UPDATED Society Activities at MidAmeriCon II

By Keith G. Kato

The Heinlein Society’s activities at the 2016 Kansas City World Science Fiction Convention, MidAmeriCon II

  • 40th Anniversary Heinlein Blood Drive: The convention committee has now scheduled THREE days for 40th Anniversary Heinlein Blood Drive: Thursday, August 18 through Saturday, August 20, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day. The blood collection agency will be Community Blood Center of Kansas City, and they will set up shop in the Kansas City Convention Center. You can make an appointment on site, or via this link.
  • Heinlein Exhibit for the Hall of Famous Missourians: We will unveil this Exhibit on Thursday noon, in the Art Show. No photography is allowed in the Art Show, but the sculptor, E. Spencer Schubert, will have souvenir cards with photos which he will gladly autograph. We will serve cake in the Hospitality area afterwards.
  • Hugo and Retro-Hugo Awards: The Retro-Hugo Ceremony will be Thursday at 8PM, and the Hugo Award Ceremony will be Saturday at 8PM.
  • NO Spierig Films in the Film Festival: Regrettably, the MidAmeriCon II Film Festival chose not to include any of the Spierig Brothers previous films in their agenda. The Brothers themselves, whom we hoped to coax to the Worldcon, are now filming their fourth feature film, “Winchester” about the famous haunted house in San Jose, California.
  • Art and Exhibits: We will display some rare art pieces by Kelly Freas, Chesley Bonestell, and Fred Ludekens, that actually hung in the Heinlein home. These will be in the Art Show, next to the Hall of Famous Missourians exhibit. In the Exhibit area itself, we will show some items from the 2007 Heinlein Centennial, as well as some Heinlein artifacts.
  • Heinlein videos from the 1976 Worldcon: Videos from the 1976 Worldcon, the first MidAmeriCon, have been restored and digitized, including his Guest of Honor speech. These videos will be shown on Friday, 2:00 PM, in the Fan Lounge.
  • 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 Art Dula and Buckner Hightower, Trustees of the Heinlein Prize Trust (the estate of Robert and Virginia Heinlein), plan to attend Worldcon, as will Eric Gignac, who created the Citizen Of The Galaxy graphic novel, and is presently working on the Have Spacesuit-Will Travel graphic novel.
  • Induction Ceremony for the Robert A. Heinlein Exhibit in the Missouri House of Representatives Hall of Famous Missourians: 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 Heinlein Induction Ceremony planned for Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 10:30 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. Some 20 hardy Heinlein souls have already signed up to witness the Ceremony. Our group has a preferred rate at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, will gather for group dinner the evening of August 22, and meet post-dinner for a “relaxacon” discussion we are informally calling “RAHcon”. July 23 is the stated deadline to book rooms, and to provide names of those attending to the Speaker of the House. They will receive formal invitations, and be seated on the floor of the House during the Ceremony. 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 “RAHcon,” contact Keith Kato at .

There are several panels discussing RAH at the convention. Mark your program guides!

Heinlein: Investigating His Place in History [Thursday 13:00 – 13:50, 2201 (Academic) – A/V (Kansas City Convention Center)]

Heinlein and Campbell: The Collaboration
Together, they created modern science fiction. But over the years, their once close friendship faded. What were the editor’s primary influences on the author, the author’s influence on the editor, and what critical events led to the end of this pivotal collaboration?
Dr. Marie Guthrie

Robert A. Heinlein Revisited
Along with such writers as Wells, Asimov, Clarke, Bradbury, and LeGuin, Heinlein has had voluminous articles and books written about him. So is there anything new to say about him? Perhaps. This presentation will analyze Heinlein with two recent publications in mind: William Patterson’s two-volume biography of Heinlein and Jonathan Israel’s three-volume major reinterpretation of the 18th century Enlightenment.
Dr. Bradford Lyau, Dr. Marie Guthrie


Do Heinlein Juveniles Stand Up? [Thursday 14:00 – 15:00, 3501B (Kansas City Convention Center)]
Robert A. Heinlein published 12 books between 1947 and 1958 that were aimed at young adults, predominantly in the male SF market. Although many older fans have a tremendous regard and nostalgic glow for Heinlein’s juveniles, can children today enjoy them or do they seem hopelessly dated? Let’s take a dive into these books and cast an appreciative yet critical eye over them.
Brendan DuBois, Dr. Marie Guthrie, Dr. Michael Levy, Mr. Alec Nevala-Lee, Dr. Janice M Bogstad (M)


Heinlein’s Predictions [Thursday 17:00 – 18:00, 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)]
The social and political theories in Robert Heinlein’s “Worlds of Rah” were controverisial, thoughful and intriguing when written. Many say Heinlein predicted the cell phone before it was even imagined. It’s time to revisit his predictions. What did he get right/wrong and why?
Dr. Bradford Lyau, Mitchell Burnside Clapp, G. David Nordley (M), Dr. Marie Guthrie, Jerry Pournelle


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