(written from a Production point of view)
John Shirley (born 10 February 1953; age 60) is an American science fiction and horror author and screenwriter who wrote the teleplay for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Visionary". He is known for his work in the "cyberpunk" genre of science fiction.
Hailing from Houston, Texas, and raised in Portland, Oregon, Shirley began writing in the 1970s. His most significant "cyberpunk" novels are considered to be City Come-A-Walkin' (1980) and those of the Eclipse trilogy (1985-1990; also known as the A Song Called Youth trilogy). His short story collection Black Butterflies won the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers of America and the International Horror Guild Award and was selected as one of the best books of 1998 by Publishers Weekly.
His other novels and novellas include The Brigade (1981), In Darkness Waiting (1988), Silocon Embrace (1996), Demons (2000), Spider Moon (2002), and Crawlers (2003). Using the pseudonym John Cutter, he wrote several books in the Specialist series of novels; one of those books was the basis of the 1994 film, The Specialist (photographed by Jeffrey L. Kimball).
Shirley's best-known screenwriting work is the 1994 fantasy action-thriller, The Crow. Shirley wrote the initial script for this film, based upon the comic book and comic strip character by James O'Barr. Henry Kingi, Jr. and Tony Todd were among those cast in the film.
In addition to DS9, Shirley has submitted work to the series Poltergeist: The Legacy and VR5. He has also written scripts for animated series such as Batman Beyond, The Real Ghost Busters, and Filmation's BraveStarr.
More recently, Shirley has written various tie-in novels and novelizations of feature films. He novelized the films Constantine and Doom (the latter starring Karl Urban and The Rock) and wrote the novel Batman: Dead White as a tie-in to the 2005 film, Batman Begins.
Several of Shirley's writings are currently being optioned for potential feature films. Besides writing, Shirley has also fronted his own punk and funk rock bands and has written lyrics for such bands as Blue Öyster Cult.