Archive for stephen king

Stephen King explains how to make vampires ‘scary again’

Posted in Comics, Geek literature with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by Geek Tv

The horror master offers tips on how to re-inject some bite into a genre ‘hijacked by a lot of soft-focus romance’

Here’s what vampires shouldn’t be: pallid detectives who drink Bloody Marys and work only at night; lovelorn southern gentlemen; anorexic teenage girls; boy-toys with big dewy eyes,” writes Stephen King in the introduction to his move into original comic book writing, American Vampire. “What should they be? Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A. Bad boys and girls. Hunters. In other words, Midnight America. Red, white and blue, accent on the red. Those vamps got hijacked by a lot of soft-focus romance.”

King has clearly got a bit of a thing against the waves of romantically inclined vampires that have been proving so popular in recent years – in the past, he’s hit out particularly at Stephenie Meyer’s Twitlight books and the yearning teen romance that fills them. “Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good,” he said last year.

If you’ve been following by blog, you know that I wholeheartdely agree. I mean people have judged me on being a hypocrite because I like Harry Potter (but not Twitlight) but to be honest, JKR actually took the time to learn to write and she delivered a pretty damn good story. I also enjoyed reading the Vampire Diaries, despite them starting extremely boring and with an annoying protagonist, the characters developed and the plot was pretty good. Still I would recommend the Show instead 😛

American Vampire which is out next month is a fresh take on the vampire myth, producing a particularly American version which isn’t bothered by sunlight, sports rattlesnake fangs, and kicks the arse out of its tired European creators. “It’s all about giving back the teeth that the current ‘sweetie-vamp’ craze has, by and large, stolen from the bloodsuckers. It’s about making them scary again,” writes King. “Skinner Sweet [his American vamp] really sucks, and man, that’s a good thing.”

Coming from a man whose Vampire book Salem’s Lot gave me nightmares at 17 (SEVENTEEN!) this is a very good thing! I can’t wait to order my American Vampire copy :3

A Dark Tower Trilogy AND TV Series?

Posted in Geek literature with tags , , on September 9, 2010 by Geek Tv

Now this is a real jaw-dropper. In an age when uncertainty about budgets and success means most filmmakers are pruning projects back to the bare minimum to avoid costs and risks, Ron Howard and producers Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman are planning to turn Stephen King’s massive novel series The Dark Tower into a trilogy of movies. Oh, and a TV series that will run between them.

It was reported back in April that Howard, Grazer and the rest were cooking up an idea for a film and follow-on TV series, which was the only way they, through production company Imagine, could adapt the sprawling tale of Roland the gunslinger and his quest to save humanity by reaching the titular structure.

Now Deadline has more details, including the fact that Imagine partner Universal’s film and TV sections have won the deal to host the trilogy and the TV series, beating down Warners (which is where Goldsman has his production company) for the chance. We sort of hope they faced off with an actual gunfight given the material, but we’re pretty sure it was just boring business negotiation.

And here’s the even more intriguing part. The current plan calls for Howard to direct both the first film and at least the entire first season of the series, which he’s comparing to Peter Jackson’s efforts on Lord of the Rings. “What Peter did was a feat, cinematic history,” Howard tells the site. “The approach we’re taking also stands on its own, but it’s driven by the material. I love both, and like what’s going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw dropping, compelling television.

“We’ve put some real time and deep thought into this, and a lot of conversations and analysis from a business standpoint, to get people to believe in this and take this leap with us. I hope audiences respond to it in a way that compels us to keep going after the first year or two of work. It’s fresh territory for me, as a filmmaker.”

The three filmmakers apparently first considered adapting King’s series when they were working on A Beautiful Mind, but figured he’d never sell. Until, that is, King gave JJ Abrams the rights for $19. But Abrams and his collaborators could never make it work, so when the option became available again, Grazer and Howard jumped on the chance.

Right now, the thinking is to launch the story with a film, then run the first season on television (how many episodes has yet to be decided, and we’re not sure we see Howard making 22 of the blighters), then a sequel film, followed by a second TV season that will chart the younger days of Roland’s life, as chronicled in a prequel comic that King was involved in creating. But it would mean a big name signing on for both the first film and at least two seasons of TV.

Can it work? Is it too ambitious? If anyone can pull it off, it’s these three, but what say you? Good idea? Or will it collapse like a cowboy shot through the noggin?


Stephen King’s Bag of Bones review

Posted in Geek literature with tags , , , , , on May 31, 2010 by Geek Tv

First things first: This is my absolute favourite book by Stephen King. I have read it so many times since 1998 when I bought it that I wonder why am I reading it over and over again. I know it by heart. I have even been using lines from the book in my everyday life without realising it. I am able to visualise it vividly when I read it. In short: I LOVE THIS BOOK

Now that this is out of the way I should probably let you know what the book is all about.

So much for happy beginnings
The main character’s pregnant wife dies in the very first page. YES. WTF. The main character, Mike Noonan, is a writer but after the unfortunate and unexpected death of Jo (his wife) he starts suffering from writer’s block and not just your average Joe writer’s block! He gets panic attacks at the moment he turns on his word processor. Mike, however, doesn’t let anyone know that he is suffering and keeps publishing old works he had saved when ideas flooded his brains but after four years the manuscripts end and publishers start pushing for a new novel. Mike realises that he must gather his pieces and start his life again but keeps getting panic attack after panic attack.

During the four years since the loss of Jo, Mike had a series of nightmares involving their summer cottage “Sarah Laughs” (named after a blues since Sarah Tidwell who spent some time in TR in the beginning of the century) on Darkshore Lake on the edge of a yankee town called TR-90. Mike returns to the TR to discover that Jo, in the few years before her death, had been researching Sara Tidwell’s story, and apparently searching through the dirty secrets of the locals in the process. TR’s “loveable” yanks seem less than happy to talk about when and how Sarah and her extended family came to leave the TR.

The Here and Now
On his way to the local fast food, Mike becomes involved in a custody dispute between a poor, young widowed mother and her daughter’s grandfather (on her father’s side) an ancient, millionaire who has the TR wrapped around his boney finger. Mike, having lost both his wife and his unborn child finds himself loving dearly the little girl and her beautiful young mother. On top of that “Sara Laughs” seems to be haunted by several chatty ghosts, including as it seems this of his wife. Certain Supernatural events include but are not limited to messages on the refrigerator in magnetic letters, the tinkling bell around a mounted moose head’s neck, and ghost banging on walls while trying to communicate. In the meanwhile, Mike miraculously starts writing again.

Happy Endings

I’m not going to spoil anymore for you folks, go pick up the book and read it. Especially since it will be a miniseries in 2011. WOO FRAKING HOO! You wouldn’t want to miss on the plot twists of the book by only watching the series ;D

Other Stephen King characters that you may know and are mentioned or met in BoB.
(I love when writers do that ^^)
-Ralph Roberts, the main character from Insomnia
-Ray Garraty, the main character from The Long Walk
-Mike Noonan reads books by Bill Denbrough from It.
-Sara Laughs is located on Dark Score Lake, from Gerald’s Game.
-Mike Noonan lives in Derry, the setting for It, Dreamcatcher and Insomnia.
-Thad Beaumont, from The Dark Half, is mentioned as having killed himself.
-Norris Ridgewick, sheriff of Castle Rock, shows up at Mike’s door. Mike asks about former sheriff Alan Pangborn, and Norris mentions Polly Chalmers. All three were central characters in Needful Things.
-Jared Devore, Max’s ancestor, mentions Shawshank Prison.
-The importance of 19, a number of talismanic power in The Dark Tower series, is introduced here.
-A woman Mike meets in the gym is said to be reading a book by Ellen Gilchrist; this is the maiden name of Ellen Rimbauer (Rose Red)

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