Monday, April 9, 2007
Honorable Mention in the 2008 Year's Best Fantasy and Horror!
Ah.... feels good, getting those sales, don't it? I've been so heads-down with novels for so long, I only recently came up for air and cranked out a few short stories that have been scratching inside my head for too long. "Ray Gun" has been recently published by Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest. It's a good fit, I think, as the story itself is a cross between the two genres. Apex has published the likes of Ben Bova and William F. Nolan in the past, so it's an honor to be considered among their ranks!
Jason Sanford reviewed the issue, and said "Another great story is "Ray Gun" by Daniel G. Keohane, in which an old man with Alzheimer's encounters a hostile alien. As the killing starts, the character tries to understand if this is really happening or simply a disease-related hallucination. While this set-up could have been a disaster in the hands of a bad writer, Keohane's steady prose presents the main character and situation through painfully-understated images and emotions, which gently lead the reader toward a tragic but understandable conclusion."
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This story was written by me and Stephen Dorato. I knew this one would find a good home eventually - only its home became a broken home before it finally saw the light. It was bought Feb '05 and appeared in the Feral Fiction website just a month before they decided to close down (at least we got paid, which says something). Steve and I had gone back and forth with this over a period of time. I think I wrote the first part, then Steve went over what I wrote and added his own, then it was my turn again. As with many of my co-writing experiences, we didn't quite know where the story was going at first. That evolved as we wrote. I remember at the time I was also thinking of writing "Marginal Way" (see below) and because of that the setting ended up being the same - Ogunquit Beach, Maine. One cool thing about this story, and I forget now if Steve invented these or me... I think hey were Steve's babies, are the clampires. The "Clampire Story" is our pet name for it, and like Cthulu, we think it'll be a household word someday, at least among Those Without Tans. In fact, I'm considering titling my second story collection, some year in the future, Cannibals and Clampires....
My take on the old reincarnation theory. Janet & I were spending a weekend in Ogunquitt, Maine, when we learned about the seaside walk called the Marginal Way. It follows the coast, overlooking the rocky coves, etc. Really very beautiful. Anyhow, this story came to me while we were stopped and looking out over one such cove. Note: Dawnsky has pretty much shut down these days. I'll probably post the story here or in a new collection someday....
I was asked to write a short-short, 500 word, story, with a beginning, middle and ending, dealing with an "animals attack" theme. I did a Google search on said quote, and found an article on how leopard seals attack penguins in Antarctica. A lot of research and very few words later, here it is. SMALL BITES is a charity anthology to raise money for author Charlie Grant for his uninsured medical expenses. Other authors in this collection include Rick Hautala, Ed Lee, Matt Costello, F. Paul Wilson, Christopher Golden, and literally dozens more. For a full list of contributors and stories, click here. Best place to order it is Shocklines.com (they now have free shipping), or from Amazon you can get either the electronic or paper version.
"Selection", originally written for the anthology "of Flesh and Hunger" (see below), was later bought by Bob Morrish for publication in Cemetery Dance. It came out in April 2004, a couple of issues after "Mermaids" appeared (see below). The story was very well received, at least until folks found out it was a reprint (only technically, though, come on, no one read the other antho), at which point I began to get he cold shoulder again.
This is another co-written story, with L.L. Soares. We're both thrilled that the story has found a home in CD, one of the largest and most prestigious horror magazines, well, anywhere. Like how Paul & I worked on "Shattered", Lauran started the piece, I continued it, back and forth. It went pretty quickly from there, though there were quite a few twists and turns in the plot along the way, something that happens a lot, especially with shared-writing stories (see "Shattered" below for a good example). It appeared in issue # 46. Side note: Christmas Trees and Monkeys also received a pretty good review in issue #45 (Sept/Oct 2003).
Finally, decided I wanted some of the stories listed below together in one place. At the time, there were NO small pres publishers even open to look at a collection, and the big houses won't until you're a best selling author with a few novels, so... after some more stalling, i decided to publish this myself - I chose to give all proceeds to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation as an incentive to get going on it. The collection eventually garnered a ton of great reviews and even made it to the preliminary ballot of the stokers! Not bad.... All of the info (including reviews) you'll need can be found here.
I'm pretty proud of this one. I've been wanting to write something for one of Extremes anthologies published by the now-defunct Lone Wolf Publications for a long time, but was always too intimidated. You see, the stories must take place outside of the US, and be well researched. Editor Brian A. Hopkins (also known as "BAH" for his initials) is a research junkie. That, plus the man's one of the best writers out in the market today. All that makes for a daunting task. I did a whole lot 'o learning for this one, even went so far as to buy (and read) a book on the Mbuti Pygmies. The theme of "White Wave..." is one I've been thinking a lot about lately. One day I asked the old "what would happen if..." question, and came up with one possible answer. My brain finally said "Hey! There's an African Extremes antho coming up you dolt! Now's your chance! Write it." So, taking the only scene I had in my head, of a boy on a remote tropical island seeing the spectre of a white person hovering before him, transplanting him into the Congo, and asking my question, "How far would an agency like the United Nations go if the AIDS epidemic in Africa, currently infecting MORE than a quarter of the entire sub-saharan population, continues on its present course to a level where 75% have/had the disease?" I hope I've, at least subtly, answered the question - at least from on man's perspective... This story was selected for preliminary ballot of the 2002 Bram Stoker award, which is always a nice thing.
You can still read this story at The Pedestal magazine's site- simply select Archives from their menu then scroll down to Fiction. This is a story I've been trying to sell for a while, and was getting some very good comments from the editors. That is, right before they said, "no".
"The Doll Wagon" / PODDITIES - A Creative Tribute to Jack Finney's Novel Body Snatchers (anthology) / Published January 2001
OK, so maybe they could have shrunk down the title a liiittle bit. :-) I wrote this one by request, actually. The editors of the PODDITIES anthology asked me to write something for this while we were in line for dinner at the writers conference NECON (after a hard day at softball). Well, this had to be the fastest I've ever written anything - the story came to me the next day while I was mowing the lawn back home, and in a week it was done. This one was great fun. Thanks to Suzanne Donahue and Stefano Donati for the opportunity. PODDITIES is now available and I'm getting some good feedback on the piece. A copy is only $ 8.00 but you can only get it by sending a check to Suzanne Donahue; PO Box 4594; Bennington, VT 05201
This story, originally published in the webzine The Orphic Chronicle (see below), was translated into Esty (Estonian) and published in Mardus 4/2000 (Dec 2000). Mardus is an incredibly slick, very well-put-together magazine. The only problem: I can't read a word of it. Not even my story. You see, Mardus is published solely in the Baltic country of Estonia.The editor contacted me after having read the piece in the Orphic Chronicle, and asked if he could translate it and publish it in his magazine. I'm the opening story, followed by original Esty-language pieces, and closed out by a Clark Ashton Smith story. To be honest (I got a copy of the issue), the quality of the magazine (which is more like a book / anthology than a mag, perfect bound and everything) is higher than any I've seen at ALL in this country save the very highest ends. Nice job, Mario. Still, I can't read a word.
June Hubbard's sequel to the anthology that started it all for me (see "Incineration" below).
Really Scary.Com: Review of CS II, and had a nice mention of "AM" Specific to the story, she wrote:
I really enjoyed AM by Dan Keohane, a cool little story about communicating with the dead and not in just any ol' traditional way.
SF Site: Review of CS II, and mentions my friend Fran B. Bellerive's story "Ticket to Arkansas"! :-)
Hellnotes: William P. Simmons 12/8/2000 review in the former weekly newsletter:
"Selecting just a few stories from this book is unfair, something like being forced to choose a favorite memory. "AM," by Dan Keohane comes immediately to mind for lingering atmosphere and a deceptively quiet tone of loss. A boy who uses an AM radio to spy on the recently dead discovers he's..."OK, so I left the rest of his AM blurb out, since it's kind of a spoiler. He went on to praise quite a few other stories.
Writer and editor of the (former) newsletter Jobs in Hell, Brian Keene was once fiction editor of Horrorfind.com, and he put out a call to writers for some material to load, and load fast. "Incineration" hasn't seen light since the first time it appeared in Cemetery Sonata, my first published sale (see below). It's not on the site anymore, got rolled off. Reviews: Pat Nielsen had some nice words in a recent review in Scavenger's Newsletter:
"Incineration" by Dan Keohane is a story about a kid's dare that turns into terror at the local crematorium. Dan presented the children well, and weaved the suspense well in his story. I'm sure he will go far with his writing.
Reviews: Tangent Online : An insightful review of the Fantastic Stories issue. Insightful because he picked up on the fact that they mangled my story. The page is gone now, but here's what reviewer Chris East said:
"Lavish" by Daniel Keohane is a considerable step up, a multiple protagonist examination of how people might react in the face of a coming disaster. The imminent threat of a coming deluge has inspired the building of arks across the world, and a variety of characters are forced to wrestle with their fears and issues of religious faith. I found this story more entertaining and engaging than the first two, but its length didn't feel sufficient to sustain the various story lines. Also it seemed to me as though the scene breaks had been accidentally deleted; the story careens confusingly from one viewpoint to the next without hinting at any change of setting or character. It seems more likely this was a production error than an authorial decision, but either way it doesn't serve the work.
One of my more bizarre ones. I started with a simple idea of "Zodiac" and, while sitting in the "pondering room", I thought of the image of a man standing in his backyard. The constellations were pouring like syrup into a spoon he was holding. I simply wrote whatever came to mind. The result, "Ptolemy" appeared in January 2000 in the new e-zine Electric Wine. Unfortunately, they don't archive. I've had this story here for a while, but now I've pulled it for a while. I'll put it back again later. Can't give everything away now can I?
Whew! Just made this one by the garland of my butt. The wise and insightful editor of Gothic.Net, Seth Lindberg, accepted this piece and published it in the December 1999 issue. That's right, just in time for the holidays. This makes my second professional sale (3 cents/word or up) [note: my third pro sale was to Cemetery Sonata II - with the "AM" reprint]. Remind me someday to tell you the long history of this story! Thanks again, Seth! Note: this story is no longer under "Archives" at the site. I'll load it again here at some point again later.
Had sold to Mindmares magazine but they went out of business. Marketing again. It was nice to finally sell this story, only to have the magazine that bought it, Mindmares, go out of business a month before it appeared. The story's gone through a number of iterations, starting out almost two years ago as "Doomsday" and entirely different. Over the last few months I've completely redrafted it and even still, I was going to shelve it. But I re-read it and said This is too good, and in a number of ways too personal a story for me to cancel. So I went through it again and tightened it up. I remarketed this story, and if you read the intro to it in Christmas Trees and Monkeys you'll learn the whole sordid tale..
Friday the 13th proved to be lucky after all. Thanks much to my newest best friend editor Janice Kirkwood who has bought said story and published it in the webzine Bonetree [warning: Bonetree, in its current incarnation, is an erotic fiction site - not plain old horror like it had been - so be warned if you hit the link above], and to some acclaim (i.e. a few people actually read it). As far as the story, I recently decided that writing just at lunch wasn't enough. Most of my time is dedicated to the book. So, to keep my short story muscles up, I started using my $200 laptop at night, instead of reading. "AM" is my first nocturnal creation. The stories I do at night like this tend to be more moody, probably because I'm half-asleep writing them. I'd boot up the story the next night, and not be able to read the last two sentences because I'd fallen asleep while writing them. My fingers just forgot to stop typing.
The e-zine The Orphic Chronicle has since folded, which is too bad because a lot of good cam eouit of it. The editors published the story in their November/December, 1999 issue. "Monkey" also received Honorable Mention in the 1999 SF 'Zine Awards run by the former Pulp Eternity magazine. Until the 'zine folded, it was still being displayed in Orphic's Best of the Web 1999 page. I love this story. First chance I get I'll come back here and tell you the bizarre background to it. But I have to get to work...
Sale number three proved a winning number for a story I was afraid would never see the light of day. Not because I didn't think it would be good enough, but because after December 31, 1999, it's pretty useless. A man named Paul Winslow & I were talking at work about the Y2K problem and I said, "Listen, what's really going to happen is..." and when I finished he asked if that was one of my stories and I said, "No. But I guess it should be." Thanks to Seth Lindberg, editor of Gothic.Net, for buying it. And, technically, this is my first professionally-paying sale (don't get all drooly, it was 69 bucks). Gothic is an extremely visible site. I'm psyched to be a part of them. They archive for 1 year, which as I revamp the wording on these entries is way long ago.
Hey! Number two, at last! It's only been 3 1/2 months since "Incineration" was sold, but it seems longer. Who's taking it? An E-zine called Dark Muse. It's NO LONGER appearing on the site, as Dark Muse had closed down for a while and has only recently re-opened. There are some good stories in there, and short now that they only published short shorts. So, I loaded it up here for you all to read. The story was actually an exercise I, my sister Ellen and Joyce Labonte did (Mike and Paul woosed out). We clipped an article about Alexandra Nichita, the at-the-time child protégé painter of surreal art. We had to write a story about it. "Worth It" was my take. THen ti just sat on my computer languishing until I read Dark Muse's guidelines and thought, hey, why not?
The gracious June Hubbard has put together an anthology of forty-two horror stories of up-and-coming authors, yours truly one of them. This was my first fiction sale... ever! The anthology has some incredible stories in it, though there are a number of typesetting problems (her follow-up in 2000, Cemetery Sonata II was much, much cleaner). The anthology must still be available, I'd think, Amazon.com or other places. The book lists for 22.00, plus whatever they tack on for handling. You can also order the book directly from the publisher, at a total cost of 19.50-ish (includes shipping). Click here to email the editor June Hubbard to order directly (no, I'm not getting a commission, I just don't want you to over-pay).
"Donegan's Farm": Ellen, me, Mike, Paul and Joyce - our first venture in co-writing, back in 1997. This one was fun. Ironically (a COMPLETE coincidence I'm sure), two years after we posted this story on the web, the X-Files movie came out. Read this and you can see the resemblance - at least in the latter half. I'm not saying they took it, but still just goes to show, well, something. This story is especially cool because it was the doing of this that pulled me out of my self-imposed, 5-year hiatus on writing.
Something you'd like to see here? A site you'd like to recommend for listing? Please let me know but using my email link at the top of this page!
Something you'd like to see here? A site you'd like to recommend for listing? Please let me know but using my email link at the top of this page!