Bag of Bones wrapped filming a while back and will air as a two-night/four-miniseries on A&E in early December. Though preliminary dates were announced, these are not carved in stone. A couple of teaser trailers are available on YouTube: Beware the Lake and this Behind the Scenes video.
At an awards ceremony at George Mason University last month, King surprised the audience by reading a chapter from Dr. Sleep, which is a sequel to The Shining featuring Danny Torrance some thirty-five years after his experience at the Overlook Hotel. You can watch King’s reading along with the Q&A session that accompanied the award presentation here. I wrote an essay for FearNet discussing the genesis of Dr. Sleep called Whatever happened to Danny Torrance?
Most of the details for King’s book tour for 11/22/63 have been announced and tickets to these events are selling rapidly. Even though the book won’t be out for a while, the film rights have been snapped up. Jonathan Demme optioned the feature rights, and is set to write, direct and produce the adaptation through his Clinica Estetico banner. Excerpts from the audiobook are being released each Monday and Friday. Scribner has also produced a 2 minute video in which King discusses 11/22/63
DreamWorks’ Spielberg and Stacey Snider nabbed the rights to Under the Domel shortly after it was published in November 2009 to strong reviews and the current plan is to air the adaptation on Showtime. Search is underway for a writer to write the project, whose executive producers will include King and DreamWorks TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.
The eBook exclusive Mile 81 is out now. I wrote an essay for FearNet discussing King’s history with electronic publication that goes back farther than you probably realized: King of the eBooks.
IDW announced this week that they will be adapting the King/Joe Hill collaboration Throttle as a comic/graphic novel. Their story will be adapted in two monthly issues starting in February 2012 and will be followed by two issues adapting the story that inspired Throttle, Richard Matheson’s classic tale of suspense, Duel, beginning in April.
Simon & Schuster has made available an excerpt of 11/22/63, which you can read here. It features a cameo from a familiar “character.” Word out of Book Expo America is that the first printing will be 1 million copies. Craig Wasson will narrate the audiobook.
King’s new short story “Under the Weather” is included in the US trade paperback of Full Dark, No Stars, out now.
Jae Lee has signed on to illustrate The Wind Through the Keyhole, which will be published as a limited edition by Donald M. Grant Publisher. Orders are not yet being taken and a final release date has not been established. King has agreed to sign 800 copies of a Deluxe Edition which will be issued in a tray case.
Hollywood Reporter has an update on the status of the Dark Tower adaptation and Ron Howard told Entertainment Weekly, “We had to pull back to our September start date due to budget delays and ongoing story development and logistical issues, but Dark Tower is moving forward,” Howard said. “We’re thinking of starting in early spring now. I can’t really say who’ll be in it yet, but Javier Bardem has shown a great deal of interest. We’ll know by the end of the summer, when our flashing green light goes solid.” The project would start with a feature film, followed by six hours of TV content, starring the same actors as in the movie. “There are elements of the Dark Tower saga that are more personal and can be best dealt with on television,” Howard continued. “TV allows you to roll out details of the characters in a more methodical way.”
King has a new essay and a recipe in Man with a Pan, edited by John Donahue. The recipe is for “pretty good cake,” and in the essay King advocates the many uses of the frying pan and emphasizes the benefits of cooking over medium heat (plus a bit). He also returns to the pages of Entertainment Weekly with “My Summer Reading List, Best of Summer 2011” (June 3rd issue).
King is interviewed in Screem #22, their all-vampire issue. I also have an essay in that issue about ‘Salem’s Lot, the two TV miniseries adaptations and the dreadful “sequel.”
“The River” writer Michael Green is at work adapting Under the Dome in preparation for DreamWorks TV to shop to broadcast and cable buyers in a few months. There have been reports that Bag of Bones is filming as a TV miniseries as well.
Greetings and a belated Happy 2010! There hasn’t been a whole lot brewing lately, but there are some current and upcoming publications you might be interested in knowing about. There’s been no official word yet on what novels King will release in 2010, but word is that he has completed two since finishing Under the Dome so there will definitely be something this year.
The second part of King’s essay for Fangoria is in issue #290, which is reportedly on news stands now. This piece will be included in a reissue of Danse Macabre, which is also being released in audio for the first time.
The March/April issue of Playboy should be out soon. It contains the new King poem “Tommy.”
Here’s an article about King’s participation in Shooter Jennings’ forthcoming album. King is the voice of Will O’ The Wisp, a radio talk-show host being phased out due to government censorship. He spends his last hour on the air delivering a diatribe about the decline of America, and playing the music of an important band — which happens to be Jennings’ new band, Hierophant. You can hear a clip from the album, including King’s narration at Jennings’ web site.
Two works about King were nominated for an Edgar award this year. Lisa Rogak’s Haunted Heart and my own The Stephen King Illustrated Companion. Here’s an interview I did recently that covers both this book and The Road to the Dark Tower.
The schedule for the graphic novel adaptation of N. has finally been announced. Issue 1 (of 4) goes on sale in March. The creative team of Marc Guggenheim and Alex Maleev, also responsible for the Motion Comic version, tell the story of something terrifying hidden in Ackerman’s Field. “It’s absolutely thrilling for Marvel to be working on ‘N.’ again and having the honor to publish it as a comic book miniseries,” said said Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel Senior Vice President, Development & Planning, Print, Animation and Digital Media. “Both as a fan of the story and a producer on the ‘N.’ motion comic, I am absolutely psyched for the terrifying ride that Marc, Alex, and the editors have planned for readers!”
John Mellencamp has virtually completed recording and “assembling” the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County musical theater collaboration with King. They have edited the initial three-hour program down to two hours and 10 minutes—with a bit more editing still to come before producer T-Bone Burnett completes the tracks. When finished, the recording will be available in a novel book package containing the full text, two discs featuring the entire production of the spoken word script and songs performed by the cast, and a third CD of the songs only. The cast is led by Kris Kristofferson, in the role of Joe, the father, and Elvis Costello, as the satanic character The Shape. Rosanne Cash plays Monique, the mother, with the sons enacted by Will Daily (Frank), Dave Alvin (Jack), Alvin’s real-life brother Phil Alvin (Andy) and John (Drake). Sheryl Crow stars as Jenna and Neko Case is Anna, with boxing legend Joe Frazier playing caretaker Dan Coker and King himself in the role of Uncle Steve. The narrator is “24” star Glenn Morshower. Mellencamp stressed that the three-disc package is not a traditional audio book, but offers an experience more akin to listening to an old radio show with music; he further emphasized the challenge inherent in making such a project work. See Mellencamp’s official web site for more.
Twitter update: From Peter Straub “In about a year SK and I will begin planning a new book.”
The jig is up — I was Scarecrow Joe in the ARG promotion for Under the Dome. Read more about my experience here.
The March issue of Playboy will contain King’s poem “Tommy,” an eerie yet touching reminiscence of childhood friendships and the ways innocence and experience intertwine.
According to Producer Dan Lin, writer Dave Kajganich is expected to turn in a draft of his script for the planned remake of It over Christmas.
When’s the last time you got a say in what book Stephen King is going to write next? Never! But now King is asking for people to express their preferences between two possible novels. Voting is open at his official web site until Jan 1, 2010. Here is his message on the matter:
Hey, you guys–I saw a lot of you Constant Readers while I was touring for Under the Dome, and I must say you’re looking good. Thanks for turning out in such numbers, and thanks for all the nice things you’ve said about Under the Dome. There’ll be another book next year. It’s a good one, I think, but that’s not why I’m writing. I mentioned two potential projects while I was on the road, one a new Mid-World book (not directly about Roland Deschain, but yes, he and his friend Cuthbert are in it, hunting a skin-man, which are what werewolves are called in that lost kingdom) and a sequel to The Shining called Doctor Sleep. Are you interested in reading either of these? If so, which one turns your dials more? Ms. Mod will be counting your votes (and of course it all means nothing if the muse doesn’t speak). Meanwhile, thanks again for 2009.
According to Ms. Mod, this isn’t an either/or proposal–King may write both of these books. It’s more a matter of which one you’d like to see first.
The Torontoist has this summary of King’s discussion of Dr. Sleep: “Seems King was wondering whatever happened to Danny Torrance of The Shining, who when readers last saw him was recovering from his ordeal at the Overlook Hotel at a resort in Maine with fellow survivors Wendy Torrance and chef Dick Halloran (who dies in the Kubrick film version). King remarked that though he ended his 1977 novel on a positive note, the Overlook was bound to have left young Danny with a lifetime’s worth of emotional scars. What Danny made of those traumatic experiences, and with the psychic powers that saved him from his father at the Overlook, is a question that King believes might make a damn fine sequel. So what would a sequel to one of King’s most beloved novels look like? In King’s still tentative plan for the novel, Danny is now 40 years old and living in upstate New York, where he works as the equivalent of an orderly at a hospice for the terminally ill. Danny’s real job is to visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers. Danny also has a sideline in betting on the horses, a trick he learned from his buddy Dick Hallorann.”
In the aftermath of that statement, numerous news sources assumed that King was committed to writing the novel, which caused him to issue a sort of retraction via Entertainment Weekly. “It’s a great idea, and I just can’t seem to get down to it,” says the author in an e-mail. “People shouldn’t hold their breath. I know it would be cool, though. I want to write it just for the title, Dr. Sleep. I even told them [at the book signing], ‘It will probably never happen.'” Still, King — whose most recent novel is this month’s Under the Dome — can’t quite shut the door on the Shining sequel, adding, “But ‘probably’ isn’t ‘positively,’ so maybe.” The poll appeared on his website a few days later.
Concerning the next book (before he tackles either of these two), he said this in Toronto: “I have one (story) that’s kind of like Under the Dome, that I tried to write when I was 22 or 23 years old and I’m going to try to go back to that after this tour. I’d like to write that one. Beyond that, I have things that bounce around in my head. Dome bounced around a long time. I don’t keep a writer’s notebook of ideas because I’ve felt all my life that if I get a really good idea, it will stick.”
King’s appearance on The Hour can be found on the CBC website. Here is a one-minute clip of King and Cronenberg on stage in Toronto. Here are three video snippets from Talking Volumes in Minneapolis:
SyFy has ordered 13 episodes of Haven, the weekly TV series inspired by The Colorado Kid. Haven centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay — while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven. Producer Lloyd Segan talks about the show in this interview.
Casting has commenced for the reboot of Carrie: The Musical. The cast will feature Sutton Foster as gym teacher Ms. Gardner, Marin Mazzie as Margaret White, Molly Ranson as Carrie and Jennifer Damiano as Sue. Also revealed in the cast are “American Idol” finalist Diana DeGarmo (Hairspray, The Toxic Avenger) as Chris, Matt Doyle as Tommy and John Arthur Greene as Billy. The Carrie ensemble includes Corey Boardman, Lilli Cooper, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, Benjamin Eakeley, Emily Ferranti, Kyle Harris, Philip Hoffman, Kaitlin Kiyan, Max Kumangai, Mackenzie Mauzy, Preston Sadleir, Jonathan Schwartz, Bud Weber and Sasha Weiss. Producer Seller has reunited composer Michael Gore, lyricist Dean Pitchford and book writer Lawrence D. Cohen, whom took a crack at the stage show back in 1988 to reprise their roles for this update. You can actually check out an official Carrie: The Musical website with plenty of tid-bits on the original show, as well as info on the new one right here.
Among the news items arising from King’s public appearances this week:
Under the Dome may be an HBO miniseries. The rights to the novel were acquired by Steven Spielberg’s production company
King has written a screenplay for Cell, so he thinks that’s going to happen. He said that he had gotten so many complaints about the ending of the book that he changed everything.
He still plans to work on a sequel to Black House, though nothing is definite at this point
He wonders what became of Danny Torrance
He has an idea for a new Dark Tower book, the working title of which will be THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE. He has not yet started this book and anticipates that it will be a minimum of eight months before he is able to begin writing it.
King talks about his 10 longest novels in this combination print interview/podcast at Time.com. Note that the print section is shorter than what he actually says on the individual audio files.
The folks at McSweeney’s are producing a celebration of newsprint, a reimagined newspaper for their next issue. The 380-page San Francisco Panorama will be out in early December, and features an essay by King about the World Series. Check out the tease here.
JJ Abrams reinforces an earlier statement that he and Damon Lindelof are not working on a Dark Tower movie adaptation.”The ‘Dark Tower’ thing is tricky,” he said. “It’s such an important piece of writing. The truth is that Damon and I are not looking at that right now.” [read more]
Under the Dome by Stephen King
reviewed by Bev Vincent
Let’s get this out of the way: Under the Dome is not the second coming of The Stand. Both novels have impressive page counts and huge casts; however, there are fundamental differences between them.
King used the entire continental US as his tableau in The Stand, whereas in Under the Dome he is confined to Chester’s Mill, Maine. The Stand was a chess game, with King taking months of story time to maneuver his characters into position. Under the Dome is a rapid-paced game of checkers—with one piece in the back row already crowned before the start of play.
The books explore good and evil, but in The Stand these concepts were taken to an absolute level. God does not appear in the Dramatis Personae of Under the Dome. The most sincere “religious” character is a minister who doesn’t even believe in Him any more. The town leaders loudly proclaim their faith and “get knee-bound” in times of crisis, but are corrupt and decidedly un-Christian. Not Evil; merely evil.
The mysterious Dome that descends over Chester’s Mill on a sunny Saturday morning in mid-October somewhere between the years 2012 and 2016 is semi-permeable. People can communicate through it, but it is unmovable and, apparently, unbreakable. It isn’t really a dome; it has the same sock-shaped perimeter as the town’s borders with places like Castle Rock and TR-90, and extends upward over eight miles. There is limited air exchange, and a jet of water directed at the outside produces a fine mist inside. The electric lines are down but—thanks to the prevalence of generators in Western Maine—cell phones, cable TV and the Internet all work.
The world is aware of the town’s plight. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper report on the phenomenon from outside the Dome and, later, from Castle Rock after armed forces establish a perimeter.
Though the town’s residents feel like ants under a magnifying glass, they have more pressing worries, like how long will their food and propane last, how will the Dome affect their weather, and when will the air no longer be safe to breathe? Those trapped by the Dome aren’t so different from people stranded in New Orleans after Katrina or on Little Tall Island in Storm of the Century.
There’s price gouging for commodities and a storeowner sells his overstock of questionable, stale-dated frozen food to unsuspecting customers.
These badly behaved people are small potatoes, though, compared to Big Jim Rennie, used car dealer, town selectman and operator of one of the largest meth labs in the country. When (if) the Dome is breached, Chester’s Mills will fall under intense scrutiny. He needs to dismantle the drug lab and return the town’s reserve propane tanks, which he appropriated for his illicit purposes. Like Flagg in The Eyes of the Dragon, Rennie is the power behind the throne, allowing a weak man to take the leadership position on the town council, and forcing through a malleable replacement when the sheriff’s pacemaker explodes after he gets too close to the Dome. He surrounds himself with stupid people who won’t question his orders or motives.
The book’s hero, Dale “Barbie” Barbara, an Iraq war veteran employed at the town diner, was already persona non grata in Chester’s Mill after a run-in with Rennie’s son and other punks. Recognizing his situation as untenable, he was hitchhiking out of town when the Dome appeared. Colonel James Cox, his former commanding officer, reactivates him to duty, and they share intelligence about the situation in the town and external efforts to penetrate the Dome.
One of the book’s themes can be found in the lyrics of a James McMurtry song: Everyone in a small town is supposed to know his place, and everyone supports the home team. When the President declares martial law in Chester’s Mill and installs Barbie as the interim leader, Rennie’s diseased heart goes into palpitations. Outside forces can’t implement this directive, though, so Rennie starts discrediting Barbie while turning the town into a municipal dictatorship. To discourage resistance, he beefs up the police department with ruffians and thugs. He stages riots to demonstrate the necessity of his actions. He also seizes the opportunity to settle old grudges.
Tempers fray as days pass and efforts to break through the Dome fail. People commit suicide. Others die in accidents and altercations, or are murdered when they threaten Rennie’s plans.
A small group of rebels forms around Barbie, including Julia Shumway, owner/editor of the town newspaper. Not only did she not vote for Rennie, she editorialized against him during election campaigns. The previous sheriff’s widow and the Congregationalist minister are co-conspirators. As the situation degrades, other people begin to question their allegiance to Rennie.
King uses the metaphor of addiction to explain the townspeople’s behavior. Anyone can become a drug addict after an injury because the body and the brain conspire to create imaginary pain to rationalize taking more painkillers. Rennie is the town’s brain and most residents go along with his deception. This is the way people like Rennie are allowed to take power, King says. On a larger scale, he might have turned into another Pol Pot or Hitler.
The book is populated with fascinating, three-dimensional characters, including a trio of precocious and resourceful children, two out-of-towners forced to become surrogate parents, a physician’s assistant pressed into running the hospital when the town’s only doctor dies, the owner of a megastore that stocks everything imaginable, an unstable man suffering from a brain tumor, and a few dogs who offer more than comic relief.
Crossovers to other King novels are slight, except for a symbol that should inspire discussions about the true nature of the Dome. Children experience visions of the near future, but there are few other supernatural elements—beyond the Dome itself.
One character with literary ambitions muses about the risks involved in writing a novel. “What if you spent all that time, wrote a thousand-pager, and it sucked?”
King need have no such fears. This thousand-plus-pager most definitely does not suck. For such a massive book it is an incredibly fast and breezy read. It has the urgent pace of Cell without the wonky pseudoscience, and the insightful depiction of small town politics of Needful Things—except the characters in Under the Dome are sympathetic.
It’s not The Stand II, but people who liked that book—or Desperation or ‘Salem’s Lot—will love this one.
Bev Vincent has been writing News from the Dead Zone since 2001. His first book, The Road to the Dark Tower, an authorized companion to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, was published by NAL in 2004 and nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. He contributes a monthly essay to the Storytellers Unplugged, contributed to the serial novellas Looking Glass and The Crane House, and has published hundreds of book reviews and over 50 short stories, including appearances in Shivers (vols II and IV), Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Tesseracts Thirteen, Doctor Who: Destination Prague, and this magazine. His latest book is The Stephen King Illustrated Companion, available in November at Barnes & Noble. Visit him on the web at www.bevvincent.com
Just a few more days until Under the Dome arrives in stores. The signed, limited edition is already winging its way into the hands of buyers; some people have received their copies already. Next week will be a publicity-heavy week for King, with several televised and live appearances. He will be on Good Morning America on publication day (Tuesday, November 10), The Colbert Report (unschedules) and on The View (Friday, November 13) to help Whoopi Goldberg celebrate her birthday.
Celebrated short story writer Scott Snyder and artist Rafael Albuquerque will launch a new monthly comic book series from Vertigo in March 2010 with a unique contribution from King. The new ongoing series, American Vampire, will introduce readers to a new breed of vampire-a more muscular and vicious species of vampire with distinctly American characteristics. The series’ first story arc, to be told over the course of five issues, will feature two different stories, one written by Snyder, the other by King. King’s story provides the origin of the very first American vampire:Skinner Sweet, a bank robbing, murdering cowboy of the 1880s. Skinner is stronger and faster than previous vampires; he has rattlesnake fangs and is powered by…. the sun? Check out this article about the project at Newsarama. Here’s an interview with the artist.
Here’s a blog entry by Jay Franco, the editor of the 2010 Stephen King Library Desk Calendar, which contains contributions from a number of people that will be familiar to you. My essay is called “The Eyes Have It.”
King will have an article about this year’s world series in the next McSweeney’s, which is designed to look like a newspaper. Here is a full, mouthwatering tease for the issue.
Paramount has dug up an old film license and used it to create a mobile application game “inspired by” Pet Sematary. The $1 app is a top-down shooter, in which you have to rapidly tap on resurrected pets and small boys to shoot them, while saving the adults who charge around the levels seeking safety. [more info]
King is quoted in this EW.com article about selling Under the Dome for $9 and the decision not to release the e-book version until 12/24. He also released this statement on his web site: “Please don’t believe the press reports that the e-book reader price for Under the Dome will be $35. This was the result of confusion from a press release from the publisher, what Big Jim Rennie would call a clustermug. It is true that you cannot order the book as an e-download until December 24th but the physical book, which is a beautiful thing, you can pre-order for less than $9—so who’s better than us?”
Hodder & Stoughton, King’s UK publisher, has an online/offline promotion where people are sent on a treasure hunt to find the more than 5000 snippets of Under the Dome that are being hidden by other participants all across the web. Facebook and Twitter feeds are being used to distribute clues to the location. You just never know where one of these snippets might turn up.
There’s a short interview with King at the Science Fiction Book Club (may contain mild spoilers) and a letter from King to readers at the same site. Look for an excerpt from the book in the issue of Entertainment Weekly that will be on news stands next week.
Marvel announced a new chapter in the Dark Tower graphic fiction adaptation-Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. Beginning in 2010, the creative team of Peter David, Robin Furth and Richard Isanove return for a new 30-issue arc exploring the life of Roland Deschain, revealing how and why he began his pursuit of the man in black across Mid-World’s Mohaine Desert! “We are extremely excited to continue our epic journey into the DARK TOWER universe with THE GUNSLINGER,” says Ruwan Jayatilleke, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development-Acquisitions & Licensing. “And we are equally ecstatic to continue our collaboration with Stephen King as well as keeping comic book fans on their toes!” A look back at key points along the road to DARK TOWER: THE FALL OF GILEAD #6 and the cataclysmic events to come
King has submitted an exclusive, all-new article for publication in Fangoria magazine. The 7,500-plus-word essay, entitled “What’s Scary,” will be published in two parts, beginning with #289, on sale in December, and concluding in #290, arriving in January 2010. “I’ve wanted to be a Fango contributor ever since I purchased my first issue,” King says. “For me, this is a nightmare come true.”
NBC Universal and E1 Entertainment are co-financing a 13-episode TV series called Haven that is based in part on The Colorado Kid. The project “centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay — while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven.” Scott Shepherd will serve as showrunner and exec produce with Lloyd Segan and Shawn Piller, all three of whom were exec producers on USA Network’s version of The Dead Zone. Two more The Dead Zone alumni, Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn, are writing the pilot and will also serve as exec producers.
Couldn’t let such an auspicious date pass without supplying an update. Besides there are things happening worth reporting.
First off, Scribner has launched a dedicated web site to promote Under the Dome. The URL is StephenKingUnderTheDome.com and it is here that we will get the first sneak peeks at the cover art. The first element is supposed to come out today so, keep checking back. There’s also an excerpt from the book, wallpapers, a PDF map of the town of Chester’s Mill, a link to the town’s web page, character bios (including a link to a blog being kept by one of the book’s characters, Scarecrow Joe) and a widget you can add to your web site. The limited edition of the book sold out in just a few hours last week.
For the first time ever, you can to read an excerpt from The Cannibals. This is the 1980s novel that originally inspired Under the Dome.
Children of the Corn debuts on SyFy this Saturday evening. Here’s an article about an advance screening in Iowa. King, who is credited as a co-writer, has seen this movie, producer, director and writer Donald Borchers said. Writers Guild of America regulations state that he could keep his name in the credits, be listed under a pseudonym or take his name off completely. He elected to keep his name in the credits, Borchers proudly said.
The November issue of Playboy will contain a narrative poem called “The Bone Church.” It is described as being “in the tradition of Coleridge and Kipling” and “filled with madness and mayhem.” Should be on news stands in early October.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, but things have been relatively quiet on the King front. However, next week, on September 15th to be exact, the signed/limited edition of Under the Dome goes on sale. The volume will cost. $200.00 plus shipping and handling, and is only available to residents of the United States. A limit of one per customer, and the book is only available here. This edition has a belly band around the jacket, a stamped case, four-color printed endpapers, 27 part title illustrations of characters in the book drawn by renowned New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee, and a ribbon marker. The edition also contains a deck of 27 special collector’s cards featuring the Diffee caricatures. Printed on specialty paper. Shrink-wrapped. The book will ship on November 19, 2009.
An excerpt from Under The Dome appears in the paperback edition of Just After Sunset.
The Stephen King Illustrated Companion should be in Barnes & Nobles’ warehouses by September 25, at which point you should be able to order it via their website. The book will take an additional week or two to make it into stores.
Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with this thread on King’s official site: Under the Dome signing tour. It is the place to get all the late-breaking news about the rules and regulations for getting tickets to see King or get a signed book during his upcoming tour. Many of the events have sold out within minutes of the tickets going on sale, so pay sharp attention. A couple of events are still awaiting finalization of details before official announcements concerning location and ticket purchase are made.
Children of the Corn is coming to the small screen later on this month (Saturday, September 26 at 9pm Eastern/Pacific on SyFy) but in an unprecedented move, Dimension Films is planning its own big-screen remake of the story. No release date has been set, but Ehren Kruger has been tapped to write the script.
Brothers John and Paul Buckholts have secured the rights and are developing an adaptation of “Home Delivery.” The story, as you may recall, takes place on a Maine island where survivors escape from the undead. According to Paul, Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train) is attached to direct.
King’s 2-page poem “Mostly Old Men” appears in issue #40 of Tin House magazine. Back issues can be ordered at their website.
More news about King’s publicity tour for Under the Dome is emerging. Both the New York and Portsmouth events are sold out, according to recent reports. Details about other events have not been made public. Check King’s message board for the most up-to-date information about the tour. The DC/Baltimore and Atlanta events will be straight signings, with no on-stage event, whereas for the others King will presign 250 books that will be made available for sale to attendees, although there may well be more attendees than books for some events.
November 10 – NYC (sold out)
November 11 – D.C. or Baltimore
November 13 – Atlanta
November 16 – Sarasota
November 18 – Minneapolis
November 19 – Toronto
December 1 – Portsmouth, NH (sold out)
December 2 – Manchester, VT
King is quoted in this article about the timing of the release of electronic versions of books: Stephen King, whose novel Under the Dome is being published in November by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, said in an e-mail message that “we’re all thinking and talking about electronic publishing and how to deal with these issues,” adding, “but I can’t say anything right now.” The electronic version of the book isn’t scheduled to be released until early 2010.
Scribner will publish two Collector’s Editions of Under the Dome. The regular Collector’s Edition will have a special jacket with a belly band, a stamped case, four-color printed endpapers, a ribbon marker, and will contain a set of 27 special trading cards featuring drawings of characters from the book (drawn by cartoonist Matthew Diffee). These drawings will also be featured in the book—as a frontispiece image and on the 26 part title pages. The book will be shrink-wrapped and Scribner will print only 25,000 copies of this edition, priced at $75. Scribner is also offering 1,500 copies of a signed, limited Collector’s Edition. This contains all the special elements listed above, plus the book will be signed by the author. This is priced at $200 and will only be sold through their web site. “We’re doing this to generate additional revenue,” says Susan Moldow, publisher of Simon & Schuster’s Scribner imprint. “We used to have a regular business of signed first edition mysteries, but we stopped because there wasn’t an additional mark-up…This is fighting back against the disappearance of the book as an object,” she adds.
An Under the Dome excerpt will be in a fall issue of Entertainment Weekly.
Rand Holston at CAA is currently out with the film rights to Under the Dome. According to Publishers Weekly, the book’s heft may be making it tough for Hollywood execs to see the story working as a feature; one insider said all the activity in the book is causing some to think Dome makes more sense as a miniseries.
Marvel Comics and Random House’s Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group have reached an agreement to allow The Stand: Captain Trips to be distributed in the general bookstore market beginning in January 2010. The hardcover omnibus was originally released exclusively through comics shops in March after Marvel acknowledged that it did not have permission from the book’s original publisher, Doubleday, now a part of Random House, to distribute it to the general bookstores.
Issue #3 of Fall of Gilead is now out.
The special B&W issue 0 of The Talisman was distributed at Comic-Con. The standard version of this prequel will be available in comic shops in October. The first issue of the first six-issue arc, The Road of Trials, will also appear in October. The current plan is for a total of three arcs, each about six issues.
John Harrison, whose Clive Barker-based feature Book of Blood premiered at Montreal’s Fantasia film festival recently, is writing a four-hour miniseries based on Cell for the Weinstein Company, which had originally planned to turn the book into a theatrical feature (with Eli Roth attached at one point to direct), but decided to abandon those plans and will be shopping the project to networks instead. Having served as assistant director/composer on the Creepshow and helmed Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (including an adaptation of “Cat from Hell”), Harrison considers Cell one of King’s best recent books, with opening chapters that will make an incredible first 30 minutes on screen. The filmmaker adds that he doesn’t see this as a zombie story so much as a Village of the Damned-esque chiller, and enjoys the fact that the infected populace possesses a hive mentality. While he has not been officially contracted to direct, he would certainly like to.
The remake of Children of the Corn will premiere on SyFy (formerly SciFi network) on Saturday, September 26 at 9pm Eastern/Pacific.
Still haven’t had a chance to read “Ur”? Well, you’ll have to wait a while longer. However, the story will be available as an audiobook on February 16, 2010. The reader has not yet been selected. The suggested retail price is $14.99 in CD format or $11.99 for the download edition which will be available July 2010.
A limited, black-and-white convention edition of Issue 0 of The Talisman graphic novel will be available for free exclusively at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, taking place July 22-26. The special issue will be distributed by Del Rey at Booth #1129. The non-limited version will be available in comic book stores everywhere on October 21, 2009.
A sidebar about actress Emmanuelle Vaugier says that Dolan’s Cadillac is due out in December. Not quite sure in what form or what venues. It’s already been released on DVD in Sweden.
According to Camelot Books, these are the features of the Collectors Edition of Under the Dome:
Jacket (will be the same jacket as on the trade state)
Housed in a stamped case
4 color printed endpapers
Deck of cards (apparently this relates to the book)
A new message from King from his message board: “I’m delighted to tell you that I won not one but TWO Stoker Awards at this year’s ceremony, one for Duma Key (Best Novel) and one for Just After Sunset (Best Collection). My motto is, You can never be too thin, too rich, or win too many Stoker Awards. (If you’ve never seen one, the awards are most excellently cool.) My thanks to everyone who voted, and my congratulations to all the other nominees. Most of all, though, thanks to everyone who bought those books and enjoyed them. (And if you bought them and didn’t enjoy them, I still thank you.)”