Actor John Kerr (b.1931) died on February 2. Kerr may be best known for his roles in South Pacific amnd Tea and Sympathy, but he also appeared in an episode of the 1970s television series The Invisible Man and played Francis Bernard opposite Vincent Price in The Pit and the Pendulum.
Fan Robert Briggs (b.1930) died on February 5. Briggs was one of the founding members of the Washington Science Fiction Society. He became the first Vice President of the Washington Science Fiction Association when the group changed its name and he went on to chair the first three Disclaves.
Editor Anne Devereaux Wilson Jordan Crouse (b.1943) died on February 2. In 1973, she founded the Childnre’s Literature Association, which has named its award for outstanding contributions in her name. As Anne Jordan, Crouse worked as an editor for Fantasy and Science Fiction under Ed Ferman from 1979-89. Her poetry appeared in several different SF magazines.
In 2011 and 2012, two new moons were discovered in orbit around Pluto. Called P4 and P5, the scientists who discovered the moons have put up a poll asking internet users to select from one of twelve names (or to write in a suggestion) as to what the moons should be called. The choices, all of which have a mythical tie to the underworld, are Acheron, Alecto, Cerberus, Erebus, Eurydice, Hercules, Hypnos, Lethe, Obol, Orpheus, Persephone, and Styx.
Science fiction fan and singer Janis Ian won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word on February 10 for the audio version of her autobiography Society’s Child: My Autobiography. She beat former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, Rachel Maddow, and Ellen Degeneres to take home second Grammy Award (she has been nominated nine times). In addition to her music, Ian has written short stories and edited an anthology, has performed at the Nebula Awards and has attended the Worldcon multiple times.
Actor Robin Sachs (b.1951) died on February 1, shortly before his 62nd birthday. Sachs appeared in numerous genre films and television shows, including playing Ethan Rayne on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Na’Tok and Na’Kal on Babylon 5, Sarris in Galaxy Quest, the voice of the Silver Surfer on the animated Fantastic Four. Sachs got his start in the 1972 film Vampire Circus.
Nancy A. Collins and others have called for a boycott of Dragon*Con, the Atlanta multi-media convention held over Labor Day weekend, due to shareholder Ed Kramer receiving a reported annual dividend from the company of more than $150,000. Kramer, a founder of the convention, was first arrested in 2000 on child molestation charges which have yet to come to trial.
Disney has announced that J. J. Abrams will direct Star Wars episode VII, scheduled for release in 2015. They’ve also announced that in addition to the sequel trilogy, they will be releasing films based on individual characters, with the first two films following a young Han Solo and Boba Fett, respectively. The Solo film will be set prior to the events of the original Star Wars film while the Fett film will take place concurrent with the original trilogy. No actors or directors, have been announced for either project, but Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan are involved in the scripts for both the trilogy and stand-alone projects. Kasden was also involved with the script for The Empire Strikes Back.
SFWA has announced that it will rename the Service to SFWA Award presented during the Nebula Award Weekend in honor of Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. The Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award will be presented to members for their outstanding work on behalf of the organization. O’Donnell, who died on November 7, 2012, received the award in 2005.
Edward E. Marsh has donated of the collection of science fiction and fantasy to San Diego State University’s Love Library. The first portion of the collection is valued at more than $2.25 million and contains movie props, original book cover art, literary contracts, and autographs. Most of the books are signed first editions. A new room to house the collection will be built.