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Brandon Zenner

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Brandon Zenner is an American fiction writer and an Amazon best selling author. His short fiction has been published in both print and online publications, the first being submitted when he was 19 years old. THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS, his debut thriller, has reached Amazon's best seller list many times. His second novel, WHISKEY DEVILS, was a first place winner in the American Book Fest's Best Book Awards. THE AFTER WAR, a post-apocalyptic thriller, was a semi-finalist in the BookLife Prize in Fiction, a contest run by Publishers Weekly, a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and a finalist in the Red City Review Book Award, among other distinctions. His genre of choice are thrillers, crime, dystopian, science fiction, and anything with a psychological edge.

THE AFTER WAR Cover
THRILLERS

THE AFTER WAR

BY Brandon Zenner • POSTED ON June 30, 2017

In a post-apocalyptic world, some stragglers must find out what they are made of in this series opener.

When Brian Rhodes and his cousin Steven Driscoll emerge from their hiding place, it’s been two years since a deadly virus spread across the globe, eradicating most of the inhabitants. Brian and Steven are two of the lucky ones. Their uncle, a high-ranking American government official named Lt. Gen. Albert Driscoll, built them a bunker deep in the South and gave them instructions to reunite with Steven’s sister, Bethany, then journey to an agreed-upon location. In British Columbia, Simon Kalispell is working with a similar plan. The earthy Simon comes from a rich, well-connected family that thought his best bet at survival would be to tough it out in a remote cabin and reunite with the clan later. Each survivor is heading east, where, unbeknown to them, Albert has attempted to create some semblance of a government. But as any good dystopian narrative knows, where there’s weakness, there’s division. While Albert and his men try to restore peace, others believe they require increased militarization to mobilize against the outside world, full of haphazard gangs, cannibals, and sadists struggling to survive. These are the conditions Brian, Steven, and Simon meet as they struggle to make it across country, and their survival depends on making the right choices. Zenner (Whiskey Devils, 2016, etc.) skillfully shows how desperate conditions can force good people to do bad things, and bad people to do even worse deeds. But while Brian, Steven, and Simon are all richly shaded, the secondary characters are not as fully developed. Along the way, Brian collects Bethany and a female friend. The women are vague in characterization (tough and capable in one moment; weepy or shy the next), which leaves their subsequent romantic arcs seeming obligatory and one-dimensional. This kind of indistinct worldbuilding plagues an otherwise promising novel about the limits of humanity in trying times. With more books planned for the series, this may yet be corrected.

This twisty thriller sows the seeds of an engrossing dystopian saga.

Pub Date: June 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-692-90762-7

Page count: 444pp

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2018

THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS Cover
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY

THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS

BY Brandon Zenner • POSTED ON Dec. 11, 2014

New Jersey bartender and author Zenner combines corporate deceit, futuristic technology, and sleep science into a rousing debut.

Heartbroken from the recent loss of his beloved wife, Emily, Baltimore bartender Ben Walker jumps at any chance to participate in the kinds of sleep studies that have helped keep him financially afloat for years. Bored with his life, he frequently finds himself “drinking to oblivion”—a routine interrupted by a tip from a dream scientist about a lucrative, revolutionary project for which he believes Ben, who in past tests has exhibited extraordinary subconscious “control and vividness,” would be perfect. This new lucid-dream sleep study is based in the Hamptons and has been commissioned by eccentric multimillionaire Dr. Timothy Kalispell. The study utilizes a machine nicknamed “Lucy” (for Lucid Transmitter), which reads and records images created during the sleep cycle. Initially, Ben exhibits promising results while doctors view his subconscious “sleep art” imagery as he flies through his mind’s dreamscapes. The project is soon taken on the road to Paris and Rome to incorporate dreams dreamt after seeing art masterpieces, yet even after some overdue spicy romance with beautiful stranger Sophia, things begin to spiral downward. Ben becomes plagued with migraine headaches as Dr. Kalispell unveils his newest technology, the “Vitruvian Machine,” capable of bringing dreamed images to life. Of course, big-business ethics and profit lie behind the grand design, and once the team enlists Ben as a full-time employee, his sketchy dreams of a place called Drapery Falls put him in grave danger. When the lines between what is dreamed and what is real begin to blur, the medical team behind the project shows its contemptible colors. Zenner crafts a well-paced thriller powered by a lively, gutsy protagonist and durable supporting characters nefarious and romantic. Kalispell is a formidable villain, yet Zenner is cleverly careful not to reveal his true nature until the plot is well underway. Fans of reality-bending sci-fi medical thrillers will find much to savor in this futuristic thrill ride with a bloody denouement.

A creative, sharply drawn thriller anchored by sturdy prose and a memorable hero.

Pub Date: Dec. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692355138

Page count: 274pp

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

The After War Book Trailer

Awards, Press & Interests

Hometown

Fair Haven, NJ

Favorite author

So many ... John Fante, E.L. Doctorow, Cormac McCarthy, Charles Bukowski, Tom Robbins, Iain Banks, Ken Follett ... I can go on and on.

Favorite book

Again, so many ... Homer & Langley, Blood Meridian, The Wasp Factory, Pillars of the Earth

Day job

Writer. Bartender. Father.

Favorite word

Changes often, but currently I've been liking "Candescent."

Unexpected skill or talent

I make model ships. Check out my instagram, I just started posting pictures: @brandonzen

Passion in life

Above all, my daughter and wife. Writing comes in secoond. Music is pretty important too.

THE AFTER WAR: Finalist in the Best Book Awards for best Thriller & Adventure., 2018

THE AFTER WAR: First Horizon Award, Eric Hoffer Book Awards, 2017

THE AFTER WAR: Silver Medal, The Wishing Shelf Book Award, Best Adult Fiction, 2017

THE AFTER WAR: Semi-Finalist BookLife Prize in Fiction, by Publishers Weekly, 2016

THE AFTER WAR: Finalist in the Red City Review Book Awards, for Best Literary Fiction, 2016

Whiskey Devils: First Place in the Best Book Awards for Best Novella, 2018

AMA: Ask Me Anything, 2018 Author Brandon Zenner's Second Novel, "Whiskey Devils," Nominated for a Global Ebook Award, 2016 Debut Author Brandon Zenner Releases New Psychological Thriller: "The Experiment of Dreams", 2014 Red Bank: Author Emerges From the Cellar, 2014

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE

Butcher Rising

When civilization collapsed, evil rose to power: In the deep recesses of solitary confinement, a wickedness emerges to defile what is left of humanity. With society coming to its knees, the opportunity is right for a terrible army to claim the world as their own, and inflict upon it the same pain they received in life. The After War series continues. This is the story of Karl Metzger. "It is said that even a villain is the hero of their own story. And everyone does have a story ... In the end, that's what we all are—stories, little stories that build to bigger stories, that make up the epic of a lifetime." - Manhattan Book Review
Published: Aug. 30, 2018
ISBN: 978-0692161265

Whiskey Devils

Managing a drug operation isn't what it's cracked up to be: When a colleague dies under suspicious circumstances, everyone wants a piece of the business. After the boss's deceptive past comes full circle, the days of boozing it up out by the garden are over, and Evan Powers is thrust in a scramble to decipher the truth behind the chaotic lives of the people he holds dear. "A large marijuana growing operation, Russian mobsters, undercover drug agents, and a biker gang, wraps up with a series of unexpected and shocking plot reversals that brings the book to a violent, surprising, and powerful end." (BookLife Prize in Fiction, by Publishers Weekly)
Published: Jan. 15, 2016
ISBN: 978-0692172797