The master of horror has announced his second book -- and collaboration -- of the year.
Stephen King just unveiled a new novella last week called Gwendy's Button Box, written with Richard Chizmar, and now he's revealed that he'll have another new book out this year as well -- and this time he's collaborated with his son.
The book is called Sleeping Beauties, and before you automatically think he's collaborated with his son Joe Hill on it, this one has actually been done with his younger child, Owen King. Like Stephen, his wife Tabitha and Joe, Owen is also in the family business; unlike Joe, his work so far -- a 2005 collection of stories called We're All in This Together and a 2013 novel titled Double Feature -- has fallen more under the banner of literary/mainstream fiction, whereas Joe writes in the genres their dad is best known for.
For Sleeping Beauties, however, it sounds like Owen has gone all-in with his dad on the story and themes. Check out the synopsis:
In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?
In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place ... The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain?
Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women's prison, Sleeping Beauties is a wildly provocative, gloriously absorbing father/son collaboration between Stephen King and Owen King.
Now that sounds like a King joint for sure, and it's "King"-sized as well; the book is 720 pages long, putting it in the ballpark of epics like Under the Dome and The Stand. And the subject matter sounds as provocative and timely as heck.
The book marks the first time that Stephen and Owen King will publish fiction together; Stephen and Joe have published two stories ("Throttle" and "In the Tall Grass"), while the brothers wrote a screenplay together a few years back called Fade Away that remains unproduced. It's safe to say that Joe writes a bit more like the old man than Owen, so this collaboration should be an interesting one. Maybe the three of them can work on something together next?
Sleeping Beauties will arrive on September 26.