Actor Harry Morgan (b.1915) died on December 7. Morgan was best known for playing Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H, as well as Bill Gannon on Dragnet, but also had several genre credits, including a recurring role on Third Rock from the Sun, episodes of Night Gallery and The Twilight Zone, and the films The Cat from Outer Space and The Flight of Dragons. Morgan won one Emmy for his work on M*A*S*H out of eleven nominations.
Fan Bob Sabella (b.1948) died on December 3 after being hospitalized and diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Sabella was the editor of the fanzine Visions of Paradise as well as the OE of FAPA, the oldest and longest running SF Amateur Press Association. In 2000, Sabella published the book Who Shaped Science Fiction? Through October, 2011, he published 170 issues of Visions of Paradise.
The Center for the Study of Science Fiction (CSSF), in association with the University of Kansas, will launch James Gunn’s Ad Astra, an online resource for authors, scholars and all those who are interested in speculative fiction in the summer of 2012. The magazine will feature short fiction, poetry, reviews, and scholarly articles.
Fred Saberhagen’s papers have been donated to Northern Illinois University’s research collection. Saberhagen’s works included the Complete Book of Swords, The Dracula Tapes, and the Berserker series. Over the past several years, NIU has acquired the papers of numerous authors, including Jack McDevitt and Carol Emshwiller.
Artist Darrell K. Sweet (1934) died on December 5. Sweet was scheduled to be the artist guest of honor at LoneStarCon 3, the 2013 Worldcon and had been honored as the artist guest of honor at Tuckercon, the 2007 NASFiC, in St. Louis and at the 2010 World Fantasy Con. Sweet’s art appeared on numerous book covers over the years and was known for having an extremely high sell through rate. Some of his art was collected in the book Beyond Fantasy.
After a change in their printer, David Hartwell at the New York Review of Science Fiction is considering ceasing production of a print magazine, investigating the option of publishing a pdf issue of the magazine. He will continue to publish print issues through July 2012. NYRSF will not be accepting subscriptions past July until a decision on the magazine’s future has been made. Whatever choice is made, Hartwell is clear that the magazine will continue.
John Joseph Adams, who recently became the publisher of Lightspeed and Fantasy in addition to their editor has announced the two magazines will merge. The combined magazine will double the fiction content, including four science fiction and four fantasy in each issue, although the amount of non-fiction content will be decreased. The price of the magazine will be increasing by about $1 per issue.
Irish fan John Berry died on November 25, eighteen months after undergoing treatment for cancer. Berry entered organized fandom in 1954 after meeting Walt Willis. Over the years, he was involved in British club fandom and published several different fanzines. He ran for TAFF in 1958, losing to Ron Bennett, but the following year, Berry was the fan Guest of Honor at Detention, the Worldcon in Detroit. The following year, Berry was voted best fan writers in a poll conducted in the fanzine Skyrack. By 1962, Berry had gafiated, only returning to fandom after twenty years had passed.
D. West, the winner of the 2011 Rotsler Award for Fan Artist, sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, was announced at Loscon. Founded in 1998, the award comes with a $300 honorarium. Sample of West’s work was displayed at Loscon. West has previously won three FAAn Awards for Best Artist and has three Hugo nominations for best fan artist, in 1979, 1987, and 1999.