MonSFFA Meeting teaser

Francois Menard produced a short paper dino animation to inspire the MonSFFen at the Sunday, August 23rd meeting.

Here are the steps involved in the creation of this very short, but unexpectedly complex animation.

Drawing the dino, planning the cutting for the animation
Cutting out the parts needed to create the animation
The cut outs
Cut-outs assembled, ready to be animated.

Sasquan, the 73rd World Con


I failed the tech again! This was supposed to appear on the 19th. –Cathy, spending too much of the con in the business meetings.


Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention begins today.

The biggest news story is the kerfuffle around the Hugo Awards. A record-breaking 5 950 votes were cast for the Hugos.

Attending (all types): 1874, Supporting: 4076

This year, the number of supporting memberships to Sasquan surpassed the number of attending, and nearly all of them voted. BUT are supporting the Puppies, or making a point of voting “no award?” Some pundits are predicting “no award” taking at least one of the categories. Time will tell. The Hugo ceremony will be broadcast live on Sunday.

The 5,950 total surpasses the vote total record for previous years (3,587 ballots, set by Loncon in 2014) by more than 65%.

More than 57% of the convention members eligible to vote cast ballots this year, making this the highest level of participation in Hugo Awards voting in the past decade.

Sasquan will stream the Hugo Awards ceremony live and free of charge at­awards . There will also be a text stream available on the Hugo Awards webpage at

Theme of August 23rd Meeting

PAPER! Beautiful, ugly, unusual, PAPER!

Everyone has paper, bring in a scrap of something interesting, maybe something Keith can use in the stop motion project, and earn a participation point for the Christmas special draw.

(I wish I could be there, ‘cos, golly, do I have paper! Paper made with silk, flowers, timothy grasses, mulberry, –I’m hoping one day to get some of that paper made from elephant poop. Yes, it does exist, though I’m not sure why! –Origami Cathy)



We’re changing things up a little as we resume the club’s regular meeting schedule with our traditional August “fancraft” meeting this coming Sunday. Rather than the familiar series of hobbyist and crafting workshops we’ve been hosting for the past several years, this year we’re planning a group project. We’ve come up with the idea of making a short stop-motion film employing paper cut-outs.

Keith Braithwaite has devised the proposed film’s simple story: a variety of dinosaurs are grazing in a prehistoric landscape, when suddenly, a meteor streaks from the heavens, dropping onto one of the dinosaurs and crushing the hapless creature. Then another, and another meteor falls, each taking out an individual dinosaur until there are none left. The title of the piece is Theories of Dinosaur Extinction—Number One: The Meteor Theory. The potential for sequels is apparent, should this venture prove successful!

We will create the characters, backgrounds, and other elements from coloured construction paper and such, artistically enhanced using crayons, pastels, or pencils. We may also, perhaps, incorporate parts of photographs culled from magazines or newspapers to further heighten a particular look.

We’ll tap the artistic talents of our members to draw, colour, paste, carefully cut-out, and animate the piece. MonSFFen are therefore asked to come prepared: bring in a couple pairs of scissors or a utility knife, a roll or two of scotch tape, and any scraps of coloured construction paper, cardboard, wrapping paper, and such that might be applied to the project. A couple of glue sticks, too, would no doubt come in handy. Note that for practical reasons, we’ll be working with dry mediums, so no paints, please.

If you have old magazines, posters, or photos that you can contribute to the project, bring these in, as well. Of particular interest would be any organic images of nature—plants, forest or meadow landscapes, etc.—or anything in the green or brown colour ranges that might be cannibalized for the purpose of decorating a prehistoric landscape.
Time allowing, we’ll set up an animation stand and shoot the picture at the meeting. We estimate that a 30-second short will require some 720 individual frames. If that proves too ambitious to manage within the few hours available to us, we’ll simply complete the project at a subsequent meeting. But we certainly expect to have enough time to design and create all of the elements needed, and at least get some of the animation completed.

So MonSFFen, bring your supplies and drink deep that morning of your creative juices!

Looking Up! Perseid Meteor Shower

The shower peaks on the night of August 12/13 around 2 AM, just one day before New Moon, but you can start watching for them all this week, and a few days after the peak.

With the Moon absent from the sky, observers under clear, dark skies can expect to see up to 100 “shooting stars” per hour, the maximum rate possible. Conditions haven’t been this good since 2010. The Perseids are known to produce fireballs, so even if you can’t get out of the city, it’s worth Looking Up!

Now we need some cooperation from the weather gods!