It's been 34 years since Stephen King published The Shining, the haunted-hotel story that remains among his most iconic novels. It took three and a half decades, but King has officially announced a sequel to the book that will feature a grown-up version of his boy hero, Danny Torrance.
King made the official announcement via his website Monday, after a weekend appearance at George Mason University during which he both discussed his ideas for the novel and read an excerpt from it:
"It's now official—Stephen is working on Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. This weekend Steve read an excerpt from this at his appearance at George Mason University. They have given us permission to post their taping of the event here on Steve's site which we will do as soon as we receive the file. Dr. Sleep's plot includes a traveling group of vampires called The Tribe."
King has been publicly toying with the idea since 2009, even going so far as to offer a poll on his website at one point asking readers what he should work on next, with Dr. Sleep as one of the choices. The book will revisit the haunted child with psychic powers, Danny Torrance, who is now an emotionally scarred adult working at a hospice, and pit him against "The Tribe" mentioned in the announcement. King spoke more about the concept during his GMU appearance:
"This is an idea that I've had for some time. I wrote a novel in the '70s called The Shining... I always wondered what happened to that kid, Danny Torrance, when he grew up... and this story started to form. The book isn't finished yet, it's called Dr. Sleep. This kinda goes back to: What's the worst thing you can think of? I knew that there were bad people in this story that were like vampires, only that what they sucked out was not blood, but psychic energy from special people like Danny Torrance. And I came to realize that these people were called The Tribe and that they move around a lot. Their leader is a woman called Rose [unintelligible] they all have these kinda pirate names, because pirates is sort of what they are."
No word yet on when we might see this book. King has a new time-travel novel, 11/22/63, out in November, and a companion novel to his Dark Tower series (The Wind Through the Keyhole) on its way next spring, so we might not see this one until late next year or sometime in 2013.
Check out the video of King reading an excerpt from the novel in progress and see if you think Dr. Sleep seems promising: