Alan Dean Foster (1946 - )Born in New York City in 1946, Foster was raised in Los Angeles. After receiving Bachelors and Master's degrees at UCLA, he spent two years as a copywriter for a small Studio City, California PR firm. His writing career began in 1968 when August Derleth bought a long Lovecraftian letter of Foster's in 1968 and published it as a short story. More sales of short fiction followed. His first attempt at a 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 major science fiction magazines and anthologies and several "Best of the Year" compendiums. Five collections of his short work have been published. 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. He has also novelized Star Wars movies as well as such well-known films as Alien and its two sequels. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first Star Trek movie. His work has won numerous awards. He and his wife, Jo Ann Oxley, have traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. His other pastimes include music, basketball, hiking, body surfing, scuba diving, collecting animation on video, karate and weightlifting.