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Obituaries

Frederik Pohl Has Died

The great science fiction writer and editor Frederik Pohl has passed away. Over the course of his prolific career, Pohl won three Nebula Awards and six Hugo Awards for his visionary work.

At Wikipedia, you can see a long list of the science fiction books and stories that he wrote. A brief post about his passing noted that “Fred left a thick file of things he wanted to tell you,” promising to include more material on his blog. Here’s more about his life and work:

Apart from the field of science fiction, he is a noted lecturer and teacher in the area of future studies, and is the author of, among other non-fiction works,Practical Politics, a how-to-do-it manual of the American political process; Our Angry Earth, on the world’s environmental problems, written in collaboration with the late Isaac Asimov, which Sir Arthur C. Clarke calls “perhaps the most important book either of its authors has produced”; and, most recently,Chasing Science, on the uses of science as a spectator sport. He is also the Encyclopedia Britannica‘s authority on the First Century A.D. Roman emperor, Tiberius.

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Seamus Heaney Has Died

Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney has passed away. He was 74.

Follow the links below to read free poems by Heaney from the Poetry Foundation. Here’s more about his early life from the Nobel Prize site:

The poet’s mother came from a family called McCann whose connections were more with the modern world than with the traditional rural economy; her uncles and relations were employed in the local linen mill and an aunt had worked “in service” to the mill owners’ family. The poet has commented on the fact that his parentage thus contains both the Ireland of the cattle-herding Gaelic past and the Ulster of the Industrial Revolution; indeed, he considers this to have been a significant tension in his background, something which corresponds to another inner tension also inherited from his parents, namely that between speech and silence. His father was notably sparing of talk and his mother notably ready to speak out, a circumstance which Seamus Heaney believes to have been fundamental to the “quarrel with himself” out of which his poetry arises.

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Blind Wonder Cat Homer Has Died

A real life galley cat has passed away. Homer, the cat who starred in Gwen Cooper‘s Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat memoir, has died.

Cooper donates 10 percent of the royalties from Homer’s Odyssey to “organizations that serve abused, abandoned, and disabled animals.” In honor of the late cat, she has also created “Homer’s Heroes Fund”–a yearly donation to “a shelter or rescue group that does outstanding work with ‘special needs’ animals.” She wrote an online tribute to her beloved cat:

He was just one cat. One tiny, big-hearted, irrepressible, brave and loyal little cat. Who could possibly have foreseen that he would come to mean so much to so many? Those of us who work in animal rescue believe that every animal matters. We believe that every life—no matter how small, or how steep the odds are against it—can make a difference. Every animal who’s given the chance to love and be loved can make someone else’s life better, can fill up empty places in our hearts we didn’t even know were there until they were full. And, once in a great while, one tiny creature can have a spirit so big that it spills over and makes the whole world just a little bit better, and happier, and more inspired, than it was before. Even in the darkest places are small lights that can grow and grow until they warm us all.

Jane Lotter Has Died

Author and editor Jane Lotter has passed away. At the end of her life, she wrote her own obituary–a touching look back at a literary lifetime.

Lotter published The Bette Davis Club and won the Humorous Writing award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her “Jane Explains” column in the Jet City Maven. Here’s an excerpt from her obituary:

I also want to thank Mrs. Senour, my first grade teacher, for teaching me to read. I loved witty conversation, long walks, and good books. Among my favorite authors were Iris Murdoch (particularly The Sea, The Sea) and Charles Dickens … I met Bob Marts at the Central Tavern in Pioneer Square on November 22, 1975, which was the luckiest night of my life. We were married on April 7, 1984. Bobby M, I love you up to the sky. Thank you for all the laughter and the love, and for standing by me at the end. Tessa and Riley, I love you so much, and I’m so proud of you. I wish you such good things. May you, every day, connect with the brilliancy of your own spirit. And may you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, they ARE the path.

(Via Sarah Wendell)

Leighton Gage Has Died

Crime fiction writer Leighton Gage has passed away. He was 71 years old.

Over the course of Gage’s career, he wrote a seven-book series starring a Brazilian law enforcement officer named Chief Inspector Mario Silva. Soho Press senior editor Juliet Grames offered this tribute:

Leighton was a backbone of the crime fiction community as well as the Soho Crime family. A tireless author advocate with a powerful social media presence (he founded the blog Murder Is Everywhere, which is devoted to international crime fiction), Leighton was a mentor and friend to many authors at various stages in their careers.

(via The Miami Herald)

Nate the Great Illustrator Has Died

Caldecott Medal-winning artist Marc Simont has died. He was 97-years-old. Over the course of his career, he illustrated almost one hundred books.

Simont became well-known for his work in children’s literature such as Marjorie Weinman Sharmat’s Nate the Great series and Janice May Udry’s A Tree Is Nice.

He also collaborated with many adult writers including sportswriter Red Smith and humorist James Thurber.

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Richard Matheson Has Died

The great science fiction, fantasy and horror writer Richard Matheson has passed away, ending what one fellow writer called “a supernova lifetime of writing.”

Matheson wrote many books, including: The Shrinking ManWhat Dreams May Come and I Am Legend. Macmillan has a long list of his great books.

Personally, I will never forget reading The Shrinking Man as a teenager, blown away by the cosmic themes explored inside that slender book. Many of his books were turned into classic films, but his novels deserve to be remembered by themselves as well.

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James Gandolfini Reads ‘In the Night Kitchen’ by Maurice Sendak

The great actor James Gandolfini died yesterday. To remember the actor, we’ve linked a 92nd Street Y video of Gandolfini reading In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.

Follow this link to jump straight to the reading. You can watch the reading at the 43:50 mark in the video embedded above–filmed at Sendak’s 80th birthday celebration in 2008.  Haaretz has more about Gandolfini’s connection to the author:

But perhaps his most Jewish role came in Spike Jonze’s “Where the Wild Things Are” (2009), an adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic illustrated children’s story. Gandolfini played Carol, one of the titular characters dreamed up by the Max (Max Records), a disobedient little boy with a vivid imagination who is sent to bed without his supper. Max constructs a fictional world in a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown Max as their ruler.

(Link via)

Fantagraphics Co-Publisher Kim Thompson Has Died

Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson has passed away.

He was born in Denmark, but moved to the United States in the late 1970s where he edited The Comics Journal and Amazing Heroes. During his tenure at Fantagraphics, he worked with a wide range of influential artists and writers. His obituary shared some of his life’s work:

Among Thompson’s signature achievements in comics were Critters, a funny-animal anthology that ran from 50 issues between 1985 to 1990 and is perhaps best known for introducing the world to Stan Sakai‘s Usagi Yojimbo; and Zero Zero, an alternative comics anthology that also ran for 50 issues over five years — between 1995 and 2000 — and featured work by, among others, Kim Deitch, Dave Cooper, Al Columbia, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sacco, David Mazzuchelli, and Joyce Farmer. His most recent enthusiasm was spearheading a line of European graphic novel translations.

(Link via Sarah Weinman, photo via Lynn Emmert)

Vince Flynn Has Died

Thriller novelist Vince Flynn has passed away. He was 47 years old.

If you want to remember the novelist, you can donate to one of the charities that Vince Flynn supported. His books included American AssassinKill Shot and The Last Man. The AP published his obituary today:

 

Flynn self-published his first book, “Term Limits,” in 1997 before landing a publishing deal. “Term Limits” became a New York Times bestseller … He averaged a book a year.

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