Locus is reporting the death of author Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. on 7 November 2012, of complications from cancer. Born on 29 November 1950 in Cleveland, Ohio, he was a writer, writers’ advocate, and Chinese scholar.
The younger O’Donnell graduated from Yale University in 1972, and was very active in the administration of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). He chaired the organization’s Nebula Award Committee from 1990 until 1998, and was the Business Manager of the SFWA Bulletin from 1994 to 1998. He also chaired SFWA’s Grievance Committee from 1999 to 2005. In 2005, he received the Service to SFWA Award.
As a writer, his first published story appeared in the October 1973 issue of Analog: “The Hand is Quicker.” Another fifty stories followed. His first novel was published in 1979: Bander Snatch, but he was best-known for his comic Journeys of McGill Feighan. His 1984 novel, ORA:CLE was published in French translation in 1987, and won that year’s Prix Litteraire Mannesmann Tally.
On a personal note, O’Donnell was one of the other founders of the Artemis Project: a hybrid commercial/non-profit venture to establish a lunar colony (which survives in the present-day Moon Society). He was a member of The Lunar Resources Company’s board of directors (as was I), and he was one of the investors who helped fund Artemis Magazine (which I edited and published from 1999 until 2003). We didn’t always see eye-to-eye on creative or business issues, but I never doubted his sincerity, commitment, or desire to see us all succeed. I was very sorry to learn of his death, far too early.
O’Donnell is survived by his wife of 38 years, Lillian Kia Chou Tchang. His father Kevin O’Donnell died in February at the age of 87; he had been the fourth Director of the Peace Corps (1971-72).
See also his wife’s eulogy, posted as a comment on his SFWA obituary.