Sample Newsletter

Page Created:  04/30/14.  Last Updated:  05/12/14.
 
This Page will host a sample issue of the Association's newsletter, THE STARSHIP EXPRESS.  Links to other issues posted can be found here:
 
 
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                                 STARSHIP EXPRESS
 
         NEWSLETTER OF THE SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION OF BERGEN COUNTY
                           136 MANHATTAN AVENUE, WALDWICK, NJ  07463
                                             PHONE:  (201)  447 - 3652
______________________________________________________________________________
 
 
                                            MAY MEETINGS PREVIEW:
 
     Saturday, May 10, 2014                                            Saturday, May 31, 2014
     Cultural Center, U Saddle Rvr                                  HobbyTown USA, Nanuet
 
     6:15 PM:  ROCKET GIRLS (Anime)                         (Special Bonus Meeting)
     6:30 PM:  Cool News Discussion                             7:00 PM:  Cool News Discussion
 
     8:00 PM:  CRITIC JOHN J PIERCE                         8:00 PM:  AUTHOR CHARLES GANNON
 
 
A unique set of circumstances allows us to hold two May 2014 General Meetings.
 
The Saturday, May 10, 2014 General Meeting of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County will be our standard monthly gathering and feature videos, discussions, and a talk about the origins of science fiction literature at the Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church, 305 West Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, Bergen County, New Jersey  07458.  Directions appear at https://sites.google.com/site/sfassnofbergencounty/.
 
The Saturday, May 31, 2014 Bonus Meeting will feature science fiction writer Charles E Gannon joining us at HobbyTown USA, 57 Rockland Center, Route 59 East, Nanuet, New York  10954  (845)  623 - 3261.  Mr Gannon, who grew up in Rockland County and attended an Association meeting decades ago, is in the area to attend the Book Exposition of America.
 
 
PRE MEETING EVENTS:
 
The May 10, 2014 meeting will have April speaker Phil Lipari joining our Animation Associates to screen episodes of ROCKET GIRLS at 6:15 PM.  Arrive early to enjoy the video or to participate in our 6:30 PM Ice Nine discussion of Currently Cool news and events.
 
The May 31, 2014 meeting will include our Ice Nine discussion at 7:00 PM.
 
 
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION:
 
The S F A B C meets on the second Saturday of the month and features talks, slide shows and other presentations by experts in science fiction, fantasy, horror and related fields.  The Association sponsors six Google discussion groups and a number of discussion and social groups devoted to various aspects of science fiction and similar matters, including animation, books, gaming, horror, movies, television and writing.  We also produce this newsletter and invite you to contact us via our website at:
 
                                                                  https://sites.google.com/site/sfassnofbergencounty/
 
##############################################################################
 
THE STARSHIP EXPRESS        Volume 27, Number 5        Copyright 2014        Philip J De Parto
 
THE STARSHIP EXPRES is the monthly newsletter of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County.  Members, prospective members, and certain groups receive copies of the EXPRESS.  If you are not a member and would like to receive this publication, mail a check for $ 10.00 for the electronic version or $ 14.00 for the print version.  Checks should be made payable to Philip J De Parto, 136 Manhattan Avenue, Waldwick, New Jersey  07463.  All material by Philip J De Parto unless otherwise acknowledged.
 
                                                                         -- 1 --
 
MAY MEETING PREVIEW (continued from Page One):
 
John J Pierce is the author of four books about the origins and evolution of science fiction literature which form "A Study of Imagination & Evolution":  FOUNDATIONS OF SCIENCE FICTION; GREAT THEMES OF SCIENCE FICTION; WHEN WORLD VIEWS COLLIDE and ODD GENRE.  He is a former editor of GALAXY MAGAZINE and has also edited collections of stories by Cordwainer Smith, Murray Leinster and Raymond Z Gallun for Del Rey Books.
 
Charles E Gannon's most recent book, FIRE WITH FIRE, is currently on sale.  He has co-authored EXTREMIS with Steve White and 1635:  THE PAPAL STAKES and 1636:  COMMANDER CANTRELL IN THE WEST INDIES with Eric Flint.  he has written fiction and non-fiction for Megatraveller, 2300 AD, Dark Conspiracy and other games.  He is the author of over a dozen short stories, books of non-fiction, and is a member of the science fiction writers think-tank, SIGMA.  He has been a screen writer, an expert commentator for THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL, and interviewed by NPR.
 
More information about our guests can be found at www.sfabc.org under "05/2014 Meeting" and "05/2014 Meeting 2."
 
 
                                            ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES
 
Anyone wishing to renew their membership or join the Association may send a check of $ 10.00 made payable to Philip J De Parto, 136 Manhattan Avenue, Waldwick, New Jersey  07643.  Speak to Phil if you wish to receive a print copy of the newsletter.
 
The Fantasy Gamers Dungeons & Dragons game will be on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Webber / De Parto residence, 136 Manhattan Avenue, WALDWICK, NEW JERSEY  07463  (201)  447 - 3652.  Newcomers can observe or run a spare character.
 
The Writers of the Weird will meet at 4:00 PM on Sunday, May 25, 2014 at the home of Pamela Webber and Philip De Parto in WALDWICK, NEW JERSEY.  There is an optional post-session dinner at a nearby diner.
 
This month's Bonus Meeting with Charles E Gannon replaces the Special Activity.  It will be held on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at Hobbytown USA, 57 Rockland Plaza, Route 59 East, NANUET, NEW YORK  10954  (845)  623 - 3261.  There will be an Ice Nine discussion of the coolest news about science fiction at 7:00 PM.  People who attend and pay dues at the May 10, 2014 General Meeting may attend this event at not charge.
 
The first issue of FANTASY SCROLL MAGAZINE, a semi-pro magazine edited by S F A B Cer Iulian Ionescu, is available online.  Association members Frederick Doot and Mary Garber are assisting.  Club members Hank Quense, David Sklar and Alex Shvartsman have stories in the issue.
 
Anyone wishing to receive email reminders for any of the monthly S F A B C activities listed below should contact Philip De Parto at SFABCPhil@gmail.com.
 
ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE:
 
05/01/14     Monsters:  SIDE JOBS by Jim Butcher                                   Hackensack, New Jersey
05/03/14     Fantasy Gamers:  Dungeons & Dragons                                Waldwick, New Jersey
05/06/14     Final Frontier:  Gadgets                                                          Ramsey, New Jersey
05/10/14     Anime:  Video:  ROCKET GIRLS                       6:15 PM       Upper Saddle River, NJ
05/10/14     Ice Nine:  Coolest News & Happenings             6:30 PM       Upper Saddle River, NJ
05/10/14     SFABC Meeting:  John J Pierce, Critic              8:00 PM       Upper Saddle River, NJ
ROBOT & FRANK Has Been Moved to the Waldwick Library Due to Maywood Library Flooding
05/14/14     Infinite Images:  ROBOT & FRANK                                 .      Maywood, New Jersey
05/15/14     YA Book:  CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare                   Paramus, New Jersey
05/20/14     Topic Discussion:  For the Birds                                              Fairfield, New Jersey
05/25/14     Writers of the Weird Critique Session                                      Waldwick, New Jersey
05/30/14     Month End Book:  NO HERO by Jonathan Wood                    Paramus, New Jersey
05/31/14     Bonus Meeting:  General Meeting w/Charles Gannon             Nanuet, New York
 
                                                                         -- 2 --
 
                                              BOOK DISCUSSIONS / VIDEO VIEWINGS
 
SIDE JOBS, a collection of Dresden Files stories by Jim Butcher, will be discussed at the Monsters of Horror Book Group on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 8:00 PM in the café of Barnes & Noble, 1 Riverside Square, The Shops at Riverside, HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY  (201)  488 - 8037.
 
The Final Frontier will discuss Tricorders, Robot Cars & other TV Gadgets on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM at Panera Bread, 1300 Route 17 North, Ramsey Square Mall, RAMSEY, NEW JERSEY  (201)  236 - 6300.  There is an optional pre meeting dinner at the eatery at 6:30 PM.
 
The Middletown Library Science Fiction Book & Movie Group will watch the movie NEVER LET ME GO and discuss NEVER LET ME GO by Kazou Ishiguru on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 5:30 and 7:30 PM at the Public Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, MIDDLETOWN, NEW JERSEY  (732)  671 - 3700.
 
MAKERS by Cory Doctorow will be discussed by the book group meeting at Watchung Booksellers, 54 Fairfield Street, Watchung Plaza, MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY (973)  744 - 7177 at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.
 
Due to Flooding at the Maywood Library, ROBOT & FRANK has been moved to 7:20 PM at the Waldwick Public Library, 19 East Prospect Street (next to the Fire House), WALDWICK, NEW JERSEY  07643  (201)  652 - 5104.
Infinite Images will screen the movie, ROBOT & FRANK, at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Maywood Public Library, 459 Maywood Avenue, MAYWOOD, NEW JERSEY  07607  (201)  845 - 2915.
 
CITY OF BONES, the opening volume in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, will be discussed at the Young Fantasy Reads Book Group on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7:30 PM on the second floor of Barnes & Noble, 765 Route 17 South, PARAMUS, NEW JERSEY  (201)  445 - 4589.
 
The Topic Discussion Group will meet at 8:00 PM on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 to examine Fantastic Birds -- Rocs, Phoenix, Hawks, Owls & Eagles in Science Fiction -- at the Versailles Diner, 516 Route 46 East, FAIRFIELD, NEW JERSEY  07004  (973)  227 - 0508.  There is an optional pre meeting dinner gathering at the diner at 6:30 PM.
 
THREE PARTS DEAD by Max Fladstone will be discussed at the In Other Worlds book group at 7:00 PM at the Public Library, 220 North Main Street, NEW CITY, NEW YORK 10856  (845)  634 - 4997 on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
 
On Thursday, May 22, 2014, the science fiction book group meeting at the Public Library, Old Bridge Plaza, OLD BRIDGE, NEW JERSEY 08857 (732) 721 - 5600 will discuss BLINDNESS by Joe Saramago at 7:00 PM.
 
The Month End Book Group will discuss Jonathan Wood's NO HERO at 7:30 PM on Friday, May 30, 2014 at the Food Court of the Paramus Park Mall near the second floor elevators, PARAMUS, NEW JERSEY.  This is the first book in a contemporary fantasy series featuring London policeman Arthur Wallace, newly recruited agent of MI37, an agency devoted to extraterrestrial, interdimensional and supernatural perils, an agency so secret that it has no budget because no one even knows it exists.
 
 
                                                               READINGS / TALKS
 
Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Neal Levin will speak at the meeting of the Garden State Speculative Writers at noon on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the
Public Library, Old Bridge Plaza, OLD BRIDGE, NEW JERSEY 08857 (732) 721 - 5600.
 
Selections from Andrea Hairston's play, THE NEXT WORLD, will be performed as a Readers' Theater on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the New York Review of Science Fiction Readings, Soho Gallery of Digital Art, 1328 Sullivan Street, NEW YORK CITY  (212)  228 - 2810.  Admission is $ 7.00.
 
Laird Barron and Thomas Tessier will read at KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Avenue), NEW YORK, NEW YORK  at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.  There is no admission charge, but attendees should order something to drink.
 
                                                                         -- 3 --
 
                             92ND STREET Y / BOOKS OF WONDER:  YA AUTHOR EVENTS:
 
Books of Wonder:  18 West 18th Street, NYC  (212)  989 - 3270  http://www.booksofwonder.com/
92nd Street Y:  1395 Lexington Avenue, New York City  10128  (212)  415 - 5500  https://www.92y.org/
 
05/03/14     Saturday        Readings:  Noon.  Books of Wonder
                                                   Soman Chainani.  Sarwat Chadda.  Tui T Sutherland.
05/05/14     Monday          Book Launch.  6:00 PM.  Books of Wonder.
                                                   DEEP BLUE by Jennifer Donnelly.
05/10/14     Saturday         YA Author Interview.  6:00 PM.  92nd Street Y.
                                                   Kendare Blake Interviews Samantha Shannon.
05/15/14     Thursday        Fantastic Readings.  Seven Authors.  6:00 PM.  Books of Wonder.
                                                    Holly Black.  Shandy Lawson.  Moira Young.  More.
05/17/14     Saturday        Reading:  3:00 PM.  Books of Wonder.
                                                    R L Stine.
05/18/14     Sunday          Signing:  Seven Middle Grade Writers.  1:00 PM.  Books of Wonder.
                                                    Mike Bell.  Andrew Clements.  Lisa Fieder.  More.
05/25/14     Sunday          Book Launch:  3:00 PM.  Books of Wonder.
                                                    GUARDIAN by Alex London.
05/26/14     Monday         Signing, Talk, Book Launch.  10:00 PM.  92nd Street Y.
                                                    Cassandra Clare.
 
 
                                                      SCIENCE TALKS / EVENTS
 
05/02/14     Friday            Claudio Macconne:  SETI, Evolution & Human History.
                                         Kaufmann Theater, AMNH.  6:15 PM.  Manhattan, New York.  Free.
05/09/14     Friday            Jeff Andrews:  How to Build a Solar System.
                                          Pupin Hall.  Columbia University.  8:00 PM.  New York City.
05/12/14     Monday          Katherine Freese:  The Cosmic Cocktail.
                                          Hayden Planetarium, AMNH.  7:30 PM.  New York City.  $15.00.
05/14/14     Wednesday    Jason Kendall:  Inflation, Gravitational Waves & Big Bang.
                                          Linder Theater, AMNH.  7:30 PM.  New York City.  $ 10.00.
05/23/14     Friday             Steph Douglas:  Flares, Fields & Finding Life.
                                          Pupin Hall.  Columbia University.  8:00 PM.  New York City.
05/27/14     Tuesday         Brian Levine & Christina Pease:  The Sci-Fi Universe.
                                          Hayden Planetarium, AMNH.  6:30 PM.  New York City.  $15.00.
 
 
                                                      CONVENTIONS & SHOWS
 
05/16/14 - 05/18/14          Steampunk World's Fair Convention.
                                                   Radisson Hotel / Embassy Suites Hotel.  Piscataway, New Jersey.
                                                   http://steampunkworldsfair.com/
05/16/14 - 05/18/14          The Future Is Here Science & Science Fiction Convention.
                                                   Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center.  Washington, District of Columbia.
                                                   http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/future-here-2014-180949696/?no-ist
05/24/14 - 05/25/14          Pop Culture Expo Media / Comics / Cosplay Convention.
                                                   Shriners Auditorium, Wilmington, Massachusetts.
                                                   https://www.facebook.com/popcultureexpo
 
 
                                                     FILMS & FILM SERIES
 
Alamo Drafthouse, 2548 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, NY  10710,  914 - 226 - 3082.
BAM Brooklyn Academy of Music, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York  11217, 718 - 636 - 4100.
Jacob Burns Film Center, 4005 Manville Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570, 914 - 773 - 7663.
 
05/27/14.....Tuesday.........Escape from New York.  8:30 PM.  Alamo Drafthouse.
05/10/14.....Saturday.........The Wizard of Oz.  4:00 PM.  Alamo Drafthouse.
05/11/14.....Sunday...........The Wizard of Oz.  4:30 PM.  Alamo Drafthouse.
..........................................The Lost Boys (Quote-Along).  10:15 PM.  Alamo Drafthouse.
05/13/14.....Wednesday....Enchanted (Quote-Along).  7:00 PM.  Alamo Drafthouse.
05/16/14.....Friday.............Wizards.  Brooklyn Academy of Music.
..........................................2:00 PM.  4:00 PM.  6:00 PM.  8:00 PM.  9:50 PM.
05/20/14.....Tuesday.........Cool World.  4:30 PM.  7:00 PM.  9:15 PM.  BAM.
 
                                                                         -- 4 --
 
                                                APRIL MEETING REVIEW:
 
ATTENDEES:
 
   Speaker in ALL CAPS                    & Rejoined &                                     <Guest of Speaker>
 * At Ice Nine *                                   * At Animation Associates *
  <Walter Amos>                               * Roy Greenberg *                             @ Caryl Neufield @
    Bobbie Bauer                                * Richard Herr *                                 @ Greg Roman @
  &Thomas Bauer&                              Steve Herr                                       *&Tom Schoenborne&*
@ Philip De Parto @                         <Kate Landis>                                    &John Upton&
 * Thomas Duchak *                             PHIL LIPARI                                     * Barry Weinberger *
  <Robert Fenelon>                          *&Debra Matofsky&*                              Taras Wolansky
 * Charles Garofalo *                        @ Mike McGrath @
 
The April 12, 2014 General Meeting of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County was held at the Saddle River Valley Cultural Center in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.  The program was a screening of episodes from various anime series selected by anime expert Phil Lipari.
 
The theater company which uses the Cultural Center had moved a lot of equipment into the mirrored room where we normally hold the Ice Nine Discussion.  We therefore moved the discussion into the basement and set up the Animation Associates screening of SHREK in the auditorium.  This arrangement allowed us to resent Phil Lipari's anime videos without repositioning the A/V equipment.
 
The basement discussion went smoothly, moving from television (THE NEIGHBORS) to movies (THE SILENCE) to literature (the death of Lucius Shepard).  Thee was also talk about super-heroes and humor in science fiction.
 
Robert Fenelon, who had come to the meeting as a guest of Phil Lipari, was singled out as one of the fathers of Bergen County anime at the start of the meeting.  He and his friend and fellow anime buff, Nelson Tatham, began showing anime before the meetings of the old Bergen County Science Fiction Society about 35 years ago.  These were shows taped off broadcast television in Japan and then sent to America.  There was no subtitles or dubbing in those days.  Knowledgeable fans would either translate on the fly or view them in advance to give a commentary during playback.  Our Animation Associates activity was formed to reestablish that anime tradition, although its mission was later broadened to include a variety of animation styles and countries of origin.
 
The first part of the meeting consisted of playing the first episode of three anime series.  Since each series was based on a manga (Japanese graphic novel), they are presented in their American and Japanese titles, as well as their creator.
 
First up was ROCKET GIRLS / ORKETTO GARU by Hosuke Nojiri.  This is the story of teenaged girl Yukari Morita who comes to the Solomon Islands searching for a clue about the whereabouts of her long-lost father and winds up as the lead astronaut for the Islands' space program.  "We need someone small to save payload.  Don't worry, this is so simple even a monkey could do it."  Needless to say, things become complicated on both the family (she discovers dad and a half-sister) and the astronaut (their rockets tend to blow up) side of things.
 
Next was MUSHISHI by Yuki Urushibara.  This is a supernatural noir featuring a sort-of ghost hunter named Ginki who battles mushi, magical spirit beings which feed on human emotions.  One cute touch is that smoke keeps the mishi away, so a cigarette is never far from his hands.
 
Finally, was FRUITS BASKET / FURUTSU BASUKETTO by Natsuki Takaya.  This features homeless orphan Tohru Honda who becomes involved with Yuki, Kyo, and Shigore Shoma, a cursed family who turn into animals under certain conditions.
 
After the break, the group was offered a choice between a viewing an episode of a new series or watching another episode of one of the shows we had already presented.  A second episode of ROCKET GIRLS was the overwhelming choice.  Phil Lipari joined Kate Landis in reading aloud the subtitles.
 
Our thanks to Chuck Garofalo, Roy Greenberg and John Upton for their help with set up / clean up.
 
                                                                         -- 5 --
 
                                                  APRIL ACTIVITY REPORT
 
The Final Frontier met on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 to discuss Scientists and Engineers in genre television series.  S F A B Cers Karen Chan, Philip De Parto, Pamela Webber, Taras Wolansky and Moshe Yuda dined at La Gondola in Ramsey, New Jersey and then met Association members Moira Grey, Steve Herr and Shari Levy at Panera Bread.  After going over some of the new series like THE 100, BELIEVE and RESURRECTION, the group dug into the topic.
 
After covering the obvious choices like Spock, Scotty, Miles, Geordi, etc from STAR TREK, and their counterparts from the STARGATE franchise, we started having fun:  Dr Benson Honeycutt from THE MUPPET SHOW, Fenton Quest from JONNY QUEST, the crew from THE BIG BANG THEORY, the techno-mages from BABYLON 5, the geek duo from AGENTS OF SHIELD, Ficus from QUARK, the gang from THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS cartoons, Grandpa Munster, Charlie Watson from GET SMART, the scientist who created MY LIVING DOLL, the science geek clone on ORPHAN BLACK and of course, the greatest scientist of them all, The Professor from GILLIGAN'S ISLAND.
 
The Monsters of Horror met to discuss ODD THOMAS by Dean Koonz on Thursday, April 3, 2014.  Club members Elizabeth Belisle, Philip De Parto, Steve Herr, Caryl Neufield, Randie O' Neil, Jeni Spiewak and Pamela Webber were joined by newcomer Elizabeth Engel in the café of Barnes & Noble in Hackensack, New Jersey.
 
Lilz B felt the supporting characters were very interesting.  Jeni found the book hard to get into, though it picked up somewhat as it went along.  Phil liked the characters better than the plot and felt that Koonz telegraphed the twist ending of the book.  There were a lot of side tangents about other Koonz works.
 
The Fantasy Gamers Group had another small, but fun, turnout for the Dungeons & Dragons session at the Webber / De Parto residence in Waldwick, New Jersey on Sunday, April 6, 2014 as Philip De Parto, Charles Garofalo and William Mc Cauley were the only S F A B Cers to make it.  Phil and Bill each ran an extra character or two for the afternoon.
 
The party of adventurers consisted of Moi Grey Eyes, Tranq D' Wick, Thorin Oakenshield, Dorge of the Forest and Clueless.  After receiving some much-needed healing from the previous night's encounter, the group backtracked the trail of one of the two giant spiders to their lair, slaying a third one in the process.  That night the group was attacked by a Nederling offspring of the Moth Queen, a winged, reptilian demon with a blood-sucking proboscis, a vicious stinger and a clawed arm.  The group made it pay for its transgression.
 
After returning to their base of operations, the party set off to the city of Crown Port with their leader, the Paladin Raina Shine, and other members of the encampment.  While Raina and company brought the captured JanusWolf cultists to the authorities for confinement and interrogation, Moi and company purchased and traded for a variety of useful items including armor, rice, and a score of cold iron horseshoes which could be melted down and recast as arrowheads and spearheads.  Raina's party headed back to the Manor with the supplies while Moi's group scoured the forest in search of additional Nederlings, discovering instead another dangerous creature, a Fear Bull, which they killed before returning to the Manor.
 
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS was shown at the Infinite Images gathering at the Maywood Library in Maywood, New Jersey on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.  Association members Philip De Parto, Roy Greenberg, Steve Herr, Caryl Neufield, and Tom Schoenborne were joined by regular Estelle Pascalli and newcomers Lisa Bader, Elizabeth Engel, Roy Innocent, and Dorothy Palazzo, with club member Taras Wolansky joining Phil, Steve, Estelle and Tom afterwards at the Saddle Brook Diner.
 
The film stars Owen Wilson as Gil Pender, an American visiting Paris with his fiancée, her parents, and two of their friends.  Gil is a successful movie script doctor who wants to quit the Hollywood hackdom and write a meaningful novel.  The idea horrifies his fellow countrymen, all of whom are vain, shallow and greedy.  At night he has too much to drink, gets lost, finds himself back in Paris in the 20s and meets F Scott and Zelda  Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso and more.  He becomes involved with a young beauty who wishes that she could go back to the 1890s which she considers the Golden Age of Paris.  The duo find themselves there where they meet luminaries who wish they could go back to the Renaissance.
 
                                                                         -- 6 --
 
I very much enjoyed the scenes set in the past, but felt Woody Allen was too heavy-handed in his depiction of Gil's countrymen.  Still, I did enjoy the resolution in which Gil learns to embrace the best of what the present has to offer.
 
Heavy rain, tax deadlines and Passover all contributed to a light turnout for the Topic Discussion Group's examination of Portal Fantasies on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  Philip De Parto, Kathy Holusha, Tom Schoenborne, Ingrid Staats and Taras Wolansky dined at the Park West Diner before joining fellow club member Steve Herr for the discussion at the Versailles Diner in Fairfield.
 
Portal fantasy is a term for works like ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THE WIZARD OF OZ in which a more-or-less ordinary person is whisked away to a strange, unfamiliar world.  Among the works we discussed were the John Carter series (E R Burroughs), LORD CALVIN OF OTHERWHERE (H B Piper), the Magic Kingdom series (Terry Brooks) and GULLIVER'S TRAVELS.  We talked about movies like LABYRINTH, TIME BANDITS and TRON, television series like LAND OF THE LOST, anime works (OBLIVION ISLAND:  HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR), comic books (Adam Strange) and comic strips (NONSEQUITUR's Captain Eddy).  This is only a partial list of the works discussed.
 
The Young Fantasy Reads Book Group met on Thursday, April 17, 2014 to discuss THE FOX INHERITANCE, the second book in Mary Pearson's Fox trilogy which began with THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX.  The book focuses on Locke Jenkins and, to a lesser extent, Kara Manning, the best friends of Jenna Fox who were with her the night a car crash sent the trio to not-quite-death.  It is 260 years since Jenna's brainscan had been downloaded into a new body.  Now it is Locke and Kara's turn.
 
Philip De Parto liked the book best and Karen Chan, the least.  Elizabeth Belisle and Jeni Spiewak were in the middle, with Liz having a more favorable opinion than Jeni.  Taras Wolansky was also present, but he had not read the work.  There were comparisons between the first two books of the series and to Robin Wassermann's SKINNED (aka FROZEN).  There was considerable discussion about the political system of the two Americas, as well as the social and economic changes that had occurred (among other things, Old Faithful had a massive eruption which inflicted enormous economic and environmental damage on the USA).  The group continued the evening at Matthews Diner when they were done talking about the book.
 
The April Special Activity was a screening of SIN CITY at Pam & Phil's place on Friday, April 25, 2014.  This was done as a special event as the video is too long to show at the venue for Infinite Images.  The evening started with S F A B Cers Philip De Parto, Jeni Spiewak and Pamela Webber dining on take-out each had brought.  Once Association members Moira Grey and Steve Herr arrived, we began the show.  We particularly enjoyed the film's visuals and the performance by Clive Owen.
 
The Writers of the Weird met at the Webber / De Parto residence in Waldwick, New Jersey on Sunday, April 27, 2014.  Club members Pauline Alama, Philip De Parto, Charles Garofalo, Gregor Hartmann, Iulian Ionescu, Jane Sebok, Alex Shvartsman, David Sklar and Jeni Spiewak were joined by newcomer Marcelo Matus-Nicodemos.
 
We led off with Dave reading the conclusion of Jane's "The Knight," about a war-wary knight who is given a chance to change his future.  Alex read Dave's "How to Cook a Familiar," which deals with a gourmet who has developed a taste for the flesh of the familiars of wizards.  The wizards are not too happy with this development.  The opening section of "The Kids' Table" by Gregor was read by Jane.  Hundreds of years after bio warfare killed everyone on Earth, a mission from the Moon colony arrives on the homeworld to harvest useful germs.  Iulian's "The Little Boy in the Field" is a fantasy set in Europe in the early 20th Century about a man who spots a lonesome boy in a field.  But this is not just any man and that is not jus any boy.  Saying more would spoil it.  This was read by Jeni.  Gregor read the second chapter of ERIDANI'S CROWN by Alex, a fantasy featuring a prince, a princess and their tutors on the run from assassins.  The group makes it out of foreign territory only to learn that their parents have been slain and their kingdom conquered.
 
S F A B Cers Elizabeth Belisle, Karen Chan, Philip De Parto, Jeni Speiwak and Pamela Webber attended the Month End Book Group's discussion of TROLLS IN THE HAMPTONS by Celia Jerome on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 a the Paramus Park Mall Food Court in Paramus, New Jersey.  Karen really enjoyed the playfulness of the work and its humor, the rest of the group were less impressed, feeling the early fantasy elements were largely overwhelmed by the romance plotline as the book progressed.
 
                                                                         -- 7 --
 
Note to Website Edition:
 
Page 8 of the Newsletter is an event list in calendar format.  It would be quite time-consuming to construct it here.  Therefore, the information is provided as a dateline.
 
                            YOUR SCIENCE FICTION DATELINE:  MAY 2014
 
05/01/14.....Thursday
................................Monsters:  SIDE JOBS by Jim Butcher, 8:00 PM.
.....................................Barnes & Noble Café.  Hackensack, New Jersey.
05/02/14.....Friday
................................Talk:  Claudio Macconne:  The History of S.E.T.I., 6:15 PM.
.....................................Kauffman Theater, AMNH.  New York, New York.
05/03/14.....Saturday
................................Garden State SF Writers:  Danielle Ackley-McPhail & Neal Levin, 11:00 PM.
.....................................Public Library.  Old Bridge, New Jersey.
................................Fantasy Gamers Group:  Dungeons & Dragons, 2:30 PM.
.....................................Pam & Phil's Place.  Waldwick, New Jersey.
05/05/14.....Monday
................................Launch Party:  DEEP BLUE by Jennifer Donnelly, 6:00 PM.
.....................................Books of Wonder.  New York, New York.
05/06/14.....Tuesday
................................Final Frontier:  Gadgets, 8:00 PM.
.....................................Panera Bread.  Ramsey, New Jersey.
05/08/14.....Thursday
................................Movie:  NEVER LET ME GO.  Book:  NEVER LET ME GO by Kazou Ishiguro, 5:30 / 7:30 PM.
.....................................Public Library.  Middletown, New Jersey.
05/09/14.....Friday
................................Talk:  Jeff Andrews:  How to Build a Solar System, 8:00 PM.
.....................................Pupin Hall, Columbia University.  Manhattan, New York.
05/10/14.....Saturday
................................Animation Associates:  ROCKET GIRLS episodes, 6:15 PM.
.....................................Saddle River Valley Cultural Center.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
................................Ice Nine Discussion:  Coolest News & Events, 6:30 PM.
.....................................Saddle River Valley Cultural Center.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
................................SFABC General Meeting:  John J Pierce, Critic / Editor, 8:00 PM.
.....................................Saddle River Valley Cultural Center.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
05/12/14.....Tuesday
................................Talk:  Katherine Freese:  Cosmic Cocktail, 7:30 PM.
.....................................Hayden Planetarium, AMNH.  Manhattan, New York.
05/13/14.....Tuesday
................................Readers' Theater:  THE NEXT WORLD by Andra Hairston, 7:00 PM.
.....................................Soho Gallery of Digital Art.  New York, New York.
................................Book Group:  MAKERS by Cory Doctorow, 7:00 PM.
.....................................Watchung Booksellers.  Montclair, New Jersey.
05/14/14.....Wednesday
.................................Talk:  Jason Kendall:  Inflation, Gravitational Waves, & the Big Bang, 7:00 PM.
.....................................Linder Theater, AMNH.  New York, New York.
................................Film:  ROBOT & FRANK, 7:30 PM.
.....................................Public Library.  Maywood, New Jersey.
05/15/14.....Thursday
................................Young Fantasy Reads:  CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare, 7:30 PM.
.....................................Barnes & Noble, 2nd Floor.  Paramus, New Jersey.
05/17/14.....Saturday
................................Reading:  R L Stine, 3:00 PM.
.....................................Books of Wonder.  New York, New York.
05/18/14.....Sunday
................................Signing:  Five Middle Grade Fantasy Authors, 1:00 PM.
.....................................Books of Wonder.  New York, New York.
05/20/14.....Tuesday
...............................Topic Discussion:  For the Birds, 8:00 PM.
.....................................Versailles Diner.  Fairfield, New Jersey.
05/21/14.....Wednesday
................................Readings:  Laird Barron & Thomas Tessier, 7:00 PM.
.....................................KGB Bar.  Manhattan, New York.
................................Book Group:  THREE PARTS DEAD by Max Gladstone, 7:00 PM.
.....................................Public Library.  New City, New York.
05/22/14..........Thursday
................................Book Group:  BLINDNESS by Saramago, 7:00 PM.
.....................................Public Library.  Old Bridge, New Jersey.
05/23/14.....Friday
................................Books Launch by S F A B Cer Richard Herr,  7:00 PM.
.....................................Rock and Joe Café.  Caldwell, New Jersey.
................................Talk:  Steph Douglas:  Flares, Fields & Finding Life, 8:00 PM.
.....................................Pupin Hall, Columbia University.  Manhattan, New York.
05/25/14.....Sunday
................................Writers of the Weird:  Critique Session, 2:30 PM.
.....................................Webber / De Parto Residence.  Waldwick, New Jersey.
05/26/14.....Monday
................................Talk / Book Launch:  YA Fantasy Writer Cassandra Clare, 10:00 PM.
.....................................92nd Street Y.  Manhattan, New York.
05/27/14.....Tuesday
................................Talk:  Brian Levine & Christina Pease:  The Sci-Fi Universe, 6:30 PM.
.....................................Hayden Planetarium, AMNH.  Manhattan, New York.
05/30/14.....Friday
................................Special Activity:  Bonus Meeting with Writer Charles E Gannon, 8:00 PM.
.....................................Food Court, Paramus Park Mall.  Paramus, New Jersey.
05/31/14.....Saturday
................................Special Activity:  Bonus Meeting with Writer Charles E Gannon, 8:00 PM.
.....................................HobbyTown USA.  Nanuet, New York.
 
                                                                        JUNE 2014
 
06/03/14.....Tuesday
................................Final Frontier:   Beauties & Beasts, 8:00 PM.
.....................................Panera Bread.  Ramsey, New Jersey.
06/05/14.....Thursday
................................Monsters:  GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, 8:00 PM.
.....................................Barnes & Noble Café.  Hackensack, New Jersey.
06/07/14.....Saturday
................................Fantasy Gamers Group:  Dungeons & Dragons, 2:30 PM.
.....................................Site To Be Announced.
06/11/14.....Wednesday
................................Film:  EUROPA REPORT, 7:30 PM.
.....................................Public Library.  Maywood, New Jersey.
06/12/14.....Thursday
................................Movie:  BLINDNESS.  Book:  BLINDNESS by Joe Saramago, 5:30 / 7:30 PM.
.....................................Public Library.  Middletown, New Jersey.
06/14/14.....Saturday
................................Ice Nine Discussion:  Coolest News & Events, 7:00 PM.
.....................................HobbyTown USA.  Nanuet, New York.
................................SFABC General Meeting:  Jonathan Wood, Fantasy Author, 8:00 PM.
.....................................HobbyTown USA.  Nanuet, New York.
 
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