Stephen King excites fans with surprise sample of upcoming book

Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

Stephen King‘s new book, Fairy Tale, is officially headed for a fall release date later this year. And now that the “King” of horror has shared an excerpt from its pages, fans are foaming at the mouth like Cujo to read more.

The short passage released so far, available via Entertainment Weekly, seems to hint at more fantasy-heavy vibes. That’s familiar territory for King, although his work primarily delves into horror. We’ll have to see if the book will boast a more purely fantastical tone, as the title suggests, when the novel makes its debut in September.

King took to his extremely-watched Twttiter account on Tuesday to test the release date and gin up more excitement while it’s still some months out.

According to publisher Simon & Schuster’s official page about Fairy Tale, the story centers around a 17-year-old boy, Charlie Reade, who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are in an all-out war. The boy and his dog must lead the battle for the fate of their world, as well as ours.

King said the novel was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the midst of the terrifying uncertainty the author (and the world) was going through at the time, he asked himself during the early stages of the pandemic what he could write that would make him happy.

“As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city — deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues,” King said. “I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. I saw a magic sundial that could turn back time. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”

It was clear from fan reaction on Twitter how many were stoked to read a new book by King, even if the perception that it would take on less of a terror-centered tone turns out to be true.

As one fan pointed out, the excerpt seems to point to perhaps a classic type of hero’s journey into another realm.

People are already comparing what little text is available to King’s 1984 dark fantasy novel, The Talisman, where the protagonist is able to flip between his own world and a separate — but connected — mirror world.

Fairy Tale is due to arrive in bookstores Sept. 6, 2022.