Halloween Party (Fall mixer - no reading required!)

Please join us for our annual Halloween party! If there's one holiday that science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts thrive on more than any other, it's got to be Halloween! Costumes are strongly encouraged.

Since our group has been growing so fast, we've seen so much interest in our events that we've had to limit space at the majority of them. It's been a while since our entire group has been able to get together without restrictions or waitlists. A few times a year, we'll be holding special events (such as happy hours, picnics, parties, etc.) so that we can all get together to mingle and socialize and to meet members we may not have shared an event with yet.

We will be holding a contest for best costume, as well as a general raffle for some great giveaways! We're going to have several great books as prizes, including a couple steampunk fantasies, some great sci-fi, and a few intriguing nonfiction books about sci-fi & fantasy. We have over 45 books to give away, so there's a very good chance you'll win something!

  • We'll be in the large private reception room at Houlihan's (walk straight back upon entering to the right of the bar and the left of the hostess' stand).
  • There will be a dedicated bar and waitstaff in our party room just for our group. Gratuity will be automatically included on your bill, but please don't hesitate to tip extra for great service.
  • To start a tab, you'll need a credit or debit card to cover your drinks and food throughout the evening. You will be able to close out with cash if you wish.
  • We've arranged discounted drink pricing for the party!
    • Houlihan's is working on some amazing featured cocktails and shooters for us, priced at $5 (here's the still-evolving list)
      • Poison Apple
      • Melon Eye-Tini
      • Skeletonita
      • Halloween Hpnotini
      • Black Cat
      • Wolf Bite
      • Transformer
      • Almond Joy
      • Trick & Treat
      • Vampire Juice
      • Bloody Brain
      • Devil's Candy
      • Green Monster
    • Yuengling will be offered at $3 all night
    • Miller Lite, Bud, Bud Light, and Coors Light will be $4 all night
    • Hoegaarden, Red's Apple Ale, and Sam Adams Oktoberfest will be $5 all night
    • House wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir) will be $3 until 9 PM, and $4.50 thereafter
    • You will still be able to order any other drinks you'd like off the normal menu.
  • The full menu of food options will be available as well.
  • Since this party is going to go late into the night, we've negotiated a special discount on hotel rooms at the Hilton (adjoins Houlihan's). Just call the hotel ([masked]) or book online and use group code SF1026. Rooms are only $59 ($66.08 after 12% tax). I would book as soon as possible to ensure availability, but if you want to make the decision the night of the party, our rate will be honored up to the day of. If you'd like to split a room to reduce cost, feel free to use the comments below to coordinate.

The stunning artwork shown above, called "The Pumpkin King", was created by an amazing artist named Rado Javor. Check out some of his other work here! Seriously, click the link; his work is awesome.


In addition to several copies of the 2 books below from the benevolent angels of Random House, we also have a handful of mystery and urban fantasy books and anthologies, a signed copy of Paolo Bacigalupi's The Drowned Cities, and some cool nonfiction (The Science of Dune). We've also got a few new copies of last year's A Conspiracy of Alchemists, Blades of Winter, and Hounded.

A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway (Book 1 in The Baskerville Affair)

Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London Society. But there’s a murderer to deal with—not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse.

In a Victorian era ruled by a council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch and sorcery the demon enemy of the Empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines—something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty’s secret laboratories. What’s a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she’s never found out?

But then there’s that murder. As Sherlock Holmes’s niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask.

The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough (Book 1 in the Dire Earth Cycle)

In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet’s refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator—created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders—emits a plague-suppressing aura.

Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow “immunes,” he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura’s edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped—along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma—to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.

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  • Vijay

    Thanks to everyone for coming out and making it such a phenomenal night! Special thanks to everyone who came in such great costumes, and to Houlihan's for the tasty drinks. This was our biggest event ever! Can't wait for next year, but we've got our karaoke night coming up in a few months to look forward to. :-)

    10 · October 27, 2013

    • Karla K.

      Or email is fine, I just need the recipes so I can make them at home :)

      October 27, 2013

    • Vijay

      Also, special thanks to Justin for taking so many great photos at the party! Check out the album to see them. http://www.meetup.com...­

      1 · November 3, 2013

  • Sarah B

    Thanks for such a great event! This was my first time attending a meetup, and everyone was very friendly and welcoming. All the costumes were fantastic, and I look forward to seeing everyone again soon :)

    3 · October 28, 2013

  • Jennifer D.

    Wish I could have made it to this one! Was home with the flu :( I love the costumes in the photos! Whoever dressed up as GRRM... genius! And it's not every day you see centurions and lords of the Sith facing off. I love it!

    2 · October 28, 2013

  • Laquetta

    I had a great time. The costumes were fantastic and conversations with several people left me with a full notebook page of books to read. Thanks to Vijay and everyone who worked to set up the party. Not only was the party great, but it was very nice to go next door to our Hilton rooms--what a great discount.

    6 · October 27, 2013

  • Bill K.

    What a great time! Costumes for some, none for others but it looked as if everyone was having fun. The costumes were awesome, a Centurion, the Black Angel, and Cassel of the White Cat as individuals and couple ones included The Doctor and the TARDIS, Medusa and Perseus, and a steam-punk couple to mention a few. I thought the hotel did an incredible job too supporting the event. The room was a perfect setup, they worked on about a dozen special drinks for the occasion, and finally giving us such a good room rate. I recognize too all the work our Club organizers did for this event, we are fortunate to have our team. I heard from George (the one with a real beard) and extends the offer to sign any book. :)

    7 · October 27, 2013

  • Karla K.

    To complete my costume I feel like I was subjected to the infinite improbability drive and was turned into something not human. It is now noon thirty and I am going to attempt to get out of bed. TL;DR I had a blast night!

    7 · October 27, 2013

  • Sam B.

    I had a lot of fun last night and I wanted to thank everyone for making me feel welcome and comfortable as a quasi-outsider. Thanks also to the organizers, you all should be proud for putting together such an excellent event!

    7 · October 27, 2013

  • Kent

    Totally amazing! Such creative and elaborate costumes! Way to commit! And some of the little extra touches were the BEST ("Save the Clock Tower!" flyer, Duff Beer cans, revolver cane). Wonderful conversations and fantastic interactions! I had a GREAT time!!! Oh, and the drink selection was ghoul-tastic! Thanx to all for their contributions to a wonderfully successful event!

    7 · October 27, 2013

  • Genesis B

    That was heaps of fun. Everyone had great costumes! And GRRM showing up out of the blue was priceless.

    7 · October 27, 2013

  • Jeffrey

    Thank you Vijay, for pulling together this event and investing so much time and effort in the group!

    5 · October 27, 2013

  • Jeremy D. H.

    Last night was a ton if fun, a blast with great people and some seriously awesome costumes. It would be book club if I got more books to read out of the whole deal. Though I couldn't get close enough to George R R Martin to get my book signed :(

    7 · October 27, 2013

  • Suyong

    What great costumes everyone!

    3 · October 27, 2013

  • Bill W.

    Fun time.

    3 · October 27, 2013

  • Sweth C.

    Thanks to everyone who organized such a fun event (and who were still doing the last of the cleanup as the stragglers staggered upstairs in the wee hours of the morning).

    If anyone is up yet, I'm heading down for breakfast in a bit.

    4 · October 27, 2013

  • Shannon

    Sorry but we managed to abscond with someone's copy of Darwin's Elevator. Please PM me and we will get it back to you!

    October 27, 2013

  • Shannon

    Lovely seeing everyone!

    3 · October 27, 2013

  • Tom C.

    Tremendous fun.

    3 · October 27, 2013

  • Barb P.

    It was a great time!!!

    3 · October 27, 2013

  • Chiara

    I'm coming... eventually. Every freaking thing has gone wrong today including broken car and a bus just driving straight past me after I'd been waiting for it in the cold for 45 minute. ... Now I'm at home trying to figure out what to put in a bag since I reserved a room. argh..

    October 26, 2013

  • Barb P.

    Am having fun, the skeleton drink is really good. Just waiting on food.

    October 26, 2013

  • Ayesha

    Is there a way to get here by metro?

    October 26, 2013

    • Vijay

      322

      October 26, 2013

    • Ayesha

      Thanks

      October 26, 2013

  • Ayesha

    Does anyone have an available room? When I called to book they said the special was sold out.

    October 26, 2013

    • Vijay

      @Ayesha: Constance has a spare bed in her room if you're willing to share.

      @All: there was an error with our room block and there may not be rooms available for tonight if you didn't pre-reserve (if you did, you're fine). But we have enough people staying that if people are willing to share rooms (most are doubles) everyone can manage.

      October 26, 2013

    • Genesis B

      Paint isnt dry. Nooooo!!!! : (

      1 · October 26, 2013

  • Sweth C.

    For folks who messaged me re the room: I am apparently too tired to figure out how to reply to a message via the Meetup app. But it looks like I won't be a no-show after all, although I will be uncostumed.

    October 26, 2013

  • Shannon

    On the late train as well I'm afraid

    October 26, 2013

  • Britanny V.

    Flat tire- running late :(

    October 26, 2013

  • Sweth C.

    Hrm. Might not be able to make it thanks to work. Already got a room, so if I'm not there and someone needs a place to crash, message me and I'll see if I can put your name on the room so it doesn't go to waste.

    October 26, 2013

    • Sweth C.

      Screw it. Work can deal with it's own problems. I'll be heading over there shortly, hopefully.

      5 · October 26, 2013

  • Caroline C.

    I will be late, too. I am finding Player of Games really compelling.

    1 · October 26, 2013

  • Amy Z

    And I'll be late too. Moving slow today.

    October 26, 2013

  • Trish

    I'm going to be getting there late, too. Can't decide which broomstick to take.

    2 · October 26, 2013

  • Elizabeth B.

    In keeping with my time-honored tradition of not finishing my costume until minutes before I wear in into an event, it looks like I'll be running late, and maybe smelling slightly of spray paint.

    3 · October 26, 2013

    • Shannon

      Who doesn't like to huff spray paint? Get very close to the judges and it

      October 26, 2013

    • Shannon

      will improve your score

      2 · October 26, 2013

  • Vijay

    I hope you're all as excited as I am for tomorrow's party! We've got over 45 prizes to give away, so there's a very good chance all our members will leave with a new book!

    We'll be in the private reception room of Houlihan's (where we normally hold book discussions). If it's your first time, just go straight back upon entering and look for our sign sporting our awesome new logo. Also, the geeks in costumes may be a dead giveaway.

    We'd love to see as many people in costume as possible, but if yours fell through or you're out of energy to finish it, please come out anyways to enjoy the party!

    There's still a few rooms available if you want to stay overnight at the Hilton rather than worry about driving home. Just use the group code SF1026 when you call or book online.

    Lastly, please don't forget your ID and a credit card to start your tab at Houlihan's (you can always pay cash if you'd prefer when you close out).

    4 · October 25, 2013

  • Vijay

    Hope you're all excited about our Halloween Party! While costumes are strongly encouraged, they're NOT required to attend. So if your week gets busy or your creativity tanks, we still want you to come out on Saturday!

    Also, just another reminder to book your room at the Hilton if you're planning on staying after the party. Call the hotel [masked]) or book online and use group code SF1026: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/virginia/hilton-springfield-SPRSHHF/index.html Rooms are only $59! I'd book asap to ensure availability. If you'd like to split a room to reduce cost, feel free to use the comments below to search for a roommate.

    October 21, 2013

    • Dave

      I put together a spectacular costume but I didn't get ready in time, so it won't be here until Monday.

      October 22, 2013

    • Vijay

      FYI, more double rooms are now available for booking at our negotiated rate. If we run out again, I'll do my best to get us some more, just let me know if you run into a problem.

      October 22, 2013

  • Smita K.

    Will not be able to make it. Have to take some PLE classes. :(

    October 10, 2013

  • Vijay

    Hi everyone! Just a reminder for anyone worried about or disinclined to drive home after our Halloween Party, we've got a great rate negotiated with the Hilton. Just call the hotel [masked]) or book online and use group code SF1026: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/virginia/hilton-springfield-SPRSHHF/index.html

    Rooms are only $59 ($66.08 after 12% tax). I would book as soon as possible to ensure availability. If you'd like to split a room to reduce cost, feel free to use the comments below to search for a roommate.

    October 7, 2013

  • Vijay

    Hi everyone! I hope you're as excited as I am for next month's Halloween party. We've negotiated some great drink pricing (see the event description), and... we've also negotiated a really low hotel rate if anyone wants to book a room for the night at the Hilton (only $59!). If our room block is full when you try to book, just let me know and I'll work to expand it. Thanks!

    1 · September 24, 2013

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