French author Henri-Richard Bessière (b.1923) died on December 22. Bessière, who began publishing under the name F. Richard-Bessière and later went by Richard Bessière, was the first author published by Fleuve Noir’s Anticipation line in 1951 and proceeded to publish 98 titles between 1951 and 1985. Bessière wrote three major series for Anticipation, the Professor Béac books, the Sydney Gordon books, and the Harry Stewart books, as well as numerous stand-alone novels. His work was discussed in English in the recent volume The Anticipation Novelists of 1950s French Science Fiction, by Bradford Lyau.
French author Louis Thirion (b.1923) died on December 9. Thirion published his first novel, Waterloo, morne plaine in 1964 and continued to publish for more than 40 years. In addition to his novels, he also wrote radio plays. Beginning in 1968, most of his fiction was published by Fleuve Noir, including his Jord Maogan series, Les Stols, Les Whums se vengent, Ysée-A, Sterga la noire, and Le Secret d’Ipavar. His work was often focused on eco-disasters and was dystopian in nature. In the 2000s, he published three historical novels.
The 2013 World Fantasy Convention, to be held in Brighton, England from October 31-November 3, 2013, has announced its first two guests, father and son authors Richard Matheson and Richard Christian Matheson. The elder Matheson is known for his novels I Am Legend, The Shrinking Man, and Bid Time Return. The younger Matheson has written numerous short stories and the novel Created By. The Toastmaster at WFC 2013 will be China Miéville.
OdysseyCon has announced the fifth annual OddContest, looking for 500 words or less of speculative prose poetry or flash fiction. Stories are due by January 15, 2012. There is a $10 entry fee for adults older than 18. Youths younger than 18 on January 1, 2012 may submit one story without the entry fee. The 2012 final judge will be Terry Garey. Winning poems/stories will be read at OddCon, published in the program, and posted on the OdysseyCon site and the top three finishers will receive a collection of books.
Fan James “Rusty” Hevelin (b.1922) died on December 27. Hevelin became active in fandom in the 1930s, publishing the apazine H-1661. He attended Denvention 1 before joining the army and serving in the South Pacific during World War II. Returning to fandom, Hevelin became a huckster and frequent con attendee, serving as a guest of honor at numerous cons, including Denvention 2, the 1981 Worldcon. He received the First Fandom Sam Mosckowitz Archive Award for collections and the Big Heart Award. Hevelin was a founder of Pulpcon.
Rusty Hevelin has entered end-of-life hospice care at the VA Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. His health has been in poor condition and last week reports emerged that Hevelin had lost all circulation to his legs. Hevelin is a long-time convention attendee and dealer. Hevelin became active in fandom in the 1930s and was the Fan Guest of Honor at Denvention 2 in 1981. Messages for Rusty can be left at Lorena Haldeman’s blog.
Australian actor Harold Hopkins (b.1944) died on December 11. Hopkins appeared in episodes of Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King, Beastmaster, Time Trax, and the film The Clinic.
Actress Susan Gordon (b.1949) died on December 11. Gordon’s film debut occurred in Attack of the Puppet, directed by her father, when the actress who had been cast became ill. She also appeared in The Twilight Zone episode “The Fugitive” and the films Picture Mommy Dead, Tormented, and The Boy and the Pirates.
Australian director Don Sharp (b.1922) died on December 18. Sharp directed and wrote numerous films, including The Kiss of the Vampire, Rasputin: The Mad Monk, Curse of the Fly, and Those Fantastic Flying Fools. Much of his work was done for Hammer Studios.
The Board of Directors for ConClave, Inc. and the ConClave concom have announced that the convention will not be held in 2012 due to a less than successful hotel search. The organization is still undergoing a comprehensive hotel search and expect to hold the convention again in 2013. The committee will also take the extra time to determine the direction future ConClaves will take given the changing demographics and technologies of fandom and science fiction. ConClave has been held annually in the Detroit area for thirty-six years.