Welcome to the Amazing Stories BLOG HORDE INTERVIEWS!
The ASM Blog Horde is a diverse and wonderful species. I have the privilege of talking with all of them, and I get to share those chats with you. In this long-running series, you will have the opportunity to peek inside the minds of the ASM bloggers to to see just what makes them tick.
I hope you enjoy the series as much as I have enjoyed preparing it for you. Please feel free to ask questions, or just let the Horde know you’ve stopped by for a visit.
Bloggers love comments, so let them know you’re out there!
Tonight’s Featured ASM Blogger:
DANIEL M. KIMMEL is past president of the Boston Society of Film Critics and founding co-chair of the Boston Online Film Critics Association. His reviews appeared in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette for 25 years, and can now be found at Northshoremovies.net. He teaches at Suffolk University, and is a local correspondent for Variety, the “Movie Maven” for the Jewish Advocate.
Dan writes on science fiction films for Space and Time magazine, and has appeared in Cinefantastique, Clarkesworld and Strange Horizons. His book on the history of FOX TV, The Fourth Network received the Cable Center Book Award. His other books include a history of DreamWorks, The Dream Team, and I’ll Have What She’s Having: Behind the Scenes of the Great Romantic Comedies. Dan was nominated for a Hugo Award for Jar Jar Binks Must Die…and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies. His latest project is his first novel, Shh! It’s a Secret: a Novel about Aliens, Hollywood, and the Bartender’s Guide.
Fran Friel for Amazing Stories Magazine: Dan, please tell us how you became interested in blogging for Amazing Stories Magazine.
Daniel Kimmel: When I learned about the revival of AMAZING and heard that Steve [ASM Editor in Chief] would be at Arisia (in 2012), I reached out to him and we met. I’ve been writing on film for a number of SF outlets and this seemed a natural fit.
ASM: A marvelous fit, Dan. As you know, Amazing Stories Magazine has a huge selection of blogging categories. Where can our readers find your posts?
DK: I’m letting Steve pick up items from my blog that he thinks would be of interest to Amazing readers. So, I am not a regular blogger on site and have had only two or three pieces run so far. Obviously my film pieces are of interest, but he also picked up a piece about my first novel coming out, and how the current SFWA rules do not allow me to qualify as a science fiction writer.
ASM: From your bio, we can tell you’ve been very busy, Dan. Please tell us a little bit more about your previous work in the publishing industry?
DK: I am a film critic who writes for mainstream outlets but always had an interest in SF film and started speaking at conventions in the early ‘90s. That led to my appearing in ARTEMIS and The Internet Review of Science Fiction (alas, both gone now). With the success of my book on SF film, Jar Jar Binks Must Die…and other observation about science fiction movies. I have been able to get into several other publications as well.
ASM: Have you read any new or lesser-known authors you would like to bring to our attention?
DK: I have many favorite authors, old and new, but the one you’ve never heard of that you desperately need to discover is Jennifer Pelland. We’ve formed a mutual admiration society which is funny because our writing styles are diametrically opposite. Where I tend to be funny and optimistic, her stories are bleak, dark, and utterly unforgettable. She has two books out, Unwelcome Bodies, a collection of short stories, and an absolutely brilliant novel, Machine. If you discover her books through my recommendation, the way to thank me is to read my books, as well.
ASM: You’re obviously a genre movie fan, Dan, so what are your favorite titles? Have you seen any lately that you would recommend for us, or suggest we avoid?
DK: Two of the best SF movies of last year were criminally overlooked and box office flops: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and Cloud Atlas. I enjoy most of the classics (Metropolis, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 2001: A Space Odyssey) and write about them in Jar Jar Bink Must Die. Among more contemporary films the ones I’ve watched repeatedly include Blade Runner, The Fly (1986 remake), and Gattaca.
ASM: Dan, please tell us something about yourself most folks might not know.
DK: I am active in my synagogue and have learned to lead various services. This has led to such delightful moments as being on a panel on SF and Jews with the late William Tenn (Phil Klass), attending a Purim service at Lunacon, and having my rabbi give a rave review of my novel right after I got called up for a Torah reading. I do a film column for the Jewish Advocate in Boston, but over the years have also done interview/features with Tenn, Michael Burstein, and David Brin
ASM: Do you have a favorite fan convention or writers’ convention?
DK: I attend a few East Coast conventions each year, but Arisia has become my home con. I just stepped down running the media track in programming, but I told them I’ll be happy to advise and participate. One of the highlights for the weekend for me, which I‘ve been doing for some 15 years now, is the “Movie Year in Review” panel where we go through every single SF, horror, and fantasy film that was released theatrically in the Boston area from the previous year. If you attend Arisia and are a movie fan, this is one not to miss.
ASM: Where else can our readers find you on the Web?
DK: I’m on Facebook as Daniel M. Kimmel, Twitter as @dkimmel (but just posting review links and blog posts as I don’t really like Twitter), and on Goodreads as Daniel M. Kimmel. My regular blog is on Goodreads and that’s where Steve Davidson picks up the ones he wants for Amazing. My reviews can be found at: www.northshoremovies.net and www.scifimoviepage.com.
ASM: Have you won any awards in the industry?
DK: I was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Related Work for Jar Jar Binks Must Die, which is another way of saying I lost.
ASM: No way that’s a loss, Dan. A Hugo nomination is a huge thing. Congratulations!
Thanks so much for your generous time. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you a bit better, Dan. I’m sure our readers are looking forward to reading your reviews and much as I am.
Dear AMAZING READERS, thank you for being with us. I hope you’ve enjoyed tonight’s interview. Please come back next week for another featured blogger in the Amazing Stories Blog Horde Series.
We’ll keep the light on for you!
Great idea, Felicity!
Fascinating! Daniel, would you consider doing a blog about SF and Jews? This strikes me as a very rich vein for analysis.