Step Hen King

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I think I’ve read more words that Stephen King has written than words by anyone else. (Robert Heinlein and Herman Wouk might be close.) That includes CARRIE, THE STAND (both the cut and uncut editions), THE DARK HALF, THE DEAD ZONE, CUJO, FIRESTARTER, HEARTS IN ATLANTIS, CHRISTINE, MISERY, PET SEMATARY, INSOMNIA, GERALD’S GAME, DANSE MACABRE, collections SKELETON CREW and FOUR SEASONS, THE SHINING, the entire Dark Tower series, and most recently, DOCTOR SLEEP, sequel to THE SHINING. I also read ON WRITING, which I’d recommend to creative people of all media.

Naturally I want to pay some sort of tribute to a man who’s provided me with numberless hours of imaginative entertainment. A few days ago I got this far with a draft of the Stephen King page:

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This draft was doomed, but I felt bad scrapping it: I really liked some of the character portraiture, and since I’m an erratic portraitist, when I get it right it breaks my heart not to use it. So here it is.

And here are the words to the acrostic:

SPIDERS help weave his tapestries–hence dyers use batik
Thrown in: all AND the kitchen sink; a float evokes Caltiki
Ectoplasmics & ashenness get kith & kin & kine
Paranormal phenomena are fodder for his Shining

Caltiki? Well, there’s a bad half-Italian movie of the late 50s entitled CALTIKI –THE IMMORTAL MONSTER (or, when in Rome: CALTIKI — IL MONSTRE IMMORTALE) that I’d be willing to bet 500 to 1 Stephen King has seen. He’s got a similar flesh-devourer in one of his short stories; it floats by an anchored raft. (It’s dissimilar enough to be considered an independent creation, though.) The name of the King story escapes me.

Steve, if you ever see this, I echo my apologetic chicken regarding the awful “poultry-geist” joke. I needed to fill up the space. Keep up the good work, man.

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