May 21, 2012

The Big Week is Here: ConQuesT 43!

Annual Event Runs May 25-27, 2012
ConQuesT panel discussions address many topics.
One of the longest-running science fiction conventions in North America, Kansas City's own ConQuesT returns for a 43rd year. Pre-registrations are now closed, but memberships and day passes will be available at the door.

This year's Guests of Honor will soon arrive, along with a large group of other authors, artists, Klingons, and fans of all kinds.  ConQuesT 43 includes a large Art Show, a Masquerade, Writers Workshop and other writing events, "ConQuesT Idol" evening entertainment, the Dealers' Room, Charity Auction to benefit About SF, a special Paranormal Romance programming track and guests, and special appearances by the Klingon Assault Group.
Mass Autographing Event at ConQuesT 42, in 2011.

Also not to be missed are the ConQuesT Zombie Olympics!

Author Guests of Honor are Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, authors of the much-loved Liaden Universe books. They were recently interviewed for the "Grasping for the Wind" Blog, by Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

The 2012 Art Show is bigger than 2011.
This year's Artist Guest of Honor is Ursula Vernon, a 2012 Hugo nominee and well-known artist. She also was interviewed in depth by Schmidt. Toastmistress for 2012 is Writer, professor, and longtime fan Susan Satterfield. She also was interviewed by Schmidt, as were the Con Chairpersons. Editor Gardner Dozois and Fencon's Tim Miller also plan to attend.

Many other guests also will be making appearances. See the Guests page and scroll down for a more complete list of authors and other special guests. The Art Show page includes a list of all pre-registered artists, with website links. We also have a varied group of dealers scheduled: check the Dealers' Room page for a detailed list.
This is part of the Dealers' Room in 2011.

The convention returns to the Crown Center location where it has been for the last two years, but the hotel is under new management. The former Hyatt is now the Sheraton Crown Center. Free parking can be found near the hotel, and more convenience is available for a price. For details on parking, see the convention website.

Even for the at-the-door price, ConQuesT 43 promises to be an excellent entertainment value for anyone who enjoys science fiction, fantasy, horror, Steampunk, or other aspects of our genre.  We hope to see you there!

PHOTO CREDITS: The images of the ConQuesT panel, mass autographing, and Dealers' Room are all by Keith Stokes, from the 2011 event. They were published online in the MidAmerican Fan Photo Archive. The photo of panels in the 2011 Art Show is by Ty Gephardt.

May 19, 2012

SF&F Literati Meet a Week Early!

Enter the Liaden Universe--Just in Time for ConQuesT!
When: May 21, 2012, 7:00 p.m. NOTE! THIS IS A WEEK EARLY!
WhereBarnes & Noble #2352, 11323 W 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214, 2nd Floor.

Brush up on Liad! Be in the know at ConQuesT!
Our ConQuesT 43 Guests of Honor, the authors Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, wrote this month's selection, Balance of Trade. It is available from Barnes & Noble.

You may enjoy a chance to learn much more about Lee and Miller and their Liaden Universe, in the recent notable interview by our own Bryan Thomas Schmidt.
B&N Overview of Balance of Trade:
     “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.”

Next Month, it's Back to the Fourth Monday:
Get your copy now, and start reading!
June 25 - So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane, also available from Barnes & Noble. Same time, same location: 7:00 p.m. at the Oak Park Barnes & Noble.

B&N Overview:
     “Something stopped Nita's hand as it ran along the bookshelf. She looked and found that one of the books had a loose thread at the top of its spine. It was one of those So You Want to Be a . . . books,  a series on careers. So You Want to Be a Pilot, and a Scientist . . . a Writer. But his one said, So You Want to Be a Wizard.
     “I don't believe this, Nina thought. She shut the book and stood there holding it in her hand, confused, amazed, suspicious—and delighted. If it was a joke, it was a great one. If it wasn't . . . ?
     “Diane Duane is the author of more then twenty science fiction and fantasy novels, including four other books in the Young Wizards series. Four of her Star Trek novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Ms. Duane lives in rural Ireland.
     “Thirteen-year-old Nita, tormented by a gang of bullies because she won't fight back, finds the help she needs in a library book on wizardry which guides her into another dimension.”

May 18, 2012

Film Shorts and Long Tradition

Crew Call at the KaCSFFS Meeting!
Saturday, May 19 at 6:30 pm at the Writers Place
1982 "collating party" in San Francisco.

Come to the meeting Saturday for a true "retro" experience! It's an old-fashioned KaCSFFS pre-ConQuesT "bindery" party! Help cut, fold, laminate, and stuff envelopes for the con while we gossip, dish, and talk science fiction. 

We're just one week from ConQuesT 43, and this year, as in days of old, the meeting before the con will be used help get ready. We need YOUR help! We will be working on badges, pocket programs, attendees' packets, and more.

We can't bring our cats to this party, helpful though they might be!
If you're not old enough to remember the days when we hand-collated our fanzines, then you're in for a rare taste of fhannish history!

Once upon a time, kids, sf fen had to do it the old-fashioned way, with paper, staples, and good fun.  Let's enjoy ourselves for a retro Saturday night!

Bring scissors or paper-cutters, staplers, rulers, or any other tools you think might be useful.

Include edible goodies, along with the staplers and scissors!
But there are Compensations!
The food theme is cupcakes and cookies--and there will be awards, with certificates, so bring your discerning palate, along with your best prize-winning goodies!

Maybe even better yet, the Laser Rangers' David Sooby and Ty Gephardt have compiled a playlist that will provide almost 3 hours of science fiction and fantasy short films and cartoons, to keep us entertained while we work.

These shorts are mostly independently made, and come from all parts of the world. Languages in this presentation include, among others: English, American Portuguese, German, French-ish, Grunt, Beatnik, and Silence (with musical accompaniment). 

Some are funny, some are poignant, and some are pretty darn eye-popping. All were chosen for their entertainment value. We hope you enjoy this selection of amazing shorts (But not too much. Get back to work!!).

Please vote to "make them so"!
Also Important, but Probably Less Fun  
Saturday is the final vote for the provisionally approved KaCSFFS Bylaws, too. The Provisional Draft was amended last month, and the adjusted (final) version was published to the KAXFEN Files in the Folder titled "2012 Bylaws," for members' perusal. 

This vote is very important for our effort to finally see a successful result from our 501(c)3 application. 

PHOTO/IMAGE CREDITS: The b/w image of the 1982 collating party is from the history page of a political zine, The Processed World, but hand-collating a zine looks the same, whatever the publication's topic.  I couldn't resist the photo of the cat, Archer, "helping" his mistress (Teri Vlassopoulos) collate her zine in 2007. The pic is from Teri's blog Bibliographic. The cupcakes and cookies from Teacake Bake Shop look pretty irresistible, too! The good ol' "Bylaws Book" image returns one last time, courtesy of the A. J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering "ByLaws/Standing Rules" page.

May 13, 2012

Heads-up for votes, and Call for Entries!

Bylaws Approval Vote Saturday!
The KaCSFFS meeting will include a final vote on the revised Bylaws, provisionally approved as amended at the April meeting. Read the amended Bylaws on the KaXFEN Yahoo Group.

Enter the KaCSFFS and ConQuesT Logo Contest!
The KaCSFFS Board of Directors has announced that they are now accepting entries in the KaCSFFS and ConQuesT Logo Contest.

This logo dates to the 1970s, and
sometimes still is used.
KaCSFFS has for many years had a mascot, named Kassie (the Flying Cow). The club also has been using various logos throughout its 40 year history (almost none of them depicting Kassie), but nothing has been used consistently except a circular logo (most recently seen on the membership cards) that dates back almost to the club's origin.

ConQuesT also has had a mascot, Casey, a winged bull, often depicted with the slogan, "Where the Bull really flies!" For many years the ConQuesT Artist Guest of Honor for the year used Casey in a design that appeared on T-shirts, name badges, and other materials for that year.  This practice has fallen off in recent years.

KaCSFFS is now going through a renewal period, in parallel with its hoped-for change to 501(c)3 status. Communications Officer Jan Gephardt and the Communications Committee are overseeing a transition to a more consistent "look" for all of our publications, fliers, announcements, brochures, and web-based communications.

To that end, they are seeking a pair of new logos--one for KaCSFFS, and another for ConQuesT, and we need your help to create them!

Note: The Board of Directors reserves the right to split the entries into separate KaCSFFS and ConQuesT designs if it sees fit, although we definitely prefer to have a pair that coordinates.

Contest Rules:
This logo contest is open to anyone, of any age, who has an idea and wants to submit it. Entries are now open, and must be received by August 1, 2012.  

Design two logos that are similar but distinct from each other: one for KaCSFFS, the other for ConQuesT.
  1. They do not have to depict Kassie and Casey (there is some debate within the club over retaining these mascots at all). 
  2. They should look good in black-and-white. 
  3. They should be easily identifiable at any size. That is, whether they are half an inch wide or three feet wide, they should look equally "legible" and clear.
  4. They should have a "futuristic" feel.
How to submit your entry:
  1. Once you have your two designs, they should be made into JPEG, TIFF, or PDF digital files. If you need help digitizing your entry, please contact the KaCSFFS Communications Committee, either in person or via email.
  2. Image size should be 5 inches (360 pixels) wide, for each logo design.  Resolution should be 200 ppi (pixels per inch).
  3. If the logos do not already incorporate the letters "KaCSFFS" for the KaCSFFS logo, and "ConQuesT" for the ConQuesT logo, you should submit a view of each that shows how lettering should accompany them (as the word "KaCSFFS" accompanies the 1970s logo example above).
  4. Submit your designs digitally to the "Logo Contest Entries" file on the KAXFEN email group or directly to the KaCSFFS Communications Committee email.
  5. If you prefer to deliver the digital files via CD or thumb drive, you may hand these to Jan at any KaCSFFS meeting before the deadline or at ConQuesT, or mail them to: KaCSFFS, P.O. Box 34413, North Kansas City, MO 64116.
What happens after entries close?
Once entries have closed, the Communications Committee will review all entries, and share them with the club at the August meeting. 

Members will view, compare, an discuss them through the next two months, and the Communications Committee may request that artists make small changes to their designs. A preliminary vote at the September meeting may be held, to narrow choices to a top 2 or 3, if that seems necessary.

A final vote by secret ballot (with an option for members to submit an Absentee Ballot) will be taken at the October meeting, and the winner will be announced after all ballots are counted.

Will the Winners win anything besides recognition?
The designer of the winning KaCSFFS logo design will receive a free, 1-year membership to KaCSFFS, with all the privileges, directories, voting privileges, and discounts that come with a valid membership.  His or her Directory listing will identify this person as "Logo Winner."

The designer of the winning ConQuesT logo design will receive a free, 3-day membership to ConQuesT 44 (2013), with full access to all regular convention events. He or she also will receive a special identification on his or her badge, identifying this person as "Logo Winner."

Both winners (or the person who wins both) also will receive a Certificate of Appreciation and a box of Annedore's Artisanal Chocolate Truffles (4 truffles per logo) or a suitable alternative, depending on dietary restrictions, to be donated by Artdog Studio on behalf of KaCSFFS/ConQuesT.

May 06, 2012


Laser Rangers Boldly Go Mano a Mano with a Star Trek Villain
After dinner, watch The
Wrath of Khan
Date: May 12, 2012
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: Mexican
Captain Laser: Bill Ostrander
The Program: "Khan!!!!!!!"

Check the Laser Rangers website for more information.

The Pre-Dinner Show

"Balance of Terror" and "Space Seed" date from the
first season of Star Trek, originally aired in 1966
and 1967.
Kick off the evening with two episodes from the dawn of Star Trek: 
The Original Series Season 1 Episode 14, "Balance of Terror"
IMDB Synopsis: "The Enterprise must decide on its response when a Romulan ship makes a destructively hostile armed probe of Federation territory."

The Original Series Season 1 Episode 22, "Space Seed"
IMDB Synopsis: "Capt. Kirk and his crew find and inadvertently revive a genetically augmented world conqueror and his compatriots from Earth's past."

Dinner Break

The Laser Rangers take a dinner break between the two features of the evening, to share a potluck dinner and discuss the movie they have just seen, or get caught up on other events.

Second Feature: 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 1982
IMDB Synopsis: "With the aid of his Enterprise crew, Captain Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan, from using his son's life-generating device, Genesis, as the ultimate weapon."

Watch a trailer for The Wrath of Khan, from IMDB:

The home of the Laser Rangers is located about two 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. For the exact address and directions, e-mail David Sooby at the email address given here.

IMAGE CREDITS: The information and movie poster images for all of these shows come from the invaluable IMDB websiteThe movie screen frame image used for the Laser Rangers contact information is courtesy of Psychology Today Online. Many thanks to these websites!
Update: Ty changed "Food theme" from "TBA" to "Mexican."