News From the Dead Zone #132

Still a few months to go before Full Dark, No Stars is published. However, Scribner has posted an excerpt from “A Good Marriage” which should whet your appetite for the collection. Craig Wasson (who was the reader for Blockade Billy) and Jessica Hecht will read the audio version, to be released simultaneously with the hardcover. There was a report that King would narrate introductions to each story, but the galleys don’t have story intros, just an afterward.

Remember Wilma (“Just call me Billy, everyone does”) from Creepshow, as portrayed by Adrienme Barbeau? That segment was based on the short story “The Crate,” originally published in Gallery magazine and later collected in a couple of anthologies around 1980-81. The story will see the light of day again in the CD anthology Shivers VI, which is bound for the printer next week. In addition to this relatively rare story, the anthology contains a Peter Straub novella and fiction from other familiar names, including yours truly.

King’s cameo appearance on Sons of Anarchy will air on FX on his birthday, September 21. His character’s last name is an homage to Richard Bachman.

King will be appearing at The New Yorker Festival on October 2nd, 2010. He will be part of a panel discussion on vampires along with Noel Carroll, Matt Reeves, and Melissa Rosenberg, moderated by Joan Acocella. Click here for more information about the Festival.

After the current Gunslinger series finishes from Marvel, there will be a single issue in November focusing on Sheemie Ruiz called Sheemie’s Tale. “This is the story of one of the more powerful breakers in Thunderclap: The mentally handicapped, formerly mute young man known as Sheemie. He possesses the awesome power to shatter the very Beams that hold the Dark Tower in place—the fulcrum of existence itself. But Sheemie does not want to destroy the underpinnings of reality. He is in the prison of Devar-Toi and all he wants is his friends—his ka-tet to come for him. And one of them is coming for him even now. One of them known as the last gunslinger, Roland Deschain. And not all the horrors of Thunderclap will stand in his way! Presented by those twin titans of Marvel’s Dark Tower books—writer Robin Furth and artist Richard Isanove. It’s a journey of searching and salvation you won’t soon forget.”

Time is running out to get your photo submissions in to Stephen’s Empire.

Here’s a neat story about a Canadian musician who got permission to set the words of Sara Tidwell from Bag of Bones to music: Stephen King takes shining to Toronto blues singer.

Recent Entertainment Weekly columns:

News From the Dead Zone #131

Stephen King wants you to help him build his empire! “After 36 years (give or take) of writing stories, I find myself hungry—not for food, but for power. I’ve decided to build a virtual empire, but I need your help. Please pitch in and help me feed my insatiable appetite for grandiosity.” For more details, see his post here.

Just over a week to go (July 9)  until the premiere of Haven on SyFy. This is the TV series inspired by The Colorado Kid. Here’s an article about filming in Nova Scotia. Here’s a video of the cast discussing the series. This link has synopses of the first four episodes.

Full Dark, No Stars is still several months away, but here is the Amazon/UK description of the book and its stories:

‘I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger…’ writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up ‘1922’, the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerising tales from Stephen King, linked by the theme of retribution.  For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife Arlette proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

In ‘Big Driver’, a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger is along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book-club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face to face with another stranger: the one inside herself.

‘Fair Extension’, the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest.  Making a deal with the devil not only saves Harry Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment.

When her husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband.  It’s a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends ‘A Good Marriage’.

Like Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight, which generated such enduring hit films as The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, Full Dark, No Stars proves Stephen King a master of the long story form.

For those of you interested in such details: 1922 is 96 manuscript pages, A Good Marriage is 63 manuscript pages, Big Driver is 82 manuscript pages and Fair Extension is 25 manuscript pages.

Here is King’s report from his visit to the set of season three of the FX series Sons of Anarchy. He has a cameo in the third episode. He will play a quiet loner who appears in Gemma’s (Katey Sagal) time of need. The producers learned that King was a fan of the drama, so they reached out to him for a possible cameo.

Here’s the video of King’s unannounced “visit” to Good Morning America during Justin Cronin’s appearance to promote The Passage.

A NY Times Review of Blockade Billy, with interview. Billy’s darkness is not as frightening as many of King’s characters. “At least Steve avoided turning him into a vampire,” [King’s agent] Verrill said.

Recent Entertainment Weekly columns:

Here is a good write up, with pictures, of the recent LA event where King was presented a Literary Award At The 15th Annual Los Angeles Public Library Awards Dinner

News From the Dead Zone #130

“Things are happening and they are happening fast,” Stephen King says about recent news articles about developments in a possible Dark Tower adaptation. “Any reports you see might be taken with a grain of salt for the next couple of weeks. You will know the news from the official source as soon as we are able to post it,” the official source being www.stephenking.com, of course. The announced plan has Ron Howard directing a movie or movies for Universal, scripted by Akiva Goldsman, produced by Brian Grazer, that would then lead into a TV series.

Mick Garris will be directing a four-hour miniseries adaptation of Bag of Bones that might air on network television sometime next year. “Bag of Bones is something we tried to do as a feature for two or three years,” Garris tells Dread Central. “But the way features are now, if it’s not about teenagers or a sequel or a remake, forget it. We wanted to do something much more adult and passionate than studios are making now. It’s a ghost story for grown-ups. Television is the only place you can do that.” Check out a video of his conversation with Dread Central.

Speaking of video, here’s an hour long video of King at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County, Florida. As part of his appearance, he reads the short story “The Old Dude’s Ticker,” which is only available in The Big Book of NECON.

Did you see a familiar name in the early pages of Blockade Billy? One “Ben Vincent,” who hits one out of the park? Hey, people have fared far worse in Stephen King novels. I was thrilled to be Tuckerized this way. By the way, the Scribner edition of this story will also contain the Shirley Jackson Award nominated “Morality,” originally published in Esquire. The audio version is narrated by Craig Wasson, to whom King devoted his April 23/30 Entertainment Weekly column. You can hear an excerpt from the story here.

The SyFy TV series Haven is in production in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. There’s a brief teaser here. The pilot is directed by Adam Kane and stars Emily Rose,  Lucas Bryant, Eric Balfour, Richard Donat and John Dunsworth. The show premieres on July 9.

News from the Dead Zone #129

Of course the big news is the pending publication of Blockade Billy, a novella or novelette or novelesque, or something like that. It’s a baseball story with a twist, published by CD Publications this month. Of the book King says, “”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.” The story reveals the secret life of William “Blockade Billy” Blakely, a man who may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, although 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. As you read the story, be on the lookout for a character with a very familiar name…

Scribner plans to release an audio version of the story in May. Publishers Weekly says (in part): this suspenseful short is a deftly executed suicide squeeze, with sharp spikes hoisted high and aimed at the jugular on the slide home.

The four stories contained in King’s next book, Full Dark, No Stars are:  1922 (The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father),  Big Driver (Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences), Fair Extension  (Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay), and A Good Marriage (Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage).

King says that he “originally used Hemingford Home in The Stand because I wanted to put Mother Abigail in the American heartland. That’s Nebraska. Hemingford was in the right place. … I love Nebraska and keep going back to it in my fiction — when I’m not in Maine, that is.”

Haven, the new SyFy series inspired by The Colorado Kid, will premiere on Friday, July 9. “It’s definitely based on the characters of ‘The Colorado Kid, but I would say it’s about a girl named Audrey [Parker], who’s an orphan and becomes an FBI agent,” star Emily Rose says. “She ends up getting sent on this case up in Maine. When she goes up there, she kind of starts having these things happen to her, and she sort of starts feeling like she’s been called home. Paranormal things happen, and some exciting things happen for her, and it’s not only her unraveling this murder case, but kind of unraveling the case of herself, honestly. It’s pretty fascinating.” Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour also star in the series.

Dolan’s Cadillac is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray. My advice: rent it or skip it. I’ll have a full review in an upcoming issue of CD magazine.

Recent Entertainment Weekly columns: Stephen King on the Academy Awards, and Stephen King on the Kindle and the iPad. You might also be interested in Stephen King’s scary list: commercial radio, contemporary country music

News from the Dead Zone #127

News from the Dead Zone

Greetings and a belated Happy 2010! There hasn’t been a whole lot brewing lately, but there are some current and upcoming publications you might be interested in knowing about. There’s been no official word yet on what novels King will release in 2010, but word is that he has completed two since finishing Under the Dome so there will definitely be something this year.

The second part of King’s essay for Fangoria is in issue #290, which is reportedly on news stands now. This piece will be included in a reissue of Danse Macabre, which is also being released in audio for the first time.

The March/April issue of Playboy should be out soon. It contains the new King poem “Tommy.”

The TimesTalks event that King did in New York on November 10th is now available for viewing in the Multimedia section of King’s website.

Amazon now has a free PC version of the Kindle program so you can read Kindle-only content like “Ur” your computer. Here’s a preview of the audio version and a website dedicated to the story.

In this interview with See magazine, Elvis Costello discusses his character in Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.

Here’s an article about King’s participation in Shooter Jennings’ forthcoming album. King is the voice of Will O’ The Wisp, a radio talk-show host being phased out due to government censorship. He spends his last hour on the air delivering a diatribe about the decline of America, and playing the music of an important band — which happens to be Jennings’ new band, Hierophant. You can hear a clip from the album, including King’s narration at Jennings’ web site.

Entertainment Weekly: Best of TV 2009, Top 10 Films of 2009, Decoding Movie Blurbs

Two works about King were nominated for an Edgar award this year. Lisa Rogak’s Haunted Heart and my own The Stephen King Illustrated Companion. Here’s an interview I did recently that covers both this book and The Road to the Dark Tower.

“The Care and Feeding of a Style Sheet” by F. Paul Wilson

“The Care and Feeding of a Style Sheet”
by F. Paul Wilson
I think it started back in the mid 80s with Barry Malzberg’s The Engines of the Night. As I read through the essays, I noticed a paucity of commas—conspicuous by their absence from introductory clauses and elsewhere in the text. Since Barry was (and is) more conscious than most about style, I figured they were MIA by design. So I paid attention and realized I didn’t miss them. In fact, the prose flowed more swiftly and surely than it might have with them in place.
Hmmm.
So I began dropping certain commas in my fiction, experimenting with short stories first, then with a novel. I forget which book it was—Black Wind, perhaps—but I remember receiving the copyedited ms and discovering that the editor had added back all the commas I’d left out. Ack. I think it might have been Black Wind because I remember referring to the editor as a commakaze (sorry, but it’s true). So I had to go through the entire ms and remove those commas.
I was also starting to break out my dialog more—keeping it paragraphed away from narrative. I’ve discovered there’s something about the eye-brain connection that likes white space around text; it allows the mind to grasp meaning more quickly and clearly. Faster comprehension lends a sense of narrative momentum, which leads to the I-couldn’t-put-it-down reading experience. Copyeditors (to their credit, only occasionally) would attach my dialog to a preceding or succeeding narrative paragraph. I would have to go back and undo it.
After a couple of novel-length bouts of wasting precious writing time correcting the “corrections,” I asked why they couldn’t accept the quirks in my deathless prose. I learned that each publisher has its own style sheet that copyeditors must follow; if I wanted exceptions, I simply had to let them know.
Was that all it took? Cool.
So I started adding a note to the beginning of each ms asking the editor not to add commas or fiddle with my dialog paragraphing. As time went on and my idiosyncrasies multiplied, I created a formal style sheet that’s now included with every ms.
This is what it looks like nowadays. Feel free to copy and adapt to your own preferences.
TO THE COPY EDITOR
STYLE SHEET for (title)
No insult intended if the following appear to be basic common sense rules to you, but all are raised because of past difficulties.
Commas
I use the serial comma; other than that, I find most commas intrusive and use as few as possible. Please discard all your hard and fast rules about commas (i.e. with introductory clauses greater than 9 words, with if and when clauses, and so on). Add a comma ONLY when you feel it’s absolutely necessary for clarity. If it doesn’t enhance the sentence, please leave it out.
Who/Whom
I follow Theodore Bernstein’s “doom of whom” rule and use whom only when it directly follows the preposition; otherwise it’s who all the way.
The question mark
NO question mark with rhetorical or uninflected questions. (“You’re really mad, aren’t you.” That’s a statement.)
Paragraphing
I have my own way of paragraphing dialog—I like to break it out. It’s neither terribly unique nor radically unorthodox, but some editors can’t resist tacking a line of dialog onto the preceding narrative paragraph. Please don’t do that here.
Apostrophes
Certain characters in this novel haven’t pronounced the “g” in the suffix “-ing” for so long that drawing attention to its absence seems superfluous. So I have dispensed with those particular apostrophes.
Also…
The internal monologues of the above characters are in the same bad English they speak. (If they speak trailer-parkese, they won’t think in MFAese; they’ll stick to their patois.)
Thank you.
I don’t want to leave the impression that a writer’s relationship with the copyeditor is adversarial—you tugging toward “art” (whatever that is) and the hidebound copyeditor dragging you down to mundanity. Not at all. You both want the same thing: a perfect book. But the copyeditor is paid by the publisher to follow its guidelines . . . unless guided otherwise.
One thing I’ve learned: Good copyeditors are gold. They can make you look your best. You see your ms so often you become blind to its errors. A good copyeditor will spot them and flag them. No one’s perfect, and errors inevitably slip through, but the two of you are in league to hunt down and kill as many as possible. Typos and grammatical gaffs annoy readers and pull them out of the story. You do not want your reader out of your story.
The nice thing about staying with the same publisher is that you have the opportunity to work with the same copyeditor on subsequent mss. Becky M (I won’t give her last name because she may not want it floating around the Internet) and I have been working together for quite a few years now. She knows my quirks and will even remind me when I deviate from them. But Becky goes beyond that. Not only is she a usage and grammar whiz, she’s wise in the ways of the world, especially NYC where Jack roams. She’s caught me and called me out on errors regarding subways and hospitals and all manner of city sundries. She never ceases to amaze me with her fact-checking abilities. As long as she’s in the business, I want her on my books.
One last thing: If and when you do work up a style sheet, be polite. You’re entering a partnership with the copyeditor, and a sure way to sour that relationship is to come off as an arrogant son of a bitch. As perfect as you might think you are, you have made mistakes and you want them found and corrected before the book hits the shelves.

“The Care and Feeding of a Style Sheet”
by F. Paul Wilson

I think it started back in the mid 80s with Barry Malzberg’s The Engines of the Night. As I read through the essays, I noticed a paucity of commas—conspicuous by their absence from introductory clauses and elsewhere in the text. Since Barry was (and is) more conscious than most about style, I figured they were MIA by design. So I paid attention and realized I didn’t miss them. In fact, the prose flowed more swiftly and surely than it might have with them in place.

Hmmm.

So I began dropping certain commas in my fiction, experimenting with short stories first, then with a novel. I forget which book it was—Black Wind, perhaps—but I remember receiving the copyedited ms and discovering that the editor had added back all the commas I’d left out. Ack. I think it might have been Black Wind because I remember referring to the editor as a commakaze (sorry, but it’s true). So I had to go through the entire ms and remove those commas.

I was also starting to break out my dialog more—keeping it paragraphed away from narrative. I’ve discovered there’s something about the eye-brain connection that likes white space around text; it allows the mind to grasp meaning more quickly and clearly. Faster comprehension lends a sense of narrative momentum, which leads to the I-couldn’t-put-it-down reading experience. Copyeditors (to their credit, only occasionally) would attach my dialog to a preceding or succeeding narrative paragraph. I would have to go back and undo it.

After a couple of novel-length bouts of wasting precious writing time correcting the “corrections,” I asked why they couldn’t accept the quirks in my deathless prose. I learned that each publisher has its own style sheet that copyeditors must follow; if I wanted exceptions, I simply had to let them know.

Was that all it took? Cool.

So I started adding a note to the beginning of each ms asking the editor not to add commas or fiddle with my dialog paragraphing. As time went on and my idiosyncrasies multiplied, I created a formal style sheet that’s now included with every ms.

This is what it looks like nowadays. Feel free to copy and adapt to your own preferences.

TO THE COPY EDITOR

STYLE SHEET for (title)

No insult intended if the following appear to be basic common sense rules to you, but all are raised because of past difficulties.

Commas

I use the serial comma; other than that, I find most commas intrusive and use as few as possible. Please discard all your hard and fast rules about commas (i.e. with introductory clauses greater than 9 words, with if and when clauses, and so on). Add a comma ONLY when you feel it’s absolutely necessary for clarity. If it doesn’t enhance the sentence, please leave it out.

Who/Whom

I follow Theodore Bernstein’s “doom of whom” rule and use whom only when it directly follows the preposition; otherwise it’s who all the way.

The question mark

NO question mark with rhetorical or uninflected questions. (“You’re really mad, aren’t you.” That’s a statement.)

Paragraphing

I have my own way of paragraphing dialog—I like to break it out. It’s neither terribly unique nor radically unorthodox, but some editors can’t resist tacking a line of dialog onto the preceding narrative paragraph. Please don’t do that here.

Apostrophes

Certain characters in this novel haven’t pronounced the “g” in the suffix “-ing” for so long that drawing attention to its absence seems superfluous. So I have dispensed with those particular apostrophes.

Also…

The internal monologues of the above characters are in the same bad English they speak. (If they speak trailer-parkese, they won’t think in MFAese; they’ll stick to their patois.)

Thank you.

I don’t want to leave the impression that a writer’s relationship with the copyeditor is adversarial—you tugging toward “art” (whatever that is) and the hidebound copyeditor dragging you down to mundanity. Not at all. You both want the same thing: a perfect book. But the copyeditor is paid by the publisher to follow its guidelines . . . unless guided otherwise.

One thing I’ve learned: Good copyeditors are gold. They can make you look your best. You see your ms so often you become blind to its errors. A good copyeditor will spot them and flag them. No one’s perfect, and errors inevitably slip through, but the two of you are in league to hunt down and kill as many as possible. Typos and grammatical gaffs annoy readers and pull them out of the story. You do not want your reader out of your story.

The nice thing about staying with the same publisher is that you have the opportunity to work with the same copyeditor on subsequent mss. Becky M (I won’t give her last name because she may not want it floating around the Internet) and I have been working together for quite a few years now. She knows my quirks and will even remind me when I deviate from them. But Becky goes beyond that. Not only is she a usage and grammar whiz, she’s wise in the ways of the world, especially NYC where Jack roams. She’s caught me and called me out on errors regarding subways and hospitals and all manner of city sundries. She never ceases to amaze me with her fact-checking abilities. As long as she’s in the business, I want her on my books.

One last thing: If and when you do work up a style sheet, be polite. You’re entering a partnership with the copyeditor, and a sure way to sour that relationship is to come off as an arrogant son of a bitch. As perfect as you might think you are, you have made mistakes and you want them found and corrected before the book hits the shelves.

News From The Dead Zone #119

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, but things have been relatively quiet on the King front. However, next week, on September 15th to be exact, the signed/limited edition of Under the Dome goes on sale. The volume will cost. $200.00 plus shipping and handling, and is only available to residents of the United States. A limit of one per customer, and the book is only available here. This edition has a belly band around the jacket, a stamped case, four-color printed endpapers, 27 part title illustrations of characters in the book drawn by renowned New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee, and a ribbon marker. The edition also contains a deck of 27 special collector’s cards featuring the Diffee caricatures. Printed on specialty paper. Shrink-wrapped. The book will ship on November 19, 2009.

An excerpt from Under The Dome appears in the paperback edition of Just After Sunset.

The Stephen King Illustrated Companion should be in Barnes & Nobles’ warehouses by September 25, at which point you should be able to order it via their website. The book will take an additional week or two to make it into stores.

Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with this thread on King’s official site: Under the Dome signing tour. It is the place to get all the late-breaking news about the rules and regulations for getting tickets to see King or get a signed book during his upcoming tour. Many of the events have sold out within minutes of the tickets going on sale, so pay sharp attention. A couple of events are still awaiting finalization of details before official announcements concerning location and ticket purchase are made.

Children of the Corn is coming to the small screen later on this month (Saturday, September 26 at 9pm Eastern/Pacific on SyFy) but in an unprecedented move, Dimension Films is planning its own big-screen remake of the story. No release date has been set, but Ehren Kruger has been tapped to write the script.

Brothers John and Paul Buckholts have secured the rights and are developing an adaptation of “Home Delivery.” The story, as you may recall, takes place on a Maine island where survivors escape from the undead. According to Paul, Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train) is attached to direct.

King’s 2-page poem “Mostly Old Men” appears in issue #40 of Tin House magazine. Back issues can be ordered at their website.

Entertainment Weekly columns and articles:

News From The Dead Zone #118

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

More news about King’s publicity tour for Under the Dome is emerging. Both the New York and Portsmouth events are sold out, according to recent reports. Details about other events have not been made public. Check King’s message board for the most up-to-date information about the tour. The DC/Baltimore and Atlanta events will be straight signings, with no on-stage event, whereas for the others King will presign 250 books that will be made available for sale to attendees, although there may well be more attendees than books for some events.

November 10 – NYC (sold out)
November 11 – D.C. or Baltimore
November 13 – Atlanta
November 16 – Sarasota
November 18 – Minneapolis
November 19 – Toronto
December 1 – Portsmouth, NH (sold out)
December 2 – Manchester, VT

King is quoted in this article about the timing of the release of electronic versions of books: Stephen King, whose novel Under the Dome is being published in November by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, said in an e-mail message that “we’re all thinking and talking about electronic publishing and how to deal with these issues,” adding, “but I can’t say anything right now.” The electronic version of the book isn’t scheduled to be released until early 2010.

Scribner will publish two Collector’s Editions of Under the Dome. The regular Collector’s Edition will have a special jacket with a belly band, a stamped case, four-color printed endpapers, a ribbon marker, and will contain a set of 27 special trading cards featuring drawings of characters from the book (drawn by cartoonist Matthew Diffee). These drawings will also be featured in the book—as a frontispiece image and on the 26 part title pages. The book will be shrink-wrapped and Scribner will print only 25,000 copies of this edition, priced at $75. Scribner is also offering 1,500 copies of a signed, limited Collector’s Edition. This contains all the special elements listed above, plus the book will be signed by the author. This is priced at $200 and will only be sold through their web site. “We’re doing this to generate additional revenue,” says Susan Moldow, publisher of Simon & Schuster’s Scribner imprint. “We used to have a regular business of signed first edition mysteries, but we stopped because there wasn’t an additional mark-up…This is fighting back against the disappearance of the book as an object,” she adds.

An Under the Dome excerpt will be in a fall issue of Entertainment Weekly.

Rand Holston at CAA is currently out with the film rights to Under the Dome. According to Publishers Weekly, the book’s heft may be making it tough for Hollywood execs to see the story working as a feature; one insider said all the activity in the book is causing some to think Dome makes more sense as a miniseries.

Marvel Comics and Random House’s Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group have reached an agreement to allow The Stand: Captain Trips to be distributed in the general bookstore market beginning in January 2010. The hardcover omnibus was originally released exclusively through comics shops in March after Marvel acknowledged that it did not have permission from the book’s original publisher, Doubleday, now a part of Random House, to distribute it to the general bookstores.

Issue #3 of Fall of Gilead is now out.

The special B&W issue 0 of The Talisman was distributed at Comic-Con. The standard version of this prequel will be available in comic shops in October. The first issue of the first six-issue arc, The Road of Trials, will also appear in October. The current plan is for a total of three arcs, each about six issues.

John Harrison, whose Clive Barker-based feature Book of Blood premiered at Montreal’s Fantasia film festival recently, is writing a four-hour miniseries based on Cell for the Weinstein Company, which had originally planned to turn the book into a theatrical feature (with Eli Roth attached at one point to direct), but decided to abandon those plans and will be shopping the project to networks instead. Having served as assistant director/composer on the Creepshow and helmed Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (including an adaptation of  “Cat from Hell”), Harrison considers Cell one of King’s best recent books, with opening chapters that will make an incredible first 30 minutes on screen. The filmmaker adds that he doesn’t see this as a zombie story so much as a Village of the Damned-esque chiller, and enjoys the fact that the infected populace possesses a hive mentality. While he has not been officially contracted to direct, he would certainly like to.

The remake of Children of the Corn will premiere on SyFy (formerly SciFi network) on Saturday, September 26 at 9pm Eastern/Pacific.

Here is King’s most recent Entertainment Weekly article: Memories of Michael Jackson.

News From The Dead Zone #117

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Still haven’t had a chance to read “Ur”? Well, you’ll have to wait a while longer. However, the story will be available as an audiobook on February 16, 2010. The reader has not yet been selected. The suggested retail price is $14.99 in CD format or $11.99 for the download edition which will be available July 2010.

“Morality” is now online at Esquire if you didn’t manage to pick up a copy of the magazine. The classic (and rare) short story Weeds is also online at the Cavalier web site.

Barnes & Noble will be publishing The Stephen King Illustrated Companion by yours truly later on this year.

A limited, black-and-white convention edition of Issue 0 of The Talisman graphic novel will be available for free exclusively at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, taking place July 22-26. The special issue will be distributed by Del Rey at Booth #1129. The non-limited version will be available in comic book stores everywhere on October 21, 2009.

A sidebar about actress Emmanuelle Vaugier says that Dolan’s Cadillac is due out in December. Not quite sure in what form or what venues. It’s already been released on DVD in Sweden.

According to Camelot Books, these are the features of the Collectors Edition of Under the Dome:

  • Belly band
  • Jacket (will be the same jacket as on the trade state)
  • Housed in a stamped case
  • 4 color printed endpapers
  • Ribbon marker
  • Deck of cards (apparently this relates to the book)
  • Shrinkwrapped
  • 25,000 copies

A new message from King from his message board: “I’m delighted to tell you that I won not one but TWO Stoker Awards at this year’s ceremony, one for Duma Key (Best Novel) and one for Just After Sunset (Best Collection). My motto is, You can never be too thin, too rich, or win too many Stoker Awards. (If you’ve never seen one, the awards are most excellently cool.) My thanks to everyone who voted, and my congratulations to all the other nominees. Most of all, though, thanks to everyone who bought those books and enjoyed them. (And if you bought them and didn’t enjoy them, I still thank you.)”

News From The Dead Zone #115

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Look for the July issue of Esquire , on newsstands shortly, for a new story called Morality. You aren’t likely to miss it–the story is painted on the body of model Bar Refaeli on the front cover. Here is the story description: Chad, an aspiring writer who is teaching school until he lands a publishing contract, and his wife, Nora, who is working as a home nurse for a retired minister, are like most people these days struggling financially.  Nora is approached by her employer with a proposition that could make their dream of a home in Vermont a reality.  But will it be worth the moral consequences? And here is a link to the cover.

King’s summer picks are now up on his official web site. He also has an Entertainment Weekly column touting 7 Great Books for Summer.

Scribner is keeping wraps on the cover art for Under the Dome until September, at which time they will launch it with a special promotion. There will be an excerpt of the novel in a summer issue of Entertainment Weekly.

The production of the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County CD/book package is slated to commence on June 15, when producer T Bone Burnett begins laying down the tracks in Los Angeles for the 18 new songs John Mellencamp has written for his musical theater collaboration with King. King’s dialog will later be assembled in John’s Belmont Studio. The cast for the production is still not finalized. Projected release of the completed project is next January and will be in more than one configuration, with a “deluxe” version to include a book containing the show’s full text and song lyrics, a CD featuring the show’s dialog and songs, and a second CD with only the songs.

According to a recent interview, Eli Roth is no longer attached to direct an adaptation of Cell. “I walked away from it,” he says. “I love Stephen King and I love the book, but I want to write my own stories.”

“The Things They Left Behind” has been optioned by 1492 Pictures in partnership with Reliance Big Entertainment.

News From The Dead Zone #8

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The Amazon Fishbowl episode where Bill Maher interviews King is now online. One blogster wondered aloud how the folks at Amazon feel about the drug and booze discussion that was part of their 10-minute set. “Now, it’s one thing when you’re hearing this type of thing on late night TV, but on the front page of an e-tailer’s Web site? In broad daylight? While at work? It’s kind of a different brand resonance for Amazon than I expected. Will we be seeing more of this type of disconnect as programming becomes increasingly un-hitched from time-of-day (and expected place of consumption)?”

For all his apparent disdain of cell phones, don’t think for a minute that King is reactionary against all technology. He is quoted in a NY Times article as saying, “It wounds me to be called a technophobe” in a statement sent – as if to prove his point – by e-mail.

Here’s an article about Tom Gordon’s trade to Philly and his awareness of Stephen King.