40 and 39 days until Halloween: celebrating the birth of The King

If there is one horror icon living today who deserves two full days dedicated to his work, it would be a gentleman who was born in Portland, Maine and grew up to become arguably the greatest horror writer of all time.

It seems only fitting that we are celebrating Stephen King’s birthday so close to the holiday represented by ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties.

Today is King’s 69th birthday and the master of horror is showing no signs of slowing.  He has a short story called The Music Room, scheduled to come out in an anthology this December.  He also has an essay collection due out on November 7th, titled Hearts in Suspension. The collection will be tied to King’s moving novel, Hearts in Atlantis, which has a very strong autobiographical presence.

The man has written over sixty books, including a fantastic collection under his pen name Richard Bachman, and well over 200 short stories.  In this writer’s opinion, perhaps the finest book with his name on it is his incredible essay on horror in all mediums of entertainment, called Danse Macabre.  The non-fiction book highlights all of the films, stories and comics that inspired King as a youngster and also digs into the psychology and history of horror.

I have been a fan of the man since I first read Cujo when I was about nine years old.  I walked into a book store with my parents and this classic tale of a rabid St. Bernard who terrorizes a woman and her young son while they are stranded in their vehicle was the only King book that my Ma figured was even remotely OK for a kid my age to read.  Over the years, I’ve shed tears, laughed and turned on an extra light while reading King’s catalog and while it’s not the most impressive collection in the history of King memorabilia, I’m damn proud of my King shelves!

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Perhaps you don’t have a King book at your disposal to scare the crap out of you tonight.  Never fear!  I’ve found a few short stories of King’s that are sure to give you the chills!

Gray Matter  – The story of the worst case of beer ever.  This story lives in the same universe as King’s novel, Dreamcatcher.

The Jaunt  – King shows his science-fiction chops big time here.

The Mist  –  I love the film The Mist, but I love the short story it is based on even more.

Here There Be Tygers  –  Definitely one of King’s more odd and crazy short stories.  Definitely a fun read.

One For The Road  –  Another short story with a nod to the ‘Salem’s Lot universe, this one is downright creepy!

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But it’s not just the written word that King can haunt like no other!  Check out a few trailers for some of King’s best film adaptations below!  Links to the trailer are attached to the film title.

The Night Flier

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Secret Window

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So there you have it, folks!  Hopefully this piece provided enough King fuel to get you through the rest of this Wednesday!  Happy Birthday, Mr. King!  Here’s to 69 more!

 

 

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