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British novelist and playwright Robert Muller died on May 27th, aged 72. In 1977 he created and scripted seven of the eight episodes of the BBC TV series Supernatural, two of which starred his wife Billie Whitelaw. A tie-in paperback was published by Fontana.

Mary Elizabeth Grenander, a leading authority on Ambrose Bierce, died in her sleep on May 28th, aged 79. She edited and wrote the introduction for the 1995 book Poems of Ambrose Bierce.

Book editor William Abrahams, who worked for Atlantic Monthly Press and later for Holt, Reinhart and Winston and Dutton, died on June 2nd, aged 79. His authors included Pauline Kael and Joyce Carol Oates, and he presided over the annual O. Henry short story awards for more than three decades.

New York bookseller and publisher Jack Biblo died on June 5th, aged 92. With his business partner Jack Tannen he started Canaveral Press in the 1960s. Under the editorship of Richard A. Lupoff, Canaveral reprinted a number of Edgar Rice Burroughs books which had gone into public domain, eventually becoming the sole authorized hardcover publisher of Burroughs, along with titles by Lupoff, L. Sprague de Camp and E. E. Smith.

French novelist Thomas Narcejac died in Paris on June 9th, aged 89. He collaborated with Pierre Boileau on more than forty thrillers, including Les Louves, Les Yeux Sans Visage and Body Parts, which were all filmed.

Bestselling thriller writer (Ralph) Hammond Innes died June 10th, aged 84. He first novel, The Doppelgänger (1936), was an occult thriller, and his ghost story “South Sea Bubble” (from the Christmas 1973 Punch) has been anthologized often. He left behind an unexpected collection of rare stamps worth up to £11,000 as part of his £6.8 million estate.

Romantic bestseller Dame Catherine Cookson (Catherine Ann McMullen) died on June 11th, aged 91. She made her writing debut at the age of 44, producing an average of two books a year. Her children’s fantasy Mrs. Flannagan’s Trumpet was published in 1976. She was awarded an OBE in 1985, and made a Dame in 1993.

Ann Elizabeth Dobbs, the only grandchild of Dracula author Bram Stoker and the last surviving link with his wife Florence, died at her home on June 15th, aged 81. She reportedly found her grandfather’s novel too scary to read!

Playwright, screenwriter and lyricist Edward Eliscu died on June 18th, aged 96. He wrote the words to “Flying Down to Rio” and was blacklisted in the 1950s for his outspoken political views.

Michael D. Weaver, whose novels include Mercedes Night and the Norse werewolf trilogy, Wolf-Dreams (1987), Nightreaver and Bloodfang, died on July 5th when he drowned in three feet of water. He was 36.

Writer, editor and fan Robert A. W. (“Doc”) Lowndes died on July 14th of renal cancer. He was 81. A founder member of New York’s Futurians SF club in 1938, he began writing his own stories in the 1940s, often in collaboration with other authors. His novels include The Mystery of the Third Mine (1953), Believer’s World and The Puzzle Planet, and a collection of his columns appeared under the title Three Faces of Science Fiction in 1973. Although Lowndes was editor of the Avalon Books hardcover science fiction line from 1955–70 and compiled The Best of James Blish in 1979, he is best remembered as a magazine editor, beginning with Future Fiction and Science Fiction Quarterly (both 1941–43), followed by Dynamic Science Fiction (1952–54) and Science Fiction Stories/The Original Science Fiction Stories (1954–60). During the 1960s he worked for Health Knowledge Inc., editing a series of digest magazines that included The Magazine of Horror (1963–71), Startling Mystery Stories (1966–71), Famous Science Fiction (1966–69) and Bizarre Fantasy Tales (1970–71). It was during this period that he published the young Stephen King’s first two professional tales in 1967 and 1969 issues of Startling Mystery Stories.

Children’s illustrator Lillian Hoban, who began her career in the 1960s illustrating the Frances books written by her husband Russell Hoban, died of a heart attack on July 17th, aged 73.

Screenwriter John Hopkins, who co-wrote the Bond film Thunderball and scripted Murder by Decree, died on July 23rd, aged 67.

French author, translator and editor Alain Doremieux died in his sleep on July 26th, aged 64. A former editor of the French editions of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (aka Ficcion) and Galaxy, between 1991–96 he edited nine volumes of the horror anthology series Territoires de I’lnquietude, and in 1993 he was responsible for Steve Rasnic Tem’s only collection to date,Ombres sur la Route.

Science fiction cover artist Paul Lehr died on July 27th, aged 67, six weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He received the Merit Award from the Society of Illustrators in 1980 and served as a judge for the L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of Future contest since its inception.

Author and bookseller Noel Lloyd died on August 3rd, aged 73. With his partner Geoffrey Palmer he collaborated on thirty books, including the juvenile ghost story collections Ghosts Go Haunting, Ghost Stories Round the World and The Obstinate Ghost and Other Ghostly Tales. They also wrote the biography E. F. Benson as He Was (1988) and published a number of limited edition booklets by the author.

American author and playwright Sigmund Miller, who scripted the radio show Inner Sanctum in the 1940s, died of complications from pneumonia on August 5th, aged 87. He was blacklisted during the McCarthy era and moved to London, where he wrote movie scripts under a pseudonym.

Scriptwriter and producer Arthur Rowe died after a lengthy illness on August 6th, aged 74. He wrote the 1976 horror film The Devil’s Men (aka Land of the Minotaur) starring Donald Pleasence and Peter Cushing, and episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mission Impossible and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Lyricist Marshall Barer died of cancer on August 25th, aged 75. Better known for his Broadway musicals, he also wrote the Mighty Mouse theme song, “Here I Come to Save the Day”, in the back of a taxicab.

Scriptwriter and novelist Catherine Turney died on September 9th, aged 91. A contract writer for MGM and Warner Bros, she wrote several episodes of TV’s One Step Beyond and adapted her 1952 novel The Other One for the screen as Back from the Dead (1957).

Scriptwriter Sam Locke, whose career included the radio show Inner Sanctum, died on September 18th, aged 81. He also wrote scripts for TV shows and beach movies, as well as sketches for comedians Red Buttons and Ed Wynn.

     

 

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