The word is out. Stephen King is going to continue the terrifying tale of Danny Torrance in an upcoming sequel to The Shining, currently titled Dr. Sleep. It will hit the shelves in September, 2013.
What this news will undoubtedly stir up is discussion as to whether King has run out of original ideas. Are there really any more unique demons hiding in the shadows of his imagination? Are they still lurking away until the inevitable moment he tears them out and pastes them down in another volume of horror and fear?
Admittedly I have been an avid reader of his since I was a child. In fact, it was his novel It which first sparked my infatuation with the written word, leading me to become a novelist myself. So I’ve seen the progression of King’s novels and witnessed the turning point in the Dark Tower series where King went as far as to insert himself as a major character in the story. The real world and the imaginary collided with fantastic results and it illuminated the moment when King began to openly show how he views his characters.
They are not just figments that exist only in the confines of the page, but a type of living illusion that visits him continually, whispering their stories, even the ones that continue far beyond the back cover. It doesn’t show unoriginality to wonder, “Where are they now?” or “What would happen if they went back?”
In the moments while we are reading the original books, those characters live, breathe (and in King’s stories many times die). But as he has done before, he shows us that those worlds continue spinning even after we close the book and their stories are always waiting there to be told.