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

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!

Continue Reading

Bev Vincent reviews Castle Rock on Hulu

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

“I fear this place. I fear what’s to come.”

In 2018, Castle Rock, the town Stephen King introduced in The Dead Zone and returned to numerous times in subsequent works, isn’t on the map any more. A few years ago, the town voted to disincorporate itself. The historic downtown is mostly home to boarded-up businesses. Nan’s Luncheonette burned under mysterious circumstances a while back. The nearest Wal-Mart is some sixty miles distant[1]. The town’s main employer is Shawshank Prison, twenty miles away. A considerable percentage of the people behind bars in that establishment are from Castle Rock.Continue Reading

Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #190

End_of_Watch_coverNot long now until End of Watch comes out, the final installment in the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. King is doing a major tour for this book, with twelve stops between June 7 and June 18. The June 16 event in Albuquerque is of particular interest because George R.R. Martin will be interviewing King. Most of the events have already sold out (some in almost record time), but you can find the list of venues here.

After years of saying “no news yet” with reference to the Dark Tower movie, things are finally moving forward. The current release date is set at February 17, 2017, and the following people have been cast: Idris Elba (Roland), Matthew McConaughey (Man in Black), Jackie Earle Haley (Richard Sayre), Fran Kranz (Pimli Prentiss), Tom Taylor (Jake), Abby Lee (Tirana) and Katheryn Winnick (unknown). Some early photos from the set appeared a few days ago, and some of them disappeared soon after!Continue Reading

News From The Dead Zone #49

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

January 4, 2007: Happy New Year! Welcome back to News from the Dead Zone. This should be an exciting year, with the possibility of two new novels, at least two films, the graphic novel series and who knows what else? You’ll know what else—if you keep checking out this page.

The Marvel web site has lots of new goodies to promote the Dark Tower graphic novel series, which will be out in just over a month from now. On the main DT page you can download a cool screensaver and wallpapers and watch a trailer for the series. On the blog page, Nicole Boose presents a first look at some of the extra material that will be included with the first issue: a map of New Canaan based on a sketch provided by Robin Furth. The previous blog entry is here.

Here’s an interview with Dark Tower comic scripter Peter David

A group called Dead Issue has a song called The Last Gunslinger inspired by Roland on their MySpace page. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I thought I would pass this along.

Filming of The Mist is slated to commence filming February 20 for a tentative November 21 release.

Rebecca Gibney says King called (director) Mikael Salomon after seeing The End of the Whole Mess to tell him it was one of the best adaptations of any of his works that he’d ever seen.

Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro told SCI FI Wire that he hand-carried a copy of his movie to King’s Maine to screen it for him personally. King later named it his favorite film of 2006. “Even now, when you say it, I get chills,” del Toro said in an interview this week in Beverly Hills, Calif. “I do. I mean, … Stephen King has been a huge influence.” del Toro, “like a Muslim going to Mecca,” hand-toted two enormous film cans containing a print of his movie through three airports from Los Angeles to Bangor. “And then I arrived to a theater that, technically, was very hard for me to go, ‘Oh, this is the optimal screening,'” del Toro said. “And yet, to this day, it remains the best screening of my entire life. Because I was sitting next to Stephen King, and he was squirming during the impalement sequence, and I was like, ‘It doesn’t get better than this.'” The FX people who did Pan’s Labyrinth will be doing The Mist, by the way.

Subterranean Press announced recently that they should receive their slipcases for the new edition of The Green Mile within a few weeks, at which time the marathon shipping operation will commence.

I started a new book review site called Onyx Reviews, where I’ve posted a bunch of my book reviews and a couple of interviews. The Owen King interview appeared previously online but the Tabitha King interview appears here for the first time.

News From The Dead Zone #42

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.

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 #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 #29

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

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.

News From The Dead Zone #21

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

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.