Binker Hughes (1946-2016)

Elizabeth Mabel Binker Glock Hughes, Ph.D., died June 28 of cancer. The death of the long-time member of the Southern Fandom Press Alliance (SFPA) was just recently learned by her friends in fandom.

Guy H. Lillian III recalls, “Binker joined SFPA the same mailing as I did — #39, January 1971. She and her husband Steve were able Emergency Officers during a terrible crisis several years later and ran a fine DeepSouthCon in 1976.  She was always great company and a great friend. Rose-Marie and I send our best to her family, and I am saddened beyond description at her loss.”

Binker Hughes lived most of her life near Atlanta, GA, was married to Steve Hughes for 20 years and divorced in 1991. They ran two DeepSouthCons, in 1972 and 1976, the latter co-chaired with Ned Brooks.

Binker, Steve Hughes, and Ned Brooks at the 1976 DeepSouthCon.

Binker, Steve Hughes, and Ned Brooks at the 1976 DeepSouthCon.

The family obituary lists her many interests.

A freelance writer, she wrote for many commercial clients and online magazines; leaving a body of unpublished fiction work. She loved music, speleology, taekwondo, travel, science fiction and particularly St. James Anglican Church in Sandy Springs, GA.

[Thanks to Guy H. Lillian III for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 6/9/16 I See All Good Pixels Scroll Their Heads Each Day So Satisfied I’m On My Way

(1) WHAT’S A FEW MILLION BETWEEN GEEKS? Wizard World will be scaling back conventions after posting a $4.25M loss in 2015.

The comic convention franchise Wizard World is scaling back the number of conventions after filing a $4.25 million loss in 2015, according to ICv2. The company, which takes its name from the defunct magazine Wizard, held 25 events in 2015 for a combined revenue of $22.9m, which was less than 2014’s convention revenue of $23.1m despite only hosting 17 shows that year. Looking closer, Wizard World’s 2015 conventions earned on average $916,000 per show, as opposed to $1.36m in the year prior.

Additionally, Wizard World has sold all but 10% ownership of the fledging ConTV to Cinedigm. That venture was a $1.3m loss for WizardWorld in 2015.

WizardWorld has 19 conventions planned in 2016, with one being the new ‘con cruise’ venture.

(2) WISTFUL WATNEY. From The Martian Extended Edition, now on Digital HD, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD.

Mark Watney marvels at Earth and contemplates on the reasons for his rescue from Hermes.


(3) LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER. Mark Gunnells wrote “A Love Letter to Joe R. Lansdale”.

Some of you may be saying, Who’s that?  And if you are, that makes me sad.  The man’s talents are so immense that he really should be a household name in my opinion.  His books never fail to impress and thrill me, and I’ll give a few reasons why I am such a fan.

One, simplicity.  The man’s language can be so lean and yet convey so much.  He doesn’t have to do a lot of literary acrobatics to get his point across, but can say so much with such economy of words.  It is something I aspire to.

Two, dialogue.  I’m a sticker for good dialogue, and Lansdale knows how to do it.  His characters talk in a way that is witty and fun but also believable and authentic.

Three, darkness of character.  But not just of the villains.  He isn’t afraid to infuse his protagonists with darkness too.  They aren’t all saintly and virtuous, but a mixture of good and bad, just like real people.

Four, diversity.  The man does westerns, mystery, horror, and a great deal of fiction that defies category.  I think that hurts him in some ways, since the industry (and many readers) like writers who are predictable, where they know what they’re getting going in.  That isn’t Lansdale, and I love him for it.  He is also equally adept at short stories, as well as novels and novellas.

(4) ROAD WARRIOR. “Letter From Terry Brooks: The Importance of Touring” at Suvudu.

…Chained to my computer and locked away for 8 to 10 months while writing, you tend to forget what it is you are writing for. You tend to forget how wonderful it feels to hear that your books mean so much to the readers. You forget that it gives you energy and inspiration for your work. But the book events remind you of all this, and they give you an unmistakable desire to go back and do more and to never, ever disappoint your readers by doing something that is less than your best work.

Love the families that come out. Sometimes four or five, all reading the books at once. Love the stories of how people came to read the books in the first place – frequently through another member of the family recommending them. Love the way the stories and characters have impacted people at times in their lives when things seemed a bit bleak. I am reminded of how we all escape into books to flee our own lives now and then, and when we do we inevitably return better able to get on with things. Love all the strange, wild tales of where people were and what they were doing when they read a particular book…..

(5) TWEETAGE OF THE LAMBS. Here’s a little-known fact about Amazon rankings.


  • June 9, 2006 — The animated feature film Cars, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, roars into theaters across the United States.


  • Born June 9, 1934 — Donald Duck made his first screen appearance in “The Wise Little Hen.”


A time traveler, a pirate and a princess…

  • Born June 9, 1961 — Michael J. Fox
  • Born June 9, 1963  — Johnny Depp
  • Born June 9, 1981 — Natalie Portman

(9) WHITE HOUSE LOOT CRATE IN HEADLINES. The Toronto Globe and Mail reports “Obama gave Trudeau a signed copy of Star Wars script”.

According to ethics disclosures, Justin Trudeau was given a copy of “The Force Awakens” script – the seventh Star Wars movie, released last year – signed by writer/director J.J. Abrams. U.S. President Barack Obama gave Mr. Trudeau (a big fan of the sci-fi franchise) the gift, along with a sculpture, a photograph and toys for the children, during the state visit to Washington in March.

Mr. Trudeau and his family gave the Obamas a sculpture and indigenous clothing.

The personal touch of this particular gift is no doubt a sign of how close the two world leaders are. Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Obama will see each other again at the end of the month, when the President comes to town for the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa on June 29. Mr. Obama is expected to address parliamentarians while he’s in town.

(10) BROOKS FANZINES. The University of Georgia (as reported last month) is displaying Ned Brooks’ fanzines in the Rotunda of the Russell Special Collections Libraries through July. Now there is also a companion online exhibit anchored by George Beahm’s tribute, “To Infinity and Beyond! The Fanzine Collection of Ned Brooks”.

(11) WILLIAMS SCORES AFI AWARD. Tonight John Williams picks up the 44th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. The ceremony will air on TNT on June 15.

John Williams’ storied career as the composer behind many of the greatest American films and television series of all time boasts over 150 credits across seven decades. Perhaps best known for his enduring collaboration with director Steven Spielberg, his scores are among the most iconic and recognizable in film history, from the edge-of-your-seat JAWS (1975) motif to the emotional swell of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) and the haunting elegies of SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993). Always epic in scale, his music has helped define over half a century of the motion picture medium. Three of Williams’ scores landed on AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores — a list of the 25 greatest American film scores of all time — including the unforgettable STAR WARS (1977) soundtrack, at number one. With five Academy Award® wins and 49 nominations in total, Williams holds the record for the most Oscar® nominations of any living person.

(12) VAPORTECTURE. “Is a Comic-Con museum headed to Balboa Park?” asks the San Diego Union-Tribune. The answer is: not necessarily.

So far it’s undecided whether such an attraction would simply share space with the Hall of Champions or occupy nearly all of the 68,000-square-foot, memorabilia-filled venue next to the Starlight Bowl.

“I heard they might be interested in doing something, so I made contact and began a conversation, and it’s been going on for awhile,” said Hall of Champions board member Dan Shea. “We have a space that could be considered under-utilized for what we have. Comic-Con is an iconic community group, and we would love to see them stay here, so we thought, wouldn’t it be great to have a museum for them in our hometown. And that’s what we talk about when we get together now and then.”

But no deal has been reached, and it could be some time before a museum even materializes, Shea acknowledged.

“There’s no hurry to move it along,” he said.

Comic-Con International spokesman David Glanzer was equally vague about the prospects for a Balboa Park museum devoted to the popular arts icon, a San Diego presence since 1970. The four-day convention, which now draws more than 130,000 attendees, is contracted to stay in San Diego through 2018.

Asked about what the museum might showcase and how much space it might occupy, Glanzer responded, “We’re still in discussions. I’m sorry but we haven’t gotten that far yet.”

Shea said an announcement about the possibility of a museum was made, in part, to put to rest “silly things we were hearing about what people thought they knew about this.”

(13) SEVENEVES MOVIE MAYBE. “Skydance Reunites ‘Apollo 13’ Team For Neal Stephenson Sci-Fi Novel ‘Seveneves’”Deadline has the story.

EXCLUSIVE: Skydance has set the Apollo 13 team of writer Bill Broyles, director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer for an adaptation of bestselling author Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel Seveneves. Grazer and Howard’s Imagine Entertainment is producing the ambitious adaptation.

(14) KRAKEN, NOT STIRRED. Nerdist “Meet the GAME OF THRONES Brittle Star: Ophiohamus Georgemartini”.

The trend of naming new species after pop culture icons is on the rise, and we’re giving the latest addition to the list of nerdy namesakes our stamp of approval. A brittle star, found deep in the South Pacific, has been officially dubbed Ophiohamus georgemartini because of its likeness to the thorny crown found on the cover of book two in the Game of Thrones series, A Clash of Kings….

The George R.R. Martin-friendly specimen was found off the coast of New Caledonia, at a depth of 275 meters (902 ft), but you can find brittle stars in shallow waters as well, and even in rocky tide pools. “Brittle stars live everywhere,” explains the Echinoblog’s Dr. Christopher Mah. “Under rocks, in the mud, on corals, under corals … even on jellyfish. Many of them are tiny, tiny little critters that fit easily into cracks, crevices and nooks in rocks.”

[Thanks to Stephen Burridge, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bruce Baugh.]

Pixel Scroll 5/4/16 (Take Another) Piece Of My Artificial Heart

May the 4th be with you

(1) BREAKING THINGS. Wired studies the physics behind the destruction of a Super Star Destroyer in Star Wars.

The Mass of the Death Star

The real question remains—why is it moving so fast? There are three possible answers:

After rebels destroyed the bridge, the Super Star Destroyer veered out of control and used its thrusters to drive into the Death Star.

The Destroyer used its engines in some way to stay above the Death Star. The attack eliminated this ability, and the ship fell into the Death Star due to the gravitational interaction between the two objects.

The impact was the result of the engines and gravity.

For the purpose of this analysis, I am going to assume the collision was due only to the gravitational interaction. If that’s the case, I can use this to estimate the mass of the Death Star.

(2) ANATOMY OF A REWRITE. Mark Hamill confirmed the story: “It’s official: ‘The Force Awakens’ almost started with Luke’s severed hand”.

“I can tell you now, the original opening shot of [Episode] VII, the first thing that came into frame was a hand and a lightsaber, a severed hand,” Hamill reveals in a video Q&A with The Sun timed to May the 4th. “It enters the atmosphere [of the desert planet Jakku] and the hand burns away.”

The lightsaber landed in the sand, and an alien hand picked it up. Hamill says he doesn’t know if that alien was Maz Kanata, the castle owner who has the lightsaber in a trunk in the movie.

Then “the movie proceeds as you see it” — presumably meaning we’d cut from the alien hand to a Star Destroyer above Jakku as Stormtroopers depart in shuttles, then Max Von Sydow handing the all-important map with Luke’s whereabouts to Oscar Isaac.

(3) FOURTH WITH. Digg has a compilation of Star Wars related fan art.

The “Star Wars” fanbase has always been fantastically passionate and creative, so in honor of their greatest holiday, here’s a bunch of different kinds of fan art to represent every corner of the “Star Wars” universe.

(4) FASHION STATEMENT. Michael A. Burstein had a big day, and shared a photo with his Facebook readers.

Today, I was sworn in for my fifth term as a Brookline Library Trustee. In honor of Star Wars Day, I wore my Han Solo vest.

(5) EQUAL TIME. That other famous franchise is making news of its own. Canada Post will issue a set of Star Trek themed stamps to commemorate the show’s 50th anniversary. Linn’s Stamp News ran an article about the stamp for Scotty.

The three previous Canada Post Star Trek designs have pictured William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk on a commemorative stamp similar to the Scotty design, the Starship Enterprise on a coil stamp, and Leonard Nimoy as Spock, also in commemorative format. Full details of the set, and the planned issue date, have not been officially revealed by Canada Post, though information released with the “Scotty” stamp design added, “More stamps are to be revealed soon.”

And Canada Post has release several short videos previewing the series.

(6) YOU DID IT. Donors stepped up to support Rosarium Publishing’s Indiegogo appeal and Rick Riordan dropped $10,000 of matching funds in the pot. The appeal has now topped $40,000 in donations.

(7) J.K. ROWLING’S ANNUAL APOLOGY. On May 2, the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling followed her tradition.

(8) FIRST FAN. Inverse knows this is the perfect day to dip into Craig Miller’s font of Star Wars anecdotes: “George Lucas’s Original Plans for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ and Boba Fett Revealed”.

Craig Miller, Lucasfilm’s first fan relations officer, reveals the original plan for ‘Return of the Jedi.’

…“At first there was one film, and then George originally announced that it was one of 12, and there were going to be 12, and then that changed to, oh there was never 12, there was only 9, and he was going to make 9,” Miller said. “And then during all of it, George kind of lost interest in continuing it… While we were working on The Empire Strikes Back, George decided he was going to complete the first film trilogy and that would be it.

“And I remember sitting in a mixing room with George, working on Empire, and he told me he was just going to make the third movie, which didn’t have a title at that point, and then stop,” Miller continued. “He was going to retire from making big movies and make experimental movies. And that’s why the whole plot of the third movie, what became Return of the Jedi, completely changed.”

Lucas’s 15-year retirement from Star Wars didn’t do much to derail the enthusiasm amongst hardcore fans, who showed early on that they were very, very dedicated to the Galaxy far, far away. Miller remembers one of his better publicity coups, setting up an 800 number (1-800-521-1980, the film’s release date) that allowed fans to call in before Empire and hear little clues about the upcoming sequel, as recited by Luke, Leia, Han Solo, C-3PO and Darth Vader.

“There was no advertising; we talked about it at conventions, and Starlog ran a two paragraph announcement of it,” Miller recalled. “And with just that, we completely swamped the 800 system.”

AT&T forced Lucasfilm to buy more phone lines, cease their advertising (easy, since they weren’t doing any), and apologize to the public and other 800-number users. “That was great because now it was being carried all over the world that we were apologizing that Star Wars fans were so enthusiastic about seeing Empire that they swamped AT&T,” Miller said, laughing.

(9) MAKING THE SCENE. Cat Rambo shares some material from a class, that takes apart what having a scene gives you for purposes of making it into a story: “More From Moving from Idea to Draft”

What it is:

A scene is usually a moment in time that has come to you. It usually has strong visual elements, and something is usually happening, such as a battle, or has just happened in it (a battlefield after the fighting is done). It is probably something that would appear at a significant moment of a story and not be peripheral to it.

What it gives you:

  • Everything but the plot. But actually, that’s not true. What is the main source of tension in the scene, what is the conflict that is driving things? That is probably a version of the overall plot.
  • A scene gives you a strong slice of the world and all that is implicit in that, including history and culture.
  • If characters are included in your scene, they are usually doing or have just done something more purposeful than just milling about. You have some sense of their occupation, their economic circumstances, and often some nuances of their relationship.

(10) NED BROOKS. Part of the late Ned Brooks’ fanzine collection is on display at the University of Georgia, where his family donated it.

The university library’s blog has posted “To Infinity and Beyond! Selections from the Ned Brooks Fanzine Collection”.

A look at a fun collection examining all facets of science fiction fandom. Included are representative fanzine titles from the 17,000+ issues to be found in the Brooks zine collection. They represent a variety of times (including the zine some hold to be the earliest Science Fiction zine in the U.S., Planet #1, from July of 1930), a myriad of international locales, and a broad spectrum of specialized Fandom communities and their interests. Mementos from Brooks’ 38-year career with NASA’s Langley Research Center, along with a vintage typewriter and early reproduction equipment.

The exhibit, in the Rotunda of the Russell Special Collections Libraries, will be up through July.

(11) COOL SPACE PICTURES. Digg has “The Best Space Photos from April”.

Every day satellites are zooming through space, snapping incredible pictures of Earth, the solar system and outer space. Here are the highlights from April.

(12) YA AND AWARDS. Joe Sherry makes raises a point about YA in his post about “2016 Locus Award Finalists” at Adventures in Reading.

This is likely worth a longer discussion, but this year’s Locus Awards are pretty close to what the Hugo Awards should have looked like in the absence of the Rabid Puppy participants voting a slate in apparent lockstep….

Now, there are things we can argue with because it isn’t an awards list or a list of books at all if there isn’t something to argue with. For example, the YA category features five books written by men even though a huuuuuuge number of YA novels are written by women. Further, Navah Wolfe points out that the nominees in this category are, across the board, writers best known for adult science fiction and fantasy.

In terms of the Locus Awards, I think this is a bug rather than a feature. Locus (and it’s readers who voted / nominated), as a whole, is far more plugged into the adult SFF scene. Their nominees for Young Adult Book very strongly reflects this.

This isn’t to say that these finalists are bad, because they very much are not, but they are also not reflective of the YA field.

A committee has been looking at a proposed YA Hugo category for a couple of years. The Hugo voter demographic is probably similar to that of Locus voters. So if we make two assumptions – that the category had existed this year and was not affected by a slate – wouldn’t the shortlist have looked pretty much like the Locus Award YA novel category? And how does that affect people’s interest in having a YA Hugo category?


(14) ANOTHER SHOCK. Because that’s what popularly voted awards do?

(15) USE OF WEAPONS. Paul Weimer curated the latest SF Signal Mind Meld reading pleasure today, in which people talk about their favorite SF/F weapons.

(16) TODAY IN HISTORY. Norm Hollyn remembered on Facebook:

May 4 is the 19th anniversary of the death of Lou Stathis, one of my closest friends and major influences (I first heard the Mothers thanks to him). Hopefully you’re happily playing the kazoo wherever you are.

(17) HAY THERE. Signal boosting author Judith Tarr’s appeal to help feed her horses.

Right now I do not know how I’m going to feed the horses for the rest of the month. I have managed to scrape out enough to pay for the last load of hay (if that late check finally gets here), but once it’s eaten, which it will be in about ten days, I don’t know what I’m going to do. The farm will be gone by midsummer unless I find a steady source of sufficient income. I’ve been hustling like a hustling thing but so far with minimal results.

The market does not want either me or the horses. The horses are all old and therefore retired and unsalable, or else would require thousands of dollars’ worth of training and show fees to have any sale value. No one can take them. The market is saturated with unwanted horses and the rescues are overloaded. I am over 60, hearing impaired (ergo, unable to use the phone), and with chronic fatigue syndrome which makes office or minimum-wage work difficult to impossible. And minimum wage would not support the animals, let alone me. All my income streams from backlist books, editing, writing, etc. have shrunk to a trickle or dried up. No one has booked a Camp in over a year.

I have had a few small things come through, but as with everything else, they’ve fallen short or failed to produce. I continue to push, and with the fiction writing regaining its old fluidity, I may manage to make something happen there. I’ve been urged to try an Indiegogo for a short novel, and I am closing in on that. (Indiegogo, unlike Kickstarter, offers an option that pays even if the goal is not met. The goal would be enough to cover mortgage, horses, and utilities for a month.) Since for the first time in my life I’m able to write more than one project at a time, that means I can continue to meet my obligation to backers of last November’s Kickstarter for a science-fiction novel, and also write the novella (and short stories, too).

A friend suggested that I offer sponsorships for the horses. I feel weird about that, but they need to eat. What I would give in return is a little writeup about the horse being sponsored, with a digital album of pictures and a monthly update. And short fiction as it happens, if you are a reader with an interest….

Details and specific support levels at the site.

(18) MEMORY OF THINGS PAST. Katster once was “Dreaming of Rockets”

Of course things got derailed.  My cunning plan to eventually raise myself to a point where I’d get notice from the nominating body of Worldcon crashed hard with two factors — the rise of blogs and fancasts as well as the related fact that pros were getting nominated in the fan awards and, more importantly, my own demons.

I’d end up semi-GAFIAting (the acronym means Getting Away From It All, and covered anybody who’s dropped out of science fiction) and not being very enamored of fandom in general.  The break point came in 2013, with a completely different award.  Fanzine fandom recognizes its own in an award called the Fan Achievement Awards (FAAns) and I’d hoped a particular issue of my fanzine Rhyme and Paradox I’d poured my heart into might have a chance at Best Issue.  A friend of mine said he was nominating it, and I hesitantly nominated it myself, hoping in some way that it would end up on the shortlist.  It didn’t, and the award was won by somebody that was well known in fandom for a typical issue of his (once a year) fanzine.

The blow really came when I got ahold of the longlist and found how many votes my ‘zine had gotten.  It had gotten two, one from my friend and one from me.  It stung like hell.  Here I had poured my heart out writing that zine (I still think it’s some of my best writing ever) and it had sailed quietly in the night.  I know, it’s just an award, and all these things are popularity contests, but even now, I feel the hurt in that moment.

I wonder if it’s the same hurt that has fueled the slates.  The influence of failing to get an award did somewhat lead Larry Correia to start making slates.  As I’ve said before, the Hugos were vulnerable to this kind of attack, but it was explained to me pretty early in fandom that making slates was anathema in fandom, a policy only practiced by Scientologists.  Everybody knows where the rest of this story goes.

(19) ANTI. “’Ghostbusters’ Is the Most Disliked Movie Trailer in YouTube History” says The Hollywood Reporter.

Not only does it have the most dislikes for a trailer on the social platform, but it also makes the top 25 most disliked videos overall.

Things are not boding well for director Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters based on the film’s first official trailer on YouTube.

Released March 3, the trailer, viewed 29.2 million times and counting, is the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history, according to “MyTop100Videos” channel’s “Most Disliked Videos” list that was last updated April 16. (Justin Bieber comes in at No. 1 with 5.99 million dislikes for “Baby.”)

Coming in at No. 23, the reboot — starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth — has more than double the number of dislikes as likes (208,606)….

Although there has been controversy over the trailer, with many YouTube comments centered around the all-female cast, the video has been generating mostly positive reviews on Facebook with 1,186,569 positive reactions (like, love, haha and wow) and 32,589 negative reactions (sad, angry). The reactions add up to 97.3 percent positive sentiments on Facebook overall.

(20) BREAK THE PIGGY BANK. Coming August 16 in Blu-Ray/DVD — “The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension [Collector’s Edition]”. (Doesn’t it feel like you’ve been reading the word “buckaroo” a lot this week?)

Expect the unexpected… he does.

Neurosurgeon. Physicist. Rock Star. Hero. Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller, Robocop) is a true 80s renaissance man. With the help of his uniquely qualified team, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, Buckaroo is ready to save the world on a moment’s notice. But after his successful test of the Oscillation Overthruster – a device that allows him to travel through solid matter – he unleashes the threat of “evil, pure and simple from the 8th Dimension”… the alien Red Lectroids.

Led by the deranged dictator Lord John Whorfin (John Lithgow), the Lectroids steal the Overthruster with the intent of using it to return to their home of Planet 10 “real soon!” But no matter where you go, there Buckaroo Banzai is… ready to battle an interdimensional menace that could spell doom for the human race.

How can Buckaroo stop the Lectroids’ fiendish plots? Who is the mysterious Penny Priddy? Why is there a watermelon there? For the answers to these and other questions, you have to watch The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, monkey boy!

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mark-kitteh, James Davis Nicoll, Will R., Martin Morse Wooster, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

Brooks’ Fanzines Donated

Ned Brooks’ fanzines — over one ton of them — are being donated to the Special Collections of the University of Georgia Library. Brooks passed away August 31.

The report comes from Brooks’ literary executor, George Beahm, a brief mention published in the November issue of Locus.

Update 11/27/2015: George Beahm explained that although he originally said in a comment here at File 770 that the fanzines would be donated to the Eaton Collection, they have indeed gone to the University of Georgia. “The fanzines are now at their Special Collections. I changed my mind after Ned’s family made their preference clear, since Ned’s brother Dan, and Ned’s parents graduated from UGa. There will be a preview of the collection sometime next year, a mini-display.”

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]

Ned Brooks: A Pair of Obituaries by Tim Marion

Ned Brooks around 1971.

Ned Brooks around 1976.

Ned Brooks: subjective obituary

By Tim Marion: I can’t believe it. This must surely be a hoax, ’cause Ned just loved hoaxes. He even liked death hoaxes, as long as they weren’t carried too far.

Just got news on Facebook that Ned (Cuyler Warnell Brooks Jr.) passed away while attempting to repair the roof of his house; he apparently fell, sustaining a fatal injury. What a waste! He used to brag that he would probably live to over 100, like his mother did. I used to joke that he could leave me this or that in his will, as I am slightly over 20 years younger than him. “How do you know I won’t live longer than you?” he would rejoinder.

Although I recall some hand-scrawled correspondence with another Doc Savage fan, for whose fanzine I wrote comic book reviews (a zine which never materialized, as far I know), it wasn’t until several months later that I met the first fan I ever knew, Ned Brooks, in October 1970. A mutual acquaintance had told me of a man whose house was filled with science fiction books and I became very much inspired to meet this fellow. Upon entering his house, I saw stacks of ERBdom on a tabletop. “Wow, ERBdom! Do you have any other fanzines?” I asked excitedly. At this point, he gave me an extra copy of the final issue of his genzine, The New Newport News News (a title that played on the name of the city we lived in, Newport News, Virginia).

Over the years we had our ups and down with each other, and our failures to understand one another, but basically, he introduced me to fandom and published, on his ditto machine, my first several fanzines and apazines. More recently, he has helped me with both my art collection and in other ways, while I have, in the midst of collecting fanzine collections, filled in holes in his. Even during these days we still have had trouble understanding each other on occasion, but have remained friends. I will continue to think of him that way, just a friend now whom I can no longer write, call, or, alas, visit.

Have a good time at that Worldcon in Brownsville, Ned — I’ll join you when I can.

Ned Brooks: objective obituary

By Tim Marion: Cuyler Warnell Brooks, Jr., was born in Montana and was the son of Cuyler Warnell Brooks Sr., who was also nicknamed “Ned.” Ned never did discover the origin of the nickname. Ned once boasted that at the age of five, he had the sense to leave Montana. A military brat, his family moved to Chile, where Ned spent his childhood. There, Ned learned to read Spanish, although he never really spoke it all that fluently.

Ned went to school at Georgia Tech where he graduated with a 2.5 grade average and a degree in physics. He went to work for NASA, in Hampton, Virginia, in 1959, during which time he rented a room on Briarfield Road in Newport News, Virginia. Somehow he got a hold of an issue of Buck Coulson’s fanzine Yandro and started subscribing to fanzines from there. At one point or another, Ned was quite a proficient letterhack. However, his accumulation of books grew to the point that the people he was staying with had to say, “It’s either you or your books…!” and so Ned purchased the now mildly famous house at 713 Paul Street (on which he, years later, had still more additional rooms built in order to hold his continually burgeoning collection).

Ned met Vaughn Bodé at a convention in the mid-1960s. Vaughn had a strong interest in science fiction and a brilliant cartoony style that was perfect for fanzines. At Vaughn’s request, Ned gave Vaughn the names and addresses of a bunch of prominent fanzine publishers. This was the beginning of Vaughn being “discovered.” In the early 1970s Ned, with George Beahm, started The Bodé Collectors, a mail order company designed to cheaply and affordably offer Bode products to his growing legion of fans, as well as to prepare the way for The Vaughn Bodé Illustration Index, which George compiled and published in 1976 (which unfortunately shortly followed Vaughn’s death). Years later, the two also collaborated on Kirk’s Works, a complete (at the time) listing of all appearances of Tim Kirk’s art.

Ned worked for NASA for 39 years, then retired to Lilburn, Georgia, in order to be closer to his relatives. He purchased and arranged a large house with room for all his books and there was even a separate room for his antique typewriter collection.

Ned also published a lot of fanzines — besides being a member of SFPA since the late 1960s and SLANAPA since 1970 (during which he had a perfect attendance record for each mailing) and a member of N’APA and Apanage (the latter which he named) briefly, he was also a member of the N3F and published ten issues of Collectors’ Bulletin for them, a mighty bibliographic effort each time. He also did five issues of a ditto’d genzine, The New Newport News News, as well as 26 issues of It Comes in the Mail (personalzine listing and reviewing the interesting and fan-related mail he received), and most recently, 36 issues of It Goes on the Shelf (personalzine reviewing books he had picked up). He also published the Hannes Bok Illustration Index in the 1960s and, much later, several small-press books in magazine format, including an edition of C.L. Moore’s and Henry Kuttner’s story “Quest of the Starstone” which was illustrated by Alan Hunter (book entitled Quest for the Green Hills of Earth). He has been popular in the N3F, Southern Fandom (where he won both Rebel and Rubble Awards at different times), and fanzine fandom in general.

He is survived by his sister Mary and her son Joe.

Ned Brooks (1938-2015)

Ned Brooks. Photo by Gary Meek.

Ned Brooks. Photo by Gary Meek.

Southern fan Cuyler W. “Ned” Brooks died August 31. The 77-year-old had been on his roof making repairs when he fell off and died.

He was in his sixth decade as a fan, a life begun by answering a small ad in a science fiction magazine, “Discover fandom for $2.”

In 1963 Ned attended his first Worldcon, Discon in Washington, DC. In the mid-1960s he was also involved in the National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) and edited its Collector’s Bulletin. In 1972 he won the organization’s Kaymar Award, given for service.

Ned joined the Southern Fandom Press Association (SFPA) in May 1967 and remained a member the rest of his life. His SFPAzine, The New Port News, reached #200 back in September 2001. The last issue in July was #282.

He co-founded Slanapa, (Slanderous Amateur Press Association), a monthly apa with rotating Official Editor. He was OE for the August 2015 mailing, the 547th, which members received about a week ago.

Ned gained fame throughout fandom by publishing 28 bimonthly issues of It Comes in the Mail (1972-1978), and around three dozen issues of a review-oriented successor, It Goes on the Shelf, which he started in 1985.

“[It Comes in the Mail] worked on the basis that I would comment on everything pertaining to science-fiction and science-fiction fandom that I got in the mail,” he once explained. “It died of success — with only an electric typewriter and a mimeograph machine, I could not keep up – the larger the zine got, the more came in the mail.”

People were impressed with the relentless effort required to do It Comes in the Mail – including Donn Brazier, who in 1972 made Brooks one of the first 13 fans on the mailing list for his soon-to-be legendary fanzine Title.

Tim Marion recalls that Brooks not only introduced him to fandom in the 1970s, but published Tim’s first zines for him on his ditto machine.

Brooks’ worklife was spent as a NASA wind tunnel engineer, hired after graduation from Georgia Tech in 1959. D. Gary Grady once visited Brooks’ home where he saw “hanging over the stairs to the basement was a net, one used by NASA to catch tiles that fell off the Shuttle during launch. If I recall what he said correctly, the tiles were tested in the wind tunnel he helped run at NASA’s facility in Langley Virginia until his retirement.”

In recent years he notably did generous yeoman work copying things in his collection for other people’s research and projects. He donated fanzines to help fill in gaps in the archives of the Eaton Collection at UC Riverside. And he was interviewed about his devotion to paper fanzines for a pre-Dragon*Con feature in the Atlanta Constitution-Journal in 2010 – although he never attended the con. (Read the full story here.)

Ned Brooks with his fanzine collection. Photo from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ned Brooks with his fanzine collection. Photo from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Don’t be fooled, though, Ned engaged in internet fanac, too. As of this writing his website is still online. Also, in June 2014, Brooks brought the quasiquote to the attention of the Shady Characters blog (about “The secret life of punctuation”).

He was the Fan Guest of Honor at Rivercon IV in 1978 and at DeepSouthCon 39 in 2001. He was the recipient of the Rebel Award in 1976 and the Rubble Award in 1992.

Andrew Porter reports, “He did have a will, and his family is aware of the value of his many collections. They will do the right thing by him, and dispose of them with the assistance of fandom.”

[Thanks to Steven H Silver, Tim Marion, Taral Wayne, Kyla and Rich Lynch for the story.]

Fanartist Alan Hunter Dies

Alan Hunter. Photograph by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

British fanartist Alan Hunter died August 1 after a long illness. Ned Brooks learned of his passing from Alan’s son.

Andrew Porter published many pieces of Hunter art in Algol/Starship and Science Fiction Chronicle and recalls that the back cover on the final issue of Starship was by him. Porter visited him in Bournemouth on a trip to the UK in 1993 and says, “A really nice guy and a wonderful artist, who should have been an artist guest of honor somewhere. But now it’s too late.”

Here are three examples of Hunter’s art which appeared in Science Fiction Chronicle as headers above Porter’s editorials.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

Roots of Dragon*Con?

Ned Brooks

With Dragon*Con approaching you’d naturally expect Access Atlanta to run a feature about this major hometown event. But would you expect it to be devoted to a veteran fanzine fan?

More than 40,000 Klingons, Jedi knights and devotees of science fiction and fantasy are expected to descend on downtown Atlanta starting Friday for the 24th annual DragonCon festival.

Where do these people come from? An answer lies in a nondescript house in a Lilburn subdivision, stuffed with typewriters and mimeograph machines, staplers and faded amateur anthologies.

Welcome to the home of Cuyler “Ned” Brooks, fanzine publisher.

The reporter also quotes Toni Weisskopf of Baen Books and Melissa Conway, curator of the special collection of fanzines at UC Riverside.