Jacket Copy

Books, authors and all things bookish

« Previous | Jacket Copy Home | Next»

'N.' ... plus one


What's not to like about Stephen King? This is a guy who writes as if his life depends on it: “I’ve taken off two months, three months at a time,” he told The Times in 1998, “and by the end, I get really squirrelly. My night life, my dream life, gets extremely populated and crazed. It’s as though something in there is running all the time. And if it doesn’t get an outlet on the page, it comes out in the dreams.” 

What's more, King has always looked for new iterations, new delivery systems for his work. Over the years, he's put out comics and exclusive audiobooks; he even directed a feature film. Perhaps most significant, he was the first mainstream author to experiment with web-only publishing, all the way back in 2000, with "Riding the Bullet" and "The Plant."

Last week, King launched a new web-only project, an original video series based on his as-yet-unpublished story "N." The idea is to post five episodes a week for five weeks — 25 in all — as an experiment in hybrid storytelling. Each episode is short, less than two minutes, and is accessible not just online but via mobile software. "N.," then, may be the first short story you can watch on your phone.

Is there a downside? After the jump.

On the one hand, this is a PR exercise: The story "N." will appear in King's next book, "Just After Sunset," which comes out in November. But the great thing about King is that, even when he's self-promoting, there's something interesting going on. "N." the series is a kind of digital graphic novel, with limited animation but a cool three-dimensional point-of-view. Each episode comes fully produced, with music, sound effects and voice-overs. It makes for a vividly eerie atmosphere.

I won't give the story away, but so far — I've seen only the first 10 episodes — it's a classic King setup, in which there's evil afoot, but it's unclear whether it is supernatural or a function of the human mind.

David L. Ulin

Comments () | Archives (6)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I'm touched....

I think your the best writer ,never quit.

as a horror author myself, I owe a great deal to King for all he has taught me about my craft, as a reader, he has given me years of pleasure. A writer has to write, it isn't a choice really.

je suis un lectrice assidue de stephen king depuis plus de 22 ans je suis toujours émerveillée par son travail mais si parfois ce n'était pas au top je suis en train de finir la lecture de the dark tower (la tour sombre en français) que j'ai adoré bien j'espère que Monsieur King aura encore pleins d'idées géniales à nous faire partager et nous faire frissonner


I'd like to take a second to thank you for scaring the wits out of me for a good portion of my life. My very first book I ever read from you was Pet Semetary and I spent three days looking at my own cat asking 'are you live or are you Memorex?'

Since then, you're the only author I read and I've never looked back. I just finished Duma Key and I'm anxious for the next big scare.

Keep on rockin' and please, don't stop scaring me.

Thank you so much for the years of terror and for long nights when your book in my hands meant another night without sleep. My collection of your books makes my moving company charge me extra. Worth every damn penny.

Thanks again and happy holidays.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Explore Bestsellers Lists





Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.