Brian Keene

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

Brian Keene (born 1967) 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.


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.[citation needed]


Keene has won two Bram Stoker Awards.[2] One in 2001 for non-fiction Jobs In Hell and one in 2003 for best first novel The Rising.[3] He is also the recipient of the 2004 Shocker Award for non-fiction Sympathy for the Devil as well as many small and regional awards.[citation needed] Keene was the recipient of the Grand Master Award at the World Horror Convention in 2014.[4]

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.[citation needed]

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.[5] Keene has since gone on to write for DC Comics, Antarctic Press, and others, as well as media tie-in work for Hellboy, Doctor Who, and other franchises.

Film adaptations[edit]

  • In 2004, The Rising was optioned for film and videogame adaptations.[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]
  • Ghoul was made into a TV movie directed by Gregory Wilson and starring Nolan Gould[7] 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]

Personal life[edit]

Keene currently lives in York, Pennsylvania.




Novellas & novelettes[edit]

Anthologies edited[edit]


  1. ^ "He's Keene on horror Award-winning author makes his living writing about the dead," York Sunday News (PA), May 29, 2005.
  2. ^ Past Stoker Nominees & Winners, Horror Writers Association Website, accessed May 27, 2011.
  3. ^ The Complete Idiot's Guide to Zombies By Nathan Robert Brown
  4. ^
  5. ^ NY Times review of The Rising
  6. ^ Alex Billington. "Brian Keene's Dark Hollow Headed to the Big Screen",, April 5, 2009; accessed May 27, 2011.
  7. ^ "Modern Family" tyke to star in "Ghoul" TV movie,, May 3, 2011.

External links[edit]