Mike Hall (1955-2008)

Michael Hall died of a heart attack on August 1, in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Randy Reichardt, a pillar of Decadent Winnipeg Fandom in the mid-1970s, mourns the passing of a fellow DWF member:

“Michael Hall had been active in fandom from the late 1970s until at least the late 1980s or so, published extensively and participated in conventions in western Canada, including NonCon in Edmonton. He moved from Winnipeg to Edmonton in 1979, and to Fort McMurray AB in 1994. He had been Managing Editor of Fort McMurray Today, the local newspaper there, since 2004.

“His fanzines included Schmagg, Laid, New Wave Video Snacks, Schmagg Monthly, and Excuses, Excuses. He was also one of the founding editors of The Monthly Monthly, which appeared in twelve monthly issues from Oct 1979-Sept 1980, before it became The Bimonthly Monthly for two more issues (v.3 n.1 Oct 1980-v.3 n.2 Dec 1980/Jan 1981), then ceased publication.

“Mike maintained a significant collection of books, fanzines and CDs.  The University of Alberta Libraries has accepted these in donation from his partner, Mary, and we will be processing and adding these items to our collection in the future. Among his collection were 35 boxes of fanzines.

“Mike was a good friend to myself, Robert Runté and many others. He is already sadly missed.”

Hall’s own Fort McMurray Today and the Edmonton Sun are among the many Canadian papers that ran his obituary. Currently the Today article is available as a “print article” link (I cancelled the print menu when it opened and there was no problem reading the text).  The Edmonton Sun obit has to be purchased from the archive. The Edmonton Journal obituary mentions:

Michael’s great passions were the newspaper industry, his love of music, reading, photography, computers, and his family and to visit every Presidential Library in the United States. So far, Mary and Michael have visited Presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Nixon, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower. They were planning to visit Hoover, Truman, Clinton, Johnson and Bush Libraries in September 2008.

Robert Runté adds that Mike Hall, assisted by Keith Fenske and possibly others, developed and published a massive, 198-page bibliography of SF fanzines. Graeme Cameron remembers that it “was widely available in dealers rooms of Canadian cons circa 1985/1986. International in scope.”

Update 9/4/2008: Randy Reichardt saved me from a catalog of errors, and pointed to an online Guest Book where anyone can leave a comment or memory of Mike.

Sunburst Award

Sunburst Award medallionJohn Mansfield copied me on the Canadian Booksellers Association News for June 3 containing the shortlist for the Sunburst Award which “recognizes outstanding efforts in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic.”

SF Awards Watch had the news itself a few days ago, however, I was interested in the former Winnipeg Worldcon chair’s comparison of the Sunburst Awards to the Auroras. Said Mansfield: “While the Sunburst has great promotions, the Aurora Awards committee seem only interested in making sure that the right people get their due award.” The Aurora winners were not publicized in the CBA News. (But they, too, did not escape the notice of SF Awards Watch.)

Finalists for the 2008 Sunburst Award are:

Adult: Double-blind – Michelle Butler Hallett; Darkness of the God – Amber Hayward; The New Moon’s Arms – Nalo Hopkinson; Wonderfull – William Neil Scott; Axis – Robert Charles Wilson.

Young Adult: Choices – Deborah Lynn Jacobs; Retribution – Carrie Mac; Darkwing – Kenneth Oppel; Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet – Joanne Proulx; The Night Wanderer – Drew Hayden Taylor.

The finalists were selected by jurors Timothy J. Anderson, Kelley Armstrong, Barbara Haworth-Attard, Dena Bain Taylor, and Robert J. Wiersema.