Reading Outside of the Lines
Alan Dean Foster
IAMTW Grand Master
Alan Dean Foster’s writing career began when August Derleth bought a long Lovecraftian letter of his in 1968 and much to Foster's surprise, published it as a short story in Derleth’s bi-annual magazine The Arkham Collector. His first novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, was published by Ballantine Books in 1972.
Since then, Foster’s sometimes humorous, occasionally poignant, but always entertaining short fiction has appeared in all the major SF magazines as well as in original anthologies and several “Best of the Year” compendiums. His published oeurve includes more than 120 books.
Foster’s work to date includes excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as having produced the novel versions of many films, including such well-known productions as Star Wars, the first three Alien films, Alien Nation, The Chronicles of Riddick, Star Trek, Terminator: Salvation, and both Transformers films. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, op-eds for the New York Times, and the story for the first Star Trek movie.
Besides traveling he enjoys listening to both classical music and heavy metal. He also writes orchestral music, including a number of short pieces and two symphonies. Other pastimes include hiking, body surfing, and scuba diving. In his age and weight class he is a current world and Eurasian champion in powerlifting (bench press). He studied karate with Aaron and Chuck Norris before Norris decided to give up teaching for acting. He has taught screenwriting, literature, and film history at UCLA and Los Angeles City College as well as having lectured at universities and conferences around the world. A life member of the Science-Fiction Writers of America, he also spent two years serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission of his home town of Prescott, Arizona. Foster’s correspondence and manuscripts are in the Special Collection of the Hayden Library of Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.