June Moffatt (1926-2018)

Len and June Moffatt

Longtime LASFS member June Moffatt died May 31. June’s son Bob Konigsberg announced her passing on Facebook. She was 92.

June attended her first LASFS meeting 1947. By the time I joined in 1970 she was chair of the Board of Directors. Her maturity, compassion, and wisdom made her one of the club’s most admired and respected members.

June married Eph Konigsberg in 1949 and together they had three children Robert (Bob), Katie, and Jerry. June had little opportunity to visit the club for the next decade. After June and Eph divorced in 1964 she resumed going to LASFS meetings. That also was the year the club started APA-L, the weekly amateur publishing association, and June became a faithful contributor for decades.

Fred Pattenn and June Moffatt collating APA-L.

Len Moffatt, himself a LASFS member since 1946, married June in 1966. They both participated in club leadership, alternating terms on the LASFS Board of Directors, and serving in other offices.

Len and June were elected the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund delegates in 1973. Their TAFF trip report, The Moffatt House Abroad, which I mimeographed and slip-sheeted on the LASFS mimeo (!), for thirty years enjoyed the distinction of being the only full-length North American TAFF report completed and published.

Len and June also were active in mystery fandom. In 1965 they started publishing The JDM Bibliophile, about John D. MacDonald (who wrote in multiple genres, but was especially known for his Travis McGee detective series). And as Sherlock Holmes aficianados, they were members in the Blustering Gales of the SW and the Curious Collectors of Baker St.

In 1970, they co-founded Bouchercon, and chaired three of them. Today the convention is called Bouchercon: World Mystery Convention.

June in the 1970s. Photo by Bill Warren.

As part of another subfandom, she and Len were charter members of the Los Angeles SubERBs chapter of the Burroughs Bibliophiles.

They were jointly celebrated as guests of honor at Loscon 8 (1981), Bouchercon 16 (1985), and Tra-La-La Con (1997). LASFS gave them its Evans-Freehafer service award in 1994.

And at LASFS’s seventy-fifth anniversary in 2009, the couple presented “LASFS ALIVE AT 75!” in rhyme and prose.

JUNE:

In Nineteen Forty-Seven I got a treat
And was taken to the LASFS on Bixel Street.
I met Forry Ackerman, van Vogt and more
Science-fiction fans by the score.

Only a year later, Len predeceased her.

John Hertz and June Moffatt at the LASFS memorial for Len Moffatt.

After that June remained as active in the club as health permitted.

Following two hospitalizations in March of this year she entered hospice care. Her family reports that on May 31 she went peacefully. Her remains will be cremated.

[Thanks to Lee Gold for her help with this story – but any errors are mine!]

2018 Anthony Awards Nominees

Bouchercon logo

Bouchercon has posted the 2018 Anthony Awards shortlist.

The award for crime fiction will be presented at the convention on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

Nominees for the 2018 Anthony Awards are:

BEST NOVEL

  • The Late Show by Michael Connelly
  • Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  • Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
  • Glass Houses by Louise Penny
  • The Force by Don Winslow

BEST FIRST NOVEL

  • Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett
  • She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  • The Dry by Jane Harper
  • Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All by Christopher Irvin
  • The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL

  • Uncorking a Lie by Nadine Nettmann
  • Bad Boy Boogie by Thomas Pluck
  • What We Reckon by Eryk Pruitt
  • The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day
  • Cast the First Stone by James W. Ziskin

BILL CRIDER AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL IN A SERIES  

  • Give Up the Dead (Jay Porter #3) by Joe Clifford
  • Two Kinds of Truth (Harry Bosch #20) by Michael Connelly
  • Y is for Yesterday (Kinsey Millhone #25) by Sue Grafton
  • Glass Houses (Armand Gamache #13) by Louise Penny
  • Dangerous Ends (Pete Fernandez #3) by Alex Segura

BEST SHORT STORY

  • “The Trial of Madame Pelletier” by Susanna Calkins from Malice Domestic 12: Mystery Most Historical
  • “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Jen Conley from Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash
  • “My Side of the Matter” by Hilary Davidson from Killing Malmon
  • “Whose Wine Is It Anyway” by Barb Goffman from 50 Shades of Cabernet
  • “The Night They Burned Miss Dixie’s Place” by Debra Goldstein from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May/June 2017
  • “A Necessary Ingredient” by Art Taylor from Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea

BEST ANTHOLOGY     

  • Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash, Joe Clifford, editor
  • Killing Malmon, Dan & Kate Malmon, editors
  • Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, Andrew McAleer & Paul D. Marks, editors
  • Passport to Murder, Bouchercon Anthology 2017, John McFetridge, editor
  • The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir, Gary Phillips, editor

BEST CRITICAL/NON-FICTION BOOK 

  • From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon by Mattias Boström
  • The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
  • Chester B. Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P. Jackson
  • Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction by Jessica Lourey

BEST ONLINE CONTENT  

2017 Anthony Awards Nominees

The 2017 Anthony Awards nominees were announced May 17.

The Anthony Award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), well-known writer and critic from the New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America.

The awards will be presented at Bouchercon in Toronto on October 15.

ANTHONY AWARDS NOMINATIONS for 2017

Best Novel

You Will Know Me – Megan Abbott [Little, Brown]
Where It Hurts – Reed Farrel Coleman [G.P. Putnam’s Sons]
Red Right Hand – Chris Holm [Mulholland]
Wilde Lake – Laura Lippman [William Morrow]
A Great Reckoning – Louise Penny [Minotaur]

Best First Novel

Dodgers – Bill Beverly [Crown]
IQ – Joe Ide [Mulholland]
Decanting a Murder – Nadine Nettmann [Midnight Ink]
Design for Dying – Renee Patrick [Forge]
The Drifter – Nicholas Petrie [G.P. Putnam’s Sons]

Best Paperback Original

Shot in Detroit – Patricia Abbott [Polis]
Leadfoot – Eric Beetner [280 Steps]
Salem’s Cipher – Jess Lourey [Midnight Ink]
Rain Dogs – Adrian McKinty [Seventh Street]
How to Kill Friends and Implicate People – Jay Stringer [Thomas & Mercer]
Heart of Stone – James W. Ziskin [Seventh Street]

Best Short Story

“Oxford Girl” – Megan Abbott, Mississippi Noir [Akashic]
“Autumn at the Automat” – Lawrence Block, In Sunlight or in Shadow [Pegasus]
“Gary’s Got A Boner” – Johnny Shaw, Waiting to Be Forgotten [Gutter]
“Parallel Play” – Art Taylor, Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning [Wildside]
“Queen of the Dogs” – Holly West, 44 Caliber Funk: Tales of Crime, Soul and Payback [Moonstone]

Best Critical Nonfiction Work

Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life – Peter Ackroyd [Nan A. Talese]
Letters from a Serial Killer – Kristi Belcamino & Stephanie Kahalekulu [CreateSpace]
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin [Liveright]
Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker – David J. Skal [Liveright]
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer – Kate Summerscale [Bloomsbury/Penguin]

Best Children’s/YA Novel

Snowed – Maria Alexander [Raw Dog Screaming]
The Girl I Used to Be – April Henry [Henry Holt]
Tag, You’re Dead – J.C. Lane [Poisoned Pen]
My Sister Rosa – Justine Larbalestier [Soho Teen]
The Fixes – Owen Matthews [HarperTeen]

Best Anthology

Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns – Eric Beetner, ed. [Down & Out]
In Sunlight or in Shadow – Lawrence Block, ed. [Pegasus]
Cannibals: Stories from the Edge of the Pine Barrens – Jen Conley [Down & Out]
Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 – Greg Herren, ed. [Down & Out]
Waiting To Be Forgotten: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak, Inspired by the Replacements – Jay Stringer, ed. [Gutter]

Best Novella (8,000-40,000 words)

Cleaning Up Finn – Sarah M. Chen [All Due Respect Books]
No Happy Endings – Angel Luis Colón [Down & Out]
Crosswise – S.W. Lauden [Down & Out]
Beware the Shill – John Shepphird [Down & Out]
The Last Blue Glass – B.K. Stevens, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, April 2016 [Dell]

Chuck Crayne Dies Suddenly

Chuck Crayne, a pivotal figure in the history of science fiction conrunning, passed away on February 16, his 71st birthday. Dian Crayne told the Trufen list that Chuck’s CAT scan on Friday revealed his persistent back pain to be a symptom of spinal cancer. He was admitted to the hospital, then unfortunately died of cardiac problems while being transferred to intensive care.

Chuck was most active in fandom during the Sixties and Seventies. A LASFS member, he edited many issues of its newzine De Profundis.

When a Bay Area bid won the rights to host the 1968 Worldcon and promptly merged it with the Westercon they’d already been voted, vacating the July 4th weekend, Chuck Crayne came up with the idea for a substitute LA-area event to fill the date – F-UNCon – and a group to run it, Future Unbounded, which included himself and Bruce Pelz, Dian and others. As Rich Lynch explains, the site, the Statler Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, had a level of luxury that fans were not used to in convention hotels, and Crayne wrote in the program book that “The F-UNcon is an attempt to show that — when properly planned — the larger a convention, the better the convention.” The group also rebounded and officially won the right to a Westercon for 1969.

Crayne and Pelz anticipated and encouraged the explosive growth of conventions that marked the Seventies. They helped found (along with others) the Bouchercon for mystery fans in 1970. They bid for and co-chaired the 1972 Worldcon. L.A.con I was the largest to that time, though that record was quickly eclipsed as a growing fandom propelled both of the next two Worldcons, TorCon II and DisCon II to greater attendance and new records of their own.

Crayne played a leading role in LA Worldcon bids for 1975 and 1981. Although both lost, he leveraged the 1975 bid into a successful run for the rights to host the very first North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC).

While Chuck and I interacted only a few times over the years, his LoC on the first issue of File 770 in 1978 made some important comments that grounded me, and showed me what standard people had a right to expect from a newzine (and which I wasn’t meeting quite yet!) I’ll always remember him for that advice.

Len Moffatt in EQMM

Len Moffat’s Sherlockian poem “What a Friend We Have in Sherlock” appeared in the November issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. It’s about Holmes’s alleged relationship with Irene Adler.

The November issue is apparently off sale, but electronic texts are available from several online services, including ereader.com.

Len and his wife June are past TAFF delegates and long-time LASFSians, who helped organize several early Bouchercons.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]