Obituary: Mark Owings

Bibliographer Mark Owings (b.1945) died on December 30 from pancreatic cancer. Owings worked with Jack Chalker to publish The Index to the Science-Fantasy Publishers and The Revised H.P. Lovecraft Bibliography. Owings was also the publisher of Croatan House, in conjunction with Chalker and Ted Pauls. Owings was a founder of BSFS, served as con chair for Balticon multiple times, and served as the Chair of the Compton Crook Award committee.

  1. Ned Brooks — December 31, 2009 @ 12:19 am

    The Electric Bibliographer…. I had no idea he was even ill. I have a lot of the obscure fiction that he transcribed and distributed on 5-inch floppies. He was one of the first fans I met when I started going to cons back in the early 60s. My condolences to the family.

  2. Eva Whitley — December 31, 2009 @ 1:19 am

    AFAIK, Mark wasn’t the publisher of Mirage Press, Jack and Bill Osten were. Mark did do bibliographic work for Mirage.

  3. Steven H Silver — December 31, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    Eva- Thanks for the correction. I misread a comment about Mirage in preparing this piece. I’ve updated the notice.

  4. Steve Miller — December 31, 2009 @ 11:26 am

    This is quite a shock — another on-going conversation not quite finished, another reference not quite tied down. A sad day, indeed.

  5. Charles Owings — December 31, 2009 @ 11:27 am

    Even though I had not seen my uncle in several years I have some fond memories and many of his old books and pulications. I offer my love and prayers to his wife Jules.

  6. Darrell Schweitzer — December 31, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

    This is a great shock! Mark was a friend, and someone whose company I have enjoyed and looked forward to as long as I have been attending conventions. He seemed timeless! I too never knew he was ill. He was more than just a bibliographer. He was a person of considerable wit and intelligence, and an enthusiastic amateur of science fiction in the finest sense. He was also a resource, probably our greatest expert in really obscure science fiction and fantasy. He was the kind of guy to whom you could go for the definitive answer was to whether WEREWOLF VS. VAMPIRE WOMAN really was the worst SF book of all time, because he not only knew what you were talking about, but had actually read it. He will be missed! — Darrell Schweitzer

  7. Ray Ridenour — January 2, 2010 @ 1:28 am

    I’m very sorry to hear this. I’ve known Mark since the 60’s as well. A terrific person and a great story teller. He and Jules have always
    helped and supported fans everywhere. An enthusiast for knowledge and humor. Conventions won’t seem the same.

  8. Gregory Frost — January 2, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

    I was just informed of this by Ray Ridenour, who called Mark “the friendly sage.” I couldn’t put it better, and I’m most sorry to learn of his passing.

  9. Eva Whitley — January 4, 2010 @ 10:02 am

    I realize I’m picking at nits here (but what *else* would you do with nits?) but Mark’s widow is Jul, not Jules, and Mark almost always referred to her by her full name, Julann. I’m sad at the thought I will never hear Mark address her as “Julann, my love” as he inevitably did.

  10. Miriam Winder Kelly — January 5, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

    There will be a remembrance of Mark at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society Building, 3310 E. Baltimore STreet on Wednesday 1/6/2010, 5 to 9 PM. Come and bring your stories.

    On Friday, 1/8/2010, there will be a funeral at 10 AM, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 36th ST. and Chestnut Ave.

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Owings Memorial Fund c/o B.S.f.S., P.O. Box 686
    Baltimore, MD 21203-0686

  11. pat potts — February 17, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

    I was so sorry to get this news. Mark was not only a wit and an authority on so many things but was a kind and gentle spirit. We didn’t stay too much in touch over the years but I always knew the world was a better place because he was in it. My heart goes out to Jul who has to endure this profound loss.