The Speculative Literature Foundation has announced that it is accepting applications for the 2012 Older Writers Grant. A grant of $750 is available to any writer of speculative literature older than 50 who is just beginning to work professionally in the field. Applications are due on March 31 with the winner announced on June 1.
The application deadline for Clarion West is March 1, although there will be a $10 discount for applications received before February 10. This year’s session will run from June 17 to July 27. Instructors will include Mary Rosenblum, Hiromi Goto, George R.R. Martin, Connie Willis, Kelly Link
and Gavin Grant, and Chuck Palahniuk.
Following the announcement in December that Karen Meisner was leaving the fiction department at Strange Horizons, fiction editor Susan Marie Groppi, who has held that post for more than a decade, has announced that she will be stepping down, although retaining an advisory role. The magazine is currently looking for a new fiction editor, and will be temporarily closed to submissions.
Brazilian comic book artist Al Rio (b.1962) died on January 30, possibly a suicide. Rio, whose full name was Alvaro Araújo Lourenço do Rio, worked on Gen¹³, Dungeon Siege, X-Men Unlimited, and DV8. his art also appeared on album covers.
Author Ardath Mayhar (b.1930) died on February 1. Mayhar, who won the Balrog Award for a poem that appeared in Masques 1. She wrote more than 60 novels, frequently using pseudonyms and spanning many genres. In the 1990s, Mayhar and her husband owned The View From Orbit Bookstore in Nacogdoches, Texas. In 2008, she was chosen by Science Fiction Writers of America as their Author Emeritus.
DC Comics has announced plans to launch seven mini series detailing the lives and backgrounds of the characters of Watchmen. The ground-breaking 1980s series was originally written and conceived by Alan Moore, who will not be involved in the new books. The new series will be written by Brian Azzarello (Rorschach and The Comedian), J. Michael Straczynski (Dr. Manhattan and Nite Owl), Len Wein (Ozymandias), and Darwyn Cooke (Silk Spectre and The Minutemen).