Two Magic: The Gathering Artists Pass Away

Magic: The Gathering card artists Wayne England and Christopher Rush died within a day of each other.

Wayne England, an English artist whose work regularly appeared in role-playing games, wargaming rulebooks and magazines died February 9 according to Bell of Souls.

Mr. England worked on a variety of iconic franchises over the decades from Magic the Gathering, to Dungeons & Dragons, to all things Games Workshop.  His unique style and artistic vision has graces countless cards, module, rulebook and adventure covers, and endless magazine covers.

Wayne England is survived by his wife Victoria and children Harry and Millie.

Christopher Rush died February 10 reports the Wikipedia.

He illustrated over 100 cards for the series, including the most expensive card in the game, the Black Lotus (currently offered on eBay for $3,900.)

Most of his work for Wizards of the Coast was done on the earliest sets, where he also helped with design and marketing.

Black Lotus card for Magic: The Gathering, by Christopher Rush

Black Lotus card for Magic: The Gathering, by Christopher Rush

David J. Lake (1929-2016)

David J. Lake

David J. Lake

Australian SF writer David J. Lake died of a lung infection in Brisbane on January 31.

Bruce Gillespie calls Lake’s novels and short stories “an important part of the Australian SF surge in the 1970s and early 1980s.”

Lake’s novels published in Australia included, for Hyland House/Quartet Australia (Ann Godden and Al Knight), The Man Who Loved Morlocks; and a series of novels for Paul Collins’ Cory & Collins Publications.

DAW Books republished in the U.S. his Walkers on the Sky (1976), The Right Hand of Dextra and The Wildings of Westron (both 1977),  The Gods of Xuma or Barsoom Revisited (1978), The Fourth Hemisphere (1980), The Man who Loved Morlocks (1981), Ring of Truth (1982), Warlords of Xuma (1983), The Changelings of Chaan (1985), and West of the Moon (1988).

Lake also wrote for fanzines, including Gillespie’s Science Fiction Commentary, which published a chapter of his autobiography.

Lake’s stepson, David, sent this email to Bruce:

I’m very sorry to tell you that David passed away from a lung infection last Sunday afternoon. He was in the hospital for two weeks and was simply not responding to treatment.

He had a period of initial discomfort because of the mucous build-up in his chest and the oxygen mask. But they gave him morphine and his passing was peaceful.

In a way, it was the best outcome. I think they were going to put him in a nursing home if he recovered – which would have been absolutely horrible for him. He was so weak, the next flu that came along would have knocked him over, and he would have to endure it all over again. He went out on his own terms – he was adamant he would live in his house as long as he could. Even so, we will all miss him.

Until he retired, Lake was a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Queensland. Born in British India in 1929, he moved to Australia in 1975.

[Thanks to Bruce Gillespie and Andrew Porter for the story.]

George Clayton Johnson Tribute in Hollywood 2/26

George Clayton Johnson

George Clayton Johnson

“A Tribute To George Clayton Johnson” is scheduled at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on Friday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Tributes to Those Who Inspired Us

A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON

This program is free to the public – first come, first served – with a suggested donation of $8 to our nonprofit to help cover expenses.

George Clayton Johnson (July 10, 1929 – December 25, 2015) penned some of the most memorable science fiction scripts of the 1960s and ’70s, including the first episode of “Star Trek” and seminal episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” as well as co-writing the novel Logan’s Run. Join us for an evening celebrating Johnson’s life and career, including classic moments from his TV work and remembrances from colleagues. There will be a panel discussion and a performance by members of Ray Bradbury’s Pandemonium Theatre Company.

To rsvp on Eventbrite click here. It is free to rsvp.

Panel discussion follows with biographer Vivien Cooper, LOGAN’S RUN co-writer William F. Nolan, writers Dennis Etchison, Mark Scott Zicree and Wendy All and producers Jason and Sunni Brock, moderated by George’s son Paul Johnson. There will also be a performance by members of Ray Bradbury’s Pandemonium Theatre Company.

The event will run approximately 150 min.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Murray and Carol Tinkelman Pass Away

Carol and Murray Tinkelman. Photo courtesy Walt Engels.

Carol and Murray Tinkelman. Photo courtesy Walt Engels.

Acclaimed artist Murray Tinkelman (1933-2016) died January 30. He was 82. He was preceded in death by his wife Carol, who died January 16.

Arnie Fenner notes, “Fans might remember him best for his covers for Ballantine’s Lovecraft paperbacks in the late 1970s. Murray also did the covers for the hardcover and paperback Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up, Haldeman’s The Forever War, and others.”

Leading sf artist Vincent DiFate, a former President of the Society of Illustrators, describes the unique style of those covers:

In the 1960’s for example, he formulated an interesting method that applied colored inks and dyes to drawings rendered exclusively in line. Using this technique, Tinkelman almost single-handedly revolutionized the horror genre a decade later when his work began appearing on the covers of del Rey’s mass-market editions of books by noted horror author H. P. Lovecraft.

Since the artist used an open crosshatch technique, his illustrations appeared light in tone, reminiscent of an old photograph that had faded with time. Contrasted with the fully rendered paintings of other paperback artists, Tinkelman’s drawings looked so unlike traditional book cover art that they had an immediate and significant impact. In the case of the Lovecraft books, especially, which had been repackaged dozens of times before with the most dire and morbid of cover illustrations, Tinkelman’s airy, often whimsical visions lightened the look of those books and no doubt helped to introduce them to an entirely new audience of readers.”

Carol Tinkelman was Murray’s partner in his art studio from its inception in 1957. The Norman Rockwell Museum’s tribute credited her work on its behalf, and the couple’s generosity:

“Carol was a driving force behind Norman Rockwell Museum’s illustration collecting mission, and her passion was to help the Museum build its collection of original illustration art,” notes Museum Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Stephanie Haboush Plunkett. “She and Murray donated from their own collections extensively, and invited other artists to do so as well. Carol will be greatly missed. Her spirit was infectious and she truly loved the Museum and its work.”

Murray Tinkelman’s illustrations appeared in Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. The National Park Service commissioned him to do drawings and paintings of National Parks and Monuments. He was an artist-reporter on several U.S. Air Force missions.

He had a one-man exhibit of his baseball art at The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown in 1994. He also exhibited at The United States Sports Academy in Alabama, which named him the 1995 Sports Artist of the Year.

His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Delaware Art Museum, the International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum, and the New Britain Museum of American Art.

In 1956, Tinkelman joined the celebrated Charles E. Cooper Studio and remained there until its disbanding, some eight years later. From the mid-1960s on, he became fully freelance and pursued simultaneous careers in illustration and as a painter of abstract expressionist artworks. In 1970, was named Artist of the Year by the Artists Guild of New York for his work as an illustrator.

He also enjoyed a reputation as a great teacher. In the late 1960s he joined the faculty at the Parsons School of Design and, as its Associate Chairperson. He later taught at Syracuse University, in its undergraduate and graduate programs. He received the 2001 Syracuse University Faculty Service Citation. He also was named the recipient of the 1999 Distinguished Educator in the Arts award from the Society of Illustrators in New York, the second living artist/educator to be so honored.

In the spring of 2013, Tinkelman he received an honorary doctorate from Ferris University’s Kendall College of Art in Grand Rapids, MI, and was inducted to the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame.

[Thanks to Arnie Fenner and Andrew Porter for the story.]

Hartwell Memorials Planned

David Hartwell’s funeral will be held January 28 in Marshfield, MA at the MacDonald Funeral Home. More details at the link.

Kathryn Cramer has asked that those planning to attend RSVP her so she can know the number coming.

Cramer wrote online she plans to be at Boskone and the ICFA (International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts) convention, March 16-20, in Orlando, and other conventions to memorialize Hartwell.

Tor Books is also planning a memorial in New York City at a later date, to be announced.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

David G. Hartwell (1941-2016)

David G. Hartwell at the 2015 World Fantasy Con. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

David G. Hartwell at the 2015 World Fantasy Con. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

Tor senior editor David G. Hartwell passed away January 20 in the aftermath of a massive stroke a day earlier.

Hartwell was a three-time Hugo winner, for Best Professional Editor (2006), and Best Professional Editor Long Form (2008, 2009). All told, as a professional editor, and co-editor of New York Review of SF, he was nominated for the Hugo a total of 41 times. He was Guest of Honor at the 2009 Worldcon in Montreal, Anticipation.

Hartwell also received World Fantasy Awards in 1988, a special award for his work editing anthologies, and another specifically for the anthology The Dark Descent.

He was the chair of the board of directors of the World Fantasy Convention and, with Gordon Van Gelder, the administrator of the Philip K. Dick Award.

(Left) Chuck Miller and (Right) David G. Hartwell at the 1982 World Fantasy Con. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

(Left) Chuck Miller and (Right) David G. Hartwell at the 1982 World Fantasy Con. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

Andrew Porter, who has been photographing Hartwell for decades, recalls: “I knew David since he was a live-in dorm proctor at Columbia, I think, in the early 70s. He was doing The Little Magazine and I, with a bunch of other SF fans, went to a reading at the 92nd Street YMHA by some little-known Canadian author, Margaret Atwood…”

He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Cramer (with whom he co-edited two annual Year’s Best anthologies for SF and Fantasy), and his children.

David G. Hartwell at BEA 2015. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

David G. Hartwell at BEA 2015. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

Update 01/20/2015: This is a substantially rewritten post. The original prematurely announced Hartwell’s death.

George Clayton Johnson Tribute at Egyptian on February 26

George Clayton Johnson with his 80th birthday cake

George Clayton Johnson with his 80th birthday cake.

By John King Tarpinian: On February 26, the Egyptian Theater, will be hosting a tribute to George Clayton Johnson. Admission is free. I have been honored to be asked to assist with the event.  As most readers of File770 know George was one of those creative artists that the general public has never heard of.  Special guests will be on hand to give praise for George’s work. There will be videos, a theatrical reading of one of George’s works. As things are solidified we’ll have more.  At the end of the official event a free showing of Logan’s Run is planned.

It has always been fun to give people part of George’s resume just to see the expression on their faces: half a dozen Twilight Zones, Ocean Eleven, the first aired original Star Trek, Logan’s Run (with William F. Nolan), Kung Fu (first flash forward episode of any TV program), Honey West, Route 66, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and much more.  George was nominated for an Oscar in 1962 for the short subject he did with Ray Bradbury, Icarus Montgolfier Wright, which is currently being restored by the Motion Picture Academy.

Go ahead and Google Café Frankenstein…making sure the kids are not in the room.

George was in the only Roger Corman movie to lose money at the box office, The Intruder, starring William Shatner. Steven Spielberg selected George’s “Kick the Can” TZ episode to direct for the Twilight Zone Movie.  A very young Robert Redford played the Angel of Death in George’s TZ episode, “Nothing in the Dark.”

We are having difficulty getting in touch with those three people from George’s past, Robert Redford ~ Steven Spielberg ~ William Shatner, if anybody has a way to contact them please feel free to do so.  Needless to say they would be guests of honor but just getting them to send a note to be read or a quick video tribute would be appreciated.

The Egyptian’s calendar should be updated within a few days:

http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/calendar_egyptian/2016-02

Alan Rickman (1946-2016)

Acclaimed actor Alan Rickman, one of fandom’s favorites, died of cancer January 14 at the age of 69.

His first few roles in major Hollywood films brought him to the attention of international audiences but certainly did not make him beloved — terrorist Hans Gruber in the Bruce Willis vehicle Die Hard (1988), the Aborigine murdering Elliot Marston (who also tries to have Tom Selleck’s title character killed) in Quigley Down Under (1990), or the Sheriff of Nottingham playing opposite Kevin Costner’s title character in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Allowed to escape the dark side at last, he played the sensitive and caring — and to some irresistible! — love interest Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995).

He brought his considerable skills to a quite different character, Alexander Dane, in Hugo-winning Galaxy Quest (1999). And while no one would prefer to see anyone else cast as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, I felt they never gave him enough to do until the very last one.

Rickman also voiced Marvin the Paranoid Android in the movie version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005), and the Blue Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Alice Through The Looking Glass (coming in 2016).

J. K. Rowling marked his passing with this tweet —

Daniel Radcliffe posted an appreciation on his Google+ page.

Radcliffe on Rickman enhanced-28861-1452792494-16

And Ian McKellen paid tribute on Facebook:

Beyond a career which the world is indebted to, he was a constant agent for helping others. Whether to institutions like RADA or to individuals and certainly to me, his advice was always spot-on. He put liberal philanthropy at the heart of his life. He and Rima Horton (50 years together) were always top of my dream-list dinner guests. Alan would by turns be hilarious and indignant and gossipy and generous. All this delivered sotto, in that convoluted voice, as distinctive as Edith Evans, John Gielgud, Paul Scofield, Alec Guinness, Alastair Sim or Bowie, company beyond compare.

When he played Rasputin, I was the Tzar Nicholas. Filming had started before I arrived in St Petersburg. Precisely as I walked into the hotel-room, the phone rang. Alan, to say welcome, hope the flight was tolerable and would I like to join him and Greta Scacchi and others in the restaurant in 30 minutes? Alan, the concerned leading man. On that film, he discovered that the local Russian crew was getting an even worse lunch than the rest of us. So he successfully protested. On my first day before the camera, he didn’t like the patronising, bullying tone of a note which the director gave me. Alan, seeing I was a little crestfallen, delivered a quiet, concise resumé of my career and loudly demanded that the director up his game.

Behind his starry insouciance and careless elegance, behind that mournful face, which was just as beautiful when wracked with mirth, there was a super-active spirit, questing and achieving, a super-hero, unassuming but deadly effective.

David Bowie Passes Away

Ziggy StardustDavid Bowie died of cancer on January 10 – see The Guardian for mainstream news coverage.

In addition to all the science fictional imagery and references in his music, he cut a great figure onscreen in genre productions like The Man Who Fell To Earth, The Hunger, and Labyrinth.

Rob Bricken discusses “All the Ways That David Bowie Changed Our Lives and Expanded Our Minds”  at io9.

David Bowie Was the Greatest, Truest Rock Star in the Universe

When David Bowie passed away this morning, we didn’t just lose him. We lost Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke. We lost Aladdin Sane, and Thomas Jerome Newton, and the Goblin King. We lost an explorer, a pioneer, one of the most creative, brilliant musicians of the 20th century. And we lost the greatest rock star the world has ever known.

Adam Whitehead wishes “RIP David Bowie” on The Wertzone.

Bowie’s undeniable contribution to the world of music has been covered, extensively, on thousands of blogs and news sites today. However, he also played a significant role in the pop imagery of science fiction and fantasy. His first hit single, “Space Oddity” (1969), was about a fictional astronaut blasting off into space. The song was partially inspired by the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (released the previous year) and was used to help soundtrack the BBC’s coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Bowie returned to the imagery of space for “Life on Mars” (1971), a track on his seminal, career-redefining record Hunky Dory. It was re-released by Bowie (in his Ziggy Stardust persona) in 1973 to huge acclaim and later soundtracked the well-regarded BBC time travelling drama Life on Mars (2006-07). A later Bowie track, “Ashes to Ashes” (1980), provided the title for and was also featured on the sequel series, Ashes to Ashes (2008-10).

In February 1972 Bowie reinvented himself as the glam-rock superstar Ziggy Stardust, supposedly a being from Mars who visits Earth to help stave off its impending destruction.

SF Crowsnest ran a straight obituary with many interesting facts.

In the BBC’s 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, Bowie was placed at number 29. Throughout his career, he has sold an estimated 140 million records worldwide. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

C. E. Murphy posted “It’s only forever”

I wouldn’t think that David Bowie’s death would hit me so hard. It’s just so damned unexpected. Elizabeth Bear said once that David Bowie would still be cool at the heat death of the universe. I think I vaguely expected him to still be *there*, at the heat death of the universe.

John Scalzi penned this line.

Part of me genuinely believed he was an alien who would live forever. Part of me still does.

Tor.com reminded everyone where to find Neil Gaiman’s fan fiction for David Bowie, “The Return of the Thin White Duke.”

Gaiman uses the Thin White Duke persona as a starting point, writing his way into the type of person who could embrace such an alter ego. And though the author refers to the story as “unabashedly fan fiction,” after a few paragraphs he makes the character his own, and creates yet another pocket universe for the Duke to test his bravery, create stars, and forge a new life for himself. It both is and isn’t Bowie, as Gaiman uses the idea of self-creation as the core of a story that could be about any one of us.

Neil Gaiman‘s “The Return of the Thin White Duke” is a free read at his website.

He was the monarch of all he surveyed, even when he stood out on the palace balcony at night listening to reports and he glanced up into the sky at the bitter twinkling clusters and whorls of stars. He ruled the worlds. He had tried for so long to rule wisely, and well, and to be a good monarch, but it is hard to rule, and wisdom can be painful. And it is impossible, he had found, if you rule, to do only good, for you cannot build anything without tearing something down, and even he could not care about every life, every dream, every population of every world….

Kameron Hurley boldly answered Bowie’s passing with reflections on her own mortality in “Yes, We’re All Going To Die”.

But I’ve found a great freedom in knowing that I could die at any moment. I have head-butted death in the face, and though it may be stunned for a while, there’s no knowing when it will recover and come snarling back for me….

I understand now, maybe, what David Bowie realized when he found out he had cancer, and suddenly time was limited, and there was a mad flurry of last-minute work to do before the end. I first saw David Bowie in Labyrinth when I was 11 years old, and to be frank, seeing a Goblin King dressed like that who still liked women was a revelation to me at 11, and it had a powerful impact on my work and my conception of sexuality from there on out. He was my introduction to genderbending, and the more work of his I listened to and watched, the more it expanded my idea of what people could be. That’s a powerful legacy.

I find myself thinking about The Man Who Fell to Earth – another film I didn’t appreciate or understand until after I got sick – pretty often. It’s a story about how life grinds you down. How even those with the best intentions and the most powerful motivations can find themselves smashed down by bureaucracy, by time, by despair.

I never want to be smashed down….

Remembering Jack Robins (1919-2015)

By Jon D. Swartz & John L. Coker III: First Fandom original member Jack Robins passed away on December 23, 2015 after a brief illness. Robins was a science fiction (SF) fan who belonged to the International Scientific Association (ISA) in the early 1930s [invited by Walter Kubilius to attend a meeting], was a member of the famed Futurian Society of New York when it was formed in the late 1930s [inviting a former classmate of his, Isaac Asimov, to join], was part of the small group of Futurians (that included Donald Wollheim, John Michel and Fred Pohl) that organized the Committee for the Political Advancement of Science Fiction (CPASF), and he also attended the first Worldcon (Nycon) in 1939 (despite the Exclusion Act that prevented some of the other Futurians from attending).

Robins was born February 17, 1919, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. His siblings were much older, and he “was like an only child.” Born Jack Rubinson, he legally changed his name to Jack Robins. After he left the Futurians, he earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from The Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (which later merged with NYU), but he maintained an interest in SF his entire life.

In the late 1930s Robins published two issues of his fanzine The Scientific Thinker. In the early 1940s, he published ten issues of another fanzine, Looking Ahead. Later he contributed an article, “Sex in Science Fiction,” to Geep!, The Book of the National Fantasy Fan Federation (1987). In addition, he has written LoCs, articles, and reviews for fanzines, including The Fan and Tightbeam for the National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) and Scientifiction for First Fandom.

Looking Ahead No. 3. Ed. Jack Robins. (March 1940) COMP

Jack recalled the summer of 1936:

Walter Kubilius introduced me to the ISA. These were people like me. They read and lived science fiction! They met in William Sykora’s basement and issued a mimeographed fan magazine to which I contributed. In 1937, Sykora closed his door, but the group reformed and became the Futurians. I still have fond memories of the group, and feelings of the warm comradery of those early days.

 

Walter Kubilius (late-1930s).

Walter Kubilius (late-1930s).

Robins has just missed being included in several important events in the history of fandom. Once, he was away when pictures of attendees at an early meeting of SF fans were taken, a meeting that became known as the First Eastern Conference. At the premier performance of the movie Things to Come, Robins left before a party that took place among fans that included Wollheim, Michel, Pohl, and James Blish. Robins was forgotten later when Wollheim wrote about those who had seen the movie and attended the party.

He missed out on other historic events because he was attending college classes, did not have enough money for required expenses, or was uncertain about dates (not having a telephone at the time). When the ISA decided to produce a movie and asked for scripts, Jack submitted one, but his was chosen as a backup in case the first choice did not work out.

Robins was a photographer who made a number of historic pictures of the Futurians.

He recalls a long walk that they all took:

Once, during the 1939 World’s Fair Days, Wollheim, Michel, Lowndes, Chester Cohen, and I decided to make a trip to Tarrytown. After taking the IRT all the way to the last stop in the Bronx, we then walked, walked, and walked, until we finally reached our destination. I had taken along a cheap 35mm camera to take pictures of all my friends, but I neglected to ask anyone to take a picture of me. We found a diner, but Lowndes and I were too poor to pay for a meal. Later, when our excursion ended, we took the train back down to the City, and then took the subway back to our homes.

 

(L-R) Robert W. Lowndes, Donald A. Wollheim, Chester Cohen, Cyril Kornbluth, John B. Michel. (Photograph by Jack Robins.)

(L-R) Robert W. Lowndes, Donald A. Wollheim, Chester Cohen, Cyril Kornbluth, John B. Michel. (Photograph by Jack Robins.)

Years later, when he had a subscription to Locus, Robins saw a notice by Damon Knight seeking former Futurians. Knight wanted documents related to the famous SF fan club for the tell-all book he was writing. Robins sent him what he had, but all Knight used in his 1977 book, The Futurians, was a couple of pictures that Robins had taken.

In his 1983 book relating his memories of SF’s Golden Age, The Way the Future Was, Frederik Pohl barely mentioned Robins. Later, in commenting on Robins’ activities as a Futurian, Pohl referred to him as “the smiling guy in the background.” Another time – after acknowledging that Robins had been a Futurian from the beginning — he described him as more of an auditor than a participant.

One of the reasons for his exclusion from some Futurian activities probably was the fact that Robins was a “science man” and was not a would-be writer. Although he wrote some fan plays, he went on to earn three college degrees and became a research chemist with a doctorate. Most of the Futurians aspired to be professional SF writers and editors, not professional scientists. Another “science man” was Asimov, who had gone to Boys High School with Robins.

In 1984, Robins retired from his job with the Atlas Powder Company in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, where he had worked for twenty-five years as a research chemist. Over the ensuing years Jack wrote family histories, convention reports, articles, poetry, sonnets, and plays, including a tribute to the Futurians, entitled “The Ivory Tower.” In retirement Jack was busier than ever, writing a column of non-fiction articles for his condo newspaper and working on his memoirs. In addition, he was at one time co-president of the computer club at his condo and the person in charge of publicity.

Robins was optimistic: “The world is full of wonder to me. Many scientists developed their interest in science after reading science fiction and some inventors attribute their creations to their knowledge of science fiction. I see the influence of STF everywhere.”

Jack was happily married for sixty-six years to Lottie, the love of his life. They shared an interest in photography and Classical music. They adored each other and enjoyed the daily company of family and friends. Then, after a brief illness, Jack passed away.

Jack Robins was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame and made a N3F Life Member, both in 2012. He was a life-long genuine enthusiast who knew many of the early fans and was present as history was unfolding. Jack pursued his dream of going to college and becoming a real scientist. His written accounts and photographs have become an important part of the record of the early days of science fiction fandom.