With the Master's newest novel still burning up the bestseller charts, an impending new volume in the Dark Tower series, and persistent rumors of multiple big-budget Hollywood adaptations which may or may not ever actually be produced, the end of 2011 marks a pretty fine time to be a Stephen King fan.
For this Stephen King fan, it was an interesting year. The highlight of it was unquestionably the release of 11/22/63, but there were also fun times to be had in the ongoing Marvel comic books (The Dark Tower and The Stand), and the Turner Classic Movies documentary The Horrors of Stephen King made for a delightful Halloween treat. The lowpoint...? The release of YET ANOTHER Children of the Corn movie; this one is not only completely unrelated to the short story upon which it is "based," it's also got almost nothing to do with either children or corn!
For me, though, I suppose I ought to hold a bit of fondness in my heart for 2011 simply because it's the year I started blogging. It's been fun. It's also been frustrating, because I keep running into cases of my ambitions outstripping my reach. Hopefully, 2012 is going to be a bit of an improvement in terms of time-management considerations.
Before 2011 scoots out the door, though, I wanted to call some attention to the the short stories King published during the year. His longer fiction is always going to overshadow his shorter work, and perhaps that's as it should be. However, the short fiction is almost always worth shining light upon, and King's short-form output was quite good this year.
I'd like to talk about the stories in some depth, and in order to do that, I have to venture into spoilery territory. However, since most of these stories were available only in somewhat specialized formats, I assume that a great many King fans probably will not read them until they make an appearance in his next story collection. Therefore, it would be poor form on my part to simply dive right in and ruin the plot details of these stories. I won't do that. Instead, I'll first offer up some general thoughts on each story, and save the more in-depth analyses for separate posts on each story, all of which I hope to produce within the next couple of weeks.