Monday, May 29, 2017

As Close As the Next Page: A Hypothetical Collection of Stephen King's Nonfiction

Everyone knows that Stephen King is a prolific writer of fiction, but there's a good chance the average King fan has no idea that he has also written a great deal of nonfiction.  His published nonfiction output goes all the way back to his college days; he's been an essayist, a columnist, an opinionator, and a critic as long as he's been a fiction writer.  It's true that his fictional output is vastly larger, in terms of word-count (or so I assume); but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of nonfiction with King's name on it.
  
Boy, is there!
  
In fact, way back in 2008 -- nearly ten years ago, mind you -- authors Rocky Wood and Justin Brooks needed 606 pages (in the form of Stephen King: The Nonfiction) to list and briefly summarize all the pieces they knew about.  That book is an epic in its own right, and one well worth reading if you are into that sort of thing.  I am, and consequently it is one of the most essential books about King that I own.
  
  
  
  
It makes for a terrific reference guide, and also for an acceptable substitute for reading the essays/articles/reviews/etc. themselves, many of which are damn near impossible to locate.
  
I've long held the opinion that fans would benefit from there being a weighty collection of King's nonfiction, and here, I've assembled a hypothetical table of contents for a hypothetical book of that precise nature.  
  
We'll call that hypothetical collection As Close As the Next Page, which seems like an invitingly mysterious title.  (I got it from a line in King's foreword to his fiction collection Night Shift.)  What might the cover look like?  Something folksy and pleasant, perhaps.  Maybe a photo a bit like this:
  
  
  
  
King's waiting for us in some small cafe or diner someplace, waiting so he can invite us to sit down and have a conversation with him, just like two reg'lar folks.
  
That's the tone of much of his nonfiction, so if not that precise photo, then maybe something like it.
  
Anyways, you get the idea.  Let's use it as a placeholder, howsabout?
  
With that in mind, what sort of book would As Close As the Next Page be?  We've certainly got a mountain of nonfiction to choose from, but the first step is to accept that it will be necessary to abandon ANY hopes of being comprehensive.  I'm mostly going to restrict myself to listing pieces that I have actually read, so if I've omitted something you feel needs to be here, let me know in the comments.  Maybe you'll have a copy you can send to me for consideration (hint-hint, ahem...)!

One thing that won't be appearing here: the various articles that comprise King's Garbage Truck, the column he wrote for his school newspaper while in college.  Similarly, I'm not considering his The Pop of King columns (written for Entertainment Weekly); many of them are good, and a few are great, but I'm leaving them out.   Most book and/or movie reviews, also out.  There are probably enough of these that they can be their own volume someday (in the hypothetical sense, if no other).

Et cetera.  We'll maybe discuss my selection criteria more as we proceed.  I enjoy a chronological approach, so we'll proceed in that manner, beginning with:
  

"The Horror Market Writer and the Ten Bears" (1973):  This article from the November 1973 issue of The Writer find King -- about half a year prior to the publication of his first novel -- doling out advice to would-be writers of horror stories.  You can find this in Secret Windows, by the way.
  
"Writing a First Novel" (1975):  Another piece from The Writer, this time the June 1975 issue.  Here, King looks back fondly on the process of getting his first novel (Carrie) into print, and offers advice for those trying to clear the same hurdle.
  
"The Fright Report" (1978):  The January 1978 issue of Oui contained this essay, in which he "tells why he writes stuff like that" (as the intro page informs us).  Great stuff.
  
"Foreword to Night Shift" (1978):  I'm reluctant to include pieces that have already appeared in major King books, but in this particular case (and likely a few others), I think it's mandatory.  It's one of the best essays of King's career, and I'm not sure any collection of his nonfiction would be complete without it.
  
"Ghostmaster General" (1978):  This brief piece from the October 31, 1978 edition of the Bangor Daily News finds the author -- in his capacity as Maine's "ghostmaster general" -- offering tongue-in-cheek advice to parents of trick-or-treaters.  Not by any means essential stuff, but fun, and I've got a soft spot for Halloween, so let's put it in there.
  
"Introduction to Frankenstein / Dracula / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1978):  A paperback omnibus from Signet Classic of these three seminal works of horror fiction included a nine-page introduction by King in which he does some literary analysis of each.
  
"How to Scare a Woman to Death" (1979):  This wry piece from the essays-about-crime-fiction anthology Muderess Ink covers some of the same territory as the "Ten Bears" piece from earlier, but it's a lot of fun in its own right.
  
"A Pilgrim's Progress" (1980):  From the January 1980 issue of American Bookseller, this piece includes what may be the first-ever appearance of a funny anecdote King sometimes tells about being recognized by a short-order cook.
  
"On Becoming a Brand Name" (1980):  From the February 1980 issue of Adelina, this lengthy piece ought to be required reading for King fans.  It's appeared in Secret Windows, but if such a collection as the one I'm proposing is ever published, it'd need to appear there, too.

"Introduction to Joseph Payne Brennan's The Shapes of Midnight" (1980):  I debated with myself whether or not to include his introductions to other authors' work here, and ultimately decided to go ahead and do so.  Such pieces are problematic in that they are often very focused on the work of the author whose book King is introducing.  I mean, duh.  Of course they are!  Why would they be anything else?  What they have as virtues is the fact that King typically seems to be writing under the assumption that those reading his introductions do not necessarily have a familiarity with, say, Joseph Payne Brennan.  So in that sense, these pieces are indeed often highly readable even for non-initiates.  King also tends to write passionately and expressively when he's championing other writers, and in the end, I think this means that any collection of his nonfiction ought to have a smattering of these pieces.  Mine is apt to have more than a smattering!  Somewhere between a smattering and a plethora, that'll be this collection.
  
"Imagery and the Third Eye" (1980):  Another piece from The Writer (the October 1980 issue, in this case), in which King touches a bit upon the use of imagery in his novel, and addresses criticisms that he writes "cinematically."
  
"Remembering John" (1980):  A eulogy for John Lennon from the Dec. 13-14, 1980 edition of the Bangor Daily News.  You can tell this one means something to King.

"Introduction to John Farris's When Michael Calls" (1981):  This introduction really does make me want to read Farris's novel, which I have yet to do.  I've actually been astonishingly lax in terms of reading the books I've bought for the King introductions.  This needs to change.
  
"When Is TV Too Scary For Children?" (1981):  This piece from the June 13-19, 1981 issue of TV Guide finds King opining on how to decide whether to let children watch movies that might frighten them.

"Foreword to Charles L. Grant's Tales from the Nightside" (1981):  King's love of Grant's work shines through brightly.

"The Importance of Being Forry" (1981):  This introduction to Mr. Monster's Movie Gold, a coffee-table book celebrating the career of Forrest J. Ackerman (the publisher of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland), is fairly delightful.  One great reason for including pieces of this nature is that it serves as a partial cataloguing of King's influences, which is obviously worthy from a biographical standpoint.
  
"Quitting Smoking: The Toughest Part Is Deciding to Try" (1981):  From the September 15, 1981 edition of the Bangor Daily News.  It's exactly what it sounds like it is, but it's also a prime example of King's ability to connect with his audience no matter the topic.
  
"Between Rock and a Soft Place" and "Visit with an Endangered Species" (1982):  These two piece from the January 1982 issue of Playboy find King discussing his difficulty in reliably finding good music on FM radios, and profiling a disc jockey who gets the job done right.

"Afterword to The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger" (1982):  This piece does not appear in the revised editions of the novel, and between that and the actual quality, I think that more than merits inclusion here.

"Afterword to Different Seasons" (1982):  Great stuff here.  Any King fan worth their essential saltes should already have the piece via having the took to which it serves as a nightcap, but I see nothing to be gained by omitting it.  It tells the story of how King chose what his second novel to be published would be.
  
"On The Shining and Other Perpetrations" (1982):  From Whispers No. 17/18, this essay finds King discussing where he gets his ideas (or, at any rate, where he got one of them).

"Introduction to Harlan Ellison's Stalking the Nightmare" (1982):  In which King writes a ten-page pastiche of Ellison's style, and does quite credibly.  Not to be missed.
  
"Peter Straub: An Informal Appreciation" (1982):  King supplied this essay for the commemorative program of the 1982 World Fantasy Convention, where Peter Straub was one of the guests of honor.  Great stuff, even if you're not a Straub fan.
  
"An Evening at the Billerica Library" (1983):  This transcription of a talk King gave appears in both Bare Bones and Secret Windows, so it might be doubly redundant here.  It's thirty pages of excellence, though.  I suspect this won't be the last transcription of a King talk/lecture/speech I'll be including.

"A Novelist's Perspective on Bangor" (1983):  This piece from the book Black Magic and Music (which, I think, was a chapbook, but don't hold me to that) finds King answering the question of why he wanted to live in Bangor.

"A Bad Year If You Fear Friday the 13th" (1984): This piece, written for and published in the New York Times, finds King pontificating on the number 13.

"Dr. Seuss and the Two Faces of Fantasy" (1984):  This speech was given by King at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, and was published in Fantasy Review a few months later (in the June 1984 issue).  It's very good.

"The Politics of Limited Editions" (1985):  I'm just going to assume this one is great; having never read it (I can't find an affordable copy), I do not know for sure.  It appeared in two parts in the newsletter Castle Rock during the June and July 1985 issues.

"Why I Was Bachman" (1985):  This essay served as an introduction to The Bachman Books, which is now out of print.  Even if it wasn't, though, I'd champion its inclusion here.

"Foreword to Silver Bullet" (1985):  King here recounts the genesis of Cycle of the Werewolf, and also speaks about the movie adaptation.

"Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully -- In Ten Minutes" (1986):  From the July 1986 issue of The Writer, this piece is excellent.  Its not having been included in Secret Windows -- which collected nonfiction pieces focused on the craft of writing -- is odd.

"How It Happened" (1986):  This brief piece appeared in the Book-of-the-Month Club News, and later in Secret Windows.  King here is in lyrical mode.

"The Dreaded 'X' " (1986):  Now, I assume this is about the process of King's first and only directorial effort, Maximum Overdrive, receiving an X rating by the MPAA.  But having never read it, I do not know for sure.  This appeared in the December '86 issue of Castle Rock, and evidently also appeared in the March 1991 issue of Gauntlet.  It has yet to appear in front of my eyes, though.  Maybe someday!

"Introduction to Jim Thompson's Now and On Earth" (1986):  King writes compellingly about Thompson, to whom I apologize for not having read his books.  He's dead, but just in case.

"A Postscript to Overdrive" (1987):  Dadgummit, yet another Castle Rock piece about Maximum Overdrive that I can't find!

"What's Scaring Stephen King" (1987):  This brief, but excellent, piece about censorship was published in the February 1987 issue of Omni.

" 'Ever Et Raw Meat?' and Other Weird Questions" (1987):  This dandy piece is about how King answers questions both weird and normal (if grating).  Its first appearance was the New York Times Book Review os December 6, 1987; its second was Secret Windows.

"The Ideal, Genuine Writer: A Forenote" (1987):  This introduction to Don Robertson's The Ideal, Genuine Man is longer than most such pieces, and is very good.

"A New Introduction to John Fowles' The Collector" (1989):  Another lengthier-than-normal piece, and also one in which King goes deeper into the role of literary critic than we are used to seeing from him.  Seems like he'd be pretty good at it.

"Head Down" (1990):  This essay from The New Yorker also appeared in Nightmares & Dreamscapes, but it would actually seem at home here.  It's about Owen King's Little League team, and is terrific.

"What Stephen King Does For Love" (1990):  You hear that King has written an article for Seventeen, and you wonder how that happened.  Beats me, but it's about classic books King has read out of love, not obligation.  It can also be found in Secret Windows.

"Straight Up Midnight" (1990):  King often turns in excellent essays as introductions to his own collections, such as this one for Four Past Midnight.

"Perfect Games, Shared Memories" (1991):  This loving essay was published in the Souvenir Scorebook for the 1991 World Series.  Owen makes an appearance, and I'm a sucker for essays in which the other members of the King family have prominent roles.

"Stephen King" (1993):  This essay from the anthology Writers Dreaming bears only King's name as a title, so perhaps we might infer that it has extra meaning.  Maybe si, maybe no; but either way, it's pretty damn good.

"Myth, Belief, Faith, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not!" (1993):  King's introduction to Nightmares & Dreamscapes is another essential inclusion.

"The Neighborhood of the Beast" (1994):  King's inclusion from the book of essays by members of The Rock Bottom Remainders is a no-brainer.  Great stuff.

"The Importance of Being Bachman" (1996):  Presumably to coincide with the appearance of a new "Bachman" book (The Regulators), a new edition of The Bachman Books hit the shelves in 1996, complete with a new introduction that took the place of "Why I Was Bachman."  I included that one, so why not this one, too?  It's well worth it.
 
"Introduction to Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door" (1996):  Another solid, weighty introduction that's as much critical analysis as it is anything else.
 
"Introduction to The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel" (1997):  I've got two editions of the single-volume version of The Green Mile.  One contains this introduction, and one does not.  The one that does not is poorer for it.
 
"I Want to Be Typhoid Stevie" (1997):  This essay -- published in the book Reading Stephen King: Issues of Censorship, Student Choice, and Popular Literature -- is very good, and may have been a speech King gave at the conference from which the book was derived.  I am not entirely sure.  I'll research it if I can remember to do so; if you're reading this, it means I forgot!
 
"Secrets, Lies and Bag of Bones" (1998):  This brief essay find King waxing philosophical on the subject of community and how it played into his then-newest novel.  It was sent out as an email to subscribers to Amazon Delivers, which I guess used to be a thing.
 
"Introduction to Crosscut" (1998):  Crosscut was -- and may still be, for all I know -- the literary magazine for Husson College in Bangor, Maine.  For the sixth volume, King supplied a lovely introduction, which finds him in a wistful and contemplative mode.
 
"Leaf-Peepers" (1998):  The December 28, 1998 issue of The New Yorker contained this brief but good essay by King about people visiting Maine to see the leaves.
 
"Introduction to Storm of the Century" (1999):  This introduction runs a bit more than twelves pages, and the fact that it's lengthier than most pieces of its kind ought to indicate to us all that King truly did put as much feeling into Storm of the Century as into many of his novels.  He'll tell you more about that here.
 
"An Evening with Stephen King" (1999):  This transcription of a talk King gave at the University of Vermont appeared in Secret Windows.  Transcribed speeches are similar to interviews in that they don't really count as nonfiction; or, at any rate, not as prose.  By definition, they are verbal in origin, and that means that they have not been given the benefit of being rethought, reshaped, and edited.  This arguably makes them a truer and more honest form of communication, I suppose; but it does not make them prose, which is indeed -- fiction and nonfiction alike -- the product of manipulation of those and other varieties.  Interestingly, King does quite well as a speaker; you read a transcription of his work, and you'll find that his thought process tends to result in spoken language that is much more similar to his written language than is true of most people.
 
"The Bogeyboys" (1999):  King delivered this speech at the Vermont Library Conference.  It is a deeply-felt piece about violence in culture, and deals very specifically with some of the fallout from his novel Rage.
 
"Fenway and the Great White Whale" (1999):  Another baseball-centric piece, this one written for the Souvenir Program of '99's Major League All-Star Game.  I will consider it a blessing if I never witness another baseball game in my life; I am not a fan.  But when King writes about it, he's able to engage me, as here, where he compares the plight of Red Sox fans to that of a certain Ahab.
 
"Great Hookers I Have Known" (2000):  This essay is not only the beneficiary of a terrific title, but it includes a prominent role for young Joe (Hill) King.  Plus, it's great.  You can find it in Secret Windows, but I would not dream of omitting it from my would-be collection.
 
"Vassar College commencement address" (2001):  King delivered the commencement address for spring 2001 at Vassar College.  In it, he asks the graduates to journey with him to the world as it might be a hundred years hence.
 
"Building a Haunted House" (2002):  This terrific piece from the January 26, 2002 issue of TV Guide serves to retell the genesis of the miniseries Rose Red.  It involves King meeting with Steven Spielberg to try and get a collaboration off the grounds.
 
"Practicing the (Almost) Lost Art" (2002):  King's introduction to Everything's Eventual finds him carping about the process of e-publishing, and the divide between art and commerce.
 
"Cone Head" (2002):  This essay from The New Yorker is a reminiscence about a drunken night on the town.
 
"Introduction to Matthew Lewis's The Monk" (2002):  An excellent essay in which King argues for the novel's place as a classic.
 
"On Being Nineteen (and a Few Other Things)" (2003):  This essay appears in many 2003-and-after editions of all seven books in the Dark Tower series.  It's an essential piece of nonfiction in King's canon, though, and should not be omitted.
 
"Foreword to Robin Furth's Stephen King's The Dark Tower: A Concordance" (2003):  King gives some highly illuminating details about some of the series books in this essay.
 
"Building Bridges" (2003):  This was King's speech upon accepting the National Book Award.  It's likely the most important speech he has ever delivered; if you weren't going to include this piece in a book like this one, then why bother compiling a book like this one?
 
"Lovecraft's Pillow" (2005):  A terrific introduction for the English translation of Michel Houllebecq's book H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life.  I'm going to have more to say about this one at some point soon.
 
"University of Maine commencement address" (2005):  Wherein King makes a convincing pitch to the graduates to stay in Maine rather than move away to Massachusetts or wherever.
 
"The Writing Life" (2006):  This essay appeared as an article in the Washington Post, and is about pretty much exactly what the title suggests.  Very good, as is almost always the case when King is in this mode.
 
"An Open Letter From Stephen King" (2007):  If for no other reason, this short piece merits inclusion because of the years-early glimpse at 11/22/63 it affords readers.  It originally appeared in a Marvel Spotlight issue focused on the upcoming Dark Tower comics.
 
"Introduction to Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine" (2007):  King evokes the magic of Bradbury in this hard-to-find introduction for a limited-edition reprint of one of Ray's best books.
 
"Introduction to Just After Sunset" (2008):  Tabitha plays a large role in this one.  Do you suspect she's the secret hero of the career of Stephen King?  Yeah, me too.
 
"What's Scary" (2010):  This lengthy two-part essay appeared in the January and February 2010 issues of Fangoria, and then later in a new edition of Danse Macabre.  King expounds at length about recent horror films he has enjoyed, among other things.  Not to be missed.
 
"On Cooking" and "Pretty Good Cake" (2011):  This essay and recipe appeared in the anthology Man With a Pan.  The essay is excellent, and the recipe seems like it'd be delicious.
 
"Guns" (2013):  This political piece pissed a lot of people off, but it's even-handed, self-accountable, and very well-written.  I wouldn't dream of not including it here.
 
"Just A Little Talent" (2013):  King's essay from the Rock Bottom Remainders e-anthology Hard Listening is essential reading, in my opinion.
 
"Why Stephen King Spends 'Months and Even Years' Writing Opening Sentences" (2013):  A brief essay from The Atlantic -- their website, at least -- on the subject of crafting an opening sentence.
 
"The Ring" (2014):  A brief and excellent essay about the loss of a wedding ring.  It appeared originally in Tin House #59.
 
"Joe Hill" (2016):  King wrote a brief piece about one of his bestselling sons for the Necon 36 commemorative program.  It's pretty great.
 
"Five to One, One in Five" (2016):  We will conclude the collection by, in a sense, returning to the beginning.  This lengthy essay about King's college years appeared in the anthology Hearts In Suspension, which I assume will eventually become hard to find, and therefore warrants its inclusion here.
 
*****
 
So there you have it!  Have I left things out?  Almost certainly.  Have I included things that I maybe ought not to have?  Entirely possible.  Are there things I don't even know about which would make for fine inclusions as well?
 
I wouldn't be surprised.  So if you know of one of those, or have anything else to say on the subject, feel free to leave a comment and let me know about it.
 
I will be back soon with a post I did not know until recently I even wanted to write: a ranking of King's novellas.  That ought not to take very long, so I'll be back in what amounts, for me, to a jif.

16 comments:

  1. This would be so, so, so great. I can't believe this hasn't appeared yet. And yeah, it should premiere alongside separate volumes collecting his other stuff, as you suggest. From your mouth to God's ear - I'd settle for Cemetery Dance's ear, though I'd prefer it come from Scribner.

    I had no idea King delivered the Vassar commencement address the year after the last one I was ever there! I spent a lot of time at Vassar 1996 to 2000, as my then-girlfriend matriculated there. She graduated in 2000 and I forget who the speaker was. Sure as hell wasn't King, though. Anyway! I sometimes wonder if I ever ran into any of the King kids at parties or around town and just didn't notice. If we're ever in line for the john at a ballgame I'll ask them key questions about that period of Vassar's storied history.

    Kudos to you making this list - I wouldn't even know where to begin, really. Well, I have some idea of where I'd begin, but I don't know how I'd know where to look up the rest.

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    1. Jesus. You just know that it will be Cemetery Dance or one of those other specialty houses that end up doing something like this. They'll charge an arm and a leg for it and make it to be only a few thousand people -- about three hundred of whom actually want to READ the damn thing -- can lay hands on it.

      Better that than nothing, but just thinking about it makes me grumpy.

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  2. Hello! I am a long time reader of your blog and though I enjoy it immensely, this is the first post that has compelled me to write in.
    I have often thought about a comprehensive Stephen King non-fiction collection and am frankly baffled that such a book doesn't exist! Last winter, another of my favorite writers, Neil Gaiman, released a collection of his non-fiction, and I really enjoy the layout. Your idea of putting the King essays in chronological order is very good and you would get a sense of Kings growth as a writer over the years, but Gaimans book is divided up in a way that I thought was really fun. It is sorted into different thematic sections. For example, essays of film criticisms, essays about comics, essays about people he knows, etc. I actually haven't read a lot of Kings nonfiction unfortunately, just his own introductions, Danse Macabre, On Writing and Head Down, so I don't know if a thematic organization would work for a King collection but it might be fun. I will say that you have set me on a course of tracking some of these essays you mentioned. First stop is grabbing that Secret Windows book. I am also very interested in finding that Fangoria essay from February 2010.
    Well thanks for the great blog and all the work you do. You and the Stephen Kingcast are my go to for thoughtful King criticism. Keep up the great work

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    1. I suspect that if a book of collected King nonfiction appears -- and it's really "when," not "if" -- it will be structured thematically. The chronological approach appeals to me, but I'm by no means a representative reader in that regard. I think a thematic structure could absolutely work, and would absolutely be fun.

      I appreciate you even mentioning me in the same sentence with the Stephen King Cast. I am not worthy! But I appreciate it all the same.

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  3. Mr. Burnette:
    I could see you writing the introduction for such a collection.
    You've got to learn to embrace baseball, it's spawned such good writing at times. I'm thinking non-fiction here.

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    1. I wouldn't dream of writing an introduction for a King book. Even if he asked me to do it personally, I'd be like, "No way, dude, let's find somebody qualified."

      I will definitely admit that baseball exerts a powerful hold on the American psyche. I use baseball-related metaphors all the time. It's a great sport, just not one that I personally enjoy, or would ever want to actually see played again. I had to suffer through roughly a million college baseball games back in the day; it used up all my good will!

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    2. Don't sell yourself short on the introduction. From what I've read of your blog posts I think you would create a thoughtful, informative, and witty intro.
      Maybe a million ballgames was just too many!

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    3. It was. It definitely was. This was back in the days of VCRs, and I had to work a game on the night the third part of the miniseries version of "The Stand" came on. There was some kind of a power glitch, and the VCR lost its settings, so when I got home to watch the tape, it was blank.

      I "pitched a fit," as the saying goes. This was back in the days when you never knew if you'd ever get a chance to see a thing again if you missed it. So for all I knew, I -- massive Stephen King fan, massive "The Stand" fan -- had been forever deprived of one-fourth of that miniseries due to a baseball game.

      I didn't see that part of the miniseries until it came out on laserdisc, if you can believe that.

      And this has been a preview of what my introduction to King's book of nonfiction might end up being.

      ;)

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    4. I think you'd write a terrific introduction. And Mr. King seems just cool and connected to his readers enough that he'd allow it.

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    5. Well, when and if, y'all'll be the first people to know!

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  4. Well, I have to say, your preview was witty and entertaining.

    Laserdisc, eh? That's a blast from the past.

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    1. It sure is! I wish I still had that set of "The Stand" lasers. I gave 'em away, though, when I got the DVD.

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  5. You know something funny? I had kind of forgotten this, but it was The Pop of King columns that first sparked my interest in Stephen King. I loved 'em. And then, within weeks of subscribing to EW, in no small part because of that one-page section, they discontinued it, with only rare columns contributed by King in the seven or so years since.

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    1. Bummer! I subscribed to the magazine when he first began the column, but I fell on hard times for a while and had to discontinue it. One of these days, I'm going to sit down with a list and figure out what issues I'm missing and start filling in the gaps. It's not a top priority, but someday.

      I would not have guessed that The Pop Of King would have turned anybody into a Constant Reader, but it makes perfect sense now that I think about it. How cool!

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  6. "Between a smattering and a plethora" - now that would be a great title!

    think you might be interested in this new title:

    https://www.amazon.com/Linguistics-Stephen-King-Layered-Language/dp/1476668345/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497029426&sr=1-10&keywords=bachman+books&refinements=p_n_publication_date%3A1250228011

    Cool cove if nothing else!

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