Author Eva Ibbotson (b.Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner 1925) died on October 20. Ibbotson published her first novel, The Great Ghost Rescue in 1975 and went on to publish The Secret of Platform 13, The Star of Kazan, and The Beasts of Clawstone Castle. She won the Nestle Smartie Award in 2001 for her novel Journey to the River Sea.
Actor Johnny Sheffield (b.1931) died on October 15. Sheffield is best known for appearing as Tarzan’s son in eight films during the 1940s opposite Johnny Weismuller. Following his Tarzan films, Sheffield attempted to capitalize on his fame with his own series of jungle films as Bomba, the Jungle Boy, a series which ran from 1949 through 1955 when Sheffield retired from acting.
Publisher Bob Guccione (b.1930) died on October 20. Guccione is best known for founding Penthouse magazine and his funding for the 1979 film Caligula, but in the science fiction world he will be best remembered for founding Omni Magazine (and later Omni Online), which ran plenty of original science fiction under the editorships of Ben Bova, Robert Sheckley, and Ellen Datlow.
AE is the title of a new on-line science fiction magazine scheduled to begin publication later this month. The magazine’s title is a tribute to Canadian SF author A.E. van Vogt and is a professional-paying market. Currently, the magazine is only accepting submissions from Canadian authors, although they plan to expand to international submissions in the future.
The Odyssey Writing Workshop will be offering a series of on-line workshops following the success of last year’s offerings. This year’s workshops will include Three-Act Structure in Fantastic Fiction (January 5-February 2 with Jeanne Cavelos), Worldbuilding in Fantastic Fiction (January 12-26 with Melissa Scott), and Writing in Scenes (February 9-23 with Nancy Kress).
The SF Playhouse in San Francisco will be hosting the West Coast debut of the new musical Coraline, based on Neil Gaiman’s novel. The musical features a book by Gaiman and music by Stephin Merritt. It will be directed by Bill English and is scheduled to run from November 16-January 15.
The First Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize was presented in Odense, Denmark, the birthplace of the fabulist, on October 19 to J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. The award includes a 5000 kroner prize and is given for work that can be compared to that of Andersen. The prize is distinct from the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, which was presented earlier this year.
Actor Tom Bosley (b.1927) died on October 19. Bosley is best known for his role as Howard Cunningham on Happy Days, but he appeared in several genre television shows including Night Gallery, Bewitched, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker (and, of course, the Mork episodes of Happy Days). He also created the role of Maurice in the Broadway version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Mary E. Stubbs (b.1923) died on October 9. Stubbs was married to Harry C. Stubbs, who was better known in the science fiction community as Hal Clement, and who also painted under the name George Richard.
Publisher Warren Lapine has announced the closing of Realms of Fantasy. Lapine notes that the worsening economic climate has made continuing the magazine impossible at this time and has released any stories still held by the magazine. The December issue of the magazine will be placed on the Realms of Fantasy website for download. Lapine’s Tir Na Nog Press purchased the magazine in March 2009 after Sovereign Media announced the magazine’s closure in January of 2009.