Happy birthday, Stephen King

Originally published at: Happy birthday, Stephen King | Boing Boing


His “On Writing” which is both a guide to writing and a memoir, is worth a read even if you aren’t a horror fan.


What a coinkidink…I just had a hankering and watched The Dead Zone in the wee hours this morning.

The Kid Mero Halloween GIF by Desus & Mero


Came here to mention this as well, glad you got to it first :slight_smile: it’s a fantastic book even if you’re not a writer looking to get tips from a master of the craft.


I think many of his older “horror” novels don’t exactly belong in the horror category, Firestarter and The Dead Zone fit pretty comfortably in sci-fi, The Talisman and The Stand are fantasy.

ETA: Yeah, this post is pretty banal.


But, technically, you are still correct :smirk:


I don’t think that King cares much for neatly labeled boxes. He just writes what he thinks is interesting, stuff like The Eyes Of The Dragon would be very much sword and magic fantasy, and he just released a book called Fairy Tale (i haven’t read it) where the concept is jokingly being considered an isekai


Sure. If my post was implicitly criticizing anyone, it was his publisher’s marketing department.


Which fits perfectly well in the history of horror, in that a lot of the best horror straddles genre lines. Frankenstein is both a cornerstone of horror literature and possibly the beginnings of SF as a genre; Poe’s horror merges into poetry and strange metafiction; the early-20th century saw the blooming of the weird fiction that blurred what we’d now consider SF, fantasy and horror into each other in the works of HPL, REH and CAS, and a dozen others; Ray Bradbury has similarly mixed genres with wild and ingenious abandon; and so on.

Edit: M.R. James and his antiquarian ghost stories is the best example of classic “pure” horror that comes to mind at a hand. I’m sure you could find a bunch of others among classic and contemporary horror writers, but he’s such a perfect, platonic example of the English Ghost Story, like Agatha Christie is of the English Whodunit genre. (And both of them showed a lot more variety and diversity in their stories than most of those copying their success did. ((Which also applies to JRR Tolkien and his imitators…)).


Coincidentally, I literally just got done having a conversation about the Dark Tower…



Right after I finish reading the two books I’m currently reading I’m going to give the series a try. I recently started dating someone who has a rose tattoo based on it. I’ve read a lot of older King but haven’t caught up on any of his stuff in a few decades, but she’s renewed my interest.


I am curious how weird, or challenging the series could be to someone new to it. Maybe you might like it but i do wonder what it’d come across to a fresh pair of eyes. I personally loved it, but i hope you don’t feel any pressure to feel the same if you do end up reading it. My fave book is Drawing of The Three but broadly speaking most people rave about Wizard & Glass.


I still find the opening line of the first book one of the best opening lines ever.

Very evocative, sets the scene and tells you everything you need to know in one short sentence.

And having read the whole series, it is arguably the only sentence you need to read. The entire story encapsulated in the series’ first sentence.

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