November 28, 2016

Creative Corner--Holiday edition!

'Tis the season for book promotions, holiday studio open-houses, and more! Here's what some of our Creatives have been up to!

"Scintillating Starts" Contest closes December 1
Sponsored by the 20-year-old site Writer Advice, this contest closes soon, and it might be of interest to some of our local writers. 

Submit up to 1,000 words of any unpublished novel, memoir, or other long prose work's opening paragraphsAn entry fee of $15 gives you a chance to see your work win and be showcased, receive constructive comments, share in the prize money, and gain a contest-win credit for your CV or cover letter.

Coordinator B. Lynn Goodwin explains it this way: "Working on a novel, a memoir, or other long prose? Drafting something for NaNoWriMo? Grab and hold us with your opening paragraphs. We’ll read from works in progress as well as finished manuscripts in Writer Advice’s Scintillating Starts Contest. Submit up to 1000 words of any unpublished memoir, novel, or creative nonfiction by 12-01-16."

More details and a "Submit" link are available on the Writer Advice opening page. Email here with questions. 

Announcements from Writers
Robin Wayne Bailey 
“Black Dust,” a story by Robin Wayne Bailey is included in the new anthology, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress 31, edited by Elisabeth Waters. It is available in trade paperback and three standard e-formats.

For over two decades, the late Marion Zimmer Bradley, best-selling and beloved author, discovered and nurtured a new generation of authors. Volume 31 includes stories by Pauline J. Alama, Marian Allen, Robin Wayne Bailey, Lorie Calkins, Steve Chapman, Suzan Harden, Rose Hill, Melissa Mead, Catherine Mintz, Michael H. Payne, Deborah J. Ross, L.S. Patton, Jonathan Shipley, Dave Smeds, Laura Davy, Pam L. Wallace, and Julia H. West.

James K. Burk
You have two ways to enjoy FREE stuff when you order Burk's latest anthology, Mirror, Mirror and Other Reflections, from Amazon. The Kindle version is free with Kindle Unlimited, and free shipping applies with other qualifying offers. 

What's it about? "Fall into the looking glass," the description suggests: Here’s a collection of eerie tales of suspense that will captivate the reader from the very first story. 

Creative friend and Honorary KaCSFFS Member Rob Chilson wrote of the collection, “Smooth entertainment from a born story-teller. Burk’s works are a pleasure to read. He gives you believable people in unbelievable circumstances. This creates an assured tone that tells you to relax, he knows what he’s doing. And you do relax, until he brings out the dentist’s drill. For a good time, read on!” 

K.B. Shaw
KaXFEN may remember K.B. Shaw as the first author featured on our KaCSFFS Reviewers' Reading Circle series last September. Just in time for Christmas, he has a new offer available, via Amazon. His YA novel From the Shadows is available on the Kindle for 99 cents and as a paperback for $9.99. 

What's the story? Set in a peaceful future where a giant corporation has created computers with an AI (artificial intelligence) at their core, a technological innovation threatens to disrupt the world's economy. Two precocious teens find their lives entangled with those of a technology reporter and a former child prodigy in a race toward their destiny--oblivious to the dangers that lie ahead. 

From the Shadows has received high praise from reviewers. Now you (and/or a YA reader of your choice) can enjoy it at a discount.

The Reviewers' Reading Circle returns in January, featuring
P.R. Adams' Momentary Stasis
In December, the KaCSFFS Reviewers' Reading Circle will formally announce that Momentary Stasis by P.R. Adams is our January-March 2017 selection. It is the first in the Rimes Trilogy, a military science fiction series. At the follow-up March meeting, Adams will appear for a live interview via Skype or FaceTime.

As with previous selections, Momentary Stasis will be available for free to all dues-paid KaCSFFS members as a reviewer's copy, in your choice of PDF and two e-book formats. If you download it, that means you are willing to consider writing a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or other venues, including (Please!) The KaCSFFS Blog!

The KaCSFFS Reviewers' Reading Circle is actively seeking a new author to feature, ideally to announce at the March 2017 meeting. We'd like to continue to offer new selections at roughly quarterly or bimonthly intervals after that. What is the Reviewers' Reading Circle? Watch for a Page Tab on the Blog with more details, or scroll back to the October and September meeting posts about the authors we featured then.

'Tis also the Season for Art Open Houses and new prints!
Deb Pellicano
Dec. 4, 2-10 p.m.
The Twelfth Annual (well, almost) Home Studio Art Show is coming soon! Wonderful art by Ladyelf (Debbi Pellicano), great food and drink, mingling, Holiday Cheer, and just a generally good time for everyone. 

Artwork will be for viewing and for sale at 201 SE Topaz Drive, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063. Call 816-522-6197 if you need directions. Please RSVP! Hope to see you there!

Randal Spangler
Dec. 3 & 4 and 10 & 11.  
Randal Spangler will be hosting his Annual Christmas Open House at his home at 610 St. Andrew's Drive, Kansas City, MO 64145.  Come enjoy the season with cookies, coffee, Christmas music and a beautiful Christmas tree! 

There will be new artwork, older pieces and some originals.  Look for his marked down pieces that are "travel-worn."  Saturdays open 10a-5p, Sundays 11a-4p. Park on the street or in the driveway.

Lucy A. Synk
Dec. 10 (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) and 11 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) 
If you're in the Chicago area, check out the St. Giles Family Mass Community's Holiday Gift and Art Fair at McDonough Hall, 1101 Columbian (2nd floor), in Oak Park, IL. Longtime fantasy artist and former Kansas Citian Lucy A. Synk will be one of 16 artists participating, along with two Fair Trade organizations, Harambee and North Central College Alternative Trade Project (a portion of all sales benefit these organizations). Admission is free.

Keith Russell
Kansas City artist Keith Russell has announced the availability of two new prints.

Arterial Trees (above, copyright 2016 Keith Russell). 8 x 10" prints are $24.00 each, 11 x 14" prints are $40.00 each, via his Synthetic Sky Studios.

The other new print is Becoming (In) Human (at L, also copyright 2016 Keith Russell), acrylics on panel. Prints are the same price: 8 x 10" $24.00, 11 x 14" $40.00, also from Synthetic Sky Studios.

Xenofera Kickstarter campaign is funded!
In the October edition of Creative Corner we shared the announcement from ConQuesT artist Jeff Porter that he and his partner Liz Gattra were launching a Kickstarter campaign for their new strategic science fictional card game Xenofera. They are delighted to announce that the campaign was funded. Pre-orders are now open, via the website, and run through Dec. 31, 2016. Production on the game should be finished and available for purchase this spring.

IMAGES: The "Scintillating Starts" title is from Writer Advice website. The cover for Sword and Sorceress 31 is courtesy of the MZB Works website. The cover image for Mirror, Mirror (art by Brad Foster) is courtesy of publisher Yard Dog Press. The cover art for From the Shadows is courtesy of iPulpFiction. The Momentary Stasis cover is courtesy of the author, P.R. Adams. The Deb Pellicano artwork is courtesy of Dennis Young, via Facebook. Randal Spangler's image The Reading Tree is courtesy of his website. Lucy A. Synk's image Checking it Twice is courtesy of the gallery on her website. The images of Keith Russell's two new prints were provided by the artist. Jeff Porter's "party animals" art is courtesy of the Xenofera Facebook Page. Many thanks to all!

November 25, 2016

Wait--war?? What happened to the BBQ?

Date: Monday, November 28, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.

Title: Mechanical Failure
Author: Joe Zieja 
Published by: Saga Press
Available from: Fine Booksellers, including Barnes & Noble
Meeting Location: Barnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor
       11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214

The November SF&F Literati selection is Mechanical Failure, by Joe Zieja

Overview from Barnes & Noble:
A smooth-talking ex-sergeant, accustomed to an easygoing peacetime military, unexpectedly re-joins the fleet and finds soldiers preparing for the strangest thing—war.

The two hundred years’ (and counting) peace is a time of tranquility that hasn’t been seen since...well, never. Mankind in the Galactic Age had finally conquered war, so what was left for the military to do but drink and barbecue? That’s the kind of military that Sergeant R. Wilson Rogers lived in before he left the fleet to become a smuggler.

But it turns out that smuggling is hard. Like getting-arrested-for-dealing-with-pirates-and-forced-back-into-service kind of hard. It doesn’t seem so bad—the military was a perpetual tiki party anyway—but when Rogers returns after only a year away, something has changed. These are soldiers—actual soldiers doing actual soldier things like preparing for a war that Rogers is sure doesn’t exist. Rogers vows to put a stop to all this nonsense—even if it means doing actual work.

With an experienced ear for military double-speak, Zieja has created a remarkable and sarcastic adventure.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for the cover image, featuring art by Leonardo Calamati