Why You Should Give Phantoms Another Shot on it’s 20th Anniversary

There are likely two predictable reactions to any mention of 1998’s Phantoms, a campy, Ben Affleck-led sci-fi/epidemic thriller that came out in theaters 20 years ago this month: either complete befuddlement because the movie’s been lost to the ether, or something resembling, “Hmm, I think I picked that up from Blockbuster at some point, but I don’t remember much about it.”

Both reactions are understandable. Phantoms, based on a Dean Koontz novel of the same name, barely made a splash at the box office, pulling in just north of $3 million on its opening weekend. One might point to the fact that TitanicGood Will Hunting, and As Good As It Gets were still dominating the cinemas as reasons for its paltry showing, but that’d ignore the fact that Phantomsprobably got exactly what it deserved. The formless sludge of Phantoms — both the mysterious evil creatures and the film itself — couldn’t compete with the joyous meta masterpiece that is Spice World, never mind topple a juggernaut like Titanic.

With all that said, though, there’s still plenty of reason to revisit (or introduce yourself to) Phantoms on its twentieth anniversary. Sure, the editing is a mess and the story is as flimsy as that old box filled with VHS tapes that you just can’t seem to get rid of, but it’s also a film that deserves a certain amount of reclaiming. It deserves to be enshrined as a campy classic that populates the occasional midnight screening at your local cinema right around Halloween. From the performances and the special effects, to the sheer ludicrousness of certain scenes, Phantoms boasts some serious B-movie bona fides.

If you need more convincing, here are a few reasons why Phantoms deserves your time 20 years after its disastrous box office performance.

Read the full article @ SyFy Wire.

Dean Koontz on the 50th Anniversary of His First Novel, Star Quest

50 years! Wow! And to get Dean speaking on the record about his early SF work, that’s a rarity these days. But SyFy Wire has done it.

How did Star Quest come about and what was the inspiration for the story?

Dean Koontz: As a kid, all I read was science fiction. I started out with probably the Heinlein juvenile, young adult novels and then just read, read, read constantly in the field. So by the time I was graduating college it was very natural for me that that would be the genre I wanted to write it. And I had sold a number of short stories first, but I can’t remember where that idea came from for that novel. All I know is that I wrote it over a summer between teaching jobs. I had no agent, you just sent things over the transom in those days. I sent it to Ace Books and they made me an offer for it.

One thing I vividly remember is that at that time, Ace paid $1,500 for one half of an Ace Double. They came back to me and said, “We can’t pay you $1,500 because your novel is short, so we’re gonna have to pay the guy on the other side of the double, $1,750, so we can only pay you $1,250.” It was the first time I had ever sold anything in book length so I jumped at that and said, alright, I’ll take the $1,250! Some years went by and I was still writing only in the science fiction genre and was somewhere where I ran into the author who was on the other side of that double. I said to him jokingly, that because of you I had to take $1,250 instead of $1,500. And he said, “What do you mean? They told me mine was shorter. I’d have to take $1,250!” I discovered we’d each been chiseled out of $250. Which explained to me why, when I looked at the book, it didn’t seem to me that his was a lot longer than mine. And it was a little warning that there were certain publishers in the world that would save the $500 at the risk of annoying the hell out of the writer down the road. That’s my biggest memory of that. I do sometimes say if I’d just thought of calling it Star Trek instead of Star Quest, maybe I would have been famous long before. (Laughs)

Read the full interview @ SyFy.com

Ricochet Joe out today

Can an ordinary guy make extraordinary choices in a battle between humanity and unearthly evil?

Joe Mandel is a perfectly ordinary guy from a perfectly ordinary town—a college student and community volunteer who dreams of one day publishing a novel. When a series of strange intuitions leads him to a crime in progress, Joe jumps headlong into danger without hesitation. In the aftermath, he wonders about the uncanny impulse that suddenly swept over him.

Until new friend Portia Montclair, the strangely wise daughter of the local police chief, explains to him what sent him ricocheting around town like a crazy pinball. Portia tells of another reality, a reality more thrilling—and terrifying—than Joe ever imagined. Timeless, elemental forces of good and evil have come to the quiet town of Little City: a cosmic entity capable of infecting human beings, and the seeker who has chosen Joe to find it.

To stop the malevolent invader, this average Joe must be braver than he ever thought possible…and face the hardest decisions of his life.

Kindle eBook out now.
Audible audiobook out now.
MP3-CD audiobook out on 3/27/18

Dean’s art collection

I know that Dean owns a lot of art. Looks like this one piece in his collection…

Ricochet Joe

Can an ordinary guy make extraordinary choices in a battle between humanity and unearthly evil?

Joe Mandel is a perfectly ordinary guy from a perfectly ordinary town—a college student and community volunteer who dreams of one day publishing a novel. When a series of strange intuitions leads him to a crime in progress, Joe jumps headlong into danger without hesitation. In the aftermath, he wonders about the uncanny impulse that suddenly swept over him.

Until new friend Portia Montclair, the strangely wise daughter of the local police chief, explains to him what sent him ricocheting around town like a crazy pinball. Portia tells of another reality, a reality more thrilling—and terrifying—than Joe ever imagined. Timeless, elemental forces of good and evil have come to the quiet town of Little City: a cosmic entity capable of infecting human beings, and the seeker who has chosen Joe to find it.

To stop the malevolent invader, this average Joe must be braver than he ever thought possible…and face the hardest decisions of his life.

Pre-order now for a 28 December 2017 release.

Kindle In Motion
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NoOne Reviews Odd Thomas

“The dead don’t talk, I don’t know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Meet Odd Thomas, the unassuming young hero of Dean Koontz’s dazzling New York Times bestseller, a gallant sentinel at the crossroads of life and death who offers up his heart in these pages and will forever capture yours.
Sometimes the silent souls who seek out Odd want justice. Occasionally their otherworldly tips help him prevent a crime. but his time it’s different. A stranger comes to Pico Mundo, accompanied by a horde of hyena-like shades who herald an imminent catastrophe. Aided by his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Odd will race against time to thwart the gathering evil his account of these shattering hours, in which past and present, fate and destiny, converge, is a testament by which in live – an unforgettable fable for our time destined to rank among Dean Koontz’s’ most enduring works.

Originally published on Dec 13, 2017