Gary K. Wolfe

Gary K. Wolfe (born Gary Kent Wolfe in 1946) is an American science fiction editor, critic and biographer. He is an emeritus Professor of Humanities in Roosevelt University's Evelyn T. Stone College of Professional Studies.[1]

Gary K. Wolfe
Portrait photoshoot at Worldcon 75, Helsini, before the Hugo Awards – Gary K. Wolfe
BornMarch 24, 1946 (age 72)
Sedalia, Missouri, United States
OccupationWriter, professor, editor, critic
GenreScience fiction, biography


Wolfe was born on March 24, 1946, in Sedalia, Missouri. He moved to Carrollton, Missouri, at age 12, and to Springfield, at 14, where he finished high school. He began attending Southwest Missouri State College (now University), transferred to University of Kansas, where he earned a B.A. in English in 1968, and worked for his honors thesis under Professor James Gunn.

From there, he transferred to University of Chicago, where Wolfe earned a Ph.D. in English, in 1971.

He was married to Ellen "Dede" Weil, a teacher and community service activist, in 1996. They held another wedding celebration at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) in a pool-side party, attended by many of their friends and colleagues, in March, 1997. Wolfe and Weil were happily married until her death in 2000. Before her death they collaborated on a book about Harlan Ellison, and often attended the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, in Florida.[2]

Writing career

Wolfe has written extensively about science fiction and fantasy literature; he is recognized as one of the experts in the field.

He has had a monthly review column in Locus since December, 1991[3] and has written for Salon and other sites.

In 2016, he taught the course How Great Science Fiction Works for The Great Courses.


1979 - Eaton Award from the Eaton Conference on Science Fiction for The Known and the Unknown: the Iconography of Science Fiction

1987 - Pilgrim Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Science Fiction Research Association

2005 - British Science Fiction Association Award for nonfiction for Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996

Wolfe has earned the Distinguished Scholarship Award from the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts. He has twice been nominated for the Hugo Award.



  • Wolfe, Gary K. (1979). The known and the unknown : the iconography of science fiction. Kent State University Press.
  • David Lindsay (Starmont House, 1979) - A study of the Scottish author who is remembered for his 1920 novel A Voyage to Arcturus.
  • Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Glossary and Guide to Scholarship (Greenwood Press, 1986) - described as a "landmark" work and "an indispensable guide to the sometimes peculiar terminology that has developed both in critical discourse and in popular discussions of fantasy and science fiction" by scholar David Sandner.[4]
  • Harlan Ellison: The Edge of Forever (with Ellen R. Weil, Ohio State University Press, 2002).
  • Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996 (Beccon Publications, 2005).
  • Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001 (Beccon Publications, 2010).
  • Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature and Sightings (2010) Wesleyan University Press, 978-0-8195-6937-0).
  • Sightings: Reviews 2002-2006 (Beccon Publications, 2011).
  • American Science Fiction: Four Classic Novels 1953-1956 (2012) Library of America -- The Space Merchants, Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon, The Long Tomorrow, Leigh Brackett, The Shrinking Man, Richard Matheson.
  • American Science Fiction: Five Classic Novels 1956-1958 (2012) Library of America -- Double Star, Robert A. Heinlein, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, A Case of Conscience by James Blish, Who? by Algis Budrys, The Big Time by Fritz Leiber.

Book reviews

Date Review article Work(s) reviewed
2010 Wolfe, Gary K. (Jan 2010). "Locus Looks at Books". Locus (588): 15, 17, 45–46.
  • Bear, Greg (2009). Mariposa. Vanguard.
  • Powers, Richard (2009). Generosity : an enhancement. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Nojiri, Housuke (2009). Usurper of the sun. Haikasoru.
  • Jones, Gwyneth (2009). Imagination/space : essays and talks on fiction, feminism, technology, and politics. Aqueduct.
  • Andre-Driussi, Michael (2009). The Wizard Knight companion : a lexicon for Gene Wolfe's The Knight and The Wizard. Sirius Fiction.
2013 Wolfe, Gary K. (Dec 2013). "Locus Looks at Books". Locus (635): 16–17, 49–50.
  • Hartwell, David G., ed. (2013). Year's best SF 18. Tor.
  • Okorafor, Nnedi (2013). Kabu-kabu : stories. Prime.
  • Watts, Peter (2013). Beyond the Rift. Tachyon.
  • VanderMeer, Jeff (2013). Wonderbook : the illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction. Abrams.


  1. ^ Gary K. Wolfe, Professor of Humanities
  2. ^ "Ellen Dede Weil". Locus. Locus. 45 (479, number 6): 72–73. December 2000.
  3. ^ Gary Wolfe biography from
  4. ^ Sandner, David (2004). Fantastic Literature: A Critical Reader. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.

Further reading

  • "Wolfe, Gary K(ent) 1946—". Contemporary Authors. 129. Gale Group. 1990. p. 480.

External links

A Borrowed Man

A Borrowed Man is a 2015 science fiction hardboiled noir novel by Gene Wolfe.

A New Dawn

A New Dawn: The Don A. Stuart Stories of John W. Campbell, Jr. is an archival collection of science fiction stories by John W. Campbell, published in hardcover by NESFA Press in 2003. The volume was compiled and edited by James A. Mann. It includes all 16 stories published by Campbell under that pseudonym, as well as two Campbell/Stuart nonfiction pieces and an introduction by Barry Malzberg. Gary K. Wolfe declared that "the collected Stuart stories constitute a key document in the intellectual history of SF".

Gary Wolfe

Gary Wolfe may refer to:

Gary K. Wolfe, science fiction editor, critic and biographer

Gary Wolfe (wrestler)

How's the Night Life on Cissalda?

"How's the Night Life on Cissalda?" is a science fiction short story by Harlan Ellison, first published in 1977, in the first volume of the Zebra Books anthology series "Chrysalis". It was subsequently reprinted in Ellison's 1980 collection Shatterday, in OpZone no. 8 (1980, French language, as "Et comment sont les nuits sur Cissalda?") in the 1990 Ellen Datlow-edited anthology Alien Sex, and, in Italian (as "Vita notturna a Cissalda"), in Fantasex (the 1993 translation into Italian of Alien Sex) and in Idrogeno e idiozia (the 1999 translation into Italian of Shatterday).Two illustrated versions have been published: one with art by Tom Barber, in Heavy Metal in November 1977; and one with art by Eric White and an adapted script by Faye Perozich, in the Dark Horse Comics-published Harlan Ellison's Dream Corridor, in August 1995.

Hugo Award for Best Fancast

The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was previously officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. It has been described by The Guardian and Litro Magazine as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing".The Hugo Award for Best Fancast is awarded to the best non-professional audio or video periodical devoted to science fiction, fantasy, or related subjects. The fancast must have released four or more episodes by the end of the previous calendar year, at least one of which appeared in that year, and it must not qualify for the dramatic presentation category. It must also not provide or be published by an entity that provides a quarter or more of the income of any one person working on the fancast. The name of the award is a portmanteau of fan and podcast. The Hugo Award for Best Fancast was first proposed as a category after the 2011 awards, and then appeared as a temporary category at the 2012 awards. Temporary awards are not required to be repeated in following years. The 2013 awards, however, did repeat the category, and afterwards it was ratified as a permanent category, and will appear in all future years.

Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, and the awards presentation constitutes its central event. Supporting members are those who do not attend the convention itself, and pay a smaller membership fee as a result. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The fancasts on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of fancasts that can be nominated. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year. Members are permitted to vote "no award", if they feel that none of the nominees is deserving of the award that year, and in the case that "no award" takes the majority the Hugo is not given in that category. This happened in the Best Fancast category in 2016.During the 7 years the award has been active, 20 fancasts by 58 people have been nominated, and 5 of those fancasts have won. SF Squeecast, created by a team of five people, won the award in both 2012 and 2013, and declined to be nominated for 2014. SF Signal Podcast, run by Patrick Hester, won the 2014 award, and Galactic Suburbia Podcast, run by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Andrew Finch, won the 2015 award. No award was given in 2016, and Tea and Jeopardy, by Emma Newman and Peter Newman, won in 2017 on its third nomination. Ditch Diggers, by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace, won the 2018 award in its second year of nominations. Galactic Suburbia Podcast has received the most nominations at six, followed by The Coode Street Podcast at five.

Jonathan Strahan

Jonathan Strahan (born 1964 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is an editor and publisher of science fiction. His family moved to Perth, Western Australia in 1968, and he graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Arts in 1986.

In 1990 he co-founded Eidolon: The Journal of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy, and worked on it as co-editor and co-publisher until 1999. He was also co-publisher of Eidolon Books which published Robin Pen's The Secret Life of Rubber-Suit Monsters, Howard Waldrop's Going Home Again, Storm Constantine's The Thorn Boy, and Terry Dowling's Blackwater Days.

In 1997 Jonathan worked in Oakland, California for Locus: The Newspaper of the Science Fiction Field as an assistant editor and wrote a regular reviewer column for the magazine until March 1998 when he returned to Australia. In early 1999 Jonathan resumed reviewing and copyediting for Locus, and was then promoted to Reviews Editor (January 2002 – present). Other reviews have appeared in Eidolon, Eidolon: SF Online, and Foundation. Jonathan has won the Aurealis Award, the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism and Review, the Australian National Science Fiction Convention's "Ditmar Award", and the Peter McNamara Achievement Award.A ten-time Hugo Award nominee, Strahan won the World Fantasy Award (Special – Professional) in 2010 for his work as an editor, and his anthologies have won the Locus Award for Best Anthology three times (2008, 2010, 2013) and the Aurealis Award four times.

As a freelance editor, Jonathan has edited or co-edited forty-one original and reprint anthologies, and seventeen single-author story collections which have been published in Australia and the United States.

In 1999 Jonathan founded The Coode Street Press, which published the one-shot review 'zine The Coode Street Review of Science Fiction and co-published Terry Dowling's Antique Futures. The Coode Street Press is currently inactive.

Jonathan currently co-hosts the weekly Coode Street Podcast with Gary K. Wolfe, which has been nominated for the British Science Fiction Award, the Ditmar Award, and the Hugo Award.Jonathan married former Locus Managing Editor Marianne Jablon in 1999 and they live in Perth, Western Australia with their two daughters, Jessica and Sophie.

Karin Tidbeck

Karin Margareta Steen Tidbeck (born 6 April 1977) is a Swedish author of fantasy and weird fiction. She lives in Malmö and, in addition to her writing, works for a writers' organization and as a creative writing instructor.Tidbeck debuted with the short story collection Vem är Arvid Pekon? in 2010, followed by the novel Amatka in 2012. Her first work in English, the short story collection Jagannath, was published in 2012 by Cheeky Frawg to favorable reviews, with Gary K. Wolfe describing Tidbeck as "one of the most distinctive new voices in short fiction since Margo Lanagan". The collection made the shortlist for the 2012 James Tiptree, Jr. Award and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award. The short story "Augusta Prima", originally written in Swedish, was translated into English by Tidbeck who won a Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award (2013) in the Short Form category. The English translation of Amatka was published in 2017.

Le Dernier Homme

Le Dernier Homme (English: The Last Man) is a French science fantasy novel in the form of a prose poem. Written by Jean-Baptiste Cousin de Grainville and published in 1805, it was the first story of modern speculative fiction to depict the end of the world. Considered a seminal early work of science fantasy, specifically of the dying earth subgenre, it has been described by Gary K. Wolfe as "A crucial document in the early history... of what became science fiction".Le Dernier Homme was translated into English in 1806 – poorly, and neither credited to de Grainville nor described as a translation from a French original – under the title Omegarus and Syderia, a Romance in Futurity. This translation remained the only English version available until 2003, when a new translation by I. F. Clarke and Margaret Clarke was published.


Megatext is a term used by scholars of speculative fiction that describes the elaborate fictional background, tropes, images, and conventions that science fiction or fantasy narratives share.

This collective body of knowledge, utilized by writers and recognized by readers, was first described by Christine Brooke-Rose in her 1981 work, A Rhetoric of the Unreal: Studies in Narrative and Structure, Especially of the Fantastic. Brooke-Rose builds on the culture or referential code first described by Roland Barthes in his work S/Z.

Brooke-Rose describes a subconsciously familiar set of images, attributes and ideas that are shared within a particular genre. She cites examples in several genres, but goes into critical detail when considering Fantasy, specifically the work of J. R. R. Tolkien.

Damien Broderick builds on this concept, separating Brooke-Rose's criticism of Tolkien and the specific exposition in Tolkien's work, from the megatext concept itself and introducing other comparable Science Fiction theories, such as the work of Gary K. Wolfe in The Known and the Unknown: the Iconography of Science Fiction (1979). the "mega-text" in Broderick's description is much more clearly identified as a shared cultural between writer and reader.

In "The Evolving Megatext of Fantasy" Allen Stroud identifies the distinction between the author's specific fictional world mythos (macrotext or world bible) and the way in which the megatext of fantasy has changed, spreading out across multiple media to incorporate many shared concepts into hundreds of different fictions. Stroud notes that many of these concepts are washed of their cultural origins in their new forms, relying instead on more popular contemporary images and archetypes.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2001

Nebula Awards Showcase 2001 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by Robert Silverberg. It was first published in hardcover and trade paperback by Harcourt in April 2001.

Osama (novel)

Osama is a 2011 alternate history metafictional novel by Lavie Tidhar. It was first published by PS Publishing.

Passage (Willis novel)

Passage is a science fiction novel by Connie Willis, published in 2001. The novel won the Locus Award for Best Novel in 2002, was shortlisted for the Nebula Award in 2001, and received nominations for the Hugo, Campbell, and Clarke Awards in 2002.Passage follows the efforts of Joanna Lander, a research psychologist, to understand the phenomenon of near-death experiences (or NDEs) by interviewing hospital patients after they are revived following clinical death. Her work with Dr. Richard Wright, a neurologist who has discovered a way to chemically induce an artificial NDE and conduct an "RIPT" brain scan during the experience, leads her to the discovery of the biological purpose of NDEs.

Science fiction scholar Gary K. Wolfe writes, "Willis tries something truly astonishing: without resorting to supernaturalism on the one hand or clinical reportage on the other, without forgoing her central metaphor, she seeks to lift the veil on what actually happens inside a dying mind." Through Lander's work, Dr. Wright is able to develop a medicine that brings patients back from clinical death.

The novel contains enlightening discussions of various disasters, including the RMS Titanic, the Hartford circus fire, the Hindenburg disaster, the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79, the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, the Boston Molasses Disaster, and, almost as prominently as the Titanic, the sinking of the USS Yorktown. (Willis has written extensively in several novels about events in World War II.)

Pilgrim Award

The Pilgrim Award is presented by the Science Fiction Research Association for Lifetime Achievement in the field of science fiction scholarship. It was created in 1970 and was named after J. O. Bailey’s pioneering book Pilgrims Through Space and Time. Fittingly, the first award was presented to Bailey.

1970 – J. O. Bailey (USA)

1971 – Marjorie Hope Nicolson (USA)

1972 – Julius Kagarlitski (USSR)

1973 – Jack Williamson (USA)

1974 – I. F. Clarke (UK)

1975 – Damon Knight (USA)

1976 – James E. Gunn (USA)

1977 – Thomas D. Clareson (USA)

1978 – Brian W. Aldiss (UK)

1979 – Darko Suvin (Canada)

1980 – Peter Nicholls (Australia)

1981 – Sam Moskowitz (USA)

1982 – Neil Barron (USA)

1983 – H. Bruce Franklin (USA)

1984 – Everett F. Bleiler (USA)

1985 – Samuel R. Delany (USA)

1986 – George E. Slusser (USA)

1987 – Gary K. Wolfe (USA)

1988 – Joanna Russ (USA)

1989 – Ursula K. Le Guin (USA)

1990 – Marshall Tymn (USA)

1991 – Pierre Versins (France)

1992 – Mark R. Hillegas (USA)

1993 – Robert Reginald (USA)

1994 – John Clute (UK)

1995 – Vivian Sobchack (USA)

1996 – David Ketterer (Canada)

1997 – Marleen Barr (USA)

1998 – L. Sprague de Camp (USA)

1999 – Brian Stableford (UK)

2000 – Hal W. Hall (USA)

2001 – David N. Samuelson (USA)

2002 – Mike Ashley (UK)

2003 – Gary Westfahl (USA)

2004 - Edward James (UK)

2005 - Gérard Klein (France)

2006 - Fredric Jameson (USA)

2007 - Algis Budrys (USA)

2008 - Gwyneth Jones (UK)

2009 - Brian Attebery (USA)

2010 - Eric Rabkin (USA)

2011 - Donna Haraway (USA)

2012 - Pamela Sargent (USA)

2013 - N. Katherine Hayles (USA)

2014 - Joan Gordon (USA)

2015 – Henry Jenkins (USA)

2016 – Mark Bould (UK)

2017 – Tom Moylan (Ireland)

2018 – Carl Freedman (USA)

Science Fiction Awards Watch

Science Fiction Awards Watch is a blog created in 2007 by Cheryl Morgan and Kevin Standlee that provides information on science fiction awards. It succeeded their fanzine Emerald City which shut down in November 2006. Among its motivations were to go beyond reporting of the awards, and to look at the process by which the award is selected and to allow reader interaction.It has been noted as a source of "unbiased reporting and astute commentary" by SF author James Patrick Kelly in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, and "one of the essential sites for SF lit fans" by author John Scalzi, and cited as a source of breaking news by The Guardian newspaper.Notable contributors include Anna Tambour, Cat Eldridge, Chris Roberson, Gary K. Wolfe, Jeff VanderMeer, Joe Gordon, John Clute, and Victoria Hoyle, in addition to the editors themselves.

Science fiction studies

Science fiction studies is the common name for the academic discipline that studies and researches the history, culture, and works of science fiction and, more broadly, speculative fiction.

The Function of Dream Sleep

"The Function of Dream Sleep" is a fantasy short story by American writer Harlan Ellison, first published in his 1988 anthology Angry Candy. Ellison stated that it was inspired by an actual dream.

The Land Across

The Land Across is a fantasy novel by Gene Wolfe. It was published in 2013 by Tor Books.

The Shrinking Man

The Shrinking Man is a science fiction novel by American writer Richard Matheson, published in 1956. It has been adapted into a motion picture twice, called The Incredible Shrinking Man in 1957 and The Incredible Shrinking Woman in 1981, both by Universal Pictures. Another adaptation of the story has been proposed, which has been pushed back several times from 2001 to the current day. The novel was retitled The Incredible Shrinking Man in some later editions. In 2012 it was included (under the original title) in the Library of America two-volume boxed set American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s, edited by Gary K. Wolfe.

Waters of Versailles

"Waters of Versailles" is a 2015 fantasy novella by Kelly Robson, about plumbing. It was first published by

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.