Author Stepan Chapman (b.1951) died on January 27. Chapman began publishing short fiction in 1969 when his story “Testing…One, Two, Three, Four” appeared in Analog. He continued to publish short fiction and an occasional poem throughout his career, collected in Danger Music and Dossier. Chapman published his only novel, the Philip K. Dick Award winning The Troika, in 1997.
Comic store owner Gary Arlington (b.1938) died on January 16 of heart failure. Arlington opened the San Francisco Comic Book Company in 1968 and it quickly became a focal point for up-and-coming underground comic book authors and artists, including R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, and Ron Turner. Arlington’s store may have been the first store dedicated to selling only comics.
Producer Arthur Rankin, Jr. (b.1924) died on January 30. Rankin partnered with Jules Bass to form Rankin/Bass, an animation company known for their Christmas specials, including Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. Some of their more standard SF/F fare included adaptations of The Last Unicorn, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings. He also produced Thundercats.
Director Gordon Hessler (b.1930) died on January 19. Hessler got his start working for Alfred Hitchcock and went on to direct The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, a couple episodes of Wonder Woman, Cry of the Banshee, Murders in the Rue Morgue, and an episode of Tales of the Unexpected. He also served as a producer on Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Japanese voice actor Ichirō Nagai (b.1931) died on January 27. Nagai provided voices for numerous television shows, video games, and films, including Kinnikuman: Showdown! The 7 Justice Supermen vs. The Space Samurais, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Space Battleship Yamato, and Kingdom Hearts.
Actress Alexandra Bastedo (b.1946) died on January 12. She appeared in The Champions, The Starlost and Batman Begins as well as the 1967 version of Casino Royale.
Actor Jerome Willis (b.1928) died on January 11. Willis portrayed Captain Rexton Podly in Space Precinct and Stevens in the Doctor Who serial “The Green Death.” He also had roles in the films Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and Lifeforce.
China’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover, also known as Yutu, suffered a potentially mission ending breakdown which prevents it from hibernating during the 14-day long lunar night. If it does not enter hibernation mode, the rover may cease to function. The Chinese space agency issued a light-hearted news release, written as if by the rover, to announce the issue.
The nominees for the BSFA Award have been announced. The winners will be announced in a ceremony at Satellite4 Eastercon in Glasgow Sunday on April 20. BSFA Prize-winners will receive a BSFA trophy. The James White Award will also announce the winner at the ceremony.
- God’s War, by Kameron Hurley
- Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
- Evening’s Empires, by Paul McAuley
- Ack-Ack Macaque, by Gareth L. Powell
- The Adjacent, by Christopher Priest
Best Short Fiction
- Spin, by Nina Allan
- “Selkie Stories are for Losers,” by Sofia Samatar
- “Saga’s Children,” by E. J. Swift
- “Boat in the Shadows Crossing,” by Tori Truslow
- Cover for Tony Ballantyne’s Dream London, by Joey Hi-fi
- Poster for Metropolis, by Kevin Tong
- “The Angel at the Heart of the Rain,” by Richard Wagner
- Wonderbook, by Jeff VanderMeer
- “Going Forth by Night,” by John J. Johnston
- “Sleeps with Monsters,” by Liz Bourke
Kate DiCamillo’s Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures won the John Newbery Medal, presented by the Association for Library Service to Children. The award, given each year since 1922 is considered to be one of the most prestigious honors in children’s literature.