There was a small flurry of Stephen King-related activity at the end of last week. I’m a little behind the rest of the world in getting the information up, but like I’ve said in the past, October Country isn’t about being first, it’s about the conversation that comes after the cool stuff is out there.
The first bit of news came courtesy of a newsletter from Donald M. Grant Publisher. Grant is a specialty publisher, and was the first to take King’s stories about Roland Deschain and collect them in one volume. Those early stories became the first Dark Tower novel, and Grant has released limited editions of each subsequent DT book. We’ve known for a while that they would be releasing limited editions of The Wind Through the Keyhole, King’s surprise eighth entry in the series, and now we have a date: February 2012. Jae Lee will be illustrating Grant’s editions, which will include a Deluxe Edition (limited to 800) signed by King and Lee, and an limited Artist’s Edition signed only be Lee. Grant usually releases information in little trickles, so keep an eye on their website (or sign up for their newsletter). We’ll also have any new information here at OC when we know it.
Grant’s newsletter also through out April 3, 2012, as the release date for Scribner’s trade edition of Keyhole. That may have been circulating already, but it was the first time I’d seen a definitive date. The fact that, if Grant keeps to the announced schedule, the limiteds will be out two months before the trade is going to make them a hot ticket.
I’d barely had time to digest this when I ran across the news (in Bev Vincent’s great “News from the Dead Zone” column over at Cemetery Dance) that Scribner had also announced a new 80 page eBook exclusive from King called Mile 81. The release will contain the title story plus an excerpt from his forthcoming novel 11/22/63. It’s for the Kindle, but you can get it via various Kindle phone apps and Windows PC programs if you don’t have the actual reader.
King is no stranger to digital publishing (remember The Plant?), and this is the second Kindle-exclusive story he’s released (“UR” being the first). I think it’s great to see one of the established guard jump feet first into new ventures, and there are now enough venues to get digitally-published work that even the most disconnected Constant Reader can get his hands on this new story if he/she really wants to. I don’t have a Kindle yet, but I’ve got the Kindle app on my Android phone, and I’ll soon be adding a new King story to the free Jack London and Poe books I’ve already downloaded and enjoyed on it.
So. September = New King story. November = new King novel + new entry in Clive Barker’s Abarat series. February = new Dark Tower book. It’s been a great Summer, but now I’m ready for Fall.