Irish fan Mick O’Connor died on February 16. O’Connor became active in fandom in the 1990s when he began attending meetings of the Irish Science Fiction Association. O’Connor also ran a comic book shop in Dublin and was part of the current Dublin in 2019 Worldcon bid.
Ohio fan Nick Winks (b.1949) died on December 20. Winks was an active convention runner, running children’s programming for various Marcons, Windycons, and Chicon 2000 and also working on Context. Winks held the rank of Admiral in Barfleet. He leaves behind his wife, fan Linda Winks.
Author Melanie Tem (b.1949) died on February 9. Tem was married to her frequent collaborator, Steve Rasnic Tem. Her novels included Prodigal, Desmodus, and Black River, and she wrote Daughters with her husband and Making Love and Witch-Light with Nancy Holder. Prodigal won the Bram Stoker Award for best debut novel and “The Man on the Ceiling,” co-written with her husband, received the Bram Stoker, World Fantasy Award, International Horror Guild, and Awards.
Fan John Jones died on February 3. Jones was instrumental in running RavenCon in Virginia. He came to science fiction through super hero shows in the 1970s and began volunteering at Vulkon in the 1990s. He served as head of Operations at Wrath of Con in 2008 and since 2009 has been the vice chair of RavenCon.
Animator Monty Oum (b.1981) died on February 1 from an allergic reaction. Oum created the series RWBY and also worked in the gaming industry for Midway Games and Namco Bandai Games, often as a combat designer. He began working for Rooster Teeth in 2010. Prior to working in the gaming industry, Oum created on-line videos using character models he was able to extract from various games. He won a Steamy Award and an International Academy of Web Television Award for RWBY.
San Francisco’s Borderlands Books, which has been in business for 18 years, has announced it will close its doors no later than March 31 due to an increase in the minimum wage in San Francisco to $15/hour. The financial realities of this increase and what it would mean to keep the store open are spelled out in a blog post on the website. On a personal note, enjoyed shopping at Borderlands the last time I was in San Francisco, and also enjoyed working with them the past two years at the Nebula Awards Weekends in San Jose.
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Author and linguist Suzette Haden Elgin (b.Patricia Anne Wilkins, 1936) died on January 27. Elgin began publishing in 1969 with the story “For the Sake of Grace” and followed it a year later with the novel The Communipaths. She may be best known for the Native Tongue trilogy. In 1978, she founded the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and their Elgin Award is named in her honor.
Actor Barrie Ingham (b.1932) died on January 23. Ingham provided the voice for the title character in Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective. He also appeared in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyagers! He appeared in the William Hartnell Doctor Who serial “The Trojans” as Paris, played Harold Godwinson on the show Theatre 625, and the title character in A Challenge for Robin Hood.
San Francisco fan Eric P. Scott died in the middle of January. Scott entered fandom around 1980 and attended every Westercon beginning with 1981, eventually helping to run the con-suite. He was an active party thrower at conventions and tried to raise the level of parties by example. He was active in BASFA and also worked on programming, green room, and art shows at various conventions.
French author Michel Jeury (b.1934) died on January 9. Jeury began publishing as Albert Higon in 1960 with the novels Aux Étoiles du Destin and La Machine du Pouvoir, the latter of which won the 1960 Prix Jules Verne. In the early 1970s, he published Chronolysis and continued to write science fiction into the 1980s, publishing nearly twenty books as part of the Anticipation line before turning his attention to mainstream fiction.