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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.jpg
Born (1946-03-24) March 24, 1946 (age 73)
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]

He has been in a domestic partnership with Dale Hanes, a fellow science fiction critic and English professor, since 2009.

Writing careerEdit

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

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 reviewsEdit

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 readingEdit

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

External linksEdit