July 29, 2016

Plan ahead for Star Wars Day at MidAmericon II

MidAmeriCon II is pleased to announce that
it will be celebrating Star Wars with special guests, programming and exhibits on Friday, August 19, 2016.

MidAmeriCon II’s “Star Wars Day” will take place exactly forty years after the first MidAmeriCon hosted just the third public presentation to be made about a then-little-known upcoming movie. 

Charles Lippincott, Gary Kurtz, and
Mark Hamill in 1976.
Nine months before the May 1977 release which changed the world of cinema forever, advertising publicity supervisor Charles Lippincott presented the Worldcon members with a slide show promoting Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope. This was followed by a Q&A session where Charles was joined by actor Mark Hamill and producer Gary Kurtz.

MidAmeriCon II is delighted to announce that Charles Lippincott and Gary Kurtz will once more be attending a Kansas City Worldcon to talk about the Star Wars phenomenon, along with Alan Dean Foster, who ghost-wrote the original Star Wars novelization (and more recently, wrote the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

During the afternoon of August 19, Charles, Gary, and Alan will take part in a panel and Q&A session to discuss the marketing of Star Wars. In the evening, Charles will recreate the original MidAmeriCon slide presentation and participate in a further Q&A session. There will also be an opportunity
to watch a contemporary video of the original 1976 Q&A session.

These events will provide a unique insight into the way that Star Wars was presented and talked about before it became the worldwide phenomenon we know today.

Charles Lippincott will also be re-creating the associated special exhibit which was presented in 1976 at MidAmeriCon. This will use a combination of reproductions alongside original, contemporary props and other materials associated with the film.

The Star Wars events and exhibit will be open to all MidAmeriCon II attendees, subject to room capacity. Single day memberships for Friday, August 19, are available for $70 from the MidAmeriCon II website. Full, five-day adult memberships are available for $210.

IMAGES: Many thanks to MidAmericon II for its logo and the photo of Lippincott, Kurtz, and Hamill in 1976, and to Wikimedia Commons for the image of the original movie poster by Tom Jung.

July 26, 2016

Laser Rangers 2016 August Meeting

Teenage Film Noir
Date: August 13, 2016
Time: 4:50pm
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.
Captain Laser: David Sooby
Food: Warm Soup
Costume: Noir

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Event Page.

Short features will be shown before each feature. Don't miss them!

Winter’s Bone

(2010, 100 minutes) Directed by: Debra Granik

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, Dale Dickey, Shelley Waggener

"[A] teenaged girl in the rural Ozarks of the central United States who, to protect her family from eviction, must locate her missing father."-Wikipedia

Watch the trailer here!

After the first feature, please join us for a potluck dinner. Bring something to share. It can follow the theme, or be something you prefer.

Feature Presentation!

(2006, 109 minutes) Directed by: Rian Johnson

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Emilie de Ravin, Noah Fleiss, Matt O'Leary, Richard Roundtree, Lukas Haas

The film's narrative centers on a hardboiled detective story set in a Californian suburb. Most of the main characters are high school students. The film draws heavily in plot, characterization, and dialogue from hardboiled classics, especially those by Dashiell Hammett. The title refers to a block of heroin, compressed roughly to the size and shape of a brick.-IMDB

Watch the 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 posters come from Wikipedia or the movie's respected distributors. 

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

July 25, 2016

Steampunk half-goblin plunges into the deep end of danger and intrigue

The Goblin Emperor (2015 Hugo Nominee)
Order your copy now for SF&F Literati, August 22!
Praise from Publishers Weekly for The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison:
Ambitious and meticulously executed worldbuilding brings an animated dazzle to this exceptional assemblage of character studies and complex encounters, while the expressive evocation of its youthful protagonist’s shyness and insecurity adds an affecting authenticity to the steampunk-infused fantasy setting.

Crafted with a preternatural deftness, the elf kingdom of Ethuveraz is a multilayered masterwork. Its density of arcana, language, ritual, and protocol staggers the long-exiled 18-year-old half-goblin heir, Maia Drazhar, when he is thrust onto the imperial throne after his distant father and more favored brothers are assassinated by an act of airship sabotage.

Facing ridicule, racism, and outright hostility, Maia nonetheless stumblingly shoulders the burden, his own outcast status becoming his greatest strength. Acts of kindness and empathy begin to earn him the acceptance, if not outright affection, of his courtiers and the populace.

Less a novel than a series of anecdotes, this stalwart endeavor, which is fantasist Sarah Monette’s first work under the [Katherine] Addison name, is carried by the strength of atmosphere and Maia’s resonant good-heartedness. Readers will hope for many more tales of Ethuveraz.

Other authors praise The Goblin Emperor:
Join the SF&F Literati on the second floor,
Monday August 22 at 7 p.m.
“Challenging, invigorating, and unique. If courtly intrigue is your wine of choice, The Goblin Emperor is the headiest vintage I've come across in years.” —Scott Lynch, bestselling author of The Lies of Locke Lamora

“I enjoyed The Goblin Emperor a great deal. I was sucked right into her world of goblins, elves, and airships, and was anxious to the very end to find out how Maia, the unwanted halfblood son of the Emperor, who finds himself unexpectedly on the throne, learns to navigagte the intrigues and danger of the imperial court. An engrossing read!” —Kristen Britain, New York Times bestselling author of Blackveil

“Impressively elaborate worldbuilding underpins this lovely fantasy novel, but I couldn't put it down because of the heart-grippingly sympathetic main character.” —Kate Elliott, bestselling author of the Crossroads series

Katherine Addison has written a nuanced and compelling story. Her world is unusual and vivid, her characters affecting, and her storytelling subtle and deft. This is a book I will be thinking about for a long time. Highly recommended!” —D. B. Jackson, author of Thieftaker 

IMAGE: Many thanks to Doctor T Designs, for the cover art photo, and to Barnes & Noble for the photo of the location.

July 21, 2016

Could a secret that saves, also destroy everything?

SF&F Literati explore dangerous secrets July 25!
Date: Monday, July 25, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Title: Planetfall
Author: Emma Newman
Available from: Fine Booksellers, including Barnes & Noble

Meeting Location: Barnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor
11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214

Plot Overview:
From Emma Newman, the award-nominated author of Between Two Thorns, comes a novel of how one secret, withheld to protect humanity’s future, might be its undoing.

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart.

Image: Many thanks to Em’s Place, Emma Newman’s author website, for the cover art image and the synopsis.

Do you have your copy of The Goblin Emperor yet?
Plan NOW for the next meeting, on August 22!