British fan Henry Newton (b.1944) died on February 18. Newton was a long-time convention attendee, who had stopped attending several years ago. In the 1980s, he helped found the Warrington Science Fiction group.
Inventor Petro Vlahos (b.1916) died on February 10. Vlahos arrived in Hollywood after World War II and helped create blue- and green-screen compositing, which was used in movies including Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. In 1964, he won an Oscar for his work on Mary Poppins and later served as a technical advisor for the film Battle Beyond the Stars.
Actor Peter Gilmore (b.1931) died on February 3. Gilmore appeared in Warlords of the Deep and The Abominable Dr. Phibes. He also appeared as Brazen in the Doctor Who serial “Frontios.” He began acting while in the army and achieved his greatest success on the televiison show The Onedin Line.
Art director James Plumeri (b.1933) died on February 2. Plumeri spent 15 years working for NAL before taking a position at Bantam Dell for another twenty years. At Bantam, he worked designing paperback covers, including those of Stephen King’s novels The Shining and Salem’s Lot.
Filker Sheila Willis died in late February or early March. Willis was part of the filk trio Technical Difficulties, which was the first group to win a Pegasus Award for Best Performer, in 1989. Willis also performed with Julia Ecklar.
Costumer Patti Paczolt (b.1952 Patricia Hochmuth) died on February 17. Paczolt worked in chemical technology and real estate and won multiple Worldcon costuming awards. A long time attendee at CostumeCon, her last convention was CostumeCon 28 in 2010. At various times she was known as Patti Gill and Patti Mercier.
Lifeline Theatre in Chicago is performing an adaptation of China Miéville’s Hugo Award-winning The City & The City through April 7. Miéville is scheduled to attend the March 16 performance and have a book signing and discussion following the performance.
Fan Judy Gerjuoy (b.1958) died on February 28. Gerjuoy, who also went by the name Jaelle of Armida, organized the first Darkover Grand Council Meeting in 1979 to celebrate the writing of Marion Zimmer Bradley, and continued to chair it
for several years until her death. She also had an interest in Medieval cookery and compiled a massive annotated bibliography of historical cooking. After getting married, Gerjuoy lived in Finland for several years.
Fan Richard E. Geis (b.1927) died on February 4. Geis published the Hugo Award winning fanzines Science Fiction Review and The Alien Critic. The former won the Hugo in 1969, 1970, 1977, and 1979, the latter in 1974 and 1975. Geis also won the Best Fan Writer Hugo on two occasions. Geis also published fiction, claiming to have been the author of 110 soft-core pornographic novels. Nearly all of Geis’s fannish activity was through his writings, he rarely attended science fiction conventions or club meetings, although in 1960 he was honored with a Fanquet by LASFS and was the Fan Guest of Honor at the first Orycon in 1979.