The latest book from Stephen King is a story that he co-wrote with his son Owen King; Sleeping Beauties.
Sleeping Beauties, which is due for release on September 26th, 2017, is a wonderful father and son collaboration that began with an idea of Owen King’s for a story about what would happen if all the women in the world fell asleep and the men were left to fend for themselves.
Set in a small Appalachian town where the main employer is the local women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties has been described as a horror-tinged realistic fantasy that explores what would actually happen if nearly all the women in the world fell asleep.
In Sleeping Beauties, which is set in the near future, something strange begins to happen to women when they go to sleep. Their heads become covered in a gauze-like cocoon and they seem to drift off to a better place. If the women are woken, they become feral and incredibly violent.
There is one woman named Eve, however, who seems somehow immune from the sleeping disease and also somehow strangely connected to it as well. The question is; is she some kind of a demon, or does she hold the key to the cure to the women’s sleeping sickness.
Meanwhile, the men begin to indulge in their primal urges and they divide into different warring factions. Some of the men want to kill Eve, while others want her to be saved. Some of the men simply take advantage of the growing chaos for their own purposes and violence breaks out all over the newly all-male dominated world.
The book is a little bit slow to begin with, but there is a lot of setting up to do for this story. In fact, Stephen King and Owen King initially envisaged Sleeping Beauties as a TV series, but Owen King says he wanted to explore the characters in more depth than he would be able to do in one-hour TV episodes.
The writing of the two writers in Sleeping Beauties is seamless and once you get passed the initial build-up, the pace of the novel is relentless. Apparently, both writers rewrote each other’s work freely until the finished was completed.
There is a short interview with Stephen King and Owen King in the video clip below, in which the father and son team discuss how Sleeping Beauties developed as a novel from Owen King’s original idea
Sleeping Beauties is Owen King’s first collaboration with his father, but he is an author in his own right. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he showed an interest in following in his father’s footsteps at high school and he has now published two books; We're All in This Together, which is a collection of three short stories, and Double Feature, his first full length novel. He has also had a number of short stories published in journals such as One Story and Prairie Schooner, and he co-authored a graphic novel about an alien invasion on a college campus with Jude Poirier called Intro to Alien Invasion.