Source: Los Angeles Times
Bestselling Scottish author Iain Banks, 59, has died of cancer. His death arrived just two months after he announced on his website that he had been diagnosed with the terminal illness.
Banks wrote both science fiction and bestselling social novels. He was best known for the novels "The Wasp Factory," "The Crow Road," and his "The Culture" series. "Banks writes with rich, tactile detail and dark suspense," wrote The Times' Richard Eder in 1998.
"The exciting thing about reading Iain Banks is that you never know what kind of book it's going to be," his friend writer Ian Rankin said. "It could be weird, it could be other-worldly, it could be literary fiction, a family saga, about a disc jockey — you don't know what you're going to get, so every time a new book comes out there was that excitement."
After being diagnosed with cancer in March, Banks swiftly wrote a novel, "The Quarry." Slated to be published later this month in the U.K., "The Quarry" features Guy, a cancer patient. The Telegraph has an excerpt: "the fatal cancer is an unwilled suicide where, initially at least, one small part of the body has taken a decision which will lead to the death of the rest. Cancer feels like betrayal.”
Known for his dark humor, Banks proposed to his partner, Adele, after his diagnosis. He wrote that he had asked her “if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow,” adding, "(sorry – but we find ghoulish humour helps)." The two were married in March.
Between 1984 and 2013 Banks wrote 27 novels, including the forthcoming "The Quarry." His works include "Consider Phlebas," "Stonemouth," "Espedair Street," and "Transition."
The PawSox will host their 4th Annual Star Wars Night at McCoy Stadium on Saturday, June 1 when the PawSox take on the Syracuse Chiefs at 6:05 pm. More than 30 Star Wars characters from the Alderaan Base of the Rebel Legion will be in attendance to meet and greet fans before, during, and after the game. After the game, fans will be treated to a spectacular Fireworks Show to Star Wars Music. Come spend the night at McCoy and see Pawtucket play the Chiefs on Saturday, June 1st at 6:05 pm followed by fireworks. Presented by Coventry Credit Union, Rhode Island Credit Union, Wendy's, Irving Oil and 94 WHJY. More »
Science fiction and fantasy author and SFWA Grand Master Jack Vance has passed away at the age of 96. Jack Vance is known for numerous works, including The Dying Earth, Emphyrio, Lurulu, Green Magic, Lyonesse, Ports of Call and many others. Jack Vance passed away at home on the evening of Sunday May 26, 2013
Ray Harryhausen Film producer Raymond Frederick "Ray" Harryhausen was an American visual effects creator, writer, and producer who lived in London, England, from 1960 until his death at the age of 92 on May 7, 2013. He created a form of stop-motion model animation known as "Dynamation." Awards: ADG's Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award, BAFTA Special Award Movies credits include: For more information about Harryhausen's work, go to his official website: http://www.rayharryhausen.com
XBox 720 Concept.
Microsoft will release information about its newest gaming console at its XBox event on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.
The company says it will be talking about the next generation of its XBox gaming system, along with new games, TV and entertainment. The event will be streamed live on Xbox.com, Xbox Live, and Spike TV in the U.S. and Canada.
Topps has announced that Mars Attacks: Invasion, a new trading card set based on the original 1962 series, will be released in October 2013. The new set is “story-based” and include work by Earl Norem, Joe Jusko, Ed Repka, Glen Orbik, and Gregory Staples, with other contributors to be announced.
The set will be divided into subsets, which will in turn tell the new Mars Attacks story.
Good news for all you frugal travelers out there: A private startup's manned moon missions could end up costing around $500 million per seat instead of the originally advertised $750 million.
The Golden Spike company, which aims to start flying paying customers to the lunar surface and back by 2020, has pegged the cost of these two-person trips at about $1.5 billion. But the company plans to bring the per-seat ticket price down considerably by staging an Olympics-like media spectacle around each mission.
"We think that we can lower the effective ticket price, by selling the air time, the naming rights and the merchandising rights to these missions, by between 20 and 30 percent — by creating that other revenue stream and sharing it with our customers," Golden Spike president and CEO Alan Stern told reporters Thursday (April 11) at the 29th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. [Golden Spike's Manned Moon Plans (Photos)]
As a youngster, Carmine Infantino struggled to break into comics around the demands of his school schedule, making a number of sales and working on a variety of titles for different publishers including Hillman Periodicals, Fawcett, Holyoke, and DC Comics. He also worked for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's Prize Comics during his early days. When editor Julius Schwartz paired him with writer Robert Kanigher on a revival of the Golden Age superhero The Flash in Showcase #4, though, lightning struck more than just the main character.
The legendary artist, art director and publisher passed away Thursday, April 4, 2013, less than two months before his 88th birthday.
“Like many other comic book fans my age (and many who came after), I grew up on Carmine’s Flash. His linear style of art, which certainly increased over the years, lent itself to the fast-moving action of Barry Allen’s adventures and really helped pull readers in,” said Steve Geppi, President and CEO of Diamond Comic Distributors. “He was a good paisano, and while I am saddened by our loss, I am thankful for the rich and lasting legacy of storytelling he leaves behind.”
"Carmine was a unique talent in comics history: one of the most refined artists of the Golden Age, the artist who launched the Silver Age, the artist who won the fan awards as they were first launched, the designer of many of DC's most memorable covers, an editorial leader who launched a wave of experiments and the only artist ever to lead the #1 comics publisher. He had a sharp eye, a willingness to take chances on people and ideas, and I'm honored to have served my apprentince years at his DC," said former DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz.
“Carmine Infantino was a tremendous force for innovation in the comic book industry. From co-creating the Silver Age Flash to giving the go-ahead for Jack Kirby’s Fourth World titles, he was frequently an engine for change. He helped make the first meeting of Superman and Spider-Man possible, and later drew a number of now-beloved issues of Star Wars for Marvel. I was glad to have his work on the cover of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and I suspect his influence will last in our industry for a very long time,” said author and publisher Robert M. Overstreet.
Showing his illustration and design talents on characters ranging from the science fiction adventurer Adam Strange to serious superhero Batman to somewhat silly hero Elongated Man, Infantino became DC's Art Director, Editorial Director and eventually Publisher, supervising among other things the first Marvel - DC crossover, Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man. Following his staff tenure, he returned to work as a freelancer, illustrating Star Wars, Nova, and Spider-Woman for Marvel and various others for DC.
As with many of the greats, it’s difficult to measure their impact solely in terms of their own work on the printed page. Often is their impact on others by which their true measure is taken.
“So sad to learn of the passing of another comic book legend. Carmine Infantino was one of the great influential artists in the history of the medium and I will always look upon his Adam Strange, Flash and Space Museum stories as wondrous examples of fantasy made even more magical at the hands of a master. RIP, Carmine,” artist George Pérez posted on his Facebook page.
“Carmine was one of the first comics artists whose style I could recognize on sight, back as the regular artist on Marvel's Star Wars book,” posed Star Wars writer John Jackson Miller.
“When you think of the definitive Flash, you think of Carmine’s brilliant work. His innovations with speed lines, ways of delineating super-speed in a panel made Flash just so much fun. Carmine will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family. We are all at a loss,” said Vincent Zurzolo, Chief Operating Officer of Metropolis Collectibles.
“I'm extremely sad to learn that DC artist, art director, and publisher Carmine Infantino has passed away today. He was interviewed and featured in our book The Batcave Companion. Carmine was the inspiration for my cover design of the upcoming issue of Noir City. Infantino was a legend in the comic book business, he redefined both Batman and The Flash and was DC's publisher when I was reading their comics as a kid,” writer-designer-historian Michael Kronenberg posted.
“There are few people in this world that have had as much of an impact on the industry as Carmine. He bridged both the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, shepherding in some of the most successful periods in our history and setting the course of our characters that is still seen today. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will remain forever,” DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said.
“A piece of my childhood died with the passing of Carmine Infantino. Without doubt, his wonderful imagination, talent and style were unique and formed the foundation for the love of comic books that I carry with me to this day. Many years ago, I walked up to him at a convention, shook his hand and said a simple thank you. Form him it probably was a moment played out countless times before and since. For me, it was like meeting Mickey Mantle. Carmine Infantino has died but his I know this imagination lives on in the form of millions of comic books fans around the world,” said Metropolis Collectibles founder Stephen Fishler.
“Carmine was a legend. The number of classic covers he created are innumerable. His influence, reach and impact is humbling and will always live on,” DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Jim Lee said.
“When I was a little kid, Carmine was the first artist whose work I could instantly identify, thanks to stacks of gogo check era comics I inherited from an uncle. When I hit my teenage years, he was ‘my’ Flash artist, as he and Cary Bates were firing on all cylinders on their amazing early 80s run on the book, left to their own devious devices while DC slowly plotted out Barry’s demise in the leadup to Crisis. His clean, architectural style and superb sense of composition defined the pop-art 60s as much as did Kirby, Steranko, or Adams, and perhaps even more so, since his dramatic cover layouts dominated the newsstands for DC for nearly a decade. I had the very great privilege of spending an evening with him in San Diego during my first trip to the con some years ago, and his irascible humor and still-youthful spirit were a delight and a treasure. His name might not have been known among the casual comics fans, but his work always resonates with anyone I show it to, and his influence on the modern comics landscape is undeniable. He was one of the last true comic pioneers, and we are poorer for his loss,” said Frank Cwiklik of Metropolis Collectibles.