Voice actor Joe Alaskey (b.1952) died on February 3. Alaskey is best known for voicing many of the Warner Brothers cartoon characters following Mel Blanc’s death. He also did voice work for the animated Back to the Future, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Men in Black: The Series, and Extreme Ghostbusters, among others.
Science fiction author Jeff VanderMeer will serve as author-in-residence at the Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges for the 2016-7 academic year. In his role there, VanderMeer will teach a Fall semester class and work with selected students during the Spring smemester. In addition, VanderMeer will reading and lecture, participate in a service event for the greater Geneva community and curate a reading series featuring Dexter Palmer, Ottessa Moshfegh and a third writer to-be-announced. The Residency is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing.
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The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts has announced the winners of its 2016 awards and has also announced that the Graduate Student Award will be re-named the David G. Hartwell Emerging Scholar Award, after the late David G. Hartwell. The winner of the Hartwell Award will be announced later.
- Crawford Award: The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, by Kai Ashante Wilson
- IAFA Distinguished Scholarship Award: Cristina Bacchilega
- Jamie Bishop Memorial Award: Natacha Vas-Deyres and Patrick Bergeron
- Walter James Miller Memorial Award: Kristy Eager
The 2016 World Fantasy Convention has announced that Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, and L. E. Modesitt, Jr. will be their Guests of Honor. At the same time, the convention released its harassment policy, based on the policy used by the 2014 World Fantasy Con in Washington, as well as its accessibility policy. Both policies were released a day after a rate increase and after many on-line complaints.
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Genre work wasn’t entirely shut-out at this year’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, but none of the major awards went to actors in genre roles. Genre only took home the trophy in the two Stunt categories.
- Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble (television): Game of Thrones
- Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble (film): Mad Max: Fury Road
Actor Frank Finlay (b.1926) died on January 31. Finlay appeared as Porthos in Richard Lester’s The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers, and The Return of the Musketeers. More genre-specific work included Lifeforce, Count Dracula, Merlin, and the television adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Johnny and the Bomb.
British filker Joe Raftery died on January 29. Raftery debuted his first filk song at the 1979 Worldcon in Brighton before gafiating until 2000, when he attended FilkContinental. Following his reintroduction to fandom, Raftery became a regular at filk meet ups and was nominated for the Pegasus Award in 2007 for his role in the n’Early Music Consort. He served on the committee for HarmUni2. Raftery was married to Gwen Knighton, Sister Emeritus of Three Weird Sisters.
Musician Paul Kantner (b.1941) died on January 28. Kantner is best known as one of the founding members of the band Jefferson Airplane, as well as its short-lived spin-off Jefferson Starship. In 1971, Kantner was nominated for the Hugo Award for the Jefferson Starship album Blows Against the Empire, the first time a rock album had been nominated.
Fan Dave Marquart (b.1956) died on January 14. Marquart was active in fandom during and immediately after his college years, helping to establish ChUSFA while a student at University of Illinois. He continued to attend conventions for some time, although his participation in fandom decreased as life issues took center stage.