Braunbeck, Gary A. 1960(?)-
Braunbeck, Gary A. 1960(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1960. Hobbies and other interests: Movies, books, music.
ADDRESSES: Home—P. O. Box 26991, Columbus, OH 43226-0991. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer and instructor. Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA, instructor in writing program.
AWARDS, HONORS: Bram Stoker Award nomination, 1997, for Things Left Behind, 2001, for The Indifference of Heaven, and 2003, for Graveyard People: The Collected Cedar Hill Stories, Volume 1, and Fear in a Handful of Dust: Horror as a Way of Life; Horror Guild Award nomination; Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, 2004, for "Duty."
Things Left Behind, CD Publications (Baltimore, MD), 1997.
(With Alan M. Clark) Escaping Purgatory, IFD Publishing (Eugene, OR), 2001.
Sorties, Cathexes, and Personal Effects (e-book), Lone Wolf Publications, 2002.
Graveyard People: The Collected Cedar Hill Stories, Volume 1, Earthling Publications (Shrewsbury, MA), 2003.
From beneath These Fields of Blood, Demonic Books, 2003.
X3, Wildside Press (Doylestown, PA), 2003.
A Little Orange Book of Odd Stories, Borderlands Press (Grantham, NH), 2003.
From Beneath These Fields of Blood (Redux), Shocklines Press (New York, NY), 2005.
In the Midnight Museum (novella), Necessary Evil Press (Gladstone, MI), 2005.
Author of over two hundred short stories published in collections, anthologies, and magazines.
The Indifference of Heaven, Obsidian Press (Auburn, WA), 2000.
Dark Matter Volume 1: In Hollow Houses, Wizards of the Coast Books (Renton, WA), 2000.
This Flesh Unknown, Foggy Windows Books (Scarborough, ME), 2001.
In Silent Graves, Leisure Books, 2004.
Fear in a Handful of Dust: Horror as a Way of Life, Wildside Press (Doylestown, PA), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Home before Dark: The Collected Cedar Hill Stories, Volume 2, Earthling, 2005; novels, Prodigal Blues and A Cracked and Broken Path; three-novella collection, Destinations Unknown; Keepers, a novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Gary A. Braunbeck is a writer of horror and dark fantasy whose novels and short-story collections have been nominated for both Horror Guild and Bram Stoker awards. Braunbeck credits the musical group the Who in part for his desire to write. As he told Lucy A. Snyder in Strange Horizons, The Who's album Quadrophenia "opened my eyes and my intellect to the endless possibilities offered by the metaphor." Music still supplies the background, literally to Braunbeck's writing process: a selection of various CDs carefully chosen to help him work through each day's text.
Braunbeck has published over two hundred short stories. His first collection, Things Left Behind, consists of "40 potent fantasies," according to a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. The same contributor noted that the author "shows a talent for getting under the skins of seemingly ordinary people and fleshing out their dreams and fears," concluding that Braunbeck's fiction "stirs the mind as it chills the marrow." Stories in the collection include "The Sisterhood of Plain-faced Women," about a woman not endowed with beauty who is suddenly given the power to steal it from others; "Union Dues," about a machinist who becomes tool-like because of his strong connection to his work; and "Some Touch of Pity," about a werewolf forced into that condition by child abuse. The theme of child abuse recurs often in Braunbeck's fiction.
The Indifference of Heaven was Braunbeck's first solo effort as a novelist, and a contributor for Publishers Weekly felt that the author's "debut as a dark fantasy novelist shows the same passion and originality as his short fiction collection." The novel focuses on television news anchor Robert Londrigan, whose wife and child die in childbirth. Devastated by this tragedy, Londrigan is in for even worse. Assaulted at the morgue by a disfigured man named Rael who steals the corpse of his unborn baby, Londrigan discovers that Rael, like his dead wife Denise, are part of the fallen angels known as the Hallowers. Now Londrigan is forced to find Denise in her new incarnation. The Publishers Weekly critic further commented that Braunbeck's novel "bursts with moving insights about grief turning one's world upside down and about the restorative power of love." Similarly, Jackie Cassada, writing in Library Journal, found The Indifference of Heaven to be "compelling and disturbingly graphic."
In addition to his story collections and novels, Braunbeck has also penned the nonfiction work Fear in a Handful of Dust: Horror as a Way of Life. The work is divided into three sections: the first is a collection of horror movie reviews; the second examines horror fiction; and the third looks at Braunbeck's own fiction and examines the inspiration for and roots of his work. Matthew Costaris, writing in Strange Horizons, felt that Braunbeck "does not sugar-coat the painful aspects of his life," and that these "reminiscences are difficult to read." Costaris went on to note that Fear in a Handful of Dust "is a powerful collection by a versatile author, and will appeal to all aspects of genre fans."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, May 15, 2000, Jackie Cassada, review of The Indifference of Heaven, p. 129.
Publishers Weekly, July 21, 1997, review of Things Left Behind, p. 186; May 15, 2000, review of The Indifference of Heaven, p. 93; June 16, 2003, p. 56; April 19, 2004, p. 45.
Science Fiction Chronicle, June, 2001, "Bram Stoker Awards Final Ballot," p. 7.
Gary Braunbeck Home Page, http://www.garybraunbeck.com (November, 3, 2004).
Strange Horizons, http://www.strangehorizons.com/ (July 9, 2001), Lucy, A Snyder, interview with Braunbeck; (March 1, 2004) Matthew Costaris, review of Fear in a Handful of Dust: Horror as a Way of Life.