My friend, Dan O’Bannon (1946-2009)

American science fiction screenwriter and dire...
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My wife, Sunni, and I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Dan O’Bannon and his wife, Diane, and their son Adam. The first time we met was at the Egyptian Theatre showing of Return of the Living Dead. Sunni and I were in the middle of the theatre, and had a blast watching the movie on the big screen (which she had never done). Unbeknownst to us, the actor that played the Tar Man was sitting directly behind Sunni!

After the showing, there was a Q&A with the cast and crew. It was excellent, and O’Bannon was in fine form. After the Q&A, people were allowed to get autographs. We went up with a copy of the Tartan re-issue of ROTLD and had everyone sign it. As I was chatting with Dan, I mentioned that I was doing a film about Forrest J Ackerman, and wanted to know if he’d be interested in being a part of it. He looked at me a second, smiled, and said “Why not?”

It was the start of an intense relationship that lasted until his premature passing last night. In that interval, we became great friends: he was a mentor to my writing aspirations, a confidante, a supporter (along with Diane, I might add) of our films (Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man; The AckerMonster Chronicles; Image, Reflection, Shadow: Artists of the Fantastic) and someone whose thoughts and advice I not only admired, but cherished as well. I know that the love and feelings were mutual.

Earlier this year, Dan was the recipient of the  H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival “Howie” Award, something that meant a great deal to him. I am so glad that we got to see him that night, as always, but now it’s bittersweet: no one thought it would be the last time that we would see one another. We were planning a script together (that I am determined to finish), and he let me have a copy of a book of his that he had been working on for 20 years. Not only that, but I wound up writing an article for the magazine that I am the Managing Editor/Art Director for (Dark Discoveries), detailing some of his upcoming projects. He was also a key contributor to my first anthology (co-edited with William F. Nolan): The Bleeding Edge. His piece, an excerpt of his screenplay “Omnivore” is one of the best in the book. I know that he was excited about the being involved, and in the last talk we had on the phone (a very warm and wide-ranging discussion about both of our plans going forward, just like always) he was extremely enthused to be a part of his first book signing.

Now, suddenly,  he is gone: Sunni and I have had bouts of sadness and weeping off and on for the past 12 hours or so. I got calls and e-mails from friends all over the world. It has been hard (for everyone). I dreamt of Dan, and the times that we went into his little alcove in his house in L.A. and talked story, Lovecraft, movies. O’Bannon was a brilliant intellectual and scholar, and I learned a lot from him. My personal writing mentors have been O’Bannon, Matheson, Johnson, Nolan and Bradbury. I am lucky, and I know it. I value and respect my good fortune. Sunni does as well. We love Dan, Diane and Adam. They will all always be a part of our family. The last couple of years were tough for Dan physically, but his mind was always sharp as a razor. His passion was still there. His creativity never flagged. He was just getting a much-needed second wind in his career when Fate snapped off the lights. I can’t forgive Fate for doing that, just as I can’t forgive the same process for taking my father away at 62. Too young. Too young.

Diane said on the phone that he was out of pain now, and for that — and that alone — I am grateful. But as I replied to her, I wish that we could have him here, wave a wand, and have him without pain. Sometimes the world sucks: this is one of those times. We are all in shock and deeply, profoundly saddened. Things will never be the same without Dan here.

Dan, we love you, and will always do what we can to further your legacy and support Diane and Adam.

Love always,

–Sunni and Jason

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Positive Review for The Bleeding Edge from Horror World

The Bleeding Edge edited by William F. Nolan and Jason V Brock, Cycatrix Press and Dark Discoveries; 2009; 288 pgs; $65.00 SRP [Order the Trade Hardcover for $55.00 at www.JaSunni.com/shop]

“This anthology of [new and/or unpublished] weird stories from Cycatrix Press/Dark Discoveries spans a time period stretching all the way back to Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles days to the present.  And aside from the stories, it also includes a few scripts, and one essay dealing with the collection of weird magazines.   The varied content in the anthology works to its favor as each contribution is unique and there is no danger of being bored from redundancy.   And while it could be argued that almost all dark fiction published is by its nature weird anyway, the majority of these
contributions more than adequately live up to the appellation.

For most readers, anthologies can be hit or miss no matter the theme, but this reviewer found The Bleeding Edge to be exceptional.  The most enjoyable contributions in the anthology however came from some unexpected sources, which always makes reading these types books that much more fun… While all of the contributions in The Bleeding Edge are curious reads, they are wonderfully entertaining.  Readers of weird fiction and horror should be more than delighted by all of the contributions, and like this reviewer, readers will find themselves seeking out more work by those author’s whose stories they deemed to be highlights in the book.  The Bleeding Edge is highly recommended to horror and dark fiction readers who are entertained by darkly humorous, edgy, and unusually plotted fiction.”

–T. T. Zuma

Horror World Book Reviews

December, 2009

**Please note. Reviews posted
herein are copyrighted and are the exclusive property of Horror World.
You may not reproduce any reviews in whole or in part without the
express permission of Horror World.

FOR THE FULL REVIEW, please visit: http://www.horrorworld.org/reviews.htm

*The Bleeding Edge Contributors: Ray Bradbury, Norman Corwin, Dan O’Bannon, Richard Matheson, R.C. Matheson, Jason V Brock, William F. Nolan, Gary Braunbeck, Nancy Kilpatrick, James Robert Smith, John Shirley, Cody Goodfellow, Joe R. Lansdale, S.T. Joshi, Earl Hamner, Jr., George Clayton Johnson, Christopher Conlon, Kurt Newton, John Tomerlin, Frank M. Robinson, Lisa Morton, Steve Rasnic Tem, Kris Kuksi (artwork)

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Cool Review of Dark Discoveries #14 (Twilight Zone Issue)!

Good Dark Discoveries Review

Horror Writers in the Pacific Northwest…

Go join the new chapter of the HWA!

http://www.horror-pnw.com/

Positive Bleeding Edge Review From Publisher’s Weekly, 9/21/09!

From Publisher’s Weekly, 9/21/09:

The Bleeding Edge: Dark Barriers, Dark Frontiers — edited by William F. Nolan and Jason V Brock. Cycatrix Press/Dark Discoveries (www.jasunni.com/shop), $64.95 (288p) [Order the Trade Hardcover directly for $55.00] ISBN 978-0-9841676-1-6

“Nolan (Science Fiction Origins) and Brock (Totems and Taboos) have put together a compelling anthology of dark short fiction that includes unused Twilight Zone scripts and unpublished work by the likes of Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson. There’s something for everyone in the 20 stories and scripts that span such genres as erotica (Nancy Kilpatrick‘s “Hope and the Maiden”), horror (Gary A. Braunbeck‘s “A Certain Disquieting Darkness”) and humor (Matheson’s short screenplay “Madri-Gall”). Highlights include Bradbury’s “Some of My Best Friends Are Martians,” John Shirley‘s violent ghost story “Just a Suggestion” and an excerpt from Dan O’Bannon‘s unproduced screenplay Omnivore. These limited editions are aimed squarely at horror collectors, who will not be disappointed. (Dec.)

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New Interview with Jason V Brock