As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world, a number of artistic endeavors have seen delays, but Stephen King's latest compilation of novellas, If It Bleeds, will be arriving on shelves slightly sooner than initially expected. The book was originally slated to debut on May 5th, but it will now be releasing a week earlier on April 28th (pre-orders are live on Amazon now). It's unclear if the shift in release date is at all related to the coronavirus pandemic, as a week is a relatively short amount of time to move a book's release forward, but with a variety of films debuting on home video earlier than expected, it's possible that releasing If It Bleeds a week earlier will result in an optimal reception during the pandemic.
"From #1 New York Times bestselling author, legendary storyteller, and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new and compelling novellas — Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, The Life of Chuck, Rat, and the title story If It Bleeds — each pulling readers into intriguing and frightening places," King's website describes. "The novella is a form King has returned to over and over again in the course of his amazing career, and many have been made into iconic films, including The Body (Stand By Me) and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (Shawshank Redemption). Like Four Past Midnight, Different Seasons, and most recently Full Dark, No Stars, If It Bleeds is a uniquely satisfying collection of longer short fiction by an incomparably gifted writer."
Given the nature of the medium, King can likely continue writing tales of terror without being drastically impacted by the pandemic, but the same can't be said of adaptations of his work.
Earlier this year, production began on new TV series adaptations of both The Stand and Lisey's Story. While it hasn't explicitly been confirmed that production on the two series have shut down, virtually every other movie and TV production has halted around the world, which likely includes the King adaptations.
In a creepy coincidence, The Stand focuses on a world that is afflicted by a deadly virus and wipes out most of humanity. The horrors don't end there, as, in true King fashion, the threats faced by humanity extend into the world of the supernatural. King even shared a chapter from the book earlier this month on social media, pointing out the bizarre similarities between his fictional storyline and the current state of the world.
If It Bleeds hits shelves on April 28th.
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