Archive for the ‘News roundup’ Category

Episode 27: Secrets.

Hi folks:

My fallen-apart copy of Salem's Lot (1975)

RIP Salem’s Lot, 1975-2012.
Fondly remembered.

I’m back with episode 27 of The Kingcast, featuring some thoughts about the power of secrets in Stephen King’s work. In other news… there was a death in the family last week. I’m a little broken up about it, but I know that with your support I’ll get over it.

In addition to some meandering about secrets, there’s always Stephen King news to be shared. For example:

  • Justin Long is booked to star in “The Ten O’Clock People”, an adaptation of the story which appeared in 1992’s “Nightmares and Dreamscapes.” The adaptation will be written and directed by Tom Holland, who previously adapted “The Langoliers” for TV and “Thinner”  for the big screen. (He also played Carl Hough in “The Stand”). Here’s a little glamour shot of a younger Mr. Holland:

Tom Holland

  • The Rock Bottom Remainders recently played their last show. The band, which has featured tons of authors but has had a core membership including Dave Barry, King, Ridley Pearson, and Amy Tan, has been playing benefits and fun shows for nearly 20 years. Dave Barry claims they’ve quit because nobody can get through a show without a pee break anymore.
  • Haven starts season three in September. A primer on the series will catch new viewers up on the action.
  • My fellow Stephen King podcaster and fan Matt Jacobs recently nailed a remarkable guest to interview– physicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. You can read about the encounter on his site.
  • Via the Stephen King forum, I got a chuckle or two out of “The King’s Road,” a series by Mind Circus Comics featuring SK in some wacky (and possibly NSFW) adventures.

In any case, here’s the episode. Enjoy. As always, your comments are welcomed.

Audio MP3


Kingcast 24: Matthew Kirschenbaum on “Stephen King’s Wang”

Matthew Kirschenbaum

Matthew Kirschenbaum

Episode 24 of the Kingcast features some news from Kingland, a mention of Matt Jacob and my discussion of “The Dark Tower 7: The Dark Tower” on his SK Fancast, a mini-review of David Cronenberg’s 1983 film The Dead Zone (a film cast by episode 23 guest Jane Jenkins) and of course, a feature interview with Matthew Kirschenbaum.

Matthew Kirschenbaum is an associate professor of English at the University of Maryland. He’s currently working on a history of word processing for Harvard University Press called Track Changes (due out next year), and recently gave a talk at the New York Public Library with the irresistible title of “Stephen King’s Wang.”

You can find out just where that title comes from, and a lot more, in our conversation.

For Toronto listeners, Matthew is speaking at the University of Toronto on March 1.

Enjoy the podcast, and always feel free to give me your feedback at

Audio MP3

Stephen King news roundup, September 30, 2011


Kingcast news roundup anchor, Pennywise.

The biggest news of the last week had to have been the unveiling of a portion of Dr. Sleep. Truly observant King fans may have been aware that he had been considering a sequel to his 1977 novel The Shining for some time.

But when King accepted the George Mason Award as the highlight of the Fall For The Book festival in Fairfax, Virginia, he delighted the crowd with not only a great speech, but a reading from the unfinished work.

While The Kingcast was the first to bring you an audio version of the event, a much-better video version just became available on the morning of the 30th from George Mason University‘s video channel. Here it is:

Stephen King from GMU-TV on Vimeo.

The announcement of Dr. Sleep continues to work its way through the mainstream media, with more than 150 articles published about it so far. Some people are more than dubious about the idea of inserting what have become known as “psychic vampires” into the world of The Shining, but (opinionating here), the idea that children like Danny Torrance, and even the adults they grow into, are powerful tools and ripe for the exploitation of evil forces is well-established in the Kingiverse, and shouldn’t be that much of a stretch for people familiar with the work.

One fun article on Moviefone asks for casting ideas for Dr. Sleep, already working on the assumption that there will be a movie version. I suppose SK is thankful Kubrick can’t get his hands on this one…

My personal favorite quote from the evening?

Books – the most potent weapon against the assholes of the world.

Meanwhile, buzz slowly continues to grow for 11/22/63. This week, announced a fundraising event to be held on November 10 at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. King is quoted as saying that the museum was very helpful during the research and writing of the novel, so this is a way for him to give something back. Here’s the event page, if you’re lucky enough to be in Dallas in November.

Bag of Bones completed production this week, and stars were complimentary about their Nova Scotia shooting location. Meanwhile, a little bird told me that rumours of a King cameo in the miniseries were nothing more than that.  Stay tuned to the Kingcast for some coverage of this production.

On the Stephen King Message Board, the sixth-annual collaborative Hallowe’en Short Story has begun. It’s too late to write a section — the story’s written — but you can join the board and enjoy each installment as it’s posted.


Stephen King News Roundup: September 23


The new Kingcast news roundup anchor, Pennywise. He floats... down there...

Lots of news this week, so let’s get right to it!

First off, the Stephen King site provided more details this week on the book tour for the new 11/22/63. So far, the announced events include Octavia Books in New Orleans on November 12 and November 14 at Barnes & Noble in Sarasota, FL.

The Savannah Book Festival also announced an appearance by King in February 2012.

And, of course, Stephen King speaks tonight as the headline attraction at the Fall for the Book festival in the Washington DC area. The Kingcast has a correspondent in the audience, so there may be a report from the event coming up…

In honour of Pennywise being our new roundup anchor, I should cover this interview. A new blog to me named October Country (love that name!) interviews Brian Freeman of Cemetery Dance Publications about their upcoming 25th anniversary edition of “It.” Great interview. I’m looking forward to becoming better acquainted with October Country.

King’s birthday this week occasioned a number of pieces. The “Screen Junkies” site posted a capsule bio this week; nothing new, but nothing outrageously wrong, either. Writer Kathy Ceceri posted her essay “Happy Birthday Stephen King, writing instructor extraordinaire” on Number One Fans may take issue with some of her points, but can wholeheartedly support her conclusion:

“The work of Stephen King isn’t just a terrific way to pass the time; they’re great lessons in how to write fiction. So Happy Birthday, Stephen King! Your fans, unwitting or not, salute you.”

A t-shirt site posted a funny mashup of Ronald McDonald and Pennywise for a limited-time sale. I’ve got my order in:

I'm lovin' "It"

Speaking of images, Boing Boing writer Mark Frauenfelder posted a series of his favorite images from the “Monster Brains” site, profiling some great monster and science fiction comic books.

NPR published a list of listeners’ 100 top science-fiction / fantasy books. While King fanatics might be offended by the list not being composed ENTIRELY of his works, two did make the list: The Dark Tower at #23 and The Stand at #25. My guess? Too many contenders  diluting the voting pool.

Movies and TV were also under scrutiny this week. Oh No They Didn’t (Livejournal shoutout!) profiled 13 upcoming King movie projects, while Digital Spy posted an interview with Melissa George, who is currently playing Mattie Devore in the Bag of Bones miniseries. And the ever-useful Talk Stephen King blog posted a summary of upcoming projects.

You may remember a Kingcast interview with Nicole Christian, who wrote her own version of “Barn Dance” from Bag of Bones. Well, indie record label Alonetone has  just published a whole album inspired by The Talisman. “Sunny, sorta…” is a collection of 12 songs by artists on the label. It fits the mood of the book pretty well, I think. The songs are free for streaming or download. I’m sure the performers would appreciate your support. Here’s one of my favorites from the collection, Queen of the World:

Audio MP3

And finally, the New York City site of Examiner profiled a new collection of fashion inspired by the Dark Tower series. The Luminaa collection, from Texas designer Dorothy Williams, has the theme “Live in a world of cowboys and robots.” Pretty nice looking clothes, if you ask me. But what do I know? Judge for yourself if this is something Susan Delgado would wear to a dance in Barony House, or Susannah Dean to dinner with the old folks in Lud :





SK News roundup for September 16

The week in King-related news continues to focus on three main areas: 11/22/63, Mile 81, and TV productions.


  • Simon & Schuster whetted the appetite of many with an excerpt from 11/22/63 released on their site. The excerpt contains the line “I came awake with a jerk”, which always creates a vivid — and likely unintended — image in my mind. A browse through Amazon also shows a “special signed edition” (no price), an audio version read by Craig Wasson (who you may remember as Don Wanderley in Ghost Story), and I read at “The Noob News” that an e-book version will include a special short film written and directed by King.
  • Both the US and UK covers have been released now. Which do you prefer?

    US cover

    US Cover

UK cover for 11/22/63

UK cover for 11/22/63

  • The official “book trailer” for 11/22/63 was released last Saturday. Take a look:

Stephen King 11.22.63 – Book Trailer from Jamie Childs on Vimeo.

  • As time ticks down to the November 8 release of 11/22/63, it now appears that a production deal for a movie version has already been signed, with Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) as director.

Mile 81

  • The release of Mile 81 wasn’t the only thing new about the King bibliography. The e-book was also pitched as a “Klout perk.” Klout is a tool that attempts to measure someone’s influence in social networks like Twitter or Facebook, and companies are more frequently providing “perks” to those with big enough Klout numbers. This was the first e-book perk to my knowledge. The “Ology” website reviewed the Mile 81 release with particular attention to the 11/22/63 preview.
TV, etc. 
  • According to the Hollywood Reporter, the SyFy / Showcase / Global TV show Haven is in some trouble after Showcase put it in danger of cancellation on that channel. The Kingcast will be speaking to actor Lucas Bryant, who plays Nathan Wuornos, soon. Hopefully, there won’t be bad news to share.
  • You may be thinking that Atlanta next spring is the only place to enjoy some Stephen King-related theatre. But I say NO! The Bournemouth International Centre in the United Kingdom has a production of Misery opening October 5. The play was scripted by Emmy-winning writer Simon Moore and toured the UK in its initial production in 2002.
  • The pilot episode of “Locke & Key”, based on the book by Joe Hill, is making the rounds in Hollywood, and Huffington Post entertainment blogger Kris LoPresto wants to start a movement to get it a network placement. By all accounts, a screening at ComicCon got a great response.
  • Ron Howard has apparently signed to direct a movie version of Davis Guggenheim‘s comic book 364, about a man with superpowers one day of each year. No news on a Dark Tower resurrection.

On this day…

Like many thousands of people, I’ve been thinking about what happened ten years ago today. I also was reminded today by a post at the Talk Stephen King blog that King, too, was obviously affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11.

His 2008 story collection Just After Sunset contains three stories which touch on the events of September 11, and in the Dark Tower series, Black Thirteen, the black piece of the Wizard’s Rainbow, is stored in a locker at the World Trade Centre, where it will be undisturbed by anyone and safe… supposedly.

In any case, back to the short stories. “The Things They Left Behind” is the most directly related to 9/11. It’s a poignant tale about loss, guilt, and the reaction of human beings to trauma.

“Graduation Afternoon” is a very different sort of tale — a dark fantasy of an apocalyptic graduation afternoon across the river from Manhattan when some very complacent people are confronted by the ultimate horror of a mushroom cloud obliterating the city.

And “The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates” is the tale of a ghostly telephone call and a woman in mourning for her lost husband. It’s the most tangentially related to 9/11, but I include it here because I think it was inspired by the hijackings.

The collection as a whole is a great one, if melancholy in tone (with the exception of “A Very Tight Place”). I would highly recommend it, especially as an introduction to King for those who think he’s just a spookmeister. There is a lot to contemplate in these stories.

The very worthwhile “Dollar Baby” program (for more details, check out episode 5 when I spoke to J.P. Scott, director of the dollar-baby version of Everything’s Eventual, about the program) currently has a movie version of The Things They Left Behind in circulation at various film festivals. You can find information about it at this Facebook page. Here’s the trailer.

Let’s remember that even when hatred drives people to awful deeds, love is still far more powerful.

I’m not much of a troublemaker, apparently

I wasn’t really trying to drive a wedge between the King and Straub families by turning their children against each other. But man. For the progeny to be so nice… What a disappointment.


News: Bag of Bones second SK project being shot this summer

Nova Scotia is becoming a hotbed of Stephen King-related production, with two projects underway this summer in “Canada’s Ocean Playground.”

Season 2 of the SyFy series “Haven” is being shot in Lunenburg and Mahone Bay. The series, loosely based on “Bag of Bones: 10th Anniversary Edition""Stephen King Mystery & Thrillers Books)"" “>Bag of Bones” (affiliate link) will shoot somewhere in the province (I’m working on finding out where!), and has made some impressive announcements so far, with the cast including Pierce Brosnan, Annabeth Gish (who previously worked on the TV treatment of Kelly Rowland, and most recently Melissa George.

Hoping that I’ll have some more content to share about both these productions in the next few weeks.

2011 is the year of the Stephen King Challenge!

British book blogger Book Chick has a great idea on her site. It’s the 2011 Stephen King Challenge. What’s the deal? Pretty simple, really. She wants to expand her reading of King, and wants other people to do the same. So you can pledge to read 6 or 12 King novels over the course of 2011.

She’s designed a great button, featuring the friendly face of Mr. Bob Gray, also known as Pennywise, to put on participating websites. You can see mine over there on the right side.

I’m going to participate, and I’m hoping to read the one or two novels I haven’t read. Rage and Dead Zone come to mind. And then I’ll reread others.

Just go to her site to join the fun. And I’m hoping to reach out to Book Chick to see if she’d like to join me on the Kingcast for an interview.

News roundup: October 28, 2010

This is the first of what I think will be weekly news roundups of all things King and King-related. If you have comments on how I’m doing this, I would really appreciate them. If it doesn’t interest you guys, then what’s the point? On to the news!

The future of publishing: in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, King talks about the world of e-books. (Keep in mind that he first published an e-book way back in 2000!). He notes that the experience is “more ephemeral”, but also mentions he’s found the search capability useful at least once, while doing research. He also tells the Journal that his Kindle-only novella Ur has made him $80K. Here’s an interview from the launch of Ur, posted at GalleyCat:

Frank Darabont

Annual Hallowe’en collaborative story: Stephen King’s official website hosts a large and active message board. Members (including me) collaborated to develop a Halloween story that was a bit of a homage to many of King’s themes. You can find the board and the story thread at the Stephen King presence.

The Walking Dead: Frequent King adapter Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist, The Green Mile) is premiering a new zombie series on AMC called The Walking Dead. Lots of media around this, including  The Onion AV Club and Time magazine.

Full Dark, No Stars special edition: Cemetery Dance has announced a special edition of the new collection of novellas for the collector’s market. The $75 (US) edition will have sixteen illustrations by five artists. I’ve no doubt you’re all thinking about who gets to give me my copy. Meanwhile, we normal humans will have to wait until November 9 for the regular edition.

Dark Tower movie release date set: According to, Universal Pictures has set Friday, May 17, 2013 as the release date for the first feature film based on the Dark Tower series. The plan is for three feature films and a TV series — sort of a Lord of the Rings on steroids. Not much more detail on things yet, from the badly out-of-date Imagine site (Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s production company) or the NBC Universal site.

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