Author Stephen King and Humble Bundle are teaming up to release an exclusive short story called “Red Screen.” All pay-what-you-want proceeds (starting at a $5 minimum) from “Red Screen” will benefit the American Civil Liberties Union while the story is available, from September 10th through September 16th.
Besides being notable as one of the newest entries in King’s prolific body of work, “Red Screen” is also the first Humble Bundle Exclusive. Based on what little has been shared of the plot, it certainly sounds…interesting. The description follows (emphasis mine): “The never before published story follows a cop who interrogates a deranged plumber who just murdered his wife, only to discover something far more insidious.”
I’m guessing King is not referencing Mario (of the brothers Mario) here — though his work has been rumored to have inspired the games — so this could involve actual plumbing adjacent murder. Somehow both more and less frightening.
As far as digital platforms are concerned, King has a bit of a history of tinkering with different release strategies. The novella Ur was exclusive to Amazon’s second-generation Kindle at launch. King’s relationship with Amazon would eventually sour due to the company’s aggressive tactics with publisher Hachette. King has also chosen to skip ebook releases entirely in the past. At least with this Humble Bundle experiment, throwing some literary spaghetti at the wall is benefiting a good cause.