Author Carol Severance (b.1944) died on February 19. Severance was the author of The Island Warrior trilogy and the Compton Crook Award winning Reefsong. Her novels tended to use the Pacific Islands as their background and Severance did anthropological fieldwork in the remote coral atolls of Micronesia and eventually settled in Hawaii.
Actor Leonard Nimoy (b.1931) died on February 27. Nimoy was best known for his role as Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek, as well as the movies based on the series. He also directed the films Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In addition to his work on Star Trek, Nimoy was the long-time host of In Search of… and appeared in such films as Zombies of the Stratosphere and Them!. Prior to appearing on Star Trek, Nimoy had a recurring role on Sea Hunt. He appeared in episodes The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone.
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.