Obituary: Marty Burke

Filker Marty Burke died on April 4. Burke was a member of the Dorsai Irregulars and wrote the songs “Rise and Strike for Dorsai” and “Drink to the Health of the Dorsai,” which won the Pegasus Award for Best Dorsai Song in 2007. Burke served as a president of the Michigan Astrological Research Society and was a student of Catholic Christian Rosicrucian mysticism. Burke and his wife, Diana Gallagher, were Super Secret Guests as GAFilk in 2003.

Obituary: Ann Cecil

Pittsburgh fan Ann Cecil (b.1940) died on January 11, a couple of days after entering hospice. Cecil was active in convention-running, having co-founded PARSEC, Confluence, SouthWrites, and the Pittsburgh Filk Underwriting Initiative. She was the Listener Guest at OVFF 12 and Fan Guest of Honor at Off-Key Contraption in 1994.

Elise Matthesen Suffers Minor Stroke

Minneapolis fan Elise Matthesen suffered a minor stroke on January 4 while visiting Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. After suffering a sudden impairment of vision accompanied by a strong and lateralized headache, Teresa called an ambulance. Matthesen is recuperating and appears as if she will make a full recovery.

For more information…

Pegasus Awards

The Pegasus Awards were presented at the Ohio Valley Filk Festival (OVFF) the weekend of October 22-24. The winners are listed below.

  • Best Filk Song: “A Thousand Ships,” by Ju Honisch / Katy Dröge-Macdonald
  • Best Classic Filk Song: “Fire In The Sky,” by Jordin Kare
  • Best Performer: S. J. Tucker
  • Best Writer/Composer: Heather Dale
  • Best Mad Science Song: “What A Woman’s For,” by Seanan McGuire
  • Best Magic Song: “Where The Magic Is Real,” by Paul Kwinn

For more information…

Pegasus Nominations

The Pegasus Award nominations have been announced by Erica Neely. The Pegasus Awards are given out for excellence in filk and are presented at OVFF the weekend of October 22 in Worthington, Ohio. Anyone with an interest in filk may vote for the awards.

Best Song

  • “Gabriel Gray’s Song,” by Batya Wittenberg
  • “Here Be Cartographers,” by Ben Newman
  • “Small Designs,” by Barry Childs-Helton
  • “Take It Back,” by Kathleen Sloan
  • “A Thousand Ships,” by Katy Droege-Macdonald and Juliane Honisch

Best Classic Song

  • “Dragon For Sale,” by Ben Newman
  • “Fire in the Sky,” by Jordin Kare
  • “I Am Stardust,” by Lloyd Landa
  • “Ship of Stone,” by Don Simpson
  • “Will Ye Come Back Home?,” by Mike Richards

Best Performer

  • Play It With Moxie
  • Playing Rapunzel
  • S.J. Tucker
  • Sassafrass
  • Toyboat

Best Writer/Composer

  • Barry Childs-Helton
  • Heather Dale
  • W. Randy Hoffman
  • S.J. Tucker
  • Batya Wittenberg

Best Magic Song

  • “Die Puppen [The Dolls],” by Eva Van Daele-Hunt
  • “Like Their Feet Have Wings,” by Gwen Knighton
  • “Magnus Retail,” by Mary Crowell
  • “Pharmakoia,” by W. Randy Hoffman
  • “Where the Magic is Real,” by Paul Kwinn

Best Mad Science Song

  • “Dawn of the Day Before the Time of the Land the Lost Dinosaurs Forgot to Remember,” by Rand Bellavia/Adam English
  • “Evil Overlords Anonymous,” by Jessica Stevenson/Alasdair Prett
  • “Mad Science Cafe,” by Brooke Lunderville
  • “Mad Scientist’s Love Song,” by Gary McGath
  • “What a Woman’s For,” by Seanan McGuire

For more information…

Filk Hall of Fame Inductees

Three new members were added to the Filk Hall of Fame at FilkOntario. The Filk Hall of Fame honors performers and organizers. It was founded in 1995. Nominees are suggested by members of fandom and the winners are selected by a panel of judges from a variety of filk conventions.

The 2010 inductees are

  • Mike Whitaker
  • Kristoph Klover
  • Jan DiMasi

For more information…

Baen-mas Song Contest

Baen is sponsoring a contest asking readers to re-write holiday songs to refer to Baen authors, books, or characters. They ask that all songs be PG-13 or better and that entries include the title of the original song. The winner will have his/her entry rendered by the staff at Baen Books, with video posted online. Judges are the editors of Baen Books. Entries will be judged on originality, sophisticated word play (okay, puns) and overall fun factor. The contest runs from now through mid-January.

To enter, send e-mail to

For more information…

Pegasus Winners

This year’s Pegasus Award winners for achievement in filk were announced at OVFF over the weekend.

  • Best Filk Song: “The Wreck of the Crash of the Easthill Mining Disaster,” by Brooke Lunderville
  • Best Classic Filk Song: “Still Catch the Tide,” by Talis Kimberley
  • Best Performer: Heather Dale / Ben Deschamps
  • Best Writer/Composer: Vixy & Tony
  • A Little Bit Country: “Stray Dog Man,” by Bill Sutton
  • A Little Bit Rock and Roll: “Six-String Love,” by Vixy & Tony

For more information…

Pegasus Nominations

The ballot for this year’s Pegasus Awards, given for Best Filk, has been announced. Ballots must be received no later than midnight on October 19. The winners will be announced at Ohio Valley Filk Fest (OVFF) the weekend of October 22-25.

Best Filk Song

  • “Gabriel Gray’s Song,” by Batya Wittenberg
  • “One Small Boat,” by Marilisa Valtazanou
  • “Take It Back,” by Kathleen Sloan
  • “A Thousand Ships,” by Katy Dröge-Macdonald and Ju Honisch
  • “The Wreck of the Crash of the Easthill Mining Disaster,” by Brooke Lunderville

Best Classic Filk Song

  • “Chess,” by Juanita Coulson
  • “Mad Scientist’s Love Song,” by Gary McGath
  • “Spiral Dance,” by Dr. Anne Prather
  • “Starship & Haiku,” by Kathy Mar
  • “Still Catch the Tide,” by Talis Kimberley

Best Performer

  • Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps
  • Amy McNally
  • S. J. Tucker
  • Tim & Annie Walker
  • Wild Mercy

Best Writer/Composer

  • Dr. Mary Crowell
  • Katy Dröge-Macdonald and Juliane Honisch
  • Brooke Lunderville
  • Steve Savitzky
  • Vixy & Tony

A Little Bit Country

  • “Feygrass,” by Scott Snyder
  • “I Can’t Get Over You, So…,” by Nate Bucklin
  • “Redneck Pagan,” by Larry Kirby
  • “Stray Dog Man,” by Bill Sutton
  • “Truck Drivin’ Vampire,” by Michael Longcor

A Little Bit Rock and Roll

  • “Come to Mordor,” by Jeff Bohnhoff
  • Das Über Tuber,” by Rand Bellavia / Adam English
  • “Fluorine Atom,” by Paul Estin
  • “Howl at the Moon,” by Tim & Annie Walker
  • “Six-String Love,” by Vixy & Tony

For more information…

Obituary: Wrai Ballard

Seattle fan Wrai Ballard (b.1924) died on July 24. Ballard was an active contributor to FAPA and official editor and contributor to SAPS. Lee Jacobs created a series of pulp-style adventures in SAPS entitled “The Ballard Chronicles,” starring a fictionalized version of Ballard. In the early 1950s, Ballard refused to publish Jacobs’s essay “The Influence of Science Fiction on Modern American Filk Music,” which inadvertantly coined the term filk because of fear that its bawdy nature could get SAPS in trouble with post office censors. Ballard thereafter promoted the typo. Ballard has been suffering from cancer.