Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #164

In case you haven’t heard the news yet, Cemetery Dance recently announced a deal to create Deluxe Special Editions of the six books King published with Doubleday. The series launches this summer with Carrie. Check the link for specifics, including the artist, cover art, and the extra material that will appear in the book.

We’re less than two months away from the publication date of Mr. Mercedes, and the first reviews have started to show up. Publishers Weekly’s review came first, calling it a “suspenseful crime thriller” and lauding King for his disturbing portrait of the book’s villain, Brady, “a genuine monster in ordinary human form who gives new meaning to the phrase ‘the banality of evil.'” Then came the Booklist review, which concludes: “No need to rev the engine here; this baby will rocket itself out of libraries with a loud squeal of the tires.” My review will appear in the next issue of Cemetery Dance magazine, but I loved it. I’ve been waiting for King to write a non-supernatural crime novel for ages and at last my wish is granted. And PW is right: Brady is one twisted guy. He’s not at all sympathetic, but he’s fascinating. And Bill Hodges is a comfortable narrator / protagonist to spend five hundred pages with. The audiobook will be narrated by Will Patton.

King’ second book of the year is Revival, which will be out on November 11. Here is the synopsis:

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of 13, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.

To thank all his German and French fans for their warm welcome during his Doctor Sleep book tour last fall, King wrote a novella, “Bad Little Kid”, which is available in e-book format in German (Böser kleiner Junge) and French (Sale Gosse). You can’t buy it in the US at the moment, but it is available in Canada and the UK (but not in English). I wrote an article / review for FEARnet, probably my last piece for that market, which was gobbled up by Comcast last week.

And, no, he isn’t writing a sequel to Christine called Christine Lives as was announced on April 1.

King will appear in a cameo role in the first episode of the second season of Under the Dome, which launches on June 30. According to an article in USA Today, he wrote the episode, titled “Heads Will Roll,” and will show up in the town’s diner as “just a citizen of Chester’s Mill for at least the moment.” Check out the article for a photo of King being served coffee at Sweet Briar Rose. Several new characters will be introduced this season, including barbershop owner Lyle Chumley (Dwight Yoakam), Big Jim’s late wife Pauline (Sherry Stringfield), his brother-in-law, Sam Verdreaux (Eddie Cahill), teacher Rebecca Pine (Karla Crome), Greg (Dwayne Boyd), and Melanie (Grace Victoria Cox), a character pulled from the lake by Julia at the end of the first season. If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out this promotional video of King “tweeting from the set.”

During his Emerald City Comicon Secret Origins panel, Peter David revealed that Marvel will resume adapting the Dark Tower series with The Drawing of the Three, without providing any timeline. He told the story of how he pitched the idea when King came to visit him while he was convalescing after suffering a stroke.

In other comic news, Walter Simonson’s 22-page Lawnmower Man Artist’s Edition portfolio, collecting the entire story into a deluxe portfolio from IDW, is set to arrive in time for San Diego’s Comic-Con International in July.

King has a short non-fiction piece called “The Ring” in Tin House, Issue, 59, Volume 15, Number 3. The theme for the issue is Memory and King’s 2-page essay is about their wedding rings and the day they got married.

He and Karen Russell talk about their books Doctor Sleep and Sleep Donation in this interview posted at Goodreads.

Joyland, which is now available as an e-book for the first time, was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar in the Best Paperback Original category. Doctor Sleep was nominated for a Thriller Award in the Best Hardcover Novel category by the International Thriller Writers.

The latest movie adaptation, A Good Marriage, premieres in New York on Thursday, April 24.

Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) is in early talks to take over as director of The Stand for Warner Bros. and CBS Films. He will be at least the fourth potential director for this project. Boone is also currently attached to direct a movie version of Lisey’s Story.

Cary Fukunaga, fresh off his recent success directing HBO’s True Detective, is working on a script for the two-part remake of It. It appears that the first part will be about the kids and the second part about the adults. Fukunaga said, “There will be no spider at the end of our movie. We’re definitely honoring the spirit of Stephen King, but the horror has to be modernized to make it relevant. That’s my job, right now, on this pass. I’m working on making the horror more about suspense than visualization of any creatures. I just don’t think that’s scary. What could be there, and the sounds and how it interacts with things, is scarier than actual monsters.”

The SyFy series Haven was renewed for 26 more episodes, 13 to air this year and 13 for 2015, although they are all supposedly part of a single season. In a related concept, Universal TV is adapting the short story “Ayana” into a TV drama set in a world of miracles. The series has not been picked up by a network yet, though.

King has been interviewed for the PBS series Finding Your Roots, where “we trace people’s habitypes, which tell where your ancestors came from.” Dr. Henry Louis Gates’ interview with King will air later this year.

Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #162

Scribner has released their description of Mr. Mercedes, King’s next novel, which will be out on June 3, 2014.

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

 In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

 Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

 Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

This is just one of two novels we’ll see next year, the other being Revival. There’s a new King short story, “Summer Thunder,” in the CD anthology Turn Down the Lights. Editor Rich Chizmar says it “might be one of the most heartbreaking post-apocalyptic tales we’ve ever read.”

King joined Twitter late last week. Within minutes he had 30,000 followers and the number has since climbed to nearly 200,000. You don’t need to join Twitter to see his feed, though. Just click here.

Samuel L. Jackson will play Tom McCourt in the movie adaptation of Cell, joining John Cusack for the second time (1408). There were some amusing follow-up articles in which Jackson confessed that he didn’t know that his character was gay in the novel. The film will be directed by Tod “Kip” Williams (Paranormal Activity 2). Production is scheduled to begin in January.

Long-time King fan Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) plans to adapt Lisey’s Story. King had a cameo in Boone’s debut, Stuck in Love. Boone talks about how King responded when he sent some books to be autographed when he was 12 in this article.

Add another title to the list of remakes or reworkings. Bob Weinstein is developing a proposed 10-part series with Frank Darabont, based on Dimension’s film version of The Mist. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) is in talks to direct Pet Sematary. The day after it was announced that Scott Cooper was considering Christian Bale for the theatrical version of The Stand, the director left the project. Paul Greengrass is now being courted to help the film. Cary Fukunaga is currently attached to the remake of It.

Doctor Sleep link roll:

European tour:

In closing, here is my review of the campy horror film You Can’t Kill Stephen King, which should get US distribution in 2014.

News From The Dead Zone #62

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Lisey’s Story won the Bram Stoker Award in the novel category at the HWA Banquet in Toronto last weekend.

Today is release day for Gunslinger Born #3. Here is a preview of the issue, and reviews from Comic Book Resources, Pop Culture Shock, and Lilja’s Library. Also check out this video from Marvel pertaining to the release of issue 1.

Frank Darabont and his crew set people on fire on Day 18 of filming of The Mist. See the Webisode here (Quicktime .mov, 6 MB). Quint from Ain’t it Cool News spent three more days on the set after our visit. His reports are here: Day 2.1, Day 2.2, Day 2.3.

Here is a nice long review of the Special Edition DVD of Christine. Speaking of our favorite haunted car, Disturbia co-writer Christopher Landon may be involved in a remake of the movie. “[Christine] has been all over the place,” he told Coming Soon. Apparently this was going to be a SciFi original or a movie for NBC. “If it happens or not we’ll see, but when I came in what I wanted to do was really go back to the book, the source material. I’m a fan of the Carpenter version, it is fun. But the book was much more of a possession story than it was just a killer car. That’s what made the book so great is that what was so terrifying was that it wasn’t just about an inanimate object running around and killing people, it was a boy who was sorta being taken over by the former owner of the car – and there was something more terrifying about that. Also, I just love the dynamics of the characters and so forth. Right now it’s way too soon say anything else about it. We’re so in the thick of deal-making, I don’t want to blow anything else!”

The paperback edition of Blaze will be released on December 26, 2007. The cover art for the hardcover, due out in June, appears here. Yes, that’s a red mitten you see underneath the E in the title.

A while back I mentioned that Michael Marshall (Smith) would be adapting a King story for a UK TV series. At World Horror in Toronto last weekend he said that the story is “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut.”

News From The Dead Zone #44

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Some great interviews and features and reports:

Here’s a nice overview of critical response to Lisey’s Story.

I’ve had an unconfirmed report that King will be on BBC4’s Desert Island Disks on Sunday, November 19th. This program will likely NOT be archived on the BBC site after it is presented due to rights restrictions.

The new Carrie stage play runs off-Broadway at P.S. 122 in New York from December 2-30th. Tickets, priced $18, are available by calling (212) 352-3101. P.S. 122 is located at 150 First Avenue at Ninth Street.

After about a week on eBay, the bench King signed for charity went for a little more than $2,000. Someone in Virginia bought it. The money goes to the Maine Discovery Museum in downtown Bangor.

Don’t expect esteemed filmmaker Frank Darabont to make nice with The Mist. “This one’s more angry than what I’ve done before,” he tells the Los Angeles Daily News. “To get my ‘shoot fast and loose’ legs under me, I did an episode of The Shield. I had such a blast. I put aside everything I know about filmmaking, the whole Kubrick wannabe approach and shook things up.”

Here’s the official announcement about the Dark Tower graphic novel series debut, and a profile of artist Jae Lee:

DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER BORN #1 (of 7)
COVER BY: JAE LEE
WRITER: ROBIN FURTH
PETER DAVID
PENCILS: JAE LEE
COLORED BY: RICHARD ISANOVE
LETTERED BY: CHRIS ELIOPOULOS

THE STORY:
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” With those words, millions of readers were introduced to Stephen King’s Roland—an implacable gunslinger in search of the enigmatic Dark Tower, powering his way through a dangerous land filled with ancient technology and deadly magic. Now, in a comic book personally overseen by King himself, Roland’s past is revealed! Sumptuously drawn by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove, adapted by long-time Stephen King expert Robin Furth (author of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: A Concordance) and scripted by New York Times Best-seller Peter David, this series delves deep into Roland’s origins—the perfect introduction to this incredibly realized world, while long-time fans will thrill to adventures merely hinted at in the novels. Be there for the very beginning of a modern classic of fantasy literature!
48 PGS./CARDSTOCK COVER/Parental Advisory …$3.99

PRICE: 3.99
IN STORES: 2007-02-07

News From The Dead Zone #43

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

According to Lilja, the newly discovered Bachman manuscript I mentioned last time is Blaze, written in the early 1970s. Visit Lilja’s site to read about his meeting with King in the UK. Blaze is about a huge, almost retarded criminal who kidnaps a baby and plans to ransom it back to the wealthy parents, but falls in love with the child instead.

Here is author John Connolly’s interview with King from the New York appearance. Here is a Podcast of King’s appearance on Simon Mayo on BBC Five Live. This file will not remain online for very long, so grab it while you can.

While in San Francisco, King visited the offices of YouTube. They taped him talking to employees, and then reading from Lisey’s Story. While he was in the UK, he reportedly joined British acid house blues band ALABAMA 3 on stage for a jam session. My pal Ali writes on his blog about meeting King, and here’s a write-up about his appearance in Seattle.

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Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The deadline to get your name in the back of the new limited edition of The Green Mile is Monday, November 13, 2006 at 5:00 EST. Visit Subterranean Press’s website for full details. In unrelated news, the movie version of The Green Mile has been voted the most tear-jerking film, beating Ghost and Titanic in a poll by the British Heart Foundation.

The issue of Playboy (December 2006) containing the new short story “Willa” is on many newsstands now.

At his Battersea Park appearance in the UK, King revealed that a new Bachman novel had been discovered. Too cool! The book was supposedly written back in 1973. Here’s a photo of him holding up a copy of the UK edition of Lisey’s Story.

Here’s an interview with Frank Darabont about his plans for filming The Mist in a few months.

Here is the eBay link for the signed desk auction mentioned last time. The bid is currently over $800 with four days remaining.

Rocky Wood interviews Glenn Chadbourne about Secretary of Dreams.

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Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Lisey’s Story entered the USA Today mixed fiction/non-fiction bestseller list at #1.

Craig R Baxley (Kingdom Hospital, Storm of the Century) hopes to direct a film version of Gerald’s Game starring Nicole Kidman, adapted by King.

If you’re looking for one of the oddest Stephen King collectable items, check out an auction starting today for a signed bench.

At his appearance in New York last week, King said the he has spoken with Peter Straub about the final book in the Talisman trilogy. He sees the story as “sort of a 24 thing” where Jack can only travel back to our world for brief periods because it accelerates his death.

Marvel Spotlight: Dark #14, on sale on January 17, will have a feature on the Dark Tower graphic series. “We’ll talk to the creative team that will unite Marvel Comics with the concepts of one of the giants of modern fiction, getting an inside look at Robin Furth, Peter David and Jae Lee and we’ll even talk to Stephen King himself! So if you’re a longtime fan of DARK TOWER or curious as to what it’s all about, you’ll want to check out this issue.”

News From The Dead Zone #40

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

There’s just one week left to take advantage of the promotion to get your name in the back of the new limited edition of The Green Mile from Subterranean Press. Don’t forget to check out the calendar below for details about King’s upcoming book tour on the West Coast and in the UK. Always check with the venue before committing yourself to a trip, because some events have changed and many may be sold out.

If you missed King’s appearance on Good Morning America last week, the streaming video is available at ABC. Also, check out John Connolly’s blog about interviewing King last week. It’s the October 26th entry. During the interview, King described an idea he had for another novel. Read how SKEMER Noah described the plotline here.

In the current Entertainment Weekly, King discusses his favorite audiobooks. Hail to the Spoken Word.

Here’s another batch of Lisey’s Story reviews:

News From The Dead Zone #39

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Well, here it is—the day we’ve all been waiting for. Not only does Lisey’s Story come out today, but the DVD set of Nightmares and Dreamscapes is also available starting today. The London Times has a Stephen King special that has reviews, excerpts, interviews, commentary and an exclusive PODcast. King is interviewed in a Financial News segment.

Here is a batch of reviews, which you should read at your own risk. Some of them will likely contain discussions of plot that may spoil the fun of reading Lisey’s Story:

King’s essay “My Little Serrated Security Blanket” will be reprinted in Stephen King: The Non-Fiction from Cemetery Dance.

Thomas Jane will star in The Mist, directed by Frank Darabont from his own script. “It’s a project Stephen King and I have been talking about doing for almost 20 years now. In fact, it almost was my first directing project many years ago, but I went classy and did The Shawshank Redemption instead. It’s time to get down and dirty and make a nasty little character-driven gut-punch horror movie,” Darabont said. Read Darabont’s longer statement about the adaptation at Ain’t It Cool News. Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein and production president Richard Saperstein have set a spring production start for the film, which Darabont will produce with Castle Rock’s Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer. Contrary to early reports, the film will not be shot in black and white. Jane said, “Nah, this is gonna be all-color and pretty amazing. I can’t wait.”

AICN reports that Eli Roth has chosen writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to pen the screenplay of Cell.

News From The Dead Zone #38

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Subterranean Press has an interesting offer as part of their 10th anniversary edition of The Green Mile. If you buy any version of the commemorative six-volume set directly from them, you’ll get your name included in a special section included at the end of Volume Six—Those Who Walked the Green Mile—that lists all those who met their end seated in Ol’ Sparky. If you’ve already ordered this special edition, you’re already on the list.

Two reviews of Lisey’s Story. Caution; reviews may contain spoilers. 1) Dale McGarrigle, Bangor Daily News 2) Chris Barsanti, PopMatters

In a movie round-up article at MTV, Thomas Jane (Dreamcatcher) says, “Frank Darabont and I are supposed to be doing Stephen King’s The Mist.” No schedule or anything, but it’s the first indication that someone beyond Darabont is attached to the project.

Another UK tour update: Wednesday Nov. 8th: 1-2 PM  Signing at Waterstones, Leadenhall Market, London.

Also, here are the details of King’s appearance in Los Angeles: We love Stephen King because he makes the ordinary extraordinary in every possible way. His books turn on ordinary situations, and feature characters that we all can understand—who face the inexplicable. From high school in Carrie to his new novel, Lisey’s Story, King brings fear, from the unconscious to the visceral, right to the surface. He has stated that he’s the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries, and we couldn’t disagree more. Big Macs are empty calories indeed, and furthermore, not recommended for anyone’s health. King is another story entirely—because the best stories are the best medicine, and no one is a better storyteller. David Ulin is the editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and is the editor and author of several award-winning books.  Tickets are $20. Make a Reservation to this Event The Fine Arts Theatre is located at 8556 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. It is: 1 block West of La Cienega Blvd.; On the South side of Wilshire Blvd.

News From The Dead Zone #37

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

No Quills awards for King this year, but the MWA (Mystery Writers of America) endowed upon him the highest award bestowed on an individual by the organization: the coveted Grand Master Award.

I hear from Brian Freeman that the final production hardcovers of Lisey’s Story are a delight to behold. The shovel depicted on the dust jacket is a die cut, revealing a portion of the full-cover wraparound art that is physically on the book’s boards themselves. I’ve seen a few books recently that are using similar effects—one by Jonathan Kellerman springs to mind. This design makes for attractive books with or without the dust jacket in place. According to the artist’s web site: “Readers will soon discover the significance of the shovel and later understand the image revealed through the di-cut. King fans should find this amongst his best work.”

Here’s a short interview with King at Book Page. Here’s his most recent Entertainment Weekly column.

More details about King’s UK visit have been released.  He will appear at Battersea park Events Arena on November 7th at 7.00pm in an event sponsored by The Times, Hodder & Stoughton and Waterstone’s. Ticket information available at King’s web site. Information is also available concerning his November 10th appearance.

News From The Dead Zone #36

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

This is Lisey’s Story month. You can hear an excerpt of Mare Winningham performing the audio version here.

Wouldn’t Christine look great parked in your garage? One of the sixteen cars used during filming of the John Carpenter adaptation is up for auction on eBay. The buy-it-now price is a mere $175,000. As one news report said: “Even though on film they rebuilt themselves, only three actually survived, including the one now being offered. She’s been smashed, crashed, and burned but keeps coming back. Hell hath no fury like Christine.”

King had an essay in The Washington Post yesterday entitled The Writer’s Life. You can read it online. He has columns in two consecutive issues of Entertainment Weekly. One is a special two-page piece about the series LOST, while the more recent one tackles Nancy Grace, drawing comparisons to the Richard Bachman novel The Running Man, though I haven’t found either online yet.

Here’s an article about the campaign fundraiser King and John Grisham attended recently. And here’s a review of the Collector’s Edition DVD of David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone.

News From The Dead Zone #34

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

At the Scribner web site you can

News From The Dead Zone #33

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

At the Scribner web site you can

News From The Dead Zone #32

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

King’s official web site now lists four UK dates for his book tour to promote Lisey’s Story. The first event is November 7th at Borders Books and  Music, Oxford Street, London. The only other confirmed event is November 9th at Asda supermarket in Watford, but he will also be making appearances on the 8th and 10th.

Note that the September 1st entry (below) originally said that John Irving would be appearing with King, when in fact it should have said John Grisham.