RIP, John Henson, son of Jim Henson

John Henson, son of Muppets creator Jim Henson, has died at 48 from a heart-attack. Henson, who had no history of heart problems, was a board member of the Jim Henson Company, and sometimes played Sweetums in Muppet movies and shows. Read the rest

Pete Seeger, aged 2, with family (1921)

Here's a photo of Pete Seeger, aged 2, with his family in 1921. It comes from a National Photo Co. Collection glass negative. Seeger, who was persecuted by the House Unamerican Activities Committee died yesterday. He was 94. Read the rest

RIP, Roy Trumbull: happy mutant, TV/radio engineering legend, podcaster

I'm sad to report that Roy Trumbull, a maker, podcaster, and happy mutant, died of cancer last week. He was 74, and died peacefully in his home. I was an avid listener of Story Spieler, Roy's podcast, where he read aloud all manner of odd and fascinating public domain materials (he was a Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame inductee, and a legendary engineer). I was deeply honored when Roy agreed to read a story for the audio edition of my short story collection With A Little Help (Roy also recorded great readings of my stories Craphound, The Super-Man and the Bugout and To Market, To Market).

Roy often suggested great Boing Boing stories (like this one, about some lost Yippee! movement footage) and was a warm and thought-provoking correspondent. I was lucky enough to meet him a few times in San Francisco, and he was just as funny and warm in person. Read the rest

Auctioning off a Datamancer keyboard to benefit his family

Thomas sez, "I don't just want to give condolences to my friend's family. I want to do as much actual good as I can. I am auctioning off this signed and dated Datamancer keyboard. Sadly, there will not be more like this ever again. If you have ever thought that you just have to have one, this is your chance. Help keep his legacy alive. Every penny is going to his family. I have contacted them directly to ensure this is done with good grace and honor toward his name."

Datamancer Barrister Brass Steampunk Keyboard

See also: RIP, Richard "Datamancer" Nagy Read the rest

Tank Riot podcast on Lou Reed

Viktor from the Tank Riot podcast writes, "We were annoyed with the rubbish 3 minute obits we saw about Lou in mainstream media. He was a hero of ours and we took the time to discuss him properly. We think that fellow Happy Mutants would like this perspective. He was a truly brilliant guy and an influence on all of alternative culture." Read the rest

Obit for a prolific newspaper site commenter

David sends us "An obituary for a prolific commenter on the news website. This nonagenarian only took to the internet in the last year or so and was prolific in the comments on the site. A touching tribute to a respected member of a community."

The person who commented under "Bob Menzies" was "a lifelong Queensland public servant" who been a member of the Liberal Party since 1950, and who wore a black suit to work every day of his working life. Read the rest

RIP, Ann "AC" Crispin

Ann Crispin -- science fiction writer, crusader against scams, Star Trek novelist, and nice person -- has died. She wrote of her own impending death, "I want to thank you all for your good wishes and prayers. I fear my condition is deteriorating. I am doing the best I can to be positive but I probably don’t have an awful lot of time left. I want you all to know that I am receiving excellent care and am surrounded by family and friends." Ann taught a writing workshop at a Toronto science fiction convention I attended as a teenager, and gave me good advice that I took to heart. I never forgot it. Good bye, Ann. Read the rest

RIP, science fiction grand master Frederik Pohl

Frederik Pohl, one of our oldest living science fiction masters, died on September 2. I was privileged to know Fred for more than twenty years, and looked up to him as a writer and colleague (I was honored to contribute the story "Chicken Little" to Gateways, an anthology in Fred's honor, which also included work by Neil Gaiman, Gene Wolfe, Vernor Vinge, Harry Harrison, Joe Haldeman, and many others). Read the rest

RIP, Doug Englebart

He was one of the most influential, important and visionary computer scientists of all time. He died peacefully at home, in his sleep. Goodbye, Dr Englebart. Thank you for all you did. Read the rest

Ken Macleod on Iain Banks

CBC radio's excellent magazine show As It Happens conducted a short, lovely interview with Scottish sf writer Ken Macleod about Iain Banks, who had been his friend since high school. It's a beautiful piece of audio, and a heartfelt one. My condolences, Ken. Read the rest

Detailed obit of Iain Banks

Iain Banks died yesterday. The Guardian's John Mullan does justice to the long and important career of one of the best writers in two fields:

In 2010 he gave an interview to BBC Radio Scotland in which he spoke with painful frankness about the breakdown of his relationship with his first wife. But then the media interview seemed his natural forum: it is difficult to think of a more frequently interviewed British novelist.

While his science fiction spanned inter-stellar spaces, his literary fiction kept its highly specific sense of place. The place that gives the title to his 2012 novel Stonemouth is fictional, but, like other fictional places in earlier Banks novels, it is a highly specific Scottish town. Like The Crow Road and The Steep Approach to Garbadale –it is the story of a man coming back to his family home, and it is difficult not to think that this is Banks's story of himself.

Iain Banks dies aged 59 Read the rest

RIP, Jack Vance

Stefan Jones sez, "SF&F titan Jack Vance has died at age 96. He had a mighty good run, continuing to write for many years after losing most of his eyesight. I think I'm going to reread The Eyes of the Overworld this week, in tribute."

Sad news, indeed.

JACK VANCE, IN MEMORIAM: 1916 - 2013 Read the rest

Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett dies of breast cancer, MS

The charismatic lead singer of Australian new wave band The Divinyls, Chrissy Amphlett, has died of cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Great dad dies (also, he was a scientist)

Handsome Dad of the Year (a former brunette) took out the garbage without fail, did the family shopping, and is remembered fondly by his step-daughters/first-cousins-once-removed. Also, outside the home, he discovered something called "relativity". Jennie Dusheck has a great follow up to a story that Xeni posted about earlier today. Read the rest

Worlds longest cat dies

"Stewie the Cat, the longest domestic cat in the world at more than 4 feet long from nose to tail, has died." [AP] Read the rest

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