Author of a favorite online site is terminally ill

BIG sadness. Winchell Chung a.k.a. nyrath@twitter.com, and creator of the Atomic Rockets - Atomic Rockets website, went into the hospital at the end of August and has since been diagnosed with metastasized prostate cancer. It’s a foregone conclusion that barring a miracle it’s now just a matter of how long it’ll take him to die.

Winchell built Atomic Rockets up into one of the most beloved and influential reference sites for hard SF writers, astronomy buffs, and space enthusiasts; to the point where his own site leads the list of returns for internet searches on various science fiction and science fact topics.

We are about the same age and grew up with the same cultural influences, so we synched up well in correspondence over the years, and several of my suggestions were deemed worthy of inclusion on his site.

Plans are underway to curate his site, but he will be sorely missed.

Well, I never heard of that site, but I looked at it and it’s surely the work of someone who cares.

I once helped out the owner of a website devoted to a single old TV cartoon show by sending him a tape of the soundtrack of one lost episode that I’d recorded off the air, decades ago. He was able to use it to make a reconstituted version, which made him very happy indeed. Later I found out he’d died, and I always hoped others could take over his site (no one has, though it’s still online).

Since Mr. Chung’s site probably has broader appeal, here is hoping he has found a successor to keep it up-to-date. That would be his best legacy.