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IT: The 25th Anniversary Special Limited Edition by Stephen King

“I worked on the book in a dream. I remember very little about the writing of it, except for the idea that I’d gotten hold of something that felt very big to me, and something that talked about more than monsters…”
— Stephen King, from the exclusive afterword for this special edition

It: The 25th Anniversary Special Limited Edition
by Stephen King

IT by Stephen King

Read more on our website or place your order before time runs out!

Discuss this project on our message board!

As always, thanks for your continued support and enthusiasm!

News from the Dead Zone #141

The dust jacket artwork for 11/22/63 has been revealed and is now available at this link. The design created by veteran digital artist Rex Bonomelli offers a glimpse into the epic tale that hits the shelves on November 8th 2011. There’s also a book trailer with some jazzy music here.

King’s new short story, Herman Wouk is Still Alive, can be read online at The Atlantic, along with an interview (Stephen King on the Creative Process, the State of Fiction, and More) and an editorial.

In an interview with Ain’t it Cool News, American Vampire creator Scott Snyder says that King is contributing a foreword to Volume 2, which is due out in May and leaves open the possibility that King might write for the graphic novel again in the future.

King is also contributing an introduction to a new Faber & Faber edition of The Lord of the Flies by William Golding that celebrates the 100th anniversary of Golding’s birth. Publisher Hannah Griffiths says, “We only approached him because we knew he loved the book – writers like him must get 50 requests a day. [But] he was back on email really quickly and said ‘I don’t do a lot of these but this one I’ve got to do’.” King delivered his introduction ahead of deadline, and has written about how he first came across and read Lord of the Flies as well as giving his critical perspective on the novel. “It’s quite autobiographical,” said Griffiths, who described the introduction as “beyond my wildest dreams”. There are “so many boring combos” of authors and introductions out there, she added, but King and Golding “is just the best combination of writers ever”. The book comes out in the UK in August.

On the Dark Tower movie/TV adaptation front, Mark Verheiden has signed on to co-write the NBC TV series with Akiva Goldsman. Verheiden’s TV credits include HeroesSmallville, and Battlestar Galactica.

Mark these dates on your calendar: April 4 – May 13, 2012. That is the date of the recently announced run of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA.  “In keeping with the Alliance’s tradition of producing new American musicals, the company will produce the world premiere of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a chilling new musical with music and lyrics by John Mellencamp and book by Stephen King, as the closing show of the Alliance Stage Series season set for spring, 2012. Based on a true story, one of the world’s most popular authors and one of America’s most honored musicians have created a riveting Southern gothic musical fraught with mystery, tragedy, and ghosts of the past, along with a roots and blues-tinged score that is sure to leave audiences asking for more. Alliance Artistic Director Susan V. Booth directs, with musical direction provided by legendary producer T Bone Burnett. In the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi in 1957, a terrible tragedy took the lives of two brothers and a beautiful young girl. During the next forty years, the events of that night became the stuff of local legend. But legend is often just another word for lie. Joe McCandless knows what really happened; he saw it all. The question is whether or not he can bring himself to tell the truth in time to save his own troubled sons, and whether the ghosts left behind by an act of violence will help him – or tear the McCandless family apart forever.

Production for the second season of Haven is now underway in Nova Scotia, Canada. Vinessa Antoine has signed on for the recurring role of Evidence “Evi” Ryan. Her character is a former con artist and lover of Duke’s. Jason Priestley will also join this season to direct one episode and guest star in a four-episode story arc. The show returns on SyFy on July 15.

 

News from the Dead Zone #140

Which artist would you like to have illustrate The Wind Through the Keyhole? You get to have your say on this subject via a poll being conducted at King’s official web site. Voting closes on April 1st, so don’t delay!

King’s 6500-word short story, “Herman Wouk is Still Alive,” will be published in the May issue of The Atlantic, on newsstands April 19 and available on the web and to subscribers a week earlier. For those unfamiliar with that name, he is the author of The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance.

The official page count for the Scribner edition of 11/22/63 is 864. King first talked about this idea in Marvel Spotlight: The Dark Tower, published on January 27, 2007. It remains to be seen whether some of the ideas he discussed in that interview made it into the book.

King tells Entertainment Weekly that he is in talks to write an episode of the AMC zombie series The Walking Dead, which is executive-produced by Frank Darabont. If this comes about, it could be for season 2 or season 3, and King might share the writing with Joe Hill.

The next cycle in the Marvel adaptation of the Dark Tower is The Battle of Tull, which launches a five-issue arc in June. Eisner Award nominee Michael Lark joins the team for this series. “I have nothing but respect and admiration for Stephen King and the chance to work on the Dark Tower is a wonderful privilege,” said Lark. “I only hope that I can come close to conveying his vision – a daunting task, but a challenge that I’m enjoying tremendously. It has allowed me to explore the darker aspects of my art and really start pushing some of the boundaries of my own style. And who doesn’t love drawing cowboys and horses?!”

Bluewater Comics says it will work with King on a bio-comic about his “incomparable” career. Orbit: Stephen King, scheduled for release in May, will trace the King’s career from rejections and anonymity to global fame. “It includes insight on his legacy as a writer, his love of the Boston Red Sox, forays into film, drug and alcohol issues, and the accident [in 1999] that nearly cost him his life,” Bluewater says in a release. All in just 32 pages!

Sometimes authors are asked to blurb books, and sometimes they are just so taken by a book that they send in their comments unsolicited. Such is the case with King’s comments on Robert McCammon’s next book. “The Five isn’t just Robert McCammon’s best novel in years; it’s his best novel ever. Terrifying, suspenseful, unputdownable, and full of rock and roll energy. It’s also uplifting, a book you’ll finish feeling better about your world, your friends, and your music. Here’s one you’ll beg friends to read.”

And sometimes he’s asked for his opinion, as in the case of the new HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, based on the James M. Cain novel. He writes:  Kate Winslet Is Mommie Dearest in Mildred Pierce.

Filming for the second season of Haven begins in Nova Scotia in April and will carry through until late August. Here’s an article about how happy the locals are to have the production back in the area.

News from the Dead Zone #139

StephenKing.com is proud to officially announce The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole. The next installment of the epic series is set for release in 2012. For more information, see the announcement letter from Stephen King.

It won’t tell you much that’s new about Roland and his friends, but there’s a lot none of us knew about Mid-World, both past and present. The novel is shorter than DT 2-7, but quite a bit longer than the first volume—call this one DT-4.5. It’s not going to change anybody’s life, but God, I had fun.

News from the Dead Zone #138

Scribner announced Stephen King’s next novel this morning. The title is 11/22/63 and it will be in stores on November 8, 2011. A palindromic date (11/8/11) in the US.  Here is the book’s description:

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. If you had the chance to change history, would you? Would the consequences be worth it?

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

See King’s website, Scribner’s website and Hodder & Stoughton’s website for more.

At the Academy Awards last weekend, MTV asked Brian Grazer for news about casting for the Dark Tower film adaptation. Grazer said, “[Javier Bardem] is locked in psychologically,” Grazer said. “He really wants to do it, so we’re absolutely rooting for him to do it.” Until they cast Roland, they aren’t pursuing actors for any other roles, Grazer said.

King has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the Mason Award from the Fall for the Book Festival at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. He will be presented the award at a ceremony on September 23, 2011 and will be speaking and/or reading for approximately 30-45 minutes. Details regarding the speech and a possible signing to follow are still being negotiated. More information, including how to secure tickets for the event, will be posted here.

Full Dark, No Stars was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Collection. Winning titles will be announced at the Stoker Weekend in Long Island NY, June 16-19, 2011.

 

News from the Dead Zone #137

Happy New Year, everyone! Can’t believe this is my first post of 2011. And what news we have! Though several actors have been named as possible candidates to play the part of Roland in the Dark Tower movie/TV adaptation, the word today (confirmed by King’s office) is that Javier Bardem has been offered the role. No word yet on whether he has accepted, but this announcement has stirred some passioned responses. The main complaints seem to be that 1) he doesn’t look the way people envision Roland (especially the eyes) and 2) he has an accent. Neither of those issues matters to me. Give him blue contacts and a few months with a dialect coach and those matters will vanish. I think this he’s a good choice. We’ve seen him do stone cold killer before. If we can’t have Timothy Olyphant (from Justified), Bardem will do just fine.

Ron Howard has talked a little bit about his plans for the series in recent interviews. He will be directing at least the first movie and perhaps all three. He will also direct the intervening TV series, which are now better described as limited-run miniseries (six to eight hours), which will probably air on an NBC affiliate like SyFy or USA. The same actors will appear on the big screen and on the TV miniseries. Akiva Goldsman is scripting the first movie, and will write the TV component as well. One report says that the second TV series will be the flashback to Roland’s youth.

In related news, the second issue of the Marvel adaptation of Little Sisters of Eluria is out this week and the hardcover collection of The Journey Begins is out today as well. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with the standalone issue Sheemie’s Tale, which was originally slated for last fall. Some reports have it coming out this week as well.

If you missed King’s U-stream chat last fall, it can now be seen on the Full Dark, No Stars web site. In that interview he reveals that he’s written a screenplay for “A Good Marriage” and hopes it’s made into a film. He was supposed to provide details about his next book, but due to technical difficulties toward the end that question didn’t get asked, so now we’ll have to wait for a while to find out more.

In early January, King said that he would no longer be writing regular columns for Entertainment Weekly. After his three Top 10 columns in December (Top 10 Books, Top 10 TV shows, Top 10 Movies), he published one final column, So Long, My Friends. “After seven years of waxing philosophical about all things pop culture, Uncle Stevie says goodbye.” (not yet online).

For an interesting glimpse behind the scenes, check out this podcast: A peek inside the office with Marsha DeFilippo.

In the January issue of Down East magazine, a columnist asks King about his concept of “the real Maine.” He replied, “My idea of the real Maine is lunch at Rosie’s Diner in Lovell. Especially in the fall, after the summer folks go home. Grab a copy of the local paper (the Bridgton News), sit at the counter, and order the blueberry pancakes (with real maple syrup). Bacon on the side’s optional. The cook wears a Red Sox hat, there’s a picture of Elvis over the specials board,and the locals talk politics and football while the leaves fall outside. If you like, when you finish your lunch, you can stroll across to the public library. Not bad.”

News from the Dead Zone #136

Stephen King will be participating in a live chat about Full Dark, No Stars on Wednesday, December 8th, from 7-8 p.m. Eastern. If you have a question you would like King to answer during the chat, send it to Scribner . RSVP to the event and join it live here.

King signed copies of Full Dark, No Stars in Portsmouth, NH last week. Here’s an article about the event. There’s a tag-team review of the book at Amazon: Justin Cronin reviews 1922, Suzanne Collins reviews Big Driver, Margaret Atwood reviews A Good Marriage and T.C. Boyle reviews Fair Extension.

Recent Entertainment Weekly columns:

News from the Dead Zone #135

A week from today Full Dark, No Stars will be released. Scribner has a dedicated website for the book, with excerpts, King’s “liner notes” and more. Don’t neglect to click around on the graphics for each story. You will be richly rewarded! The signed versions of Cemetery Dance’s limited edition are sold out, but there are still some copies of the trade edition available. A few—this beautiful version moved fast! The wraparound cover by Tomislav Tikulin is gorgeous. Each story has a different illustrator: Glenn Chadbourne, Jill Bauman, Alan M. Clark and Vincent Chong. Check out the link to see samples of the art.

Hodder & Stoughton has been producing mini movies for each story. So far I’ve seen ones for 1922 and Big Driver. Mainstream reviews are starting to come in, too. Washington Post review by Bill Sheehan, Fort Worth Star Telegram review, The Scotsman.

Mark this date in your calendar: Friday, May 17, 2013. That’s the day Universal will launch the first movie in the Dark Tower adaptation. Director Ron Howard acknowledges Peter Jackson’s influence in their approach to the adaptation. “What Peter did was a feat, cinematic history. The approach we’re taking also stands on its own, but it’s driven by the material. I love both, and like what’s going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television. We’ve put some real time and deep thought into this, and a lot of conversations and analysis from a business standpoint, to get people to believe in this and take this leap with us. I hope audiences respond to it in a way that compels us to keep going after the first year or two of work. It’s fresh territory for me, as a filmmaker.”

If you’ve been waiting for the hardcover collection of the Marvel “N” adaptation, it’s now available. If you’ve been waiting for a second arc to the Del Rey adaptation of The Talisman, that series appears to be on hold at present.

Check out King’s final selections in his Empire.

The U.S. cable network Syfy says Haven will return next summer. The 13-episode second season will begin shooting on location in Nova Scotia, Canada, in the spring.

New Entertainment Weekly column: Stephen King on Pop Music (original title “Higher and Higher”)

News from the Dead Zone #134

Reviews of Full Dark, No Stars are coming in. You can see reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly and Library Journal at this thread on my message board. There’s also an audio excerpt from “A Good Marriage” at the Scribner site, read by Jessica Hecht and a Full Dark, No Stars trailer on the same page.

If you missed out on “Throttle,” the collaboration between King and his son Joe Hill, inspired by the Richard Matheson story “Duel,” there’s a new edition of He is Legend out from Tor. Hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions all available. His short story “Beachworld” will be reprinted in Issue 5 of Lightspeed magazine. There are few authors in the world about whom you can honestly say “he needs no introduction.” But when you’re talking about Stephen King, that’s most certainly the truth. “Beachworld,” one of the horror master’s rare forays into straight-up science fiction, follows the plight of the two survivors of a far-future interstellar spaceflight, who crash land on a harsh and unforgiving planet.

According to the USA Today review of American Vampire, King is toying with another comic book idea called Afterlife. “It’s something I’d like to try,” he says. “But then on the other hand, I’d also like to learn how to be a gourmet cook, so who knows?” You can read his introduction to the hardcover edition here.

The next series in the Marvel Dark Tower adaptation will be The Little Sisters Of Eluria, launching in December.

King offered his opinion in a CNN piece about the ebook industry. He talks about what scares him in this clip from his appearance at the New Yorker festival. “Disney pictures are scary as shit. They all are.”

Here’s an interview King did while on the set of Sons of Anarchy and a bunch of stills from his cameo.

Off Broadway, the MCC Theater has acquired the rights to mount the first professional production of Carrie since it closed on Broadway in 1988, three days after opening to a pile of hide-under-the-covers reviews and setting a record by losing more than $7 million. The musical’s original creative team and the director Stafford Arima are working toward a major production at the Lucille Lortel Theater during the 2011-12 season, according to MCC’s co-artistic director Bernard Telsey. Here’s the full article, and here’s the original review of the musical from 1988.

For Italian King fans, Tutto su Stephen King, the translation of The Stephen King Illustrated Companion, will be released by Sperling & Kupfer on October 26.

Recent Entertainment Weekly column: Stephen King’s Hits and Misses

News From the Dead Zone #133

Look at the Dark Tower. It’s a movie. Now it’s a TV series. Now it’s a movie again. Now it’s both.

Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television issued a press release this week detailing their creative plan for an adaptation of the Dark Tower series, including related short stories and the Marvel comic series. Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman are planning for the first film in the trilogy to be immediately followed by a television series that will bridge the second film. After the second film, the television series will pick up, allowing viewers to explore the adventures of the protagonist as a young man as a bridge to the third film and beyond. Here’s the official page at King’s web site tracking the project.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, King said, “I always thought it would take more than a single movie, but I didn’t see this solution coming — i.e., several movies and TV series. It was Ron [Howard] and Akiva [Goldsman]‘s idea. Once it was raised, I thought at once it was the solution.” He also joked that the cast of the Twilight series should be considered for various roles and suggested himself for the voice of Blaine the mono.

Don’t forget to check out the September 21 episode of the FX series Sons of Anarchy, which will feature King’s cameo as a guy named Bachman.

The comparatively rare King short story “The Crate,” which was adapted as one of the installments in Creepshow, will be reprinted in Shivers VI from CD Publications. (I also have a story in this massive anthology, by the way.)

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 #128

News From the Dead Zone

King’s 2010 book from Scribner will be a collection of four previously unpublished novellas. Full Dark, No Stars will be out in November, possibly on November 9.  (Update: One of the novellas is about Hemingford Home.)

Mick Garris’s adaptation of Bag of Bones has switched gears. Previously planned as a feature film, it will now be turned into a television miniseries. Screenwriter Matt Venne is converting his film script into the miniseries format. Though no details about the network have emerged, Garris says that  the deal is being finalized and he hopes to start shooting in the late spring to early summer.

He is Legend, the Richard Matheson tribute anthology Christopher Conlon edited in 2009 for Gauntlet Press, will be reprinted by Tor in trade hardcover this fall, with the paperback appearing sometime after that. The book contains the King/Joe Hill collaboration “Throttle.” There will also be a Japanese reprint.

SyFy  announced it has cast Emily Rose as the lead in its upcoming series Haven, inspired by The Colorado Kid, which the network said will premiere later this year. Production begins this spring in Canada. Rose will play FBI agent Audrey Parker, who investigates a murder in the small town of Haven, Maine, and finds herself caught up in a web of supernatural activity among its citizens.

In Entertainment Weekly: Stephen King on J.D. Salinger: ‘The last of the great post-WWII American writers’ and Stephen King Talks About “The Jay Leno Show”

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.

News From the Dead Zone #126

News from the Dead Zone

The schedule for the graphic novel adaptation of N. has finally been announced. Issue 1 (of 4) goes on sale in March. The creative team of Marc Guggenheim and Alex Maleev, also responsible for the Motion Comic version, tell the story of something terrifying hidden in Ackerman’s Field. “It’s absolutely thrilling for Marvel to be working on ‘N.’ again and having the honor to publish it as a comic book miniseries,” said said Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel Senior Vice President, Development & Planning, Print, Animation and Digital Media. “Both as a fan of the story and a producer on the ‘N.’ motion comic, I am absolutely psyched for the terrifying ride that Marc, Alex, and the editors have planned for readers!”

John Mellencamp has virtually completed recording and “assembling” the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County musical theater collaboration with King. They have edited the initial three-hour program down to two hours and 10 minutes—with a bit more editing still to come before producer T-Bone Burnett completes the tracks. When finished, the recording will be available in a novel book package containing the full text, two discs featuring the entire production of the spoken word script and songs performed by the cast, and a third CD of the songs only. The cast is led by Kris Kristofferson, in the role of Joe, the father, and Elvis Costello, as the satanic character The Shape. Rosanne Cash plays Monique, the mother, with the sons enacted by Will Daily (Frank), Dave Alvin (Jack), Alvin’s real-life brother Phil Alvin (Andy) and John (Drake). Sheryl Crow stars as Jenna and Neko Case is Anna, with boxing legend Joe Frazier playing caretaker Dan Coker and King himself in the role of Uncle Steve. The narrator is “24” star Glenn Morshower. Mellencamp stressed that the three-disc package is not a traditional audio book, but offers an experience more akin to listening to an old radio show with music; he further emphasized the challenge inherent in making such a project work. See Mellencamp’s official web site for more.

Twitter update: From Peter Straub “In about a year SK and I will begin planning a new book.”

The jig is up — I was Scarecrow Joe in the ARG promotion for Under the Dome. Read more about my experience here.

The March issue of Playboy will contain King’s poem “Tommy,” an eerie yet touching reminiscence of childhood friendships and the ways innocence and experience intertwine.

According to Producer Dan Lin, writer Dave Kajganich is expected to turn in a draft of his script for the planned remake of It over Christmas.

Here is streaming audio of King’s appearance in Portsmouth, NH, featuring a reading from Under the Dome followed by a discussion. A couple of articles relating to his appearance in Manchester, VT here and here. And check out this great local news report on NECN about King’s visit to Bridgton and the connections between that town and Chester’s Mill. Finally, here is the episode of the Colbert Report on which King was a guest.

Gauntlet Press is releasing Stephen King’s Battleground in 2010. The volume contains King’s short story, Richard Christian Matheson’s script for the TNT adaptation, storyboards and other material.

Entertainment Weekly: King’s top 10 books of 2009.

News From The Dead Zone #125

When’s the last time you got a say in what book Stephen King is going to write next? Never! But now King is asking for people to express their preferences between two possible novels. Voting is open at his official web site until Jan 1, 2010. Here is his message on the matter:

Hey, you guys–I saw a lot of you Constant Readers while I was touring for Under the Dome, and I must say you’re looking good. Thanks for turning out in such numbers, and thanks for all the nice things you’ve said about Under the Dome. There’ll be another book next year. It’s a good one, I think, but that’s not why I’m writing. I mentioned two potential projects while I was on the road, one a new Mid-World book (not directly about Roland Deschain, but yes, he and his friend Cuthbert are in it, hunting a skin-man, which are what werewolves are called in that lost kingdom) and a sequel to The Shining called Doctor Sleep. Are you interested in reading either of these? If so, which one turns your dials more? Ms. Mod will be counting your votes (and of course it all means nothing if the muse doesn’t speak). Meanwhile, thanks again for 2009.

According to Ms. Mod, this isn’t an either/or proposal–King may write both of these books. It’s more a matter of which one you’d like to see first.

The Torontoist has this summary of King’s discussion of Dr. Sleep: “Seems King was wondering whatever happened to Danny Torrance of The Shining, who when readers last saw him was recovering from his ordeal at the Overlook Hotel at a resort in Maine with fellow survivors Wendy Torrance and chef Dick Halloran (who dies in the Kubrick film version). King remarked that though he ended his 1977 novel on a positive note, the Overlook was bound to have left young Danny with a lifetime’s worth of emotional scars. What Danny made of those traumatic experiences, and with the psychic powers that saved him from his father at the Overlook, is a question that King believes might make a damn fine sequel. So what would a sequel to one of King’s most beloved novels look like? In King’s still tentative plan for the novel, Danny is now 40 years old and living in upstate New York, where he works as the equivalent of an orderly at a hospice for the terminally ill. Danny’s real job is to visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers. Danny also has a sideline in betting on the horses, a trick he learned from his buddy Dick Hallorann.”

In the aftermath of that statement, numerous news sources assumed that King was committed to writing the novel, which caused him to issue a sort of retraction via Entertainment Weekly. “It’s a great idea, and I just can’t seem to get down to it,” says the author in an e-mail. “People shouldn’t hold their breath. I know it would be cool, though. I want to write it just for the title, Dr. Sleep. I even told them [at the book signing], ‘It will probably never happen.'” Still, King — whose most recent novel is this month’s Under the Dome — can’t quite shut the door on the Shining sequel, adding, “But ‘probably’ isn’t ‘positively,’ so maybe.” The poll appeared on his website a few days later.

Concerning the next book (before he tackles either of these two), he said this in Toronto: “I have one (story) that’s kind of like Under the Dome, that I tried to write when I was 22 or 23 years old and I’m going to try to go back to that after this tour. I’d like to write that one. Beyond that, I have things that bounce around in my head. Dome bounced around a long time. I don’t keep a writer’s notebook of ideas because I’ve felt all my life that if I get a really good idea, it will stick.”

King’s appearance on The Hour can be found on the CBC website. Here is a one-minute clip of King and Cronenberg on stage in Toronto. Here are three video snippets from Talking Volumes in Minneapolis:

King reviews Raymond Carver’s Life and Stories in the NY Times. His latest Entertainment Weekly column is My Ultimate Playlist.

SyFy has ordered 13 episodes of Haven, the weekly TV series inspired by The Colorado Kid. Haven centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay — while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven. Producer Lloyd Segan talks about the show in this interview.

Casting has commenced for the reboot of Carrie: The Musical. The cast will feature Sutton Foster as gym teacher Ms. Gardner, Marin Mazzie as Margaret White, Molly Ranson as Carrie and Jennifer Damiano as Sue. Also revealed in the cast are “American Idol” finalist Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray, The Toxic Avenger) as Chris, Matt Doyle as Tommy and John Arthur Greene as Billy. The Carrie ensemble includes Corey Boardman, Lilli Cooper, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, Benjamin Eakeley, Emily Ferranti, Kyle Harris, Philip Hoffman, Kaitlin Kiyan, Max Kumangai, Mackenzie Mauzy, Preston Sadleir, Jonathan Schwartz, Bud Weber and Sasha Weiss. Producer Seller has reunited composer Michael Gore, lyricist Dean Pitchford and book writer Lawrence D. Cohen, whom took a crack at the stage show back in 1988 to reprise their roles for this update.  You can actually check out an official Carrie: The Musical website with plenty of tid-bits on the original show, as well as info on the new one right here.

News From The Dead Zone #124

More Under the Dome reviews:

Here is the video of King’s appearance on Good Morning America. He will be on The View tomorrow, Friday the 13th, and in Atlanta in the evening for his signing appearance, which I will be attending.

Here are some photos of the Limited Edition and the last words of Under the Dome pictured in London. Here’s an interview with the winner of the UK contest for hiding snippets from the book. He won a limited edition printer’s proof. Also, an ABC reporter discovers he’s in Under the Dome.

Here’s a report on King’s appearance in NYC. The video should be available at King’s website in the coming days. King did a 10 minute Q&A before his signing in Dundalk, MD and YouTube has the video and the Baltimore Sun has this article: Attention, shoppers: Stephen King in Aisle 2.

Lilja’s Under the Dome week features the following fascinating interviews:

Among the news items arising from King’s public appearances this week:

  • Under the Dome may be an HBO miniseries. The rights to the novel were acquired by Steven Spielberg’s production company
  • King has written a screenplay for Cell, so he thinks that’s going to happen. He said that he had gotten so many complaints about the ending of the book that he changed everything.
  • He still plans to work on a sequel to Black House, though nothing is definite at this point
  • He wonders what became of Danny Torrance
  • He has an idea for a new Dark Tower book, the working title of which will be THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE. He has not yet started this book and anticipates that it will be a minimum of eight months before he is able to begin writing it.

King talks about his 10 longest novels in this combination print interview/podcast at Time.com. Note that the print section is shorter than what he actually says on the individual audio files.

The folks at McSweeney’s are producing a celebration of newsprint, a reimagined newspaper for their next issue. The 380-page San Francisco Panorama will be out in early December, and features an essay by King about the World Series. Check out the tease here.

JJ Abrams reinforces an earlier statement that he and Damon Lindelof are not working on a Dark Tower movie adaptation.”The ‘Dark Tower’ thing is tricky,” he said. “It’s such an important piece of writing. The truth is that Damon and I are not looking at that right now.” [read more]

Feature Review: Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome by Stephen King
reviewed by Bev Vincent

Let’s get this out of the way: Under the Dome is not the second coming of The Stand. Both novels have impressive page counts and huge casts; however, there are fundamental differences between them.

Under the DomeKing used the entire continental US as his tableau in The Stand, whereas in Under the Dome he is confined to Chester’s Mill, Maine. The Stand was a chess game, with King taking months of story time to maneuver his characters into position.  Under the Dome is a rapid-paced game of checkers—with one piece in the back row already crowned before the start of play.

The books explore good and evil, but in The Stand these concepts were taken to an absolute level. God does not appear in the Dramatis Personae of Under the Dome. The most sincere “religious” character is a minister who doesn’t even believe in Him any more. The town leaders loudly proclaim their faith and “get knee-bound” in times of crisis, but are corrupt and decidedly un-Christian. Not Evil; merely evil.

The mysterious Dome that descends over Chester’s Mill on a sunny Saturday morning in mid-October somewhere between the years 2012 and 2016 is semi-permeable. People can communicate through it, but it is unmovable and, apparently, unbreakable. It isn’t really a dome; it has the same sock-shaped perimeter as the town’s borders with places like Castle Rock and TR-90, and extends upward over eight miles. There is limited air exchange, and a jet of water directed at the outside produces a fine mist inside. The electric lines are down but—thanks to the prevalence of generators in Western Maine—cell phones, cable TV and the Internet all work.

The world is aware of the town’s plight. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper report on the phenomenon from outside the Dome and, later, from Castle Rock after armed forces establish a perimeter.

Though the town’s residents feel like ants under a magnifying glass, they have more pressing worries, like how long will their food and propane last, how will the Dome affect their weather, and when will the air no longer be safe to breathe? Those trapped by the Dome aren’t so different from people stranded in New Orleans after Katrina or on Little Tall Island in Storm of the Century.

There’s price gouging for commodities and a storeowner sells his overstock of questionable, stale-dated frozen food to unsuspecting customers.

These badly behaved people are small potatoes, though, compared to Big Jim Rennie, used car dealer, town selectman and operator of one of the largest meth labs in the country. When (if) the Dome is breached, Chester’s Mills will fall under intense scrutiny. He needs to dismantle the drug lab and return the town’s reserve propane tanks, which he appropriated for his illicit purposes. Like Flagg in The Eyes of the Dragon, Rennie is the power behind the throne, allowing a weak man to take the leadership position on the town council, and forcing through a malleable replacement when the sheriff’s pacemaker explodes after he gets too close to the Dome. He surrounds himself with stupid people who won’t question his orders or motives.

The book’s hero, Dale “Barbie” Barbara, an Iraq war veteran employed at the town diner, was already persona non grata in Chester’s Mill after a run-in with Rennie’s son and other punks. Recognizing his situation as untenable, he was hitchhiking out of town when the Dome appeared. Colonel James Cox, his former commanding officer, reactivates him to duty, and they share intelligence about the situation in the town and external efforts to penetrate the Dome.

One of the book’s themes can be found in the lyrics of a James McMurtry song: Everyone in a small town is supposed to know his place, and everyone supports the home team. When the President declares martial law in Chester’s Mill and installs Barbie as the interim leader, Rennie’s diseased heart goes into palpitations. Outside forces can’t implement this directive, though, so Rennie starts discrediting Barbie while turning the town into a municipal dictatorship. To discourage resistance, he beefs up the police department with ruffians and thugs. He stages riots to demonstrate the necessity of his actions. He also seizes the opportunity to settle old grudges.

Tempers fray as days pass and efforts to break through the Dome fail. People commit suicide. Others die in accidents and altercations, or are murdered when they threaten Rennie’s plans.

A small group of rebels forms around Barbie, including Julia Shumway, owner/editor of the town newspaper. Not only did she not vote for Rennie, she editorialized against him during election campaigns. The previous sheriff’s widow and the Congregationalist minister are co-conspirators. As the situation degrades, other people begin to question their allegiance to Rennie.

King uses the metaphor of addiction to explain the townspeople’s behavior. Anyone can become a drug addict after an injury because the body and the brain conspire to create imaginary pain to rationalize taking more painkillers. Rennie is the town’s brain and most residents go along with his deception. This is the way people like Rennie are allowed to take power, King says. On a larger scale, he might have turned into another Pol Pot or Hitler.

The book is populated with fascinating, three-dimensional characters, including a trio of precocious and resourceful children, two out-of-towners forced to become surrogate parents, a physician’s assistant pressed into running the hospital when the town’s only doctor dies, the owner of a megastore that stocks everything imaginable, an unstable man suffering from a brain tumor, and a few dogs who offer more than comic relief.

Crossovers to other King novels are slight, except for a symbol that should inspire discussions about the true nature of the Dome. Children experience visions of the near future, but there are few other supernatural elements—beyond the Dome itself.

One character with literary ambitions muses about the risks involved in writing a novel. “What if you spent all that time, wrote a thousand-pager, and it sucked?”

King need have no such fears. This thousand-plus-pager most definitely does not suck. For such a massive book it is an incredibly fast and breezy read. It has the urgent pace of Cell without the wonky pseudoscience, and the insightful depiction of small town politics of Needful Things—except the characters in Under the Dome are sympathetic.

It’s not The Stand II, but people who liked that book—or Desperation or ‘Salem’s Lot—will love this one.

•••

Bev Vincent has been writing News from the Dead Zone since 2001. His first book, The Road to the Dark Tower, an au­thorized companion to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, was published by NAL in 2004 and nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. He contributes a monthly essay to the Storytellers Unplugged, contributed to the serial novellas Looking Glass and The Crane House, and has published hundreds of book reviews and over 50 short stories, including appear­ances in Shivers (vols II and IV), Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Tesseracts Thirteen, Doctor Who: Destination Prague, and this magazine. His latest book is The Stephen King Illustrated Companion, available in November at Barnes & Noble. Visit him on the web at www.bevvincent.com

News From The Dead Zone #123

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Just a few more days until Under the Dome arrives in stores. The signed, limited edition is already winging its way into the hands of buyers; some people have received their copies already. Next week will be a publicity-heavy week for King, with several televised and live appearances. He will be on Good Morning America on publication day (Tuesday, November 10), The Colbert Report (unschedules) and on The View (Friday, November 13) to help Whoopi Goldberg celebrate her birthday.

An excerpt from the novel is in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly. Here is his Barnes & Noble interview from last week. Check out the new Multimedia section at King’s website for other interviews, a 30-second promo commercial, and to see and hear King reading from the book.

The reviews are already starting to come out. Here are the ones I’ve noticed so far:

  • San Jose Mercury News
  • Bloomberg
  • Newsday
  • City a.m.
  • Financial Times
  • Telegraph
  • NY Times
  • Also, check out this opinion piece from Esquire: Why Stephen King Is the Most Underrated Literary Novelist of Our Time.

    The new short story, Premium Harmony, is now available at the New Yorker website.

    Celebrated short story writer Scott Snyder and artist Rafael  Albuquerque will launch a new monthly comic book series from Vertigo in March 2010 with a unique contribution from King. The new ongoing series, American Vampire, will introduce readers to a new breed of vampire-a more muscular and vicious species of vampire with distinctly American characteristics. The series’ first story arc, to be told over the course of five issues, will feature two different stories, one written by Snyder, the other by King. King’s story provides the origin of the very first American vampire:Skinner Sweet, a bank robbing, murdering cowboy of the 1880s. Skinner is stronger and faster than previous vampires; he has rattlesnake fangs and is powered by…. the sun? Check out this article about the project at Newsarama. Here’s an interview with the artist.

    Here’s a blog entry by Jay Franco, the editor of the 2010 Stephen King Library Desk Calendar, which contains contributions from a number of people that will be familiar to you. My essay is called “The Eyes Have It.”

    King will have an article about this year’s world series in the next McSweeney’s, which is designed to look like a newspaper. Here is a full, mouthwatering tease for the issue.

    Here’s an interview with Tony Shasteen: Young Artist Draws for a Literary “King” in THE TALISMAN

    Latest EW column: The Secret to Pop Culture Snacking.

    News From The Dead Zone #122

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    StephenKing.com and Metro DMA released the opening credits for the upcoming Dark Tower project. The streaming video is now available in three classes of connection speed at www.stephenking.com

    King’s new poem, The Bone Church, from the current issue of Playboy, is now online.

    On Tuesday, October 27th, AOL’s PopEater entertainment site will feature an interview with King about Under the Dome.

    Paramount has dug up an old film license and used it to create a mobile application game “inspired by” Pet Sematary. The $1 app is a top-down shooter, in which you have to rapidly tap on resurrected pets and small boys to shoot them, while saving the adults who charge around the levels seeking safety. [more info]

    Last week, a new feature was added to the Under the Dome Widget. The widget features a link to an interactive book cover, allowing you to explore the book a little more in depth prior to its release. Scarecrow Joe is also twittering from under the dome.

    King is quoted in this EW.com article about selling Under the Dome for $9 and the decision not to release the e-book version until 12/24. He also released this statement on his web site: “Please don’t believe the press reports that the e-book reader price for Under the Dome will be $35. This was the result of confusion from a press release from the publisher, what Big Jim Rennie would call a clustermug. It is true that you cannot order the book as an e-download until December 24th but the physical book, which is a beautiful thing, you can pre-order for less than $9—so who’s better than us?”

    Stephen King & Peter Straub Talk Comics Books and MTV has an exclusive first look at issue #1 of The Talisman adaptation.

    The current issue of EW has the new column: The Secret to Pop Culture Snacking.

    News From The Dead Zone #121

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    Hodder & Stoughton, King’s UK publisher, has an online/offline promotion where people are sent on a treasure hunt to find the more than 5000 snippets of Under the Dome that are being hidden by other participants all across the web. Facebook and Twitter feeds are being used to distribute clues to the location. You just never know where one of these snippets might turn up.

    There’s a short interview with King at the Science Fiction Book Club (may contain mild spoilers) and a letter from King to readers at the same site. Look for an excerpt from the book in the issue of Entertainment Weekly that will be on news stands next week.

    A second set of 60 pages from The Cannibals is now up at King’s website. We won’t see any more of the book online this year, if ever.

    Marvel announced a new chapter in the Dark Tower graphic fiction adaptation-Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. Beginning in 2010, the creative team of Peter David, Robin Furth and Richard Isanove return for a new 30-issue arc exploring the life of Roland Deschain, revealing how and why he began his pursuit of the man in black across Mid-World’s Mohaine Desert! “We are extremely excited to continue our epic journey into the DARK TOWER universe with THE GUNSLINGER,” says Ruwan Jayatilleke, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development-Acquisitions & Licensing. “And we are equally ecstatic to continue our collaboration with Stephen King as well as keeping comic book fans on their toes!” A look back at key points along the road to DARK TOWER: THE FALL OF GILEAD #6 and the cataclysmic events to come

    King has submitted an exclusive, all-new article for publication in Fangoria magazine. The 7,500-plus-word essay, entitled “What’s Scary,” will be published in two parts, beginning with #289, on sale in December, and concluding in #290, arriving in January 2010. “I’ve wanted to be a Fango contributor ever since I purchased my first issue,” King says. “For me, this is a nightmare come true.”

    NBC Universal and E1 Entertainment are co-financing a 13-episode TV series called Haven that is based in part on The Colorado Kid. The project “centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay — while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven.” Scott Shepherd will serve as showrunner and exec produce with Lloyd Segan and Shawn Piller, all three of whom were exec producers on USA Network’s version of The Dead Zone. Two more The Dead Zone alumni, Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn, are writing the pilot and will also serve as exec producers.

    On October 20, Del Rey Comics will release the first issue of The Talisman: The Road of Trials . It’s being adapted by writer Robin Furth and artist Tony Shasteen . Here are 12 exclusive images and a Robin Furth interview: Stephen King Gets Serious About Comic Books.

    Entertainment Weekly columns: What’s Next for Pop Culture? and The One That Got Away

    News From The Dead Zone #120

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    Couldn’t let such an auspicious date pass without supplying an update. Besides there are things happening worth reporting.

    First off, Scribner has launched a dedicated web site to promote Under the Dome. The URL is StephenKingUnderTheDome.com and it is here that we will get the first sneak peeks at the cover art. The first element is supposed to come out today so, keep checking back. There’s also an excerpt from the book, wallpapers, a PDF map of the town of Chester’s Mill, a link to the town’s web page, character bios (including a link to a blog being kept by one of the book’s characters, Scarecrow Joe) and a widget you can add to your web site. The limited edition of the book sold out in just a few hours last week.

    More information about King’s appearances this fall is now available at his message board.

    For the first time ever, you can to read an excerpt from The Cannibals.  This is the 1980s novel that originally inspired Under the Dome.

    Children of the Corn debuts on SyFy this Saturday evening. Here’s an article about an advance screening in Iowa. King, who is credited as a co-writer, has seen this movie, producer, director and writer Donald Borchers said. Writers Guild of America regulations state that he could keep his name in the credits, be listed under a pseudonym or take his name off completely. He elected to keep his name in the credits, Borchers proudly said.

    The November issue of Playboy will contain a narrative poem called “The Bone Church.” It is described as being “in the tradition of Coleridge and Kipling” and “filled with madness and mayhem.” Should be on news stands in early October.

    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 #116

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    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

    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 #114

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    Scribner has issued this plot synopsis of the upcoming 1120-page novel Under the Dome:

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mills, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when—or if—it will go away.

    Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens—town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing—even murder—to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.

    It looks like It will be remade as a feature film. Warner Bros. has hired Dave Kajganich to adapt the novel, with Dan Lin and Vertigo’s Roy Lee and Doug Davison producing. Though it’s hard to take stories seriously at this point, when the script hasn’t even been written, the rumor is that it will focus on the adult Losers rather than flipping back and forth between the two eras. Kajganich is also attached to a remake of Pet Sematary.

    News From The Dead Zone #113

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    This weekend’s issue of USA Weekend magazine features a King cover story, 35 Scary Years with Stephen King. The article is also online at the USA Weekend website. To find out what newspapers carry the insert in your area, go here.

    Here’s an article where King’s agent, Ralph Vicinanza, discusses “Ur.” The story is now available for iPhone users, too, but not for general audiences yet.

    Director Mick Garris and producer Mark Sennet met with Maine Governor John Baldacci last week to discuss the possibility of filming Bag of Bones in Maine and to explore financial incentives for the film. Bag of Bones has a $20 million budget, and Sennet expects to spend $10 million wherever the film is made. Filming could begin as early as this summer.

    Here’s a new website for the film adaptation of Dolan’s Cadillac.

    Here are interviews with Robin Furth and Tony Shasteen from New York Comic Con, discussing the Del Ray graphic adaptation of The Talisman. There have been reports of an Issue 0 installment featuring an episode that does not appear in the book itself, but serves as a prequel to the whole story.

    In Entertainment Weekly: Torture and “24” and I love Breaking Bad

    News From The Dead Zone #112

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    February 10, 2009: A brief update about yesterday’s announcement concerning King’s new novella, “Ur,” which features the Amazon Kindle. An Amazon official estimates that “Ur” would run about 100 traditional print pages. There’s a video of King reading from “Ur” on YouTube and an interview here.

    News From The Dead Zone #111

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    King’s next novella, “Ur,” was inspired by the Amazon Kindle book reader. At today’s launch of the Kindle2, Amazon announced that “Ur” would be available on the newest version of the device. Early indications were that it was to be an exclusive release, but there may be a non-Kindle version available for purchase as well. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

    Here’s a description of the story: “Following a nasty break-up, lovelorn college English instructor Wesley Smith can’t seem to get his ex-girlfriend’s parting shot out of his head: ‘Why can’t you just read off the computer like the rest of us?’ Egged on by her question and piqued by a student’s suggestion, Wesley places an order for Amazon.com’s Kindle eReader. The [pink?] device that arrives in a box stamped with the smile logo – via one-day delivery that he hadn’t requested – unlocks a literary world that even the most avid of book lovers could never imagine. But once the door is open, there are those things that one hopes we’ll never read or live through.”

    King appeared at the Kindle2 launch and read from “Ur.” There are pictures of him reading from his Kindle here (images 4 & 5 of the slideshow) and a Q&A with King at USA Today.

    News From The Dead Zone #110

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    USA Weekend will have a cover story on Stephen King in its March 6-8 issue. Lorrie Lynch flew up to Maine to talk to him in December. “We got into a discussion of popular authors vs. the academic elite, a subject he has strong opinions about, and I asked him if his mainstream success over the past 35 years paved the way for the massive careers of Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer.” Click read more for King’s feelings about those two as well as some other best-selling authors.

    There’s a new video interview with King at Borders to promote the release of Stephen King Goes to the Movies.

    Captain Trips, the first series of graphic novels adapting The Stand, will be released in a hardcover omnibus edition on March 10th.

    Dark Tower: Guide to Gilead will be out this month. Since the Golden Age of Eld — when Gilead was first named the capital of the fledgling Kingdom of All-World — the city has served as Mid-World’s most influential urban center. In the latest DARK TOWER handbook, explore Gilead’s seedy Lower Town and its affluent West End corridor! Learn about the religions of Buffalo Star and the Queen o’ Green Days! Marvel at the legend of Lord Perth! Beware the threats posed by the Blue-Faced Barbarians and Kuvian Night Soldiers! The Guide to Gilead is the only way to navigate the past, present and future of this magnificent metropolis!

    This will be followed on March 11th by a single-issue installment Dark Tower: Sorcerer, “probing deeply into the incredible life of Marten Broadcloak. We learn his deadly secret agenda and true goal is not to serve the Crimson King, but to climb to the top of the Dark Tower itself and become the overlord of all existence!”

    There’s a new Dark Tower critique out: Inside the Dark Tower Series: Art, Evil and Intertextuality in the Stephen King Novels by Patrick McAleer. “Stephen King is no stranger to the realm of literary criticism, but his most fantastic, far-reaching work has aroused little academic scrutiny. This study of King’s epic Dark Tower series encompasses the career of one of the world’s best-selling authors and frames him as more than a “horror writer.” Four categories of analysis–genre, art, evil, and intertextuality–provide a focused look at the center of King’s fictional universe. This book reaches beyond popular culture treatments of the series and examines it against King’s horror work, audience expectations, and the larger literary landscape.”

    A new stage version of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption will have its world premiere at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin on May 19 with previews starting on May 14. Adapted by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns and directed by Peter Sheridan.

    According to an article an earlier article in USA Weekend: Stephen King has gone multimedia. “N.,” one of the tales in the best-selling author’s latest short story collection, Just After Sunset, was turned into an original Web video series in conjunction with Marvel Comics. The collaboration has inspired King, 61; he’s thinking about doing a YouTube video for his novel Under the Dome, out later this year. Such projects are definitely fun, King says. “But with all these multimedia things, the story is the story still, the book is the book, and that’s the source material. As J.R.R. Tolkien might say, ‘That’s the one ring.’ It rules the other one.”

    Del Rey announced the adaptor and artist on the comic book and graphic novel versions of The Talisman which debuts early this fall. The book will be penciled and inked by Tony Shasteen, and will be scripted by Robin Furth. Lettering and project management will be handled by Dabel Brothers Publishing.

    King’s best of 2008 columns:

    And two other recent EW columns:

    Have you visited the virtual office at King’s official web site yet? The Cafe Press storefront is also open.

    News From The Dead Zone #109

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    Just After Sunset is now out. King sat down with the people at Borders to conduct this interview about the book. Here are recent reviews:

    New issues of Dark Tower: Treachery and The Stand are out this week from Marvel.

    Under the Dome will be released by Scribner in the Fall of 2009, according to SK’s MB moderator. In a new interview with Salon magazine, King says, “it deals with some of the same issues that The Stand does, but in a more allegorical way.”

    The master of suspense picks three contemporary classics for Barnes and Noble Review.

    King has an essay entitled “The Genius of “The Tell-Tale Heart” in the MWA collection In the Shadow of the Master: Classic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe and Essays

    King weighs in on the election campaign in this Entertainment Weekly article: The HD Candidates.

    News From The Dead Zone #108

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    Del Rey, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, announced the acquisition of the comic book and graphic novel rights to The Talisman. The creative team on the project will be announced soon, and the first issue of the monthly comic is planned for late summer/early fall 2009. “Illustrating The Talisman in the depth that it deserves will involve at least 24 issues of comics, probably more,” said Del Rey Editor in Chief, Betsy Mitchell, who acquired the project from agent Ralph Vicinanza. “It’s a tremendously visual story, filled with images that burn in memory long after the book has been closed.” King’s Dark Tower comics consistently inhabit the top of the comic book sales charts, and his recent series, Dark Tower: Long Road Home was the top-selling comic book in North America in March 2008.

    In a recent interview , frequent Spielberg co-producer, Frank Marshall said that The Talisman is back to being a movie. “It’s kind of on the backburner since we’re waiting to see how everything shakes out with the DreamWorks, Paramount, Amblin thing.”

    The 10th anniversary edition of Bag of Bones is out in trade paperback. In addition to a Q&A with King where he talks about ghosts, secrets, and being alive, the book contains “Cat From Hell,” which will also be in Just After Sunset.

    King and Richard Russo will participate in an on-stage conversation followed by a book signing to be held at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, on Thursday, November 6th. The event is A Benefit for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of The Odyssey Bookshop. Additional details about the event.

    King is Suspense Magazine’s author of the month for October. He conducted a short  interview with the site.

    CU-Boulder film student Luke Cheney is making a student film of “In the Death Room,” shooting on Nov. 15 and 16 in Boulder and a Denver studio. Stay tuned for photos from the set as they become available.

    In this interview with Patrick McGrath, the author talks about how King helped him get his green card!

    Here’s a link to the recent SportsCenter Commercial featuring King.

    Barnes & Noble Review, an online literary destination for readers, featuring industry-heralded book reviews, columns, features, and interviews from a wide range of established critics, reviewers, and authors, is celebrating its first anniversary. Regular weekly features on the Review continue to offer readers book news that’s both entertaining and enlightening. In November, King will bring his three favorite reads to Guest Books, where he will join Jamie Lee Curtis, George Pelecanos, and Sandra Tsing Loh in our growing group of notables.

    Recent articles in Entertainment Weekly:

    News From The Dead Zone #107

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    King conducted another self-interview last week. He says this about the nearly completed novel, Under the Dome: “It’s twice the length of Duma Key. Over 1500 pages in manuscript. The first draft weighs 19 pounds.”

    This week, Marvel starts shipping out the first issues of The Stand and Treachery, the third cycle in the Dark Tower series. UGO has a six-page preview of The Stand at their web site. Here is an interview with artist Mike Perkins.

    King reviews Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly.

    The October issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine containing the new King story “The New York Times at Bargain Prices” is on news stands now.

    Filming is now under way in Tipton and Wilton, Iowa and other locations in the Quad-City area for the remake of Children of the Corn. Among the cast: David Anders (Heroes), Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Galactica) and Daniel Newman as Malachai. The film is scheduled to wrap at the end of September and will premiere on the Sci-Fi Channel next year.

    Two newish books that might be of interest to you. The Films Of Stephen King, edited by Tony Magistrale is the first collection of essays assembled on the cinematic adaptations of King’s work. Chapters are written by cinema, television, and cultural studies scholars. Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King an unauthorized biography by Lisa Rogak will be published in January 2009.

    Here is JJ Abrams’ most recent comment on a Dark Tower movie: “The Dark Tower is to me every bit as daunting an adaptation as the Lord of the Rings trilogy must have been for Peter Jackson, except we’ve got seven books we’re looking at. And the idea of doing that at the same time Carlton and I are bringing Lost to a close is simply not viable. There are always Dark Tower conversations, but the figuring out of what this will look like as a movie has not begun. If The Dark Tower were in the right hands, I would love to see seven movies executed just right. But you have to get people to see the first one to get them to come and see the second one.”

    Here is the Publisher’s Weekly review of Just After Sunset:

    In the introduction to his first collection of short fiction since Everything’s Eventual (2002), King credits editing Best American Short Stories (2007) with reigniting his interest in the short form and inducing some of this volume’s contents. Most of these 13 tales show him at the top of his game, molding the themes and set pieces of horror and suspense fiction into richly nuanced blends of fantasy and psychological realism. “The Things They Left Behind,” a powerful study of survivor guilt, is one of several supernatural disaster stories that evoke the horrors of 9/11. Like the crime thrillers “The Gingerbread Girl” and “A Very Tight Place,” both of which feature protagonists struggling with apparently insuperable threats to life, it is laced with moving ruminations on mortality that King attributes to his own well-publicized near-death experience. Even the smattering of genre-oriented works shows King trying out provocative new vehicles for his trademark thrills, notably “N.,” a creepy character study of an obsessive-compulsive that subtly blossoms into a tale of cosmic terror in the tradition of Arthur Machen and H.P. Lovecraft. Culled almost entirely from leading mainstream periodicals, these stories are a testament to the literary merits of the well-told macabre tale.

    News From The Dead Zone #106

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    This week, in Entertainment Weekly, King tells us How TV ruined baseball.

    As you’ve probably heard by now, King’s short story “N.” is being adapted as an animated comic by the team at Marvel. During the month of August, a new 1-2 minute episode of the story appears each weekday, for a total of 25 installments. There are many ways to see this on the web and on cell phones, but why not just check back here each day when the new one goes live?

    Or you can wait until November and get the limited collector edition of Just After Sunset, which will be packaged with a DVD containing all 25 episodes. King is optimistic about the video’s prospects. “I think they’re readers,” he says of likely video viewers. But he admits that the venture is “something of a test” whose outcome isn’t certain. The story will also be released as a comic book miniseries in early 2009.

    The video series has been getting good coverage, including articles in Time magazine, the L.A. Times and at the MTV website.

    If you’ve been waiting for news about the illustrated edition of The Little Sisters of Eluria plus The Gunslinger coming from Donald M. Grant, here’s the latest: The book has been sent to the printer and is being proofed. There will be a traycased and a slipcased edition, both illustrated by Michael Whelan. It will contain new art as well as the art originally published in the first edition of The Gunslinger. Grant says: “Price, release date and other details will be posted on our web-site and published in our newsletter. We expect that this will be announced in four to six weeks.”

    Pocket books will be issuing a 10th-anniversary trade paperback edition of Bag of Bones, featuring bonus text from King this fall. It includes a Q&A with King where he talks about ghosts, secrets, and being alive.

    The Children of the Corn remake is gearing up to start filming in the Quad Cities area of Iowa during September. The remake is being written, directed and produced by Donald Borchers, a producer on the original movie, which was filmed in the Sioux City, Iowa, area and spawned numerous sequels. The budget for the production is estimated at $2 million. Borchers says, “It’s no longer requisite to have a happy ending. We wanted to stay faithful to the decisions in [King’s] original story.”

    News From The Dead Zone #105

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    The new official Stephen King web site is now live.

    Stephen King Goes to the Movies is a 400-page collection due out from Pocket Books in January 2009. In it, King provides brand new commentaries and introductions for five of his favorite stories that have been adapted for the big screen: The Shawshank Redemption, 1408, Children of the Corn, The Mangler, and Hearts in Atlantis. This big book will include an introduction by King, his personal commentary, and behind-the-scenes insights by Stephen.

    Amazon has a promo video on its Just After Sunset page where King discusses short stories.

    Visit Ain’t It Cool News for a three-part exclusive showcasing the upcoming adaptation of The Stand from Marvel. Their feature includes new artwork and interviews with the writer and illustrator. Here’s an interview with artist Mark Perkins

    King will be judging book trailers submitted for a contest in which amateur and professional filmmakers produce book trailers (similar to movie trailers) based on the SHOMI imprint—a series of modern-day fantasy fiction.  The contest is sponsored by Dorchester Publishing and Circle of Seven Productions. The best trailer—as selected by King—will be shown at a movie premiere in New York City as well as a theater in the winner’s home market.

    How do you attract Steven Spielberg’s attention? Canadian filmmaker Mathieu Ratthe wants to adapt The Talisman and has been trying unsuccessfully to get his demo reel to Spielberg, who has had the film option for the novel since it was published. So, Ratthe uploaded his six-minute video The Hotel Room, based on a scene from the novel, to YouTube. The short stars Cameron Bright, who recently played a mutant in X-Men: The Last Stand, as a young man struggling to make sense of a glimpse into a strange alternate universe. The visual effects were done by Montreal-based Buzz Image, the team behind 300. His YouTube page says: “My main objective for creating this piece is to demonstrate my directing ability and my vision to the producers who own the rights to the story: STEVEN SPIELBERG & KATHLEEN KENNEDY.”

    This is a strange one! Subterranean Press is publishing a new book by Hard Case Crime founder Charles Ardai called Fifty-to-One. Each chapter of the book will bear the title of a previous HCC novel, including works by Lawrence Block, Richard Stark, David J. Schow and King (The Colorado Kid). There will be 50-copy deluxe edition, signed by many of HCC’s authors (including King) on a tipped-in page in front of the chapter that bears the title of one of their books, and a 500-copy numbered edition signed by Ardai alone. Half of the profits from the deluxe edition will be donated to The Haven Foundation.

    Here is King’s more recent Entertainment Weekly column: Why Hollywood Does Not Get Fear. For readers of the print magazine, note that his column no longer appears on the back page, so a quick glance at the magazine doesn’t tell you if he has an essay in a particular issue. Here is another column from a few weeks back: Playing Against Hype.

    In a recent interview to publicize their script for “Eaters” on Fear Itself, Richard Chizmar and Jonathan Schaech said, “We have been working on From a Buick 8 for so long and are finally so close to a ‘go’ that we are afraid to talk too much about it and jinx it. What we can say is that we are currently working on one final rewrite for director Tobe Hooper and producer Mick Garris and the good folks at Amicus (producers of the recent Stuck and forthcoming It’s Alive remake).” Once the rewrite is completed, they are prepared to go right into pre-production with plans to film on the East Coast.

    News From The Dead Zone #104

    Breaking News from the Dead Zone

    Producer Nick Wechsler has optioned screen rights to “Throttle,” a 60-page novella written by King and Joe Hill. The protagonists are father-son members of a motorcycle gang that’s chased through the desert by an 18-wheel tanker truck. The novella, inspired by the classic Matheson story “Duel,” will be published in 2009 in the tribute anthology He Is Legend. “It has elements of iconic films like Duel and Breakdown, but with a horror element that I want to push,” Wechsler said.

    Graduation Afternoon will be reprinted in the first issue of the new Australian magazine BLACK: Australian Dark Culture.

    Here’s a short interview with Christian Slater about the adaptation of Dolan’s Cadillac he is starring in.

    A remake of Children of the Corn is gearing up for production this August in Eastern Central Iowa, produced by Anchor Bay Entertainment for a Sci-Fi Channel premiere. Donald P. Borchers – producer of the original 1984 film – is directing the movie from his own screenplay. The film is currently casting with the following synopsis making the rounds: Former Vietnam vet BURT’s marriage to former prom queen VICKY is on the rocks, but Burt hopes to rekindle their old flame with a second honeymoon driving trip. Unfortunately, their journey takes them into the heart of darkness – a seemingly deserted rural community that conceals a grim secret among its rows of tall corn. It was also revealed that this will be a period piece set in the 1970s.

    More details and an artwork preview of Dark Tower: The End-World Almanac can be found here.