Friday, July 29, 2011

One For The Record Books

OSFest 4.0 is one for the history books, even the record books. This year we blew the roof off attendance figures for Omaha based SF conventions. But none of that would have been possible without your help and support. Thank you for busting our attendance through the roof.

Yes we had our share of SNAFUs but I hope they didn’t mar your enjoyment of the weekend. If they did, please let us know so we can improve the experience for you next year. Go to the OSFES Forum at: and let us know. Also if there was something you particularly liked, let us know so we can do it again.

Next year: OSFest 5 The Gathering will be held July 27-29, 2012. If it is anything like this year we need more people. If you are interested in helping run a convention or even just having a say in what happens; join the omaha_ne_scifi_con Yahoo group at: and we will let you know when our planning meetings are. Just remember is you voice a really good idea, you may be asked to carry it out – with all the help we can give you of course.

But right now we want your thoughts about the convention and how we can improve it. So either drop me a line at or go to the OSFES Forum at: and tell us what you think. Remember we only learn from our mistakes, so don’t be afraid to point them out to us.

We really can't say this enough. From everyone at the Omaha Science Fiction Education Society: Thanks!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

OSFest 4.0 - Jail and Bail

Conventions are an opportunity for various groups to raise funds for charitable causes. Since OSFES (the sponsoring corporation of OSFest) is a 501(c)(3) we are honored when a group approaches us to solicit funds for another 501(c)(3). Especially when they can make the activity FUN.

This year the Omaha Chapter of the Zombie Research Society will be holding a Jail and Bail fund raising event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

If you have never participated in or heard of a Jail and Bail, the concept is quite simple. You go to the headquarters of the people running the Jail and Bail to swear out a warrant for someone. A fee/donation is charged to fill out a warrant and you have to let the arresting parties know where the person you want arrested is, also how they will know who they are. The Officers then go and arrest the person named in the warrant, return them to the designated Jail where they must stay for a period of time or Bail themselves out (another fee/donation). Then they are free to swear out a warrant against you and the fun goes on.

What will make this event unique to the Jail & Bails I have seen elsewhere is that the Arresting Officers will be Hordes of Zombies. This should be a really fun event happening on Saturday of OSFest 4.0: System Upgrade. I hope to see you there.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Local Groups: The Steampunk Society of Nebraska

By Joe Carver

The Steampunk Society of Nebraska is a varied group of individuals drawn together under the banner of Steampunk. We have members drawn from many subcultures. Artists of many mediums, fashion designers, goths, makers, costumers, reenactors, academics, administrators, and just good ole salt-of-the-earth people can be found as members of the SSoN. We have been around for almost two years and have a membership of almost two-hundred people. We gather for occasions from picnics to socials to photo sessions and crafting events.

The Steampunk Society of Nebraska couldn't let an OSFest go by without coming out and sharing Steampunk with the community. We hope to spark an interest in the steamier side of sci-fi and fantasy and encourage people to join our happy little family.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Local Groups: The Zombie Research Society’s Omaha Chapter

The Zombie Research Society (ZRS) was founded in 2007 as an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of zombie scholarship in the Arts and Sciences. Their membership reflects the group's diverse backgrounds, interests, and research, but they are unified in their support of the ZRS' foundational principles:

  1. A zombie is a biologically definable, animated being occupying a human corpse

  2. The zombie pandemic is coming. It is not a matter of if but a matter of when.

  3. Enthusiastic debate about zombies is essential to the survival of the human race.

Omaha has a chapter of this organization doing the research and training called for by the parent group. Part of their efforts is the production of a podcast: Undead Air. They also have monthly meetings, the times and locations of these are published on their Facebook page.

OSFest is honored to have these fine folks bringing and sharing their talents with us this July 22-24, 2011. In addition to a Leukemia Society fund raising event, they will be sponsoring a Zombie makeup workshop, offering tips to survive the zombie pandemic, and discussing our current love affair with zombie books and movies. They are a great group and you will have a fun time meeting them. So join us at the Old Mill Crowne Plaza this summer for OSFest 4.0: System Upgrade.

Monday, July 4, 2011

OSFest 4.0 Fan GOH: Becky Potter

Becky Potter is the president of the Nebraska Japanese Animation Society and convention chair of Anime NebrasKon, the oldest and largest Japanese animation (anime) convention in the state of Nebraska. Becky's leadership in the anime community started while serving for four years as the president of Otaku Jinrui: The UNL Anime Club. In 2004, the club decided to host a one-day event for a fund-raiser. When 300 people attended, the club committed to the event's continuation and expansion.

The event, Anime NebrasKon, now in its eighth year, has over 2,000 attendees, over 150 activities, and 60,000 square feet of convention space at the CoCo Key Water Resort - Convention Center in Omaha, NE. Becky has served as the convention chair since its inception, and works with 30 preplanning staff and an additional 45 staff members the days of the convention. All of the staff members are volunteers who work diligently for the convention attendees. "Our goal is to offer a great event that has something for everyone, no matter how much that person knows about anime. We're all fans of something, and it's great to come together to share that fandom. We want to build more than an event; we want to create lasting friendships and a strong community." To fortify that community, NebrasKon has networked with conventions such as OSFest to offer free mini-events and to promote other local organizations and activities.

When she's not working on Anime NebrasKon planning, Becky can often be found at events around the region as an attendee. She has served as a panelist on the topics such as the state of local fandom, the process of running clubs and organizations, and perhaps most notably, the strategy of becoming an effective evil overlord. Outside of the fandom scene, Becky works on her "real life" (but cool!) job as a Human Resources Project Manager at Union Pacific, and spends her spare time creating a fantasy-genre novel.

So learn more about this industrious local fan at OSFest 4.0:System Upgrade this July 22-24, 2011. We hope to see you there.

Friday, July 1, 2011

OSFest 4.0: Ultimate Starship Challenge

OSFest 4.0 will again see the Ultimate Starship Challenge (aka "the Starship Smashup") We will continue the tradition of matching the best starships from all over science fiction and letting them duke it out. In last year's championship match, the Super Star Destroyer: Executor commanded by Admiral William "Husker" Adama defeated a Star Defender commanded by Admiral Ozzel in the Mutara Nebula.

This year sixteen of science fiction's finest starships will be selected by the panelists and the audience to have at each other until one becomes victorious. The five panelists and the audience together will decide which starship in each match is the victor and which is debris.

Right now we need your help to choose the starships that will enter, which captains have enough moxie to command them, and what environments they will fight in. Please make your suggestions on our forum page by clicking this link. A copy of the rules can be found at

Will the U.S.S. Defiant commanded by Captain Jack Sparrow prevail over a Babylon 5 White Star commanded by Captain Crunch? You can help decide. Then watch mayhem unfold at OSFest 4.0 System Upgrade Saturday July 23 at 11PM. We hope to see you there.

Below is the video of last year's final round: