Actor Ralph Waite (b.1928) died on February 13. Best known for portraying John Walton on The Waltons, he also appeared in the television series Carnivàle and episodes of The Outer Limits and Time Trax. His film work included the alternate history film Timequest, Crash and Burn, and Spirit.
Camera operator Suzy Zeffren-Rauch (b.Suzy Zeffren, 1970) died on February 12. Zeffren-Rauch began working for Disney Studios as a camera department coordinator on Beauty and the Beast in 1991 and went on to work on animated films including Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet. Following her work on Chicken Little, she moved to the film & digital services department.
Comedian Sid Caesar (b.1922) died on February 12. Caesar was best known for his work on Your Show of Shows. While he was primarily a comedian, appearing in films like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Caesar did have some genre credits, including The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, based on the Ray Bradbury story, Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I and an appearance in an episode of Brooks’ Robin Hood series When Times Were Rotten, as well as Amazing Stories and The Munsters’ Revenge.
Director Christopher Barry (b.1925) died on February 7. Barry directed more than 40 episodes of Doctor Who, beginning with the first two episodes that introduced the Daleks in the first season through the 1979 serial “The Creature from the Pit.” Other genre work included The Tripods, The Man in the White Suit, Moonbase 3, and Out of the Unknown.
Detcon1, this year’s North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFIC), has announced Nnedi Okorafor as their Young Adult Author Guest of Honor. Okorafor debut novel, the YA book Zahrah the Windseeker won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. Detcon1 will be putting a special focus on YA literature at the convention. In addition to having Ms. Okorafor as a guest, Detcon1 will also present two awards for YA and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction in a joint ceremony with the 2014 Golden Duck Awards.
Author and illustrator Mark E. Rogers (b.1952) died of an apparent heart attack on February 2 while hiking. Rogers was best known for the Samurai Cat books, which began with The Adventures of Samurai Cat. Other novels included The Dead, Zorachus, and the Zancharthus trilogy. His novella “The Runestone” was adapted into a film of the same title starring Peter Riegert and Samurai Cat was made into the video game The Bridge of Catzad-Dum. Rogers appeared on trading card 31 issued by the Chicago in 2000 Worldcon bid. Rogers is survived by his wife Kate, his children, Sophia, Jeanette, Patrick and Nicholas, his granddaughter Indigo Dahlia, and his sister, Lois.
ETA: apparent cause of death and survivors.
The judges for the 2014 World Fantasy Awards, for work published in 2013, have been announced. Works should be sent to them prior to June 1, the earlier the better. The judges are Andy Duncan, Kij Johnson, Oliver Johnson, John Klima, and Liz Williams. The Awards will be presented at this year’s World Fantasy Con in Crystal City, VA the weekend of November 6-9.
Oscar winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (b.1967) was found dead in his New York apartment on February 2. Hoffman, who won an Academy Award for Capote, appeared in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games series, portrayed a character based on L. Ron Hubbard in The Master, and appeared in The Invention of Lying.
Oscar winning actor Maximilian Schell (b.1930) died on February 1. Schell won the Oscar for his role in Judgment at Nuremberg, but appeared in several genre films, including The Black Hole, Vampires, Phantom of the Opera, and Deep Impact. Schell’s first Hollywood role occurred by accident, when the producers of The Young Lions reached out to his sister, Maria, and connected with him by mistake.
Author Stepan Chapman (b.1951) died on January 27. Chapman began publishing short fiction in 1969 when his story “Testing…One, Two, Three, Four” appeared in Analog. He continued to publish short fiction and an occasional poem throughout his career, collected in Danger Music and Dossier. Chapman published his only novel, the Philip K. Dick Award winning The Troika, in 1997.