Russian SF author Boris Strugatsky (b.1933) died on November 19. Strugatsky, worked at Russia’s main astronomical observatory in Pulkovo before he and his brother Arkady became full time science fiction authors. Their work included Roadside Picnic and Hard to Be a God. The brothers were guests of honor at Conspiracy 87, the 45th Worldcon in Brighton, UK. After his brother’s death in 1991, Boris published two more novels, although they did not achieve the success he had when writing with Arkady.
Barnes and Noble, which purchased e-publisher Fictionwise is 2009, has announced that it will be closing Fictionwise in December. U.S. Fictionwise customers will cease to have access to their Fictionwise Bookshelf through the site after December 21, 2012. Customers outside the U.S. will cease to have access to their Fictionwise Bookshelf through the site after January 31, 2013. Fictionwise customers will be notified of this and U.S. and U.K. customers will be given an opportunity to move their customer accounts, including their eBooks purchased at the Fictionwise websites, to a Barnes & Noble NOOK Library.
On November 20, Africa In Science Fiction will be held at the Southbank Centre in London. The first part of the program will be a panel discussion called “Universal Mind Control” and chaired by Toyin Agbetu. Other panelists will include Tosin Coker and Biram Mboob. The second part of the symposium will be called “Parable of the Talents” and is a film screening with a question and answer period with Joy Francis, Oladipo Agboluaje, and animator Kibwe Tavares. The event is being coordinated by Agbetu and Courttia Newland.
Voice actress Lucille Bliss (b.1916) died on November 8. Bliss provided the voice for Crusader Rabbit in the first season of the eponymously named show, the first cartoon made specifically for television. She continued to work, providing voices for Smurfette, Ms. Bitters (on Invader ZIM, and for numerous other projects including Star Wars video games and the film Robots. She got her start providing the voice for Anastasia in Cinderella and continued working until 2007. In 2000, she received the Winsor McCay Award.
Steven H Silver has announced his resignation as the publisher and editor of ISFiC Press. Silver helped found the press in 2004 and has overseen most aspects of it from production to fulfillment since 2003. Silver will work with ISFiC, the Press’s parent corporation, to develop a transition plan to make sure fulfillment and production continue. Under Silver’s guidance, ISFiC Press published 12 books, included Aurora winner Relativity, by Robert J. Sawyer and Hugo nominee Worldcon Guest of Honor Speeches, edited by Joe Siclari and Mike Resnick. ISFiC Press’s most recent books are Win Some, Lose Some: The Complete Hugo Award Winning (and Nominated) Short Science Fiction and Fantasy of Mike Resnick and Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots, by Seanan McGuire.
Boston fan Pam Fremon died on November 7. Fremon served as chair of Boskone twice, in 2002 and 2006, and also served several terms as Clerk of NESFA. In 1990, she was selected as a Fellow of NESFA. Fremon was in charge of signage for Noreascon 4 in 2005. She helped compile the Silverlock Companion, which was included in NESFA Press’s 2004 edition of John Myers Myers’s novel.
The Nova Award winners were announced the weekend of November 09 at Novacon. The Nova Awards are presented to recognize excellence in British fanzine publishing and writing.
- Fanzine: Banana Wings, edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
- Fanwriter: Mark Plummer
- Fanartist: (tie) D West and Sue Mason
Artist David Grove (b.1940) died on October 25 from emphysema. Grove began working on covers for a wide variety of publishers in the 1970s. In addition to covers, Grove also painted movie posters, including one of the Ray Bradbury-based Something Wicked This Way Comes, and artwork for advertising. He won his first art award before he was 7 and was inducted into the Illustration Hall of Fame in 2007 and had a retrospective show at the Society of Illustrators in New York earlier in 2012.
Author Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. (b.1950) died on November 7. O’Donnell published more than 70 short stories in magazines as diverse as Analog to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. He began publishing with “The Hand is Quicker” in 1973, with his first two novels published in 1979. O’Donnell was active in SFWA, chairing the Nebula Award Committee from 1990 until 1998, and acted as Business Manager of The Bulletin from October 1994 until July 1998. He served as Chairman of SFWA’s Grievance Committee for six years and in 2005 received the Service to SFWA Award.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch won this year’s Endeavour Award for her novel City of Ruins. The winner was announced at Orycon and the award comes with a $1,000 prize and an engraved glass plaque. The Endeavour Award was established to recognize works of SF by authors working and living in the Pacific Northwest. The judges for the 2011 Award were Gregory Benford, Lawrence M. Schoen, and Susan Shwartz.