Stephen King(redirected from Charlie (short story))
King, Stephen (1947–)(pop culture)
Since the mid-1970s Stephen King has been America’s premiere horror fiction writer. He was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Nellie Ruth Pillsbury and Donald King. As a child, he began to write science fiction short stories, and at the age of 12 submitted his first stories to Fantastic and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. King graduated from the University of Maine in 1970. His first published story, “The Glass Floor,” appeared in Startling Mystery Stories in 1967, while he was still in college.
Unable to obtain a job as an English teacher, King started working in an industrial laundry. During this period he wrote a number of short stories, and in 1972 began working on his first book, Carrie, eventuallypublished by Doubleday & Company. King then turned his attention to a vampire tale originally called “Second Coming,” but later renamed “Jerusalem’s Lot.” The story was published in 1975 as Salem’s Lot. Meanwhile King was working on his subsequent novels, The Shining (1977) and The Stand (1978).
In 1976, Salem’s Lot was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in the best-novel category. That same year, Carrie was released as a movie starring Sissy Spacek. King, a very fertile storyteller, also began to publish material under a pseudonym, Richard Bachman; the first title, Rage, appeared in 1977. He also published a second vampire short story, “One for the Road,” that year.
During the 1980s, King enjoyed immense success. In his novels he has attempted to explore the vast world of horror and terror, and by choice has rarely returned to a theme once treated. Thus, after one successful vampire volume, he has not returned to the topic for a book, though he published a vampire novella story, “The Night Flier,” in 1988. Meanwhile, several of his novels flirted with vampirism. The most obvious was The Tommyknockers (1987), which featured an alien vampire.
In 1979 Salem’s Lot was made into a television miniseries under the direction of Tobe Hooper, and a sequel (not based on King’s writing), Return to Salem’s Lot, appeared in 1987. Salem’s Lot, this time starring Rob Lowe, was remade in 2004 under the direction of Mikael Solomon. The Tommyknockers was brought to the screen (for television) in 1993, and The Night Flier in 1997.
King has continued to write about two novels annually, his output only slowing slightly following the accident in 1999 that almost killed him. He did not return to the vampire theme in the 1990s. Vampires reappear in his fiction, however, in 2003 in Wolves of the Calla. Its sequel Song of Susannah (2004) features psychic or emotional vampires. The most notable of the vampire characters is Dandelo (a.k.a. Joe Collins) who almost succeeds in killing Roland, the hero of the series.
Since 1985, when it was it revealed that he had written the Richard Bachman books, King’s name has appeared on new printings of them. As might be expected, King has received a numerous awards for his writing including eight Bram Stoker awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award (2003) bestowed by his colleagues in the Horror Writers’ Association.