Gary Westfahl is a scholarly author and reviewer of science fiction. He has written reviews for the Los Angeles Times, Internet Review of Science Fiction and Locus Online. He is a professor at the University of California in Riverside.
Westfahl coordinates English programs at the university's Learning Center and "has written or edited 24 books of scholarship on science fiction". He teaches science fiction, but has not written any. His wife Lynne is a professor in the theater department at Cal State Fullerton. Westfahl also taught at Heman G. Stark Correctional Facility for young adults, which closed in 2010.
In his essay "For Tomorrow We Dine: The Sad Gourmet at the Scienticafe", Westfahl, co-editor of "Foods of the Gods: Eating and the Eaten in Fantasy and Science Fiction" (University of Georgia Press) discusses terrible food depicted even in "wonderful futures". He also notes the bland buildings and "overall atmosphere is one of cleanliness and sterility" resembling a hospital, attributing this to depictions of civilizations that "tend to maintain large populations" that "take on the characteristics of institutions."
He wrote the book The Mechanics of Wonder published in 1998 about the history of science fiction genres. A review in Utopian Studies called it "an important book for anyone who deals with the history of science fiction or the description, history, and/or historiography of genres and described it as dealing with a "Battle of the Books, a culture-skirmish between Old World and New World claims to (Science Fiction), between different approaches to scholarship, and on broader politics".
A review of his 2000 book, Science Fiction, Children's Literature and Popular Culture, says it offers strong and intelligent insights about a number of popular cultural forms, but that "the book does not offer any overarching argument" and is too personal in its approach to the subject.
His 2002 book Science Fiction, Canonization, Marginalization, and the Academy, written with George Slusser, "contends that scholars and critics exercise "control over literature" by deciding that some texts and genres should be "enshrined or `canonized'" while others are marginalized ("exiled") from scholarship and literature classes."
He currently resides in Claremont, California, with his wife Lynne and cats Darwin and Desmond. His daughter, Allison, is a lawyer, his son-in-law, Steven Kong, is a doctor, and his son, Jeremy, is a mathematics graduate student at UC Irvine.
- Editor. Science Fiction Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. 461 + xxi pp. paper.
- Editor. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders. 3 volumes. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005. 1395 + xxix pp.
- Science Fiction, Children's Literature and Popular Culture: Coming of Age in Fantasyland. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT 2000 157 pages
- Gary Westfahl. The Mechanics of Wonder: The Creation of the Idea of Science Fiction. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1998. 344 pp. (cloth)
- Gary Westfahl and George Slusser, eds. Science Fiction, Canonization, Marginalization, and the Academy.
- "No Bark and No Bite: What Science Fiction Leaves Out of the Future #4". Internet Review of Science Fiction VII (2). February 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
- Westfahl, Gary Orange County Apple and Other Aberrations Science fiction & fantasy, Novels, Books-titles, Books-authors Feb 3, 1991 Los Angeles Times
- Sallie Han 2001 A food fantast when sci-fi tries to give us a taste of the future, it's often rotten - and wrong December 31, 1997 Daily News
- Wesley G. Hughes A 'sense of wonder' now and then July 19, 2009 Contra Costra Times
- de Lint, Charles The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy (Book review) | April 01, 2006 The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
- Hassler, Donald M. [The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy]: Themes, Works, and Wonders (Book review) December 22, 2005 Extrapolation
- Erlich, Richard D. The Mechanics of Wonder: The Creation of the Idea of Science Fiction. (Review) March 22, 1999 Utopian Studies
- Hintz, Carrie Science Fiction, Children's Literature and Popular Culture: Coming of Age in Fantasyland (Review) January 01, 2001 Utopian Studies
- Abrash, Merritt Gary Westfahl and George Slusser, eds. Science Fiction, Canonization, Marginalization, and the Academy (Book Review) March 22, 2002 Utopian Studies
- Harris-Fain, Darren Speculations on Speculation: Theories of Science Fiction 26 January 2006 Red Orbit/ University of Texas at Brownsville: Extrapolation
- accessmylibrary: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-2768918_ITM (Book Review) Utopian Studies 2002
World of Westfahl Gary Westfahl's Website