Wolf, Gary K

Tagged: Author

(1941-    ) US author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Love Story" in Worlds of Tomorrow for Winter 1970, which he followed with several sharply Satirical tales over the next few years. The best of these, like "Doctor Rivet and Supercon Sal" (January 1976 F&SF), are generally thought to scan American society with a sharper, cleaner vision than that attained in his longer work. Very soon, however, he changed his primary focus to novels where the corruption of the modern world could be exposed at greater length. Killerbowl (1975) is the briskly violent portrait of a Near Future world – similar to that depicted in Rollerball (1975), though the film was in fact based on "Roller Ball Murder" (1973 Esquire) by William Harrison (1933-    ) – in which games are used to sublimate more politically dangerous passions (see Games and Sports); a player past his prime discovers the true nature of the games he plays. A Generation Removed (1977) depicts another Near-Future society in which the young have violently taken the reins of power (see Paranoia; Politics) and euthanasia of the middle-aged in Euth Centers is normal; there are some similarities with Logan's Run (1976). The Resurrectionist (1979), which develops the Matter-Transmission premise of "The Bridge Builder" (in Orbit 14, anth 1974, ed Damon Knight), again exposes a corrupt world to violent retribution after its protagonist discovers the true fate of a Russian ballerina who has been Disappeared.

From 1980 or so, Wolf specialized in fantasy, becoming well known for the Roger Rabbit sequence comprising Who Censored Roger Rabbit? (1981), filmed as Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and Who P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit? (1991). The film, produced by Disney in conjunction with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and directed by Robert Zemeckis, introduced extraordinary and moving animation techniques which made the film an instant classic and its "toons" unforgettable; the counterfactual homage to Los Angeles (see California) that shapes the story – in 1950, Toontown is saved from corporate villains who plan to build a superhighway through its heart, 1950 being the year the Los Angeles public transportation network was sold to private investors who demolished it to make room for freeways – is also unforgettable. The second volume, a cod-noir quest for the truth behind a rumoured love affair between Clark Gable and Roger's girl, was less gripping.

Later work includes Space Vulture (2008) with John J Myers, a Space Opera; The Late Great Show (2012 ebook), in which the Greek pantheon get up to hijinks in California; and Typical Day (2012 ebook), a Superhero fantasy whose protagonist, having played a Virtual Reality game for fun (see Games and Sports), enters a new world when the game seems to break down. [JC]

Gary Kenneth Wolf

born Berwyn, Illinois: 24 January 1941




Roger Rabbit

individual titles

  • Killerbowl (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1975) [hb/Steve Marcesi]
  • A Generation Removed (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1977) [hb/Margo Herr]
  • The Resurrectionist (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1979) [hb/Margo Herr]
  • Space Vulture (New York: Tor, 2008) with John J Myers [hb/Glen Orbik]
  • The Late Great Show (no place given: Musa Publishing, 2012) [ebook: na/]


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