Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Stephen King Universe: A Guide (Part One)

The Stephen King universe is vast, and while I've known about many of the connections among his books for years, I never realized the depth of those connections until I started re-reading The Dark Tower series and doing some research. For this series, I'm starting with a beginner's guide to The Dark Tower universe, and how it's connected to the rest of the Stephen King universe.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories - The short story "UR" mentions the actual Dark Tower that Roland is on a quest to find in The Dark Tower novels. Low men, who appear in Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower, also appear in "UR." Finally, the magical Rose that is part of The Dark Tower series is mentioned in "UR."

Black House - Several characters from The Dark Tower series are mentioned in Black House: Blaine the Mono, Ted Brautigan (who makes appearances in other Stephen King works, as well), Jake Chambers, Eddie Dean, Susannah Dean, Roland Deschain, and Patricia the Mono. Jake Chambers may also be a twinner of Jack Sawyer (a twinner is a doppelganger in a parallel universe). (Note: Black House is the sequel to The Talisman.)

Cell - In The Waste Lands, Jake Chambers purchases a picture book called Charlie the Choo-Choo. Roland, Jake, Susannah, and Eddie see a train that looks just like Charlie the Choo-Choo in Gage Park. Charlie the Choo-Choo shows up in an amusement park in Cell. Charlie the Choo-Choo is also Blaine the Mono's twinner.

Desperation - CAN-TAH AND CAN-TOI, which appear in Song of Susannah (CAN-TAH and CAN-TOI) and Wolves of the Calla and The Dark Tower (CAN-TOI), also appear in Desperation.

Everything's Eventual - Three characters from this short story collection are either mentioned in The Dark Tower novels or play a part in the series: Dinky Earnshaw, Mr. Sharpton, and Skipper Brannigan.

The Eyes of the Dragon - The main connection to The Dark Tower series is in the character Randall Flagg. Flagg is a sorcerer who has the ability to move among worlds. He is a villain in The Eyes of the Dragon as well as in The Dark Tower novels. Additionally, King Roland in The Eyes of the Dragon is Roland Deschain's twinner.

From a Buick 8 - One of the owners of the Buick 8 was probably a low man, and the car may have been a portal to todash spaces from which monsters escape (a todash space is a void that exists between worlds and is filled with monsters).

Hearts in Atlantis - A few characters in Hearts in Atlantis show up in The Dark Tower novels and vice versa: Ted Brautigan, Roland Deschain, The Crimson King, Randall Flagg, and the Low Men.

Insomnia - The Crimson King is a major player in Insomnia. Patrick Danville, a character in Insomnia, shows up in The Dark Tower, traveling with Roland. Roland is also mentioned in Insomnia by Ted Brautigan.

IT - The concept of deadlights is mentioned in IT; it's a concept that is shared by Pennywise and The Crimson King. Bill Denbrough's nickname in IT is Stuttering Bill; in The Dark Tower novels, there's an Asimov robot named Stuttering Bill. There's also a magical Turtle in The Dark Tower novels that shows up in IT.

Lisey's Story - The Territories, which are mentioned in The Waste Lands, are also mentioned in Lisey's Story. A term used commonly in Lisey's Story, "bool," is also used by The Man in Black in The Gunslinger.

The Mist - The monsters in The Mist are likely monsters that came from Todash through a thinny that was opened during a government experiment. Thinnies play large roles in Wizard and Glass.

The Regulators - Regulators is another term for Low Men; it is also another term for Big Coffin Hunters. It is likely that The Regulators may be Low Men and/or Big Coffin Hunters, though neither of those terms is used in the novel.

Rose Madder - LUD, which is the setting of The Waste Lands, is mentioned in Rose Madder, and Rose Madder is mentioned in Song of Susannah

'Salem's Lot - One of the main characters in 'Salem's Lot, Father Callahan, is a major character in Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower (where he is known as Pere Callahan). In Wolves of the Calla, Pere Callahan recounts his experiences after leaving 'Salem's Lot.

The Shining - Danny Torrance is referred to in The Dark Tower novels, while Jack Torrance is mentioned, but not directly named.

The Stand - In Wizard and Glass, Roland, Susannah, Eddie, and Jake find themselves in the Topeka, Kansas, of The Stand, where they see a newspaper article that discusses the superflu from The Stand. Mother Abigail, a key player in The Stand, is an enemy of Randall Flagg, who is also a key player in The Stand.

The Talisman - A major setting in The Talisman is the Territories; the Territories are mentioned in Wizard and Glass. The White, which is in The Talisman, is the force of good in The Dark Tower novels.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many characters and settings from Stephen King novels are mentioned in The Dark Tower series without playing actual parts in the series. Some of the books listed here are also connected to each other, which I'll explore in the second part of this series. The last part of this series will focus on Stephen King book connections that are unrelated to The Dark Tower series.

Think I've missed a connection, or know of a connection you'd like to see in this series of posts? Let me know in the comments!


Anonymous said...

You forgot the Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher, Duma Key, Carrie, The Colorado Kid, Revival, and Under the Dome.

abcreader said...

Thanks for checking out our blog! We do mention some of these books in Parts 2 and 3 of this post. This was not planned to be a complete list; the connections in Stephen King novels are many and complex.