What Stephen King comparisons have you heard about since the pandemic began? Obviously, The Stand sprang to many people’s lips, including James Marsden (who’s starring in CBS All Access’ upcoming reboot). Fortunately, the current disease in question, while deadly, isn’t nearly as fatal as the Captain Trips superflu (which wiped out 99% of the world’s population), which is why King initially pushed back at those comparisons, but that’s not the only King story that bears a resemblance to current times. There’s also The Mist, which sees characters taking refuge (and freaking out inside) a supermarket while unknown, barely invisible horrors lurk outside. And we’re all familiar with the twisted version of cabin fever that struck Jack Torrence in The Shining. Well, King’s done fighting any analogies, and now, he’s talking to NPR about it.
While promoting his new collection of short stories, If It Bleeds (which is Holly Gibney focused for you fans of The Outsider), King says that he keeps hearing, “Gee, it’s like we’re living in a Stephen King story.” His answer: “And my only response to that is, ‘I’m sorry.’”
That’s a more than fair response, since King can’t even log onto Twitter these days without seeing comparisons. It’s gotta feel like a lot to him, like it does for everyone else. Still, he states, that a situation like this was inevitable. “There was never any question that in our society, where travel is a staple of daily life,” he reasoned. “[T]hat sooner or later, there was going to be a virus that was going to communicate to the public at large.”
The horror icon admits that he’s experiencing cabin fever, too, along with the “gnawing anxiety” that horror awaits outside our homes. He also revealed that he’s changed a few things in the book that he’s currently writing, since it was set in 2020. It actually includes a few characters who go on a cruise in 2020, so that got pushed back to 2019. “I don’t think anybody’s going on cruise ships this year,” he supposed. Unfortunately, people continued to do just that and are still stuck on those massive floating cities full of the virus, so that’s a different type of horror show. But King made a wise move by bumping that event into the past because, in the future, cruising may not exist.
We’re living in scary times, but here’s a recent King tweet that might bring a smile.