Another month, another Ansible!
R.I.P. M.A.R. Barker (Prof. Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker, 1929-2012), creator of the science-fantasy world Tékumel as a setting for Empire of the Petal Throne (1975) and related role-playing games, died on 16 March aged 83. [AW] Tékumel outdoes even Tolkien's Middle-earth for its density of historical, cultural and linguistic detail; besides 'nonfiction' treatises on the world, Barker also set five novels there, beginning with The Man of Gold (1984).
R.I.P. Jean Giraud (1938-2012), highly prolific and influential French comics artist who cofounded the seminal magazine Métal Hurlant in 1975, died on 10 March aged 73. [GW] Much of his sf work appeared as by Moebius. Genre films using his design concepts include Alien, Tron, The Abyss and The Fifth Element. He was commissioned to draw a 1988 French postage stamp in honour of himself, and was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame in 2011.
A sad month, indeed.