Science fiction author Anne McCaffrey has passed away

The beloved science fiction author – best known for her Dragonriders of Pern novels – has passed away, reports Galleycat.

She passed away at her home in Ireland following a stroke says her publisher. She was 85, and is survived by two sons and a daughter.

McCaffrey published her first novel, Restoree, in 1967. She later became the first woman to win a Hugo for fiction and the first woman to win a Nebula, plus became the first female science fiction author to appear on The New York Times best seller list with The White Dragon in 1978.

The Pern books were some of the first ‘adult’ books that I read, and one of my earlier obsessions. While I drifted away from the series a decade ago, it still remains one of my early favorites. McCaffrey was not without her faults, but her books – with their focus on female protagonists when such things were uncommon in the genre – opened up the world of SF/F to many of us.

George Lucas: Steve Jobs saw “true potential in everything he touched”

The news that Apple co-founder and technology titan Steve Jobs passed away yesterday. The news was hard to miss last night, and while I generally try to stay away from posting ‘real’ news here on Club Jade, I couldn’t let it pass without some mention.

Jobs’ connection to Star Wars is tenous at best – he bought Pixar from George Lucas for $4M in 1986. Lucas said in a statement, “The magic of Steve was that while others simply accepted the status quo, he saw the true potential in everything he touched and never compromised on that vision. He leaves behind an incredible family and a legacy that will continue to speak to people for years to come.”

I’ve been using Apple products since 1999, and much of the site you see here was produced on them in one way or another. Whether or not you’re a fan, it’s hard not to admit that the Apple Jobs created and later revived has been a driving force in technology and pop culture. Thanks, Steve.

Irvin Kershner, director of ESB, has died

Irvin Kershner, director of The Empire Strikes Back, has died at the age of 87.

ESB is considered by many to be the finest entry in the Star Wars franchise.  And he’s probably most appreciated for arguing it out with Harrison Ford to put together the famous “I love you” “I know” exchange.

Those of us lucky enough to have heard him speak at Celebration know what an interesting and multi-faceted man he was.  He will be missed.

UPDATE: George remembers Kersh.

RIP: Eddie Fisher dies at 82

Carrie Fisher’s father, a popular singer of the 50’s who is perhaps best known for leaving Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor, died yesterday after complications from hip surgery. Carrie tweeted:

My Puff Daddy passed away Wednesday night due to complications following his hip surgery. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch.

He was loved & will be missed by his 4 children as well as his 6 grandchildren. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch.

Our condolences go out to Carrie and her family.

EUbits: Al Williamson, Heir to the Empire, and September comics

RIP. Artist Al Williamson, who illustrated the Star Wars comic strip and adaptions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, passed away this weekend. He’s remembered by editor Dave Land at

We read it uphill, in the snow, with no boots. Suvudu salutes Heir to the Empire — with a little help from Tim Zahn, editor Tom Dupree and art director Jamie S. Warren — as part of their 25 years of Spectra features.

Solicitations. Look ahead to September comics from Dark Horse, with new issues of Invasion, The Old Republic: Threat of Peace, that Fett thing, and a $1 reprint of Legacy #1.

Blogside. Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff on mistakes.

For the nitpickians. A new Essential Atlas appendix – in PDF form. Prime your hole-punchers!

Andrew Koenig Found Dead

The son of Star Trek actor Walter Koenig (Chekov) was found dead in Vancouver’s Stanley Park on Thursday.

Andrew Koenig, an actor,writer and director best known for his role as Boner in Growing Pains, had been battling depression for years and had stopped taking his medication a year ago.  He had gone to Vancouver to visit friends when he disappeared on Valentine’s Day.

After his parents received a letter from him that sounded despondent, the Koenigs notified police.  Fandom and the internets took up the cause by posting his picture and linking to the website set up by his friends and family in the hopes that he might be found.  Unfortunately, a private search organized by the family located him in a secluded area off one of his favorite paths.  They shared that he had taken his own life.

Walter and his wife said the following during a press conference:

If you know or are one of those people who feel like you can’t handle it any more, if you can learn anything from this, it is that there are people out there who care. You may not think so, and ultimately it may not be enough, but there are people that care. Before you make that final decision, check it out again, talk to somebody.

People in the United States who need to speak with someone can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotlines at either 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

Gate Geek – Thanks, Urgo

We interrupt my real life in the H1N1 response to bring some sad news to the Stargate family.  Dom DeLuise, talented comedian and the creator of the much-beloved character Urgo, has died at the age of 75.

Mr. DeLuise was also father to long-time Stargate director/writer Peter DeLuise and actors Michael (Colonel Danning from Wormhole Extreme) and  David (Sam’s boyfriend Pete Shanahan). 

Urgo once said, “I wanna live! I wanna experience the universe! And I wanna eat pie!”  Hopefully you’re now getting to do so.