Author Julian May (b.1931) died on October 17. May entered fandom in her late teens and published the fanzine Interim Newsletter. Her first professional sale, “Dune Roller,” appeared in Astounding in 1951, including original illustrations by May. In 1952, she chaired the TASFIC in Chicago, becoming the first woman to chair a Worldcon. She married author Ted Dikty in 1953 and began going by the name Judy Dikty. That same year, she sold the story “Star of Wonder” before dropping out of science fiction and fandom for several years. With the exceptions of two episodes of the “Buck Rogers” comic strip, she focused on writing for encyclopedias and non-fiction books under a variety of pseudonyms. “Dune Roller” was adapted for television in 1952 for Tales of Tomorrow and was filmed as The Cremators in 1972.
She returned to science fiction in 1976 when she attended Westercon 29. The costume she wore at the convention made her start thinking about the character’s background and grew into the six book Galactic Milieu series. Her return to the world of SFF publication took place in 1977 when she published A Gazeteer of the Hyborian World of Conan under the pseudonym Lee N. Falconer. She also wrote the four book Saga of the Pliocene Exile, which began with the Nebula and Hugo Award nominated The Many-Colored Land, and collaborated on the Trillium series with Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton. Health issues prevented May from participating in a panel with the living chairs of the other Chicago Worldcons in 2012, and in 2015 she was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame.
Cat Rambo, President of SFWA, had this to say, “May’s Pliocene Exile series combined time travel, Neanderthals, and fairies in a world that should not have worked, but did — and beautifully so. She portrayed moments of unison, a coming together of voices, in a way that gripped the heart and that will continue to inspire readers for centuries to come.”