- Author: Stephen King
- Artist: Glen Orbik (cover) and Alex McVey (interiors)
- Pub. Date: April 20, 2010
- ISBN: 978-1-58767-228-6
- Status: Out of Print
an original novella by Stephen King
Cover artwork by
Interior artwork by Alex McVey
About the Book:
Even the most diehard baseball fans don't know the true story of William "Blockade Billy" Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first — and only — player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history.
Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse... and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all.
This original, never-before-published novella represents Stephen King at his very best, and this Cemetery Dance World's First Hardcover Edition brings it into print for the very first time.
Key Details About Our World's First Edition:
• printed in a very limited and collectible print run of just 10,000 copies — a tiny fraction of what a New York publisher normally prints for a new release
• heavily illustrated with interior artwork that did not appear in the Scribner edition
• the only trade hardcover edition to be protected by a full-color dust jacket
• shrinkwrapped to protect your book if you're keeping it as a collector's item
• includes the Limited Edition William "Blockade Billy" Blakely baseball card
• beautifully designed with both the collector and general reader in mind
• published almost six weeks before any other print edition in the world
A Few Words from Stephen King on Blockade Billy:
"I love old-school baseball, and I also love the way people who've spent a lifetime in the game talk about the game. I tried to combine those things in a story of suspense. People have asked me for years when I was going to write a baseball story. Ask no more; this is it."
Special Bonus From Cemetery Dance:
Every copy of our exclusive World's 1st Edition, 1st Printing hardcover edition included an authentic William "Blockade Billy" Blakely baseball card.
We're only printing a small number of copies compared to what New York publishers print for a brand new book. Ordering directly through our online store is the only way to guarantee yourself a copy of the World's 1st Hardcover Edition. Our edition WILL NOT be in stores or shipped to Amazon and the other big online retailers. If you are new to Cemetery Dance, please visit our Stephen King section for more information about other related publications you might be interested in adding to your collection.
"...a deftly executed suicide squeeze, with sharp spikes hoisted high and aimed at the jugular on the slide home."
— Publishers Weekly
"The story of Blockade Billy, whose brief career in the big leagues was banished from the record books, is part realistic fiction and part fable, evoking Mark Harris' baseball novels, the work of W.P. Kinsella, and George Plimpton's The Curious Case of Sid Finch... King nails the baseball argot perfectly, and he sprinkles in enough references to real-life 1950s players to have baby-boomer fans reaching for their old ball cards... For fans of fifties baseball and of baseball fiction and film, this deft pastiche makes a great way to celebrate a new seasons."
"Blockade Billy works as well as it does for a couple of reasons. The first is the narrative voice that King has conjured up for Granny Grantham. Funny, sharply observant and casually profane, it is the voice of a quintessential baseball insider who happens to be a natural raconteur. Equally important is the lovingly detailed evocation of the game as it was played in 1957…King's descriptions of these tough, hard-bitten men and the hardscrabble contests they engaged in add both a dash of nostalgia and a touch of gritty reality to this dark, absorbing portrait of a vanished era."
— The Washington Post
"Short and sweet best describes this novella that shines for many reasons: King's love for baseball, his irresistible storytelling style and the way he effortlessly pitches this story to us in the smoothest baseball lingo."
— USA Today
"In his latest, Stephen King spins a quick yarn about a catcher who, despite being one of the best ballplayers of all time, has mysteriously vanished from the record books. The writing is all voice, and King, a Red Sox fanatic, does the old-timey baseball argot to perfection."
About the Author:
Stephen King has written more than forty novels and two hundred short stories. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and he also received the O. Henry Award for his story "The Man in the Black Suit." Among his most recent worldwide bestsellers are Under the Dome, Cell, Lisey's Story, and Duma Key. His other releases from Cemetery Dance Publications include two volumes of The Secretary of Dreams, the deluxe Limited Edition of From a Buick 8, the deluxe Limited Edition of Full Dark, No Stars, and the World's First Edition of Blockade Billy. King lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
About the Artists:
Glen Orbik has been a freelance illustrator and drawing instructor for over twenty years. He studied with master illustrator and classic movie poster artist Fred Fixler, eventually taking over many of Fixler’s classes upon his retirement. Specializing primarily in covers for paperbacks and comics, Glen has painted for clients including Marvel and DC Comics, Sony, TSR, Blizzard Entertainment, Berkley Books and Avon Books (including two Ray Bradbury titles). He has also painted collectible imagery for Warner Bros./DC Studios, as well as preliminary poster work for the Spider-Man and Hulk movies.
Alex McVey is an award-winning, Chesley-nominated illustrator whose work has been published internationally, ranging from album art to graphic design to book illustration. He has illustrated the works of Stephen King, Joe R. Lansdale, Gahan Wilson, Brian Keene, Ramsey Campbell, and Richard Matheson, among others. His clients include ad firms, gaming companies, film studios, bands, and book and magazine publishers.
Published in two states:
• World's First Edition, First Printing Hardcover with an authentic William "Blockade Billy" Blakely baseball card ($25)
• First Edition, Second Printing Hardcover ($25)