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Monday, April 12, 2010

John Schoenherr, 1935-2010

posted @ 4/12/2010 04:36:00 PM PT 

Artist John Schoenherr, 74, died April 8, 2010 in New Jersey.

John Carl Schoenherr was born July 5, 1935 in New York City. He became a full-time freelance artist shortly after his graduation from the Pratt Institute in 1956, and did hundreds of illustrations for SF magazines, including Astounding/Analog, Amazing, Fantastic, Infinity, and F&SF. He was the principle cover artist for Astounding/Analog in the late '50s and '60s, and was nominated for eleven Hugo Awards from 1962-1975, winning in 1965. He also won a 1988 Caldecott Medal for his work on Owl Moon, written by Jane Yolen, and wrote and illustrated a handful of children's books on his own.

The Encyclopedia of SF has more details.

See the May issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

William Mayne (1928-2010)

posted @ 4/02/2010 12:21:00 PM PT 

Children's author William Mayne, 82, died March 23, 2010 in Thornton Rust, North Yorkshire.

Born March 16, 1928 in Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he wrote over a hundred books, some of which included SF and fantasy elements, notably the Earthfasts sequence – Earthfasts (1966), Cradlefasts (1999), and Candlefasts (2002) – and A Game of the Dark (1971), The Jersey Shore (1971), The Member for the Marsh (1956), and for younger readers Skiffy (1972) and sequel Skiffy and the Twin Planets (1982). He won a Carnegie medal in 1957 for A Grass Rope and a Guardian book award in 1983 for Low Tide.

Mayne's reputation was ruined in 2004 after he pled guilty to multiple counts of indecent assault on children from 1960-73. He was jailed for over two years, forbidden to work with children, and added to the sex offenders' registry for life.

The Encyclopedia of SF has more details.

See the May issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Patricia Wrightson, 1921-2010

posted @ 3/29/2010 09:54:00 AM PT 

Author Patricia Wrightson, 88, died March 15, 2010, in a hospital in New South Wales, Australia.

Born June 21, 1921 in Lismore, New South Wales, Wrightson wrote 27 children's and YA books, many with fantasy elements, including The Nargun and the Stars (1973), The Ice Is Coming (1977), The Dark Bright Water (1978), Journey Beyond the Wind (1981), A Little Fear (1983), Moon-dark (1987), and Balyet (1989). Many of her novels drew on Australian aboriginal mythology.

Wrightson won the Australian Children's Book Council Book of the Year award four times, and was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1986 in recognition for her lifetime achievement in writing for young people. She was also awarded the New South Wales Premier's Special Award in 1988 for distinguished contributions to Australian literature. The Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature was named in her honor.

See the April issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Robert McCall, 1919-2010

posted @ 3/01/2010 02:22:00 PM PT 

Artist Robert McCall, 90, died February 26, 2010. McCall's keen interest in science and technology led to a career painting images of space and space travel. He painted for Life Magazine in the 1960s; he created murals for the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC and NASA's Johnson Space Center and paintings for Disney's Epcot Center, as well as iconic postage stamps. His paintings were famously featured in the movie posters for for 2001: A Space Odyssey, and he art directed Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Link to report on Tor.com

See the full obituary in the April 2010 issue of Locus.

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David Severn, 1918-2010

posted @ 3/01/2010 10:54:00 AM PT 

David Storr Unwin, 91, who wrote children's novels as David Severn, died February 11, 2010 in London. Unwin, the son of publisher Sir Stanley Unwin, was born in London on March 12, 1918. He published over 30 children's books in the UK, some with SF and fantasy elements, including Dream Gold (1949), Drumbeats! (1953), and The Future Took Us (1957). His final children's book, The Wishing Bone, appeared in 1977. He also wrote two books for adults under his own name. His final book was autobiography Fifty Years With Father (1982).

The Encyclopedia of SF has more details.

See the April issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Mervyn Jones, 1922-2010

posted @ 2/26/2010 01:16:00 PM PT 

Mervyn Jones, 87, died February 23, 2010 in Brighton, Sussex. Jones wrote 29 novels, only one of which was SF: On the Last Day (1958), about the Russian/Chinese invasion of Britain during WWIII.

Born in London on February 27, 1922, Jones turned down a spot at Oxford to go to New York University. He returned home to serve in WWII, serving in the 59th Anti-Tank Regiment and briefly becoming a German prisoner of war. After the war he contributed to Communist publications until becoming disillusioned with the party, and worked as journalist and novelist.

Obituary in the Telegraph, and Jones's entry in the online Encyclopedia of SF.


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jim Harmon, 1933-2010

posted @ 2/23/2010 09:00:00 AM PT 

Jim Harmon, 76, died February 16, 2010 in Los Angeles of a heart attack. Harmon began publishing professional SF stories with "The Smuggler" in Spaceway (1954), and went on to produce at least 40 stories in the 1950s and '60s, mostly for Galaxy and If; some of those stories were later collected in Harmon's Galaxy (2004). He wrote one novel, The Contested Earth, in 1959, but it only saw publication in 2007 as part of The Contested Earth and Other SF Stories in 2007.

James Judson Harmon was born April 21, 1933 in Mount Carmel IL. In addition to SF, he also wrote detective and crime stories, but he was best known as an expert on classic radio shows and movies, earning the nickname "Mr. Nostalgia". The Great Radio Heroes (1967) remains a landmark work on the subject, and he wrote numerous other non-fiction work.

He contributed writing on comics to fanzine Xero, was editor of Monsters of the Movies from 1974-75, and edited two volumes of anthology series It's That Time Again in 2004 and 2006, featuring new stories about classic radio characters. Harmon received an Inkpot Award at the San Diego Comic-Con in 1977. He is survived by his wife Barbara.

The Encyclopedia of SF has more details.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Philip Klass (William Tenn) 1920-2010

posted @ 2/08/2010 11:00:00 AM PT 


Philip Klass, who wrote SF as William Tenn, 89, died February 7, 2010 of congestive heart failure.

Klass is best known for his satirical, humorous SF work. His first SF story was "Alexander the Bait" in Astounding (1946). Klass also wrote two novels, Of Men and Monsters (1968) and short novel A Lamp for Medusa (1968), and numerous non-fiction articles and essays, some of which were gathered in Hugo finalist Dancing Naked: The Unexpurgated William Tenn (2004). Klass was named SFWA Author Emeritus in 1999, and was Guest of Honor at the 2004 Worldcon.

Philip Klass was born May 9, 1920 in London. His family moved to New York when he was still a baby, and he grew up in Brooklyn. He served in the US Army during WWII as a combat engineer, and began writing in 1945 following his discharge. He taught English and comparative literature at Penn State for almost 25 years, retiring as professor emeritus. He is survived by wife Fruma and a daughter, Adina.

See the March issue of Locus for a complete obituary.
Photo credit Charles N. Brown 2001.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Kage Baker 1952-2010

posted @ 2/01/2010 10:20:00 AM PT 


Writer Kage Baker, 57, died January 31, 2010 of cancer at home in Pismo Beach, CA. Baker was best known for her Company series of time travel novels and stories. Company novel The Empress of Mars (2008) was an expansion of the eponymous 2003 novella, which won a Sturgeon Award and was a Hugo and Nebula finalist. Baker also wrote fantasy, notably Mythopoeic finalist The Anvil of the World (2003) and World Fantasy Award-nominated sequel The House of the Stag (2008). In 1999, she was a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She also published around 70 stories, including Hugo finalist "Son Observe the Time" (1999) and World fantasy finalist "Caverns of Mystery" (2008).

Baker was born June 10, 1952 in Hollywood CA, and spent most of her life there and in Pismo Beach. From the 1970s onward, she was an actor, artist, and director with As You Like It Productions (formerly the Living History Center, which started the first Renaissance Faire). She taught Elizabethan English to stage actors for 20 years and supplemented her income writing ad copy, but from the late '90s onward devoted most of her time to writing fiction. In 2009, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and underwent extensive treatment. However, the cancer metastasized to her brain. By mid-January 2010 doctors ceased treatment, and she died peacefully in the company of her family.

See the March issue of Locus for a complete obituary.
Photo credit Kathleen Bartholomew 2008.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Takumi Shibano, 1926-2010

posted @ 1/18/2010 09:12:00 AM PT 

Japanese author, translator, and fan Takumi Shibano, 83, died January 16, 2010 of pneumonia. The "father of Japanese science fiction" founded influential Japanese fanzine Uchujin in 1957, with the most recent issue, #202, appearing in 2009.

Beginning in the '70s he translated around 60 books by authors including Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Larry Niven into Japanese, and was a major figure in Japanese fandom, chairing the first Japanese National SF Convention in 1962. He came to the US for the 1968 Worldcon, and was a frequent Worldcon attendee from the '70s onward, appearing as Fan Guest of Honor at at both L.A.con III (1996) and Nippon, the 2007 Worldcon in Japan.

He wrote three YA science fiction novels: Superhuman "Plus X" (1969), Operation Moonjet (1969), and Revolt in North Pole City (1977).

His many honors include a Big Heart Award (1987) and a Worldcon Special Committee Award (1993). The Takumi Shibano Award was founded in 1982 to honor those who perform great work for Japanese Fandom.

See the February issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Knox Burger 1922-2010

posted @ 1/14/2010 11:24:00 AM PT 

Editor and agent Knox Burger, 87, died January 4, 2010 in Manhattan. Burger was fiction editor for Collier's from 1948 to 1951, where he published Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s first short story. Vonnegut dedicated 1968 collection Welcome to the Monkey House to him: "To Knox Burger. Ten days older than I am. He has been a very good father to me." Burger also published Jack Finney's early time travel stories, work by Ray Bradbury (including "A Sound of Thunder" and "There Will Come Soft Rains"), and a serialization of John Wyndham's Day of the Triffids.

After Burger left Collier's, he edited books, mostly mystery and suspense novels, but also SF, for Dell and Fawcett, before founding his literary agency Knox Burger & Associates in 1970.

See the February issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mark Owings (1945-2009)

posted @ 12/31/2009 05:08:00 PM PT 

Bibliographer Mark Owings, 64, died December 30, 2009 from pancreatic cancer. Owings worked with Jack Chalker on The Index to the Science-Fantasy Publishers (1966) and The Revised H.P. Lovecraft Bibliography (1973), and was one of the publishers at Croatan House. He was a founder of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, served as Balticon chair many times, and was chair of the Compton Crook Award committee.

See the February issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Milorad Pavic, 1929-2009

posted @ 12/17/2009 02:55:00 PM PT 

Experimental Serbian novelist Milorad Pavic, 80, died November 30, 2009 in Belgrade of complications from a heart attack. Pavic's novels, which all had fantasy elements, were translated into over 30 languages. Pavic also published short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. Born October 15, 1929 in Belgrade, Pavic obtained a doctorate at the University of Zagreb and taught philosophy at the University of Novi Sad and later the University of Belgrade. He is survived by his wife Jasmina Mihajlovic, a daughter, and a son.

See the January issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Janet Fox, 1940-2009

posted @ 12/10/2009 01:25:00 PM PT 

Writer and editor Janet Fox, 68, died October 21, 2009 at home in Osage City KS after a long struggle with cancer. Fox began publishing short fiction in the 1970s, and published scores of stories and poems in magazines including Twilight Zone, Weird Tales, Cemetery Dance, and others, as well as numerous anthologies. Under house name Alex McDonough she wrote five books in the Scorpio novel series for Ace, from 1990-93. She edited monthly market 'zine Scavenger's Newsletter from 1984-2003, and was secretary/treasurer of the Small Press Writers and Artists Organization.

A.R. Morlan has been named Fox's literary executor, and can be contacted c/o Locus.

See the January issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christopher Anvil 1925-2009

posted @ 12/09/2009 11:12:00 AM PT 

Harry C. Crosby, Jr., who wrote SF as Christopher Anvil, died at home in Cayuta NY on November 30th, 2009. He was born Mar. 11, 1925 in Norwich, CT.

He published over 100 short stories and several novels, and was most prolific in the '50s and '60s, with his work appearing extensively in Astounding/Analog. In recent years Baen Books has published seven of a planned eight volumes collecting all his SF, edited by Eric Flint.

He is survived by his wife, two children, and five grandchildren.

See the January issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Robert Holdstock, 1948-2009

posted @ 11/30/2009 10:43:00 AM PT 

Robert Holdstock, 61, died in a London hospital at 4 a.m. on November 29, 2009 after almost two weeks in intensive care battling a severe E. coli infection. He was hospitalized after collapsing on November 18 and put on life-support, with multiple-organ breakdown, including his liver, kidneys, and heart. The E. coli infection was discovered the next day.

He is best known as the author of the Mythago Cycle and the Merlin Codex series. His latest novel Avilion, the direct sequel to Mythago Wood, was published in July 2009. Holdstock's works have won him four BSFA Awards and two World Fantasy Awards, as well as many nominations.

Born in Hythe, Kent, Holdstock held jobs as a banana boatman, construction worker, and slate miner. He earned a Bachelor of Science from University College of North Wales, Bangor, with honors in applied Zoology, and a Master of Science in Medical Zoology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. From 1971 to 1974, he conducted research at the Medical Research Council in London, while writing part-time. He became a full-time writer in 1976.

Holdstock is survived by partner Sarah Biggs.

The complete obituary with appreciations will appear in the January 2010 issue of Locus.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

I.F. Clarke (1918-2009)

posted @ 11/23/2009 09:25:00 AM PT 

British bibliographer and literary scholar I.F. Clarke died November 5, 2009 in a nursing home, following complications from a leg amputation in August. Clarke was an expert in future-war fiction, and his many publications include Voices Prophesying War (1966), the eight-volume British Future Fiction series (2001), and some important bibliographies. With his wife Margaret (who survives him), he produced translations and critical editions of early French science fiction.

Ignatius Frederic "Ian" Clarke, born 1918, worked in military intelligence during WWII. He attended Liverpool University, writing theses on "the Tale of the Future," and taught at the University of Strathclyde until 1964. He received the Pilgrim Award for distinguished contribution to science fiction studies in 1974, given by the Science Fiction Research Association. His essay "Future-war Fiction: The First Main Phase 1871-1900" won the SFRA's Pioneer Award in 1997.

See the January issue for a complete obituary.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Louise Cooper, 1952 - 2009

posted @ 11/05/2009 11:16:00 AM PT 

British fantasy author Louise Cooper, 57, died October 21, 2009 of a brain aneurysm at home in Cornwall. Cooper was a prolific author who wrote over 80 books for adults and children. She was best known for her Time Master trilogy, and for her Indigo Saga series. Louise Antell was born May 29, 1952 in Hertfordshire. She married first husband Gary Cooper in 1970. After working as a secretary and as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader, she became a full-time writer in 1984. She married artist Cas Sandall in 1999; he survives her.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Artist Dean Ellis Dies

posted @ 11/02/2009 04:13:00 PM PT 

Artist Dean Ellis, 88, died October 12, 2009 at home in Saratoga Springs, New York. Born 1920 in Detroit MI, Ellis studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, and served in the Pacific during WWII. He worked as an illustrator and painter after the war, and in 1950, Life included him in a list of the 19 most promising young American artists. He moved to New York in 1956, and created covers for Ray Bradbury novels in the 1960s, which led to jobs painting cover art for many of the SF publishers at the time. He also designed postage stamps for the US and other countries, and his paintings have been collected and exhibited widely. He is survived by Lois, his wife of 61 years, and their daughter Tracey.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Artist Don Ivan Punchatz Dies

posted @ 10/28/2009 04:00:00 PM PT 

Artist Don Ivan Punchatz, 73, died of a heart attack in Arlington, Texas, on October 22, 2009. Punchatz was known for his illustrations for magazines ranging from Boy's Life to Penthouse, for his advertising work, and for his book covers for Ace, Warner, Berkley, and Dell. He created the cover art for the Avon editions of Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels and Philip José Farmer's Riverworld books in the 1970s.

Full report at Spectrum.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Mary Hunter Schaub Dies

posted @ 10/12/2009 03:00:00 PM PT 

Writer Mary Hunter Schaub, 66, died of cancer September 25, 2009 in hospice. Schaub wrote The Magestone (1996) with Andre Norton, and solo novel Exile (1992), both set in Norton’s Witch World universe. She also published several stories beginning in the ’70s, with work in Analog and various anthologies, many set in Norton’s fictional worlds.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Barbara Bova Dies

posted @ 9/25/2009 03:01:00 PM PT 

Literary agent Barbara Bova (born Barbara Berson Rose), wife of SF writer Ben Bova, died September 23, 2009 of cancer in a Naples, FL hospice. She married Bova in 1974, the same year she founded the Barbara Bova Literary Agency (which will continue to operate). She was also a columnist for the Naples Daily News.

A full obituary will appear in the November issue of Locus.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Publisher Donald M. Grant Dies at age 82

posted @ 8/24/2009 04:57:00 PM PT 

Respected specialty publisher Donald Metcalf Grant died August 19, 2009 in North Port FL. He was the founder of the eponymous Donald M. Grant Publisher, Inc., a company known for producing lavish limited editions of fantasy and horror titles. Grant received three World Fantasy Awards in the special professional category (1976, 1980, and 1983), one special convention World Fantasy Award (1984), and a World Fantasy Life Achievement Award (2003). He is survived by wife Shirley, their two children, and a granddaughter.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Phyllis Gotlieb, 1926-2009

posted @ 7/15/2009 09:59:00 AM PT 

SF writer Phyllis Gotlieb, 83, died July 14, 2009.

Born Phyllis Fay Bloom on May 25, 1926 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Gotlieb was sometimes called the founder of Canadian science fiction, and in the '60s and '70s she was the only prominent English-language Canadian SF writer. She was a founding member of SF Canada, and her many honors include an Aurora Award for lifetime achievement (1982).

Her first SF story was "A Grain of Manhood" in Fantastic in 1959, and she published short fiction widely into this century. Some of her stories are gathered in Son of the Morning and Other Stories (1983) and Blue Apes (1995). She edited Tesseracts2 (1987), an anthology of Canadian SF, with Douglas Barbour.

Gotlieb's first novel Sunburst appeared in 1964; one of Canada's most important SF prizes is called the Sunburst Award in her honor. Other works include her Sven Dhalgren books: O Master Caliban! (1976) and Heart of Red Iron (1989); her Starcats series: Nebula-nominated novella "Son of the Morning" (1972) and novels including Aurora Award winner A Judgment of Dragons (1980), Emperor, Swords, Pentacles (1982), and Tiptree and Aurora finalist The Kingdom of the Cats; the Flesh and Gold series: Flesh and Gold (1998), Violent Stars (1999); Mindworlds (2002); and standalone feminist fantasy Birthstones (2007).

A complete obituary will appear in the August issue.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Charles N. Brown, 1937-2009

posted @ 7/13/2009 09:46:00 AM PT 

Locus publisher, editor, and co-founder Charles N. Brown, 72, died peacefully in his sleep July 12, 2009 on his way home from Readercon.

Charles Nikki Brown was born June 24, 1937 in Brooklyn NY, where he grew up. He attended the City College of New York, taking time off from 1956-59 to serve in the US Navy, and finished his degree (BS in physics and engineering) at night on the GI Bill while working as a junior engineer in the '60s. He married twice, to Marsha Elkin (1962-69), who helped him start Locus, and to Dena Benatan (1970-77), who co-edited Locus for many years while he worked full time. He moved to San Francisco in 1972, working as a nuclear engineer until becoming a full-time SF editor in 1975. The Locus offices have been in Brown's home in the Oakland hills since 1973.

Brown co-founded Locus with Ed Meskys and Dave Vanderwerf as a one-sheet news fanzine in 1968, originally created to help the Boston Science Fiction Group win its Worldcon bid. Brown enjoyed editing Locus so much that he continued the magazine far beyond its original planned one-year run. Locus was nominated for its first Hugo Award in 1970, and Brown was a best fan writer nominee the same year. Locus won the first of its 29 Hugos in 1971.

During Brown's long and illustrious career he was the first book reviewer for Asimov's; wrote the Best of the Year summary for Terry Carr's annual anthologies (1975-87); wrote numerous magazines and newspapers; edited several SF anthologies; appeared on countless convention panels; was a frequent Guest of Honor, speaker, and judge at writers' seminars; and has been a jury member for various major SF awards.

As per his wishes, Locus will continue to publish, with executive editor Liza Groen Trombi taking over as editor-in-chief with the August 2009 issue.

A complete obituary with tributes and a photo retrospective will appear in the August issue.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Paul O. Williams, 1935-2009

posted @ 6/13/2009 11:01:00 PM PT 

Paul O. Williams died June 2, 2009 from an aortic dissection. His most notable work was the Pelbar Cycle, a series of seven novels set in post-apocalyptic Illinois. He won the Campbell Award in 1983, and published two other science fiction novels outside of the Pelbar novels; the most recent was The Man from Far Cloud in 2004. He was also a poet, served as president of the Haiku Society of America, and was professor emeritus of English at Principia College in Elsah IL. He is survived by his wife, KerryLynn Blau Williams.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

David Eddings, 1931-2009

posted @ 6/03/2009 09:53:00 AM PT 

Author David Eddings, 77, died June 2, 2009 at home in Carson City, Nevada. Eddings began publishing with High Hunt (1973), and is best known for his many epic fantasy series, including The Belgariad, The Mallorean, and the Dreamers. Eddings was predeceased by his wife and co-author Leigh Eddings (died 2007), who helped write all his books, and was credited as co-author on many from the mid-'90s on. See the July issue of Locus for a complete obituary.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Thomas Deitz, 1952-2009

posted @ 4/27/2009 06:44:00 PM PT 

Thomas Franklin Deitz, 57, died on April 27, 2009 of heart failure at his home in Oakwood, Georgia. Born January 17, 1952, Deitz established himself as a popular fantasist in 1986 with Windmaster's Bane, going on to write 16 well-received fantasy novels, including the Soulsmith trilogy and a tetralogy beginning with Bloodwinter (2002).

Deitz suffered a major heart attack on January 18 of this year, and was hospitalized for months. He was initially a candidate to receive a ventricular assist device (VAD), but unfortunately his heart was too fragile for the operation. He spent his last week at home in hospice care, settling his affairs. At the time of his death, he was working on a young-adult fantasy novel.

A full obituary and appreciations will appear in the June 2009 issue of Locus.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ken Rand, 1946-2009

posted @ 4/22/2009 02:32:00 PM PT 


Writer Ken Rand, 62, died April 21, 2009 at home in West Jordan UT of complications from a rare abdominal cancer.

His novels include Phoenix (2004), The Golems of Laramie County (2005), Dadgum Martians Invade the Lucky Nickel Saloon! (2006), Pax Dakota (2008), Fairy BrewHaHa at the Lucky Nickel Saloon (2008), and A Cold Day in Hell (2009).

His short work was collected in many volumes, most recently Where Angels Fear: The Collected Short Fiction, Volume One (2008), and The Gods Perspire: The Collected Short Fiction, Volume Two (2008). He also wrote many books of non-fiction, both writing guides and memoirs.

Rand was born July 19, 1946 in Spokane WA and grew up in Port Chicago CA. He was a hippie in San Francisco in the 1960s, and worked as a photographer, talk show host, producer, editor, actor, and announcer for sporting events and daredevil shows, and spent over two decades as a broadcast and print reporter.

He is survived by his wife Lynne (married 1969, divorced 1974; remarried 1993), their three children, and six grandchildren.
See the May 2009 print issue of Locus for a more detailed obituary.
(Photo credit: CC from Nihonjoe)

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

J.G. Ballard, 1930-2009

posted @ 4/19/2009 11:51:00 AM PT 


UK author J.G. Ballard, 78, died at his home in Shepperton in west London on April 19, 2009, after a long illness -- he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006 -- according to reports from BBC and elsewhere. Author of 15 novels and many short stories, his most acclaimed novel was Empire of the Sun, based on his childhood in a Japanese prison camp in China.
His agent, Margaret Branbury, described his work as an "acute and visionary observation of contemporary life... distilled into a number of brilliant, powerful novels which have been published all over the world and saw Ballard gain cult status."

Reactions online include Jeff VanderMeer's post at Amazon.com's Omnivoracious and Graham Sleight's post at the Locus Roundtable, which includes numerous links.

Locus will have a comprehensive obituary and appreciations from Michael Moorcock and others in the May 2009 issue.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Philip José Farmer, 1918-2009

posted @ 2/25/2009 08:56:00 AM PT 


Philip José Farmer, 91, died around 4 a.m. on February 25, 2009 at home in Peoria, Illinois after a long stay in intensive care. Farmer, born January 26, 1918 in Terre Haute, Indiana, burst onto the SF scene with the 1952 publication of his groundbreaking novella "The Lovers". Over the course of his long and prolific career he produced many noteworthy works, including the Riverworld series; the World of Tiers series; the Dayworld series; and his sprawling Wold Newton universe, which tied together the stories of early fictional heroes like Tarzan, Doc Savage, Phileas Fogg, Sherlock Holmes, and many more. He was named a SFWA Grandmaster in 2001, and his many honors include a World Fantasy Life Achievement Award (2001), three Hugos, and a First Fandom Award. He is survived by his wife Bette, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.



See the April 2009 issue of Locus for an extensive obituary and appreciations.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Alfred A. Knopf, 1918-2009

posted @ 2/16/2009 12:02:00 PM PT 

Publisher and Atheneum co-founder Alfred A. ("Pat") Knopf Jr., 90, died on February 14, 2009, from complications after a fall. He left the eponymous publishing house run by his parents, Alfred A. & Blanche Wolfe Knopf, after they refused to hire editor Simon Michael Bessie as their eventual successor. With Bessie and editor Hiram Haydn, Knopf founded Atheneum in 1959, and over the years the company has published SF/fantasy authors including Anne McCaffrey, Patricia A. McKillip, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Atheneum merged with another independent publisher, Charles Scribner's Sons in 1978, to form Scribner Book Companies, which was acquired in 1984 by Macmillan Inc., where Knopf assumed responsibility for adult books published by Scribner's houses until his retirement in 1988.

A full obituary will follow in the upcoming March issue of Locus.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Richard Gordon, 1947-2009

posted @ 2/12/2009 11:45:00 AM PT 

Writer Richard Gordon, 62, died February 7, 2009 of a heart attack in Shanghai China. Born 1947 in Banff, Scotland, Gordon began publishing SF with "A Light in the Sky" for New Worlds in 1965, as by Richard A. Gordon. He wrote SF novels as Stuart Gordon, beginning with Time Story (1972). Other notable works include the postapocalyptic Eye trilogy: One-Eye (1973), Two-Eyes (1975), and Three-Eyes (1975); fantasy Suaine and the Crow-God (1975); SF Smile on the Void (1982) and Fire in the Abyss (1983); and the Watchers trilogy: Achon! (1987), The Hidden World (1988), and The Mask (1990). As Alex R. Stuart he wrote several motorcycle novels, some with speculative elements, beginning with The Bikers (1971). He taught at Shanghai High School's International Division from 2005.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lino Aldani, 1926-2009

posted @ 2/01/2009 10:24:00 AM PT 

Lino Aldani, a foremost Italian science fiction writer since the '60s, died at 82 of an untreatable lung disease at Pavia hospital in Italy on January 31, 2009. First published in 1960 in Roman magazine Oltre il cielo, he started his own SF magazine in 1963 called Futuro, later revived as Futuro Europa. In 1962, he wrote the first critical essay on SF by an Italian, "La fantascienza". In 1977, he began publishing novels with Quando le radici (The Roots of a Man), one of the best Italian novels of the time. His short stories and five novels are collected in a five-volume hardcover set published by Elara.

Lino Aldani, 1926-2009

For the complete obituary, see the upcoming print issue of Locus, March 2009.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Updike, 1932-2009

posted @ 1/27/2009 01:53:00 PM PT 

Author John Updike, 76, died today, January 27, 2009, of lung cancer. A major American novelist, poet, and critic, Updike wrote over 30 novels and collections in a career starting in the 1950s, winning virtually every literary prize, including two Pulitzers and two National Book Awards. His work spanned genres, and included The Witches of Eastwick (1984), literary post-holocaust novel Toward the End of Time (1997), and the internationally acclaimed series started with Rabbit, Run (1960).

A full obituary will appear in the next print issue of Locus.

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