(1954 – )
Freff, aka Connor Cochran, is an American fan who has worked as a professional writer, illustrator, journalist, musician/songwriter, actor, producer, business consultant, and BBC-television reporter. He is a graduate of the 1974 Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.
His involvement with fandom started when he began contributing illustrations and articles to fanzines at the age of 15. His first publication was in Yandro. Soon afterwards he began participating remotely in APA L, the weekly APA of the LASFS. This led in turn to going to his first convention in 1970 (Westercon 23 in Santa Barbara), and joining LASFS. At this point longtime fans Len Moffatt and June Moffatt took him under their wing and encouraged him to pursue his creative work.
In September 1972 he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and continued his involvement with fandom there, regularly attending Little Men meetings while supporting himself by teaching art lessons, doing street mime, and churning out freelance commercial illustrations for newspapers and small presses. In December 1972 he got press passes from NASA to attend the launch of Apollo 17 in Florida, and traveled there with Tom Whitmore and Ctein. While at a launch party he met Frank Kelly Freas, who looked through Freff's sketchbook and encouraged him to "move to New York and get started." Which he did, nine months later, but only after hitchhiking back to Florida in spring 1973 to attend the launch of Skylab One's crew.
In New York, Freff continued writing and doing illustrations for fanzines while launching his real professional career at the age of 19. He ultimately wound up writing comic books for Gold Key, Marvel Comics, and ffantasy ffactory; illustrating and doing covers for Galaxy Science Fiction, Worlds of If, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, Berkley Books, Dell, Gregg Press, Doubleday, the Science Fiction Book Club, and others; writing over two million words of professional magazine nonfiction, and selling short stories to Galaxy Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Whispers, The Berkley Showcase, and others. As a science fiction artist he was invited to be part of the 1975 NASA/Smithsonian Artist's Tour of the Kennedy Space Center, which included visits to the Viking Probe Clean Room and the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building. As a journalist he also reported on the launch and splashdown of the Skylab III crew (spending two weeks aboard the helicopter carrier USS New Orleans for the splashdown); the Cape Kennedy launch part of the Apollo-Soyuz mission; and the Viking probe's 1976 landing on Mars. A recording of him playing flute at JPL on the night of Viking's landing was included in the Vision of Mars DVD that was successfully carried to the surface of that planet on board NASA's 2007 Phoenix lander mission.
In 1977 he co-founded ASFA (the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists) with Carl Lundgren, Frank Kelly Freas, and Janny Wurts.
As an artist in the field, he is best known for his illustrations for John Varley's Titan and Wizard; his covers and interior illustrations for various works by Roger Zelazny, especially four of the Amber novels — Nine Princes in Amber, Sign of the Unicorn, The Hand of Oberon, and The Courts of Chaos; and for the D'Arc Tangent comic book he co-created with Phil Foglio, Lucie Chin, and Melissa Ann Singer in 1983.
Under the pickup group name "Zen Vaudeville," Freff organized the song & comedy halftime show for the IguanaCon II worldcon masquerade in 1978, and with Marvel Comics X-Men writer Chris Claremont put on a semi-improvised stage show at Boskone 1981 called The Day the Earth Went Stale, which parodied '50s science fiction and horror movies.
From the mid-'80s through 2001 he was not active in fandom, focusing primarily on his professional work in Hollywood and other fields. Outside the SF/fantasy world he is best known for his work as a music and computer journalist, including his award-winning "Creative Options" magazine essay series on creativity, and for the four years he spent as a presenter and reporter for the BBC-2 Micro-Live television series.
He is the founder of Conlan Press.
He currently lives in Bellingham, Washington, and among many other things is business manager for Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and literary executor for the estate of Parke Godwin. In June 2020 he became Chief Creative Officer of Firebird Entertainment Ltd., a film and television production company.
APA-H claims that Freff was its founder, but, then, it's APA-H. (As it happens, this is absolutely true. Freff really did found APA H. But he didn't stay with it for very long.)
Awards, Honors and GoHships:
- 1976 -- Disclave 20 Special theatrical wedding ceremony to Amelia Sefton, with the whole convention invited.
- 1981 -- Triciticon '81
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