John Pelan, who is most known as an author and publisher of horror and science fiction, has begun the ambitious project of publishing the complete short fiction of noirboiled writer Day Keene. The first two volumes of Keene stories—League of the Grateful Dead and Other Stories and We Are the Dead and Other Stories—have recently been published by Ramble House.
1. How did you become aware of Day Keene?
My buddy, the late Richard Laymon (tremendous author in his own right) and I were both fans of 1950s noir; and I recall him bringing Keene up as someone that I would likely enjoy. He was spot on!
2. What’s your favorite Day Keene story?
I’m rather fond of “League of the Grateful Dead,” but ask me tomorrow and I’ll likely have a different answer. . . . Keene was very versatile and depending on my mood, my preferences can run from weird menace such as the aforementioned to Doc Egg to a non-series mystery. . . .
3. What’s your least favorite Day Keene story?
I haven’t read everything yet, so I’ll pass on this one.
4. Do you have a favorite Day Keene novel?
Home Is the Sailor was the first novel I read, so I have a special fondness for it.
5. How did you go about about tracking down so many hard-to-find old pulps to collect Keene’s stories?
Well, I’ve been a collector and part-time bookseller for many years and have a lot of connections; that said, it hasn’t been easy!