Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Stand, playing out on Twitter

I'm a big fan of Stephen King's The Stand - part sci-fi, part horror, mostly a wonderfully engaging view of what happens to a few survivors of a man-made apocalypse. I've read the book at least four or five times - never for the story itself, but to be immersed in a world of characters you want to spend time around. King's gift has always been his ability to draw out his characters - particularly through inner monologues - and The Stand remains his best stand-alone book.

As I mentioned last month, I'm in the midst of re-reading the Dark Tower series. I finished book 3 this morning (The Waste Lands), and mentioned on Twitter how magnificent the series is, even a second time through. Shortly after that tweet, I was followed by @LeadDealer, a brand new (started yesterday) Twitter account of the Dark Tower's protagonist, Roland Deschain. Intrigued, I checked out some of @LeadDealer's recent tweets... and saw references to a slew of characters from The Stand: @VegasWalkinDude (Randall Flagg), @MotherAbigail, @MOONtomcullen. Another tweet replied to @KingdomSearch, personal account to researcher Dirk Rensmann who runs The Stephen King Research Project, a remarkable full-text archive of all of King's works, along with lots of other links and materials.

Checking out @KingdomSearch, it turns out that a whole bunch of fans of The Stand are re-enacting The Stand on Twitter. Why would they do that? Well, the event that triggers the apocalypse in The Stand is a virulent strain of the flu known as "Captain Trips" - and the emergence of swine flu as this week's news story du jour gave the fans all they needed to get started. Other characters on Twitter - one-hit wonder Larry Underwood (@digyourman), professor Glen Bateman (@glenbateman), Nadine Cross (@nadine_cross)and poet-gone-wrong Harold Lauder (@haroldlauder). Wow.

This is going to be fun.

Update: Roland points out that The Stand isn't the only story playing out. Ka is a wheel, indeed.


  1. Thanks for that heads-up!

    "The Stand" is wonderful. What a delicious book, what a large *world* to lose yourself in, right? I re-read it every one, two years. Have you ever seen the mini-series? Rare that a Stephen King story gets that well translated to the screen.

    This summer it'll be my time for "The Dark Tower" again.

  2. This is just awesome. I'm going to have to go reread my copy of the Stand, which has been read so many times the binding has fallen apart.

  3. I am geeking out over this too! Excellent!

  4. I have created a mash up collecting all the characters and mashing them together on a single timeline - as well as the Dark Tower Characters on another -