Director and producer Tony Scott (b.1944) committed suicide on August 19 by leaping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, CA. Scott, the younger brother of Ridley Scott, is best known for directing Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop 2, but also has genre credits, including producing the film Prometheus and the television mini-series The Andromeda Strain. his current projects including the Medieval historical series World without End and the drama The Good Wife.
Kevin Standlee reports that René Walling has resigned as the chairman of the Hugo Award Marketing Committee. With an earlier resignation by Kate Kligman, this leaves the committee at three members with Standlee serving as acting president. Standlee invites anyone interested in serving on the committee in the future to contact him and plan on attending the meeting of the Mark Protection Committee at Chicon 7 on Thursday August 30 at 6:00 in the Wright Room.
Actor William Windom (b.1923) died on August 16. Windom appeared in episodes of The Greatest American Hero, The Wild Wild West, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, and many other genre television shows. Windom also appeared in several horror films. He won an Emmy Award for his starring role on the one-season television show My World and Welcome To It, based on the works of James Thurber.
Actor Biff Elliott (b.1923) died on August 15. Elliott appeared in the Star Trek episode “The Devil in the Dark” as well as episodes of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Planet of the Apes, and Starman. He also appeared in the feature film The Navy vs. the Night Monsters, based on Murray Leinster’s The Monster from Earth’s End.
Fan Tom Hise died on August 15 after a lengthy battle with lymphoma. Hise entered hospice earlier in the day. Since its founding at Chicon 2000, Hise was instrumental in the SFWA Musketeers, a group of SF authors who gave fencing demonstrations at Worldcons and regional conventions.
Actress Phyllis Thaxter (b.1921) died on August 15. Thaxter portrayed Martha Kent in the 1978 film Superman. She also appeared in an episode of The Twilight Zone, The Invaders, and Thriller.
SFWA Grand Master Harry Harrison (b.1925) died on August 15. Harrison is best known as the author of the Stainless Steel Rat and Deathworld series. he also created the character Bill, the Galactic Hero. In the 90s, he published The Hammer and Cross trilogy of alternate history novels. Harrison began working in the field as an illustrator for EC Comics and went on to write the Flash Gordon comic strip before becoming a successful prose author. In the late sixties and seventies, he turned his attention to editing anthologies, often with Brian W. Aldiss. Harrison was the guest of Honor at ConFiction, the 1970 Worldcon in The Hague, was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1990, and named Grand Master in 2009.
Comic book artist Joe Kubert (b.1926) died on August 12. Kubert began working in the comics in 1942. He began working for DC Comics and began an association with the character Hawkman in 1945. In the 1950s, he create the prehistoric character Tor, who he used at DC, Marvel, and Eclipse Comics. From 1967-1976, he worked at DC as Director of Publications. Kubert was inducted into the Harvey Awards’ Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1997 and Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998.
The English language Aurora Awards were presented at Canvention 32 the weekend of August 10. The Aurora Awards are presented for both English and French language works in Canada.
- Best Novel – English: Wonder, by Robert J. Sawyer
- Best Short Fiction – English: “The Needle’s Eye,” by Suzanne Church
- Best Poem / Song – English: “Skeleton Leaves,” by Helen Marshall
- Best Graphic Novel – English: Goblins, created by Tarol Hunt
- Best Related Work – English: On Spec, published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society
- Best Artist: Dan O’Driscoll
- Best Fan Publication: Bourbon and Eggnog, by Eileen Bell, Ryan McFadden, Billie Milholland, and Randy McCharles
- Best Fan Filk: Phil Mills, Body of Song-Writing Work including FAWM and 50/90
- Best Fan Organizational: Randy McCharles, founder and chair of When Words Collide
- Best Fan Other: Peter Watts, “Reality: The Ultimate Mythology” lecture
Author Adam Niswander (b.1946) died on August 12 in a VA nursing home. Niswander served two terms of duty in Vietnam before his discharge in 1970. In 1984, he opened Adam’s Bookstore, selling used and collectible books. he has published four volumes in the Shaman cycle as well as two stand-alone novels and several short stories.