Nora Crook, a professor emerita at Anglia Ruskin University, has discovered a trove of 13 previously unknown letter written by Mary Shelley between 1831 and 1849. During that time, Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein in 1818, was suffering from a brain tumor near the end of that period, which is demonstrated by the change in her handwriting and the concerns voiced in the letters. The letters were written to Horace and Eliza Smith, who had been friends with Shelley’s husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, prior to his death.
YA author Ned Vizzini (b.1981) committed suicide on December 19. Vizzini’s first book, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, was a semi-autobiographical look at a teenager whose suicide attempt landed him in an institution. His second novel, Be More Chill, has science fictional elements in it and his third novel, The Other Normals, was an alternative fantasy. He also published a collection of essays and was working on a multi-book series with Chris Columbus.
J. K. Rowling has announced plans to produce a stage play based on her Harry Potter series. The play will focus on Harry’s life as an orphan growing up with the Dursley’s in the years before he was brought to Hogwarts. Rowling’s co-producers are Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, and although she says she’ll collaborate with the as yet unnamed author, she has said she will not be the play’s author.
Author Hugh Nissenson (b.1933) died on December 13. Nissenson was the author of numerous non-genre works and worked as a reporter, covering Adolph Eichmann’s 1961 trial for Commentary. His 2001 novel The Song of the Earth was a science fiction novel and a nominee for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. His short story “Forcing the End” appeared in Jack Dann’s anthology More Wandering Stars.
Author Colin Wilson (b.1931) died on December 5. In addition to numerous non-fiction works, Wilson wrote short stories set in the Cthulhu Mythos, the novel The Space Vampires, which was filmed as Lifeforce, and the Spider-World series. After his description of Lovecraft as a bad writer caused August Derleth to challenge him, Wilson wrote the novel The Mind Parasites. Following a stroke in 2012, Wilson lost his ability to speak.
Author and historian T. R. Fehrenbach (b.1925) died on December 1. Following his service in the Korean War, Fehrenbach turned to writing science fiction, although his best known works were historical. He published “Remember the Alamo!” in Analog in 1961 and “From the Tower of Eridu” in Lone Star Universe. Fehrenbach, who also wrote about the history of Texas, tended to use the initials “R. R.” for his science fiction.
SFWA has announced that Samuel R. Delany will be named the Damon Knight Grandmaster, with his induction occurring at the Nebula Award Weekend in San Jose, California the weekend of May 15-18, 2014. Delany is the author of Dhalgren, Babel-17, The Einstein Intersection, Nova, and numerous other novels and short stories.
Ed Kramer pleaded guilty to three of the six counts in the original indictment filed against him and has received a 20 year sentence of four five year terms to run concurrently with credit for time already served. Kramer will serve the remaining 36 months of his sentence under house arrest, has been ordered to pay $100,000 to each of his victims by July 2014, and is prohibited from interacting with anyone under the age of 16. Kramer was originally arrested in August 2000 on charges of child molestation.
Author Joel Lane (b.1963) died on November 25. Lane began publishing in 1986 with the short story “The Foggy, Foggy Dew.” He went on to publish several other stories as well as two novels. Lane won the British Fantasy Award for his collection The Earth Wire and Other Stories and for his short story “My Stone Desire.” His novella The Witnesses are Gone was a Shirley Jackson Award finalist.