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Stephen King editing new anthology of horror stories about flying

Contributed by
Mar 12, 2018

Horror's busiest living legend, Stephen King, has added another book to his already crowded 2018 calendar — and we're not sure we'd recommend taking this one on a plane.

The book is called Flight or Fright, and it's an anthology of stories about flying, or rather, "all the things that can go horribly wrong when you're suspended six miles in the air, hurtling through space at more than 500 mph and sealed up in a metal tube (like —gulp! — a coffin) with hundreds of strangers," according to the official press release from Cemetery Dance Books, which is publishing the tome.

Flight Or Fright Cover Art

Credit: Cemetery Dance

King, who apparently hates traveling by aircraft, is co-editing the collection along with Bev Vincent, a writer and editor who has written companion books to King's The Dark Tower series, as well as his larger body of work in general. King is also contributing an original introduction, notes on each story and — best of all — a brand-new tale called "The Turbulence Expert."

We can't imagine it was a hard sell, but he's also recruited his son Joe Hill to pen a story, called "You Are Released," which is also appearing for the first time anywhere. The rest of the book will be a mix of new and previously published stories from both famous and lesser-known authors, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Richard Matheson, Ambrose Bierce, Dan Simmons, Cody Goodfellow, David J. Schow, Ray Bradbury, and more.

King detailed the origins of the book in a statement:

"Well, we were sitting around at dinner before a screening of The Dark Tower in Bangor, and there were a lot of people who’d flown in for the big night. I mentioned that I hated flying, and the conversation turned to various airplane stories, some scary and some funny. I said there had never been a collection of flight-based horror stories, although I could think of several (including the Matheson and the Conan Doyle, which are in the book) about the terrors of flight. I said someone ought to do the book. (Cemetery Dance owner) Rich Chizmar said, 'I would, in a heartbeat.' It took more than one heartbeat, but Flight or Fright is now a book... Bev and I think it would make ideal airplane reading, especially on stormy descents."

The book will be available from Cemetery Dance in three formats: a standard hardcover priced at $27.95; a slipcased, hand-numbered Artist Edition signed by Bev Vincent and illustrator Cortney Skinner going for $85; and an already-sold-out 52-copy traycased Lettered Edition signed by Vincent, Skinner, and Stephen King that cost a bunch of big spenders a cool $1,500 each. More info on all three editions can be found here.

Flight or Fright will arrive on Sept. 4 and is the third book to bear the King name that's coming out this year. May will see the release of his epic new horror novel The Outsider, while a novella titled Elevation will arrive in October. And let's not forget the wave of King movies and TV series we're currently in the midst of.

Now you can add Flight or Fright to that list... just make sure you're seated next to an exit if you take it on your next plane trip.