Those who know me, or at least who listen to my podcast, they know I’m a huge Stephen King fan. The man is just an amazing writer, able to cover so many genres (horror, fantasy, sci-fi, western, mystery, you name it) with ease, and he has the enviable ability to create living, breathing characters amidst worlds that can seem so strange and yet eerily familiar. I love his work, and always will. His greatest achievement, in my opinion, is the DARK TOWER series. In many ways, the Dark Tower is the axle around which most of his fiction revolves (and if you know the series, that pun was intended). Books such as The Stand, It, Salem’s Lot, The Eyes of the Dragon, and even Rose Madder are all — in ways great and small — part of the story of the Dark Tower. Even the book he wrote with Peter Straub, The Talisman (and to a much greater degree its sequel Black House) is a piece of the Dark Tower puzzle. But, above all that, firmly a series in its own right, is the Dark Tower cycle. Currently there are seven books in the series, starting with The Gunslinger and ending with (appropriately enough) The Dark Tower. Today came news that King has written another Dark Tower book, titled The Wind Through The Keyhole, and it will take place between books four (Wizard And Glass) and five (Wolves of the Calla). I am so excited! It’s due to be out next year, and hopefully that means January, because I don’t know if I could wait much longer. w00t!
Now, for those who don’t know what the Dark Tower is and are curious, I’ll give you a brief rundown. The Dark Tower tells the tale of Roland, the last of the Gunslingers (think of them like Knights of the Round Table, but with six-shooters instead of swords). His world is “moving on” (Dark Tower-speak for “dying”), and his quest is to reach the Dark Tower, which not only sits at the center of his world, but at the center of all worlds. Universes beyond number spin around the axis of the Dark Tower, and so goes the tower, so go those worlds. Unfortunately, agents of the Crimson King — the series’ big bad guy — are working to bring down the Tower. Along his travels Roland puts together a band of heroes, and it falls to them to stop the Crimson King and save all of Creation. The Dark Tower series is one part Lord of the Rings, one part The Once and Future King, and another part The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, with just a hint of Star Wars and Harry Potter. Think that sounds completely impossible? Think again. It works. It SO works.
Thank you, Mr. King, for writing the Dark Tower series, and thank you even more for coming back to it to give us more. I am eternally grateful.
You can begin your journey here…