Robert Kinoshita, the production designer and art director who created Forbidden Planet's Robby the Robot and Lost In Space's B-9 Environmental Control Robot [previously], has passed away at the age of 100.
Prolific television producer Glen A. Larson has died. Mainstream audiences might remember him as the creator of Alias Smith and Jones, his first hit series; and of such shows as Quincy M.E., Magnum, P.I., and The Fall Guy. But to science-fiction fans, he will always be remembered as the man behind TV's first million-dollar-per-episode series, Battlestar Galactica, and as a Consulting Producer on Syfy's highly regarded remake of the series. He also brought us Knight Rider; The Six Million Dollar Man, which may soon be getting a reimagining of its own; and Buck Rogers in the 25ᵗʰ Century, along with a handful of less successful, but still fondly remembered, sci-fi TV adventures. [more inside]
Colin Wilson has passed away at the age of 82. He rose to fame in the 50s with The Outsider, which made him a figure amongst Britain's Beat movement and Angry Young Men. His writing has spanned the fiction and non-fiction, with an interest in the paranormal and the occult, his thoughts on which he blended with HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos to produce The Mind Parasites. A TV series based on his The Space Vampires, also the basis for the movie Lifeforce (previously), is currently planned. Wikipedia page, 2004 Guardian interview, Times Obituary (subs only).
Anne McCaffrey, author of Dragonriders of Pern, the first woman to win a Hugo award, is reported dead.
Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, probably best known for his work on Alien, as well numerous other science fiction films, has passed away age 63.
Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001, inventor of the telecommunications satellite and the only reason most geeks can find Sri Lanka on a map, has died shortly after celebrating his 90th birthday.
When Jack Williamson published his first story, Isaac Asimov was eight years old. Seventy-three years later, his novella, "The Ultimate Earth," won the Hugo and Nebula awards. Easily the longest career in science fiction, and one of the most distinguished, came to a close yesterday: Williamson died at the age of 98. (Boing Boing, Locus.)
Stanislaw Lem: 1921-2006. Polish science-fiction giant Stanislaw Lem died this morning. He was 84. Though Lem was not as well known as Asimov or Heinlein or the other "Masters", he was just as important to the genre. Lem was not a fan of traditonal science-fiction, and in his work tried to approach futuristic themes from a more humanistic, almost psychological, perspective. (And his books are funny!) His best-known work, Solaris, was twice made into a film, most recently in 2002. [Woefully out-of-date official site.]
Robert Sheckley passes on: It does not come as a shock, as mentioned in this thread from may of this year he has been ill. However, as with Zelazney I considered him a great science fiction writer. An end of an era is fast approaching.
Kir Bulychev died today. (Also here.) Those of us familiar with Russian sci-fi will always remember him for such masterpieces as Poselok (Those Who Survive) and a famous children's series Devochka s Zemli (The Girl from Planet Earth). More than just a writer, he was a profuse translator, East Asian researcher, and playwright. Over ten films were produced from his books and scripts. Almost all works are online in Russian, but I could find no online translations.