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(pronounced Ko-Hane)
Dan is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Plague of Darkness, Solomon’s Grave, and the critically-acclaimed Margaret's Ark. Writing as G. Daniel Gunn, he released Destroyer of Worlds and the novella (written with L.L.Soares) Nightmare in Greasepaint (Samhain Publishing),. His short stories have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, Apex Digest and many more. He and his family live in New England.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review for THE COMMUTER (2018) Now Showing

My review of the new Liam Neeson action thriller THE COMMUTER (2018) is now playing at Cinema Knife Fight. See what I think and whether it's distinguishable from his other everyman-in-peril flicks (it is, to a point).

Wow, it's 2018. Think about that, only two years until 2020. 2020! Most science fiction films of my childhood didn't even stretch this far.

I love writing these reviews, though often it depends on how much time I have available between my other writing and family demands, etc. One of my reach careers when I was a teenager was doing this full time, or at least doing it as a sideline. I was the generation watching Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert's At the Movies (one of a few names the show at), debating on the merits of a movie, and sometimes actually agreeing. Me, I always sided with Roger Ebert. He and I had the same taste in films.

In a family of sports-section junkies, I always went first (and only, aside from the comics) to the Arts & Entertainment section of the Boston Globe. I learned quickly not to read a review - or far into one - if I planned to see a movie because it generally gave away the plot/ending. But I loved reading about movies, and TV shows, seeing ads for shows and events from "that life" which I never thought was reachable in my small bubble world (somewhere in here is my PBS Signoff post, worth reading along these lines). Of course, when I got older and realized that there is no "that life" just the life you make for yourself. The idea of writing film reviews faded to the back burner, though I always checked what Ebert thought of a movie before seeing it, to gauge whether I'd like it or not.

When Lauran and Michael began the Cinema Knife Fight website and asked me to contribute, the old "Oh, yea," light went off. Especially since at the time I was going through a major writing drought and this was a way to get the fingers moving along the keyboard. So here I am, writing about different/classic sci-fi or various avant-garde films, and the occasional new releases. Not being paid, but enjoying the heck out of it.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

My Top Ten Films of 2017

The staff over at Cinema Knife Fight have combined forces to share our Top Ten Films of 2017. Unlike in the past where we each devote a full column to our favorites, we combined into one and listed them bullet-style. Check out the full list here.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Books Read in 2017

Well, that time of year again, where I reset my Currently Reading / Books Read section in the sidebar below, but first give a quick summation of what I read, liked, and really liked, for posterity, at least until the Great EMP Attack wipes out all the servers some day.

I didn't get as many books read this year for a couple of reasons. First was that I, Scott Goudsward and David Price co-edited another NEHW anthology: Wicked Haunted, and Anthology of the New England Horror Writers. A lot of reading through stories (every story submitted, actually), deciding the final TOC, then I was tasked again with final layout, story order etc). It's sold quite well, and garnered some great reviews, but took time away from plain old reading.

Speaking of anthologies, my G. Daniel Gunn story appeared in Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, edited by Laura J. Hickman and P.D. Cacek and published by Necon Ebooks.I had a chance throughout the year to read the other stories and they're all amazing (and quite dark for the most part). Some very big names in this one, all for a good cause (The Jimmy Fund / Dana Farber Cancer Institute)


Another reason my "read" list was light is I'd begun earlier in the year some long books which had been critically acclaimed, but ended up stopping partway through because they were not resonating with me. For example The Passage by Justin Cronin and Red Rising by Pierce Brown - all well-written but not really clicking with me and after a while I put them down. As well, I'd gotten a decent way into The Fireman by Joe Hill, and I found the story fascinating, but I think I was suffering from long-book phobia at that point and put it aside for another day. One book I got hooked in the first chapter was Neal Stephenson's  Seveneves, where the moon breaks into pieces and will eventually lead to the destruction of humanity - the book tracks how we begin building stations in space to save as many as possible, but after a while (I read quite a bit of this one) it was just too this-happened-then-that-happened and though I really wanted to know how it ended, the long journey (Stephenson doesn't write short books) there would have been a little too forced for my liking.

So, to highlight a few of my favorites from last year, in order of reading:  

I Have A Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand was the first book of the year and had me laughing all the way through. Aimed towards, I assume, tween boys, it will resonate with everyone. Funny, goofy book about a group of boys at a psychotic summer camp. 

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller completely blew me away. A memoir of sorts, it presents the true meaning, in my opinion, of the Gospel and explains it in such simple, basic terms. "Explains" is probably not the best word. This is all "showing" - one man's search for God. Deep, funny and very, very entertaining. 

A Book Without Dragons by Olivia Berrier: this unique sci-fi-ish novel appeared in my "goody bag" at the Necon writers conference this past summer. My daughter picked it up, devoured it in a week, then my wife read it and loved it, so I finally got it back - and decided it was brilliant. A unique twist here, is that every character's perspective - chapter by chapter - is written in a unique style, for example first person, second person, third person omniscient, etc. You'll have to check your old English textbooks to know what I mean, but it works. It shouldn't have, but it did. Looking forward to whatever young Berrier has for us in the future.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman. Such an original horror novel. Otherworldly entities which will drive you mad to the point of death if you even glimpse them, people are forced to blindfold themselves to stay alive. Very well written and scary, scary, scary. Great book.

The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears by Mark Batterson is another Christian non-fiction book which really resonated with me. Being on the prayer team at my church, I've truly seen first-hand the power of prayer, and the peace it brings (not to mention the occasional miracle). Batterson's aim here is to pray big or go home. Don't underestimate what God can do, and ask with confidence, and persistence. Really well-written book with some amazing real life stories.


Other books I really enjoyed this year were: 

Stranded by Bracken MacLeod - was up for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel and this was a great story. I've really enjoyed Bracken's writing in the past and this one didn't disappoint.  
 City of Wonders: Seven Forges Book III by James A. Moore - the third installment of Moore's Seven Forges series and is as good as the first two. This one was tough sometimes - the bad guys (whom we have been with since the beginning and as such can't quite hate because we are in their heads as much as the others) pretty much decimate entire cities throughout. Expecting a major climactic closing to this series when I get to The Silent Army.
My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir by Dick Van Dyke - a memoir from someone whom I have enjoyed watching throughout the years. It's an honest, simple and often amusing recap of the life of America's favorite showman.
A Perfect Machine by Brett Savory - picked this up from the author at Necon and really enjoyed this science fiction - somewhat cyperpunky - story. Very original concept of people who live under the radar from normal society, one group hunting the other, and the latter hoping for transcendence some day into a new existence from so much bullet lead trapped in their bodies. A head trip, but very cool.
Wool (Omnibus Edition) by Hugh Howey - this book is famous for having been self-published originally before being picked up by a major publisher, it tells the story of the human race living in silos underground since the Earth was poisoned, and the lengths some will go to keep things the same throughout the generations. Well written, and beautifully illustrated. Long, though.

Finally, a couple of classic novels I was able to dive into, one famous, one no one has ever heard of:

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman is a classic science fiction story of interstellar war and one soldier's life lived for centuries due to the time difference of traveling through space and relativity. The story is somewhat dated, especially in how men and women interact, but a fascinating and well-done story all the way through.


The Phantom Caravan by F.H.P. Schuck. When I was a kid my Uncle Roland had a best friend, Fred, who'd self-published a fantasy novel back in the sixties. As I got older, and hoped to be a writer myself one day, I asked him why he only published one, but Fred just said he'd told the story he wanted to and moved on to other things. Blew my mind. Now, forty years later, and I still had never read the book. It's a hard one to find - having scoured Ebay for the last (I assume) few copies for Christmas presents to family years ago, I kept one for myself. I finally read it this year. Not the strongest novel ever written, but done with a lot of heart and, one can tell, love. The story of an ancient race of people facing extinction. I was glad to be able to finally read Fred's story, and sorry I hadn't done so earlier in my life. Just knowing someone who'd written and published a book when I was young was such an inspiration, and I treasure having a copy on my shelf.  Fred (and my dear Uncle) are no longer with us, but it was an honor to be able to write this today, to give one final nod to F.H.P. Schuck's only novel.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review for GEOSTORM (2017) Now Playing at Cinema Knife Fight

My review of the latest nature-gone-awry epic, GEOSTORM (2017), is now up at Cinema Knife Fight. See whether (or weather...) it holds up to whatever expectations you might have. That is, if you've even heard of it.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

WICKED HAUNTED

We’re very proud to announce the newest anthology of short stories from the New England Horror Writers, WICKED HAUNTED, has been officially released this weekend! Edited by me, Scott Goudsward and David Price, featuring fiction and poetry from:

Matt Bechtel, Tom Deady, GD Dearborn, Barry Lee Dejasu, Peter Dudar, Remy Flagg, Dan Foley, doungjai gam, Emma J. Gibbon, Larissa Glasser, Patricia Gomes, Curtis M. Lawson, Bracken MacLeod, Nick Manzolillo, Paul McMahon, Paul R. McNamee, James A. Moore, Renee Mulharee, Rob Smales, Morgan Sylvia, Dan Szczesny,Kenneth Vaughan and Trisha J. Wooldridge.
Interior artwork by Ogmios, Judi Calhoun and Kali Moulton.
Cover art by Mikio Murakami

You can find the link below, and note the Kindle edition is on sale this week for only 2.99 (almost half price). This has been selling like hotcakes and is positioning itself to be as successful an anthology as last year’s WICKED WITCHES. It will officially debut this coming weekend at Salem, MA, where the NEHW will have a table. Check it out here:


Monday, October 02, 2017

Reflections on Last Month's MS Walk from my Brother Paul


From Paul Keohane:

Hi, everyone –

Before time gets away from me, I wanted to be sure to write to all of you about this year’s MS Walk.   The weather could not have been any better all three days – warm but not too sunny or humid.  Anne and I were like a well-oiled machine this year as we sped along the streets and bike paths of the Cape, finishing each day earlier than we had ever before.  Also, beyond the usual barking of a body about to turn fifty, physically I felt better than expected. 

As I reflect upon my 15th year participating in this event, one emotion in particular hits home more than any other.

Love can lighten any load
I spoke with a man who currently serves in the military and was walking fifty miles for his wife.  He said that when his wife was initially diagnosed, he was deployed overseas so was not able to be by her side.  When he returned home several months later, he came back to a wife whose day-to-day struggles were beyond what he could imagine.  He felt powerless as he saw fatigue continue to overwhelm her.  As I spoke to him, I noticed that he was wearing combat boots and, on his back, he carried a 35-pound pack.  He said that if he couldn’t take the MS away from her, he could at least partially understand the exhaustion that she feels as a result of it.   As he slowly crossed the finish line each day – long after every other walker – he felt that much closer to her.  And his love for her grew that much more.

I love my sister
I hate MS.   I hate the impact that MS has had on my sister.  And, although I hate the fact that an MS Challenge walk event is needed, there are many things that I love about it.  I love being inspired by Anne’s courage and determination.  I love the smiles and jokes that she has for everyone we meet along the route.  I love that she always makes it a point to thank people for participating.  Most of all, I love the time that this event allows us to share together.  Over four days, 200 miles of driving and 50 miles of Cape Cod roads and bike paths, we are each other’s captive audience.  You’d think we would run out of things to talk about but we never do.   I cherish all that time we spend together and it makes me love her even more.

Generosity and love have no expiration date
Being that this year Anne and I were a team of two, I lowered our fundraising goal – but still left it at an optimistic $5,000.   That’s a high number for such a small team but I was hopeful we would come at least somewhat close to reaching it.  I knew that this was my 15th year asking many of you for help.  That’s a long time to ask for support.   So I was prepared for maybe a little letup in donations.  But, once again, I was blown away by your generosity.   Not only did you help us reach that lofty goal but you shattered it.  All in all, donations came in at a staggering $7,200!  

As always, I cannot thank you all enough.     

-       Paul

Monday, September 25, 2017

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017) Review Now Showing!

My review of the hilarious and very entertaining spyfest KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017) is now showing at Cinema Knife Fight. Check it out, and see if you agree, here.