In 1986, Stephen King made the definitive statement on creepy clowns with his sprawling horror novel IT. Now King has revealed that he's got a new book in the works that returns to carnival-themed terror. So what will the King of Horror creep us out with this time?
In an extensive Sunday Times interview by Neil Gaiman covering everything from his lifestyle to his storytelling roots to how he feels about writing nearly four decades into his career, King spilled a few details on a novel-in-progress.
The novel's called Joyland, and it seems to be a return to the straight-up horror that drove his earlier career. The novel's premise, according to Gaiman, is pretty simple: "amusement park serial killer."
So, no supernatural, dimension-hopping, shape-shifting clown this time around, but a creepy amusement park stalked by a vicious killer is definitely a horror idea we can get behind. King doesn't seem to be in any real hurry to get the book done, but he does make the somewhat morbid point that even if he died before finishing it, his son and fellow novelist Joe Hill could easily finish it for him.
"If I got hit by a taxi cab, like Margaret Mitchell ... Joyland wouldn't be done but [my son] Joe could finish it, in a breeze," King said. "His style is almost indistinguishable from mine. His ideas are better than mine. Being around Joe is like being next to a Catherine Wheel throwing off sparks, all these ideas."
But if you want more King sooner rather than later, you don't have to wait for Joyland. His new Dark Tower novel, The Wind Through the Keyhole, is out later this month, and Dr. Sleep, a sequel to The Shining, is set for a 2013 release.
So is a creepy carnival slayer freaky enough for you? After all these years, does King still have it?