Today’s Birthdays 10/4

Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ:


Born October 4, 1904 – Eando Binder is a pen name used by writers Earl Andrew Binder (1904–1965) and his brother Otto Binder (1911–1974). The name is derived from their first initials. Under that name, they wrote many genre fiction stories, some of which featured a heroic robot named Adam Link; the first of these stories, published in 1939, was “I, Robot”. Although Isaac Asimov was heavily influenced by the Binder stories, a story collection of his in 1950 would be published with that name against his wishes. By 1939, Otto had taken over all of the writing, leaving his brother as his agent. Under his own name, Otto wrote for the Captain Marvel books published by Fawcett Comics in the 40s and early 50s, and the Superman comics for DC Comics for twenty years starting in the late 40s.

Born October 4, 1909 – Samuel Mines, Writer and Editor, who published a handful of his own short stories in the late 40s before going on to edit numerous genre magazines in the first half of the 1950s, including Fantastic Story Magazine, Space Stories (these had complete novels in them!), Startling Stories in both the US and UK, Thrilling Wonder Stories in both the US and UK, and Wonder Story Annual.

Born October 4, 1917 – Donn P. Brazier, Writer, Editor, and Fan. As the ever-useful Fancyclopedia 3 says, “St. Louis faned Donn Paul Brazier published the well-known fanzine Title from 1972-1977 and Farrago from 1975 to 1978. He also published Frontier, Googol, Reverb Howl, and Natterings.” The same source goes on to say that he “was among the earliest fans to use a photocopier for publishing his fanzine instead of the then-usual mimeograph. He was director of the Museum of Science and Natural History in St. Louis. The museum contracted for photocopying service with a specific number of copies each month, and Brazier used the surplus left after museum business to pub his ish, which made a tight limit to the number of copies he could publish.”

Born October 4, 1923 – Charlton Heston, Actor, Writer, and Director known to older genre fans as the errant astronaut from the Planet of the Apes movies (with a cameo in the reboot), the main character from The Omega Man, which was based on Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, a role in John Carpenter’s Lovecraftian In the Mouth of Madness, and of course, as the person who revealed the truth about Soylent Green in the Hugo finalist movie based on Harry Harrison’s novel Make Room! Make Room!. Lesser-known genre films in which he appeared include The Awakening, based on Bram Stoker’s 1903 novel The Jewel of Seven Stars, and the clunker Solar Crisis.

Born October 4, 1928 – Alvin Toffler, Writer and Futurist, best known for his non-fiction essays and predictions on the effects of technology, the most famous of which is Future Shock, which I’ve heard John Brunner used as the inspiration for The Shockwave Rider. Also wrote The Third Wave and myriad other works which almost no one has read or remembers. He offered commentary on Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy in a special edition of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, December 1982.

Born October 4, 1941 – Anne Rice, 77, Writer whose fame derives from her more than a dozen Vampire Chronicles novels, starting with Interview with the Vampire in 1976, which was nominated for a British Fantasy Award and later made into a movie which was a finalist for Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo. She has a number of other series ranging from The Mummy, which has also been made into films, the Mayfair Witches Saga, Songs of the Seraphim, and the Wolf Gift Chronicles. Let’s not overlook her Sleeping Beauty erotic series originally published under the pseudonyms A.N. Roquelaure and Anne Rampling during the early 80s. (JJ, who holds Rice personally responsible for the current regrettable glut of vampire novels and movies, says no, really, it’s okay if we overlook those.)

Born October 4, 1945 – Harry Andruschak, 73, Writer, Editor, and Fan. He wrote and self-published (as near as I can tell) The Seniority of the Fannish APAs thirty six years ago. He is a member of LASFS and has been an Original Editor of FAPA. His fanzines and apazines include but most likely are not limited to Bah! Humbug!, Intermediate Vector, Bosons, Last of the Spirit Duplicators and South of the Moon.

Born October 4, 1946 – Susan Sarandon, 72, Actor and Producer who is famous – dammit! – for playing Janet in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Other genre appearances include The Witches of Eastwick, Enchanted, Cloud Atlas, the TV miniseries Children of Dune, and numerous voice roles in animated features and TV series such as Cats & Dogs and Skylanders Academy.

Born October 4, 1946 – Val Ontell, 72, San Diego resident con-running fan who joined fandom in the mid-70s and has since worked on myriad regionals and Worldcons. She chaired Lunacon 29, Lunacon 32, and World Fantasy Convention 2011, and has been a member of the Lunarians, LASFS and NESFA. She and her husband Ron were Fan Guests of Honor at Lunacon 45 in 2002 and Conalope (aka Westercon 70) in 2017. They are known for running tourist trips based around Worldcons, which are open to interested fans, and have one planned for Ireland next year.

Born October 4, 1953 – Tchéky Karyo, 65, Actor born in Turkey and raised in France, who has appeared in many French- and English-language genre films including the upcoming Black Angel and JJ’s craptastic favorite The Core, as well as playing science fiction film pioneer Georges Méliès in the TV miniseries From the Earth to the Moon.

Born October 4, 1964 – Gary Couzens, 54, Writer, Critic, and Editor from England who has had many short stories published, including two collections. He has edited several anthologies, including Extended Play: The Elastic Book of Music, which won a British Fantasy Award, and his film review column Blood Spectrum, for the semiprozine Black Static, was nominated for a BFA for Nonfiction last year.

Born October 4, 1967 – Liev Schreiber, 51, Actor and Producer who played The Manchurian Candidate in the remake, and has had roles in Sphere, Phantoms, Kate and Leopold, The Last Days on Mars, and the Scream movies, as well as providing voices for various animated features.

Born October 4, 1971 – Hoyte Van Hoytema, 47, Cinematographer from Switzerland who has made a name for himself with genre movies Interstellar, Her, Let the Right One In, Spectre, and the upcoming Ad Astra.

Born October 4, 1975 – Saladin Ahmed, 43, Writer who was a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, whose first novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, which is based on Islamic mythology, was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, British Fantasy, and Gemmell Awards, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. His short story “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela” was a Nebula Finalist. He is also the author of the Hugo-nominated Black Bolt and Exiles from Marvel Comics. An intriguing piece by him entitled “The Messengers, Monsters, and Moral Instructors of Islamic Literature” was published in Fantasy Magazine in August 2011.

Born October 4, 1976 – Alicia Silverstone, 42, Actor and Producer, known to genre fans for playing Batgirl in Batman and Robin and Heather in Scooby Doo 2.

Born October 4, 1979 – Caitriona Balfe, 39, Actor from Ireland who plays the lead in the Outlander TV series based on Diana Gabaldon’s time travel novels of the same name, and had a lead role in the horror thriller Crush.

Born October 4, 1979 – Rachael Leigh Cook, 39, Actor, Writer, and Producer who played the eponymous role in Josie and the Pussycats and has provided character voices for animated features and videogames including Batman Beyond, Robot Chicken, Titan Maximum, Star Wars, and Final Fantasy.

Born October 4, 1980 – Nick Mohammed, 38, Actor and Writer who appeared in The Martian, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and the TV movie The Last Dragonslayer, has done voices for animated features including Christopher Robin and the upcoming The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, and whose children’s book The Young Magicians and the Thieves’ Almanac was published by Puffin in 2017.

Born October 4, 1988 – Melissa Benoist, 30, Actor, Singer, and Dancer who is currently playing Supergirl in the TV series, with crossover appearances on The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow.

 Born October 4 – Alasdair Stuart, Writer, Critic, Editor and Podcaster from England. His writing about genre works has appeared in numerous venues including The Guardian,, Barnes & Noble, SFX, Bleeding Cool, and Sci Fi Now, and he is a tabletop RPG writer who received an ENnie nomination for his work on Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space. He is the head of Escape Artists, the fiction podcasting enterprise behind the Hugo-nominated Escape Pod (science fiction), Pod Castle (fantasy), the BFA-nominated Pseudopod (horror), and Cast of Wonders (YA genre fiction).

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5 thoughts on “Today’s Birthdays 10/4

  1. Liev Schreiber also played Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth in the Wolverine: Origins movie. The movie wasn’t very good, but Schreiber really nailed the character.

  2. Cora, that was supposed to be on the list, but got lost in the shuffle. Thanks for adding it. 🙂

  3. Also born today:
    1880 – Damon Runyon. ISFDB lists him, but doesn’t describe his works in sufficient detail to understand why.
    1895 – actor Buster Keaton, who played a time-traveler in The Twilight Zone
    1924 – Donald Sobol, writer of those great Encyclopedia Brown mysteries.
    1957 – Bill Fagerbakke, who voices Patrick on Spongebob Square Pants, and played Tom Cullen in the miniseries version of The Stand

    Also happened today:
    1957 – Sputnik launches
    2004 – SpaceShipOne wins the Ansari X Prize

  4. @bill: I followed the ISFDB breadcrumbs to find that Damon Runyon is listed for a 1908 story “Fear,” which was reprinted in a 2010 anthology THE PEOPLE OF THE PIT, focusing on early 20th century horror.

    Even though I count myself a Runyon enthusiast, I’m not likely to run that story down. But your mention did motivate me to grab the extended edition of GUYS AND DOLLS as an e-book, and I spent the whole evening running down Runyon trails instead of reading the current SF novel. Thanks for the reference!

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