February 28, 2013

Laser Rangers Game of Thrones POSTPONED!

Game of Thrones Season 2 Recap Session . . . POSTPONED!!!!

Date: March 2, 2013
Time: 2:00pm (Fhanish time) Meet at 1:15pm for pre-show conversation.
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 upgraded seating for about 15 people without crowding.
Captain Laser: Ken Keller
Food Theme: Westeros
Check out Inn at the Crossroads for ideas and suggestions.  

Dress Theme: Medieval to Renaissance or Cosplay as your favorite character from the show

Learn more at the Laser Rangers Website. 

Breaks will happen in between every other episode with behind-the-scene specials included to help understand and appreciate the story in fuller depth

We are very sorry for the delay. Please check back to this site early and often to see when the reschedule will be and for more information as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience.

Photo Credits: 
Poster of "Game of Thrones" is copyright HBO. 

Jan Gephardt Reviews "Victory of Eagles" by Naomi Novik

Taking the 50-Word Review Challenge!

The book: Victory of Eagles
Author: Naomi Novik
The reviewer: Jan S. Gephardt
Available from: Barnes & Noble

The page-turning 5th book in the “Temeraire” series, Victory of Eagles deals with love, duty and treason, and features a Napoleonic invasion of England—yet for me it never quite came to full crescendo or totally satisfying finish.  The series features an alternate history where the Napoleonic wars are fought—but both sides have dragons.  In book 4, Temeraire, the willful Chinese Celestial (dragon) and his captain, Will Laurence, shared a dragon plague’s cure with France; Will is now a convicted traitor, and Temeraire’s exiled to the breeding grounds. Both get temporary release to meet the invasion. Worth reading, but not the series’ strongest book.

Readers, Please Comment: Did you enjoy this review? Dislike it? Agree? Disagree? Please share what you think!
More reviews coming soon!
COVER IMAGE: Courtesy of Barnes & Noble.

Jon Moss Reviews "Robot & Frank"

Taking the 50-Word Review Challenge!

The movie: Robot & Frank
Starring: Frank Langella, Peter Sarsgaard, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Susan Sarandon
The reviewer: Jon Moss
Available from: Barnes & Noble

The story intrigued me by having an aging jewel thief, suffering from dementia, pass on the tricks of his trade to the domestic robot his son purchased as a home-health aide.  High-tech parental neglect? Hard to say, since Frank refused to be shuffled off to the near-future nursing home (called a Brain Center).  As expected, Frank also despised the robot foisted upon him by his son, going so far as to pit his daughter, the epitome of the idealist activist, against his son in a human v. robot philosophical battle.  Meanwhile, Robot (Frank never deigns to name it) slowly grows on Frank.

You won’t find any evidence of Asimov’s Three Laws in Robot’s programming.  His primary directive is to take care of Frank, helping him stay on a regular schedule, eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise and take up a hobby, like gardening, to stimulate his brain and fight off the ravages of the dementia.  Frank scoffs at grubbing in the dirt, but eventually shows Robot how to pick a lock, using his old cat burglar lock pick set.  Frank even questions Robot about his ethics, showing that Robot can lie and has no qualms about stealing.  That was all the excuse Frank needed to plan their first job and return to his favorite past-time.

Readers, Please Comment: Did you enjoy this review? Dislike it? Agree? Disagree? Please share what you think!
More reviews coming soon!
POSTER IMAGE: Courtesy of Wikipedia.

February 27, 2013

Jon Moss Reviews "The Dog King" by John Scalzi

Taking the 50-Word Review Challenge!

The book: The Dog King
The author: John Scalzi
The reviewer: Jon Moss
Available from Barnes & Noble Booksellers

This one is really short, but then so is the 7th episode of The Human Division by John Scalzi:

7th episode of The Human Division delivered the laughs and the goods.  Wilson rescues Tuffy, a Lhasa apso, who in turn saves the day and the diplomatic mission in true canine selfless fashion.  

Readers, Please Comment: Did you enjoy this review? Dislike it? Agree? Disagree? Please share what you think!
More reviews coming soon!

COVER IMAGE: Courtesy of GoodReads.

Jon Moss Reviews "Transformation" by Carol Berg

Taking the 50-Word Review Challenge!

The book: Transformation
The author: Carol Berg
The reviewer: Jon Moss
Available from Barnes & Noble Booksellers
I gave it five stars at GoodReads, where it was the February selection for the Fantasy Book Club: 

An absolute five star masterpiece. I read the first half in one sitting and would have finished the second half sooner had work and sleep not gotten in the way. Looking forward to reading the other two books later this year.

Readers, Please Comment: Did you enjoy this review? Dislike it? Agree? Disagree? Please share what you think!
More reviews coming soon!

COVER IMAGE: Courtesy of GoodReads.

February 25, 2013

The 50-Word Review Challenge

We know you're Doing It!  So tell us about it!

A bookshelf wall at Prospero's Uptown Books.
KaCSFFS members can buy reviewable
materials with a club-member discount, there.
What was the last book you read?

What was the last movie or anime you saw?

Been to any good dramatic readings, lately?

Enjoyed any comics? Manga? Web comics?

Listened to any good podcasts?

Played any good games?

If any of these things were related to science fiction, fantasy, horror, Steampunk, alternate history, or other sub-genres within our mission, it is likely that other KAXFEN will enjoy hearing your thoughts about them.

The review subjects do not have to be new releases. Not everyone has time to read or view every new item that comes out, at the time it is published. Any time we publish a review of anything, it is guaranteed that someone in our readership hasn't read/seen/played it yet. Others may already know the material, but may want to read what others think of it.

You, too, can write a Review!
When there is a new review, our Reviews page is one of our most popular items--and that's why we need your help.

We need more reviews--in any or all of the categories above.  And we'll make it as easy for you as possible. Just take our 50-word Review Challenge.

You don't have to write a "book," or even a long article (though longer reviews are welcome).  A 50-word review is enough to get you published here! (We wrote almost 50 words, just asking the questions above).

Yes, we are posting this on "SF&F Literati night" on purpose.  If you were disappointed to miss the discussion (snowed out) please use your "discussion powers" to take our challenge!

The 50-Word Review Challenge:
Win fame and accolades! This challenge is sponsored by the KaCSFFS Communications Committee.

Here are the terms of the challenge:

  1. For the next three months (until ConQuesT in May), we will accept and publish all reviews of sf, fantasy, horror, Steampunk, or other related subgenre works, in any of the media listed in the questions, that we receive from readers of this blog.  
  2. Anyone who reads this blog is eligible.  You do not have to be a member of KaCSFFS.  We have readers all over the world, and we are opening this challenge to ALL of you.
  3. Reviews should be 50-100 words in length, and submitted to Jan Gephardt as inline emails. Please submit them in English.
  4. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, spelling, and family-friendly language. We also reserve the right to reject libelous or plagiarized material, or any email that contains a virus.  
  5. Whenever possible, we will illustrate reviews with cover art, movie posters, or other appropriate, related graphics. You do not have to submit illustrations, but if you do, please credit your source!
  6. You must agree to allow us to sign either your name or a "fannish pen name" to the review, and we need to know who you really are, if you use a pen name.
  7. We will post each review as an individual blog post, and also add it to the "Reviews" page.
  8. Here's the "Fame and Accolades" part: We will announce winners in two categories, listed below. Winners will be announced in three places: at ConQuesT, at the June meeting of KaCSFFS, and on this blog. Winners also will receive special certificates, which we will personalize with calligraphy and either present to you (if you can attend ConQuesT or the June KaCSFFS meeting) or mail to you wherever you live, anywhere in the world (note: we'll need an address!).
  9. The first category is Most Reviews Submitted. This will recognize the person who sent us the greatest number of useable reviews during the three-month period.
  10. The second category is Most Popular Reviewer. Popularity will be determined by blog metrics: Blogger analytics tell us what entries inspire the most responses. We will determine this winner by adding up how many views that Reviewer's contributions generated during the Challenge period.
Now the "ball is in your court." Will you accept the Challenge?

IMAGE CREDITS: The photo of the bookshelf at Prospero's Uptown Books is used by permission of Jan S. Gephardt. The image of the person typing on the keyboard is from the Design Tech Tonics website. The "Challenge" graphic is from the Just Joan website.

February 24, 2013


NOTE: Due to expected "snowpocalypse," the SF&F Literati book discussion of Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind has been postponed till March 25!

The group also will discuss ideas for books to read for future "book talks."

Same time: 7:00 p.m.
Same place: Barnes & Noble at Oak Park Mall, 2nd floor
Same date: the 25th

We hope to see you then!

COVER IMAGE: Many thanks to Barnes & Noble Booksellers, for the cover image for the March book selection. The image for The Name of the Wind is from its sale page.

February 20, 2013

Author Cory Doctorow to speak at KU Feb. 28

By Chris McKitterick, Center for the Study of Science Fiction Director

Cory Doctorow (2012 photo)
Author, journalist, technology activist, and Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow presents this year's Richard W. Gunn Memorial Lecture:  
 "The Coming War on General Purpose Computing: Every single political issue will end up rehashing the stupid Internet copyright fight." 

When: Thursday, February 28, 2013
7:30pm - 9:30pm

Where: Alderson Auditorium
University of Kansas Student Union
Lawrence, KS 66045
Cost: Free! Seating is limited, so arrive early to ensure a spot.
Jayhawk Ink bookstore will have copies of several of Doctorow's books available to purchase in Alderson Auditorium (as well as the bookstore on Level 2) and get signed by the author after the talk.

This is Doctorow's third visit to KU: first in 1999 when his story "Craphound" (his first published story) was a finalist for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and next in 2009 when his novel Little Brother won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Don't miss hearing one of the most interesting thinkers of our time talk about some of our most-relevant issues!  Learn more.

IMAGE CREDIT: The photo of Cory Doctorow is courtesy of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

February 11, 2013

Chocolates and Books for February 16 Meeting

Saturday, Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m.-about 9:30 p.m.
The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111

Join us in February for a melt-in-your-mouth evening of chocolate and literary fun!

Taste of Home Chocolate Heart Cookies
KAXFEN love their chocolate, and every February it's our chance to explore that love.  This year the theme is chocolate hearts.  Bring your choice of home-made or store-bought treats . . . but park the diet at the door.

If you need good recipe ideas, try Martha Stewart, Joy of Baking, About.Com's Candy Page, Pillsbury, Taste of Home, or Google your own.

Andre's Large Nougat Heart Box
Or you could buy some, at any of Kansas City's cornucopia of artisanal Chocolatiers!  Try Annedore's, Andre's, Christopher Elbow, or any of several others.

For anatomically correct chocolate hearts, try this post on The Pitchfork.

Hollingsworth's cover
We'll be a bit more low-key than some years, but one highlight of the meeting will be Aaron William Hollingsworth (Facebook info), presenting his new YA book, Four Winds, One Storm: The Bone Brick City.  For a recent review of the book, see the YA Report.

IMAGE CREDITS: Many thanks to Taste of Home for the cookie picture, Andre's Confiserie Suisse for the Nougat Heart Box, and the YA Report for the cover image.

February 06, 2013

KC Horrror Club Movie Outing

Warm Bodies

February 9, 2013 2:00pm (Time subject to change, check Facebook)  

Hey everybody!

Let's get together for a Horror Club pre-Valentine's day movie. We will meet in the theater lobby approximately 45 minutes before the movie start time. I will adjust the time once the movie schedule is posted. 


A funny new twist on a classic love story, WARM BODIES is a poignant tale about the power of human connection. After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human - setting off an exciting, romantic, and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world. © Summit

Here's the Facebook Link to the Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/470374866363858/?ref=2

All text written by Cricket. Please contact her for more information on the Facebook event page.

February 02, 2013

Laser Rangers 2013 February Meeting

Marvel Superheroes III

Date: February 9, 2012
Time: 4:45pm (Fhanish time) Meet at 4:15pm for pre-show conversation.
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 upgraded seating for about 15 people without crowding.
Captain Laser: David Bridges & Ken Keller
Food Theme: WWII Food: Spam, Hershey milk chocolate bars, Coca-Cola, white bread, hamburgers, hot dogs i.e., and traditional American food: mid-20th century. Since food was rationed because of the War Effort, we'll all have to settle for small portions of everything we eat [-Ken] Real funny, smart guy. [-ed]
Dress Theme: Super hero themed (not required; but at least wear mild, alter-ego disguise)

Learn more at the Laser Rangers Website. 

A short will precede our first feature! David B. will will kick things off in this rare co-captained Laser Rangers meeting. You won't want to miss it.

The Amazing Spiderman

(2012, Appox. 136 minutes); Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary

Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner..

Check out this awesome trailer!

Between features, we will have our traditional potluck. Please bring something that matches our food theme above or bring something for yourself.

There will be a special showing of a chapter of Republic's Captain America movie serial between dinner and our main feature. Ken K. will lead this segment of our movie night some brief film notes.

Captain America: The First Avenger

(2011, 124 minutes); Starring Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones & Hugo Weaving

After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending USA ideals.

A truly fantastic super hero movie and the awesome trailer!

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 and movie poster images for all of these shows come from the invaluable IMDB or the movie's  respected distrubutors.  

The movie screen frame image used for the Laser Rangers contact information is courtesy of Psychology Today Online. Many thanks to these websites!