Stephen King's next novel



Don't read this if you are going to buy Stephen King's Later.

Spoiler warning!

Last chance to avoid spoilers!

"Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep.



Horrormeister King follows a boy’s journey from childhood to adolescence among the dead—and their even creepier living counterparts.

Jamie Conklin sees dead people. Not for very long—they fade away after a week or so—but during that time he can talk to them, ask them questions, and compel them to answer truthfully. His uncanny gift at first seems utterly unrelated to his mother Tia’s work as a literary agent, but the links become disturbingly clear when her star client, Regis Thomas, dies shortly after starting work on the newest entry in his bestselling Roanoke Saga, and Tia and her lover, NYPD Detective Liz Dutton, drive Jamie out to Cobblestone Cottage to encourage the late author to dictate an outline of his latest page-turner so that Tia, who’s fallen on hard times, can write it in his name instead of returning his advance and her cut. Now that she’s seen what Jamie can do, Liz takes it on herself to arrange an interview in which Jamie will ask Kenneth Therriault, a serial bomber who’s just killed himself, where he’s stowed his latest explosive device before it can explode posthumously. His post-mortem encounter with Therriault exacts a high price on Jamie, who now finds himself more haunted than ever, though he never gives up on the everyday experiences in which King roots all his nightmares.

Crave chills and thrills but don’t have time for a King epic? This will do the job before bedtime. Not that you’ll sleep."



They've put a mask on Pennywise! He doesn't look so cute now! Only joking!




Spoiler alert!

If you've never read The Stand or you intend on reading it or watching the miniseries, do not click the link! You've been warned!

"Stephen King rewrote the ending of The Stand again — and it’s the best version​

CBS’ miniseries gives greater depth to the under-served character"



Another review of Later. This is a short review with no spoilers.

"My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

It’s no secret that I love the Hard Case Crime series, and as a big King fan, it was really exciting to see a new one releasing with HCC. LATER is a quick little crime fiction read with a hint of supernatural elements to it that only King can bring us. Part coming of age, part mystery, and a dash of horror come together seamlessly for a memorable story.

I don’t want to give away anything, especially with it being around only 250 pages. Our narrator and main character, Jamie, is a young boy that can see the dead. This is a gift his mother has told him to keep to himself, the less people that know the better, right? When his mom’s ex-friend, a not-so-clean cop, picks him up to use his power to help her benefit, his life changes forever.

I think that this would be perfect for those that want to start reading Stephen King but don’t want anything too scary. This is more crime fiction than horror, but of course there are some moments when it comes to Jamie’s abilities. For such a short book, King was able to give us such fully formed characters that you could connect with almost instantly. Definitely a fun little read from King that I highly recommend!"



Another review of Later:

"Since 2004, Hard Case Crime has been the nation’s most successful publisher of new and reprint crime fiction. In 2005, the upstart paperback house struck literary gold with the publication rights to Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid. It happened again in 2013 with Joyland, and now again in 2021 with his new book Later.

Our narrator is a 22 year-old young man named Jamie Conklin telling the reader the story of things that happened when he was a kid. Jamie is the only son of a single, literary agent mother in Manhattan. Jamie also sees dead people - pretty much just like the kid in The Sixth Sense. He warns the reader in his intro, “I think this is a horror story.” It’s the truth, but the story takes awhile to heat up before things get truly scary.

Jamie explains that dead people always tell the truth when they talk to him. Sometimes they say something funny and blunt like telling the boy that his school art project sucks. Other times it’s a useful tip like where the old lady hid her jewels before she passed away. His access to the dead is limited to the few days after passing before the deceased fade away into the great beyond. Jamie is candid with his mom about his ability, and she warns him to never tell anybody that he sees dead people.

Later jumps around quite a bit while focusing on Jamie’s upbringing and a variety of incidences where his ability to see and illicit information from dead people proves useful. Mom’s best friend is an NYPD detective named Liz. She’s the stacked brunette on the book’s cover. Over time, Liz comes to believe and accept Jamie’s sixth-sense and figures out some uses for it in the realm of her police work. As such, Jamie gets pressed into service by Liz using his unusual ability.

King writes Later in a breezy first-person style with super-short chapters that are easy to follow despite the often non-linear timeline. It takes forever for an actual plot to develop, but you don’t really mind because Jamie is a likable kid who makes the reader invested in his well-being. As advertised, the paperback eventually becomes a horror story with some honest-to-goodness creepy and unsettling set-pieces reminding the reader that Stephen King still has chops.

Beyond that, there’s not much to tell that won’t spoil the fun for you. Later is a quick and fulfilling read - arguably the strongest and most on-brand of his Hard Case Crime offerings. King excels at this kind of of coming-of-age horror story with vivid characters and chilling situations with a good hero confronting supernatural evil. King has a large back catalogue of epic works, so Later is unlikely to be your favorite among them. However, I can’t imagine any of his fans walking away dissatisfied from this superb little novel."



Just read this on Fire Wire:



The Complete Hard Case Crime Stephen King Collection, featuring the bestselling titles The Colorado Kid, Joyland, and his newest novel, Later, plus exclusive art cards.

Collecting Stephen King’s three homages to the classic crime pulp paperbacks, published by Hard Case Crime. This includes The Colorado Kid (2005), Joyland (2013) and Later (2021). It will also feature three exclusive art cards with alternate cover artwork for the three novels.

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work in a fairground and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.

A rookie newspaperwoman learns the true meaning of mystery when she investigates a 25-year-old unsolved and very strange case involving a dead man found on an island off the coast of Maine.

The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability, Jamie can see things no one else can. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine – as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.

Pre-order HERE. The collection will be released on September 14, 2021."





Nearly 35 years after the novel was first brought to life on the screen with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring, Stephen King’s The Running Man is getting new life as Paramount is in final talks with Edgar Wright (Baby Driver) to helm a new adaptation of the sci-fi story.

First published in 1982 under King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman, the story is set in the dystopian world of 2025 United States, in which the nation’s economy is in ruins and world violence is rising and centers on protagonist Ben Richards, a man desperate to make money to support his gravely ill daughter Cathy and his wife Sheila, as he enters the titular game show in which contestants are allowed to go anywhere in the world while being chased by “Hunters” employed to kill them, earning $100 for every hour the contestant stays alive and avoids capture, an additional $10 for each law enforcement officer or Hunter they kill and $1 billion grand prize if they can survive for 30 days.


The new film will not be a remake of the 1987 film but rather a more faithful adaptation of King’s novel, with the Blood and Cornetto Trilogy helmer, who has previously expressed a desire to bring his own take to the material, set to co-write the story with Micahel Bacall (Jump Street franchise), with Bacall set to adapt the script.

The new adaptation is set to be produced by Fox’s X-Men creative head Simon Kinberg and Audrey Chon via his Genre Films production banner alongside Nira Park for Wright’s Complete Fiction label."





The prolific author Stephen King has seen many of his works adapted for film and television — including CBS All Access’ The Stand, HBO’s The Outsider and the IT franchise — and singled out the personal nature of bringing Lisey’s Story to life on Apple as perhaps one of the bigger challenges in adapting his vast library.

“Be all the way in, as much as possible, or be all the way out,” King said Friday about his philosophy for bringing his work to the screen. “There’s been a lot of projects [where it’s like] step back, write books, maybe something will come along, a passion project, and this was that, a passion project.”

Lisey’s Story marks a rare move for King, who wrote all eight episodes of Apple’s take on his 2006 horror-romance best-seller Lisey’s Story. The series, which reunites him with frequent collaborator J.J. Abrams, along with stars Julianne Moore and Clive Owen, and is due in the summer on the streamer.

“Stephen makes a great point, most anything is filmable,” Abrams told reporters Friday during a virtual panel as part of the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. “The question is what should be — and not what can be. It’s hard to think of all the amazing stories Stephen has written.”

King noted that the personal nature of Lisey’s Story made filming the series “particularly challenging” as “it goes through so many different levels of remembrance.” The thriller revolves around Lisey Landon (Moore) two years after the death of her husband, famous novelist Scott Landon (Owen). The drama follows the unsettling events that prompt Lisey to face memories of her marriage to Scott that she has deliberately blocked out of her mind.

“Lisey’s Story means a lot to me because it’s the one I love best,” King told reporters Friday. “It’s a story about love and marriage and the creative impulse and it’s also got a kickass villain in it, which I liked a lot.”

King noted that the novel was inspired by his own experience coming home after being hospitalized with double pneumonia. Following a three-week hospitalization, King arrived as his wife decided to remodel his office. While still heavily medicated and trying to get back on his feet, he was stunned to find his office completely empty. “I thought, ‘This is what this room would look like after I die,’ and Lisey’s Story came from that,” he said.

While much of Lisey’s Story was filmed before the pandemic forced productions across the globe to shut down, shooting was ultimately finished after many TV series returned to work. producers also noted that the pandemic makes a lot of the themes in Lisey’s Story more relevant now than a year ago. “Themes of isolation, loneliness and how we view the past come through in a different way now,” said Bad Robot head of television Ben Stephenson. Added King: “What gave me a chill was a scene where we see Lisey come into hospital room and she’s wearing a mask. I thought, ‘My God, this is what we’re all doing now.'”

Lisey’s Story marks the latest collaboration for Abrams and King, who previously teamed on Hulu’s Castle Rock and 11.22.63. The duo met during Abrams’ breakout, Lost, and have remained in touch in the years that followed. King also noted that he and Abrams have been discussing a horror anthology called Tiny Horrors.

“They’ve got a great organization and give great Christmas presents at the end of the year,” King joked of his long-standing partnership with Abrams’ Bad Robot banner. “I just love working with them. It’s been a great relationship.”

A specific premiere date for Lisey’s Story has not yet been announced.

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter"




Stephen King​

On Slide Inn Road

It was supposed to be a family road trip to visit an aging relative. Then the car got stuck in a muddy rut and, well—these things never turn out well, do they? Stephen King, the legendary architect of your worst nightmares, delivers another shocking story you won’t soon forget.

Read it here:





“My view has always been you can call me whatever you want as long as the checks don’t bounce,” King told The Associated Press during a recent telephone interview. “My idea is to tell a good story, and if it crosses some lines and it doesn’t fit one particular genre, that’s good.”

Readers may know him best for “Carrie,” “The Shining” and other bestsellers commonly identified as “horror,” but King has long had an affinity for other kinds of narratives, from science fiction and prison drama to the Boston Red Sox.

Over the past decade, he has written three novels for the imprint Hard Case Crime: “Joyland,” “The Colorado Kid” and “Later,” which comes out this week. He loves sharing a publisher with such giants of the past as James M. Cain and Mickey Spillane, and loves the old-fashioned pulp illustrations used on the covers.

At the same time, he enjoys writing a crime story that is more than a crime story — or hardly a crime story at all.

“Joyland” is a thriller set around an amusement park and could just as easily be called a coming-of-age story. “The Colorado Kid” has a dead body on an island off the coast of King’s native Maine, but otherwise serves as a story about why some cases are best left unsolved.

His new novel has a lot of crime in it but, as King’s narrator suggests, it might actually be a horror story. Jamie Conklin is looking back on his childhood, when he was raised by a single mother, a New York literary agent. Like other young King protagonists, Jamie has special powers: He not only can see dead people, but when he asks them questions, they are compelled to tell the truth.

“Later” also features a best-selling novelist and his posthumous book, and a police detective who for a time is the girlfriend of Jamie’s mother.

The 73-year-old King has written dozens of novels and stories, and usually has three to four ideas that “are half-baked, kind of like an engine and no transmission.” He doesn’t write ideas down because, he says, if something is good enough he’s unlikely to forget it.

For “Later,” he started with the idea of a literary agent who needed to get her late client’s manuscript finished, and thought of having a son who communicates with the dead. He then decided the mother needed a companion.

“And I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to make the love relationship female.’ Then I thought to myself, ‘Cop,’ and the cop is dirty and everything fell into place,” he says.

King, who publishes most of his work with Simon & Schuster, is part of the founding story of Hard Case Crime. Back in 2004, Charles Ardai and Max Phillips were launching a line of books to “revive pulp fiction in all its lurid mid-century glory.” Hoping for some publicity, they wrote to King and asked for a blurb. A representative for the author called and said King did not want to write a blurb for Hard Case Crime; he wanted to contribute a book. That became “The Colorado Kid.”

“I sat on the other end of the phone while this sank in and tried to sound cool, like this was the sort of phone call I got every day and twice on Fridays,” Ardai wrote in an introduction to “The Colorado Kid,” which came out in 2005. “But inside I was turning cartwheels.”

King’s passions also include politics and current events, and over the past few years he regularly tweeted his contempt for President Donald Trump. But he doubts that Trump’s loss to Democrat Joe Biden will have an effect on his work. Fiction has been an “escape” from politics, he says, not a forum.

And though he has written a famous novel about a pandemic, “The Stand,” he passed on a chance to write about COVID-19 in a work of fiction coming later this year, “Billy Summers.” He originally set it in 2020, but decided instead on 2019.

Toward the end of “Later,” Jamie observes that his writing has improved as the story went along, “improved by doing, which I suppose is the case with most things in life.” Asked during the interview to evaluate his own writing, King, the baseball fan, likens himself to an aging but resourceful pitcher.

“I’ve gotten better in some ways, but you lose a little of the urgency. In my 40s, the ideas were like people jamming into a fire door to get out. There were so many ideas, and you couldn’t wait to get to the typewriter and the words would pour out,” he says.

“Nowadays, you’re almost feeling people are looking over your shoulder and they’re apt to be a little more critical. You slow down a little bit. I’m aware I’m getting older. You lose the blazing fastball and start to count more on your changeups and curves and be a little more careful and mix them up.”

Reprinted from AP News"




Stephen King - Writer​

Stephen Sackur interviews prolific writer Stephen King. He’s written more than 60 books and sold close to 400 million copies. Films like the Shining, Carrie and Stand by Me are all based on his stories. He’s been writing horror for half a century, but how has our appetite for fear evolved?




Hodder reveals 'ambitious' reissue of Stephen King's backlist​

Hodder & Stoughton has unveiled an “ambitious” reissue plan for Stephen King’s entire backlist.

Beginning with six of King’s novels set to be released with new covers on 11th May 2021, further groups of titles will be relaunched in two to three batches a year, with a total of more than 70 books being revamped between spring 2021 and autumn 2024, culminating with the 50th anniversary of Carrie.

The books will be grouped into different categories including Chilling Classics, Epic Thrillers and Reading Group Suspense, helping readers to navigate their way through the extraordinary range and depth of his body of work, and discover which type of novel will most appeal to them.

“Each group will be unified by striking new author brand lettering, and distinguished by a distinct colour palette and title lettering,” Hodder said. The first six titles to be released in May are The Shining, Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Salem’s Lot, Christine and Firestarter. In September, Hodder will be launching some of King’s novellas, including Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and The Body, many of which will be available in the UK for the first time as single editions.

Philippa Pride, Stephen King’s UK editor, said: “Stephen King is a true Classic in his own lifetime – the ultimate storyteller whose books are both timeless and time-capsules. With this dynamic and eye-catching new cover look, we want to wake up the reader – existing and new, from every generation – whether they saw 'IT' on the big screen or asked ‘did he really write The Shawshank Redemption?’ We aim to introduce them to the rich variety of his work from supernatural novels such as The Shining, to coming-of-age stories such as The Body, crime novels such as Mr Mercedes and fantasy such as the Dark Tower, to name but a few, and to remind them that there is a wonderful world of King out there.”

Alice Morley, brand director for Hodder & Stoughton, says: “Alongside the stunning new covers, this reissue programme will be underpinned by a multi-channel sales and marketing campaign, with bespoke strands and focus titles for different audiences, formats and market sectors. We truly believe that there is a King story for every reader, and we will continue to innovate our strategies in order to reach them.”

The first group of reissues will be followed in August by the hardback publication of a brand new standalone novel by King, Billy Summers, described by H&S as “a gripping thriller about a contract killer with one last payday to earn before he retires”.

This year also sees a number of screen adaptations, with "The Stand" TV miniseries starring Whoopi Goldberg and Alexander Skarsgard currently streaming online, and the Apple TV+ adaptation of Lisey’s Story expected in the summer, produced by J J Abrams, starring Julianne Moore and Clive Owen, and with a script written by King himself.

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