Art director Leonard P. Leone, Sr. (b.1921) died on July 1. Leone served as art director for Bantam Books from 1955 through 1984. During his tenure there, he hired artist James Bama to create a new look for the classic character Doc Savage, which resulted in Savage’s now-iconic widow’s peak. Leone took an active role in his work with artists who included, in addition to Bama, Boris Vallejo, John Berkely, and Vincent DiFate.
Czech SF magazine XB-1 has announced that it will cease publication with their June issue. XB-1 was founded in 2010 following the demise of Ikarie, however, it has fallen afoul of the current economic crisis, along with a lack of advertisers. The magazine published original stories as well as translations of English language stories.
Agent John A. Ware (b. c.1942) died on April 27. He began his career as an editor at Doubleday for eight years before joining Curtis Brown as an agent. He left Curtis Brown in 1978 and formed his own agency, The John A. Ware Agency, which represented Tony Daniel and Jack Womack. Some of his non-fiction authors include Jon Krakauer and Jennifer Niven. While at Doubleday, Ware taught an industry-wide editorial workshop at NYU for seven years.
Editor Jerry Wright (b.1946) died on May 9 after a battle with cancer. Wright was one of the founding editors and publishers of the webzine Bewildering Stories in 2002. Wright has written poetry and reviews in addition to publishing Bewildering Stories.
After twenty years of editing Spectrum Fantastic Art Annual, Cathy and Arnie Fenner have announced their plans to turn the book over to John Fleskes, of Flesk Publications, with volume 21. Fleskes will handle the judging process and publication of the annual book.
Two awards were presented at DeepSouthCon 51 (combined with JordanCon) on April 20. The Rebel Award is presented to a fan who has done things for Southern fandom and the Phoenix Award is for an SF professional who has done things for Southern fandom.
- Rebel Award: Mike Rogers and Regina Kirby
- Phoenix Award: Robert Jordan
The Rubble Award, for the person doing to most to Southern Fandom, was bestowed upon Atlanta fan Pat Gibbs, who frequently manages DeepSouthCon’s Hearts competition.
Night Shade Books has announced that it will be closing their magazine Eclipse Online effective immediately. All stories in inventory are being released. The online version of Strahan’s anthology series was launched in October 2012 and included stories by Christopher Rowe, Eleanor Arnason, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Lavie Tidhar, Susan Palwick, and E. Lily Yu. According to the publisher, all stories have been paid for and no new ones will be considered.
Publishers Weekly has announced that Night Shade Books is in sale negotiations with Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing to sell its assets, including titles under contract. The press has had financial difficulties for several years, and recently let editor Ross Lockhart go. Several of their authors have also left the company. At the same time, SFWA, which has been working with Night Shade Books for several years, including a probationary period, has announced the press will be delisted as a qualifying market.
Art director James Plumeri (b.1933) died on February 2. Plumeri spent 15 years working for NAL before taking a position at Bantam Dell for another twenty years. At Bantam, he worked designing paperback covers, including those of Stephen King’s novels The Shining and Salem’s Lot.
French editor Jacques Sadoul (b.1934) died on January 18. Worked as an editor for Editions Opta and J’ai Iu, working to bring Anglophonic science fiction to France as well as publishing French authors. He founded the Prix Apollo and also published Histoire de la science fiction moderne in 1973.