Obituary: Julian May

Author Julian May (b.1931) died on October 17. May entered fandom in her late teens and published the fanzine Interim Newsletter. Her first professional sale, “Dune Roller,” appeared in Astounding in 1951, including original illustrations by May. In 1952, she chaired the TASFIC in Chicago, becoming the first woman to chair a Worldcon. She married author Ted Dikty in 1953 and sold the story “Star of Wonder” before dropping out of science fiction and fandom for several years. With the exceptions of two episodes of the “Buck Rogers” comic strip, she focused on writing for encyclopedias and non-fiction books under a variety of pseudonyms. In 1972, “Dune Roller” was filmed as The Cremators. She returned to science fiction in 1976 when she attended Westercon 29. The costume she wore at the convention made her start thinking about the character’s background and grew into the six book Galactic Milieu series. She also wrote the four book Saga of the Pliocene Exile and collaborated on the Trillium series with Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton. Health issues prevented May from participating in a panel with the living chairs of the other Chicago Worldcons in 2012, and in 2015 she was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame.

Sasquan Committee Awards

Jay Lake and Julian May were both awarded special committee awards by Sasquan. Jay Lake, a much beloved Portland area author, died after a lengthy battle with cancer that he chronicled, on June 1, 2014. Julian May, who lives in the Seattle area, was the chair of TASFiC, the tenth Worldcon, in Chicago, and the author of numerous novels.