May 29, 2017

Sturgeon Award Nominees Announced by Gunn Center

Finalists for this year's Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction have been selected, announced Christopher McKitterick, Director of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The Sturgeon Award will be presented during the Campbell Conference Awards Banquet on Friday, June 16, 2017, as part of the annual Campbell Conference.

The Sturgeon Memorial Award trophy
Finalists for the 2017
 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award
Nina Allan, “The Art of Space Travel,”, 27 July 2016. 
Amal El-Mohtar, “Seasons of Glass and Iron,” The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, eds. Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, Saga Press, 2016. 
Carolyn Ives Gilman, “Touring with the Alien,” Clarkesworld, April 2016.
Victor LaValle, The Ballad of Black, February 2016
Ian R. MacLeod, “The Visitor From Taured,” Asimov’s, September 2016
Sam J. Miller, “Things with Beards,” Clarkesworld, June 2016
Dominica Phetteplace, “Project Empathy,” Asimov's, March 2016.
Catherynne M. Valente, “The Future is Blue,” Drowned Worlds, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris Books, 2016. 
Kai Ashante Wilson, A Taste of Honey,, 13 October 2016.
A full house at the authors' panel, at the 2015 Campbell Conference.

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award recognizes the best science fiction short story of each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon's children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.

Here's a glimpse of the 2015 Campbell Conference Banquet.

The Campbell Conference has been held each year since 1978, usually in Lawrence, Kansas. It includes a Friday-evening banquet where the annual Theodore Sturgeon and John W. Campbell Memorial Award are presented; a Saturday round-table discussion with scholars, scientists, and writers of science fiction; and other events.

Another view of the Campbell Conference held in June 2015.

For information about attending the Conference or Awards Banquet, see the Campbell Conference page.

IMAGES: Many thanks to the Gunn Center's website for their banner, to File 770 for the photo of the Sturgeon Award trophy, and to the Campbell Conference Facebook Page for the three photos from the 2015 Conference.

May 22, 2017

Avoid the rush: get yours now

Be prepared for the next SF & F Literati meeting, on Monday, June 26, 2017!

Order or reserve your copy of Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge, by Paul Krueger now! 

A limited number of copies are available through the Johnson County Library or Mid-Continent Public Library. It's also available from meeting host Barnes & Noble Booksellers,  Amazon, or our local Kansas City bookseller, Rainy Day Books.

Krueger says his book is "about a secret society of bartenders who fight demons with alcohol-magic." According to Barnes & Noble, it's a "sharp and funny urban fantasy," in which "booze is magic, demons are real, and millennial Bailey Chen joins a band of monster-fighting Chicago bartenders instead of finding a 'real' post-college job."

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

May 20, 2017

Quick reminder: SF&F Literati Monday night!

Date: Monday, May 22, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Title: Quantum Night
Author: Robert J. Sawyer
Available from: Fine Booksellers, including Barnes & Noble
Meeting Location: Barnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor, 11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214

NOTE: All are welcome to the meeting, whether you’ve read the book or not.

The May selection is a recent book written by this year's ConQuesT Writer Guest of Honor (the May meeting is held on the third Monday, so it won't conflict with the Memorial Day Weekend timing of ConQuesT, Kansas City's longest-running science fiction convention. This year's Writer GoH is Robert J. Sawyer, a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author with a reputation for writing provocative, cutting-edge science fiction. The May selection, Quantum Night, was published in 2016.

IMAGE: Many thanks to for the Quantum Night cover image.

May 16, 2017

Ideas needed! Craft future programming at May 20th meeting!

What: Monthly KaCSFFS Meeting
When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, from 6:00 till 9:30 p.m.
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64111
Food theme: Favorite meeting-fare samples

Time to get creative
Join new Director David Means and your KaCSFFS friends for an evening of creative development this Saturday! It's time to plan the meeting programs for the next twelve months.

Barry Haldiman starts with a puzzler's overview.
Recent Directors have encouraged the discovery of interesting, hitherto-unknown-by-KaCSFFS collections, skills and talents of our members.

For instance, we've gained fascinating insights from Barry Haldiman's crossword-puzzle-creation skills.

We've been amazed and delighted by William McCullough's collection of Armed Services Editions, the half-sized paperback books that turned a generation of American soldiers into a nation of readers.

We've enjoyed Corey Barber's extensive collection of wonderful fantasy and sf art, and been enlightened by David Means-and-Family's collections of tabletop games (still providing us with interesting blog posts a year and a half later), plus most recently YA books (last month's fascinating program).

William McCullough and (most of) his collection of Armed Services Editions, many of them sf.

We also have been beguiled by interesting speakers, such as YM Rivadineira and her amazing costumes--and who could forget the R2 Builders, whose presentation has been considered by some the "best program ever"?

Then-Director Margene observes the R2 Builders presentation
We also have brought together authors doing readings, artists exhibiting fantasy and sf artwork, as well as panel discussions, such as the one in March, when Earline "Cricket" Beebe and Ty Gephardt gave an inspiring presentation on how to throw a great room party, or the one presented several years ago about the Kansas City connections to authors in our genres.

Recent meetings also have been more multi-media, combining live presenters in the room with remote interviews via FaceTime with authors K. B. Shaw, Julia Mandala, and P. R. Adams, or movie previews and videos, such as those produced to promote MidAmericon II. If you like that trend, please tell us!

And don't forget the food! KaXFEN love to eat, and we include some amazing cooks among our number. Several of our meetings each year are organized around food (the Annual Picnic; Thanksgiving, the Chili Cook-off). Are there other food-centered events we should consider?

The possibilities are as wide-ranging as our genres and interests. Please take some time to think about presentations you'd like to see, or any other hidden talents or amazing collections we haven't yet explored.

IMAGES: The photos of Barry and William were taken by Jan S. Gephardt. the photo of the R2 Builders' presentation is by Ty Gephardt, via Facebook. All are used with permission.

May 09, 2017

Laser Rangers 2017 May Meeting

Two Classics by C.S. Forrester
Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Time: 4:15pm
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: Ken Keller
Food: Navel Rations
Costume: 19th Century Navel Officer

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Group Page.

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

The Pride and the Passion

(1957, 132 minutes) Directed by: Stanley Kramer

Starring: Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren

It's based on Forrester's novel "The Gun."

A British naval captain and artillery officer is sent to Spain to retrieve a huge, long range siege cannon abandoned by the Spanish army before Napoleon's forces can acquire it. Spanish rebels now have control of the monster weapon and are planning to use its 100 pound solid shot against the high, cannon filled walls of the Spanish city Avila, now under the iron control of French occupation forces.-Ken Keller

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!
Captain Horatio Hornblower

(1951, 117 minutes) Directed by: Raoul Walsh

Starring: Gregory Peck, Virginia Mayo, Robert Beatty, Terence Morgan, James Robertson Justice

Lots of stirring sea battles and land action in this classic adventure film based on a trio of Forester's British Navy novels set during the Napoleonic Wars.-Ken Keller

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!

May 07, 2017

Have you read Quantum Night? You have 2 WEEKS.

Whether you're a fan of Robert J. Sawyer's work, have heard of him but don't know much about him, or you're just now learning his name, here's a great excuse to read one of his books before he arrives in Kansas City to be this year's ConQuesT Author Guest of Honor.

Quantum Night, a Locus #1 bestseller, is this month's selection for the Kansas City SF & F Literati. This local book club group will meet to discuss it Monday evening, May 22, at 7 p.m., on the second floor of the Oak Park Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Overland Park, KS.

What's it about? Here's the overview from location host Barnes & Noble's website:

"The Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues, FlashForward, and the novels of the WWW Trilogy explores the thin line between good and evil that every human being is capable of crossing…

"Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined in court about his breakthrough, Jim is shocked to discover that he has lost his memories of six months of his life almost twenty years ago—a dark time during which he himself committed heinous acts.

"Jim is reunited with Kayla Huron, his forgotten girlfriend from his lost period and now a quantum physicist who has made a stunning discovery about the nature of human consciousness. As a rising tide of violence and hate sweeps across the globe, the psychologist and the physicist combine forces in a race against time to see if they can do the impossible—change human nature—before the entire world descends into darkness."

Note that everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, whether they've read the book or not.

IMAGE: Many thanks to for the Quantum Night cover image.

May 04, 2017