Friday, September 12, 2008

Aaron's Book of the Week :: The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

The Colorado KidThe Book of the Week is PS Publishing's limited edition of The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. This is my coolest acquisition from the dealer room of the recent World Science Fiction Convention here in Denver. It is the first hardcover edition of The Colorado Kid, preceded by the paperback original from Hard Case Crime. I also have the paperback, but this numbered (mine is copy #5), slipcovered, limited edition is much the preferred edition, in no small part because it is signed by Stephen King as well as by the artist Glenn Chadbourne and by Charles Ardai, who wrote the introduction.

A slipcover is always a dead giveaway that a publisher is trying to get you to pay too much for a book. This time I was willing to do it, because my collection has been missing anything signed by Stephen King. The nice thing about a signed limited edition like this is you know the signature is authentic. Because he is so popular and because he does not do many public appearances, Stephen King is one of the few living authors whose signature is valuable enough for unscrupulous folks to bother forging.

Stephen King wrote The Colorado Kid for the Hard Case Crimes set of cheap, lurid, pulp-style mysteries. Charles Ardai, one of the creators of Hard Case, wrote to Stephen King's agent asking if King would write an introduction to Hard Case's first book. Ardai's introduction to the Book of the Week describes how he nearly suffered a heart attack when the agent called to say that Stephen King would rather write one of the books himself. The novel King wrote, The Colorado Kid, is not really lurid or pulpish, but nevertheless fits nicely into the series because it is in part an extended meditation on what is appealing to us about mysteries. Incidentally, The Colorado Kid has almost nothing to do with Colorado; it all takes place on a small island off the coast of Maine. Next week's BOTW will be a slipcovered limited edition I recently acquired on the cheap.

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