At the Scribner web site you can
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.
More Lisey’s Story reviews are starting to appear. Publishers Weekly gives the book a starred review, and the print issue that contains the review has a short interview with King that you can also read online here. You can read reviews from Kirkus, PW, Booklist and Nora Roberts at the Lisey’s Story page at Amazon.
Stephen King and John Irving plan to appear at a Sept. 24 fundraiser for fellow writer Jim Webb’s Democratic U.S. Senate campaign at the 1,000-seat Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, VA. “It will be a lot of fun,” Grisham said of the event at which Webb will speak and also read from some of his works. Grisham said he will talk for a few minutes about the campaign and politics before reading from his new nonfiction book, An Innocent Man, due out in October. Tickets for the Webb fundraiser will be tiered at $100, $500 and $2,100, Grisham said. Webb is challenging U.S. Sen. George Allen, R-Va., in the November election. Allen’s campaign manager disparaged the Webb event, saying, “Since his whole campaign is based on fiction, having two fellow fiction novelists campaign for him is not a surprise.”
Bett’s Bookstore has just taken delivery of a huge Stephen King collection to sell on behalf of a collector. Proprietor Stu Tinker has listed the lot on eBay to generate some interest in it. Check out the Betts web page next week for an inventory listing of the 1600+ items, some of which are extremely rare.
Here is King’s newest Entertainment Weekly essay: Setting off a Wire Alarm.
For those of you who attended Harry, Carrie and Garp, I’ve heard that the signed books associated with the deluxe package are starting to arrive.
Cell was nominated in the science fiction/fantasy/horror category of the second annual Quills awards. Through Sept. 30, voters can make their picks online at http://www.quillsvote.com and at http://www.quills.msnbc.com. The awards will be handed out at an Oct. 10 ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History. Admission will range from $1,000 for a single ticket to $75,000 for a “Platinum Sponsorship.”
TNT’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes and ABC’s Desperation were both nominated in the “Killer Television” category of the Chainsaw Awards. The first-ever televised fuse Fangoria Chainsaw Awards will be held Sunday, October 15th at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles and will premiere on fuse Sunday, October 22nd at 9:30 p.m. EST.
People in the UK will get a chance to see the Nightmares and Dreamscapes series on the digital channel Five US, launching October 16, airing daily between 16:00 and 01:00.
Picture a hand reaching through the earth from beyond the grave to grip at someone visiting the cemetery. Yes, like that famous hand, Carrie is rising from the dead to a second life as a musical. Originally a three-day wonder on Broadway, this new version is called Carrie: A Period Piece. It will debut Off-Broadway at P.S. 122 on Dec. 6 and run through Dec. 30. “It will definitely be very black comedy,” Theatre Couture leader Eric Jackson told Playbill.com. “But that’s inherent in the novel. It’s a very serious take on the pressures and pain of adolescence. But Carrie is also so well known in our culture; we all know the story. Everybody feels it’s their story. Because of that collective unconscious, there’s a way to have fun with the story. There will be comedy and camp, and some horror, and maybe a little blood.” Drag performer legend Sherry Vine will star and Basil Twist (Symphonie Fantastique) will create special puppets.
Classify this one under the heading “wild, unsubstantiated rumor.” Cinescape online is reporting that Michael J. Fox is up for a role in DreamWorks’ long-delayed The Talisman. Quoting a source by the name of Scooper Squirrel (Deep Throat was already taken, apparently) “Steven Spielberg is apparently involved with it—in some capacity. I have no idea—either do they—whether he’s going to be playing the main role, or just a role, it was something he apparently mentioned in a meeting….in conversation… and nothing more was said of it.” There you have it—it doesn’t get any more reliable or specific than that!
Peter Straub tells me that the broadcast date of his second appearance as blind detective Pete Braust on One Life to Live is September 21.
Those who could not attend the star-studded literary event at Radio City Music Hall last week, “AN EVENING WITH HARRY, CARRIE & GARP” will now be available to watch free of charge in its entirety for two days only. On Thursday, August 10 and Friday, August 11 MSN will stream the event at http://video.msn.com/, and beginning on Saturday, August 12 until the end of the month, highlights will be available on demand. MSN will enable viewers to make contributions to The Haven Foundation and Doctors Without Borders. From the description of presenters, it sounds like this is the Wednesday night show. Check out my message board for links to some recent reports from youngsters and Rowling fans.
Netflix is hosting a special screening of The Shining at the screening area outside the Stanley Hotel on August 16th. Admission is free.
A new Special Edition 2-disc DVD of The Green Mile is scheduled for release on November 14. Extensive new bonus materials include Miracles and Mystery: Creating The Green Mile, an interview with Tom Hanks, additional scenes, makeup and screen tests, and commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont. See full details here.
Check out this Entertainment Weekly page for a report and picture of King’s visit to the EW office.
Bloody Disgusting reports that a remake of Children of the Corn is in the works. I know you’re all on the edges of your seats at this news!
Rocky Wood spoke on King at two panels (and read from ‘Before the Play’ at a midnight reading) at the Speculative Fiction con, Continuum 4 in Melbourne (Australia) last weekend. Here is a Live Journal report of the event and another review of Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished.
Joe Camillieri reports that King’s official web site now has information about upcoming events related to Lisey’s Story. The SF event is showing sold out, but since it was just announced I’d recommend checking back to see if this is real or not. More events will be announced, so check that page (and this one) often.
There has been a spate of rumors alleging that George Clooney will be starring in Paramount Pictures’ remake of Pet Sematary announced recently. The report originated with Bloody Disgusting, where a follow-up stated that Clooney’s publicist denied the report.
I was at the August 1 Harry, Carrie and Garp event, which featured readings by King (“The Revenge of Lardass Hogan”), John Irving (the Christmas pageant scene from A Prayer for Owen Meany) and JK Rowling (a scene from the sixth Harry Potter novel). Special guests on Tuesday included Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Bates, Andre Braugher, Jon Stewart and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, who moderated the Q&A. King and Irving declared themselves the “support act” for Rowling, who definitely had younger and more vocal fans in the audience. The two men had the advantage of reading hilarious passages, which resulted in more audience feedback during their respective readings. Irving and Rowling, however, were asked the more intelligent questions. There are a few user-posted photos from the event at my message board. Reports appeared many places, but the two best I’ve seen so far are here and here. The event was filmed for a webcast on MSN later this month.
Mark Haber, director of Crouch End, tells me that the DVD of Nightmares & Dreamscapes will contain an extended version of the episode because it was originally supposed to get the “no commercial” treatment like Battleground. When that plan changed, the episode was edited down to 44.5 minutes from its original length.
Some interviews relating to Nightmares & Dreamscapes, which debuts tonight on TNT:
- All of King’s women: A female point of view of King’s ‘Nightmares’
- Claire Forlani (Crouch End) in TV Guide
- Director Rob Bowman discusses Umney’s Last Case and The Fifth Quarter
- Steven Weber discusses his role in You Know They Got a Hell of a Band
- Marsha Mason discusses her role in The Road Virus Heads North
- A whole passel of reviews
My buddy Glenn Chadbourne has been announced as the third illustrator for the PS Publishing limited edition of The Colorado Kid. More copies of the traycased edition have become available because King has authorized an additional 48 copies for a total of 100. Each artist will illustrate 33 of these. This edition will feature a gallery at the rear of the book containing all eighteen pieces of artwork, in full color – that’s the three dust-jackets and three sets of five interior pieces. “We will be producing a one-hundredth traycased copy which will have something extra special inside – we haven’t decided exactly what it’ll be yet, but it will be a bona fide one-off: so that means that the author will not be getting a copy and PS will not be getting a copy. The book will be auctioned on the PS website with all proceeds (that means no deduction for production expenses etc) going to the Macular Degeneration Foundation.”
Grey’s Anatomy’s Kate Walsh has joined the cast of 1408. The actress (who plays Mrs. Dr. Shepherd, the wife of “McDreamy”) plays John Cusack’s ex-wife and mother of his young daughter. Shooting starts this summer in the U.K. for a 2007 release.
Just one day to go before the debut of the Nightmares and Dreamscapes series on TNT. Here are some promo clips from the network. I’ve read one report that the DVD release will be on October 24th from Warner Home Video. The three-disk set will feature “an unaired extended episode starring William H. Macy” (no further info available), commentary tracks with the cast and crew, along with exclusive documentaries. The cover art for the DVD pack is here. Scroll down to my June 12th entry for a preview of the series.
Desperation received Emmy nominations, for Art Direction and Sound Editing for a Miniseries.
King’s newest short story “Memory” is now available in Tin Hut magazine, which is available at the magazine stands of many major chain bookstores or can be purchased directly from the publisher using PayPal. He debuted the story at an event at Florida State University several months ago. It is about a man who’s been in an accident and has memory problems when he recovers.
Last Sunday’s Parade magazine featured a profile/interview with King. You can read the article online at the Parade web site.
There’s a new web page for the Nightmares and Dreamscapes series at King’s official web site. Horror.com has brief reviews of Battleground,
You Know They Got a Hell of a Band, The End of the Whole Mess, and The Road Virus Heads North. Lawrence Cohen talks about his work on “The End of the Whole Mess” here.
If you don’t get USA Network, or you happen to miss an episode of The Dead Zone, Lions Gate will make Season Five episodes available on the day after their broadcast premiere at USA Network’s online iTunes store. By the end of the summer, all 67 episodes from seasons one through four will be available on the site for fans to download.
Tickets for King’s appearance in Seattle on November 1st are now on sale. Books will likely be available for sale at the event and there is a reception following the appearance at which King may be in attendance—he hasn’t yet confirmed. Four levels of tickets are available. The most expensive (Patron, $60) gets you into a special reserved section of the main floor and includes admission to the reception. Students and others under the age of 25 who submit copies of their student ID or other proof of age can get in to the balcony for $15. General main floor and balcony admission is $35 and $25 respectively.
Links of interest:
And the limited editions keep on coming! PS Publishing announced today that they are doing a multi-version limited edition of The Colorado Kid, with introduction by Hard Case Crime publisher Charles Ardai. What’s unique about this edition is that they are using multiple artists, but each copy will be illustrated by only one of them (Edward Miller, J.K. Potter and a third artist to be announced) except for the most expensive edition. There’s a price for everyone—so wander over to PS (who have published Joe Hill, Graham Joyce, Ramsey Campbell, Ray Bradbury, Tim Lebbon and many others) and pick one from column A, one from column B and/or one from Column C.
Read King’s review of The Ruins by Scott Smith at Amazon. Thanks to Lilja for pointing this out. It’s a creepy, creepy book and I’ll be interested to hear what people think about the ending.
Subterranean Press announced today that they are issuing a 10th Anniversary Edition of The Green Mile. Mark Geyer, whose art graced the original paperback releases, will provide more than 60 original sketches for this edition. This exclusive publication will consist of six individual illustrated hardcover volumes, contained in a cloth slipcase. King will be signing one of the six volumes in each limited set. The book comes in three editions:
- Gift: 2000 unsigned cloth bound sets, in slipcase
- Limited: 148 signed numbered sets, bound in leather and cloth, in slipcase
- Lettered: 52 signed sets, with one of the original sketches matted in the traycase
Some of the usual bookstores are getting gift editions to resell, but the Limited and Lettered editions must be ordered directly from Subterranean. These are bound to go fast!
Kirkus Review has a starred review of Lisey’s Story.
Paramount has set a September 26th release date for The Stephen King Collection, which will include the new collector’s edition DVDs of Pet Sematary and The Dead Zone as well as re-packaged versions of Silver Bullet and Graveyard Shift. The discs will also be available on the same day separately.
Speaking of The Dead Zone, Anthony Michael Hall returns Sunday (9 p.m. on USA) for a fifth season as Johnny Smith. Here’s a review of the Season 4 boxed set.
Talk of an It remake are surfacing again. Peter Filardi, who scripted the ‘Salem’s Lot remake for TNT as well as The Road Virus Heads North for Nightmares and Dreamscapes, told attendees of Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors that he’s developing a new “televisualization” of It. The project has the attention of the Sci Fi channel and might end up as a four-hour broadcast event, perhaps told from the point of view of Beverly Marsh.
TNT has a new official web site for the Nightmares & Dreamscapes series with galleries, information and games. I’ve also posted the full broadcast schedule, production trivia and interviews on my message board.
TNT sent me screener DVDs of seven of the eight episodes (all except Autopsy Room Four), and I had the opportunity to watch them over the past several days. The first thing I noticed is the high production qualities, which was also true of their ‘Salem’s Lot remake. However, unlike that adaptation, these stories are incredibly faithful to the source material. Where they’ve had to change things (because of length, for deeper characterization or for context), everything seems loyal to the original story’s intent. The acting is top notch, too.
William Hurt is on screen for almost every second of Battleground and never utters a word. A few grunts of pain, but he acts with his face and his body to convey his character’s hard-as-nails pathology. When the impossible starts to happen, he doesn’t talk to himself or utter words of disbelief. He simply reacts as an assassin might. Slowly, though, his hard shell splinters. It’s a tour-de-force performance and sets the tone for the series. The animation and other effects are convincing—as might be expected since the episode is directed by Jim Henson’s son Brian. Screenplay by Richard Christian Matheson, son of the legendary Richard Matheson.
Crouch End is a daring adaptation, since it strays into the surreal world of Lovecraftian mythos. It represents the first time I’ve ever heard some of the bizarre names from Lovecraft pronounced. It also contains the first ever cinematic depiction of what can only be described as a “thinny.” Claire Forlani is the heart of this episode, the pretty, vivacious newlywed on honeymoon who tolerates her husband’s need to network while on vacation, only to find an innocent trip out to dinner turn into madness. The question in this kind of tale is: how much to show and how much to leave to viewer’s imagination. I think this adaptation strikes the right balance.
Umney’s Last Case is the episode I was looking forward to most, and it doesn’t disappoint. William H. Macy is stellar as both Clyde Umney and his creator, Sam Landry. He comes off as stiffly stereotypical in the opening moments, until you realize that’s exactly what he is. One of my favorite moments takes place when Sam steps into the detective’s shoes, starts hearing awkward dialog coming out of his mouth and checks himself. A few seconds later he lets loose some purple prose straight out of Chandler, and he stops to admire it. The ending is a little abrupt, which dilutes the episode’s impact, but these screeners aren’t 100% complete, so they may do something in the production version that softens this nebulous finale.
I saved The End of the Whole Mess until the end because it was the story I had the least interest in, but it turns out to be a strong episode. I really like the emotional arc of this one. It makes use of the dreaded voice-over technique, but in a clever way that makes sense, given what the main character does for a living.
Tom Berringer. Wow. What more can I say? In The Road Virus Heads North, he plays Richard Kinnell, a horror writer who has just received disturbing news. On the way home from a lecture—which is a horror show in its own right—he picks up a creepy painting and things start getting strange. Marsha Mason has a nice cameo as his Aunt Trudy. This is the other episode that has a less-than-satisfying conclusion, but everything up to that moment is pure terror. Unlike William Hurt’s character, Berringer does talk to himself, expressing shock, amazement and disbelief. Both approaches work because they reflect character.
The Fifth Quarter is probably the story readers will be least familiar with. It’s a straight crime drama, with no supernatural elements. It’s about dishonor among thieves, and their other associates, too. It’s a brutal episode, with lots of realistic violence. Samantha Mathis, though she isn’t the primary focus of the story, carries the show from beginning to end. Jeremy Sisto turns in a strong performance, too, as the guy who can never quite get it right, who has spent all but eighteen months of his seven-year marriage behind bars.
The series ends with You Know They Got A Hell of a Band, which is the lightest, most whimsical episode, and probably the weakest entry. It stars Steven Weber, who impresses me less each time I see him, and Kim Delaney. I didn’t buy into their relationship, which weakens the story. Delaney looked odd and Weber’s delivery isn’t convincing. The episode also has the most outright grue (maggots, empty eye sockets, etc.) but is tongue-in-cheek throughout. It’s sort of fun, but the tone feels completely different from the other episodes.
The series debuts a month from today. Check it out! I look forward to hearing viewer feedback about the individual episodes, and I especially want to discuss the last couple of minutes of Crouch End!