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William Peter Blatty (1928-2017)

Writer William Peter Blatty, 89, died of cancer on January 12, 2017 in New York. Blatty is best known for horror classic The Exorcist (1971). He wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award-winning film adaptation (1973), as well as the sequel The Exorcist III (1990), which he also directed. Other books of genre interest include Legion (1983, the basis for The Exorcist III) and Demons Five, Exorcists Nothing: A Fable (1996).

Blatty was born January 7, 1928 in New York City. He attended Georgetown on a scholarship and got his master’s in English literature from George Washington University. He worked various jobs, including as a vacuum cleaner salesman, truck driver, and airline ticket agent before joining the US Air Force, where he helped run the psychological warfare division. He joined the United State Information Agency and worked for a time as an editor in Beirut, and later worked in the states in public relations.

In the ’50s he contributed to the Saturday Evening Post, ghostwrote bestseller Dear Teenager (1959) for advice columnist Abigail “Dear Abby” van Buren, and published memoir “Which Way to Mecca, Jack?, about his time in Lebanon (1959). First novels John Godlfarb, Please Come Home (1962), I, Billy Shakespeare (1965), and Twinkle, Twinkle, “Killer” Kane! (1966) were humor. He began writing screenplays for comedy films, first with director Black Edwards, including A Shot in the Dark (1964) and What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966), and was soon working regularly in Hollywood.

He continued to write prose, and The Exorcist was his breakout success there, spending 57 weeks in a row on the New York Times bestseller list. He continued to work in film and write books for the remainder of his life, producing memoir I’ll Tell Them I’ll Remember You (1973) and novels Elsehwere (2009), Dimiter (2010), and Crazy (2010), among other works. He won a Stoker Award for Life Achievement in 1998.

Blatty was predeceased by his son Peter (died 2006) and is survived by wife Julia Alicia Witbrodt.

Spectrum Open for Submissions

Spectrum 24 is open for submissions until January 25, 2017. The annual art collection highlights “the best and brightest creators of fantastic art from around the globe: it serves as an invaluable resource book for art directors, art buyers, publishers and agents world-wide.” Judges this year include Christian Alzmann, Laurie Lee, Brom, Mark Newman, Victo Ngai, and John Picacio, and chosen entrants will be notified in April 2017.

For more information, visit the Spectrum website.

2017 World Fantasy Awards Judges Announced

The judges for the 2017 World Fantasy Awards have been empaneled. All forms of fantasy qualify. Only living authors and editors are eligible. All books must have a 2016 publication date, and all magazines, a 2016 cover date.

The judges will read and consider eligible materials between now and June 1, 2017 (the earlier, the better). To be considered for awards, all materials must be received by all five judges and Peter Dennis Pautz by June 1, 2017. The judges are:

*Elizabeth Engstrom
298 Hamiltonian Drive
Eugene OR 97401 USA
EngstromWF@gmail.com

§**Daryl Gregory
3124 Sylvan Avenue
Oakland CA  94602-3956 USA
darylgregory+wfc@gmail.com

*Nalo Hopkinson
1447 7th Street #1
Riverside CA 92507-4510 USA
hopkinson.wfa@gmail.com

§*Juliet Marillier
PO Box 189
Guildford WA 6935 AUSTRALIA
world.fantasy.marill@gmail.com

*Betsy Mitchell
884 Lincoln Pl.
Brooklyn NY 11213 USA
betsymitchell.editorial@gmail.com

Judging is often easier with hard copies, but those judges marked with * can accept PDFs; ** can accept mobi; *** both; § can accept EPUB. Packages should be labeled “Promotional materials — not for sale or resale — no commercial value — World Fantasy Awards materials.” A copy should also go to:

Peter Dennis Pautz, President
World Fantasy Awards Association
PO Box 43
Mukilteo WA 98275-0043
SFExecSec@gmail.com

All forms of fantasy are eligible, e.g. high, epic, dark, contemporary, literary. Categories: Life Achievement; Best Novel; Best Novella (10,001 to 40,000 words); Best Short Story; Best Anthology; Best Collection; Best Artist; Special Award—Professional; Special Award—NonProfessional. Please note that the nominees in the Life Achievement category will not be released, though the winners will be announced well before the awards banquet. All questions pertaining to the convention should be directed to the Convention Chair.

The awards will be presented at the World Fantasy Convention, November 2-5, 2017, at the Wyndham Riverwalk, 111 East Pecan Street, San Antonio, TX 78205, USA; 210-354-2800. See the World Fantasy 2017 site or the World Fantasy convention home page for more.

Peter Weston (1943-2017)

UK editor and fan Peter Weston, 73, died January 5, 2017, about three years after being diagnosed with cancer.

Born October 19, 1943 in Birmingham England, Weston published influential fanzine Zenith (later renamed Speculation) from 1963-73, during which time it was nominated for four Hugo Awards. His fanzine Prolapse published two issues, went on hiatus for 23 years, and relaunched in 2006. It was renamed Relapse in 2009 and ran through 2013.

Weston organized three Speculation Conferences in Birmingham (1970-72). In 1971 he co-founded the Birmingham Science Fiction Group and helped launch the Novacon convention that same year. Weston was a Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund winner in 1974, and chaired Seacon ’79, the 1979 Worldcon. In 2008 he ran convention Cytricon V in Kettering.

Beginning in 1984, he produced the rocket statues for the Hugo Award trophies at a car parts foundry he owned and operated until his retirement. He was Fan Guest of Honor at Noreascon 4, the 2004 Worldcon.

He edited three volumes of the original Andromeda anthology series (1976, ’77, and ’78). His memoir Stars in My Eyes: My Adventures in British Fandom appeared in 2004 and was a Hugo Award finalist.

For more, see his entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

2017 Hugo Awards Nomination Period Open

Nominations are now open for the Hugo Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, to be presented at Worldcon 75, August 9-13, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland. You are eligible to nominate if you have an attending or supporting membership for Worldcon 75, MidAmeriCon II (the 2016 Worldcon), or Worldcon 76 (the 2018 Worldcon) by January 31, 2015. The nomination period closes March 17, 2017 at at 11:59 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time.

More information on the Hugo Awards can be found at the Worldcon 75 site.

HWA Lifetime Achievement Award Committee

HWA President Lisa Morton has appointed Ramsey Campbell, Erinn Kemper, Monica Kuebler, John Little, and Joseph Nassise as members of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Committee.

The committee considers recommendations submitted by the Horror Writer Association’s general membership, but is free to choose a recipient who has not been recommended. For more information, including how to submit a recommendation, see the HWA website.

The Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement “is presented periodically to an individual whose work has substantially influenced the horror genre.” Candidates must either be at least 60 years old or have first produced professional horror work at least 35 years ago. Recipients must be alive at the time of the committee’s choice. For a complete list of rules and previous winners, see the Lifetime Achievement Award webpage.

Kowal Withdraws SFWA Candidacy

Mary Robinette Kowal announced on her blog that she would not be running for President of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America in 2017. Her decision to run was made before learning current President Cat Rambo was seeking re-election. Kowal said that Rambo and herself “are politically aligned on where SFWA should be heading. We’re both interested in keeping things moving in a more inclusive and supportive direction.” Kowal also noted Rambo’s creation of a health insurance committee for SFWA members, which was one of the main platforms for Kowal’s candidacy.

Kowal has previously served as secretary and vice president of SFWA. For more information, visit the SFWA website.

2016 Cybils Awards Finalists

Finalists for the 2016 Children’s and Young Adults Bloggers’ Literary Awards (Cybils) were announced on January 1, 2017. Books of genre interest are listed below:

Audiobooks

Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels

Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction

Young Adult Graphic Novels

Young Adult Speculative Fiction

The Cybils Awards “aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal.” Winners in each category will be announced on February 14, 2017.

For a complete list of nominees, see the Cybils official site.

2017 Writers Guild Awards

The nominees for the Writers Guild of America Awards have been announced. Nominated works include  adaptations of works by Ted Chiang, Stephen King, and Guillermo del Toro, as well as several shows and movies of genre interest. The awards will be presented at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills CA on February 19, 2017.

For a full list of nominees, see the official website.

Linn Prentis (1944-2016)

Literary agent Linn Prentis, 72, died December 24, 2016.

Elise Linn Prentis was born in 1944 and spent 20 years as a literary agent, first at the Virginia Kidd Agency and later at her own Linn Prentis Agency. In 2011 she moved from New York City to Washington state, just outside Seattle, though she retained offices in New York run by assistant Trodayne Northern. During her career she represented authors including Kage Baker, Patricia Briggs, Rick Bowes, A.M. Dellamonica, and many others.


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