March 20, 2018

Winter's icy grip on speculative fiction--and RAYGUNS!

This post goes live on the first day of spring--so what's its theme?

Winter, of course!

Specifically, winter as a theme in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. Why? Because your Intrepid Editor finally laid her mitts on the list of the (mostly books and movies) that came up during our February meeting discussion (the aforementioned I. E. could not attend personally, on account of being at Capricon 38 that weekend).

So let's celebrate Spring by . . . um, anyway, here are some of the titles on the discussion list. All are at least partially set in winter or winter-like conditions, or involve a winter theme.

The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis.
The Shining, the book by Stephen King, and the classic movie it inspired; also, King's Dreamcatcher.
The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman (part of the His Dark Materials series).
Hogfather, Discworld #20, and Wintersmith, Discworld #35, by Terry Pratchett
Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin.
Winter in Eden, by Harry Harrison.
Game of Thrones, inspired and guided by the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin.
Helliconia Winter, by Brian Aldiss, (third in the Helliconia Trilogy).
Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
Cold Days, The Dresden Files #14, by Jim Butcher
The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
The World in Winter, by John Christopher
Tombaugh Station, by Robin Wayne Bailey (Pluto is pretty winter-like, you've got to admit!)
John Carpenter's The Thing (1982 movie).
Snowpiercer, the French graphic novel trilogy illustrated by Jean-Marc Rochette, with several different co-authors.
Quintet, the 1979 movie starring Paul Newman.
Ice Planet, a movie released in 2001.
Stargate (in which a second stargate, AKA The Beta Gate, was found in a glacier on Antarctica).

But wait! There's more! We also promised you
Yes, the March meeting featured a nice collection of rayguns, in keeping with our Mars/Marvin the Martian theme. We thought you'd like to see them, too.

David Means's raygun had both lighting and sound effects.

Despite a turnout depressed by stiff competition from assorted St. Patrick's Day celebrations and our local Naka-Kon anime convention, we had a nice assortment of rayguns, complete with discussions and demonstrations, courtesy of Tyrell Gephardt, Corey Barber, David Means, Rosemary Williams, and Tanya Holthouse.

At left, the full Raygun Array. At right, Tanya Holthouse shows off her Darkwing Duck Bubble-Blowing Raygun, as well as her classic Marvin the Martian T-shirt.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Amazon, for the Wintersmith cover image, and to Rotten Tomatoes for the movie poster image from The Thing. Your Intrepid Editor, Jan S. Gephardt, took all the photos from the March 2018 meeting, with permission, for use in KaCSFFS publicity. If you should wish to re-post them, please do so with a link back to this post and an attribution. Thanks!

March 17, 2018

Less than two weeks to go!

SF&F Literati storm the gates of Hell in March
DateMonday, March 26, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
TitleWho Wants to be The Prince of Darkness?
AuthorMichael Boatman
Available from: Fine Booksellers, including Barnes & Noble
Meeting Location: Barnes & Noble #2352, 2nd Floor, 11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214
NOTEAll are welcome to the meeting, whether you’ve read the book or not.

Lucifer is enjoying his retirement in an obscure corner of Limbo when he learns of a plot by Gabriel, the current ruler of Hell, to use humanity’s greatest weapon against it – Television!

Cue the hottest reality game-show ever conceived: Who Wants To Be The Prince Of Darkness? Gabriel orchestrates an “Infernal takeover” of Earth by stealing unwitting mortal souls and sending them to a mostly empty Hell, hoping to reinvigorate the Infernal Realm.

Now Lucifer must find a living champion to seize control of Hell and free millions of stolen mortal souls before the theft becomes permanent. But who would ever want to be Hell’s champion?

Many thanks to Amazon, for this book description.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Goodreads for the cover image.

March 13, 2018

March meeting is a call to arms--Rayguns, that is.

What: Monthly KaCSFFS Meeting (Annual "Fiscal" meeting)
When: March 17, 2018, 6:00 set-up, 7:00 brief business meeting and discussion of collections
Where: The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
Food theme: Martian-inspired food, OR Irish food (after all, it's ALSO St. Patrick's Day!)

Rayguns at the ready?
Come on, admit it. You probably have a raygun or two in your closet . . . if not proudly mounted over your fireplace!

If so, Bring it. Come prepared to share a short history and demonstrate the lights, sound-effects, etc., or your sfnal arsenal, be they rayguns a la Marvin, Barsoomian swords, or other weapons.

In a spirit of inclusion, of course, we're also open to Gravity Hammers, Noisy Crickets, Bat'leths, Reverberating Carbonizers, Jaffa Staffs, Blasters, Phasers, Light-Sabers, Series 4 De-Atomizers, or any other science-fictional dealers of pseudo-destruction. We want to see them ALL!

Bring out your SWAG!
We're fans. Of course we have collections of fun stuff--be it fun Stuff We All Get, or more exclusive collectibles. March is the month of Mars, so in honor of Marvin the Martian (and all the other Martian references throughout our favorite genres) please bring some Martian-themed show-and-tell items.

Even if you're light on laser weapons, if you have any Martian SWAG to share, bring it on! The program this month is a chance to wander around the displays, talk with fellow collectors, and appreciate the creative range of our favorite genres. The more the merrier!

What's an "Annual Fiscal Meeting"?
It's what you think it is. Eventually, it's time to pay our dues--and this month is it, if you want to be able to vote for (or become) new (or renewing) officers next month. Or vote for any important issues that come up from time to time.

For example, a quorum of our dues-paid members voted in December 2017 to adopt new Bylaws, which, among other things, changed our dues structure. Current dues are now $36 per year for a regular "General" membership, or $60 per year for a regular membership plus a full-weekend membership for ConQuesT, our annual science fiction convention.

ConQuesT will be held, as it is every year, on Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-27, 2018, at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, Kansas City, MO. A regular weekend adult membership for this year's convention is currently $50, so the dues option offers a considerable discount for fans who live close enough to benefit from monthly meeting programs.

Speaking of Officers
KaCSFFS officers must be General or Life Members in good standing (yes, that means they, too, must pay their dues). The voting positions on the Executive Board are:

  • Director 
  • Treasurer 
  • Secretary 
  • Communications Officer 
  • Quartermaster 
  • Program Director

They must self-nominate, and if elected (or if they are unopposed) they will serve for one year. Voting (if necessary) and induction of new officers is done at the April "Annual" meeting. If any of these offices interests you, please feel free to come, pay dues, and nominate yourself for your chosen office at the March meeting!

IMAGES: Many thanks to CG Vector for the Marvin the Martian character image! The ConQuesT header image is from our ConQuesT convention website. 

March 01, 2018

Laser Ranger March 2018 Meeting Part 2

Game of Thrones Season 7 (Part 2)
Date: February 10, 2017
Time: 4:00pm
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: Dark Ages (
Inn at the Crossroads)
Costume: Peasant

A short will be shown before we get under way!

Feature Presentation!
Game of Thrones Season 7

Image Courtesy and © HBO
(2017, 150 minutes - The Last 3 episodes) Directed by: Various Directors

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen, and more.

We saw lots of death and destruction last week. Let's do it again! -.ed

Here's a comparison of the differences betwee the characters of the show and book here here!

After the first couple of episodes, please join us for a potluck dinner. Bring something to share. We suggest browsing "Inn at the Crossroads" for ideas. We will continue the marathon after the meal. We hope to see you there.

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!