Curt Stubbs (1948-2019)

Longtime Arizona fan Curt Stubbs (1948-2019) passed away on September 14 at Pepe Hospice in Tucson, Arizona, of a brain hemorrhage, complicated by chronic ill health.

He discovered fandom in 1974 and soon became one of the pillars of Phoenix fandom, helping to found LepreCon, and the Central Arizona Science Fiction Literary Society (CASFS).

Curt also was involved with the successful Phoenix in 1978 Worldcon bid, and worked on the Denver Worldcon art show (Denvention II, 1981). In between, Denver’s MileHiCon 11 (1979) made him their Fan Guest of Honor.

Jeanne Grace Jackson’s tribute in the September issue of DASFAx adds:

…Curt was a lifelong poet, and was sometimes published. He served as a perennial docent at the University of Arizona Poetry Center; his tenure there—the longest on record—was terminated by his death. He was also active in Tucson’s LGBTQ community, and recognized by the Southern Arizona Senior Pride organization as their Poet Laureate in 2017. Several Tucson fans are working to conserve his papers.

 …During my early years in fandom, he was known as “Captain Coors,” always the life of the party at fannish gatherings with tricorn hat, handlebar mustache, and a can of Coors beer. The back seat of “Cthulhu,” his jalopy, often overflowed with empties. He and I enjoyed many a gaming session together with other fannish friends, most often playing Tunnels & Trolls or Diplomacy. We shared many good times in Phoenix fandom, as well as a few rocky ones (during which we were allies, not antagonists)….

He is survived by his son, Joel, his granddaughter, Eryn, his sister, Donna.

Curt Stubbs in 2017.

Katherine MacLean (1925-2019)

Katherine MacLean

Katherine MacLean died September 1 her son, Carl Mason, reported on Facebook. She was 94.

While she worked as a laboratory technician in 1947 MacLean began writing science fiction. Her first published story, “Defense Mechanism,” appeared in Astounding in 1949 and the majority of her short fiction was published during the following decade. “Second Game,” written in collaboration with Charles V. De Vet was a Best Novelette Hugo nominee in 1959.

In the Seventies MacLean produced three novels, one of them a fix-up combining several of her shorter works.

She was married to Charles Dye from 1951-1953; later married David Mason, 1956-1962; and her third husband was Carl West.

For Eric Leif Davin’s Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, 1926-1965, MacLean supplied him with a detailed description of her negotiations with John W. Campbell in regards to the publication of her earliest stories. She had to be convinced by Astounding’s associate editor L. Jerome Stanton that Campbell wasn’t stringing her along by asking for revisions out of an unwillingness to publish a story by a woman. Indeed, he would buy three of her earliest stories and publish them under her full name.

Critics and colleagues praised her sff highly: Damon Knight wrote, “As a science fiction writer she has few peers; her work is not only technically brilliant but has a rare human warmth and richness.” Brian Aldiss said she could “do the hard stuff magnificently,” while Theodore Sturgeon observed that she “generally starts from a base of hard science, or rationalizes psi phenomena with beautifully finished logic.”

In 2017, Samuel R. Delany campaigned to make her a SFWA Grand Master:

Since it is not about quantity, but quality and influence, that is why the award should be given her. As I wrote to her when I the award was announced for me:

“Among the great absurdities of the SF world is that I am a grand master and you are not. Happy birthday and much love.” By not honoring her, we make our awards mean less. Her single collection of short stories (The Diploids) and her Nebula Award winning novel [sic] (Missing Man) pointed a new generation of writers the way sentences had to be put together to tell a story both humanly and intellectually satisfying, and an older generation recognized it.

MacLean’s novella “The Missing Man” won a Nebula Award in 1971. The expanded novel-length version was nominated for a Nebula in 1976. In 2003 MacLean was honored as an SFWA Author Emeritus. In 2011, she received the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award.

Fritz Leiber and Katherine MacLean in 1952.

Jack Weaver (1926-2019), Retired Fanac.org Webmaster

Jack Weaver & Laurie Mann at LACon IV, 2006. Photo by Melanie Herz

Jack Weave(Dec. 30, 1926 — Sep. 2, 2019)

By Edie Stern: Florida fan Jack Weaver was primarily known for his work as webmaster of FANAC.org, a role he held from 1995 until 2016. He was the designer, programmer and content manager of the site for more than 20 years, receiving an award at FanHistoricon 13 in 2016 for this accomplishment.

In the 1950s, Jack served in the Navy as a submariner. He later joined IBM as a customer engineer, and then moved on to hardcore programming. By the 1980’s he was working on real-time telephony applications. Jack was a member of the Wappingers Falls volunteer fire department until, in his words, he “lost an argument with a firetruck.” The resulting hardware in his leg caused considerable medical problems later in life as well as compromised mobility.

A long-time science fiction reader, Jack was introduced to fandom through Tropicon and SFSFS, the South Florida Science Fiction Society. In the 80s, he was a Tropicon mainstay, especially when it came to the physical labor of putting on a convention. He, along with Lee Hoffman, ran art show setup and take down. You can see many of Jack’s photos of Tropicon on the FANAC website.

Forced away from in person fannish participation by family medical issues, Jack continued to be a presence. In the mid-90s when The Fan History Project started, he got involved with the website. After his retirement from IBM, Jack personally wrote all the code to create the website pages, before standard software was available on the web. This code is still running today, and Jack’s last code drop was in January of 2019. He credited his work on FANAC with keeping him mentally sharp, despite the challenges of old age.

Jack is survived by his three children and many grandchildren. According to his son John, his death was painless and peaceful, and “He died the way he wanted to, in his own home, not a hospital room.”

Brad Linaweaver (1952-2019)

Brad Linaweaver in 1989 holding his Prometheus Award. Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

Prometheus Award-winning author Brad Linaweaver died August 29 after a long battle with cancer. He would have been 67 on Sunday.

I met Brad long ago through other Libertarian fans and knew about his good sense of humor – he attended the satirical Hogu Ranquets organized at Worldcons by Elst Weinstein and John Novak. His goal was a pro writing career and he made his mark with some noteworthy sff.

The novella version of his novel Moon of Ice was a Nebula Award finalist (1983) and the novel length version won a Prometheus Award (1989). Linaweaver shared a second Prometheus Award (1998) with Ed Kramer for co-editing Free Space, a libertarian science fiction anthology from TOR books. His novels Anarquia with J. Kent Hastings, and Sliders (based on the television series) were also Prometheus nominees.

Linaweaver’s other novels include The Land Beyond Summer, four Doom novels with Dafydd ab Hugh, and three Battlestar Galactica novels with actor Richard Hatch.

He had original story credits on a number of films, including The Brain Leeches and Jack-O for Fred Olen Ray.

He was proud to add, in the bio he sent me when I ran program at the 2000 Loscon, “Besides playing a werewolf in the upcoming Vampire Hunters Club, his media credits include story adaptations for radio, and cameo appearances in almost a dozen feature films, including Attack of the Sixty Foot Centerfold. Brad even did a scene with Kato Kaelin before he because America’s most famous houseguest (Kato, not Brad).” Kaelin was a witness in the OJ Simpson trial (1995).

His nonfiction appeared in National Review, Chronicles, Reason, The Agorist Quarterly,and Famous Monsters of Filmland.

In 2004, he co-authored Worlds of Tomorrow with Forrest J Ackerman, a hardcover coffee table book that spotlights science fiction cover art from the Golden Age.

He was the publisher of Mondo Cult Magazine and its associated website, edited by Jessie Lilley Campbell.

One of Linaweaver’s proudest possessions was a small brass cannon once owned by Robert and Virginia Heinlein. For nearly 30 years they fired it every July 4 at the Heinlein residence. Virginia bequeathed to Linaweaver when she died in 2003. He restored it and in 2007 made a video of it being fired several times (with very small charges). (Cannon discharges begin around 6:41.)

One Went Twice, One Tried Twice

Geraldyn M. “Jerrie” Cobb poses next to a Mercury spaceship capsule.

by John Hertz: (reprinted from No Direction Home 25) Earlier (here) I told of Owen Garriott 1930-2019 (age 88), the first astronaut to operate an amateur radio station from Space (call sign W5LFL).  He was the science pilot of Skylab 3 (1973); he went again on Space Shuttle Columbia (1983).

Geraldyn M. Cobb 1931-2019 (also age 88) died a month earlier.  She had a solo pilot’s license at 16; both a private and a commercial pilot’s license by 18.  She went on to earn Multi-Engine, Instrument, Flight Instructor, and Ground Instructor ratings, and an Airline Transport license.  At age 19 she was teaching men to fly.  At 21 she was delivering fighters and four-engine bombers to foreign Air Forces around the world.  At 29 she had logged 7,000 hours in the cockpit.  She had set world records for speed, distance, and absolute altitude.  She was the first woman to fly in the Paris Air Show.

In 1960 William Randolph Lovelace II 1907-1965, a United States physician, was head of the U.S. Nat’l Aeronautics & Space Adm’n Special Committee on Bioastronautics.  He and Brig. Gen. Donald Flickinger invited Cobb to undergo the physical testing regimen developed by the Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education & Research, Albuquerque, New Mexico, to help select the first NASA astronauts.  She was the first woman to pass.  Twelve more followed.  The program had not been authorized by NASA.  It was cancelled.

Cobb wrote to President Kennedy and saw Vice President Johnson.  On 17-18 Jul 62, U.S. Representative Victor Anfuso (Democrat – 8th District of New York; served in 82nd, 84th-87th Congresses 1951-1953, 1955-1963; lived 1905-1966) held public hearings before a special Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science & Astronautics.  Cobb testified “We women pilots…. seek only a place in our nation’s Space future without discrimination.”  NASA required all astronauts to be graduates of military jet test-piloting programs, and have engineering degrees; no woman met those requirements.  No action resulted.  Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (1937-  ) became the first woman in Space on 16 Jun 63.

Cobb undertook a career as a missionary pilot to indigenous people of the Amazon jungle.  For the next 48 years, typically flying solo in her Aero Commander, using self-drawn maps and pioneering air routes across rainforests and the Andes Mountains, she enabled deliveries of clothing, food, medicine, and seeds.  In 1973, President Nixon awarded her the Harmon Trophy, naming her “the top woman pilot in the world.”

In 1998, NASA announced it was sending John Glenn 1921-2016 back into Space at age 77 to study effects on an older human body.  Cobb asked to go.  The Nat’l Organization for Women campaigned for her.  She was 67.  She was not sent.

She was placed in the Nat’l Aviation Hall of Fame in 2012.  R.I.P.

Carl Slaughter (1958-2019)

File 770’s Carl Slaughter died August 11 in a car accident. The Murray, Kentucky fan had just moved back to the U.S. in March after years spent teaching English in China.

Carl had more than 250 reviews, interviews, features, and critiques published at Tangent, Diabolical Plots, SF Signal, File 770, and the Critters Workshop. I’m grateful he was so generous with his talent here.

Carl discovered fandom in a roundabout way, as he recalled in “An Interviewer’s Journey: From Battery Power to Warp 9”:

I didn’t set out to become an interviewer.  Or a muse for that matter.  Video compilations, never conceived it.

I just wanted some feedback about the first 10 chapters of a novel I intended to write.  To qualify for that feedback, Critters, the oldest and largest online speculative fiction workshop, required that I provide feedback to other writers.  Soon I started getting feedback from those writers about my critiques of their stories:  You understand my story and what I’m trying to accomplish with it much more than other critiquers.

When Tangent put out a call for reviewers, I used my Critters work to get on as a reviewer.  Fellow Critter Frank Dutkiewicz introduced me to Diabolical Plots, which was trying to accomplish the monumental task of reviewing all of Daily Science Fiction’s stories.  So I used my Tangent work to get on with Diabolical Plots.  I checked out the Diabolical Plots site and discovered that they also do interviews. Mike Resnick was my first interviewee…

When David Steffen, editor of Diabolical Plots, transferred his attention to The Submissions Grinder, which became an institution virtually overnight, he connected Carl with John DeNardo at SF Signal.  When DeNardo shut down his site in 2016, I invited Carl to contribute to File 770.

One of his first interviews here was with Liu Cixin (“Liu Cixin, The 3 Body Problem, and the Growth of SF in China”). By the following year he had registered the 100th interview of his career, with Cat Rambo.

Carl was a whirlwind of productivity. Even as he was transitioning between sites in 2016 he did 225 posts — interviews, features, profiles, reviews, essays, editorials, and news tips. I was energized by his creativity and constant flow of ideas, and he broadened File 770’s coverage with his many YouTube video roundups.

Professionally, for the past 15 years he traveled the globe teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) in 6 countries on 3 continents.  His essay on Chinese culture was published in Beijing Review. His essay on Korean culture was published in The Korea Times, as was his expose on the Korean ESL industry. For several years, he was editor of ESL Book Review. He created a Facebook page “ESL Around the World” with many photos of his classes.

A student with Carl Slaughter in the “English Corner” at China Australia High School in Zhengzhou.

He earned his BA in Communications in Journalism and Broadcast from Murray State University. Throughout his years of travel Carl made many friends while maintaining strong ties to Kentucky, his family, and church, returning periodically to the Western Kentucky area. 

He is survived by his older brother Paul Eugene Slaughter of Landisburg, Pennsylvania and younger sister Elizabeth Ann Slaughter of Round Rock, Texas.

Thanks to Elizabeth for contacting me with the news about Carl, and for sharing a draft of the family obituary. Elizabeth says Carl’s memorial service, when scheduled, will be at the Collier Funeral Home in Benton, Kentucky. A statement about making donations in his name will also follow once an appropriate non-profit is selected.  

Martin Hoare (1952-2019)

David Langford’s caption: “A photo by me of Martin in his natural habitat — a pub — on the occasion of Curt Phillips’s visit to Reading as part of his 2014 TAFF trip.”

British conrunner Martin Hoare died July 26, reportedly from infection following an emergency surgical procedure. He was 67.

Born in Newport, Wales in 1952, he went to the same nursery schools as Dave Langford who remembers him as “My oldest friend.”

In that capacity Martin gained fannish fame as the familiar accepter of Langford’s many Hugos won at overseas Worldcons. When he accepted Langford’s Best Fanwriter Hugo at Chicon 2000, he promised that an sf blockbuster based on “The Collected Hugo Acceptance Speeches of Dave Langford” was already in production as a movie.

Martin Hoare (left) and Mike Glyer (right) at Noreascon 3. Photo from Fanac.org site.

He read Physics at Oxford and developed an interest in beer.  He started working in the computer industry in 1973.

Dermot Dobson recalls another memorable accomplishment:

In the 1980s, I had an idea for a medical tele-radiology system for emergency management in neuro radiology. I developed the hardware and it was to Martin that I went to form a partnership for which he wrote the software. It spawned over a dozen academic papers, including ones that reported ImageLink had been instrumental in saving the lives of hundreds of patients and improving the outcome of many hundreds more.

Anders Bellis told Facebook friends, “He also had a law degree. He was a Welshman who moved to England. if I remember correctly some time during the seventies, but he was always proud of Wales and of being a Welshman.”

In his fannish career, Fancyclopedia 3 credits him as co-chair of Seacon ’84 and Helicon 2, the 1984 and 2002 Eastercons. He worked on innumerable convention committees, including acting as Division Head at ConFiction (1990 Worldcon).

Martin said he was on more Eastercon committees that anyone else. He also was known for organizing fireworks shows at British conventions. And the real ale bars he hosted were legendary. Eastercon members voiced their thanks for all by voting him the Doc Weir Award in 2015, traditionally given to good guys and unsung heroes.

Martin was predeceased by his wife, Jean, in 1999.

Update: David Langford adds that nursery school was just the beginning — followed by their years together in “junior school, secondary school and Oxford college (Brasenose). After some divergence caused by job choices, we also ended up living in Reading. I was best man at all three of his weddings, the last to Jean; it was pointed out today that he died exactly twenty years after her.”

Martin Hoare at MagiCon (1992).

[Thanks to David Langford and Marcia Illingworth for the story.]

Remembering Vince and Tommy De Noble

By Steve Vertlieb: I met Tommy De Noble in 1967 when I was working as an announcer at WDVR Radio in the old Reynolds Aluminum Building in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. Tommy was one of the most handsome men I’d ever met. He was a singer, recording artist, and actor. He might have passed for James Darren’s twin brother. Dick Clark wrote in his book that Tommy was “the most popular dancer in the history of American Bandstand.” Tommy had just returned from a stint in the Army on the West Coast, and was looking for work in the Philadelphia area. Tommy and his brothers, Vince and Lou, were all from Philadelphia, but Tommy had gone to Hollywood to make his fortune. He had won a gold record for “Count Every Star,” and appeared in several motion pictures and television shows but, after his required stint in the military, gigs out West had somehow disappeared.

Somewhere around 1975, Tommy landed a position as film director at WTAF TV 29 in Philadelphia. We had become best friends and brothers in the ensuing years, and Tommy offered me a job as a film editor at the television station. I accepted, and there began the happiest employment that I’ve ever known. I was with WTAF for twelve years, from 1976 until 1988. Fleshing out the remainder of the film department were a very gifted artist named Bill Levers, and Tommy’s younger brother, Vince. We soon became inseparable. We went everywhere together, and laughed from morning until night. Bill was one of the funniest men I’ve ever known, and Vince became like my own little brother. We were quite literally “The Four Musketeers.” I’d grow excited each morning when I left for work, and become depressed in the late afternoon when it came time to leave work and return home.

Our happiness was not to last, however. After a dozen years with the station, Taft Broadcasting sold us to a tiny, fly by night chain that set about cutting corners, and eliminating personnel. I was laid off, and never again returned to the field that I hoped would constitute my life’s career. Some years later, Tommy had a stroke, and passed away. Vince asked me to read the scriptures at his funeral service. At Tommy’s memorial, a group of us stood around, in disbelief, talking and remembering our friend and co-worker. As we prepared to leave, one by one, the room had grown silent. A CD of Tommy’s recordings had been playing over the loudspeaker. Tommy’s voice sang ever so sweetly across the room. The lyrics of that last song haunt me still … “For all we know, we may never meet again.” Tommy was singing goodbye to his many friends and loved ones.

About a year or so ago, I received a telephone call from Vince’s wife, Patty. She said that, like his older brother before him, Vince had suffered a stroke. I wanted to come and visit my old friend and co-worker, but Patty was valiantly protecting her beloved husband’s dignity. They wanted Vince to be remembered as we had known him in happier times. Vince passed away earlier this past week, joining Tommy in Heaven. As I left the funeral home and church this morning, I got into my car, and turned on the radio. I drove along the lonely streets in quiet disbelief, and softly cried. Nat King Cole was singing “For all we know, we may never meet again.”

Vonda McIntyre Memorial

Frank Catalano has posted a gallery of photos from Vonda McIntyre’s memorial on Facebook.

Vonda N McIntyre’s memorial was held Sunday at The Mountaineers by Magnuson Park in Seattle. There was much conversation, storytelling, and sushi (seasoned with #scifi remembrances). Vonda’s writing and friendship brought us together, and will keep her with us.

[Thanks to Frank Catalano for the story.]

Dennis Etchison (1943-2019)

Dennis Etchison in 2014.

Horror author Dennis Etchison (1943-2019) died during the night on May 29 reports his Facebook page.

The title story of Etchison’s first short story collection, The Dark Country (1982) received the World Fantasy Award (tied with Stephen King), as well as the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection of the year – the first time one writer received both major awards for a single work.

In the course of his career he won the British Fantasy Award three times for fiction, and two World Fantasy Awards for anthologies he edited.

Etchison served as President of Horror Writers Association from 1992 to 1994.

Etchison’s novels include Darkside (1986), Shadowman (1993), and California Gothic (1995). His movie novelizations include John Carpenter’s The Fog (1980), and (writing as “Jack Martin”) Halloween II (1981), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), and Videodrome (1983).

In 2002, Etchison adapted nearly 100 episodes of the original Twilight Zone TV series for a CBS radio series hosted by Stacy Keach.

The Horror Writers of America recognized him with its lifetime achievement award in 2017.

Etchison frequently participated in events at the old Mystery & Imagination Bookstore in Glendale honoring Ray Bradbury and George Clayton Johnson. He appeared annually at the LA Vintage Paperback Show.

Pete Atkins and Dennis Etchison outside Mystery & Imagination Bookstore in 2009.