Author and customer Adrienne Martine-Barnes (b.1942) died on July 23. Barnes published her first short story in 1982 and followed up with her first novel the same year. She collaborated with Marion Zimmer Bradley on three Darkover novels, with Diana L. Paxson on the Chronicles of Fionn mac Cumhal trilogy, and published the Chronique D’Avebury trilogy on her own. In 1979, Martine-Barnes attempted, but failed, to create Costume-Mania, a costuming weekend, but her vision eventually launched Costume-Con 1 in 1983.
The Association of Professional Futurists has announced the winners of the Most Significant Future Works for 2015 in three categories.
Advance the methodology and practice of foresight and futures studies
- The Thing from the Future
- Research Foresights: The Use of Strategic Foresight Methods for Ideation and Portfolio Management, by Ted Farrington, Keith Henson, & Christian Crews
Analyze a significant future issue
- Mutative Media: Communication Technologies and Power Relations in the Past, Present, and Futures, by James A. Dator, John A. Sweeney, and Aubrey M. Yee
Illuminate the future through literary or artistic works
- Byologic/Zed.TO, by Trevor Haldenby
- The Museum of Future Government Services
- Hieroglyph: Stories & Visions for a Better Future, edited by Kathryn Cramer, Ed Finn, and Neal Stephenson
The Smithsonian Institute has announced that it has successfully raised $550,000 via Kickstarter in order to preserve the spacesuit worn by Neil Armstrong during the first moonwalk. The Smithsonian is planning another Kickstarter to raise $700,000 to preserve the suit worn by Alan B. Shepard, Jr. on the first American manned launch.
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Fan Margaret Ford Keifer (b.1921) died on July 28. Keifer’s husband, Ben, was one of the founders of MidWestCon, and Keifer is the only person to have attended all 66 MidWestCons. A founding member of the Cincinnati Fan Group, Keifer was one of the administrators of the Don Ford Fund, named after her first husband, the chairman of Cinvention, which raised money to bring Jack Speer to Ditto 14/Fanhistoricon 11.
Filker Renee Alper (b.1957) died on July 27. In 1977, Alper founded The American Hobbit Association, almost single-handedly running the organization for 12 years. She also was the dramaturge for Ovation Theatre Company’s adaptations of The Lord of the Rings over a three year period. She has twice been nominated for the Pegasus Award and has produced several filk albums, including Wheelchair in High Gear and Thoracic Park. Alper won or placed in the OVFF Songwriting Contest a dozen times.
M. Lee Rogers has announced that ABC DeepSouthCon, the 2016 version of the event scheduled to be held in Roswell, GA, has been cancelled because a review of their finances has led them to believe that the event was not longer fiscally feasible. DeepSouthCon is a traveling con which is often connected to an existing con, although in 2016 it was going to be run as its own identity. It has been pointed out that ABC DeepSouthCon was scheduled to run the same weekend as Atlanta’s OutlantaCon. There are efforts being made to hold DeepSouthCon in conjunction with a different convention in 2016.
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NASA has announced that the Kepler Spacecraft has discovered a planet orbiting 1,400 light years away in the constellation Cygnus. The planet, designated Kepler-452b, is 60% wider than earth and has 5 times the Earth’s mass. It orbits its primary every 385 days within the “Goldilocks Zone” and is believed to have an atmosphere and may have oceans and continents.
Sasquan Special Guest Kjell Lindgren left for Sasquan yesterday aboard a Soyuz capsule which will carry him to the International Space Station, from which he will participate in Sasquan programming. Once Lindgren’s flight had cleared the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Sasquan arranged to cancel a contingency hotel room for Lindgren, apparently being the first time the Spokane Convention Visitor’s Bureau had ever received the reason “He’s in space” for a room cancellation, according to Sasquan Vice Chair Glenn Glazer.
Author E. L. Doctorow (b.1931) died on July 21. Not particularly known as a genre author, in 1976, Doctorow was nominated for the Nebula Award for his novel Ragtime, which would eventually be turned into a Broadway musical.
Actor Theodore Bikel (b.1924) died on July 20. Best known for creating the role of Captain von Trapp in the play The Sound of Music and performing in productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Bikel also had numerous genre roles, including Rabbi Koslov in an episode of Babylon 5, the voice of Aragorn in the Rankin-Bass Lord of the Rings, Sergey Rozhenko in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and more.