Author Mary Stewart (b.1916) died on May 10. Stewart was best known for her Arthurian fantasies, such as The Crystal Cave and The Last Enchantment, but also wrote many other novels, including children’s books. Her novel The Moon-Spinners was made into a film by Disney.
Swiss artist H. R. Giger (b.1940) died on May 12. Giger was a surrealist painter, sculptor, and set designer, perhaps best known for his design of the creature from Alien. Known for a dark, Gothic style, he published the books Necronomicon and Necronomicon II and had his work appear in Omni and many other places. He was hired by Alejandro Jodorowsky to help with the design of Jodorowsky’s failed effort to bring Dune to the screen. There is a museum devoted to Giger’s works in Gruyères and he was elected to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013.
British artist Patrick Woodroffe (b.1940) died on May 12. Woodroffe painted nearly 100 covers for Corgi between 1973 and 1976. He collaborated with David Greenslade of The Pentateuch, a joint book and recording project which was displayed at the 1979 Worldcon in Brighton and went on to create numerous record covers.
Actor Leslie Carlson (b.1933) died on May 3. Carlson appeared in the remake of The Fly, The Neptune Factor, and episodes of The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, and Highlander. He was nominated for a genie award for his role in Videodrome.
Actress and director Nancy Malone (b.1935) died on May 8. Malone appeared in The Twilight Zone, Capricorn One, The Bionic Woman, and The Outer Limits. She later went on to direct episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. She was also the co-founder of organization Women in Film.
LASFS Fan David Wayne Keller (b.1961) died on May 7. Keller joined LASFS in 1987 and was also active in Doctor Who fandom, belonging to the Time Meddlers of Los Angeles, where he went by the name “The Brigadier.”
British scientist Colin Pillinger (b.1943) died on May 7. Pillinger was the force behind the Beagle 2 space probe sent to Mars in 2003, although the probe burned up in the Martian atmosphere. Prior to that Pillinger had worked studying samples brought back by Apollo 11.
Astronaut Bill Dana (b.1930) died on May 6. Dana served in the Air Force before joining NASA in 1958. From 1960 through 1962, he was a pilot astronaut in the U.S. Air Force X-20 Dyna-Soar program and eventually flew the X-15 into space in 1966 and 1968, although as a pilot he didn’t receive astronaut wings. NASA eventually gave him his wings in 2005. He remained with NASA in various capacities for several years and is not the comedian of the same name who created astronaut character José Jimenez.
New York fan Don O’Shea died on May 3. O’Shea was active in New York fandom, helping to run the dealer’s room at Icon for several years.
Artist Dick Ayers (b.1924) died on May 4. Ayers started inking comics in the 1940s and in 1949 co-created Ghost Rider with Ray Krank. After the copyright expired, he re-created a less horror-inspired Ghost Rider for Marvel along side Roy Thomas and Gary Friedrich. He went on to ink several covers for Marvel and won the Alley Award for Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandoes. Ayers was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2007.