the April 21 Meeting. Also, the deadlines for a discounted ConQuesT 43 membership are rapidly approaching!  Don't miss out!
Get the Skinny on ConQuesT 43 Guests of Honor!
Bryan Thomas Schmidt launches a new interview series on the "Grasping For The Wind" blog. Ursula Vernon, the Artist Guest of Honor is his first interviewee. Scroll down for his publishing schedule and more!
Full Already?
If you're an artist interested in showing at ConQuesT, better get registered! More details below!

Important! Don't Miss the April Meeting!
The usual day, the usual place--but not
your usual meeting!
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.
When: April 21, 2012. The General Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs till about 9:30.
Why: An important deadline, and some important decision-making, with a side of frivolity.

The important deadline we face is to buy ConQuesT 43 memberships in person by cash or check. All current members of KaCSFFS may buy their ConQuesT memberships at a discount, until May 15. But the last time you can do so without paying a fee to PayPal is at the April meeting! So if you haven't bought your membership yet, NOW is the time!

If you aren't a KaCSFFS member, you must pay the full pre-convention price.  You can buy one at the meeting in person, or on the ConQuesT website until May 15. After May 15, the only time anyone can buy a membership is at the door, for full price.

(BROAD HINT: if you sign up to volunteer at the convention, you get a bonus discount! So sign up to volunteer!)

The important decision-making will be reflected in our votes. 
We first must vote for the contested office of Secretary of KaCSFFS.  April is the start of our Fiscal Year, and as such is the "Annual Meeting" (In case you were wondering, March was the end of the Fiscal Year, and officially designated the "Fiscal Meeting," when everyone was supposed to renew their KaCSFFS memberships).

We have a Contested Race!
Sherri Dean (L) seeks to replace incumbent Jeff Orth (R)
as KaCSFFS Secretary.
Most of the self-nominees ran for their positions on the KaCSFFS Board of Directors unopposed, and thus were elected by acclamation. They are: Diana Bailey, President (formerly Director, but the IRS code says she has to be Madame President now); Cindy Norton, Treasurer; Jan Gephardt, Communications Officer; and Victoria L'Ecuyer, ConQuesT Chairperson for the planning year (2013, in this case; for those who don't know Victoria, we introduced her in an earlier post).

But we must vote for Secretary. The candidates are Jeff Orth (incumbent) and Sherri Dean, bidding to return for a new term, after several years off. As noted in last month's meeting follow-up post, each candidate made a statement:

Jeff Orth (incumbent):
"Jeff is bad secretary. he will continue to be a bad secretary. Some body should kick his ass. Diana certainly would appreciate it."

Sherri Dean (challenger):
"I already did this [serve as Secretary] before, but . . . I could do it again if you like."

Hotly contested, as you can see. Now you get to decide! (as long as you are a currently dues-paid member of KaCSFFS, that is).

Bylaws, too!
A Provisional Draft of the Bylaws on the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, Inc. was presented to the membership at the March meeting, and has been placed in a file on the KAXFEN Group. It is the product of more than a year's work by the Bylaws Committee, and has been written to carefully align it with the rules governing 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations chartered in the state of Missouri, while at the same time retaining most of the previous practices of the Society.

At the April meeting we will cast a preliminary vote to ratify or reject this draft.

"PugnoM" made a Dalek egg.
How creative can YOU be?
And now for the Frivolity:
This month's food theme is Eggs--and let's have fun with them!

Yeah, yeah, we know--Easter's over, for those who follow Christian traditions. But all cultures enjoy eggs all year long. Not only are they delicious and full of protein, but they also are full of creative potential.

And as usual, we'll have a contest among those who bring egg-themed goodies. We will present Certificates of Eggceptional Eggcellence to the winners in the following categories:

Eggstra Delicious: Foods made primarily from eggs. These will be judged for pleasing appearance and delicious taste. Please arrange for adequate refrigeration when necessary!

Eggcentricities: Egg-themed food that is not primarily made from eggs (chocolates, cakes, or anything decorated to look like an egg, for example). Must be edible.

Cre-egg-tive Minds at Play: Inspired by the tradition of Easter eggs made purely for display, these miniature sculptures, like the "Dalek egg" in the photo, are not meant to be eaten! Instead, they should be looked at to be enjoyed. You don't have to use real eggs, if plastic eggs or similar egg-shaped materials would work better. Create a humorous character or situation, make something unlikely out of eggs, or whatever your imagination cooks up--and be sure to give your masterpiece an appropriate title!

Pick your category, and let's see who can eggsterminate the competition!

Ursula Vernon is a talented artist
and writer, soon to be our guest!
Don't Miss Bryan Thomas Schmidt's Interview Series, either!
Ursula Vernon is our now-Hugo-nominated(!!!) Artist Guest of Honor for ConQuesT 43.

She and our own Bryan Thomas Schmidt had a nice long chat recently, and he took the opportunity to ask questions about her work, her life, and her approaches to things.

It's all in his interview on the "Grasping For The Wind" blog. The post went live April 19, and will remain available even after Schmidt's next posts appear.

He has an interview with ConQuesT writer Guests of Honor, Steve Miller and Sharon Lee that is scheduled for April 26.

It will be followed by an interview about ConQuesT with Chairperson John Platt IV and KaCSFFS President Diana Bailey, scheduled for May 3.

And Finally, An Important Announcement for ARTISTS, from the ConQuesT Art Show Director
As I write this, ALL of our vertical panel space for the ConQuesT Art Show has technically been reserved, though some of those reservations are not yet final (payments pending). Reservations don't always work out, so if you still want to exhibit 2-D art, there's a good possibility that the first artists on our waiting list eventually will get space. Those who pay their registrations promptly get preference.

If you are an artist who exhibits prints in the Print Shop, we still have room. If you work in 3-D and can use table space, reservations are still open. All reservations must be received by May 1, and all mailed-in art is due by May 18.

IMAGE CREDITS: The photo of The Writers Place is from their websiteThe photo of Sherri Dean is her Profile Picture on Facebook. Jeff Orth's photo is also from Facebook, taken by Baron Dave Romm at this year's Minicon, 4/8/12, and posted on his Wall. The "Bylaws Book" image is from the A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering "ByLaws/Standing Rules" page. The "Dalek Egg" is from PugnoM's Flickr page. The illustration of Ursula Vernon is by Ursula Vernon, and came from the ConQuesT Guests page. The thumbnail of vertical panels at the 2011 ConQuesT Art Show is a detail of a photo by Ty Gephardt.