Peter Allen David, often abbreviated PAD, is an American writer of comic books, novels, television, movies and video games. His notable comic book work includes an award-winning, 12-year run on The Incredible Hulk, as well as runs on Aquaman, Young Justice, Supergirl, and Fallen Angel. His Star Trek work includes both comic books and novels, such as Imzadi, and co-creating the New Frontier series. His other novels include film adaptations, media tie-ins, and original works, such as the Apropos of Nothing and Knight Life series. His television work includes series such as Babylon 5, Young Justice, Ben 10: Alien Force and Space Cases, the latter of which David co-created. David often jokingly describes his occupation as “Writer of Stuff”, and is noted for his prolific writing, characterized by its mingling of real world issues with humor and references to popular culture, as well as elements of metafiction and self-reference. David has earned multiple awards for his work, including a 1992 Eisner Award, a 1993 Wizard Fan Award, a 1996 Haxtur Award, a 2007 Julie Award and 2011 GLAAD Media Award.
Herbert George “H.G.” Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games. Together with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback, Wells has been referred to as “The Father of Science Fiction”. His most notable science fiction works include, The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau. Wells’s earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of “Journalist.” Most of his novels had nothing to do with science fiction. Some described lower-middle class life (Kipps; The History of Mr Polly), leading him to be touted as a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. Wells also wrote abundantly about the “New Woman” and the Suffragettes (Ann Veronica).
Stanisław Lem was a Polish writer of science fiction, philosophy, and satire. His books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. He is perhaps best known as the author of the 1961 novel Solaris, which has been made into a feature film three times. In 1976 Theodore Sturgeon said that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the world. In 1996, Lem was the recipient of the prestigious Polish national award, the Order of the White Eagle. His works explore philosophical themes; speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of mutual communication and understanding, despair about human limitations and mankind’s place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books. Translations of his works are difficult due to passages with elaborate word formation, alien or robotic poetry, and puns. Multiple translated versions of his works exist.
Jhonen Vasquez, also known as Chancre Scolex or simply Mr. Scolex, is an American comic book writer, cartoonist and music video director. He is famous for creating the comic book series Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and its spin-offs Squee! and I Feel Sick, all published under Slave Labor Graphics label. He also created the short-lived animated series, Invader Zim, which aired on Nickelodeon. After the success of Squee!, the children’s cable network Nickelodeon approached Vasquez about producing an animated television series. The series, Invader Zim, focused on the daily life of Zim, a naïve alien from the planet Irk who tries to conquer Earth — however, his attempts are constantly thwarted in a humorous manner by Dib, a young paranormal investigator and the only one who knows with certainty Zim is an alien (although no one believes him), or by his own naïveté. The first episode aired on March 30, 2001. The series would last for two seasons, until it was abruptly cancelled by Nickelodeon, saying that the main causes of the show’s cancellation were low ratings, over-budget production and lack of interest in continuation of the series. The last episode prior to the show’s cancellation, “The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever” (a Christmas special), aired on December 10, 2002. Episodes for a possible third season, as well as a show’s finale, then remained unproduced or unfinished. Vasquez provided the voices for Zim’s computer and Minimoose, as well as many other additional voices, being credited under the name Mr. Scolex.
Ray Douglas Bradbury is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction and has been described as a Midwest surrealist. Many of Bradbury’s works have been adapted into television shows or films. Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout his youth, spending much time in the Carnegie library in Waukegan, Illinois, reading such authors as H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and his favorite author, Edgar Rice Burroughs who wrote novels such as Tarzan and Warlord of Mars. Bradbury was pushed to writing by his aunt, who read him short stories when he was a child. He used this library as a setting for much of his novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, and depicted Waukegan as “Green Town” in some of his other semi-autobiographical novels—Dandelion Wine, Farewell Summer—as well as in many of his short stories. He attributes his lifelong habit of writing every day to two incidents. The first, which occurred when he was three years old when his mother brought him to Lon Chaney’s performance of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the second, which occurred in 1932 when a carnival entertainer, Mr. Electrico, touched him on the nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, “Live forever!” It was from then that Bradbury wanted to live forever and decided on his career as an author in order to do what he was told: live forever. It was at that age that Bradbury first started to do magic. Magic was his first great love. If he had not discovered writing, he would have become a magician.
Eugene Wesley “Gene” Roddenberry was an American television screenwriter, producer and futurist. He is best known for creating the original Star Trek television series and thus the Star Trek science fiction franchise. Born in El Paso, Texas, Roddenberry grew up in Los Angeles, California where his father worked as a police officer. Roddenberry flew 89 combat missions in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, and worked as a commercial pilot after the war. Later he followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Los Angeles Police Department to provide for his family, but began to focus on writing scripts for television. As a freelance writer, Roddenberry wrote scripts for Highway Patrol, Have Gun–Will Travel and other series, before creating and producing his own television series The Lieutenant. In 1964, Roddenberry created Star Trek, which premiered in 1966 and ran for three seasons before being canceled. Syndication of Star Trek led to increasing popularity, and Roddenberry continued to create, produce and consult on the Star Trek films and the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation until his death. In 1985 he became the first TV writer with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:110 and he was later inducted by both the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Years after his death, Roddenberry was one of the first humans to have his ashes “buried” in outer space.
James Francis Cameron is a Canadian film director, film producer, deep-sea explorer, screenwriter, and editor. He first found success with the science-fiction hit The Terminator (1984). He then became a popular Hollywood director and was hired to write & direct Aliens (1986) and three years later followed up with The Abyss (1989). He found further critical acclaim for his use of special effects in the action packed blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). After his film True Lies (1994) Cameron took on his biggest film at the time Titanic (1997) which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and him the Academy Award for Best Director and Film Editing. After Titanic, Cameron began a project that took almost 10 years to make, his science-fiction epic Avatar (2009), for which he was nominated for Best Director and Film Editing again. In the time between making Titanic and Avatar, Cameron spent several years creating many documentary films (specifically underwater documentaries) and co-developed the digital 3D Fusion Camera System. Described by a biographer as part-scientist and part-artist, Cameron has also contributed to underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies. On March 26, 2012, Cameron reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, in the Deepsea Challenger submersible. He was the first person to do this in a solo descent, and only the third person to do so ever.