Tentative Society Activities at MidAmeriCon II

By Keith G. Kato

The 2016 Kansas City World Science Fiction Convention, “MidAmeriCon II” is less than four months away. The Kansas City Science Fiction & Fantasy Society provided essential operational support at the 2007 Heinlein Centennial in Kansas City, and as the group running MidAmeriCon II, they have asked for The Heinlein Society’s input for programming and displays at their convention.

THS’s planned activities are slowly firming up, with the following likely to occur:

40th Anniversary Heinlein Blood Drive.

The original Kansas City MidAmeriCon in 1976 was Robert A. Heinlein’s third and final appearance as Worldcon Guest of Honor. For those of us who were there, RAH agreed to meet with every attendee who donated (or attempted, but was turned down for medical reasons) one unit of blood in the months leading up to that Worldcon, including on-site donation. Thus began not only the Heinlein Blood Drive tradition at SF conventions, but a large-scale change in the way blood donations were enacted.

There will be a one-day 40th Anniversary Heinlein Blood Drive this year held on Friday, August 19, 2016, with an indoor (not bloodmobile) multiple-station collection facility either in the Kansas City Convention Center, or possibly the Marriott Hotel.

Heinlein Exhibit for the Hall of Famous Missourians.

The bronze bust of RAH is scheduled for delivery in early June to the sculptor, E. Spencer Schubert, whose studio is only about half a mile from the Kansas City Convention Center. Our plan is to unveil the Heinlein Exhibit at Worldcon; we have asked for noon Thursday, probably in the Art Show. If granted permission, we may be hosting a reception afterwards.

Hugo Awards Ballot.

The final Hugo Award and Retro-Hugo Award nominees were announced on April 26. The following RAH stories have been nominated in three categories of Retro-Hugos for stories first published in 1940:

  • Best Short Story: “Requiem.”
  • Best Novelette: “Blowups Happen” and “The Roads Must Roll.”
  • Best Novella: “Coventry,” “If This Goes On-” and “Magic, Inc.”

Disappointingly, “Predestination” did not make the Hugo ballot for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.

The Retro-Hugo Ceremony will be Thursday, and the Hugo Award Ceremony will be Saturday.

Spierig Films in the Film Festival.

Despite missing the Hugo ballot, “Predestination” plus the two previous Spierig Brothers films “Undead” and “Daybreakers” will be shown at Worldcon. Michael and Peter Spierig now live in, and have their film production company in, Los Angeles. THS provided the introduction between the Brothers and the MidAmeriCon II film coordinator.

Exhibits and Programming.

We are hoping to bring to Kansas City some artifacts from the 2007 Heinlein Centennial, as well as some Heinlein realia (typewriters, household paintings, household items), short videos, and even short audio programs such as RAH’s 1941 Guest of Honor speech, “The Green Hills of Earth” and “Gentlemen, Be Seating” by Leonard Nimoy, and “The Man Who Travelled in Elephants” starring Harlan Ellison. A few Heinlein-specific panel topics have been proposed, but assembling the program is not finished at this point.

THS Fan Table.

The Society will maintain an information table. Stop by for information, pick up some badge ribbons, or simply chat.

Heinlein Prize Trust.

Our good friends from the Heinlein Prize Trust (the estate of Robert and Virginia Heinlein) appear to be making plans to attend.

Induction Ceremony for the Robert A. Heinlein Exhibit in the Missouri House of Representatives Hall of Famous Missourians.

A mouthful, but basically the Heinlein Exhibit unveiled at MidAmeriCon II will be transported to the Missouri state Capitol in Jefferson City (about 160 miles from Kansas City), with the Induction Ceremony tentatively planned for Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 9:00 AM. The Ceremony (probably no longer than 30 minutes) will actually take place in the House of Representatives’ chambers, followed by a light reception (probably no longer than 60 minutes) afterwards hosted by THS.

A handful of hardy Heinlein souls will take the opportunity to trek to Jefferson City to witness the Ceremony. We envision this activity as a post-Worldcon “relaxacon” to decompress and be in the company of fellow Heinleiners, since the actual Ceremony will be quite short. We are working on a common hotel, group dinner the evening of August 22, post-dinner meeting area, and general travel logistics. The names of those attending must be provided to the Speaker’s office one month in advance; they will receive formal invitations, and be seated on the floor of the House. Those who miss the name deadline will be placed in the Gallery, and of course can join the reception.

If you are seriously interested in joining this “RAHcon,” .

Please keep in mind that all the activities listed are TENTATIVE, and will solidify or become more detailed in the next several months, subject to the final decisions of the MidAmeriCon II committee, the Missouri Speaker of the House, or simple financial resources. THS’s social media, website, and next Newsletter will carry updates in as timely a fashion as possible.


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