This time on the Kingcast, we delve into the political history of the decade that forged Stephen King’s career as a writer: the 1970s.
From Three Mile Island to The Stand to Watergate to Firestarter to George Wallace to The Dead Zone, there’s a rich thread of political and cultural subtexts in King’s 1970s writing. Professor of American Studies Chris Lewis of Colorado University joined me for a discussion of everything from biological weapons to Richard Nixon to survival and morality after an apocalypse.
You can listen to episode 2.8, which runs around 36 minutes with housekeeping and an edited interview:
Or you can listen to the whole interview, which will take about an hour.
Notes and links from the episode:
- Do you have a myth or a misconception about Stephen King that drives you nuts? I want to hear about it. Share your pain!
- The Kingcast Patreon campaign is still running! If you like what you hear: support it.
- Kevin Guyer won the “Name my cuddly Cthulhu” contest. My guy will forever be known as “Cthuthbert”, and Kevin gets one of his very own. Thanks to all for sending in more than 30 entries.
- Chris Lewis’s home page at Colorado University. He is Senior Instructor at the Sewall Residential Academic Program and completed his PhD in American Studies at the University of Minnesota.
- Stephen King’s works mentioned and related: The Stand, Hearts in Atlantis, Firestarter, The Dead Zone, Roadwork, The Long Walk, The Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher, Under the Dome
- Edward Abbey’s post-apocalyptic novel Good News
- Journalist Robert Parry at Consortium News
(Please note: Amazon links here are affiliate links. Purchases made through these links will result in a small commission to The Kingcast, and we are grateful for your support.)
ANOTHER NEW FEATURE! The question of the month!
This feature was prompted by a truly moronic web list: “9 Geniuses That Success Can Come Over Night.” One of the geniuses is Stephen King, because he supposedly wrote “The Running Man” in three days.
I plan on addressing that in a July episode, but it got me thinking — what do you think are the biggest misunderstandings or misconceptions or myths about King? Tell me, and I’ll use your comments in an upcoming episode.
[powr-poll label=”Myth-conception poll”]
In the meantime, enjoy some music. Here’s Genesis with… misunderstanding.
I’ve been getting great entries to my “Name my Cuddly Cthulhu mascot” contest.
But time is drawing near. I’ll consider entries received up until 11:59:59 Eastern Time Sunday night, July 5, and then announce the winner in Kingcast 2.8 on Monday, July 6.
Don’t miss out! Click on the link, fill out the form, and leave me an email and I’ll get in touch with the winner.
Episode 2.7 of the Kingcast is here, with an interview with Jaquan and Nicole Robinson of Eclectic Goods. This couple make fantastic wearable art that could show your love of Uncle Stevie to the whole wide world. Check this out:
Nicole and Jaquan are big science-fiction and horror fans, and Nicole has taken it on herself to make Jaquan a Stephen King fan too.
There’s also news about fellow podcasters Hans Lilja and Lou Systma, a reminder about the Cuddly Cthulhu contest and the Kingcast’s crowdfunding campaign, and don’t forget “Drunken Fireworks!” Enjoy the episode.
The Stephen King Podcast with Hans and Lou
Earlier this month, a thoughtful essay on Stephen King’s Richard Bachman novel Roadwork appeared on the Gawker Review of Books.
It’s a bit unusual to find a thoughtful essay on King, and doubly unusual to find it on Gawker, a site more known for snark than seriousness. But appear it did, and it’s well worth the time it will take to read its 2600 words.
The author of the essay, David Obuchowski, joined me recently for a chat about the Bachman books and his thoughts about King. Here’s an edited version that fits in the new Kingcast weekly 30-minute format.
But … if you want the whole 68-minute conversation, here it is. And while the Kingcast has never claimed to be lily-white, just a note that there are some dirty words in the chat. But if you can’t handle a dirty word or two, how are you reading Stephen King anyway?
- White Noise by Don Delillo
- A postmodernism primer by Martin Irvine of Georgetown University
- The book Stephen King as a postmodern author by Clotilde Landais of Purdue University
- Facebook page for PublicistUK, David’s band
We here at The Kingcast world headquarters keep a variety of far-flung correspondents, in places as unusual as Derry, Jerusalem’s Lot, Sidewinder, CO, and Crouch End. But one of our longest-serving correspondents is writer and friend Mickey Gomez.
If being one of the funniest writers I know of — seriously, you should read her post on her business trip to Chicago — isn’t enough, Mickey is also a lover of Stephen King from way back. Her original contribution to The Kingcast was to scoop the world on a King talk in 2011.
Well, her latest contribution required a lot less legwork and is equal parts horrifying and cute. Meet the new Kingcast mascot. I plan on getting one of these little Cthulhus ASAP. And if you have a name idea for it, maybe I’ll figure out a prize and run a contest!
Here’s the picture that Mickey sent along to me that has inspired me to get a mascot:
[powr-poll label=”Name the Cthulhu”]
Episode 2.5 of the Kingcast has news about the new production of IT, filming on 11/22/63, some mail from Denmark, and the second part of my capsule review of Finders Keepers.
Jackie Lawrence of Kitchener, ON sent me some pictures from the set of 11/22/63, currently filming in Southern Ontario. Where is that, you ask?
And here are Jackie’s photos from the set. Looking pretty good!
2:00 — feedback from Mikkel Birkegaard in Denmark
6:00 — talk of adaptations of It and 11/22/63, one production troubled and one production underway.
18:00 — don’t forget about the Patreon campaign! A dollar or two from you and there’s nothing we can’t do!
20:00 — Part two analyzing Finders Keepers.
We got it covered on It
11/22/63 news from Deadline Hollywood (after recording, I see that character actor Nick Searcy — most recently in Justified — has been cast as Deke Simmons. GOOD CHOICE.)
Patreon crowdfunding campaign for The Kingcast!
I’ve decided that it’s time to launch a crowdfunding campaign for the podcast, and I’m hoping you’ll help.
You can learn more by listening to the podcast, or by visiting the campaign page.
What can you do?
- You can contribute. A small amount per month is all it takes to make a big difference in the podcast. You can learn more about what the money can do, and patrons will be able to see exactly where their money is going.
- You can spread the word. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, etc., and you like this idea, please pass it on. The more people who hear about it the better.
As happy as I am to talk in front of a microphone, I think the best type of audio is when two or more people have intelligent discussion and debate about a topic they love. That’s why I love doing interviews for the Kingcast. I’ve done a bunch of interviews that were wonderful experiences for me: Marsha DeFilippo, SK’s assistant has to be at the top of that list; “Trash Can Man” Matt Frewer; Bev Vincent; Mick Garris; author Matthew Kirschenbaum; Annabeth Gish (Desperation); Shawn Piller (executive producer of “Haven”)…
I’ve already got a couple in the hopper for upcoming episodes, and a bunch of other requests out. But I’d like to know who you would like to hear on the podcast. If you have a moment, check out this survey and give me some feedback! I’ll do my best to get your suggestions into the Kingcast ASAP.