Review: Later by Stephen King

cover of Later by Stephen KingLater by Stephen King
Hard Case Crime (March 2021)
266 pages; $9.62 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

This is a horror story.

Yes, it’s a Hard Case Crime release, and yes, it has plenty of the necessary ingredients for a crime story. It has drug dealers and dirty cops and kidnapping and a serial bomber.

So yes, this is a crime story…but mostly it’s a horror story. A damn good one, I’m happy to say.

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King of Crime Part III — Featured Review of LATER and what comes…later

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

King of Crime: Part III — Featured Review of LATER and what comes…later

Today is publication day for Hard Case Crime’s third Stephen King novel, Later. Although King is generally thought of as a horror writer, he has written numerous crime short stories, novellas and novels, giving them a unique twist. In Part I of this three-part series, I looked at King’s earliest involvement with crime fiction. In Part II, I explored his more recent writings in the genre, including his previous two books with Hard Case Crime and the Mercedes series. Today, I review Later and look ahead to King’s next crime novel, Billy Summers.

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King of Crime Part II — Hard Case Crime and Beyond

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

King of Crime: Part II — Hard Case Crime and Beyond

Next week — on March 2nd, 2021 to be specific — Hard Case Crime will publish their third Stephen King novel, Later. Although King is generally thought of as a horror writer, he has written numerous crime short stories, novellas and novels, giving them a unique twist. In Part 1 of this three-part series, I looked at King’s earliest involvement with crime fiction. This week, I’ll explore his more recent writings in the genre, including his previous two books with Hard Case Crime and the Mercedes series. Then, on publication day, I’ll review Later and look ahead to King’s next crime novel, Billy Summers.

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King of Crime Part I — The Earlier Years

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

King of Crime: Part I — The Earlier Years

In a couple of weeks—on March 2nd, 2021, to be specific—Hard Case Crime will publish their third Stephen King novel, Later. Although King is generally thought of as a horror writer, he has written numerous crime short stories, novellas and novels, giving them a unique twist. In Part 1 of a three-part series, I look at King’s earliest involvement with crime fiction[1]. Next week, I’ll explore his more recent writings in the genre, including his previous two books with Hard Case Crime and the Mercedes series. Then, on publication day, I’ll review Later and look ahead to King’s next crime novel, Billy Summers.Continue Reading

Dead Air: The Company of the Mad – The Stand Podcast

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logo of The Company of the Mad podcast2020 was a hell of a year to be reading Stephen King’s 1978 novel, The Stand….never mind devoting an entire podcast to it.

Jason Sechrest thought the same thing — in fact, he was reading it when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. He took to Twitter with his thoughts about the book, and with a dream about examining it in detail in a podcast, and before he knew it he’d assembled an amazing lineup of co-hosts: director Mike Flanagan, author Tananarive Due, and journalist/author Anthony Breznican. The result is a six-episode podcast that is entertaining, informative, and incredibly timely. (You can WATCH The Company of the Mad: The Stand Podcast at TheStandPodcast.com, or LISTEN on Apple Podcasts here.)

With the final episode set to go live on January 20, Sechrest took a few moments to talk to Cemetery Dance about the origins of the project, and what he and his mad company learned along the way.Continue Reading

Interview: In Conversation with Gauntlet Press Founder Barry Hoffman

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photo of Gauntlet Press founder Barry Hoffman
Barry Hoffman (photo by Dara Hoffman-Fox)

Barry Hoffman is a former inner city school teacher who founded Gauntlet Press Magazine, which focused on topics of censorship and controversial subject matters of the day. Barry is currently the founder and editor of Gauntlet Press Publications, a Bram Stoker award-winning independent specialty Press with numerous titles from legendary authors such as Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and Jack Ketchum., and is also an author in his own right with several titles to his name including the ongoing acclaimed Eyes series.

I recently sat down with Barry to discuss Gauntlet Press’s most recent title, Hope And Miracles: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (Two Screenplays By Frank Darabont). This signed limited book is due to release in December and, as of this writing, there is now a waiting list for the platinum edition signed by Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Frank Darabont and Stephen King, among others; the edition also comes with a replica rock pick carved from a tree felled from the very set of The Shawshank Redemption

Join us as we chat about this latest specialty release, certain to become one of Gauntlet’s crowning achievements. Barry details what it took to put this cinematic celebration together, what it means to have done so, and more. Continue Reading

Interview: Frank Darabont on Hope and Miracles, Redemption, and Walking the Mile

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frank darabont
Frank Darabont

From the Academy Award-nominated short film The Woman in the Room, Frank Darabont’s first writer/director effort, to The Blob, The Fly II, The Mist, the first season of The Walking Dead and, of course, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile and several more in between, Darabont has spent over thirty years creating films to capture, scare, and otherwise stir the hearts and minds across multiple generations of film fans across the globe. I got to corner the man himself by way of the phone to discuss Gauntlet Press’s upcoming publication of their newest specialty title: Hope And Miracles: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (Two Screenplays By Frank Darabont).

Join us we chat about Frank’s contributions to making this book the highly collectable time capsule it’s destined to become. Get comfortable as we delve into the undertaking of this massive project, reminisce about Darabont’s experience during the making of these two iconic films, and the legacy of what this book has to offer for established and budding filmmakers alike.Continue Reading

Review: Hope and Miracles – The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile edited by Tyson Blue

cover of Hope and Miracles featuring images from The Shawshank Redemption and The Green MileHope and Miracles: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (Two Screenplays by Frank Darabont) edited by Tyson Blue
Gauntlet Press (Fall 2020)
Signed and Limited Editions: $199.00 – $4,000.00
Reviewed by Rick Hipson

Preceding the twenty and twenty-fifth anniversaries of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile comes Hope and Miracles, a literary celebration of two of Stephen King’s most iconic cinematic adaptations (Shawshank being the highest ranking film listed on IMDB). The book provides a cornucopia of behind-the-scenes insights, retrospectives, essays and more from writer/director Frank Darabont, Stephen King, RC Matheson and several others, including an exclusive interview from the late, but always great Michael Clark Duncan. Several never before released photos from Darabont’s personal archive are also included. Continue Reading

Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #221

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

Hard Case Crime (The Colorado Kid, Joyland) will publish Stephen King’s next supernatural crime novel in March 2021. Later will be a paperback original (cover by Paul Mann) and eBook, but there will also be a limited edition hardcover featuring two covers by Gregory Manchess, one for Later itself and one for a fictitious novel within the novel that features prominently in the plot.

In this installment of News from the Dead Zone, I’ll tell you a little more about Later, bring you up to date on recent King appearances, let you know  what adaptations you can expect to see soon, which ones are in production, which ones are on the table and which ones have died on the vine. I’ll also give you an early look at Hope and Miracles from Gauntlet Press, which collects the screenplays of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, along with tons of ancillary material. Pull up a chair!

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Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #220

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

It’s the end of an era. On June 30, 2020, the message board at Stephen King’s official website closed permanently. On the same day, his long-time personal/executive assistant, Marsha DeFilippo, retired.

Shortly after King launched his website in 1998, a guest book was added to the site. By 2003, this was converted to a “message board,” an unthreaded list of comments from fans that were occasionally answered by the staff.
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Bev Vincent Reviews If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

“I Contain Multitudes”

What is a novella? In some quarters, it’s defined as a long short story or a short novel. But this is the Stephen King Universe we’re dealing with, where “The Langoliers,” coming it at over 90,000 words—a length many writers would find appropriate for a novel—is considered a novella because it was bundled with three other works of similar length. On the other side, some often consider the four entries in The Bachman Books novellas because they are bundled in similar fashion when, in fact, all four were originally published as standalone novels.

During his live reading of the first chapter of the novella “If It Bleeds” on YouTube last week, King described the book If It Bleeds as a collection of three novellas and a short novel. The four works, “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” “The Life of Chuck,” “If It Bleeds,” and “Rat” come in at 85, 60, 187 and 85 pages respectively.

The original King novella collection, Different Seasons, was notable in that three of the four stories had no supernatural elements. The same claim could almost be made about If It Bleeds, although with some caveats. Strange things appear in every story—a dead man avenging the protagonist, a room where people see visions of impending death, a shapeshifting scavenger, and a talking rat that grants wishes—but an argument could be made that in at least two stories, and maybe three, the existence of the supernatural is, itself, speculative. It could also be based on assumptions made by the characters or their delusions. About the fourth story, though, there is no question.

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Revelations: The Third Level by Jack Finney

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Author photo of Jack Finney
Jack Finney

Ironically, in my quest to discover other horror writers besides Stephen King, (I adore King’s work but at that time, I was reading him exclusively), it was King himself who helped lead the way. Somewhere in the middle of that quest I finally, for the first time, read his non-fiction treatise on the horror genre, Danse Macabre (which you should all do, right now). Continue Reading

Bev Vincent reviews The Outsider (HBO)

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

“There’s Always a Reasonable Explanation”

This Sunday, January 12th, HBO premieres the first two episodes of their 10-episode adaptation of The Outsider. Is it good? Absolutely. One of the best. Before I get into that, let me take a little step back.Continue Reading

Bev Vincent reviews Doctor Sleep

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

“The World Will Shine Again”

I know, I’m seriously late in reviewing the latest big screen adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Hopefully better late than never! I finally got a chance to see Mike Flanagan’s tour-de-force film this week and I am so glad I got to see it on the big screen. And I can’t wait to see it again, although that may have to wait, because I don’t think it’s going to be in theaters much longer.
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Double Feature Review: Stephen King at the Movies & The World of IT

cover of Stephen King at the Movies by Ian NathanStephen King at the Movies by Ian Nathan
Palazzo Editions (October 2019)
224 pages; $28.93 hardcover

The World of IT by Alyse Wax
Harry N. Abrams (September 2019)
224 pages: $24.49 hardcover; $16.79 e-book

Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

If there’s one thing we as horror fans have never been deprived of, it’s Stephen King adaptations. From major novels like The Shining and Misery to minor stories like “The Mangler” and “Secret Window, Secret Garden,” virtually every corner of King’s bibliography has been mined. If you count sequels and remakes, there are more than 80 film and television adaptations of King’s work…and counting.Continue Reading