There’s something decidedly different about Joe Hill, besides the obvious relation. His novels and short stories defy categorization, often eschewing the conventions of horror and tropes of speculative fiction in favor of something much more… interesting.
Joe Hill‘s compelling quartet of novellas, collectively titled Strange Weather, hits shelves tomorrow, riding a wave of anticipation and positive reviews (including our own). Strange Weather is the latest example of what has become a hallmark of Hill’s career: versatility. The author roams from horror to fantasy to sci-fi….from comics to prose to screenplays…..from massive 700-page epics to to short novels to short stories….fearlessly and effortlessly. Likewise, our discussion covers a lot of ground, beginning with his latest release, then touching on his comics work before teasing a bit about what’s in the future.
Earlier this year, people began calling 2017 “The Year of King.” The “King” in question is Stephen King, who’s had a busy year even for, well, Stephen King: new television series based on his novella The Mist and Mr. Mercedes; a milestone birthday (his 70th) in September; a critical and box office smash hit in IT; two more critically acclaimed adaptations for Netflix in Gerald’s Game and 1922; and a brand new novel, Sleeping Beauties, co-written with his son Owen.
Now, as the year is winding down, it’s King’s other son, Joe Hill, who has stepped up to claim his place in “The Year of King” with Strange Weather, a collection of four short novels and one of the strongest overall works in Hill’s already illustrious career.
Skelton Crew Studio, a comic book replica studio based in the wilds of Maine, was founded by Israel Skelton in 2008. A sculptor and creator for more than 30 years, Skelton first made a name for his studio with a replica key based on the critically-acclaimed comic series Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Collaborations with a wide variety of creators soon followed, and Skelton Crew Studio’s work is now highly sought after among collectors and creators alike. Skelton Crew has a busy year ahead of them—more on that in a minute—so we appreciate Israel Skelton taking a few moments to discuss his work with us.
(Interview conducted by Blu Gilliand)
The Fireman, Joe Hill’s fourth novel, is an apocalyptic tale in which a deadly disease destroys the world. If this conjures thoughts of The Stand, it’s not a coincidence. Hill is on record as saying that the book is his version of The Stand “soaked in gasoline and set on fire.” In his dedication he says he stole “everything else” about the book from his father other than the title.
The illness that spreads like wildfire is Draco incendia trychophyton, a spore rather than a virus. People exposed to it do not burn with a fever—they simply burn. First, lesions develop. Some are almost decorative, resembling scales, hence the illness’s nickname: Dragonscale. Victims are mostly asymptomatic until they suddenly catch fire, usually when under stress. It’s a devastating and terrifying disease, because the conflagration takes out others in the vicinity. Buildings burn, then city blocks, and cities, and more.
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.
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.
The first published collaboration between Stephen King and Joe Hill, a novella entitled “Throttle” inspired by the classic Richard Matheson story Duel (and the equally classic adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg), will appear in the Gauntlet Press collection He Is Legend: Celebrating Richard Matheson, which was announced this morning and is now up for reservation pre-orders for a February 2009 limited edition release.
You can listen to King’s NPR interview from last week online here. The main news arising from the interview is that Marvel seems to be moving forward with plans to do a graphic novel adaptation of The Stand.
The Mist comes out on DVD tomorrow. Blockbuster has an online game where you fight off monsters as you escape from the supermarket. If you make it to the end you can see a snippet from an interview between King and Frank Darabont. Blockbuster is also giving out Mist globes at participating stores to people who purchase the DVD tomorrow. Here’s a neat little interview with Francis Sternhagen.
Note that the official title for King’s upcoming story collection from Scribner is Just After Sunset.