Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Gilliland, Alexis A

Entry updated 22 March 2023. Tagged: Artist, Author, Fan.

Icon made by Freepik from


(1931-    ) US cartoonist and author who won Hugos as Best Fan Artist in 1980, 1983, 1984 and 1985; he also won the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer of 1982. As an official in the US Federal Government 1956-1982, serving mainly as a chemist and specification writer, Gilliland was well situated to spoof bureaucracy, though his first sf sequence – the Rosinante trilogy comprising The Revolution from Rosinante (1981), Long Shot for Rosinante (1981) and The Pirates of Rosinante (1982) – significantly stop short of a provincial depiction of all forms of government as intrusion. Set on a Space Habitat chafing at bureaucratic interference from faraway Earth, the sequence amusedly depicts first the successful revolt, then the dawning realization of the occupants that their Computers have taken control. The End of the Empire (1983) features, contrastingly, a protagonist who works to defend a Galactic Empire against a comically conceived Libertarianism, on the grounds that too little government is no less damaging than too much.

The author's second series, the Wizenbeak sequence – Wizenbeak (1986), The Shadow Shaia (1990) and The Lord of the Troll-Bats (1992) – is Fantasy, featuring a gentler version of the semi-comic wizard who in cartoon form had previously been a vehicle for cynical and satirical comment. These cartoons had appeared extensively in fanzines, leading to Gilliland receiving Hugos as best fan artist in 1980, 1983, 1984 and 1985, and the Rotsler Award for life achievement in 2006. His books of cartoons, where Wizenbeak can also be found, include The Iron Law of Bureaucracy (graph coll 1979), Who Says Paranoia Isn't "In" Any More? (graph coll 1985) and The Waltzing Wizard (graph coll 1989). After a few further stories in the early 1990s, Gilliland fell silent as a writer. [JC]

see also: FAAn Awards.

Alexis Arnaldus Gilliland

born Bangor, Maine: 10 May 1931





individual titles

cartoon books


previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies