Cemetery Dance: Blockade Billy

Cemetary Dance has this news on the upcoming novella, Blockade Billy. The trade hardcover is $25, but if you want a copy you should order now:
Cemetery Dance Publications is pleased to announce Blockade Billy by Stephen King, an original, never-before-published novella that only the King of Horror could have dreamed up! Even diehard baseball fans don't know the true story of William Blakely, but in just a few weeks you'll be holding this dark tale in your own two hands so you can read it for yourself.
That's right! This Cemetery Dance exclusive trade hardcover edition is already rolling at the printer and will be arriving at our warehouse in mid-April. This beautiful hardcover edition also features stunning cover artwork by Glen Orbik and eight gorgeous pieces of interior artwork by Alex McVey.
About the Book:
Even the most diehard baseball fans don't know the true story of William "Blockade Billy" Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first — and only — player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history.
Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse... and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all.
This original, never-before-published novella represents Stephen King at his very best, and this Cemetery Dance hardcover edition brings it into print for the very first time.
A Few Words from Stephen King on Blockade Billy:"I love old-school baseball, and I also love the way people who've spent a lifetime in the game talk about the game. I tried to combine those things in a story of suspense. People have asked me for years when I was going to write a baseball story. Ask no more; this is it."
Special Bonus With Your Order!For a very limited time only, we'll be including an authentic William "Blockade Billy" Blakely baseball card with every copy of the trade hardcover edition we ship. Just place your order through our website and we'll do the rest!
Important Note #1:
This novella is not scheduled to be reprinted in King's new collection due out this fall, and we're only printing a small number of first edition copies compared to what Stephen King's New York publishers print for a brand new book. We'll be filling direct orders first and then distributors, online stores, and the chains if there are copies left available after we've taken care of our regular customers. Please order directly through our website to guarantee yourself a copy.
Important Note #2:
Please use our website store to place your order for this title. Phone and email orders probably won't get processed for several weeks due to the influx of orders, emails, and media inquiries we're currently handling. If you have questions about this title, please visit the FAQ before you contact us.
Important Note #3
Although our server company is well prepared for today's announcement, there is a chance the webstore might not be able to handle all of the traffic. If the site or store crashes while you're attempting to place your order, please wait 10 minutes before returning to the store to try again. Clicking reload multiple times will only make the problem worse. Thank you for your patience.
Deluxe Signed Special Edition:Lonely Road Books, the publisher of Dark Forces: The 25th Anniversary Special Edition and Riding the Bullet: The Deluxe Special Edition, will be publishing a deluxe signed edition of Blockade Billy, but official details won't be announced until closer to the publication date.

New Novella: Blockade Billy 4.20.10

stephenking.com has announced the upcoming release of Blockade Billy. thisi s a novella that will be published by Cemetary Dance and available on April 20th, 2010. King seems to be doing a lot of novella's since finishing Under The Dome. Here's the publicity info:
Even the most diehard baseball fans don't know the true story of William "Blockade Billy" Blakely.He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first — and only — player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history. Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse... and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all. This original, never-before-published novella represents Stephen King at his very best, and this Cemetery Dance hardcover edition brings it into print for the very first time.

Cujo Re-Envisioned

In his continuing project, Stephen King Re-Envisioned, Laz Marquez offers this for Cujo. He indicates he will do one more, so if you have a book you'd really like to see redone, email him. Notice how that fense is always so important to Cujo? Both the book and the movie had it.
Laz says, "This one was an interesting poster to tackle, as I had an idea of what I wanted to do right away. Usually I sit on it or go through multiple ideas before sticking with one, but not for this particular piece. I knew all of the elements I wanted, the colors, etc. The thing that became challenging was once everything was in place, I needed to really consider how the scaling and composition worked. This made the process a little longer, as I wanted to get it to the right place and have it all be cohesive. In the end, I think it's a rather interesting addition to the King Set."

Why Hemingford Home?

This is from usaweekend.com. stephenking.com notes that this is an abridged answer, but still interesting.

Why did horror writer Stephen King use the name Hemingford as a setting in two of his novels (It, The Stand) and a short story?
Patsy Parkin, Wheatland, Wyo.

For King, fictional Hemingford Home is where the heartland is. And it’s named after the real Hemingford, Neb. “I originally used Hemingford Home in The Stand,” King says, “because I wanted to put Mother Abigail in the American heartland. That’s Nebraska. Hemingford was in the right place. … I love Nebraska and keep going back to it in my fiction — when I’m not in Maine, that is.”


McKeen on King

I really enjoyed Sid McKeen 's article on Stephen King's appearance at Port Charlotte's Big Read event. McKeen was one of the lottery winners (the lottery to get in, not that other lottery thing).
I enjoyed this insight, and he made me laugh. . .
Stephen King and I have a lot in common.
Cut it out, man, I’m serious. He was born in Maine, and so was I. He’s been a writer all his life, and so have I. He divides his time between Maine and Florida, and so do I. He’s always been a huge fan of the Red Sox, and so have I. He has a reputation for being a little squirrelly, and so have I. He put out a mimeographed newspaper at the age of 12 and sold copies for a nickel apiece, and so did I.
He’s a multi-millionaire and … Well, 6 out of 7 ain’t bad.
McKeen also share thsi interesting tid-bit:
. . .something that happened in my own family back in the ’70s. My late Uncle Ray was a realtor on the Maine coast, and one day a man with a wife and baby showed up in a banged-up VW bus and asked to be shown a property for sale. He said he was a writer and that he was expecting a chunk of money as an advance on a new book. My uncle, sizing up the prospect as a born-loser hippie, spent only a few minutes showing him the place. “My name is Stephen King,” the man had told him. The book was “Carrie”, his first. Didn’t mean a thing. Ray never lived it down.
Check out his thoughts and comments on King's visit at: http://www.telegram.com/article/20100328/COLUMN19/3280365/1020/rss01&source=rssom

Strange Fan?

My wife and I were watching the Stephen King Big Read event yesterday on the internet. She said, "Too bad he's not coming to Calfironia."

That perplexed me, "Why?"

She stared as if I had lost my mind. "Because then you could meet him."

"But, I don't feel any need to meet him."

She found this very strange. How could I collect King's books, magazine articles, books about King and more, but not be interested in actually seeing King live, or meeting him. I never thought of that as strange. But as I look around, I noitce that most fans do want to at lesat meet King. Charlie Fried's notebook was full of his notes about a trip to see King, and a picture of him with King.

So, I found myself asking: Why isn't that something that would interest me? a few answers come to mind:

1. I don't feel I have anything to offer him -- and what he has to offer me is what he puts in print. Shaking his hand would only keep that hand off the keyboard for another moment! Why slow the progression of Wind through the Keyhole any longer? (hehe)

2. I don't want to be just another guy standing in line going, "Hey man, I really liked the Stand."

So what do ya'all think? what am I missing here?

Video Link - Big Read Event

Here is the video link to the Charlotte County Big Read Event. This includes his reading of "The Old Dude's Ticker." There is also a photo gallery.

Canwest acquires 'Haven'

hollywood reporter has a short article on Toronto broadcaster Canwest Global Communications picking up "Haven." The article notes, "Production on "Haven," which is set in small-town Maine, will start shortly in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with Lucas Bryant ("Queer as Folk") and Eric Balfour as the latest additions to the cast."

British PB Covers For Under The Dome

What will Under The Dome look like in paperback? The hardcover was by far the most awesome cover artwork I've seen. No one would fault HODDER & STOUGHTON if they simply reporduced the same artwork for the paperback. But they're going all out, developing four unique covers that feature characters.
Lilja notes: The marketing campaign supporting publication will seek to bring to life individuals featured on these covers. Media used will include national outdoor posters, on-line advertising and a dedicated website with stories and recordings from characters in the book. The plan is very much to reach a bigger audience than for any previous King paperback whilst involving the reader in a very personal and intimate way.
It is exciting that Hodder and Stroughton are working to introduce more people to King. Above are the book covers, which I got off http://www.liljas-library.com/ -- with his permission. Liljas is always the first place for news and reviews when it comes to Stephen King.

Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe, 2

In a fuller article on Stephen King's speech yesterday at Charlotte Cultural Center, Pamela Staik discusses King's interest in Edgar Allan Poe. And, in a story King wrote in honor of the Tell Tale Heart, titled: The Old Dudes Ticker.

Staik writes,

During the hourlong event, the author of modern-day horror also spoke about his influences in literature, including Edgar Allan Poe, a 19th-century American author who is at the center of The Big Read in Charlotte County.
While Poe may not have influenced King as much as other writers, he said Poe's influence was great for American literature. For starters, Poe invented the detective story and the use of an antihero in stories.

"Poe was the first writer to write about main characters who were bad guys or who were mad guys, and those are some of my favorite stories," King said.
He added that Poe, who spun tales of mystery and the macabre in his imagination, also inspired several of his favorite authors, including Robert Bloch, H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury.
"I came along and read all those guys, so you can say that we were all twisted by our evil grandfather," he joked.

In 1975, King put his own twisted spin on Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart," which he retitled "The Old Dude's Ticker." While the story mimics Poe's original storyline, King's adaptation features a Vietnam War veteran suffering from "combat fatigue" as the narrator, and lingo reminiscent of the 1970s.
After giving a brief description of his Poe adaptation, King stopped and looked at the audience.
"If you beg and scream, I've got it in my pocket, I can read it you you," he said, reaching toward his jacket pocket.

Naturally, applause, cheers and a few whistles rang out from the theater's packed seats.
"You really want to hear this story?" King asked, leaving the audience to erupt once again.
"Everything in the story that I'm going to read to you is in Poe's story, so if you get grossed out or if you get scared or if you go 'Yuk!' or something like that, don't blame me, blame it right on Poe," King said. "And you can't get at him, he's dead."

With an animated voice and matching hand motions, King read the veteran's plea of sanity.

More on King and Poe here: http://talkstephenking.blogspot.com/2009/12/stephen-king-and-edgar-allen-poe.html

Stephen King at Charlotte Cultural Center

In an article for the Charlotte Sun titled "Stephen King makes an impression at Big Read kickoff", staff writer Pamela Staik gave this quick overview of the event:
King, the famed author of such chilling tales as "Carrie," "The Shining," "The Stand," "Misery" and "The Green Mile," prefers to give his nightmares life as he pens them into short stories and novels, pieces of modern-day horror that have thrilled readers for decades.
"One of the reasons that I write this stuff is because if you're nervous or if something has really scared you, you can turn it around and scare the hell out of someone else," he laughed, as he addressed a crowd of more than 400 Saturday at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County theater.
He was there as host of the kickoff for the Charlotte County Big Read — a six-week-long literary celebration meant to promote reading in the community. On Saturday, King spoke about reading, writing and the inspirations for his captivating stories.

S.K. Re-Envisioned: The Shining

More from Laz Marquez and his project to "re-envision" Stephen King posters. This one is based on Stanly Kubrick's version of The Shining. Strange thing, I like the poster more than the movie! Notice, just looking at the King prints and the Hitchcock re-envisioned how he likes to use yellows and reds a lot. To me, it gives things a 70's feeling -- which works well since both Carrie and The Shining were products of the 70's. (Yes, I do know Kubrick's film came out in 1980).
He notes on his website, "This was hands down the toughest poster I've had to approach thus far. After going back and watching the Stanley Kubrick film last week, I had almost too much to work off of. The film has such a wealth of iconic scenes and imagery, but this is also a poster/film that has had so much attention in the design realm. This made it tough to choose imagery to work with that was not too cliche or typical. No matter what, I knew I'd end up with something that was easily recognizable and like where I ended up. I wanted to represent the scenario of the fim, include some iconic design cues (that gorgeous carpet pattern) and initial threat to create mood (Jack's silo peeking/looming from the door). This took a lot of drafts and a lot of concept sketches to get here & hopefully you all enjoy!"
Be sure to check out the website at, http://lazmarquez.squarespace.com/

Joe Hill Interview

Wow, I han't previously read Joe King. . . but I'm going to! His comments are right on.

blogcritic: Review Of Cells

blogcritic has a very insightful review of Cell. Just a few quotes, but check out the website because the review really is strong:

"What's important is how King makes us feel and for these characters, and we genuinely care what becomes of them. Characters are not introduced as fodder for these crazed attackers, but if and when new characters come along before you know it — even it's only just a few chapters later — we suddenly fret if they find themselves in any sort of danger."

"the brilliance of Cell is how King manages to mix exploration of humanity with a powerful and engaging apocalyptic story. Those hungry for King's more macabre, even horrible, descriptions are all there. These zombies — or, as King calls them, "Phone Crazies" and later "Phoners" — are more like humans than the ones found in either George A. Romero (whom the book is dedicated to) or Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead. To begin with they still speak, but only in babbling form. Just about the time of Gayton Academy and when a couple more survival companions come into the picture, the revelation of the advancement of these Phoners is revealed, and it brings a deeper layer to the proceedings. What could have been over-the-top nonsense instead becomes over-the-top and fascinating. The areas King gets into are both satisfying — often in their lack of description as much as in their abundance of description — and shocking."

Cell represents a refreshing, grizzly, creepy and often powerful exploration of the nature of humanity, what happens to a society when the rules have been stripped away and it's every man, woman and child — whether they're aware of it or not — for themselves. As always, King is unmatched in his description of things ranging from the out of the ordinary (for example, a muscled young man frantically stabbing car aerials into the air) to the mundane. The 355 page novel is nowhere near Stephen King's best — can he ever top classics like The Shining and Misery, and would fans admit so even if he did? — but it's a thoroughly engrossing and satisfying read.


S.K. Re-Envisioned

Laz Marquez did a really neat project called: "Re-Envisioning Alfred Hitchcock." The set of four posters were awesome. They were both original and creative while they maintained the "feel" of the movies. I was impressed.
Marquez's next project. . . a set of Stephen King. Above is the Carrie poster.
Someone ought to hire this guy to do some of those book covers, I think he actually captures the heart of the book better than many of the signet covers. Anyway, below are his Hitchcock posters. Check out his website for a lot more great stuff.

True Library Police

In an article titled, "Overdue library books landing some in court," Sabina Kuriakose reports that North Adams Public Library (Mass) is taking some people to court to recover overdue library reports.

I like this quote: "We have a family who took out the entire Stephen King collection from North Adams and Williamstown." So, I guess that family has a copy of the Library Police.


Hunting the Mist Unabridged

I was asked the other day about the Mist unabridged, read by Frank Muller. I too have wanted a copy of this for some time. In High School I wrote the publisher, but got no response. Last night I emailed them and got this response:

"Thank you for your inquiry. I am sorry; Recorded Books no longer has the unabridged recording rights for the title "The Mist" narrated from Frank Muller."

What does that mean? I don't know. Except that they are no longer a source for finding that recording. Best bet from here is to ask at Libraries. Put that search up there with a hunt for The Stand -- not impossible, but still a headache.

I msut say that the 3D production, that's being called an "unabridged" recording does not compare to the power of King's writing.

Daily Beast Interview

The Daily Beast's Shannon Donnelly has an interview with King titled "Stephen King on His Comics' Debut."

She quotes King, "“I loved Superman, Captain Marvel, all those guys,” King says. “I even liked Casper the Friendly Ghost! I probably should be ashamed to admit it, but I did.”

Check out the full interview: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-03-14/stephen-king-on-his-comics-debut/2/

ebay collecting

ebay is the world's largest yard sale. Of course, it's wonderful for collectors, and in particular constant readers.
Today I got in a bidding war for Richard Bachman's "The Long Walk." So what's a Bachman book worth? -- same thing your hosue is worth, whatever someone will pay for it. In my case, I just couldn't bring myself to give more than $70 for a paperback book.
It's the first warm day in a long time, and as things warm up I always feel the need to start buying King. So, no Bachman. . . what did I buy? I want to be clear about this: Do not buy signed items on ebay or even amazon unless it's from the publisher. Go to Betts books for that kind of stuff. What I got:
--stephen king : A Primary Bibliography Justin Brooks lmt, $6.00
Big spender, eh. Of course, the 14 articles are just clipped paper, but still cool. My point is that collecting does not have to break the bank.
My best buy yet was a The Running Man (with bachman name, not King on cover) for $5 from a small bookstore. Did they know what they had? They did, because it was in the Stephen King section.
Now, how do I get that leather bound copy of The Stand. . .

Fangoria review of American Vampire

fangoria.com has a very positive and insightful review of American Vampire. Here are a couple of quotes, check out the link:

For horror fans, the first reaction to issue #1 of Scott Snyder’s AMERICAN VAMPIRE is the sigh of relief they’ll experience as they realize it’s a far cry from the bloodsucking bandwagon most of Hollywood finds itself on. Once they’ve happily exhaled though, the second thought should be, “This is a damn fine comic.”

What Snyder, King and Albuquerque have done here is craft an excellent introduction to these stories. The issue gives you a nice insight into all of its major players, and Snyder begins creating an interesting world inside both periods in American history.


American Vampire Trailer

Dread Central has this tailer posted for the upcoming American Vampire


Lilja's: News From Cemetery Dance

This came in Cemetary Dance's newsletter earlier today. I ordered Lilja's Library long long ago, in a Galaxy. . . you get the idea. At last, it's on the way! Lilja's website notes that it should be out around July. I can't wait! Anyway, here's the Cemetary Dance write up:
We're pleased to report that Lilja's Library: The World of Stephen King by Hans-Ake Lilja and illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne is rolling at our printer and is now scheduled for a mid-summer publication date. Also, collectors should take note that the Lettered Edition, which features original artwork by Chadbourne, is almost sold out! Don't wait to order or you'll miss out on that very special edition of this very cool book.
For over a decade now, Lilja has been one of the leading voices on the Internet when it comes to covering and reporting on Stephen King's books and movies. His website, Lilja's Library, is the die-hard fan's source for information about new King projects and breaking news, but Lilja has also featured his own in-depth reviews and interviews with the most important people in King's world, including Stephen King himself.
Lilja's Library: The World of Stephen King is a brand new massive collection of over 150 of those reviews, over 40 of those interviews, and other special features of interest to King readers everywhere. If you've never been to the website, you're in for a real treat as you catch-up with over 500 pages of articles and features that are sure to please any kind of Stephen King fan, from the general reader to the die-hard collector. And for Lilja's constant readers, there's original material in this special volume that has never appeared anywhere on his website before, and every article and review has been updated and revised for this release.
You have to see the table of contents to understand just how much great material is in this massive book, but just a few of the interviews include: Stephen King (twice!), Frank Darabont, Marsha DeFilippo, Mick Garris, Peter Straub, and many other people who have been involved in King's prolific career. The reviews include detailed commentary on well-known works by and about Stephen King, along with details about the rare works you might not have heard of, including the original scripts for Hearts in Atlantis, Stud City, and dozens of others; the original pilot for The Dead Zone that never aired on TV; Walking The Mile: The Making Of (a book that has never been released); the Pet Sematary and Secret Window, Secret Garden UK dramatizations; the dozens of Dollar Babies, and more!
There are also dozens of brand new features written exclusively for this volume, including interviews with Lilja himself and Glenn Chadbourne; reviews of short films such as "Here There Be Tygers," "Boogeyman," "Walking Ghost," "The Secret Transit Codes of America's Highways," "Night Surf," "Stephen King's Gotham Café," "Sorry, Right Number," "Night of the Living Dead," and others; reviews of the script for "The Mist" and scripts that are currently in development (including Black House and From a Buick 8); reviews of books such as Stephen King: A Primary Bibliography, Stephen King: The Non-Fiction, and others; and much, much more!
If you're new to the world of Lilja's Library or already a constant reader, this special volume is a must-have for your collection! An exclusive Cemetery Dance Publications release, there are no other editions planned anywhere in the world for this incredible book.

Don Brautigam Limited Edition

Don Brautigam Artist Portfolio from centipede press contains King illustrations. Centipede press says:
"This large, 10 × 14 collection covers the entire artistic career of Don Brautigam. Well-known and widely acknowledged for having revolutionized paperback cover art back in the 1970s, Don passed away earlier this year. But his legacy lives on in this beautiful, oversized edition. This volume includes all of his Stephen King and Dean Koontz covers, including Night Shift, The Stand, The Running Man, Dragon Tears, Strangers, and a lot more. The first 30 copies are signed by Don Brautigam and Dean Koontz. Bound in cloth with a printed front panel, and enclosed in a cloth slipcase."

The Shining Goes Cuckoo

"Artist Chris Domino made this cuckoo clock inspired by the horror movie The Shining. Every hour on the hour, Jack Nicholson’s head pokes through the door and says “Here’s Johnny!” Then the Shelly Duval figure screams."
How appropriate, since Shelly Duval spent almsot every breath of that movie screaming. This is the kind of thing you give someone you want to drive insane.

Silver Bullet's Corey Haim

At a very young 38, Corey Haim died today. Of course, he was most famous for his role as Marty in Stephen King's Silver Bullet.

Pet Sematary Remake

It's been rumored for some time that there would be a Pet Sematary remake. Well, it appears it's going to happen.

Is there a need for a remake?
I find myself wondering what was wrong with the first Pet Sematary? If you want to remake a King movie, is this really the one that cries out -- "Fix me!"

The MTV blog said this: Why? "Pet Sematary" is a damn scary Stephen King adaptation. The Maine writer was on his game back in 1983 when the book was first published, and the 1989 movie directed by Mary Stuart was actually quite good. It was creepy, it captured the tone of the novel and it told a good story.

Film School Rejects writes, Mary Lambert’s 1989 film of the novel is an under-seen horror gem as far as I’m concerned. The acting is solid throughout, especially from Gwynne (as the neighbor who shares too much) and Miko Hughes as little Gage Creed. It’s a scary and at times emotionally devastating movie (and novel) and I really don’t see how it can be improved.

So the question is pretty simple: Why this one? Hey, remake Dolores Claiborne! Remake Silver Bullet. Remake IT. Remake Firestarter. How about a remake of The Runningman and Graveyard Shift. What about Sleepwalkers or Lanmowerman. (Or any other movie ending with "man.") Or how about a remake of Dreamcatcher? But Pet Semetary?! I don't get it.

Some remakes I thought were pretty good:
1. The Carrie mini-series. 2002
2. The Shining. 1997
3. Trucks. 1997

What I like about Pet Sematary:

1. Fred Gwynne.
2. It catches the tone of the book. Very dark, creepy and unafraid to explore death.
3. The final line, "Darling."
4. The kid killing Fred Gwynne was great!

Brian Keene and Under The Dome

Some have noted that Brian Keene's expanded novel, Darkness On The Edge Of Town is very much like Stephen King's Under The Dome. Of course, Keene is often compared (by his publisher) to King. I've only read one Keene novel, THE CONQUEROR WORMS, which I enjoyed very much.

Bookgasm.com gives this summery:

As narrator Robbie Higgins recalls, he and the other residents of the small town of Walden, Va., woke up one morning to darkness. All light had disappeared, along with all electricity and other utilities. No phones, no TV, no radio, no Internet. Just darkness.

As Robbie; his girlfriend, Christy; and his buddy, Russ, struggle along with the other Walden residents to figure out what happened, they soon find that the rest of the world seems to have disappeared, and their town, as Robbie describes it, has been “stuffed into a bottle and covered by a black cloth.” A group of volunteer firemen venture out beyond the town borders, where the darkness seems to expand and thicken. Almost immediately after they vanish from sight, horrific screams are heard by those left behind, and the volunteers never return.

Robbie and his friends then find that the darkness emits strange powers over them. As they explore one evening toward the edge of town, they experience visions of those they once loved — now either dead or simply long-lost — who invite them deeper into the darkness.


Second Stephen King lottery scheduled

The Charlotte Sun and Weekly Herald reports that there will be a second lottery for tickets to the March 20 Stpehen King speaking engagement. The talk will be held at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County.

Pamela Staik writes, On Wednesday, organizers for the Big Read will have a second lottery in an effort to fill the 400 available seats of the center's theater, said Angie Patteson, the manager of libraries in Charlotte County."

Some quick facts: The reason for the lottery is that several earlier winners did not pick up their tickets by the Saturday deadline. And just hwo many requests were there? -- around around 4,800! This, of course, reflects the fact that King is still extremely popular.

Of particular interest to me is the Sun's mention that Big Read hired a professional videographer and the event will be available on the county's Web site, http://charlottecountyfl.com.

entire story here: http://www.sunnewspapers.net/articles/pnnews.aspx?a=newsarchive2/030910/ch3.htm&NewsID=453681&pnpg=0

Is that any way to end a novel?

As my friend Derick from Brasil has often noted, Stephen King's endings sometimes leave us a little hollow. I will offer no real examples, because I don't want to spoil any books for you.

This is not so much a post as it is a question, for those of you who care to respond:

1. Do you like Stephen King's endings?
2. What endings did you think were strong?
3. what endings did you think were weak?

My quick list of strong endings:
  • The Shining.
  • Dolores Claiborne
  • Duma Key
  • The Stand
  • Needful Things (but not the part about Pangborns wife)
  • Eyes of the Dragon
  • The Dead Zone
  • The Green Mile

But, on the other hand. . . there are a few others that leave the constant reader preplexed. Any one want to offer thoughts?

Mindmap Of UTD Characters

Check out lecraic’s posterous "Characters in Stephen King's Under the Dome Mindmap." Don't try and read it off of this, because I can only post a small image. They have one you can zoom in on.

Notes On Under The Dome

I don't do full book reviews. Leave that to Lilija. His review of Under The Dome is very good --http://www.liljas-library.com/showreview.php?id=221.
I offer only a few notes on Under The Dome, having finally blazed through the last three disks.
1. The ending. The ending felt sparse, almost rushed. Indeed, as some have noted, I would have liked a little more involvement with the aliens.
2. The theme reminds me of The Mosters Are Due On Maple Street, or perhaps even more pointedly, Star Trek's "Charlie X." The book has also been compared to an "adult version of Lord of the Flies." Appropriate, since it deals with how people change when there is not a larger body to enforce the rules.
3. There are a lot of Biblical references in this book. I didn't keep count, but at once point I found myself thinking, "Now where have I heard that?". . . OH YEAH! It's in the Bible! Gosh. Thankfully Big Jim is not the only one quoting Scripture.
4. Characters fate: Some readers made a lot about the bad guys not getting a bad enough ending. However, of the three wost evil doers, I felt the ending was very fitting in each case. I will not offer any spoilers! I will note that Big Jim's death was not a disappointment at all.
5. Genre: Is this scfi or horror? It's pretty classic Stephen King. Actually, it's neither. He leans toward the gross and the dark, but ultimately it's a drama about people in a certain situation. The aliens don't matter so much, because the real question is: How would people act if they were cut off from the world?
6. Was this similiar to The Stand? It's not The Stand. However, it does have similiar themes -- as promised. "God" does not appear as a character! that was pretty awesome in the Stand when the very finger of God came from the sky. Actually, other than the Dome itself, this novel removes itself from a lot of the supernatural elements found in The Stand.
7. Favorite Characters: Rusty Everett, Brenda Perkins.
8. I was glad King killed Lester Coggins off early. He was going to annoy me if I had to read an entire book with this guy as a lead character.
What I liked
The Dome
The fearless blood and guts
Dust collecting on the dome. I wouldn't have thought of that.
What I didn't Like:
You always have to include this in 3rd grade book reports! Actually, I can't think of anything. It could have been another 50-100 pages for me, and I would have enjoyed more explanation about the dome, the aliens and a little more cleaning up. But at some point King has to stop writing UTD and get started on that next DT book. (Hey, for a book that started with "The Cannibals" no one ate anyone else.)
1. So, what stops the dome from reappearing in another part of the U.S.?
2. Does Barbie now get a Colonel's retirement pay?
3. Will Julia start another newspaper?
4. Did anyone do a body count?
5. How did that box make a dome?
6. Can I buy one of those boxes somewhere?
These questions are important to life.

Cultural Kingdom

In a recent story titled "The 12 Authors Every Man Must Know" esquire included, of course, Stephen king. what they said about him is interesting:

"No writer knows more about our current cultural fears — the cold-war anxiety of The Dead Zone, the post-9/11 fearfulness of Under the Dome — than Uncle Stevie."

They then noted that the book to read by King is -- of course -- The Stand. It is King's ability to connect directly with our here and now -- our cultural bearings that makes his writing so strong. We feel like we know the characters because they know us. To read Stephen King you don't have to go to another planet, learn another langauge (Unless it's Lisey's Story) or drop into the past. King's books are about us, now.

Stephen King's ability to connect with the here and now also makes him a powerful part of history. Read the Stand, the original version, and you get a somber look at the late 70's.


PA Goes 'Under the Dome' With Stephen King

I really enjoyed this article. As you read Under The Dome, did you wonder if Rusty E. was based on a real person? Read on! And, Check out the website.
This is reprinted with permission.
PA Goes 'Under the Dome' With Stephen King
By Terri Schaefer

Russell Dorr, PA-C, (left) with Stephen King at Dorr's daughter's wedding in 1997. Courtesy of Russell Dorr
One day in 1974, not long after his graduation from Dartmouth's physician assistant certificate program, Russell Dorr, PA-C, was at work at a hospital in Bridgton, Maine. The day had begun like any other, with a long list of patients to see. Dorr noted that two of the day's patients had listed their occupation as author. He didn't think it particularly unusual -- "Family practice seems to be like bananas, they come in bunches," he says.
But while one of the patients was writing a children's book, the other was a budding young author named Stephen King. King's novel Carrie had just been released, and Salem's Lot was about to be published. Dorr and King chatted about the author's books at this early encounter, and over time they continued to build a relationship as King returned for follow-up visits to his PA.
Then one day, King asked Dorr if he would read through a book he was working on and assess the accuracy of the medical and scientific scenarios in it.
"I don't have time to read fiction!" Dorr replied. In addition to working at the hospital, Dorr was pursuing a bachelor's degree at the University of Maine, which required weeknight classes and a 2-hour round-trip drive. But King persisted, and eventually Dorr invited the author to speak at his class on American writers. "He was gracious enough to come, so I thought I had better read one of his books," Dorr recalls. The PA picked up Salem's Lot and became hooked.
Early on, Dorr consulted on The Stand, in which a rapidly mutating virus kills most of the world's population. "Steve gave me the concept of this virus, which was going to mutate with time, and of course he wanted this shred of reality interwoven with fiction," Dorr says. Subsequent manuscripts would come to Dorr fully written, about one a year. "I would read it and put in corrections or suggestions on how he could do it differently," Dorr says.
Now more than 30 years later, Dorr still edits and consults on King's books, including Under the Dome, which was released Nov. 10, 2009. Dorr took on a new and much more demanding role for this latest novel, in which a town is sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Instead of having him read a complete manuscript, King tapped Dorr's expertise during the writing process.
"I had a lot of research to do ahead of time," Dorr says. "It changed from my being given a 400- or 500-page manuscript and reading through it, to being given a rough outline of his idea in the book, and then doing research in anticipation of information that he would need -- but then holding onto it until he asked for it."
Among Dorr's research topics for Under the Dome were meteorology and atmospheric conditions, how to build an artificial swamp, how to make crystal methamphetamine and how to replenish oxygen -- including exploring NASA's historic research on the possibility of deep space probes carrying onboard greenhouses to provide photosynthesized oxygen.
As King wrote, Dorr eagerly awaited weekly e-mails of 50 pages at a time. "I would go into it and pore over it, and sometimes very little if anything needed to be done, and sometimes there were quite a bit of changes that needed to be done," he says. Dorr had worked with King on the 1,000-plus-page book since July 2007.
In addition to providing medical and scientific expertise for Under the Dome, Russell Dorr answered questions about PAs, since King has written into the book a PA character, one whose name might have a familiar ring: Rusty Everett.
With a knowing laugh, Dorr says the character is "a compilation of a lot of people," then goes on to describe the character's exploits in the first person. "The things that he has the PA doing in the book are all things that I told him how you could do it," he says. "There's a character who gets her nose busted, and I [as Rusty Everett] tell him how to reduce that fracture, and how to reduce dislocated fingers and shoulders, and [how to treat] soft tissue injuries," Dorr says.
Rusty Everett isn't King's first homage to Dorr. The author dedicated the 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption to Dorr and his wife, Florence. At the time, Dorr was considering moving out of Maine, and King's dedication helped him decide to do so. "My wife read the story, and she said, 'He dedicated this to you because you're the prisoner in this story, and he's telling you it's time to get out of Maine.'"
Dorr, who now lives in Merrimack, N.H., and works in family practice at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua, says he's already deep into research for King's next novel. "I'm just champing at the bit and ready to go on this one," Dorr says.
But no, he won't share any plot secrets.
Terri Schaefer is senior associate editor of ADVANCE for Physician Assistants. Reach her at tschaefer@advanceweb.com.