NEWS -

Update on Last Rung on the Ladder

Posted: July 4, 2001, 00:39
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The reports of the project's death have been greatly exagerated.

In Late october, Tim Pugliese got a call that his father's mastasticized cancer had come back and nothing could be done for him. They gave him just a few months. Shortly after getting the news, Tim went back to Ottawa to take care of him. His father passed on March 24, 2001.

Tim has just returned after having to stay longer to help get his father's affairs in order. He has been trying to put his life back together again.

Unfortunately, Lisa Goodness left Bangor, and moved to Florida. She's 'uncast' from Last Rung, and a few others simply vanished, it seems. So, now they have to start all over again.

They managed to get the elusive video edit card for the computer ($800). They're currently searching for the proper shotgun mic and sound mixer for the camera. Then they'll be ready to recast. But there are no firm dates right now.

Lately, they've been working hard producing STRANGE AMERICA. Since it got on commercial TV in April, they've now ended up with a deadline. Strange America has been a template for upcoming projects. They've improved camera angles and found where their technical shortcomings were.

Thanks to Rosandra.

Frank Muller is doing...

Posted: June 12, 2001, 19:17
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Frank Muller is doing the audio adaptation of The Talisman for Simon and Schuster Audio. It's supposed to be about 27 hours long. No word yet on who will read Black House.

Thanks to Bev Vincent.

Creepshows: The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide

Posted: June 7, 2001, 19:17
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The upcoming book about King adaptations; Creepshows: The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide by Stephen Jones will contains all major cast and credit information, info about sequel and spin-off, television adaptations, stage shows, radio plays, computer games and details of unproduced and forthcoming projects. As well as contributions from Mick Garris, Bernie Wrightson, Harlan Ellison, Peter Straub, Dennis Etchison, Frank Darabont, David J. Schow and others. Look for a review of it in The Review Section soon!

King won a Bram Stoker award

Posted: May 29, 2001, 19:16
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King won a Bram Stoker award this past weekend at the Stoker Awards in Seattle for best non-fiction piece (On Writing).

One remake and one miniseries...

Posted: May 23, 2001, 00:52
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Creature Corner had a report about the remake of Salem's Lot today. They reported that there would be one feature movie and one miniseries.

Denise DiNovi (Edward Scissorhands) is currently developing it with Village Roadshow and Warner Bros. P.J. Hogan (Muriel's Wedding & My Best Friend's Wedding) is attached to direct.

There has been no word about when it will be done though.

Transcript and images from Vassar

Posted: May 21, 2001, 19:14
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Stephen King Commencement Speech
20 May 2001

Thank you, President Fergusson—Trustees—members of the faculty—family members—and—of course—you graduates of 2001.

Last week, this week, next week; all over America young men and women—and some not so young—in caps and gowns are listening to scholars, politicians, eminent thinkers, and probably Oprah Winfrey send them forth into their lives. You here at Vassar have invited the man most commonly seen as America's Bogeyman to do that, and I have to ask you What were you thinking? What in God's name were you thinking?

Possibly that I'd take the day off and paint you a shining picture—"shining," get it? that one's mine—of a glorious American future where George W. Bush rules like Glinda the Good, with Dick Cheney at his right hand and John Ashcroft at his left? Not going to happen. Dubya may be the Wizard of Oz but he's no Glinda, and the bogeyman never takes the day off. I guess no one told you that. . . and now it's too late.



In that spirit, I invite you now to take a look around and imprint this cheerful scene on your mind. Make it a mental Kodak Moment. Have you got it? Okay, now close your eyes. Seriously, Nothing will bite you. All I want you to do is to see what you were just looking at with your eyes open.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, cast your minds a hundred years into the future. It's May 20, 2101. Imagine this stage and these same folding chairs on this same lawn, but now there's a sign over the stage that says VASSAR WELCOMES THE SURVIVORS OF THE 2001 COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES. Keep your eyes shut just a moment longer, okay? They've put out a chair for everyone that's here today. One for each student, parent, grandparent, sibling; one for each faculty member and invited guest. Do you see those chairs? Sure you do. Your imagination is getting a great view of them. Because if we reuned a hundred years from today, we wouldn't need to hold the festivities on this lawn; we could get everyone left into the newsstand at the Courtyard Marriot out on Route 9.

We're looking at some marvelous medical advances over the next hundred years—most cancers will be treatable and beatable, at least for those who have the resources; with genetic tailoring, a good many children may actually be born cancer-immune…but none of those wonder-children are here today. We have incredible new drugs to protect against stroke and heart attack—drugs which should be almost unnecessary, given what we now know about the lifestyle markers leading up to stroke and heart attack, but what we know and how we behave are often divergent paths, aren't they? Human nature is for the most part an alligator that just wants to doze in the sun and snatch whatever prey happens to wander too close. We know too much cholesterol is bad for us, but God I love a box of french fries. And I'm not the only one.



Our pills and treatments are largely designed to work in spite of human nature, and more and more often they actually do that. Given what we now know about the human genome, there are apt to be even more striking advances over the coming decades, some of which we can foresee now no more than the visionaries of 1970, when I graduated college, could foresee America's amazing transition from a purveyor of goods to a purveyor of information. The land of big shoulders has become the land of smart guys and gals with pens in their pockets, CD players in their computers, and beepers on their belts. Hardly anyone saw it coming, but here it is.

What I'm saying is that I don't see all empty chairs when I close my eyes. I do believe that there are people here today who could still come to a reunion a hundred years from today, but as I say, I think you'd hardly need this lawn to accommodate them. Since we started today, have you heard the occasional cry of a baby? Some young American more interested in eating or getting into a dry diaper than in listening to all this rhetoric? I'd suggest that those few crying babies are your most likely hundred-year survivors—always assuming the world itself continues to survive—and while a few of them might show up in wheelchairs or on walkers, I'll bet many would be tres spry. Alzheimer's? Nah. Most of them will have ninth-generation computer chips in their heads, serving as firewalls against that problem. Diabetes? Maybe, but those who have lost limbs to the disease will have computer-driven prosthetics which have complete range of motion and even feeling—they'll occasionally itch, and go numb if you fall asleep in the wrong position.



So there will be hundred-year survivors. But I have to tell you the scary truth, because that's my job. You know the old proverb, don't you, about the woman who carries the drowning scorpion across the raging stream? Once they're on the other side it stings her and as she staggers to her knees, dying, she reproaches it for ingratitude. "C'mon, lady," it says, "you knew I was a scorpion when you picked me up." And you knew I was the scary guy when you picked me for this job, so deal with it.

Any trustees, Board of Directors, faculty, at our one-hundred-year get-together in 2101? Maybe a couple of faculty. We'll be generous and say two. But they're in their hundred-and- thirties and not much good in a game of Frisbee. Grandparents? Gone, of course. Aunts and uncles? Gone. Parents? With maybe a couple of exceptions, gone. Graduates? Let's be generous here. Fourteen surviving members of the class of 2001. Men and women ranging in ages from one hundred and nineteen, let us say, to a hundred and twenty-two. Many more little brothers and sisters—except by 2101, the annoying little brothers and sisters are going to be old, gray, slow, and cranky. And those crying babies, of course.



Now I'm sure that there are those—I hope their number is small, but I'm sure they're out there—who feel that I am being tasteless, casting gloom—even the pall of death—on what should be a joyous and wonderful day. Let me respond by reiterating the obvious: you knew I was a scorpion when you picked me up. And I do have a point to make. Because I do, I apologize not at all for pointing out the simple fact of your mortality on the day of your commencement.

Let us suppose the world has that coming century. Let's suppose no one decides it's time to start the next nuclear exchange in Pakistan or Jerusalem or Kansas City. Let us suppose you go forth from this happy place in good health and no one drops a safe on your head, hits you with a taxicab, or dumps you out of a hot-air balloon. Let us suppose cancer misses you, that you continue to run and work out and avoid Mickey D's and your heart grows stronger as the years get longer. Let's suppose you are fortunate enough to land the job you want the friends you love (and who love you) and maybe even a life's mate that you can reach over and touch in the night when the hours spin long and you've got the blues. Let's suppose you have those years, that fullness of time. I wish that for you. I do. I wish you the passion of this springtime, a long and productive summer, and a harvest ripe beyond your dreams come fall. I do. But you have to think about what I'm talking about. There's a Jackson Browne song, "The Pretender," that goes, "I'm aware of the time passin' by, they say in the end it's the blink of an eye." They say, and it's true. Time is short.



That human life is brief when placed in time's wider perspective is something we all know. I am asking you to consider it on a more visceral level, that's all. Thinking of all those empty chairs a hundred years from now is frightening. Yet it also offers some valuable perspective.

What are you going to do, Vassar oh-one? Who will be the doctors, the lawyers, the writers, the painters, the executives, the politicians? Who's going to look around at age forty-five, surprised as hell to find himself or herself the head concierge at the Hotel Carlyle in New York and say, "How in the hell did I wind up here?"

What will you do? Well, I'll tell you one thing you're not going to do, and that's take it with you. I'm worth I don't exactly know how many millions of dollars—I'm still in the Third World compared to Bill Gates, but on the whole I'm doing okay—and a couple of years ago I found out what "you can't take it with you" means. I found out while I was lying in the ditch at the side of a country road, covered with mud and blood and with the tibia of my right leg poking out the side of my jeans like the branch of a tree taken down in a thunderstorm. I had a MasterCard in my wallet, but when you're lying in the ditch with broken glass in your hair, no one accepts MasterCard. If you find yourself in the ER with a serious infarct, or if the doctor tells you yeah, that lump you felt in your breast is a tumor, you can't wave your Diners Club at it and make it go away. My life, as it happened, was saved. The man who saved it was a volunteer EMT named Paul Fillebrown. He did the things that needed to be done at the scene, and then he drove me to the nearest hospital at a hundred and ten miles an hour. And while Paul Fillebrown may have an American Express Card, I doubt very much if it's a gold one, or God save us, the black one that offers double Frequent Flyer miles and special deals at Club Med.



We all know that life is ephemeral, but on that particular day and in the months that followed, I got a painful but extremely valuable look at life's simple backstage truths, We come in naked and broke. We may be dressed when we go out, but we're just as broke. Warren Buffet? Going to go out broke. Bill Gates? Going to go out broke. Tom Hanks? Going out broke. President Fergusson? Broke. Steve King? Broke. You guys? Broke. Not a crying dime. And how long in between? How long have you got to be in the chips? "I'm aware of the time passin' by, they say in the end it's the blink of an eye." That's how long. Just the blink of an eye.

Let me give you some rough numbers, okay? The class of 2001, if everyone graduated on time , would consist of six hundred and twenty-four men and women. But things come up and a probably a fewer number will actually get diplomas today. Say six hundred. Now let's take an average year's salary for a Vassar graduate—and when I say average, I mean knocked down to reflect the scuffling early years, when you won't be paid what you're really worth and won't care—if you're normal, in those early years you're going to care more about seeing U-2 or Wilco in concert. So we'll say forty-one grand. Now let's say each of you works forty years. Given those marvelous medical advances we were talking about, many of you may work longer, but let's be conservative. Forty years. Given these numbers—these very conservative numbers—this class as a group can expect to earn 984 million dollars during its active years in the American economy. These are still not Bill Gates numbers, but we need to remember that Vassar is only one of the many good schools graduating seniors today. Almost a billion dollars. And so what? I'm aware of the time passin' by, they say in the end it's the blink of an eye, and the scary man said I was going to go out broke. The scary man actually says more than that. The scary man says all the money you will earn, all the credit you will swing like Tom Sawyer's dead cat on a string, all the stocks you will buy, all the mutual funds and precious metals you will trade—all of that is mostly smoke and mirrors. You will continue to put on your pants one leg at a time no matter how many T-bills you have or how many shares of General Electric in your portfolio. It's still going to be quarter-past getting late whether you tell the time on a Timex or a Rolex. No matter how large your bank account, your kids will still play their music too loud when you get to be my age. No matter how many credit cards you have, sooner or later things will begin to go wrong with the only three things you have which you can really call your own: your body, your spirit, and your mind.



Yet for a short period—let's say forty years, but the merest blink in the larger course of things—you and your contemporaries will wield enormous power: the power of the economy, the power of the hugest military-industrial complex in the history of the world, the power of the American society you will create in your own image. That's your time, your moment. Don't miss it. I think my generation did, although I don't blame us too much; it's over in the blink of an eye and it's easy to miss.

Of all the power which will shortly come into your hands—gradually at first, but then with a speed that will take your breath away—the greatest is undoubtedly the power of compassion, the ability to give. We have enormous resources in this country—resources you yourselves will soon command—but they are only yours on loan. Only yours to give for a short while. You'll die broke. In the end, it's the blink of an eye. I came here to talk about charity, and I want you to think about it on a large scale.

Should you give away what you have? Of course you should. I want you to consider making your lives one long gift to others, and why not? All you have is on loan, anyway. All you want to get at the getting place, from the Maserati you may dream about to the retirement fund some broker will try to sell you on, none of that is real. All that lasts is what you pass on. The rest is smoke and mirrors.



Don't I think wealth—and some of you are going to finish up very wealthy, although you may not think it now—should be kept in the family? Some, yes—charity begins at home. Those of you who have been able to pay for the college educations of your sons and daughters—their Vassar educations—have done a wonderful thing. It's a great gift. If you're able to go on and give them a further start in life—a place in business, possibly help with a home—so much the better. Because charity begins at home. Because—up to a certain point, at least—we are all responsible for the lives we add to the world. But I think the most chilling thing a young man or woman can hear is "Some day all this will be yours." And of course, the runner-up: "I do it all for you." I think what a lot of new grads would like to hear is some version of, "You're on your own, good luck, call if you need help. And reverse the charges."

Here's another scary thing to think about before you leave here. Imagine a nice little back yard, surrounded by a board fence. Dad—a pleasant fellow, a little plump, wearing an apron that says YOU MAY KISS THE COOK—is tending the barbecue. Mom and the kids are setting the picnic table by the backyard pool: fried chicken, cole slaw, potato salad, a chocolate cake for dessert. And standing around that fence, looking in, are emaciated men and women, starving children. They are silent. They only watch. That family at the picnic is us, ladies and gentlemen; that back yard is America, and those hungry people on the other side of the fence, watching us sit down to eat, include far too much of the rest of the world. It's Asia and the subcontinent; it's countries in Central Europe where people live on the edge from one harvest to the next; it's South America, where they'[re burning down the rainforests to make room for housing developments and for grazing lands where next year's Big Macs are now being raised; most of all it's Africa, where AIDS is pandemic—not epidemic but pandemic—and starvation is a fact of life. Am I overstating? Well, America contains five percent of the world's population and uses up seventy-five percent of the world's resources, so you tell me. What we scrape down the kitchen disposal after Thanksgiving dinner for a family of eight would feed a Liberian village for a week, so you tell me. And the Woodstock Generation, which set out to change the world, has, by and large, subsided into a TV-driven existence of quiet and unobtrusive selfishness. While our national worth has tripled over the last quarter-century, the help we give the world's poor has sunk back to 1973 levels, so you tell me, you dare to tell me I'm overstating the case." In West Africa, the average lifespan is thirty-nine years. Infant mortality in the first year is fifteen percent. It's not a pretty picture, but we have the power to help, the power to change. And why should we refuse? Because we're going to take it with us? Please.



We've elected an administration—I guess we elected them, we might as well say we did—that takes a dim view of charity as national policy. George W. Bush talks about "compassionate conservatism," an oxymoron right up there with "jumbo shrimp." What he's talking about has been Republican Party bedrock for a hundred years; it amounts to, "Don't give a man a fish, give him a fishing pole and teach him to fish." (This, of course, would be before idiotic conservation and environmental policies render the whole concept of "fish" irrelevant.) My own philosophy—partly formed as a young college graduate without a job waiting in line to get donated commodities for the kids—is by all means give a man a pole and teach him to fish, but people learn better with full bellies. Why not give him a fish to get started?

Giving isn't about the receiver or the gift but the giver. It's for the giver. One doesn't open one's wallet to improve the world, although it's nice when that happens; one does it to improve one's self. I give because it's the only concrete way I have of saying that I'm glad to be alive and that I can earn my daily bread doing what I love. I hope that you will be similarly grateful to be alive and that you will also be glad to do whatever it is you wind up dokng…even that guy who's going to end up as the concierge at the Carlyle Hotel. Giving is a way of taking the focus off the money we make and putting it back where it belongs—on the lives we lead, the families we raise, the communities which nurture us.

I wish you the most pleasant day—both graduates and families. I wish you the joy of your fellowship, one with the other. This isn't a hundred years from now, after all; it's just today, and today we're fine. Today nobody's better than us. But when you go somewhere and sit down to break bread with your families, as most of you will, I want you to remember that image of the hungry and the dispossessed standing on the other side of the backyard fence. For the most part, they do not want to harm you, or take away your joy in this day; they only want what you want and we all want: food for themselves and their children, clothes for the body, a roof to keep the rain off at night. There are people who need these things right here in Poughkeepsie, as well as in India and Sierra Leone. Many of you know that; in April of this year, Vassar College held a panel discussion called "Faces of Homelessness."

Dutchess Outreach is one local organization dedicated to helping the hungry, the sick, and the homeless. They're at 70 South Hamilton Street, near a part of town which is very different from this green and pleasant campus, a part of Poughkeepsie where you might feel uncomfortable walking at night. Dutchess Outreach runs an Emergency Food Bank for those who are hungry and have nothing to eat. They run something called the Lunch Box, which serves midday meals six days a week. They have a Children's Clothes Closet for kids who need pants and coats and shoes. They provide nutrition, information, and emergency services for people with AIDS.



I don't as a rule talk about charitable giving; I actually do happen to believe that the left hand should not know what the right hand is doing…or if it does, it shouldn't discuss it. Today I'm going to make an exception to that rule. I intend to give $20,000 to Dutchess Outreach, in honor of the Class of 2001. I would take it kindly if those of you who are here today would help to match that amount. Each strictly according to his or her resources; nobody gets hurt. I don't ask that you do this because it will solve the problem of hunger and want in Poughkeepsie or Dutchess County, let alone in the whole world, but because you'll enjoy your own coming meal more fully knowing that you shared your joy and your good fortune in having been a part of this happy occasion. And don't let it be a one-shot. Let it be the beginning of a life's giving, not just of money but of time and spirit. It repays. Not least of all because it helps us remember that we may be going out broke, but right now we're doing okay. Right now we have the power to do great good for others and for ourselves. So I ask you to begin the next great phase of your life by giving, and to continue as you begin. I think you'll find in the end that you got far more than you ever had, and did more good than you ever dreamed.

Thank you.

No Tom Gordon in the near future

Posted: May 20, 2001, 23:15
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I recently spoke to Ronnie (Webmaster at www.georgearomero.com. He told me that The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon wouldn't be shooting anytime soon. It is still very alive though. As recently as a few weeks ago, George was discussing the script with Stephen King, followed by a major re-write.

He further told me that from what he understand, the movie will be VERY faithful to the novel (thank God) and that he had heard that Tom Gordon himself had expressed interest in playing himself in the movie. Nothing is confirmed though.

King will write introduction

Posted: May 20, 2001, 19:13
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King will write the introduction to M.G. Lewis novel The Monk. It will be released by Oxford University Press will release it sometime next year.

On Writing winners

Posted: May 11, 2001, 19:13
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King does not expect to pick a winner in the "On Writing exercise" until this fall.

King gets a house in Florida

Posted: May 10, 2001, 19:13
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Stephen King has bought a 7,500-square-foot home on Sarasota’s Casey Key for $8.9 million.

News from the Dead Zone

Posted: May 7, 2001, 19:12
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King expert Bev Vincent debuts with his column, News from the Dead Zone in Cemetery Dance issue #34. The issue is now out. Get it today!

Desperation as a miniseries on CBS?

Posted: May 4, 2001, 23:28
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Smilin Jack Ruby talked about Desperation with Mick Garris. Here is his report (from Dark Horizons):

The Talisman: 'Smilin Jack Ruby' talked with Mick Garris about his upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's "The Talisman" that he'll be doing once he returns from a trip to Cuba with his wife. The four-hour mini-series will begin production on a date depending upon the length of the upcoming strikes, and after he plans to turn King's "Riding the Bullet" (which Garris has already adapted into a screenplay) into a theatrical feature. "The Sun Dog" IMAX project is on hold, whilst "Desperation" may become a miniseries as CBS has approached him about it (but he usually works with ABC so will give them 'first dibs' as they say).

Garris talked Talisman

Posted: May 4, 2001, 01:13
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Mick Garris have now commented on the news that he will be doing the TV version of The Talisman. Here is what he said:

Yes, TALISMAN is real. The deal was just made. It's with DreamWorks, Kennedy-Marshall, and ABC. Don't know when, since the strikes might happen, but I'm about to begin the script, working from the feature draft by Richard LaGravenese. No cast yet.

Garris have also talked to Smilin Jack Ruby. In that talk Garris also spoke about Riding the Bullet, The Sun Dog and Desperation. Here is his report (from Dark Horizons):

The Talisman: 'Smilin Jack Ruby' talked with Mick Garris about his upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's "The Talisman" that he'll be doing once he returns from a trip to Cuba with his wife. The four-hour mini-series will begin production on a date depending upon the length of the upcoming strikes, and after he plans to turn King's "Riding the Bullet" (which Garris has already adapted into a screenplay) into a theatrical feature. "The Sun Dog" IMAX project is on hold, whilst "Desperation" may become a miniseries as CBS has approached him about it (but he usually works with ABC so will give them 'first dibs' as they say).

Thanks to Bev Vincent.

Garris to direct Talisman

Posted: May 3, 2001, 01:12
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Creature Corner reports that Mick Garris will direct this 4-hour miniseries based on The Talisman. No release date or update on how far into production they are is mentioned though.

Dolan after strike

Posted: May 1, 2001, 20:48
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According to Variety production of Dolan's Cadillac won't begin until AFTER any industry strikes this summer.

Thanks to Bev Vincent

Isn't King good enough?

Posted: April 26, 2001, 19:12
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Isn't King good enough to have written Desperation? Well, he is...if you ask Christina Starobin a poet, author and assistant adjunct professor at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge, N.Y. he is. She claims King stole ideas from her novel Blood Eternal and added them to Desperation.

Thanks to Ed for sending me the article.

Judge Shoots Down Writer's Claims Against Author Stephen King
John Caher
New York Law Journal
April 25, 2001

A federal judge in New York has dismissed with disdain a complaint by a writer and adjunct literature professor who claimed that prince of horror Stephen King stole her work.

U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York shot down Christina Starobin of Saugerties, N.Y., for engaging in a "recurring and vitriolic attack upon the character and abilities of King."

Starobin v. King and Penguin Putnam Inc., 00-CV-0185, stems from a complaint brought by Starobin, a poet, author and assistant adjunct professor at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge, N.Y.

Starobin had written a novel, Blood Eternal, about vampires who run a car service in suburban New Jersey. The copyrighted novel was submitted to Penguin and then returned to Starobin on Sept. 20, 1996. Two days earlier, King copyrighted his novel, Desperation, which was published by Penguin.

The complaint alleged that King, whose 40-plus books have sold millions of copies, is essentially devoid of literary talent, could not have written Desperation on his own and pilfered from the work of Starobin during the three months her manuscript was in the possession of Penguin. About the only similarity Judge Hurd found between the two novels was that, in his opinion, neither was very good.

"There are no common characters, locations or occurrences shared by her novel and King's," Hurd wrote. "There are no common references to popular culture, historical events or common sequences of events ... . When the two works at issue are viewed as a whole, it is utterly beyond dispute that no reasonable person could regard them as similar, much less substantially so."

The judge added that he was not all that impressed with King's literary abilities either. Hurd said he had never before read a Stephen King novel, and was not exactly enthralled by the horror writer's tale of an evil spirit that emanates from a mine in the Nevada desert and possesses passers-by, transforming them into homicidal maniacs.

"Quite frankly, neither work was a particularly good read," Hurd said, referring to Desperation and Blood Eternal, both of which he said were read cover-to-cover.

Regardless, Desperation spent some 15 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list in hard cover and was highly successful as a paperback.

LITERARY CREDENTIALS

Starobin repeatedly contended that her literary credentials are superior to King's, and that assertion alone established an issue of fact as to whether King is capable of writing Desperation.

She attempted to bolster that point with this statement from her plaintiff's memorandum:

"Although plaintiff's having graduated Harvard cum laude, gone on to a Masters in English and Comparative Literature at Colubmia [sic] and a PhD in English at New York University does not mean intelligence [sic], it does mean a long number of hours reading books other than Grisham and other best sellers and exposure to philosphy [sic], plot and symbolism in heavy enough doses to become queasy with the superficiality espoused by [defendant] King."

Judge Hurd, however, termed Starobin's conduct "reprehensible," considered her character attacks on King unseemly and found it "disheartening that a person of plaintiff's education and self-professed abilities would resort to such attacks, particularly in light of the obviously baseless nature of her claims."

Starobin argued pro se. Peter A. Herbert, of Lankler Siffert & Wohl in Manhattan, appeared as co-counsel for King. Also representing the defendants, including the publisher, were Gerald E. Singleton, Maura J. Wogan and Yuki A. Hirose, of Frankfurt, Garbus, Kurnit, Klein & Selz in Manhattan.

Duddits

Posted: April 21, 2001, 19:11
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On April 23, Welt.de celebrate the "World Day of the Book" with a special contribution by Stephen King. King has hand signed 10 special German editions of his new novel Duddits and will put them up for auction. The auction on the net will start in the morning at 8 am CET, ending at 8 pm. The proceeds will go to 2 German non-profit organizations.

Carrie: Special Edition

Posted: April 21, 2001, 19:09
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MGM will release Carrie: Special Edition on DVD in August 2001. The 25th Anniversary Edition of Carrie includes not one but two 45-minute making of documentaries, Acting Carrie and Visualizing Carrie. Also included is what is the guaranteed-to-be-entertaining Carrie: The Musical featurette, text on Stephen King and "The Writing Of Carrie," an animated photo gallery and the original theatrical trailer. Retail is $19.95. Street Date is: August 28, 2001.

No Dark Tower comic book

Posted: April 2, 2001, 19:09
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OK, the news about comic book versions of King's The Dark Tower isn't true. I don't know if it was supposed to be an April 1st joke or just a joke but it's not true.

Comic Book Galaxy posted an apologize today. Here is what they said:

This page, and all of the filthy lies that it contained, has been removed. We at the Comic Book Galaxy, apologize for any misgivings presented by our former associate, d. emerson eddy, and would publicly like to state that anything you read on this page previously this day was nothing more than LIES! LIES! LIES! perpetrated by someone who hasn't got a clue when it comes to what Marvel or DC are publishing next year.

King's office also denied any such deals today.

King's Dark Tower to become a comic book?

Posted: April 1, 2001, 19:08
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Yes, it seams to be true. Comic Book Galaxy reported the following:

Well, Marvel has managed to do the near impossible, and gone bigger than Clive Barker. Basically, who's the biggest name in horror?

Stephen King, plain and simple. Starting off with a bang in October will be the new horror imprint, pioneered by four books spinning out of the mind of Stephen King. While the master of the macabre himself won't be writing any of the books, the ideas and characters are purely his. The only confirmed title we have at the moment, though, is a comic adaptation of the acclaimed Dark Tower series. From all I've heard and been sent, the title of the series should be Gunslingers, and while based on the Dark Tower mythos, it will have no impact or continuity with the novels themselves.

I wish I could tell you more about this truly groundbreaking development, but that's all I've been given, and told to sit on. I know that this is going to sour any further information I receive, but I think the comics readers needed, if not deserved, to be told the truth about what's going on in the next year or so.

Personally I have a hard time seeing King releasing the rights to The Dark Tower, he always seams extra protective about them...

Tyson moves in...

Posted: March 13, 2001, 19:08
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BIG things are happening in Lilja's Library at the moment, maybe the biggest thing since sliced bread. The well-known King expert, Tyson Blue, has agreed to make Lilja's Library his official home when he reviews stuff that is connected to Stephen King!

It will be all kinds of reviews (books, audio books, DVD's and so on) and all of you that have read any of Tyson's other stuff knows that this is BIG!

The first review will soon be online but until then you can read a review (by me) of Tyson's own book "Walking The Mile - The Making Of "The Green Mile" in "The Review Section" and an interview with him (also done by me) in "The Interview Section".

Oh, and I will still be doing my own reviews as well.

More Book Report

Posted: March 8, 2001, 19:08
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OK, this is starting to get confusing but apparently King's letter (essay) is appearing in both Walden Books magazine (Book Report) and in Borders (Inside Borders).

The difference seams to be that in Inside Borders King's letter is all hand written and in Book Report only parts of it is.

Book one: Zenith Rising will be back

Posted: March 7, 2001, 15:52
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All of you that have missed Book one: Zenith Rising can relax. On King's official site he now says that when he continues The Plant, he will also put part one online again.

Here is what it says:

Q: Where have all the installments gone?

A: The Plant is furling its leaves for the time being while Stephen works on other projects. When the installments of Book 2 go online, we will also make Book 1 available again for those of you who missed it the first time round. If you would like to be notified when it comes back with new installments, please join the mailing list and we'll send you an email.

Production info about Dolan's Cadillac

Posted: March 5, 2001, 20:47
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According to Upcoming movies production of Dolan's Cadillac is scheduled to start in May 2001 and it's premier is set for 2002. Here is some other info about the movie from the same source:

Production Companies:
Franchise Pictures (Get Carter, Battlefield Earth)
Cruise/Wagner Productions (Mission: Impossible II)

Cast:
Kevin Bacon (Tom Robinson)
Sylvester Stallone (Jimmy Dolan)

Director:
Stacy Title (The Last Supper and Let the Devil Wear Black)

Screenwriters:
Stacy Title
Jonathan Penner

Book Report

Posted: March 4, 2001, 19:06
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Most of you have heard of the bookstore chain Walden Books. They have a free monthly newsletter called Book Report. In the March 2001 issue (that is out now) they have a 2 page spread revealing King's thoughts about how refreshing it was for him to write the first draft of Dreamcatcher the old fashioned way, BY HAND!!!!

The issue also has one additional page with an article about his hometown Bangor.

King's speech at Vassar confirmed

Posted: March 4, 2001, 19:05
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The Alumnae/Alumni Association as well as C.B., a contact at Vassar College (in NY), have confirmed that King will be a speaker at their Spring Graduation Commencement (nothing yet from the Office of College Relations, though). The date for Vassar College's 137th Commencement is May 20th @ 10:00am-1:00pm in the Outdoor amphi-theater which is located on Sunset Lake. (Side Note: Behind the lake is Sunset Hill and then orchards.

This will be followed by a "Religion Reception" between 1:00pm-4:00pm in Jade Parlor and a "Reception" between 1:00pm-3:00pm on the Library lawn. It has been open in the past but please, don't go unless you have family graduating or are attending the reunion the next day. I'm sure that somewhere, somehow we will see/read King's speech.

Commencement address

Posted: March 1, 2001, 19:05
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King will probably be giving the commencement address at Vasser (Poughkeepsie, NY) for this springs graduation (probably on May 20th).

For those of you that don't know (I didn't) a commencement is a college (university) graduation! This address is kind of like a keynote speaker at any type of conference.

King expert Bev Vincent gets his own column

Posted: February 28, 2001, 19:04
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Here is some interesting news for all you King fans out there! Bev Vincent (who readers of this site know as an King oracle) is finally getting a forum to share his King knowledge in.

Bev will be taking Tyson Blue's place as Cemetery Dance's King columnist. The first one will be in the next issue, which we look forward to with excitement!

A response to the letter in Bangor Daily News

Posted: February 26, 2001, 19:04
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King should prevail
Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Having reviewed Stephen Podolsky’s scolding of Stephen King (BDN, Feb. 17-18) for suing his insurance company to recover what he believes to be his, I must respond.

Podolsky says King has enough money, therefore he doesn’t need more. Then he speaks of the lawyer’s cut, should it settle, and goes on to say that the insurance company claims it paid the maximum allowed for his policy, adding that we all will suffer if King should recover what is justly his through higher insurance rates. I doubt even Podolsky believes those gentle, loving insurance peddlers are being forthright in claiming they have paid their debt to King. I’ll lay you odds they didn’t.

King believes he has been shortchanged. Just because he’s who he is has no bearing on his decision to go forth with a lawsuit. Indeed, as Podolsky points out, he will never “replace the pain and suffering” he endured with money. What did he buy the policy for; perhaps to have an insurance agent stop by periodically and pat his hand and reassure him they care about his pain? Insurance companies operate solely for money.

Many of us have had to go to court to recover what’s ours from insurers who will spend more to prevent payment than to settle. They have been able to purchase their way with political lobbying and protective legislation, and we pay.

My hope is that King prevails. If he does, perhaps a long overdue expose of an uncontrolled insurance industry will be upcoming. Would it be an honest mistake or would it be a form of extortion? Maybe he’ll lose. But he has every right to test them in spite of his wealth or Podolsky’s predisposition to pamper the opposition.

George F. McCann

No more Stud City?

Posted: February 24, 2001, 00:57
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I recently spoke to Sean Parlaman (the guy behind Stud City) about the movie. He then told me that at the moment the movies feature looks rather dark. He told me that his own attempts to head a production of Stud City are over, but that he is hoping that either King's office or a producer in Hollywood, who previously expressed interest in the movie, will find a way to get this story told in a way which respects the original short story and his vision of it in his screenplay.

Let's hope that just that will happen. In the meantime you can head over to The Review Section and read my review of the script for Stud City.

Review of Dolan's Cadillac script

Posted: February 19, 2001, 20:46
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Fandom.com has a review of the upcoming movie version of Dolan's Cadillac. Judging from it, this will be a rather good movie.

A letter to the editor of Bangor Daily News

Posted: February 19, 2001, 19:03
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King could write it off
Saturday, February 17, 2001

I have always been a Stephen King fan and always will be one. Stephen and Tabitha have given so much to our community and charity organizations.

But I am puzzled as to why one of the wealthiest persons in the world (earnings of $65 million in 1999 alone) would sue his insurance company for $10 million (BDN, Feb. 13). Stephen King survived a horrific accident in 1999 and it is amazing he came through it alive. He endured many surgeries and months of rehabilitation, pain and suffering.

Ten million dollars won’t replace any of that pain and suffering. His insurance company paid him $450,000, which the company claims is the limit in that case. They add that King did not have the proper coverage.

Does King need $7 million more? (His lawyers would get $3 million.)

Why wouldn’t he write it off as a tax break? The average working man’s and woman’s insurance rates go up every time an insurance company pays out in lawsuits.

Stephen Podolsky
Bangor

King interviewed on The Mitch Albom Show

Posted: February 16, 2001, 19:02
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Here are some of the topics he talked about:

King's health:
King seams to be "doing pretty well". His doctor advised him to have more surgery though. It would be to remove "a big piece of metal" that he still has in his hip.

Brian Smith:
said, "I was never angry, not from the very beginning." He also said that a cop who visited him in the hospital told him that the can of Pepsi on the table next to his hospital bed had "a bigger IQ" than Smith.

The Rock Bottom Remainders fall tour:
King said America Scores might send them out on tour again.

Dreamcatcher:
King said that it would be released on March 24th (amazon.com says March 29th). He said "Think of it as Independence day crossed with Stephen King sensibility" and warned "After reading this book, you'll never want to go into the bathroom again."

The Dark Tower-series
He hopes to be going back to work on the series soon (hopefully this year). King said that he's 53, has been working on DT since he was 22, and it is "Time to put the pedal to the metal and get this thing done...There's only so many years left between me and Alzheimers.

King directing:
King said he wants to direct one more adaptation of one of his books. He also said he learned a lot (mostly what not to do) while directing Maximum Overdrive.

Why was Getting It On rejected

Posted: February 15, 2001, 19:02
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Darrin passed along this really cool excerpt from The Missouri Review that includes an internal memo stating WHY Knopf decided, in 1971, not to publish a novel called Getting It On by a certain young author named Stephen King. You might know this novel as Rage:

The Missouri Review
Volume XXIII, No. 3
Pages 133-134


"Publication is not Recommended: From the Knopf Archives"

KING, Stephen
GETTING IT ON


A high school student who has been expelled for accidentally hitting a girl over the head with a baseball bat gets a gun out of his locker, kills the Latin teacher, and takes over the Latin class. He calls this "getting it on." While the police, national guard, and other assorted "pigs" are trying to figure out how to get him out of the classroom, he's regaling the kids with his life story (his parents hate him, of course), and then the class turns into a group therapy session, with everyone telling their "real" feelings about things. I didn't stick around for the ending, but I'm sure it would make beautiful (and nauseatingly typical) television.

S. MacGillivray 11/3

Did S.MacGillivray make a mistake or what...

King sues his insurance company for $10 million

Posted: February 13, 2001, 19:01
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Author sues insurer in dispute over coverage for injuries from 1999 crash
By Associated Press, 02/13/01


BANGOR, Maine -- Horror writer Stephen King has sued his insurance company for $10 million, claiming it failed to provide full coverage for injuries he sustained when struck by a van in western Maine two years ago.

The lawsuit against Commercial Union York Insurance Co., which has branches in Portland and Bangor, was filed last week in Penobscot County Superior Court.

King and his wife, Tabitha, will seek the umbrella policy's $10 million limit plus interest of 1.5 percent per month, according to their attorney, Warren M. Silver of Bangor, who said the figure falls well short of the Kings' physical and financial damages.

"He has had some very significant problems and continues to have them," Silver said. "He is having trouble, but has been able to deal with the pain, and continues to work because he is such a strong person and focused person."

King, 53, was injured in June 1999 when a van driven by Bryan Smith of Fryeburg struck the author as he was walking along the shoulder of Route 5 near his vacation home in Lovell.

King suffered a broken leg and hip, punctured lung, broken ribs and other injuries. He has undergone five surgeries since the accident, and Silver said another operation will likely be performed this summer.

In a statement issued through its law firm, Commercial Union said King's umbrella policy is designed to cover only his liability to others, and specifically excludes personal injury caused by an underinsured motorist.

Commercial Union paid King $450,000 under his uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, a figure that represents the policys $500,000 limit less the $50,000 liability settlement with Smith.

"Mr. King had a very serious accident and his insurance policies responded as intended," said the statement released by the Portland law firm of Norman, Hanson & DeTroy.

In his lawsuit, Silver said the restriction on the umbrella policy is not allowed under Maine law.

Smith, who told police he had been distracted by his dog before hitting King, later pleaded guilty to driving to endanger and his license was suspended for six months.

Nine months later, Smith, 43, was found dead in his home after an accidental overdose of a prescription painkiller.

Kings lawsuit states that as a result of Smiths negligence, King "sustained very serious, substantial, and permanent physical injuries" and has "endured pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of capacity of enjoyment of life, and significant lost income."

Despite the lawsuit, the Kings have retained their policy with the company, according to Silver.

From boston.com

The Man in the Black Suit to become a music piece

Posted: February 9, 2001, 13:01
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Stephen King's short story The Man in the Black Suit is being made into a music theater piece by American Opera Projects, premiering in 2001.

The music is by Eve Beglarian; the libretto is co written by Beglarian and Grethe Barrett Holby.

Read more on the composer's homepage.

Stallone and Bacon in a Cadillac?

Posted: February 7, 2001, 20:45
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Here is an article from The Hollywood Reporter about Dolan's Cadillac:

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Sylvester Stallone is set to star and Kevin Bacon is in negotiations to join him in Franchise Pictures' thriller Dolan's Cadillac, based on a Stephen King novelette that Paula Wagner will produce through her C/W Prods.

The project is scheduled to start production in May with writer-director Stacy Title ("The Last Supper") directing from her own adaptation.

In "Cadillac," an innocent woman who witnesses a mob hit is murdered to protect a local boss (Stallone), and her husband (Bacon) exacts revenge.

Bacon is also in negotiations to join the cast of the action-thriller "24 Hours" for director Luis Mandoki and the Canton Co./Senator Entertainment AG. "Hours" is targeted for a mid-March start, after which Bacon would segue to "Cadillac."

The project marks Stallone's fourth film for Franchise. He starred in "Get Carter" and the upcoming "Driven" and goes before cameras in mid-April in Toronto in the company's black comedy "Avenging Angelo" with Madeleine Stowe.

Stephen King Checks Into Asylum

Posted: February 7, 2001, 18:59
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Stephen King Checks Into Asylum
Reuters
Feb 6 2001 11:26PM

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - In a landmark effort by the prolific author and screenwriter, Stephen King has adapted Patrick McGrath's novel "Asylum" for Paramount Pictures, the first time he has tackled a work other than his own for the screen.

The picture is set in an English insane asylum, where the superintendent's wife falls in love with one of the patients, a murderer.

Jonathan Demme ("Beloved") has long been attached to direct the picture with actors Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson also on board, pending Demme's availability.

King has adapted a number of his own books, including horror-thrillers "Creepshow," "Children of the Corn" and "Pet Sematary." His work has also been adapted by others for titles such as "The Green Mile," "The Shining," "Carrie," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Stand by Me" and "Apt Pupil."

The original "Asylum" adaptation was written by Chris Baylis with other rewrites penned by Patrick Marber.

Kevin Bacon in Dolan's Cadillac

Posted: February 6, 2001, 20:44
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Rosandra reported that Kevin Bacon are currently negotiation to join the film as a husband who gets King-style revenge for his innocent wife's murder (a mob hit to protect the local mob boss).

Black House

Posted: February 5, 2001, 18:59
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Black House set for a September 15 release.

The Plant Income/Expense Report

Posted: February 3, 2001, 15:49
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Here are The Plant Income/Expense Report from King's site:

The Plant Income/Expense Report Through 12/31/00

Deposits to Philtrum through 12/31/00 $721,448.61

Expenses:
Compositing and design services $14,000.00

Print Ads $139,616.75
Ad Design $1,150.00
Total Ad $140,766.75

Web Hosting and Maintenance 102,849.59

Total Expenses 257,616.34

Net Profit $463,832.27

In The Plant FAQ the King also says that installment 7 may come within a year. Let's hope this means sometime in 2001!

Q: When does the next installment come online?
A: Installment Seven may come online within a year or so.

The Plant has furled its leaves

Posted: February 1, 2001, 15:47
_
The Plant has furled its leaves for the time being. All six parts and Zenith Rising have been removed from King's official site.

Dolan's Cadillac to be a movie?

Posted: January 30, 2001, 20:43
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Brian Freeman reported the following interesting info today:

Here is an article that was in the Hartford Courant.

You know all those stories about name talent in Hollywood being booked and double-booked into pre-strike movies - and how there are almost no stars of marquee value left with free space on their schedules? Well, now we can tell you that even boxoffice-challenged Sylvester Stallone is hurrying into a pre-strike project - and a promising one at that.

It's Dolan's Cadillac, a Stephen King story in which Stallone will play a Las Vegas kingpin who thinks he's gotten away with murder, though the spouse of the victim has big revenge plans.

The Cruise-Wagner project (as in Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner) is scheduled to start the last week of April in Mexico. That's last minute for production and post-production, considering the strike could start June 30th.

Re-make of Salem's Lot?

Posted: January 30, 2001, 00:51
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4 Filmmakers has a re-release of Salem's Lot listed on their site. Whether this movie really will be done remains to be seen though...

Here is what they have listed:

Title: Salem's Lot
Status: Development
Logline: Vampires take over a small New England town.
Notes: Based on the novel by Stephen King.

Studios Involved: Warner Brothers
Directors: P.J. Hogan
Studio/Prod. Co. Executives: Kevin McCormick
Writers: Joe Gangemi
Genres: Adaptation, Horror, Remake
Producers: Denise DiNovi
Project Types: In Development
Actors: None
Production Companies: Village Roadshow, DiNovi Pictures
Exec. Producers: None
Co-Producers Assoc.: None
Producers: None

Documentary about King

Posted: January 26, 2001, 18:58
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NBC is doing a new documentary about King for Headliners and Legends.

Dreamcatcher

Posted: January 15, 2001, 14:29
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Hodder & Stoughton is now starting to promote Dreamcatcher and plans to re-release all of King's older books.

Tom Gordon as Tom Gordon?

Posted: January 1, 2001, 23:14
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Tom Gordon might star as himself in this movie. If the financing can be arranged. The movie will be directed by horror-film maestro George Romero. Several attempts to reach Gordon were unsuccessful, but King said he seems excited about the prospect.

"I've worked with George, and he takes good care of people," King said. "Tom won't have to be Wesley Snipes or Cuba Gooding Jr. He's a young enough guy to be adventurous."