Stephen King fans are eagerly awaiting the author's newest short-fiction collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. The American author has published more than 54 novels and nearly 200 short stories, and sold more than 350 million copies. Many of his stories have been adapted into hugely successful films.
Whether you know his name or not, you're probably already familiar with some of King's stories, but just in case you're not, here's an introduction to the master of horror.
The Dark Tower
Many - including the author himself - consider this to be King's masterpiece, a combination of the wild west and horror. Language, time, space - almost everything is distorted by King in this world of broken dreams and darkness. In a land where the sun rises in the north and killer trains roam the tracks, The Dark Tower is not a series to miss for horror fans and general readers alike.
Must-watch supernatural story:
The Green Mile
King doesn't just write horror: this 1999 film based on a 1996 book tells of one man's supernatural powers, and life in a high-security prison. The only "horror" here is just how badly some people can treat others.
The Shawshank Redemption
Almost everyone has heard of The Shawshank Redemption, even if they've never read or watched it. Adapted from King's novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, it is a dazzling story of friendship, hope, integrity, and (as the name suggests) redemption. It's also special because it's not a horror story, showing that King is a very well-rounded writer.
Must-read coming-of-age story:
A boring girl with telekinetic powers may seem clichéd, but even after 40 years, this story of a teenage girl's vengeance is still terrifying. This early work - the first novel King published under his own name - is horror in its rawest form.
Must-read post-apocalyptic novel:
Years before The Walking Dead, Mad Max, and other blockbusting post-apocalyptic virus-kills-all-but-a-group-of-promising-survivors movies came out, The Stand's deadly virus "Captain Trips" wipes out 99.4 per cent of the world's population, causing everything to fall apart. Those who happened to survive are split into two factions, and both prepare for a final clash between good and evil.
Must-read horror novel:
For those of you who find clowns scary, It will take you to the roots of clown horror, frightening even the toughest of adults. Pennywise the Dancing Clown preys on little children until a group of seven kids (the self-proclaimed Losers' Club) forces him into hiding. When he resurfaces three decades later, they have to re-unite for a final showdown.
In the small town of Jerusalem's Lot, in the US state of Maine, Ben Mears discovers residents are becoming vampires. It's classic vampire fiction without the fluff of Twilight, and will not disappoint readers who have a taste for True Blood or the Vampire Diaries.