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May 17, 2013 10:08 AM   Subscribe


 
That's really hard to read. Is there a better/bigger image?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:15 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Uninformative graphic is uninformative.
posted by odinsdream at 10:17 AM on May 17, 2013 [13 favorites]


Seconding a bigger/better image. If not, then I just cursed one of my good friends to a new life of reading glasses.
posted by Kitteh at 10:18 AM on May 17, 2013


Here ya all go!

Link to larger image
posted by edZio at 10:23 AM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let me guess....Writer...Maine...
posted by QueerAngel28 at 10:25 AM on May 17, 2013


Thanks edZio; but man, that is seriously hard to follow; they almost need to use a PCB layout program to help with this mess. Might also be better to have this as an interactive thing where clicking a box highlights the connections and directly related boxes.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:28 AM on May 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


I appreciate the amount of work that went into this, and I have long idly thought about trying to do something similar myself, but I'm with odinsdream here. You don't really gain much from this confusing chart that you wouldn't get just clicking through Wikipedia or something.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:28 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heh, last time we had something like this people were complaing it didn't include The Gunslinger with lines to everything. Well, you got what you wanted, eh? :-)
posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


No, no, no, edZio. A larger image should actually have MOAR PIXELS, not just be sparser and with larger type.

But hey, look! You can buy a poster!
posted by erniepan at 10:38 AM on May 17, 2013


Previously
posted by Artw at 10:40 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


yeah, I've seen earlier versions of this (in some compendium about King's work, so a book, well before on-line) that was as much, if not more so, in depth.. Not easy to chart out, and ends up being selective for arbitrary criteria on what's in/out.
posted by k5.user at 10:41 AM on May 17, 2013


I don't think he needs to be immortal. I think all he needs to do is to write the right story. Because some stories do live forever.
--Roland Deschain
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:43 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Missing a line to where one of his characters comes to life, breaks the fourth wall and nearly kills him.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:53 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Missing a line to where one of his characters comes to life, breaks the fourth wall and nearly kills him* saves his life.

FTFY. Huge, evil, rude, ruining spoilers here if you haven't read that one already.

Apologies if you were talking about a book/story/instance that is escaping my memory at the moment, there are quite a few. Or if you were talking about.... that guy. I see how that could be a valid statement after all.

/nerd

posted by RolandOfEld at 11:02 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The guy that ran him down is like something out of one of King's novels.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:02 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can anyone explain to a casual Stephen King reader what precisely is going on here? Has he built a large consistent universe where characters and places keep reappearing in different forms? Can I delve into his larger body of work as a whole and have lightbulbs going off in my head, like "Ohhhh.... this part of Eyes of the Dragon totally makes sense in a new way after reading this part of The Stand..."?
posted by naju at 11:03 AM on May 17, 2013


I thought this was cool when the first version was linked here, and think this is cool, too. I'm totally okay with the fact that people can argue about whether it's appropriately inclusive, etc.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:04 AM on May 17, 2013


Can anyone explain to a casual Stephen King reader what precisely is going on here?

That depends, if you're asking for something canonical and precisely from the horse's mouth then you'd have to read a lot of interviews/talks/intros to get what I'd consider a fair take on how SK handles his universe. Further complicated is the fact that he obviously didn't storyboard things out when he was 20 and go from there, it's a bit helter skelter to say the least. The best and most succinct way I can put it is that... there are other worlds than these, but that they are related and intertwined and may or may not be what you think.

Has he built a large consistent universe where characters and places keep reappearing in different forms?

"Consistent" is probably not accurate. But the rest of what you said is pretty close.

Can I delve into his larger body of work as a whole and have lightbulbs going off in my head, like "Ohhhh.... this part of Eyes of the Dragon totally makes sense in a new way after reading this part of The Stand..."?

Yes, exactly that. Maybe nothing earthshattering but it does add to the depth, complexity, and texture if you know 'the rest of the story' or get the inside-reference/joke.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:08 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is interesting in light of the newest book from King's son Joe Hill, "N0S4AT2". It manages to explicitly link everything that he's written, and a few things that he hasn't written yet, and at least one thing not written by him or his dad, to his dad's universe.

It's actually more cool than obnoxious. But still a little of both.
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:09 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, exactly that. Maybe nothing earthshattering but it does add to the depth, complexity, and texture if you know 'the rest of the story' or get the inside-reference/joke.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:08 PM on May 17 [+] [!]


Never got to do this before: eponysterical!
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:10 AM on May 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


Oh, and it doesn't help that SK has recently taken to rewriting some of his books to make them fit *better* into his universe. Most notably was The Gunslinger. At one point he had plans to rewrite all the DT books through the third one. To make them fit better of so he says. I also think he recently rewrote The Shinning as a lead in to it's new sequel that comes out soon (already?) called Doctor Sleep.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:12 AM on May 17, 2013


The rewrite of The Stand was terrible. All these weird 1970's pop culture references mixed up with early 90's pop culture references.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:29 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


reading this is like trying on acid to read a subway map
posted by echocollate at 11:35 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Someone needs to get busy living and get me an omnibus of Locke and Key.
posted by Ber at 11:42 AM on May 17, 2013


Oh, and it doesn't help that SK has recently taken to rewriting some of his books to make them fit *better* into his universe. Most notably was The Gunslinger.

Most egregiously.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:59 AM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


naju: Can anyone explain to a casual Stephen King reader what precisely is going on here? Has he built a large consistent universe where characters and places keep reappearing in different forms? Can I delve into his larger body of work as a whole and have lightbulbs going off in my head, like "Ohhhh.... this part of Eyes of the Dragon totally makes sense in a new way after reading this part of The Stand..."?

The hub of the wheel that is the Kingiverse is the Dark Tower series. If you are interested in getting a view of the larger picture, read that. It's one of my favorite series of all time, so I think it is well worth it. I'm even an apologist for the later books, which some deride as being a bit indulgent and aimless.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:20 PM on May 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Surely this would be better in a simple spreadsheet layout with the novels listed in the rows and the columns, grouped or color-coded by location, with names of characters or events in the cells where one novel intersects with another.
posted by straight at 1:40 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sounds like you have a project to work on, straight!
posted by MoonOrb at 1:58 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The two linked flowcharts (from the post, then later as a larger one) are different.

The Stephen King Universe flowchart was made by TessieGirl. Here's her current one, which is copied on the website Fizz points to. It's an update of one that she made in 2012, which is here, and which is the one edZio gives as a "larger" version.

The difference between the two is that the updated version includes the Dark Tower series. The older one does not.
posted by Houstonian at 2:43 PM on May 17, 2013


I imagine that Stephen King must find this to be a very, very useful reference.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:06 PM on May 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


I keep forgetting how much I love Stephen King.

The "shared universe(s)" thing does not seem to have a totally coherent point, which is exactly why I like it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:26 PM on May 17, 2013


RolandOfEld: "Oh, and it doesn't help that SK has recently taken to rewriting some of his books to make them fit *better* into his universe. Most notably was The Gunslinger. At one point he had plans to rewrite all the DT books through the third one. To make them fit better of so he says. I also think he recently rewrote The Shinning as a lead in to it's new sequel that comes out soon (already?) called Doctor Sleep."

Face it, you're just pissed at being retconned.
posted by Samizdata at 4:47 PM on May 17, 2013


RolandOfEld: Oh, and it doesn't help that SK has recently taken to rewriting some of his books to make them fit *better* into his universe.

Well, as previously noted, he started writing the Dark Tower saga when he was still in college, and published it (first serialized in Fantasy & Science Fiction) almost as a lark. [SPOILERS](And, of course, the ending of the series really justifies there being a revised beginning to the saga.)

KokuRyu: The rewrite of The Stand was terrible. All these weird 1970's pop culture references mixed up with early 90's pop culture references.

Did you have any specific examples in mind? I thought that the updated references worked, generally (and completely understood his reason for doing so--wanting to make it seem as if the plague could happen tomorrow, not just back in the Carter Administration), especially since there were all of twelve years between the first edition and the complete and uncut one. Plus, of course, he had to address the PayDay controversy.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:03 PM on May 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can I delve into his larger body of work as a whole and have lightbulbs going off in my head, like "Ohhhh.... this part of Eyes of the Dragon totally makes sense in a new way after reading this part of The Stand..."?

I have read King novels sporadically since the late 1970s. Sometimes the connections are hammered home with thudding blows, sometimes they are more subtle, and I am sure for every one I have seen, I have missed two more.

I read It in 1986 and read 11/22/63 in 2011 -- in both cases, the years the novels were published. Two of the protagonists from the former appear for a single scene in the latter, and they show up nowhere else in King's oeuvre. If you didn't know who they were, you wouldn't be baffled or anything, but it is a small bonus for fans. I think to get the full effect, you would probably have to read everything he has written all in the course of a year or so. I wonder what the effect of this would be... in 1993, while deathly ill, I read in about ten days all of the novels of John Irving published until then (up to A Prayer for Owen Meany). In my head, they are permanently fused into a story about a college wrestler who goes to Vienna, loses a finger, and encounters a bear.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:13 PM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think he was inspired by HP Lovecraft and his circle of friends when they created a mythos of Elder Gods/Old ones that each member would share with the others and then reference vaguely in their own stories except that in his case, he is creating vague interconnections within his own works that seem to link up but not absolutely.

I don't know if it has a name but I'd call this whole thing the "Castle Rock Mythos" What he has done is impressive, but it would be awesome if his characters made appearances in the works of other novelists and vice versa. I bet that's pretty much impossible nowadays due to copyrights and stuff.
posted by Renoroc at 3:39 PM on May 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Renoroc: What he has done is impressive, but it would be awesome if his characters made appearances in the works of other novelists and vice versa. I bet that's pretty much impossible nowadays due to copyrights and stuff.

There have been cameo/tribute/easter egg appearances in other authors' works, but nothing of real substance. I remember being significantly pleased when Nozz-A-La Cola made an appearance in Lost.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:26 AM on May 20, 2013


I don't think that it would be an issue, given that King is pretty generous about making his work available for adaptation (see Dollar Babies), unless he'd already signed away the rights to specific characters or stories as part of a contract with someone else. (The Dark Tower epic very nearly became a movie-and-TV-series project pretty recently, although that's on hold for now, so the Ka-Tet of Nineteen may be unavailable for guest appearances elsewhere if someone else still has the rights.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:38 AM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


They misspelled "parallel" on the chart. Sorry, no.
posted by ostranenie at 9:41 PM on May 20, 2013


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