Brian Keene

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Brian Keene
Born September 22, 1967
Occupation Novelist, public speaker
Nationality American
Period 1997–present
Genre Horror
Notable works The Rising, The Conqueror Worms

Brian Keene is an American author, primarily of horror, crime fiction, and comic books. He has won two Bram Stoker Awards. His 2003 novel The Rising is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture's current interest in zombies. In addition to his own original work, Keene has written for media properties such as Doctor Who, Hellboy, Masters of the Universe, and Superman.

Early life[edit]

Keene was born in 1967. He grew up in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and many of his books take place in these locales.[1] After graduating high school, he served as a radioman in the U.S. Navy aboard an LPD. After his enlistment ended, Keene worked a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time writer. Among them were stints as a foundry worker, truck driver, data entry clerk, dockworker, telemarketer, customer service representative, repo man, bouncer, disc jockey, salesman, store manager, daycare instructor, custodian, and more. In interviews, he credits this diverse background as the key to the characters that populate his books.[2]




Novellas & novelettes[edit]

Anthologies edited[edit]


2001 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction (for "Jobs In Hell")[3] 2003 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in First Novel (for "The Rising")[4] 2004 Shocker Award for Non-Fiction (for "Sympathy for the Devil")[5] 2014 World Horror Grand Master Award[6]

In 2004 and 2005, Keene spearheaded a Books For Troops program, in which various horror authors supplied free, signed books to American troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world. Keene was honored for this in 2005 by the 509th Logistics Fuels Flight Squadron based at Whiteman A.F.B. in Missouri.[7]

In 2014, an American flag was flown in Keene's honor in Afghanistan and presented to him by the United States Army International Security Assistance Force.[8]

Comics and graphic novels[edit]

In 2006, three stories from Keene's Fear of Gravity were adapted in the graphic novel Brian Keene's FEAR. The stories were "Castaways", "Red Wood", and the award-winning "The King, in: Yellow". In 2008, Marvel Comics announced that Keene would be writing for them. His first project for the company was the four-issue limited series for their MAX imprint: Dead of Night: Devil-Slayer.[9] Keene wrote the 25-issue series "The Last Zombie" for Antarctic Press. Keene's work for DC Comics has included Doom Patrol, the 2010 "DCU Halloween Special", and "Masters of the Universe: The Origin of Hordak". He was originally part of the writing team for Future's End but left the project along with writer Greg Rucka, also walking away from writing Animal Man and Booster Gold.[10]

Film adaptations[edit]

  • In 2004, The Rising was optioned for film and videogame adaptations.[citation needed]
  • In 2005, City of the Dead was optioned for the same.[citation needed]
  • In 2006, the short story "The Ties That Bind" was optioned for film, and it had its world premiere on April 4, 2009 at the Garden State Film Festival.[citation needed]
  • In 2009, Dark Hollow was optioned for film by director Paul Campion.[11]
  • Ghoul was made into a TV movie directed by Gregory Wilson and starring Nolan Gould[12] and debuted on the Chiller Network on April 13, 2012.
  • In 2011, Darkness at the Edge of Town was optioned, and Castaways was optioned by Drive-In Films.[citation needed]
  • On May 1, 2013, the screenplay adaptation written by Robert A. Masciantonio based on the Castaways (novel) was made available to the public. The script can be downloaded and the reader may leave their input and vote via stars. Enough attention may get the attention of Amazon Studios for development.[citation needed]
  • In July, 2015, a film adaptation of Keene's short story "Fast Zombies Suck" was released for free via YouTube.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Keene currently lives in York, Pennsylvania.

Keene is actively involved in fundraising for the Scares That Care charitable organization.[14]


  1. ^ "He's Keene on horror Award-winning author makes his living writing about the dead," York Sunday News (PA), May 29, 2005.
  2. ^ "Interview With Brian Keene on Xomba". Hellnotes. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Past Stoker Nominees & Winners, Horror Writers Association Website, accessed May 27, 2011.
  4. ^ The Complete Idiot's Guide to Zombies By Nathan Robert Brown
  5. ^ Dragos-Valentin Radulescu. "Brian Keene - The Last Zombie - Rising Dead LOTD Community Forum". Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Rue Morgue Magazine #43, 2005
  8. ^ "Brian Keene Talks About Stephen King, Ghoul and Why Horror Matters". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  9. ^ NY Times review of The Rising
  10. ^ Hannah Means Shannon. "Talking With Horror Master Brian Keene About A Life In Dark Fiction And Why He Isn't Writing Futures End, Animal Man, Or Booster Gold - Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV News". Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV News. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Alex Billington. "Brian Keene's Dark Hollow Headed to the Big Screen",, April 5, 2009; accessed May 27, 2011.
  12. ^ "Modern Family" tyke to star in "Ghoul" TV movie,, May 3, 2011.
  13. ^ "Watch Brian Keene's Fast Zombies Suck Online For Free - Dread Central". Dread Central. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "Interview with Brian Keene". Apex Magazine. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 

External links[edit]