February 23, 2016

For the Record: A Statement from the KaCSFFS Board of Directors

The Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, Inc. (KaCSFFS) is the sponsor of ConQuesT, the oldest convention in the central states region. The KaCSFFS Board of Directors oversees ConQuesT, but the day-to-day operations of the convention are done by the volunteer chairs and convention committee, who change from year to year.
In light of recent issues we feel that more oversight of the convention committee as a whole is necessary by the KaCSFFS Board of Directors. This is being addressed by the current Board of Directors as we speak.
KaCSFFS is profoundly sorry that these issues arose, and the policies in place were not followed through to completion. We are taking steps to ensure that future complaints are addressed appropriately and in compliance with current policies and procedures in place.

February 22, 2016

Look ahead to March: SF&F Literati will Read Barsk

Do you have your copy yet?
Plan now for the March Meeting (3/28/2016)
The Book: Barsk, The Elephants’ Graveyard
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates

Available from: Fine booksellers, including Barnes & Noble 

Barnes & Noble Overview:
The Sixth Sense meets Planet of the Apes in a moving science fiction novel set so far in the future, humanity is gone and forgotten in Lawrence M. Schoen's Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard

An historian who speaks with the dead is ensnared by the past. A child who feels no pain and who should not exist sees the future. Between them are truths that will shake worlds.
In a distant future, no remnants of human beings remain, but their successors thrive throughout the galaxy. These are the offspring of humanity's genius-animals uplifted into walking, talking, sentient beings. 

The Fant are one such species: anthropomorphic elephants ostracized by other races, and long ago exiled to the rainy ghetto world of Barsk. There, they develop medicines upon which all species now depend. The most coveted of these drugs is koph, which allows a small number of users to interact with the recently deceased and learn their secrets.

To break the Fant's control of koph, an offworld shadow group attempts to force the Fant to surrender their knowledge. Jorl, a Fant Speaker with the dead, is compelled to question his deceased best friend, who years ago mysteriously committed suicide. In so doing, Jorl unearths a secret the powers that be would prefer to keep buried forever. Meanwhile, his dead friend's son, a physically challenged young Fant named Pizlo, is driven by disturbing visions to take his first unsteady steps toward an uncertain future. Note: as a title published between January 1 and December 31 2015, this book is eligible for a Hugo nomination.

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

February 20, 2016

SF&F Literati Return to the Classics with Asimov on 2/22/16

Date: February 22, 2016-7:00 p.m.
Title: The Gods Themselves
Author: Isaac Asimov
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Available from: Fine booksellers, including Barnes & Noble
Meeting Location: Barnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor
11323 W 95th Street, Overland Park, KS

Overview from Barnes & Noble:
Only a few know the terrifying truth—an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun.  They know the truth—but who will listen?  They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy—but who will believe?  These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival. Didn't read it? Come anyway! The conversation is always good.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Amazon, for the cover image. Many thanks to Barnes & Noble for the short review excerpt.

February 17, 2016

Chili Cook-off and new SF TV Shows Highlight February KaCSFFS Meeting Saturday

What: February KaCSFFS Meeting
Where: The Writers Place
3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
When: Saturday, February 20, 2016
5:30 Board of Directors—open meeting
6:00 Doors open for setup and pre-meeting socializing.
6:30 Meeting begins (Quick discussion of old business, plus we are still open for self-nominations for club offices.)
7:00 Carol Doms and Ken Keller discuss new sf TV Shows
Food Theme: Chili Cook-Off! Bring a sample of your favorite chili recipe, or condiments to go with chili. 

It's once again time for the annual KaCSFFS Chili Cook-Off!
Bring a crock pot full of your favorite chili recipe, and vie for Fame and Fortune (okay, a lovely certificate!) as a premier chili chef. 
Last year we had three contenders. There is always room for more!
If you don't want to bring delicious chili, bring condiments that will complement the main event! Shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers, and much more are always welcome!

Small Screen--Big New Shows
Recent months have seen a resurgence of television shows with sf themes. How good are they? What new ideas and interesting elements do they bring to our living rooms, laptops, or mobile platforms? What are their weaknesses? Carol Doms and Ken Keller lead the discussion.
One of many new shows is The Expanse. We posted a review by David Sooby recently.
Let the Games Begin!
Following on last month's program from David Means, this month we intend to play some of our favorite tabletop games. Bring your own favorite card or board games to share. Test your luck and skill at something new, or settle in with an old favorite! 
Tabletop games were a huge success at the Thanksgiving meeting. Bring your favorites to share!
Related Features Note! 
David Means has shared his notes from the January program about tabletop games. We will be using his information as a source of future feature posts about games, on this blog.

Business Meeting? We don't need no . . . Oh. Right.
Self-nominations for Club officers are still open. Think you could do a job better? Put yourself to the test! Let us know, on Saturday, if you plan to run for office. There are a few other items of Old Business that also probably should receive further discussion, but we'll keep it short. We promise!

IMAGES: Many thanks to Wheedonopolis for the Expanse title image. Both photos from meetings (last year's food table for the Chili Cook-Off, and also one of the tabletop games played last year at the Thanksgiving meeting) are by Jan S. Gephardt, and are used with her permission. 

February 13, 2016

SF & F Literati Announce New Reading Selections

Two 2015 Titles, Plus a Classic
The January meeting of the SF&F Literati group included a discussion and selection of what titles they'll read for the February, March, and April meetings. 
Here are the selections for February, March and April 2016.
The SF&F Literati meet every month except December at the Barnes & Noble at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, KS. Their normal meeting time is 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Monday (third Monday in May). Learn more details on their Facebook Page.

Watch this blog and their Facebook Page for more details, coming soon.

IMAGE: Many thanks to the Kansas City SF&F Literati Facebook Page.

February 10, 2016

Laser Rangers 2016 February Meeting

Animated Love
Date: February 13, 2016
Time: 4:15 pm
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.
Food: Italian and Frozen Foods 

The Laser Rangers venture into the realm of animated possibilities, on this Valentine's Day weekend. 

Feature #1: Shaun the Sheep, the Movie
Sheep just want to have fun, but when they venture into the Big City, they must struggle to look as if they belong--or face the consequences! 

From the creators of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, this is an animated romp featuring lots of sight gags and juvenile humor. Based on a British stop-motion animation TV show, it features the vocal talents of Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Kate Harbour, and many others.

See a trailer here.

Break between features for dinner.

Feature #2: Frozen
What is Princess Elsa's frightening secret? Why keep the royal palace closed away from the people of Arendelle? Elsa's little sister Anna can't understand. 

But when Elsa is crowned queen, she can't keep her chilly secret under wraps any more. Can Anna, with a little help from her friends Kristof, Olaf the snowman, and Sven the reindeer save her sister and bring back summer?

Based very loosely on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Snow Queen, this movie is the source of the blockbuster hit song "Let it Go." This movie was a major hit for the Walt Disney Studios from 2013, and features the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and many others.

See a 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 poster for Shaun the Sheep is from ComingSoon. The poster for Frozen is from Wikipedia.

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

Special Thanks to Jan G. for writing this post.