The Shop (Stephen King)

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The Shop is a fictional, top secret United States government agency in the writings of Stephen King. It is similar to the Syndicate in The X-Files. It plays a central role as the antagonist in the novel Firestarter, the miniseries Golden Years, and the film The Lawnmower Man, and is an element of the novel The Tommyknockers. In addition, an offhand reference hints that it may be at least partially responsible for the events of the novella The Mist. In the film adaption of The Langoliers, Bob Jenkins tosses out a government conspiracy-based theory for the conditions of the plane and refers to the theoretical agency responsible as 'The Shop.' In The Stand, The Shop is tasked with stopping the superflu outbreak, which it utterly fails to do. The Shop is interested in the scientific research of what might otherwise be considered paranormal phenomena, such as aliens, immortality, and paranormal or psychic powers.

The formal name of the agency is the U.S. Department of Scientific Intelligence. In addition to research staff, the Shop also employs armed agents who typically work undercover and pursue their goals with an utter disregard for morality or the rule of law. King keeps the extent of the Shop's legal legitimacy, as well as the exact nature of its relationship with other government agencies, vague. The Shop's director in Firestarter is Captain James "Cap" Hollister.

King has stated that the name The Shop is a reference to Alfred Elton van Vogt's novel The Weapon Shops of Isher.[1]

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