Joe Mayhew

Joe Mayhew August 1942 - June 2000

Joe Mayhew, long-time fan and for many the heart at the center of the Washington Science Fiction Association, passed away at 9 a.m. on June 10th, 2000. Joe was an active science fiction fan all of his life. In 1998 and 2000 he won the Hugo award for Best Fan Artist, and was also nominated in 1990, 1996, 1997, and 1999. His cartoons have appeared in Asimov's, Analog, Pirate Writings, and numerous fanzines. As the Library of Congress' Recommending Officer for Science Fiction, Joe developed the official government definition of what was science fiction. In his last years, Joe became a professional science fiction author with stories appearing in Tomorrow, Aberrations and Aboriginal SF. He also reviewed science fiction books for the Washington Post, Absolute Magnitude, and TV's Fast Forward.

Joe chaired the 1987 Disclave and the cancelled 1998 Disclave. He served as WSFA Secretary and editor of the WSFA Journal several times, most recently 1995-1996. He was the club's unofficial greeter of new people and storehouse of information about the club's history, its constitution, parliamentary procedure, and indeed everything else. He was the club's official archivist.

He has attended innumerable SF conventions, most recently Balticon in April 2000.

After spending one month in several hospitals, Joe died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (the hospital's best guess), a relative of Mad Cow Disease that is considered extremely rare in the U.S. He is survived by a brother, a sister, and multiple cartoons and carvings.

This is not the same thing as Mad Cow Disease, though it is related.

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) has created the Joe Mayhew Phan Artist award.

Also see Evan's page.

Also see A sampling of his art.

There was a wake for Joe Mayhew at Chicon 2000 in September 2000. There were also memorial events at Balticon 35 in May 2001, and at the first Capclave in September 2001.

On December 10th 2000, Joe's ashes were planted under an Aralia speciosa, a rare native small tree at the Beltsville Library. The Aralia's common name is Devil's walking stick. It has multiple prickly stems with beautiful white flowers at the top. A memorial marker will be made soon. It is located to the left of the Library entrance past the memorial tree for his mother, Maydelle Stewart.

This tree was not damaged by the tornado that struck that library in 2001.

Rest in Peace, Joe. You will be missed.


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This page was created 10 June, 2000. This page was last updated 27 December, 2003.