Judy Newton, the President of the Washington Science Fiction Association, was hospitalized on February 8 after suffering an heart attack. She is scheduled to undergo bypass surgery on February 10.
Fan Todd Frazier (b.1952) was found dead in his apartment on the morning of February 9. From the 1990s, Frazier was an assistant editor for Ed Meskys’s fanzine Niekas and in 2007, Belknap Mill had an exhibit of Meskys and Frazier’s art collections. Frazier was a frequent attendee of Boskone and Readercon, as well as worldcons.
Author Michael A. Burstein has announced the formation of an Exploratory Committee to consider seeking the Democratic nomination to represent Massachussett’s 4th Congressional District, currently represented by Barney Frank, who has announced his resignation at the end of his current term. Burstein, who has been nominated for 10 Hugo Awards, has served three terms as a trustee for the Brookline (MA) Public Library.
Astronaut Janice Voss (b.1956) died on February 6 after a battle with breast cancer. Voss served as a mission specialist on five space shuttle missions between 1993 and 2000. Flying two missions each on Endeavour and Columbia and one on Discovery. Following her in-space career, Voss worked as the Science Director for the Kepler Space Observatory and Payloads Lead of the Astronaut Office Station Branch.
Engineer Roger Boisjoly (b.1938) died on January 6. Boisjoly worked for Morton Thiokol in 1986 and warned NASA that due to falling temperatures, the O-Rings on the space shuttle Challenger could undergo a catastrophic failure and urged for them to cancel the flight. The next day, his predictions came true when Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight.
Actor S. William Hinzman (b.1936) died after a battle with cancer on February 5. Hinzman made his debut in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead where he was the first zombie on screen and subsequently made a career out of playing zombies. He had the title role in 1988′s Flesheaster, and often was cast in roles like “The Experienced Zombie” and “Romero the Zombie.”
SFX announced the winners of the SFX Awards at the SFX Weekender 3 on February 4. The awards are a mix of reader voted awards and awards given by a jury. The Elisabeth Sladen Award is a new category which was added in memory of Elisabeth Sladen. It will be given for contributions to children’s sf/f in any media.
- Best Film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
- Best Director: Matthew Vaughn for X-Men: First Class
- Best Comic: The Walking Dead
- Best Novel: A Dance with Dragons, by George R. R. Martin
- Best TV Show: Doctor Who
- Best New Show: Game of Thrones
- Best Actor: Matt Smith for Doctor Who
- Best Actress: Alex Kingston for Doctor Who
- Biggest Disappointment: No cameo for Stan Lee in X-Men: First Class
SFX Team Choice Awards
- Outstanding Literary Contribution: Brian W. Aldiss
- Screenwriting Excellence: Neil Gaiman for Doctor Who “The Doctor’s Wife”
- Breakout: Joe Gilgun for Misfits
- Living Legend: Brian Blessed
- Elisabeth Sladen Award: The Sarah Jane Adventures
- Lifetime Achievement: John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra
- Hope for the Future: Dirk Gently
- Phenomenon: Merlin
Actor Ben Gazzara (b.1930) died on February 3. Gazzara, who was perhaps best known for his non-genre roles in Anatomy of a Murder and Run for Your Life, also appeared in a handful of horror, fantasy, and sf films, including Believe, The Neptune Factor, Too Tired to Die, and Christopher Roth.
British fan and author Samuel Youd (b.1922) died on February 3. Youd, who published fiction under the name John Christopher among others, wrote “The Tripods” series and “The Sword of the Spirit” trilogy. He became active in fandom in the post-war years and began publishing fiction in 1949. He won the Guardian Award in 1971.