Each semester, world-famous fantasy/horror novelist Neil Gaiman spends a month teaching a couple of classes at Bard College. And each spring and fall, he treats Hudson Valley fans to a casual Conversation with some star of geek culture onstage in the Sosnoff Theater at the Fisher Center. Past examples have proven fascinating glimpses into the creative lives of such personages as Laurie Anderson, Art Spiegelman, Audrey Niffenegger and Armistead Maupin.
Gaiman, always a busy guy, is in high demand these days, following the critical and popular success of Season One of the Starz TV adaptation of his novel American Gods. At the moment he’s tied up in production as showrunner of Amazon’s mini-series based on his hilarious 1990 collaboration with the late Terry Pratchett, Good Omens. Those who approve of authors taking an active hand in the process of bringing their novels to the screen will agree that it’s probably best that Gaiman stay on-task at the moment. But thanks to the efforts of Oblong Books & Music, Stephen King – one of the few authors in the world of speculative fiction who can out-superstar Bard’s superstar-in-residence – will interview his son Owen King about the creepy novel that they just wrote together, Sleeping Beauties, at the Fisher Center on Wednesday, September 27 at 7 p.m.
Here’s what Deadline: Hollywood had to say about the new novel, released this month by Simon & Schuster/Scribner: “Sleeping Beauties takes place in the near future in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison. Something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent. And while they sleep they go to another place. Meanwhile, the men are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.” Reporting that Anonymous Content had already acquired the TV rights to Sleeping Beauties, the Washington Post’s Ron Charles dubbed the tale Orange Is the New Black Death.
With the new movie version of It being such a huge current hit in cinemas, its author is a hotter property than ever and an impressive “get” for the folks at the Fisher Center and co-presenters Oblong Books & Music. Both he and his son have strong ties to the region, however: Stephen King has long been a regular visitor to the Mohonk Mountain House, which many locals believe to have partially inspired the haunted resort hotel in The Shining. And Owen King apparently came along on enough of those visits to fall in love with the area: He’s a New Paltz resident now.
Nonetheless, this is a rare opportunity, and tickets, priced at $40 (which includes a copy of Sleeping Beauties), will undoubtedly sell out fast. Order yours by calling the box office at (845) 758-7900 or visiting https://fishercentertickets.bard.edu.