Pastimes Hit By Van

A minivan crashed into Pastimes Comics and Games in Niles, Illinois on October 12, causing the store to close while cleanup was underway. Pastimes has noted that nobody was in the store at the time of the accident and cleanup was proceeding quickly. The driver of the van, a 73 year old man, had struck another van before driving through the store window. Both van drivers were taken to a local hospital.
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Musecon Announces Closure

MuseCon, a Chicago area convention focusing on art, maker-space, and filk, has announced that MuseCon 7, held August 4-6, was the final convention. The Board of Directors is discussing ways to continue to support MuseCon’s mission of supporting creativity.
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Kowal Adapts Reynolds

Puppeteer and author Mary Robinette Kowal has adapted Alastair Reynolds’ story “Diamond Dogs,” to be performed from January 13 – March 5 at the Chopin Upstairs Theatre in Chicago. The show is also an entry in the 2017 Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, which runs from January 19 – 29.

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Obituary: Kathleen Meyer

Chicago area fan Kathleen Meyer (b.1948) died on December 13. Meyer was a long-time member of the ISFiC Board of Directors, serving as the organization’s Treasurer. She chaired Windycon XI and XII in 1984-5 and Windycon XV in 1988. In 1991, Meyer chaired Chicon V, that year’s Worldcon. She also worked on Capricon programming operations for several years.

Star Trek Corn Maze

Richardson Farms, located in Spring Grove, IL, near the border with Wisconsin, claims to have the world’s largest corn maze and each year the maze is planted with a theme. This year’s maze will be themed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. The maze contains more than 11 miles of trails and will feature the likenesses of Kirk, Spock, the Enterprise, and the Star Trek logo. The maze will be open from September 3 to October 31.

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Princess of Mars in Chicago

The Otherworld Theatre in Chicago has announced that they will be staging a new production of The Princess of Mars, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs first John Carter of Mars novel during their 2016-17 season. the play will debut at Berger Park in September 2016, with tickets going on sale in late September. Otherworld Theatre produces several other sf/f plays throughout the year including the ongoing Fight Quest.
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Lucas Leaves Chicago

George Lucas has announced that he will not build the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago, but rather will build the museum in California. Lucas’s plans ran up against the Friends of the Park, a group which supports the 1836 decree that Chicago’s lake shore should be a “Common to Remain Forever Open, Clear, and Free of Any Buildings, or Other Obstruction Whatever.”
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News from Corflu

Corflu Chiflu took place in Chicago the weekend of May 13-15, chaired by Nigel Rowe. During the convention, the location of Corflu 34 as selected. The con will be held from April 29-30, 2017 at the Warner Center Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills with Marty Cantor chairing.

During the convention, the FAAN Awards were presented.

  • Best Genzine of 2015 (tie): Chunga, edited by Randy Byers, Andy Hooper and carl juarez; Raucous Caucus, edited by Pat Charnock
  • Best Personal Zine of 2015: Vibrator, edited by Graham Charnock
  • Best Special Publication of 2015: The MOTA Reader, edited by Dan Steffan
  • Best Fan Website of 2015: eFanzines.com, managed by Bill Burns
  • Best Fan Writer of 2015: Roy Kettle
  • Best Fan Artist of 2015: Steve Stiles
  • Best Letterhack of 2015 (The Harry Warner, Jr. Memorial Award for Best Fan Correspondent): Paul Skelton
  • Best Fanzine Cover of 2015: Raucous Caucus #4, by D West with Harry Bell
  • Number One Fan Face of 2015: Dan Steffan
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: John Bangsund

Many members of Chiflu also seen at Wrigley Field or at the nearby Nebula Conference to participate in early morning architectural/history walks or the mass autographing.

Pratchett Named Solstice Recipient

SFWA has announced that Sir Terry Pratchett will be the recipient of this year’s Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award. The award is presented for those who have had a significant impact on the science fiction or fantasy landscape. In addition to his novels and short stories, Pratchett was also active in Alzheimer’s research and animal conservation. The award, which has been re-named this year to honor Kate Wilhelm, will be presented on March 14 as part of the SFWA Nebula Conference at the Palmer House in Chicago.

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Geek Bar Rebrands

Geek Bar Chicago has announced that it has rebranded itself as SFCO. The rebranding will also bring in an influx of video consoles, late night programming, and new hours, Sunday and Wednesday from 5pm to 10pm, Thursday and Friday from 5pm to Midnight, and Saturday from 3 pm to 2 am. The bar will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. In addition to their game selection, SFCO will continue to offer a rotating menu of geek-themed signature cocktails and a pop culture reference-filled menu items. The news of the rebranding was followed by former CEO David Zoltan announcing that he had resigned from Geek Bar in January.
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