Fans of Steven King are getting an unexpected treat this Christmas.
The clock is ticking on the hotly anticipated Dark Tower movie – and as an unexpected marketing tie-in, Steven King is publishing his first ever children’s book; a real-life version of a kid’s book from the world of The Dark Tower.
Charlie the Choo Choo is a kid’s book that exists both in the world-that-was of The Dark Tower, and the fictional real-world that Roland’s ka-tet travel back and forth between. It’s a kid’s book about an anthropomorphic railway train – so think Thomas the Tank Engine, Chuggington or The Train with No Name – except as young Jake Chambers remarks in the Dark Tower novels, there’s something untrustworthy about the train’s smile.
The book will be published in our world by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, under the pen name Beryl Evans. This is a curious one, as Beryl was the author of the book in the world-that-was. In the fictional version of our ‘real’ world, a parallel of the book existed, too – written by Claudia y Inez Bachman. That’s the fictional name of the fictional wife of Steven King’s fictional ‘dark half’ Richard Bachman (who himself would later become a fictional version of himself in the form of The Dark Half’s George Stark.)
Look, Steven King is meta as hell. Deal with it.
Nobody knows what this actual book will contain; well we know a little, but it’s certainly going to be a must-read for fans of The Dark Tower (and possibly their reluctant kids) and is just one more example of Steven King’s fictional world, bleeding disconcertingly, into our own.