September 24, 2018

Laser Rangers 2018 October Meeting

Visitors from the Forbidden Depths
Date: October 6, 2018 (First Saturday!)
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: David S.
Food: Horrific
Costume: Halloween Costumes

To learn more, please visit our Facebook Event Page.

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

Creature from the Black Lagoon

(1954, 79 minutes) Directed by: Jack Arnold

Starring: Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno

A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study.-IMDB

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!
The Shape of Water
(2017, 123 minutes) Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer

At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.-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!

September 15, 2018

SF&F Literati go Interstellar Sept. 24!

Reading beyond the Solar System
Book: Noumenon
Author: Marina J. Lostetter; Amazon Author Page; Facebook 
Discussion Where: Oak Park Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 11323 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66214, on 2nd floor by the windows
Discussion Date: September 24, 2018
Discussion Time: 7:00 p.m.
Dinner Before Discussion: Keep your eye on the SF&F Literati Facebook Page for updates on the optional dinner destination.
No, you DON'T need to have read/finished the book to participate!

The Reviewers say:
A Publishers Weekly "Best Books of 2017" pick!
A Kirkus Reviews "Best Books of 2017" pick!
A B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasty Blog "Best SFF of 2017" pick!

Book Description:
With nods to Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series and the real science of Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, a touch of Hugh Howey’s Wool, and echoes of Octavia Butler’s voice, a powerful tale of space travel, adventure, discovery, and humanity that unfolds through a series of generational vignettes.

In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth’s solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go?

Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He’s discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics, and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon, or something manufactured.

The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind’s greatest ambition—to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy— is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated Convoy Seven) changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie’s mysterious star and explore its origins—and implications.

A mosaic novel of discovery, Noumenon—in a series of vignettes—examines the dedication, adventure, growth, and fear of having your entire world consist of nine ships in the vacuum of space. The men and women, and even the AI, must learn to work and live together in harmony, as their original DNA is continuously replicated and they are born again and again into a thousand new lives. With the stars their home and the unknown their destination, they are on a voyage of many lifetimes—an odyssey to understand what lies beyond the limits of human knowledge and imagination.

Next Month's Selection: Flex, by Ferrett Steinmetz, October 22, 2018

IMAGES: Many thanks to Amazon Smile, for both the Noumenon cover and the cover image for Flex.

September 13, 2018

Belated birthday and physics of science fiction this Saturday!

"Rocket Cake" from 2017
Meet us in Kansas City for KaCSFFS!
Date: September 15, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. setup, 7:00 Program starts, 9:30 close down.
Location: 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111
Food theme: Decorated birthday cakes
Program: Prof. Mark Brodwin on the Physics of Science Fiction

Calling all cake-decorators!
"Full of Stars" Cake from 2017
Our 47th birthday as an organization was in July, but the meeting had to be held a week early that month. We decided to postpone our birthday celebration till September, but now it's time to party! 

Let us eat cake!

And yes, there will be a contest. Who will decorate their cake with the most crowd-pleasing sfnal or fantasy theme for Number 47? We'll take pictures of decorated entries and post them, but only ONE can rule the night! Will it be your design?

We welcome NASA-recognized astronomer & TEDx Talk alumnus Mark Brodwin
Prof. Brodwin was interviewed about the 2017 total eclipse
by KMBC Channel Nine News last year.
We're honored to welcome UMKC Professor Mark Brodwin, to join us as our program speaker He'll speak about the Physics of Science Fiction, a topic he teaches in more depth as a class. His other teaching areas include Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory, Observational Cosmology, and Practical Astronomy.

Prof. Brodwin is a recognized expert on massive, rare galaxy clusters. His UMKC Galaxy Evolution Group won a NASA Group Achievement Award from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California in 2016, and continues to conduct research today.

MaDCoWS cluster MOO J1014+0038
(Brodwin et al. 2015)
Brodwin and his group study "most-massive collapsed systems both as unique astrophysical objects, which permit the study of galaxy formation and evolution in extreme environments, and also as cosmological probes of the growth of large scale structure," according to his biography from UMKC.

His TEDx Talk from 2015 is titled "A new paradigm for cosmology in the 21st Century," still available on YouTube. It's less than 20 minutes long, and offers an illustrated overview that many of our astronomy-minded readers probably will find fascinating.

IMAGES: The cake photos from July 2017 are both by Jan S. Gephardt. They were taken for the purpose of KaCSFFS publicity, and are used with permission. The photo of Professor Brodwin is originally from KMBC Channel Nine News, but it's no longer available from KMBC. This file was provided by the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences. The photo of MaDCoWS cluster MOO J1014+0038 (yes, astronomers apparently have a sense of humor) is courtesy of the UMKC Galaxy Evolution Group. Many thanks to all!