Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Great Book Giveaway

The Omaha Science Fiction Education Society, the non-profit organization running OSFest, has received two very substantial donations of science fiction and fantasy books. Enough books in fact that every full weekend attendee of the Omaha Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival will receive a free book when they receive their membership packet.
Since there are so many random titles in this collection, you may receive a book that you either have or have already read. No problem! We also plan to give out name badge ribbons that you can attach to your convention badge that reads “Book Trader”. Simply attach this ribbon on the bottom of your name badge and you will announce to the rest of the convention attendees that you are willing to trade your book.
Why are we doing this, you ask? (I know this is a blog and so I have to ask the questions of myself that you want to ask me if you could reach me through cyberspace as I write this.) Good question. This is our way of encouraging SF/F fans to talk to someone they have never met about the books they have, they like, and yes, even the ones they didn’t like. This is an excuse to go up to someone you have never met, with a similar interest, and talk about the genre you both love.
Can you bring your own books? Sure, the whole idea is to tap into the experience base of Midwest fandom, pass on which are the really good books and hopefully keep them circulating enough that they will stay in print.
The Omaha Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival will be July 11-13th, 2008 at the Comfort Inn & Suites at 7007 Grover Street Omaha, NE. 3-day memberships are available on line or by mail, with the form available on our website. I hope to see you there.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Omaha Fan Groups - part 1

The R2-Central Builders Club

Since the days of the first Worldcon ™ in 1939, fans have recreated their favorite props from the movies and shows they enjoyed. I can remember seeing fans drive up at conventions in vans that had been converted into replicas of the LandRams from the first Battlestar Galactica series. I’m just guessing that they mounted the cannons after they got to the convention center’s parking lot.

We have a group here in Omaha that is coming to OSFest to show their love of building these props. The R2-Central Builders Club will show off their work, instruct you in how you to can have your own astromech droid, and invite you to partner with them in their dreams. They will present a split two-hour workshop (that means there is an hour break between them). In the first workshop they will be showing how to make various body parts out of different materials like wood, resin, and aluminum. In the second session they will talk about the electronics and motors and what they can make their droids do.

While the workshops are currently scheduled for Sunday, they will we around all weekend. In our dealer’s room they will have a fan table where you can find photo opportunities with their R2 units, view a DVD presentation on their other activities, and find more information about them, as well as how to join their group.

The Omaha Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival will be July 11-13th, 2008 at the Comfort Inn & Suites at 7007 Grover Street Omaha, NE. I hope to see you there.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Shhhhhhhh, be vewwwy, vewwwy quiet; I'm hunting conventions, heheheheheheh. It's Convention Season

Winter is behind us, though in Nebraska you can never be sure until the next winter begins. That means it is time to get out of our burrows and travel to exotic locations for nearby activities. No wait, reverse that! Travel to nearby facilities for exotic activities, otherwise known as science fiction conventions.

Annually Willycon in early April is the convention that kicks off my convention travels. A mere two hours from Omaha, Wayne State College’s Science Fiction Club has been putting on a small intimate little convention for the past ten years. This is no relax-a-con though. Without the monetary hit of needing to purchase function space, these guys are able to kick more money into acquiring their lineup of guests. Authors have included; Jack McDevitt, Jullie Czerneda, Eric Flint, and James Hogan; Artists; Terese Nielsen, Frank Wu, John Kaufmann, and Lucy Synk. And believe me; being two hours from a major airport, this is no mean feat. And they do all this while keeping the at the door price down to 1980 prices; $20.

Their attendance is small but that means you have more time to spend one on one with the guests and you will never be one of a mob in a panel. Yes, they sometimes violate the panelist-audience rule; their panelists don’t switch places with the audience if they outnumber them. Their Art Show is on par with other local conventions three times their size and gaming is going on everywhere. I can’t even drag my kid back to our room at night from the video game room. So if you are looking for something to break out of the winter humdrums next year consider WillyCon XI. While the dates are yet to be confirmed, they are hosting; author M.R.Sellers, artist Maria William, and Lincoln fan Rod Vasek.

But this is just the beginning. Demicon and Conquest are in May, OtakuOmaha is the first part of June and The Omaha Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival (OSFest) is July 11-13 at the Comfort Inn & Suites 7007 Grover Street here in Omaha. Come out, meet new fans along with ones you haven’t seen in a while, but above all get out of your winter burrows and have a great time.