Actor Andy Hallett (b.1975) died on March 29. Hallett is best known for his role on Angel as Lorne, although he also appeared in a bit role in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He provided the voice for the cricket in 2005 animated film Geppetto’s Secret.
In 1985, SF fans Jonathan and Linda Sohus disappeared, as did a young man renting a room from them, Christopher Chichester. With the discovery that Chichester was really Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter (a.k.a. Clark Rockefeller), who is on trial in Boston for kidnapping his daughter last year, the LA County Sheriff’s department has announced that it is reopening the Sohus case. In the late 80s, Gerhartsreiter was ticketed while driving Sohus’s truck and a human skeleton was found in the Sohus’s back yard when a subsequent owner put in a swimming pool.
The London Science Museum is hosting Wallace & Gromit present A World of Cracking Ideas from March 28 through November 1. The exhibit includes a full size reproduction of the house at 42 West Wallaby Street an is designed to introduce kids to the creative process of invention and ideas.
Composer Maurice Jarre (b.1924) died on March 29. Jarre won Oscars for his scores for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and A Passage to India. His genre work included the scores for Ghost, Solarbabies, Enemy Mine, and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Jarre scored his first film in 1952 and worked on more than 150 films until his retirement in 2001.
The Jameson Empire Awards were presented in London on March 29, with The Dark Knight taking top honors. In addition to the regular categories, Heath Ledger, who portrayed the Joker in The Dark Knight, was honored for lifetime achievement. The awards are selected by voting amongst Empire magazine’s readers. Winners of genre interest are listed below.
- Best Film: The Dark Knight
- Best Actor: Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
- Best Actress: Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd)
- Best Director: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight)
- Icon Award: Viggo Mortensen
- Best Horror: Eden Lake
Texas science fiction fans have announced a Worldcon bid for 2013, which will officially launch at Anticipation, this year’s Worldcon. The bid is sponsored by ALAMO, the parent organization for LonStarCon II. Currently, a city has not been selected as ALAMO is in discussion with several different venues. The bid is being chaired by Bill Parker. Memberships are not being accepted prior to Anticipation.
The Fix Online editor Eugie Foster has announced that she will be stepping down as editor of the short fiction review site. According to Foster, “I need to devote more time to my writing than helming The Fix Online allows me. So it is with both regret and sadness that I am stepping down as its editor.” She will be replaced by former Assistant Editor Marshall Payne.
On March 26, billionaire Charles Simonyi became the first space tourist to go into space when he was aboard a rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Simonyi’s first vacation into space occurred in 2007, but he said there were still things he wanted to do in space.
For the first time, meteorites from an asteroid which had been tracked in space have been recovered. Researchers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona spotted an asteroid on a course for Earth. JPL confirmed it would intersect with the planet and the asteroid was tracked until it exploded at an altitude of 37 miles. Following its disintegration, meteorites were found by students in the Sudan desert. The meteorite’s composition matches spectroanalysis performed on the asteroid by La Palma in the Canary Islands.