Walter Jon Williams is an American writer, primarily of science fiction. As Jon Williams, he designed the game Heart of Oak (1982) and Privateers and Gentlemen (1983) for Fantasy Games Unlimited. A Cyberpunk RPG sourcebook called Hardwired (1989) was licensed by R. Talsorian Games, based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Williams. Several of Williams’ novels have a distinct cyberpunk feel to them, notably Hardwired (also an homage to Roger Zelazny’s novel Damnation Alley), Voice of the Whirlwind and Angel Station. However, he has explored a number of different styles and genres, including farce (e.g., the Majistral series), postcyberpunk space opera (Aristoi), military science fiction (Dread Empire’s Fall series), alternative history (Wall, Stone, Craft), science fantasy (Metropolitan and City on Fire), disaster thriller (The Rift), a Star Wars novel (The New Jedi Order: Destiny’s Way) and historical adventure (Privateers and Gentlemen series), and police procedural (Days of Atonement), usually in a science fiction context. He has also contributed to some of the Wild Cards cooperative novels.
Thomas Dolby is an English musician and producer. Best known for his 1982 hit “She Blinded Me with Science”, and 1984 single “Hyperactive!”, he has also worked extensively in production and as a session musician. Thomas Dolby has also worked as a producer and a soundtrack composer for both films and video games, most notably “The Gate To The Mind’s Eye”, the third installment of the CGI collection, the Mind’s Eye (series). Dolby also wrote the songs for the 1986 George Lucas film Howard the Duck and chose the members of the film’s fictional band, Cherry Bomb. Dolby wrote and produced three tracks for the 1992 soundtrack of the animated movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest. He also created the score for the 1993 Sega CD interactive movie “Double Switch”. Additionally, the song “Hyperactive!” is featured in the 2002 PlayStation 2 videogame Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as part of the New Wave radio station Wave 103. In 1990 Dolby played the role of the villain Stanley in the movie Rockula as well as contributing the songs “Stanely’s Death Park” and “Budapest by Blimp”. Since 2001 Dolby has acted as Musical Director of The TED Conference, an annual event in Long Beach, California that attracts some of the world’s foremost thinkers, inventors, and speakers. In this capacity he provides live musical introductions to sessions, sometimes with an eclectic TED House Band, as well as helping secure guest musicians and entertainers for the event.
Chris Carter is an American television and film producer, director and writer. Born in Bellflower, California, Carter graduated with a degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach before spending thirteen years working for Surfing Magazine. After beginning his television career working on television films for Walt Disney Studios, Carter rose to fame in the early 1990s after creating the science fiction television series The X-Files for the Fox network. The X-Files earned high viewership ratings, and led to Carter being able to negotiate the creation of future series. Carter went on to create three more series for the network—Millennium, a doomsday-themed series which met with critical approval and low viewer numbers; Harsh Realm, which was canceled after three episodes had aired; and The Lone Gunmen, a spin-off of The X-Files which lasted for a single season. Carter’s film roles include writing both of The X-Files’ cinematic spin-offs—1998’s successful The X-Files and the poorly received 2008 follow-up The X-Files: I Want to Believe, the latter of which he also directed—while his television credits have earned him several accolades including eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
Sarah Christina Lane is an American television and Internet personality. She is most notably known for her appearances on TechTV’s The Screen Savers, G4’s Attack of the Show!, and Revision3’s popSiren. In 2009 she was the co-host of the This WEEK in FUN podcast, currently on hiatus, with Martin Sargent, part of the TWiT.tv network. She currently appears on a number of podcasts on the TWiT.tv network. Lane co-hosts the daily technology podcast Tech News Today with Tom Merritt, Iyaz Akhtar, and Jason Howell which airs live Monday through Friday. She also co-hosts the weekly Apple iPad podcast iPad Today with Leo Laporte and the weekly social media podcast The Social Hour with Amber MacArthur.
Michael John Nelson is a U.S. comedian and writer, most famous for his work on the cult television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). Nelson was the head writer of the series for most of the show’s 11-year run, and spent half of that time playing the on-air host, also named Mike Nelson. In addition to writing books, Mike is currently part of the online movie riffing sites RiffTrax and The Film Crew alongside fellow MST3K alumns, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy. Nelson was working as a waiter at T.G.I. Friday’s and doing occasional stand-up comedy when he was offered a job on Mystery Science Theater 3000, typing the suggestions in the writing room. The writers told him to feel free to make some comments on the movies they were watching, and Nelson impressed them so much with both his wit and comedic timing that they made him a staff writer (and, later, head writer). When series originator and host Joel Hodgson decided to leave the show half-way through the fifth season, he chose Nelson as his replacement — reportedly because he thought Nelson was a natural leader, a gifted comedian as well as a gifted muse, and also that Nelson simply looked good standing next to the show’s puppets.
Michael Giacchino is an American composer who has composed scores for movies, television series and video games. Some of his most notable works include the scores to television series such as Lost, Alias and Fringe, games such as the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series, and films such as Mission: Impossible III, The Incredibles, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Cloverfield, Ratatouille, Up, Super 8, Cars 2, 50/50, and John Carter. Giacchino has received numerous awards for his work, including an Emmy, multiple Grammys, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. Giacchino’s work on various video games led to his entrance into television. In 2001, J. J. Abrams, producer of the television series Alias, discovered Giacchino through his video game work and asked him to provide the new show’s soundtrack. The soundtrack featured a mix of full orchestral pieces frequently intermingled with upbeat electronic music, a departure from much of his previous work. Giacchino would go on to provide the score for J.J. Abrams’s 2004 television series Lost, creating an acclaimed score which employed a unique process of using spare pieces of a plane fuselage for percussion parts. The score for Lost is also notable for a signature thematic motif: a brass fall-off at the end of certain themes. Just like his counterpart Stu Phillips, he worked with the television show creator Abrams on his shows with his music scores while Abrams supplied the show’s main themes on his certain shows such as Alias.
Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter, novelist and designer. He is mostly known for his acclaimed films, Blade II, Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy film franchise. He is a frequent collaborator with Ron Perlman, Federico Luppi and Doug Jones. His films draw heavily on sources as diverse as weird fiction, fantasy and war. Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He was raised in a strict Catholic household. Del Toro studied at the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Cinematográficos, in Guadalajara. He first got involved in filmmaking when he was about eight years old and studied special effects and make-up with SFX artist Dick Smith. Del Toro participated in the cult series La Hora Marcada with other renowned Mexican filmmakers such as Emmanuel Lubezki and Alfonso Cuarón. He spent eight years as a special effects make-up designer and formed his own company, Necropia. He also co-founded the Guadalajara International Film Festival. Later on in his directing career, he formed his own production company, the Tequila Gang.