So there's this movie coming out--a sports movie--a movie that promises vulgarity, comedy, and violence in equal measure. As a hockey fan I've mixed feelings about GOON. By the ham-fisted title you kind of get the idea. No feel good Miracle or The Rocket or even a down-and-out character study here (for the record, I believe Slapshot was a comedy and a character study....) GOON is about the hockey enforcer...the player on a team who's one saving grace is that he is ready to throw down when asked. Ah, yes...sweet, sweet violence. The fights that vent steam, settle cheap shots and missed calls...epic brawls that unleash primeval-DNA-rage echoes in beery fans and that (oddly enough) are ordered by megalomaniac coaches frothing with frustration. (*COUGH* Tortorella! *COUGH*) Hell, anyone who loves the sport will tell you...fights are just part of the game. Yet recent tragic events surrounding NHL enforcers give me serious pause. I don't know. When I started writing crime stories a few years ago one of my first characters was a guy named Morgan Leary, a former minor league hockey enforcer who ended up working for a criminal enterprise organization in Atlantic City after he messed up his knee. Morgan recently showed up here, but he was at his best in a piece a few years back entitled "Backing the Stakes" over at BEAT TO A PULP (David and company are apparently working on updating the archives so you might be able to find that story again soon). Chris Holm and I joked last year about collaborating on a hockey story and maybe this year we'll find the time (I don't know...with the release of his kickass debut novel DEAD HARVEST later this month he might be too busy swatting away the fanboys and gals.) Well, will I see this movie? Sure, of course, when it's on cable. Until then give me brutal, "legal" checks and a tight, three frame game any day. Onward.
KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir ...as well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.