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.
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.
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.
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.
Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr. was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author. Though also a short story author, he is best known for his novels, most notably Dune and its five sequels. The Dune saga, set in the distant future and taking place over millennia, deals with themes such as human survival and evolution, ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics and power. Dune itself is the “best-selling science fiction novel of all time,” and the series is widely considered to be among the classics in the genre. Dune and the Dune saga constitute one of the world’s best-selling science fiction series and novels; Dune in particular has received widespread critical acclaim, winning the Nebula Award in 1965 and sharing the Hugo Award in 1966, and is frequently considered one of the best science fiction novels ever, if not the best. According to contemporary Robert A. Heinlein, Herbert’s opus was “powerful, convincing, and most ingenious.”
Robert “Rob” Liefeld is an American comic book creator. A prominent writer/artist in the 1990s, he has since become a controversial figure in the medium. In the early 1990s, the self-taught artist became prominent due to his work on Marvel Comics’ The New Mutants and later X-Force. In 1992, he and several other popular Marvel illustrators left the company to found Image Comics, which started a wave of comic books owned by their creators rather than by publishers. The first book published by Image Comics was Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood #1. Liefeld’s love of comics began as a child, which led early on to his decision to be a professional artist, a practice that began with his tracing artwork from comic books. As a high school student, he took basic fundamental art courses, and attended comic book conventions at the nearby Disneyland Hotel, where he met creators such as George Pérez, John Romita Jr., Jim Shooter, Bob Layton, Mike Zeck and Marv Wolfman. Liefeld cites Pérez, along with John Byrne and Frank Miller, as major influences.
Greg Weisman is an American comic book and animation writer and producer, best known as the creator of Gargoyles and as the Supervising Producer of The Spectacular Spider-Man. Weisman is currently a producer on the Young Justice animated series. In addition, Weisman wrote the script for DC Showcase: Green Arrow, an animated short feature that is included on the DVD for the film, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. Weisman is a former English composition and writing teacher and received degrees at Stanford University and USC. During an interview done during Comic-Con International 2010, Weisman revealed that while 22 years old, he wrote a four issue mini-series for DC Comics starring the superheroine Black Canary. The first issue of the series was pencilled, but the project was ultimately shelved due to the character being used in writer/artist Mike Grell’s high profile Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters series. Elements from the ill-fated project were used for his DC Showcase: Green Arrow short film. In addition to developing and showrunning the popular series Gargoyles, the second season of W.I.T.C.H. and The Spectacular Spider-Man, Weisman has written for numerous animated series, including Men in Black: The Series, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, and Kim Possible. Weisman wrote the series bible for Max Steel and produced the show’s first season. Weisman voice directs and voice acts on occasion; he played the role of Donald Menken on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Lucas Snapper Carr on Young Justice. Weisman is notable for the question and answer forum he participates in with Gargoyles fans online, often revealing his intended plans for the show.