Dan Wells (author)

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Dan Wells
Wells at the 2015 National Book Festival
Wells at the 2015 National Book Festival
BornDaniel Andrew Wells
(1977-03-04) 4 March 1977 (age 45)
Utah, United States
OccupationAuthor, podcast personality
Alma materBrigham Young University (BA)
Period2000–present
GenreHorror, science fiction, young adult
Notable worksI Am Not a Serial Killer
SpouseDawn Wells
Children6
Website
thedanwells.com

Daniel Andrew Wells (born 4 March 1977) is an American horror and science fiction author. Wells's first published novel, I Am Not a Serial Killer, was adapted into a movie in 2016.

Early life[edit]

Dan Wells spent his childhood in Salt Lake City, Utah and began writing at a young age. While in the second grade, he wrote his first stories based on the Choose Your Own Adventure series. He has cited Where the Wild Things Are as one of his first influences.[1] During his childhood, Wells was also exposed to science fiction and fantasy: namely, titles such as The Hobbit and Star Wars.[2] He frequented the library and loved to read.[3] In addition to sci-fi and fantasy novels, he read classics, including those of French and Russian literature.[2] He also enjoyed writing scripts, songs, and poetry as a child.[4]

In high school, Wells wrote a series of comic books, novellas, and a serial.[5] He began to take writing more seriously in college,[4] finishing his first serious novel when he was 22.[5] He studied English and anthropology at Brigham Young University (BYU). It was there that he met his wife, Dawn.[1] As a student, Wells also worked on BYU's speculative fiction magazine, Leading Edge, and began writing game reviews; he has since described himself as a "rabid gamer."[2] Before becoming a published novelist, he worked as a corporate writer for NuSkin.[6]

Career[edit]

Wells's debut novel, I Am Not a Serial Killer, was published in 2009.[7][8] It has been printed in English, Spanish, French, German, and Russian.[9] Wells did extensive research to make the series protagonist, John Cleaver, appear genuine. His fascination with serial killer predictors also inspired him to write the novel.[1] In 2016, it was adapted into a film, starring Max Records and Christopher Lloyd.[10] Wells wrote a sequel, Mr. Monster, which was published by Tor Books in 2010.[11][12] In 2011, his third installment to the John Cleaver series, I Don't Want to Kill You, was published.[13][14] Wells continued John Cleaver's story with a second trilogy of books,[15] in which the protagonist changes and develops. In 2016, Wells told Deseret News that the fifth book in the series, Over Your Dead Body, was one of the most challenging to write.[16] Some of Wells's novels feature main characters with mental health issues. In Serial Killer, John Cleaver is diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder,[17][better source needed] and the protagonist of The Hollow City has schizophrenia.[4]

Wells at the 2017 Phoenix Comicon

Wells expanded into young adult dystopia with his Partials Sequence in 2012.[18][19] The series made an appearance on the New York Times Best Seller list for children's series in 2014.[20] He followed up in 2016 with a Young Adult science fiction novel, Bluescreen, set in Los Angeles in the year 2050.[21][22] He continued this Mirador series with Ones and Zeroes in 2017[23][24] and Active Memory in 2018.[25][26] Other releases include middle-grade sci-fi audiobooks, Zero G (2018),[27][28] Dragon Planet (2019),[27] and Stargazer (2021).[29][30]

Wells is one of the four authors (including Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, and Howard Tayler) who regularly host the podcast Writing Excuses.[1] Wells was a writer for the Extinct (2017 TV series) and wrote his own stage play, "A Night of Blacker Darkness."[31][32]

In 2022, he became the Vice President of Narrative for Brandon Sanderson's company Dragonsteel Entertainment.[33]

Personal life[edit]

He is the brother of author Robison Wells.[6] He has six children.[34] He has lived in Utah, Mexico, and Germany.[32]

Wells reading at the 2015 National Book Festival

He also has his own YouTube channel[35] on which he reviews TTRPGS (Tabletop role-playing game). The channel shares his name.

He and author Brandon Sanderson make the podcast Intentionally Blank together where they discuss everything from writing to other fantasy-related topics to their own lives and more.

Wells is a "card-carrying socialist" but does not like cats.[36]

He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Critical reception[edit]

School Library Journal described his novel Bluescreen as "exciting and innovative."[37] A School Library Journal review of Ones and Zeroes complimented Wells's complex and diverse characters, plausible dystopian plot, and understandable descriptions of future technology.[38] Kirkus said that Partials' "rushed ending" signalled there would be a sequel.[19]

In 2011, Wells was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.[39] His novella, The Butcher of Khardov, received a nomination for the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 2014;[40] Wells stated that this was the result of his unwittingly having been selected by Larry Correia for the Sad Puppies campaign.[41]

He is a cohost of Writing Excuses, which won the Hugo Award for Best Fancast and three Parsec Awards.[42]

In February 2017 Wells was the Literary Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the 35th annual Life, the Universe, & Everything professional science fiction and fantasy arts symposium.[43]

Bibliography[edit]

John Wayne Cleaver series[edit]

  • First trilogy
    • I Am Not a Serial Killer (December 2009, Tor Books, ISBN 978-0-7653-2247-0)[7]
    • Mr. Monster (September 2010, Tor Books, ISBN 978-0-7553-4882-4)[11]
    • I Don't Want to Kill You (March 2011, Tor Books, ISBN 978-0-7553-4883-1)[13][44]
  • Next of Kin (July 2014, Fearful Symmetry, ISBN 978-0-692-24603-0) (novella)[45]
  • Second trilogy

Partials Sequence[edit]

Mirador series[edit]

The Zero Chronicles[edit]

  • Zero G (December 6, 2018, Audible Originals)[54]
  • Dragon Planet (December 12, 2019, Audible Originals)[27]
  • Stargazer (February 18, 2021, Audible Originals)[29]

Stand-alone novels[edit]

Apocalypse Guard[edit]

Short stories[edit]

Novellas[edit]

Editorials[edit]

Awards[edit]

  • 2016 Association for Mormon Letters Award for Best Novel – Over Your Dead Body[63]
  • 2016 AML Award for Best Novel – Over Your Dead Body[64]
  • 2015 Whitney Award for Speculative Fiction – The Devil's Only Friend[65]
  • 2011 Whitney Award for Best Novel of the Year – I Don't Want to Kill You[66]
  • 2010 Whitney Award for Best Novel of the Year – Mr. Monster[67]
  • 2009 Whitney Award for Best Novel by a New Author – I Am Not a Serial Killer[68]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Clark, Cody (March 4, 2012). "Vanishing point: Humanity gets terminated - almost - in Orem author's grim teen sci-fi novel". The Daily Herald. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "About Dan". Dan Wells. October 15, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "Dan Wells biography, bibliography and reviews". www.fantasybookreview.co.uk. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Crowder, Ben (October 12, 2013). "Dan Wells — Mormon Artist". mormonartist.net. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Questions and Answers with Dan Wells - Hortorian.com". Archived from the original on June 5, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Brothers by the book". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Title: I Am Not a Serial Killer". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  8. ^ Kermode, Mark; critic, Observer film (December 11, 2016). "I am not a Serial Killer review – portrait of the sociopath as a young man". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  9. ^ "Formats and Editions of I am not a serial killer [WorldCat.org]". byu.worldcat.org. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  10. ^ Gold, Daniel M. (August 25, 2016). "Review: 'I Am Not a Serial Killer,' but Somebody Is". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Title: Mr. Monster". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  12. ^ "Mr. Monster | Dan Wells | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Title: I Don't Want to Kill You". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  14. ^ "I Don't Want to Kill You | Dan Wells | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  15. ^ News, Deseret (June 15, 2017). "Book review: Utah author Dan Wells brings sixth book in sociopath sci-fi series". Deseret News. Retrieved March 5, 2020. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  16. ^ Loftus, Hikari (April 30, 2016). "Dan Wells talks about right, wrong in horror fiction". Deseret News. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  17. ^ Sedai, Mashiara (June 8, 2016). "Fantasy Review: I Am Not a Serial Killer". Dragonmount.com. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  18. ^ Lawler, Ryan. "Partials by Dan Wells book review". www.fantasybookreview.co.uk. Archived from the original on August 3, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  19. ^ a b PARTIALS | Kirkus Reviews.
  20. ^ "Children's Series Books - Best Sellers - March 30, 2014 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  21. ^ "Bluescreen - Dan Wells - Hardcover". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Title: Bluescreen". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  23. ^ a b "Title: Ones and Zeroes". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  24. ^ ONES AND ZEROES | Kirkus Reviews.
  25. ^ a b "Title: Active Memory". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  26. ^ "Active Memory - Dan Wells - Hardcover". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  27. ^ a b c "Title: Dragon Planet". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  28. ^ "Zero G". Dan Wells. December 10, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  29. ^ a b "Title: Stargazer". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  30. ^ Calendar, The Events (November 21, 2019). "DRAGON PLANET (ZERO G–Book 2) Release Date". Dan Wells. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  31. ^ a b "Title: A Night of Blacker Darkness". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  32. ^ a b "Dan Wells | Authors | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  33. ^ From Paperboys to Bestselling Authors - Ep. 71 of Intentionally Blank at FanX, retrieved October 12, 2022
  34. ^ Binowski, Brittany (March 18, 2017). "36 writing tips from Dan Wells and other NYT bestselling authors". Deseret News. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  35. ^ "Dan Wells". YouTube.
  36. ^ Cats is Marvelous! — Ep. 52 of Intentionally Blank, retrieved June 4, 2022
  37. ^ SLJ. "Bluescreen by Dan Wells | SLJ Review". School Library Journal. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  38. ^ Leffel, Ashley (February 1, 2017). "Ones and Zeroes". School Library Journal. Archived from the original on September 14, 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  39. ^ "Renovation - Hugo Awards". August 8, 2011. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  40. ^ "2014 Hugo Awards". April 20, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  41. ^ My four cents on the Hugo thing, by Dan Wells, at FearfulSymmetry.net; published April 7, 2015; retrieved April 7, 2022, via archive.org; "(...) my own Sad Puppies nomination last year. I was on the slate, didn't take it seriously, and then when I actually ended up on the finals list for novella (...)
  42. ^ "Dan Wells". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  43. ^ "Life, the Universe, & Everything 35: The Marion K. "Doc" Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy" (PDF). LTUE Press. February 1, 2018.
  44. ^ Mandelo, Lee. "A review of I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells". Tor.com. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  45. ^ "Title: Next of Kin". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  46. ^ "Title: The Devil's Only Friend". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  47. ^ "Title: Over Your Dead Body". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  48. ^ "Title: Nothing Left To Lose". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  49. ^ "Title: Isolation". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  50. ^ "Title: Partials". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  51. ^ Dan Wells. "Dan Wells talks about Partials". Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  52. ^ "Title: Fragments". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  53. ^ "Title: Ruins". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  54. ^ "Title: Zero G". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  55. ^ "Title: The Hollow City". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  56. ^ "Title: Extreme Makeover". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  57. ^ "Title: Ghost Station". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  58. ^ a b "Stories, Listed by Author (2000)". Locus. 2000. Archived from the original on June 26, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  59. ^ a b "Publication: The Leading Edge, September 2000". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  60. ^ "Title: Charybdis". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  61. ^ "Publication: Monsters & Mormons". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  62. ^ "Title: The Butcher of Khardov". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  63. ^ "2016 AML Awards". Dawning of a Brighter Day. Archived from the original on June 4, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  64. ^ "2016 AML Awards". Dawning of a Brighter Day. Archived from the original on June 4, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  65. ^ "2015 Winners – The Whitney Awards". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  66. ^ "2011 Winners – The Whitney Awards". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  67. ^ "2010 Winners – The Whitney Awards". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  68. ^ "2009 Winners – The Whitney Awards". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.

Additional reading[edit]

External links[edit]