Stephen King Announces His Next Project

The publishers at Hard Case Crime, the line of pulp stories released by Titan Books, has been carefully curating an impressive line-up of authors from those who were popular 'back in the day' like David Goodis and Erle Stankley Gardner, to modern authors like Christa Faust and Max Allan Collins. And we’ve just learned that another famed author will be joining their ranks: Stephen King.

The immensely popular author will release the new novel Joyland with the imprint, which he worked with when he released The Colorado Kid back in 2005. (King fans and science fiction enthusiast will recognize this title as the one that inspired Syfy Network’s popular television series Haven.) Knowing that Hard Case Crime has already been the home of a successful King story, we are even more excited to be getting an all-new novel from the talented writer.

In the press release announcing the book, King said of his decision to publish Joyland through Hard Case Crime:

“I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”

Joyland will be released in June 2013. And in an interesting turn of events, Hard Case Crime and King are opting to publish Joyland as a print-only novel. As of now there are no plans for an e-book to become available.

And although it is disappointing that we have to wait (at the very least) a year until we get this story, conjecture about what the plot holds may be enough to keep us speculating that long.
Here is what we know so far based on Hard Case Crime’s book blurb:

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.

Now RT’s Whitney deconstructs the blurb so that we get a sense for what this all may actually mean:

Fact One: Joyland is set in a small-town North Carolina.

Whitney’s Take: There will be Southern accents and people driving muscle cars, and a whole lot of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” playing on the radio.

Fact Two: The story involves an amusement park.

Whitney’s Take: Beware of clowns, faulty machinery and things that come to life when they really, really shouldn’t. (This is a Stephen King novel!)

Fact Three: The story is set in 1973 and recounts what happens to college student Devin Jones.

Whitney’s Take: This young man is in for a shocking, surprising adventure. (Not to mention an interesting rest of his life … I bet if you told Devin that in 2012 we all listen to our music in tiny boxes, carry phones around in our pockets and wear jetpacks, he wouldn’t be able to tell you which of those facts are dirty, dirty lies.)

Fact Four: Devin Jones will spend the summer working as a carny.

Whitney’s Take: I’m going to hazard a guess that he’s a fairly easygoing good natured guy. (I think that’s kind of requisite when you take a summer off from school to work at a carnival.) But I’m also guessing that he is about to meet some interesting and potentially terrifying characters. 

Fact Five: Devin will face “the legacy” of a brutal slaying, the fate of a dying child and the ways both will change his life forever.

Whitney’s Take: I’m pretty sure that no one walks away from the aftermath of a child’s death or a violent killing without being more than a little bit scared for life. But in case you missed it, this will be a Stephen King novel! So guts, gore, blood and haunting twists are all on the menu. However, I wouldn’t put it past this brilliant author not to trot out a “Just for Joyland”-special. So fellow readers, expect the unexpected!

If you feel your excitement for this book reaching a boiling point, well you are not alone. Hard Case Crime’s Editor Charles Ardai has already gotten his hands on the book and he said of the read, “Joyland is a breathtaking, beautiful, heartbreaking book ... It’s a whodunit, it’s a carny novel, it’s a story about growing up and growing old, and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time. Even the most hardboiled readers will find themselves moved. When I finished it, I sent a note saying, ‘Goddamn it, Steve, you made me cry.’”

If any of the things Whitney predicts to happen in Joyland occur we promise to let you know. And for all the latest genre news and reviews be sure to check out RT’s Everything Mystery Page!