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Sigourney Weaver
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Gary Westfahl
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WESTFAHL, GARY
(1951– ). American writer.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Appeared in: New Visions of the Future: Prophecies III (tv documentary) (Graeme Whifler 1996); Visions from the Edge: The Art of Science Fiction (tv documentary) (Michael MacDonald 2005).

Provided voiceover commentary for DVD: Jerome Bixby's The Man from Earth (Richard Schenkman 2007).

Consultant to producer "H. G. Wells" (documentary) (1995), episode of Biography; "Stationed in the Stars" (documentary) (2000), episode of Nova; Prophets of Science Fiction (tv documentary) (Dan Levitt 2006).

 
A figure of absolutely no importance to science fiction film, Gary Westfahl is best known (to the extent that he is known at all) as a prolific, and sometimes controversial, science fiction scholar and commentator. Due to his innumerable publications on science fiction, he has twice been invited to appear as a talking head in a television documentary related to the genre (with a third scheduled appearance indefinitely postponed due to budget issues), and he gets an occasional phone call from someone producing a documentary who wants some information or advice, sometimes earning him a "Special Thanks" in the closing credits. He was also invited to join producer Emerson Bixby in providing voiceover commentary for an obscure direct-to-DVD release, his father Jerome BIXBY's final film, Jerome Bixby's The Man from Earth. Despite these modest contributions to the genre, only someone who knew Westfahl pretty well, obviously, would bother to include this fellow in an encyclopedia of science fiction film.

For those few people who might be interested: to date Westfahl has written six books—Cosmic Engineers: A Study of Hard Science Fiction (1966), Islands in the Sky: The Space Station Theme in Science Fiction Literature (1996, 2009), The Mechanics of Wonder: The Creation of the Idea of Science Fiction (1998), Science Fiction, Children's Literature, and Popular Culture: Coming of Age in Fantasyland (2000), Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction  (2007), and The Other Side of the Sky: An Annotated Bibliography of Space Stations in Science Fiction, 1869-1993 (2009)—edited four others—Space and Beyond: The Frontier Theme in Science Fiction (2000), Science Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits (2005), the three-volume The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders (2005), and Frank McConnell's The Science of Fiction and the Fiction of Science: Collected Essays on SF Storytelling and the Gnostic Imagination (2009) —and co-edited eleven more more—Immortal Engines: Life Extension and Immortality in Science Fiction and Fantasy (1996), Science Fiction and Market Realities (1996), Foods of the Gods: Eating and the Eaten in Fantasy and Science Fiction (1996), Nursery Realms: Children in the Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror (1999), Science Fiction, Canonization, Marginalization, and the Academy (2002), Unearthly Visions: Approaches to Science Fiction and Fantasy Art (2002), Worlds Enough and Time: Explorations of Time in Science Fiction and Fantasy (2002), No Cure for the Future: Disease and Medicine in Science Fiction and Fantasy (2002), World Weavers: Globalization, Science Fiction, and the Cybernetic Revolution (2005), Science Fiction and the Two Cultures: Essays on Bridging the Gap between the Sciences and the Humanities (2009), and Science Fiction and the Prediction of the Future (2011).  As outlets for his restless energy if nothing else, additional books are sure to follow.

In addition, he served as a Consultant Editor of John Clute and John Grant's award-winning The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) and contributed entries to that volume and numerous other reference works, including The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (2003) and The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science (2004). His articles and reviews have appeared in numerous print periodicals— Extrapolation, Florida Today, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, Interzone, Isis: Journal of the History of Science Society, The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, The Los Angeles Times, Million: The Magazine about Popular Fiction, Monad: Essays on Science Fiction, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres, The Report: The Fiction Writer's Magazine, Science Fiction Eye, The Science Fiction Research Association Review, Science Fiction Studies, and The Western Historical Quarterly—and websites—The Internet Review of Science Fiction, Locus Online, Nova Online, Salon Futura, SF Signal, and Strange Horizons. He has also written essays for over two dozen critical anthologies, and translations of his work have been published in the Japanese magazine Eureka, the Spanish magazines BEM: Ciencia Ficción y Fantasia and Stalker: Cine Fantastico, the Brazilian magazine Papêra Uirandê, and the Czech magazine Ikarie. In his writings, he displays an appreciative interest in a wide variety of science fiction and fantasy texts and films, ranging from the very best to the very worst, and an unusual willingness to criticize writers, filmmakers, and scholars who in some way fall short of his standards, leading to inaccurate charges that this inoffensive, mild-mannered man is vituperative and mean-spirited. Tolerated if not embraced by the science fiction community, he earned the Science Fiction Research Association's 2003 Pilgrim Award for his lifetime contributions to science fiction and fantasy scholarship, and his Science Fiction Quotations was nominated for a 2005 Hugo Award.

Since none of his science fiction activities provide very much in the way of income, Westfahl has continued to teach at the University of La Verne, following his recent retirement from the University of California, Riverside, while working on five forthcoming books and other projects. Since his daughter Allison and son-in-law Steven now live in New York City, and his son Jeremy is in graduate school at the University of California, Irvine, only his wife Lynne must now put up with his long hours of feverish writing on the computer, and she continues to urge him to stop wasting his time on all this nonsense and start writing Star Trek novels so he can finally earn some real money.

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