Unpublished and uncollected works by Stephen King

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According to books by Tyson Blue (The Unseen King), Stephen J. Spignesi (The Lost Work of Stephen King), and Rocky Wood et al. (Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished), there are numerous unpublished works by Stephen King that have come to light throughout King's career, including novels and short stories, most of which remain unfinished. Most are stored among Stephen King's papers in the special collections of the Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine, some of which are freely accessible to the library's visitors, while others require permission from King to read. Additionally, there are a number of uncollected short stories published throughout King's long career in various anthologies and periodicals that have never been published in a King collection.

Unpublished works[edit]

(Partial list)
  • 1959 Charlie (unpublished short story) the manuscript of Charlie is held at the Raymond H Fogler in box 1010 of the special collections, it is therefore inaccessible without written permission from King himself. the story consists of six pages (3900 words), but the story ends mid paragraph and a note states there are missing pages. The story concerns an asteroid miner who discovers a pink cube. A black substance starts to come out of the cube, driving the miner back to his small hut. As the stuff reaches the hut, it breaches the air locks and proceeds to eat the farmer.
  • 1960 People, Places and Things (unpublished short story collection)
People, Places and Things is a self-published magazine sized collection of short stories written in 1960 together with his friend Chris Chesley and published using King's brother's small printing press. It comprises a mere eighteen handbound pages, and King estimates only ten copies were printed. Copies were sold to school friends for about $0.10 to $0.25 each. The original collection consists of eight short stories by King and nine by Chesley. According to King, the only surviving copy is in his possession.

'The Stories

  • I'm Falling (lost for years)
  • The Dimension Warp (lost for years)
  • The Hotel at the End of the Road: Two gangsters, Tommy Riviera and Kelso Black, take refuge in an old hotel whose ominous proprietor doesn't want money. He wants the men themselves – as part of his private museum of the dead.
  • I've Got to Get Away!: The narrator awakes, having no idea who he is. Shocked, he realizes that he's working at a conveyor belt and realizes he must get away. He attempts to escape, but is immediately captured by guards who reprogram him. The narrator is revealed to be a faulty robot who occasionally believes it is human. The story implies the robot has experienced this consciousness many times before, only to forget it upon being reprogrammed.
  • The Thing at the Bottom of the Well: A small boy enjoys torturing animals: he tears out the wings of flies, kills worms or mistreats a dog with needles. One day, he is lured into a well by a strange voice. When his body is found, his arms are severed from the body and there are needles in his eyes.
  • The Stranger: A thief and murderer is waylaid by the Grim Reaper himself.
  • The Cursed Expedition: Two astronauts land on Venus, finding an Earth-like atmosphere: the temperature is perfect, and delicious fruit grows. The two astronauts believe they have discovered the Garden of Eden. But when one of the crew is found dead, the survivor is too late in realizing that the planet itself is alive and hungry. The survivor and his rocket are eaten by the planet.
  • The Other Side of the Fog: A mysterious fog serves as a door between dimensions. Pete Jacobs involuntarily travels into the future (the year 2007) and eventually to a world inhabited by dinosaurs. Helpless, he wanders from one dimension to the next, searching for his own.
  • Never Look Behind You!: The short story written together with his friend tells about a mysterious woman killing in a most peculiar way.
  • 1963 The Aftermath (unpublished novella)
The Aftermath is an unpublished novella. The 50,000 word manuscript describes life after a nuclear war suggesting the Armageddon was August 14, 1967, at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. King began the novella at the same time he was beginning Getting It On, the story that would later become Rage). The Aftermath is currently stored among Stephen King's papers in the special collections of the Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine.[1]
  • 1964 The Star Invaders (unpublished novel)[2]
  • 1970 Sword in the Darkness (unpublished novel)
Sword in the Darkness is the title of an unpublished novel. It is the longest of King's unpublished works at approximately 150,000 words. Upon its completion in April 1970, it was rejected by twelve publishers. King has said that he now considers it unpublishable and intends for it never to be released to the public. The book's plot includes a character dealing with the suicide of his pregnant sister and the death of his mother from a brain tumor, and another character, a black activist lawyer, who incites a riot after speaking at a local high school.

In 2006, a lengthy excerpt from the book was published in Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished, by Rocky Wood et al. (Cemetery Dance Publications, March 2006). The excerpt related the back-story of one character, a teacher named Edie Rowsmith. It is effectively a stand-alone horror-story in the style of the early Stephen King.

  • 1974 The House on Value Street (unpublished and unfinished)
The House on Value Street is the title of an unpublished novel. In his 1981 treatise on the horror genre, Danse Macabre, King describes his attempts to write a fictionalized novel about the kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army. King talks about attempting multiple drafts from various angles, before deciding he could not finish the novel to his satisfaction. King does not describe the plot in any detail, except that the fictionalized SLA's headquarters would be in the eponymous house on Value Street.
In Danse Macabre, while examining how the seeds of effective horror fiction may be found in the cultural climate and political current events, King credits his failure to complete House on Value Street as the genesis of his apocalyptic best-seller The Stand. As King tells it, he began free-associating on his SLA research, and typed the sentence "Donald DeFreeze is a dark man." This first evocation of his recurring villain Randall Flagg, and the societal malaise at the center of Value Street gave King his core ideas to begin The Stand.
  • 1976 Welcome to Clearwater (unpublished and unfinished)
  • 1976 The Corner (unpublished and unfinished)
  • 1977 Wimsey (unpublished and unfinished) in an attempt to write an English novel King moved to England, but the idea failed, in the small segment that exists we see Wimsey and his driver going to a party at an estate which seems to be in the middle of nowhere. On their way they have an accident on a bridge that is seemingly on the verge of collapse. The segment ends here.
  • 1983 The Leprechaun (unpublished and unfinished): This story was written for King's son Owen King. In the story, Owen playing in the garden when he sees his cat presumably attacking a small animal, only to discover the cat attacking a tiny man. At that point the story ends. According to King, the rest of the story was lost from the back of his motorcycle, so there is no chance of the remainder begin discovered. The remains of the story is available within the online King community.
  • 1983 The Cannibals (aka Under the Dome) (unpublished and unfinished) *Under the Dome published in 11/09*
  • 1984 Keyholes (unpublished and unfinished): In the existing short fragment, we meet a concerned father talking to a psychiatrist about examining his son. The story circulates freely in the Stephen King internet community.
  • 1987 Phil and Sundance (unpublished and unfinished): This eighty-page story, unearthed by a French Stephen King fansite, was written for a boy with muscular dystrophy. The terminally-ill child was granted a wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation and requested to meet Stephen King, who gave him this story. Little is known about the story itself. Phil and Sundance is now owned by Cemetery Dance and there has been no talk of its publication.
  • Hatchet Head (date unspecified)
  • Comb Dump (unpublished and unfinished)
  • The Doors (unpublished, possibly unfinished)
  • George D.X. McArdle (unpublished and unfinished)
  • On the Island (unpublished and unfinished)
  • Unnamed story (unpublished), written in collaboration with Stephen R. Donaldson and several other writers to raise money for charity at a science fiction and fantasy convention. With no prior discussion, each wrote for 30 to 45 minutes, then folded the sheet so that the next writer had only their final line for context. Donaldson, who had to follow King's final line, called the resulting story "hysterically surreal".[3]

Uncollected works[edit]

Short stories[edit]

(Partial list)

The following may have been published in magazines but not in book form:

  • 1965 I Was a Teenage Grave Robber
  • 1965 Code Name: Mouse Trap
  • 1966 The 43rd Dream
  • 1967 The Glass Floor King's first published story, which he sold for thirty-five dollars. The story concerns a man who goes to meet the grieving husband of his dead sister. The sister's husband explains that the woman died while working on a ladder in a room with a glass floor; looking down, she became disorientated and fell from her ladder. The door to the room has since been plastered over to prevent more tragic accidents. The woman's brother breaks open the sealed door and walks into the glass-floored room, where he experiences a strange, trance-like vertigo from which he himself must be rescued.
  • 1970 A Possible Fairy Tale
  • 1970 Slade
  • 1971 The Old Dude's Ticker
  • 1974 The Float: original version of The Raft - (revised 2010)
  • 1976 Weeds
  • 1977 Before the Play – uncollected original prologue to The Shining
  • 1977 The King Family and the Wicked Witch: In this short story written for the amusement of King's children, a jealous witch has cast a spell on the (then-four) members of the King family. The cursed family rescues an injured woodchuck that reveals itself to be a magical prince who was another of the witch's victims. The prince frees the family of their curse, then gives them enchanted cookies, which they trick the witch into eating. The cookies cause the witch to fart so violently that she blasts herself to the moon, and the family's happiness is restored.
  • 1978 Squad D
  • 1978 Man with a Belly
  • 1978 The Night of the Tiger
  • 1979 The Crate
  • 1971 The Blue Air Compressor (revised 1981)
  • 1985 The Reploids
  • 1986 For the Birds
  • 1994 The Killer a rewrite of "I've Got to Get Away"
  • 1994 Jhonathan and the Witches: early short story written by a nine-year-old King. A poor cobbler's son named Jhonathan sets off to seek his fortune. On the way to visit the King to seek work, Jhonathan rescues a fairy and is given three magical wishes. The King tasks Jhonathan with destroying three witches, each of whom can only be killed in a certain way. Jhonathan uses his wishes to destroy the witches and is rewarded.
  • 2009 Ur
  • 2009 Throttle with Joe Hill
  • 2009 Premium Harmony
  • 2010 Under The Weather
  • 2011 Mile 81
  • 2011 The Little Green God of Agony
  • 2011 The Dune
  • 2012 In the Tall Grass with Joe Hill
  • 2012 A Face in the Crowd with Stewart O'Nan
  • 2014 Bad Little Kid: originally available exclusively as a German and French e-book, this story will be made available in English in 2015.
  • 2014 That Bus Is Another World

Poems[edit]

  • 1968 Harrison State Park '68
  • 1969 The Dark Man
  • 1970 Donovan's Brain
  • 1970 She Has Gone To Sleep While
  • 1971 Silence
  • 1971 Woman With Child
  • 1972 In the Key Chords of Dawn
  • 1972 The Hardcase Speaks
  • 1988 Dino
  • 2009 Mostly Old Men
  • 2009 The Bone Church this poem is about an expedition to an elephant graveyard which ended with fatalities, we are told the story through a narrator who is being paid to tell someone the story.
  • 2010 Tommy this poem is a eulogy for a gay hippie who King had been friends with, the poem speaks about how Tommy was buried wearing a gay pride badge and also wearing his favorite clothes.

References[edit]

  • Beahm, George. Stephen King from A to Z – An Encyclopedia of his Life and Work. Kansas City, 1998.
  • Blue, Tyson (1989). The Unseen King. Borgo Press. ISBN 1-55742-073-4. 
  • Spignesi, Stephen (1998). The Lost Work of Stephen King. Birch Lane Press. ISBN 1-55972-469-2. 
  • Wood, Rocky (2005). Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished. Cemetery Dance Publications. ISBN 1-58767-130-1.