Jerry Pournelle (1933-2017)

Jerry Pournelle at MagiCon (1992). Photo by Lenny Provenzano

Jerry Pournelle died September 8 at the age of 84, his son Alex announced.

I’m afraid that Jerry passed away
We had a great time at Dragon Con
He did not suffer.

Pournelle had just spent the weekend at Dragon Con, and wrote yesterday on his Chaos Manor blog that he came home with both a cold and the flu.

Jerry was active in LASFS, where I knew him for over 40 years. We had a long talk this year at the Vintage Paperback Show. I’ll post an appreciation here tomorrow.

Larry Niven, Mike Glyer, Jerry Pournelle at the LA Vintage Paperback Show in 2017. Photo by John King Tarpinian.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver and James Davis Nicoll for the story.]

H.A. Hargreaves (1928-2017)

Being born in the Bronx did not keep Henry A. Hargreaves from becoming the acknowledged “grandfather of Canadian science fiction”. The pioneering author, who died July 27 at the age of 89, served in the U.S. Navy in WWII, then moved to Canada and used his G.I. Bill benefits to study theology at a university in New Brunswick. By his senior year he had switched majors, and he went on to have an academic career that culminated with him retiring as a professor emeritus of English Literature at the University of Alberta.

If not his Bronx origins, two other things that might have kept Hargreaves from becoming a Canadian sf icon were (1) he didn’t write much fiction — only a single short story every couple of years while on his summer break — and (2) prior to 1979 none of his fiction was published in Canada. Whenever he finished his latest story he invariably sent it to the top market — John W. Campbell’s Analog. But Campbell would always want significant changes made, so Hargreaves would mail the manuscript to British editor Ted Carnell who’d publish it as written. Carnell ran Hargreaves’ first story, “Tee Vee Man,” in New Worlds in 1963, and the author’s other stories in New Writings in SF.

Although Hargreaves wasn’t prolific, he eventually produced a body of quality work which was collected by Toronto’s Peter Martin Associates in the volume North by 2000 (1976).

That collection also helped bring him to the attention of Canadian fandom, in particular Robert Runté, who became an advocate for his work:

I first met Dr. Hargreaves in 1977 when I was helping to organize an open house for the campus science fiction club (ESFCAS). A club member I didn’t know well said, “Hey my English professor has just had a collection of his science fiction published. It’s actually pretty good. Let’s get him to do a reading.” I was skeptical, because in 1977 sf was not widely considered appropriate subject matter for a professor of English literature, so who knew what an English professor might think of as SF; and I had frankly never heard of Hargreaves. But I didn’t have a better idea, so we invited Dr. Hargreaves to read.

He read “Dead to the World”, his most famous and most widely reprinted story, to a crowd of about 50. That story—and the rest of the North by 2000 collection, which I then rushed out to buy—changed my life.

…Hargreaves showed me that there could be a distinctly Canadian science fiction. Hargreaves’ was the first collection ever explicitly marketed as “Canadian science fiction”, which was itself a new idea for me…

Runté thought Hargreaves’ being born in the States was no obstacle at all. Many Canadian sf writers come from someplace else: “It’s our immigrant backgrounds that explains half of what makes Canadian SF distinct.”

And years later, when Hargreaves’ collection was out of print and hard to find, Runté was instrumental in getting it reissued by Five Rivers Publishing (2012).

Hargreaves was twice nominated (1982 and 1983) for the Lifetime Contributions category in the Prix Auroras. He was inducted in the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2015.

Complementing his scholarly and literary achievements, Hargreaves also sang with the Edmonton Opera for eighteen years.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret, two daughters, Alyson and Heather, and three grandchildren. His son, Hal, predeceased him in 1996. The family obituary is here.

Henry A. Hargreaves

Richard Anderson (1926-2017)

Richard Anderson in “The Bionic Woman” (1976)

By Steve Green: Richard Anderson, American actor, died August 31, aged 91. The first actor to play the same lead character in concurrent tv shows airing on different US networks – “Oscar Goldman”, in ABC’s The Six Million Dollar Man and its spin-off The Bionic Woman, which moved from ABC to NBC for its third season.

His work on The Six Million Dollar Man encompassed two tv movies, (1973), and 99 episodes (1974-78), and for The Bionic Woman, 58 episodes (1976-78). He reprised his Oscar Goldman role in later years for The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987), Bionic Showdown (1989), and Bionic Ever After? (1994).

His other genre appearances include: Captain Midnight (one episode, 1954); Forbidden Planet (1956), Curse of the Faceless Man (1958), Thriller (one episode, 1960), Seven Days in May (1964), Seconds (1965), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (two episodes, 1964 and 1966), The Green Hornet (one episode, 1967), Ghostbreakers (1967), The Invaders (one episode, 1967), The Wild Wild West (one episode, 1968), Land of the Giants (one episode, 1969), The Night Strangler (1973, the second Kolchak tv movie), Darkroom (one episode, 1981), Knight Rider (two credits but only appeared in one episode, 1982), Automan (one episode, 1984), The Stepford Children (1987), and Extreme Ghostbusters (one episode, 1997).

Lee Majors, Richard Anderson in The Six Million Dollar Man (1974)

Brian Aldiss (1925-2017)

Brian Aldiss

Brian Aldiss, who marked the start of his career with a nomination for the Best New Writer Hugo (1959), gained a place in the SF Hall of Fame (2004), and received honors from the Queen (2005), died in his sleep August 19, the day after his 92nd birthday.

Everything in life was a source of material for Aldiss. He served in the British army in WWII in Burma, experience that later backgrounded his “Horatio Stubbs” series of non-sf novels. After demobilization in 1947, he was hired as a bookshop assistant in Oxford, and wrote humorous fictional sketches about his work for The Bookseller, a trade magazine. That material, rounded into a novel, became his first book, The Brightfount Diaries (1955).

By then Aldiss had also started to write sf. The SF Encyclopedia lists his first published sf story as “Criminal Record” in Science Fantasy (July 1954), and other stories appeared in 1954-1955.

But it wasn’t until 1956 that he had his first encounter with fandom. Why did it take so long? He told Rob Hansen (THEN) in a letter:

In the war I received a badly mimeographed flier for a fan group. I must have written for it. It carried a photo of the group. My father seized it at the breakfast table, shouted ‘They’re all perverts!’ and flung the brochure on the fire. So I had no acquaintance with fandom until they got in touch with me in 1956, after I had won the Observer prize for a short story set in the year 2500 AD. My contact then was Helen Winnick, who worked in London in Hanging Sword Passage. We went down to the White Horse, where I met Sam Youd and John Brunner….

The 1957 Worldcon in London was his first convention. The prolific and popular author rapidly became an important figure in sf. He served as President of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) from 1960-1964, an office that was an honorary figurehead, and ceremonial in purpose. He gained international acclaim when the five novelettes of his “Hothouse” series collectively won the 1962 Best Short Fiction Hugo.

His “Hothouse” series would be novelized as The Long Afternoon of Earth (1962), and together with his first sf novel, Non-Stop (1958), and Greybeard (1964), ranks among his best sf.

Also highly regarded is the Helliconia trilogy: Helliconia Spring (1982), Summer (1983) and Winter (1985). Helliconia Spring won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Spring and Winter also received Nebula nominations. All three books won the British SF Association’s Best Novel award.

Aldiss wrote a great deal of important nonfiction about sf, too, such as the memorable Billion Year Spree (1973), which, when revised as the Trillion Year Spree (1986) in collaboration with David Wingrove, won the Best Nonfiction Book Hugo.

He received many career awards. He was named a SFWA Grand Master (2000), was a Living Inductee to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame (2004), recognized with the Science Fiction Research Association’s Pilgrim Award (1978), and with the Prix Utopia (1999) for life achievement from the French Utopiales International Festival. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Literary Society in 1989.

In 2005 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He joked with Ansible’s editor:

I was greatly chuffed by the award “for services to Literature” — a euphemism in this case for SF…. But when chatting to Her Majesty, I was disappointed to find she had only got as far as John Wyndham and the triffids. “What do you like about it?” I asked. She replied, “Oh, it’s such a cosy catastrophe.” I blushed.

While many prolific authors with long careers have been frustrated to see their work go out of print, Aldiss was rescued from that fate by former HarperCollins imprint, The Friday Project, which published more than 50 of Aldiss’ backlist works in 2013.

Aldiss was twice guest of honor at British Worldcons (Loncon II, 1965; Seacon, 1979) and toastmaster at a third (Conspiracy, 1987). He reciprocated fandom’s affection for his writing and himself, as Jonathan Cowie (Concatenation) explains:

SF and SF fandom ranked highly in Brian’s life: he liked to say that fandom was the unusual kingdom in which the serfs threw feasts for the kings rather than the other way around.  However family came first which came as a surprise to the 2001 Eurocon organisers that originally had us both down as guests (mine was lowly fan GoH) but I e-mailed him to enquire whether we might travel together: safety in numbers and all that when travelling overseas. But Brian had to decline as his family was throwing him a special get-together at that time.  Rest assured, though family came first, SF fandom as a priority came not long after. At a US gathering he showed an invitation he had from Buckingham Palace for a reception wit the Queen but  that clashed with the US convention: the SF convention easily took priority, no contest.

And at the Loncon 3 (2014) closing ceremonies, which fell on his birthday, August 18, he was serenaded with a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” by the entire audience. For many who journeyed to the con it was also a kind of farewell.

Brian Aldiss being serenaded with “Happy Birthday” at LonCon 3 in 2014.

Aldiss’ first marriage was to Olive Fortescue (1948-1965, ending in divorce), and his second was to Margaret Manson, who predeceased him in 1997. He is survived by his partner, Alison Soskice, and four children: Clive and Wendy from his first marriage, and Timothy and Charlotte from his second.

This appreciation has focused more on Aldiss’ connection with fandom. Here are links to several insightful appreciations about his writing and literary impact.

[Thanks to Stuart Gale, Michael J. Walsh, Michael Brian Bentley, Jonathan Cowie, Andrew Porter, Steve Davidson, and John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Worldcon 75 In Memoriam List

Compiled by Steven H Silver: Here is the In Memoriam list shown during the Worldcon 75 Hugo Ceremony. Since the livestream didn’t work, most people haven’t seen it yet. The list covers the August 1, 2016-July 31, 2017 period.

  • Scott Alter (b.1953) August 10, Fan
  • Ruth Stuart (b.1964) August 12, Fan
  • Kenny Baker (b.1934) August 13, Actor
  • Warren Johnson (a.k.a. Whisky) (b.1970) August 13, Fan
  • Robert C. Peterson (b.1921) August 15, Fan
  • Victor Mora (a.k.a. R. Martin) (b.1931) August 17, Comics Author
  • Sören Cardfeldt August 19, Fan
  • M.K. Wren (b.Martha Kay Renfroe, 1938) August 20, Author
  • Michel Butor (b.1926) August 24, Critic
  • Gene Wilder (b.Jerome Silberman, 1933) August 29, Actor, Hugo Winner
  • Robert C. Lee (b.1931) August 31, Author
  • Peter Bromley (b.1956) September 2, Game Designer
  • Bill Woodrow (b.1970) September 4, Fan
  • Duane E. Graveline (b.1931) September 5, Author, Astronaut
  • Hugh Zachary (a.k.a. Zach Hughes, Evan Innes, Pablo Kane, Peter Kanto)(b.1928) September 5, 2016, Author
  • Brian Lewis September 7, Fan
  • Barry R. Levin (b.1946) September 14, Bookseller
  • David Keith Mano (b.1942) September 14, Author
  • W.P. Kinsella (b.1935) September 16, Author
  • Dave Kyle (b.1919) September 18, Fan, Publisher, Worldcon Chair, Worldcon GoH
  • Bernard Bergonzi (b.1929) September 20, Author
  • Robert Weinberg (b.1946) September 25, Author, Collector, Worldcon Special Award Recipient
  • D. Douglas Fratz(b.1952) September 27, Fan
  • Jorge de Abreu (b.1963) September 28, Author
  • Lucy Stern September 28, Fan
  • Kira Heston (b.Kimberly Heston, 1969) September 30, Filker
  • JoEllyn Davidoff (b.1963) October 1, Filker
  • Kate Yule (b.1961) October 4, Fan
  • Howard Harrison (b.1961) October 5, Filker
  • Arthur Jean Cox (a.k.a. Gene Cross) (b.1929) October, Fan, Author
  • Bill Warren (b.1943) October 7, Critic
  • Robert A. Rosenberg (b.1947)October 8, 2016, Fan
  • Paul Brazier (b.1950) October 10, Fan
  • Per G. Hvidsten (a.k.a. Per G. Olsen ) (b.1944) October 11, Fan
  • Ed Gorman (a.k.a. E.J. GormanRobert David Chase, and Daniel Ransom) (b.1941) October 14, Author
  • Dennis Cummins (b.1951),  October 18, Author
  • Richard Cavendish (b.1930) October 21, Author
  • Martin Aitchison (b.1919) October 22, Artist
  • Steve Dillon (b1962) October 22, Artist
  • Norman F. Stanley (b.1916) October 22, Fan
  • Sheri S. Tepper (b.Sheri Stewart Douglas, 1929) October 22, Author
  • Leslie Lupien (b.1921) October 25, Fan
  • Cornel Robu (b.1938) October 27, Critic
  • Ellen Key Harris-Braun (b.1960) October 28, Editor
  • Natalie Babbitt (b.1932) October 31, Author
  • Massimo Mongai (b.1950) November 1, Author
  • Alex Hamilton (a.k.a. Donald Speed) (b.1930) November 2, Author, Editor
  • John Calvin Rezmerski (b.1942) November 5, Academic
  • Wil Baden (b.1928) November 9, Fan
  • Amy Sefton November 9, Fan
  • André Reullen (a.k.a. Kurt Steiner (b.1922) November 10, Author
  • Kenichiro Takai (b.1937) November 14, Author
  • Sabina Theo (b.1977) November 16, Author
  • Gino Gavioli (b.1923) November 19, Cartoonist
  • Lon Atkins November 28, Fan
  • Paul A. Carter (b.1926) November 28, Author
  • Joe Dever (b.1952) November 30, Author
  • Marcel Gottlieb (ak.a. Gotlib) (b.1934) December 4, Comic Author
  • Patricia Robins (b .1921) December 4, Author
  • Bill Dunbar December 4, Fan
  • Richard Purtill (b.1931) December 4, Academic
  • John Glenn (b.1921) December 8, Astronaut
  • Robert Scholes (b.1929) December 9, Academic
  • Richard Kyle December 10, Fan, Bookseller
  • Nila Thompson (b.1954) December 10, Fan
  • Robert Stiller (b.1928) December 10, Translator
  • Kathleen Meyer (b.1948) December 13, Fan, Worldcon Chair
  • Rochelle Uhlenkott (a.k.a. Rochelle Marie) (b.1960) mid-December, Author
  • Piers Sellers (b.1955) December 23, Astronaut
  • Richard Adams (b.1956) December 24, Author
  • Linn Prentis (b.Eliza Linn Prentis, 1944) December 24, Agent
  • Carrie Fisher (b.1956) December 27, Actress, Author
  • Roger Leiner (b.1955) December 29, Cartoonist

2017

  • Ivo Brešan (b.1936) January 3, Playwright
  • Igor Volk (b.1937) January 3, Cosmonaut
  • Peter Weston (b.1944) January 5, Fan, Worldcon Chair, Worldcon GoH, Hugo Manufacturer
  • John Packer  January 7, Artist
  • James C. Christiansen (b.1942) January 8, Artist
  • Hilary Bailey (b.1936) January 11, Author, Editor
  • Vicky Stock (b.1979) January 11, Fan
  • William Peter Blatty (b.1928) January 12, Author
  • Mark Fisher (b.1968) January 14, Critic
  • Babbett Cole (b.1949) January 15, Author
  • Annemarie van Ewijck (a.k.a. Annemarie Kindt) (b.1943) January 15, Fan, Translator
  • Eugene Cernan (b.1934) January 16, Astronaut
  • Mike Dickinson (b.1948) January 20, Fan
  • Sarah Prince January 20, Fan
  • Larry Smith (b.1946) January 20, Bookseller
  • Emma Tennant (b.1937) January 20, Author
  • Buchi Emecheta (b.1944) January 25, Author
  • John Hurt (b.1940) January 27, Actor
  • William Melvin Kelley (b.1937) February 1, Author
  • Jonathan Matson (b.c.1950) February 1, Agent
  • Richard Hatch (b.1945) February 7, Actor
  • Lars Erik Helin (b.1937), February 7, Fan
  • Tzvetan Todorov (b.1939) February 7, Critic
  • Edward Bryant (b.1945) February 10, Author, Worldcon Toastmaster
  • Gino D’Achille (b.1935) February 10, Artist
  • Dahlov Ipcar (b.1917) February 10, Author, Artist
  • Dave Holmes February 13, Fan, Bookseller
  • Börje Crona (b.1932) February 14, Author
  • Loren Wiseman February 15, Game Designer
  • Alan Aldridge (b.1943) February 17, Artist
  • Thomas Endrey (b.1940) mid-February, Fan
  • Nancy Willard (b.1936) February 22, Author
  • Susan Casper (b.1947) February 24, Author
  • Martin Deutsch February 24, Fan
  • John R. Newell (a.k.a. Klon) (b.1935) February 25, Bookseller
  • Thomas Endrey (b.1940) mid-February, Fan
  • Bernie Wrightson (b.1948) March 18, Artist
  • Robert Neagle (b.1955) March 22, Fan
  • Marie Jakober (b.1941) March 26, Author
  • Michael Levy (b.1950) April 3, Fan, Academic, Editor
  • Waldemar Kumming (b.1924) April 5, Fan, Big Heart Recipient
  • Patricia McKissak (b.1944) April 7, Author
  • Karrie Dunning April 11, Fan
  • V. E. Mitchell (b.1954)April 13., Author
  • Martin Greim (b.19442) April 15, Fan
  • Richard Dalby (b.1949), April 21, Academic
  • William Hjortsberg (b.1941) April 22, Author
  • Patrick Meadows (b.1934) April 22, Author
  • Roger C. Schlobin (b.1944) April 25, Academic
  • Elmer Sharp (b.1953) April 27, Fan
  • Rich Tucholka (b.1954) April 27, Game Designer
  • Grania Davis (b.1943) April 28, Author
  • Anne Dick (b.Anne Williams Rubinstein, 1927) April 28, Author
  • Howard Frank (b.1941) May 1, Collector
  • Ama Patterson (b.1961) May 1, Author
  • Doreen Rogers (b. Doreen Parker) May 3, Fan
  • Yves Velan (b.1925) May 6, Author
  • Alan Austin May 9, Fan, Bookseller
  • Louis Charbonneau (b.1924) May 11, Author
  • Karen Davidson (b.Karen Giglio, 1958) May 19, Fan, Publisher
  • Bob Beese June 2, Fan
  • James Vance (b.1953) June 5, Comic Author
  • Adam West (b.William West Anderson, 1928)  June 9, Actor
  • Morton N. Cohen (b.1921) June 12, Critic
  • Ulf Stark (1944) June 13, Author
  • John Dalmas (b.John Jones, 1926) June 15, Author
  • William F. Touponce (b.1948) June 15, Academic
  • Sergio Altieri (b.1952) June 16, Author
  • Rodney Leighton (b.1948)  June 18, Fan
  • Stewart Wieck (b.1968) June 22, Game Designer
  • William Sanders (b.1942) June 29, Author, Editor
  • Dwain Kaiser (b.1947) July 3, Fan, Bookseller
  • George A. Romero (b.1940) July 16, Director
  • Jeff Carlson (b.1969) July 17, Author
  • Lee Henderson (b.) July 17, Fan
  • Jordin Kare (b.1956) July 19, Filker
  • Alan Dorey (b.1958) July 24, Bookseller
  • June Foray (b.1917) July 26, Actress

Robert Hardy (1925-2017)

Cornelius Fudge and Dumbledore

By Steve Green: Robert Hardy (1925-2017): British actor, died August 3, aged 91, best known to fans as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter movies.

Genre appearances include The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (one episode, 1957), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1959), Mystery and Imagination (one episode, 1966), Demons of the Mind (1972), Dark PlacesGawain and the Green Knight (both 1973), Supernatural (one episode, 1977), Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (one episode, 1979), The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1981, narrator), Shades of Darkness (one episode, 1986), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994), Testament: The Bible in Animation, (one episode, 1996, voice), Gulliver’s Travels (both episodes of miniseries, 1996), The 10th Kingdom (seven episodes, 2000), The Lost World (2001), Thunderpants (2002), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Joseph’s Reel (2015).

Hywel Bennett (1944-2017)

By Steve Green: Hywel Bennett (1944-2017): British actor, died July 25, aged 73. Made his screen debut in a 1965 episode of Doctor Who. Other genre appearances include Twisted Nerve (1968), Percy (1971), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972), Pennies from Heaven (one episode, 1978), Artemis 81 (1981), The Twilight Zone (one episode, 1986), A Mind to Kill (1991), Virtual Murder (one episode, 1992), Cold Lazarus (one episode, 1996), Neverwhere (all six episodes, 1996), Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (one episode, 2001). He retired from acting in 2007.

Sam Shepard Dies

Chuck Yeager and Sam Shepard

By Steve Green: Sam Shepard (1943-2017): American actor, director and playwright, died on July 27, aged 73. Appeared in the horror movie The Return (2006), was among the contributors to the 1972 film of Oh! Calcutta! and both wrote and directed the supernatural western Silent Tongue (1993), but is probably best known to sf fans for playing real-life test pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983).

June Foray (1917-2017)

June Foray in 2013.

June Foray, Hollywood’s best-known female voice talent, died July 27 at the age of 99. She was best known as the voice of Rocky in Rocky and Bullwinkle (1959-1964), a role she reprised as recently as 2014 in a DreamWorks Animation short.

According to the report in Variety:

Foray was born June Lucille Forer in Springfield, Mass., and she was doing vocal work in local radio dramas by the time she was 12. She continued working in radio after her family moved to Los Angeles after she graduated from high school, following her dream of becoming an actress. She even had her own “Lady Make Believe” radio show that showcased her vocal talents, and she appeared regularly on network shows such as “Lux Radio Theater” and “The Jimmy Durante Show.”

She worked with Stan Freberg and Daws Butler on several comedy records, including the 1953 Dragnet parody ”St. George and the Dragonet”. Later she was a regular cast member of The Stan Freberg Show on CBS Radio.

Daws Butler, June Foray and Stan Freberg

She was the voice of Mattel Toys’ Chatty Cathy, and its Twilight Zone nemesis ”Talky Tina” (in the 1963 episode “A Living Doll”).

She also voiced Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ 1966 adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Mark Evanier said in his fine appreciation:

A few years ago when Earl Kress and I assisted her with her autobiography, we foolishly thought we could whip up a near-complete list of everything she’d done. Not in this world possible. I know more of June’s credits than most people and I’d be surprised if I know 10% of it.

So many she couldn’t possibly remember them all, though this shook up fan Dwight Decker when he had a chance at a San Diego Comic-Con to ask about her role as The Librarian in a Little Nemo movie and she answered that she’d never heard of the project. (She’s in the film credits.)

She was one of the earliest members of the Hollywood chapter of Association Internationale du Film d’Animation, and she created the Annie Awards, presented by ASIFA-Hollywood. The Annies created a juried award named for Foray in 1995 that honors individuals who have made significant or benevolent contributions to the art and industry of animation, and she was its first recipient.

Foray received a Daytime Emmy in 2012 for her performance as Mrs. Cauldron on Cartoon Network’s The Garfield Show. And in 2013 she was presented with an honorary Emmy by the Governors of the Academy of Television Arts & Science.

She was a panelist at LASFS’ annual Loscon in 2009.

A documentary about her life, “The One and Only June Foray,” was produced in 2013. Here is the trailer: