Porter: Terry and Val Jeeves in 2007

By Andrew Porter: When I was staying in Scarborough, England during my celebratory “I beat cancer” trip in 2007, I visited Terry and his wife Val at their house, with Roy Gray, my host on the trip. Took several photos of the couple and of Terry’s many pieces of artwork on his walls — most of which were military or scenics, not SF, and all in color. The couple were lovely hosts. It was shortly after this that Terry’s wife’s health deteriorated…

Terry Jeeves Passes Away

Terry Jeeves with Frances Glynn in 1954.

Terry Jeeves (photo by Andrew Porter)

Prolific fan artist Terry Jeeves has passed away. Sheryl Birkhead received the news in an e-mail from Terry’s daughter.  

A member of First Fandom and winner of its Hall of Fame Award in 2010, Terry was active as an artist, organizer, faned and fan writer.

His art was popular and respected. He contributed countless humorous line drawings to fanzines and won the Rotsler Award in 2007. “The virtues of Terry’s work,” Taral Wayne once wrote, “is its invariable good humour, and the by and large pleasing nature of its construction.”

In the days when most fanzines were mimeographed, Jeeves was regarded as having few peers for his work on stencil. His “Soggies,” characters he originally created to be both distinctive in appearance and easy to draw, even appeared in a number of professional hobbyist magazines.

He helped found the British Science Fiction Association in 1958, later serving as chair and as editor of its zine, Vector.  He was one of the first fans recognized with the Doc Weir Award for service to British Fandom.

Jeeves published a fanzine of his own, Erg, for over 40 years. He also co-edited Triode with Eric Bentcliffe. He produced a bibliographical Checklist to Astounding SF and was credited for assisting with Michael Ashley’s complete index of the prozine (1981).

His articles appeared in many fanzines. Among his last projects was a memoir of his service with the R.A.F. during World War II, which was serialized in The Knarley Knews.

He even wrote a story that won the N3F short story competition.

By profession Jeeves was a schoolmaster. Married twice, Jeeves lost his second wife, Val, to cancer in August 2008.

[Thanks to Sheryl Birkhead and Robert Lichtman for the story.]

Snapshots 64 Squares on a Chessboard

Here are 9 developments of interest to fans:

(1) Sherwood Smith ponders the durability of the Harry Potter phenomenon in a most entertaining way at Book View Cafe:

A little over a century ago, there was a best seller called Trilby, which in spite of reviewers and readers everywhere hailing as a classic in the making, dwindled gradually to the name Svengali entering the surging sea of detached metaphors whose origin is long lost.

How can we tell at the time if the work is going to become an enduring part of literature or a relative flash like Trilby, all but forgotten the next generation down? When I was young, the two ‘new classics’ were Love Story and Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

(2) Those of you who think there’s really no difference between pros and fans except for their jobs ought to take a close look at the Washington Post’s coverage of Nebula Weekend. Do fans obsess about the potential of awards they’ve won for serving useful household purposes?

Before Rachel Swirsky won the Nebula award for best novella Saturday, she went to an authors’ reception and learned some tips from veterans of the science fiction awards circuit.

“Apparently the Hugo makes a great paper-towel holder,” Swirsky says. “And if you put a sock over the World Fantasy Award,” it looks like a profile of Jacques Cousteau. But what to do with a Nebula — a heavy glass block — no one knew. And so Swirsky, a first-time author whose novella, “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window,” recounts the weary adventures of a resurrected magician, made a vow in her acceptance speech at the Washington Hilton: “I will figure out” what to do with a Nebula.

The idea of using a Hugo as a paper towel holder suggests a previously unconsidered reason why Chesley Bonestell reportedly deposited his 1974 Special Committee Award, a Hugo rocket, in the bathroom atop the toilet tank.

(3) A BBC News program, Egypt’s Lost Cities, shows the uses of high-tech in archeology:

An infra-red satellite image reveals the pattern of streets and houses in the buried ancient city of Tanis in Egypt. The new technique has also shown up the sites of 17 lost pyramids as well as thousands of tombs and settlements.

David Klaus asks, “So which building is the Well of Souls and is the Ark of the Covenant still in it? Where is Indiana Jones when we really need him?”

Dunno. Last time I saw him he was getting bombed inside a refrigerator.

(4) Elsewhere in Egypt a robot explorer has found ancient markings in a secret chamber at the Great Pyramid of Giza:

The markings, which have lain unseen for 4,500 years, were filmed using a bendy camera small enough to fit through a hole in a stone door at the end of a narrow tunnel…

“The big question is the purpose of these tunnels,” he added. “There are architectural explanations, symbolic explanations, religious explanations — even ones relating to the alignment of the stars — but the final word on them is yet to be written. The challenge is that no human can fit inside these channels so the only way to do this exploration is with robots.”

Does this reveal a Fourth Law of Robotics? “Robots must maintain their figures so they’ll be skinny and svelte enough to go places that those big oafs can’t fit.”

(5) There’s nothing high-tech about this third archeological clipping – a big iron anchor was retrieved from the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship:

Archaeologists recovered the first anchor from what’s believed to be the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship off the North Carolina coast Friday, a move that might change plans about how to save the rest of the almost 300-year-old artifacts from the central part of the ship.

Divers had planned to recover the second-largest artifact on what’s believed to be the Queen Anne’s Revenge but discovered it was too well-attached to other items in the ballast pile, said project manager Mark Wilde-Ramsing. Instead, they pulled up another anchor that is the third-largest artifact and likely was the typical anchor for the ship.

CNN explains that Queen Anne’s Revenge is believed to have run aground in the shallow waters off Beaufort in 1718 and was rediscovered in 1996. Blackbeard, born as Edward Teach, died in combat against British naval forces in November 1718 aboard another vessel, Adventure.

(6) Guy Gavriel Kay described his favorite room in the world to the Globe and Mail:

I don’t read (or write) in cafés. I meet friends in cafés. I do read in bed, and in the bath (family newspaper, discerning readers: bad photo idea). But truth is, I’m one of those who prefers his lair, which is my library/office and an old cracked-leather recliner up against bookcases and beside a big painting I love, by Andy Patton. This is my favourite room in the world, with the possible exception of the one in the Musée de Cluny in Paris where they keep the Unicorn Tapestries.

(7) Publishers Weekly blogger Rose Fox met Margaret Atwood at Book Expo America. Asked Fox, “When are you going to write another book that you admit is science fiction?” Despite the mildly snarky tone of the question Atwood responded with a genuine news flash:  

…[She] smiles back and tells me that she is in fact working on a book called In Other Worlds about the history of “science fiction and speculative fiction” (I decide that a crowded, noisy party is not the right place to inquire about her definitions of either term) and it will be coming out from Doubleday/Nan A. Talese in October.

Atwood will be explaining the history of the sf genre? Ook ook, as we intelligentsia say.

(8) Fans of Richard and Wendy Pini’s Elfquest comic series can see the whole series for free online here.

(9) David Klaus followed his story about the Heinlein telephone call with another absolutely true skiffy tale:

I used to put my hand over my kids’ little faces like the face-hugger from Alien and sing-song “Aliens got your face!”, making them giggle.

When he was about nine months old, like his older brother before him at the same age, Ryan said his first words.  He reached up, put his little palm over the tip of my nose and said (I swear!) “A Gah Fa!” (with long-‘a’ sounds at the beginning and end).

Ryan’s first words were “Aliens Got (your) Face”!

I swear, you can’t make this stuff up.

Sounds to me like a challenge to every fan with children, or who ever met a child. I better sign off and start clearing disk space to hold all the incoming e-mails…

[Thanks for these links goes out to David Klaus, Andrew Porter, James Hay and Etaoin Shrdlu.]

Spokane in 2015 Worldcon Bid

A Spokane in 2015 Worldcon bid, with Bobbie DuFault and Sally Woehrle as prospective convention co-chairs, has been announced by the Seattle Westercon Organizing Committee.

SWOC’s conrunning resume includes three Westercons and the 2005 NASFiC. The group also has bid twice for the Worldcon, unsuccessfully, most recently for Seattle in 2011.

The bid invites presupports ($20) and “Friend of the Bid” memberships ($120), which can be paid for online at the bid website.

The full press release follows the jump.

[Thanks to Alex Von Thorn for the story.]

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Jeff Conaway (1950-2011)

Former Babylon 5 co-star Jeff Conaway died May 27. He had been in a coma for a couple of weeks, the immediate result of pneumonia after a history of drug abuse.

On B5 Conaway played Zack Allan, a security officer eventually promoted to Chief of Security upon the resignation of his predecessor Michael Garibaldi.

Conaway’s other genre credit was the 1984 fantasy spoof series Wizards and Warriors playing Prince Erik Greystone. The show only lasted eight episodes.

Obviously his best-known roles were in the movie Grease and the television series Taxi.

2011 Mythopoeic Award Finalists

The Mythopoeic Society announced the finalists for the 2011 Mythopoeic Awards on May 17. But hey, it’s news to me! The winners will be revealed at Mythcon 42, being held July 15-18, 2010, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

  • Guy Gavriel Kay, Under Heaven (Roc)
  • Karen Lord, Redemption in Indigo (Small Beer Press)
  • Patricia A. McKillip, The Bards of Bone Plain (Ace)
  • Devon Monk, A Cup of Normal (Fairwood Press)
  • Sharon Shinn, Troubled Waters (Ace)

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature

  • Catherine Fisher, Incarceron and Sapphique (Dial)
  • Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight (HarperCollins)
  • Polly Shulman, The Grimm Legacy (Putnam Juvenile)
  • Heather Tomlinson, Toads and Diamonds (Henry Holt)
  • Megan Whalen Turner, The Queen’s Thief series, consisting of The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings (Greenwillow Books)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies

  • Bradford Lee Eden, ed., Middle-earth Minstrel: Essays on Music in Tolkien (McFarland, 2010)
  • Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, eds., Tolkien on Fairy-stories: Expanded Edition, with Commentary and Notes (HarperCollins, 2008)
  • Douglas Charles Kane, Arda Reconstructed: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion (Lehigh Univ. Press, 2009)
  • Steve Walker, The Power of Tolkien’s Prose: Middle-earth’s Magical Style (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
  • Michael Ward, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies

  • Don W. King, ed., Out of my Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman (Eerdmans Pub., 2009)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, Cheek by Jowl (Aqueduct Press, 2009)
  • Farah Mendlesohn, Rhetorics of Fantasy (Wesleyan Univ. Press, 2008)
  • Leslie A. Sconduto, Metamorphoses of the Werewolf: A Literary Study from Antiquity through the Renaissance (McFarland, 2008)
  • Caroline Sumpter, The Victorian Press and the Fairy Tale (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)

The rest of the press release follows the jump.

[Via Locus.]

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Renovation Membership Sale

Memberships in Renovation, the 2011 Worldcon, will be available at a discount if bought online on Memorial Day, or in person at Balticon, BayCon, ConQuesT, Marcon and WisCon throughout the whole of Memorial Day weekend.

Adult Attending rates will be reduced to $180, a discount of $15, for all adults joining online through the Renovation website on Memorial Day, May 30. An equivalent reduction will also apply to adults upgrading from Supporting to Attending status. The Family Attending rate will be reduced to $460, a discount of $20.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Rent Bradbury’s Old Palm Springs Retreat

A Palm Springs home once owned by Ray Bradbury is available for rent. The ad copy begins its siren song:

This beautifully restored vintage Alexander home is located in the south end of Palm Springs in an area known as Twin Palms. The home was once owned by Ray Bradbury, the famous science fiction author and has been lovingly restored to its original charm.

Then the verbal home tour continues:

The third bedroom is the “Doris Day” room, which has powder blue furniture beautifully decorated with views out to the private atrium.

That sounds strange. We all know Ray’s admiration for everything Hollywood goes back to the days when he sold maps to the stars’ homes, and encompasses John Huston (Moby Dick) and Charles Laughton, but I never heard  of a connection with Doris Day. I asked John King Tarpinian about it and he answered: “Never heard it referred to as that…the room was Ray’s ‘office’ when they were staying there.”

But not wanting to strike out completely John added this Hollywood tidbit:

Speaking of Doris Day, my mother’s younger sister used to be Rock Hudson’s “date” in the early to mid 50s.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Silver: Fan Writer Hugo
Number Crunching

By Steven H Silver:  Because I don’t really want to work today, I was just looking over the Fan Writer Hugos and offer the following:

Only five individuals have won the fan writer Hugo on their first nomination, and one of those, of course, was in the first year it was offered:

Alexei Panshin (1 win /1 nominations)
Ted White (1/1)
Bob Tucker (1/1)
Bob Shaw (2/2)
Frederik Pohl (1/1)

Four people have declined a Best Fan Writer nomination: Alexei Panshin, which is why his win/nomination ratio is 1/1, Harlan Ellison, Ted White, and Mike Glyer.

24 of the 61 people nominated have only had one nomination (this includes James Bacon, who is currently a nominee).

14 people have dropped off the ballot and returned in subsequent years, 15 if you count Glyer’s declined nomination.

13 people have won the award, including 6 multiple winners (Warner, Geis, Wood, Shaw, Langford, Glyer)

12 people have had their first nomination in the 2000s

2 women have won the award (Wood, Morgan)

The longest streak of nominations and the longest winning streak both belong to Dave Langford (19 wins in a row, 31 nominations, 21 wins, total)

Most nominations without a win in the category is 12, a tie between Arthur Hlavaty and Evelyn C. Leeper.

The last time there were five different winners in five subsequent years was from 1970-1974 (Tucker, Geis, Warner, Carr, Wood) there has never been a longer streak of different winners.  This year, no matter which nominee wins, will tie that period.

Worldcon Masquerade MC’s Announced

Phil and Kaja Foglio, creators of Girl Genius, will serve as the Masters of Ceremony for the 2011 Worldcon masquerade. And while the judges deliberate, Paul Cornell will entertain with his Worldcon edition of the BBC Radio 4 game show Just A Minute.

Masquerade Directors Kevin Roche and Andrew Trembley have named the first members of the panel of judges. Karen Dick (founder of Costume-Con) and Lindsay Tallman (producer of the Anime Los Angeles masquerade) will be backstage for close-up workmanship judging, with Toni Lay and John O’Halloran judging the entries as presented on-stage.

The full press release follows the jump.

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