is everywhere, both in and around us. We all have a dark side. W.
D. Gagliani attempts to explore and expose the dark side of human
nature with his short stories. His book reviews, articles, and interviews
help illuminate the Horror and Dark Fantasy fields. Come, seek the
heart of darkness, deeply buried, beating in us all... Raised in
Genova, Italy, as well as Kenosha, Wisconsin, W. D. Gagliani now
lives and writes in Milwaukee.
Gagliani holds a Master's Degree in English from the University
of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, where he also taught Creative Writing
and Composition. His literary influences span from the works of
Jules Verne to the mind-blowing fantasy tales of Tim Powers, with
stops in between for Edgar Allan Poe, Harlan Ellison, James P. Blaylock,
Karl Edward Wagner, Charles de Lint, Robert Bloch, Charles Grant,
Philip K. Dick, Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Joe R. Lansdale, F.
Paul Wilson, Matthew J. Costello, Doug Clegg, Tamara Thorne, Brian
Hodge, Lawrence Block, Alistair MacLean, Duncan Kyle, Desmond Bagley,
Charles Spain Verral, George Wyatt, Robert Arthur, and too many
more to name. Even good old "elusive" Franklin W. Dixon
made an impact! And Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Matheson,
and so many more.
In the cinema, influences range from Alfred ("Psycho")
Hitchcock to Brian ("Body Double") dePalma, George ("Dawn
of the Dead") Romero to David ("Blue Velvet" and
"Twin Peaks") Lynch, Ken ("Gothic" and "Lisztomania")
Russell to Sam ("Straw Dogs") Peckinpah, the Coen ("Fargo"
and the masterpiece "Blood Simple") Brothers (of course!),
Don ("Phantasm" & "Bubba Ho-Tep") Coscarelli,
Dario ("Inferno") Argento to Tim ("Sleepy Hollow")
Burton, Quentin ("Pulp Fiction") Tarantino, and many others.
has helped shape his work, as well, and most of W. D.'s influences
span the progressive rock genre -- starting with ELP, Yes, Genesis,
Pink Floyd, through Rick Wakeman's solo works, King Crimson, Kansas,
and Tangerine Dream, and all the way to the neo-Progressive music
of Fish & Marillion, Spock's Beard, Porcupine Tree, Jordan Rudess,
Liquid Tension Experiment, and Transatlantic, with a special place
in his heart for the concept works of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson.
The romanticism of the Progressive movement in rock -- with its
blending of various styles such as classical, jazz, and R&B
-- lends itself well to the Fantastic in its many literary forms.
Also, it's adventurous and challenging music which tends to resist
"backgroundization." W. D. confesses a love for
keyboards, especially the synthesizer in all its variations, the
Hammond B-3 organ, and the Mellotron.
Besides music, W. D. Gagliani counts exotic weapons and history
as special interests, as well as writing about the writing process
itself -- years ago he wrote "The Writing Life" column
for The Iguana Informer.
A Brief Bibliography
Besides the various editions of Robert Bloch's Psychos, W. D.'s
fiction and nonfiction has appeared in the anthologies The Black
Spiral: Twisted Tales of Terror, More Monsters From Memphis,
Extremes 3: Terror on the High Seas, Extremes 4: Darkest
Africa, The Asylum 2: The Violent Ward, The Midnighters
Club, Tooth and Claw 2, Bubbas of the Apocalypse,
More Stories That Won't Make Your Parents Hurl, The Red
Red Robin Project, and Midnight Journeys, as well as
publications including The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, BookPage
Bram Stoker Award-winning web site The Chiaroscuro (http://thechiaroscuro.com),
Cemetery Dance, Science Fiction Chronicle, 1000
Delights, BookLovers, the much-missed Bare Bones
and The Scream Factory, The Grimoire, Dark Muse,
Horror Magazine, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Workshop
Newsletter, WAM Magazine/WAM Studio 88 & 89, and
The stories "Port of Call" (from
Extremes 3) and "Starbird" (from The Midnighters
Club) were listed as Honorable Mentions in The Year's Best
Fantasy & Horror (15th ed.), Datlow & Windling, editors.
The story "Lead Me into Temptation," from Shadowplays,
William D. Gagliani's e-book collection, was listed as an Honorable
Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror (14th ed.),
Datlow & Windling, editors. The story "Until Hell Calls
Our Names," in the anthology More Monsters From Memphis
(Hot Biscuit, ISBN 1-880964-24-4), won the 1999 Darrell Award
of the Memphis Science Fiction Association, and garnered an Honorable
Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror (12th ed.).
The story "Icewall," in the anthology Robert Bloch's
Psychos (Pocket Books, ISBN 0-671-88598-7), made the Preliminary
Ballot for the Bram Stoker Award and was named an Honorable Mention
in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror (11th ed.). Two "Ghosts
of the IRA" stories (now available in Shadowplays) by
W. D. Gagliani have also won 2nd Prizes in consecutive Science Fiction
Writers of Earth annual contests (Ed Bryant, judge).
February 23, 1932 October 2, 2004