It’s the fortieth anniversary of the release of Alien. In its honour, I’d like to try and breakdown why it’s arguably the most effective horror movie ever movie. Much like how the xenomorph has different evolutionary forms, so too does horror
In the introduction to his short story collection Maps in a Mirror, Orson Scott Card identifies three stages of fear: 1) Dread 2) Terror and 3) Horror. Continue reading Unholy Trinity: Alien and the Three Stages of Fear
One of the most confounding pieces of writing advice that gets thrown around haphazardly is “write what you know.” On the surface it makes sense: draw from personal experience so that your familiarity with the material lends a sense of authenticity and verisimilitude. However, when you think about it a little, it would seem to preclude a vast amount of possible stories. If you’re supposed to “write what you know” then how are you supposed to write fantasy, sci-fi, or even historical fiction. Moreover, many of those genre writers seem to do just fine without having personally experienced their own settings; Tolkien never set foot in Middle Earth.
I still think that “write what you know” has some currency, but we’ll have to dig into it a little bit to unpack its value. Continue reading Write What You Know: A case study of Tom Clancy | Dunne Blog
Engen Books is proud to announce that Brad Dunne, author of the 2018 novel After Dark Vapours, will be setting the stage as only a person of his immense talent can, by writing the foreword to the 2019 anthology collection Dystopia from the Rock.
Brad Dunne is a freelance writer and editor from St. John’s, Newfoundland. He began his writing career as an intern at The Walrus magazine and has published journalism and essays in publications such as Maisonneuve, The Canadian Encyclopedia, and Herizons. His short fiction has been featured in In/Words, Acta Victoriana, and The Cuffer Anthology. His debut novel, After Dark Vapours, was released in October 2018 to great critical response, mixing literary sensibilities with genre storytelling.
Twenty-Five other authors will be joining Brad Dunne, David Rimmington, Heather Nolan, Gareth Mitton, Shannon Green and Ali House for the 2019 Dystopia on the Rock collection! We still have award-winning and prolific authors in the genre to announce! Who will join them? Stay tuned and Never Look Back!
For exclusive content and FREE books, be sure and check out the Engen Books Patreon.
Recently, I’ve become fascinated with the concept of the “flow state”; a frame of mind where you become lost in a task. Psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi described flow as “being so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one…Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
To be sure, it’s certainly not a new or novel concept. Throughout history, people like Newton and Michelangelo would become so engrossed in a project that they’d forget to eat, bathe, or even sleep. That might be a little extreme, but I’m sure I speak for a lot of you when I say that I’d like to be a little more focused when I sit down to write. I can’t tell you how many times a writing session has been derailed by the many distractions of the internet.
When I was writing my Master’s thesis, it got to the point that I’d write a sentence, check the word count, save file, then go on Reddit. After three hours I might have written 500 words. It was torture. Continue reading New Year’s Resolution: Go With the Flow | Dun Dun Dunne
If you have any kind of feel for the zeitgeist then you’ve noticed that the horror genre is having quite the moment nowadays. There have always been successful horror movies like Paranormal Activity or Saw that spawn lucrative imitators, etc. but presently there are releases that are also enjoying heaps of critical praise like Get Out, Hereditary, and The Witch. Some critics have labelled these “elevated” horror, but I think that’s a condescending and unnecessary classification. Any horror fan will tell you that the genre has always enjoyed a wealth of sophisticated material, despite being unappreciated by mainstream critics. Nevertheless, it’s hard to deny the quantity of quality in addition to the box office remuneration.
I would argue that horror as a genre is in a unique position to take advantage of the present media landscape, particularly the way media is currently consumed and disseminated. Continue reading Otaku ’bout It: Why Horror Is Having a Moment
Congratulations to Brad Dunne, who sold out of every copy of After Dark Vapours brought to Chapters Kenmount Road today!
We’ll have more in stock soon, or you can purchase direct from Amazon or the Engen website!
Pictured: Brad Dunne and supporter Juliette Ryan.
Werewolves and a dark family secret in Northern Labrador!
Growing up without his father, Tyler had no way of knowing the horrible secret that has plagued his family for generations. To free himself and find the cure, he will have to look beyond himself and into his dark history.
In 2013, when Man of Steel was released, I wrote about the challenges of adapting Superman for modern audiences. After a mixed bag of movies, it seems like Warner Bros is ready to cut bait and move on from this iteration of Krypton’s most famous son. Or maybe not? Now, Ben Affleck is apparently looking to bail as well. Who knows. The fact of the matter is, the DCEU is a dumpster fire.
Which is unfortunate because, unlike the MCU, Warner Bros actually owns all the IP rights to the DC characters. It should’ve been them leading the way of the shared cinematic universe, not Marvel, who didn’t even own the rights to Spider-Man when this whole trend got going. The MCU built perhaps the biggest box office juggernaut in Hollywood history off the backs of second-tier characters. What the hell happened? Continue reading Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow: The failure of the DCEU