Beahm, George W., ed. Stephen King from A to Z: An Encyclopedia of His Life and Work. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews McMeel, 1998. Encyclopedic compendium of entries on every aspect of the author’s fiction and biography.
Beahm, George W. The Stephen King Story. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews and McMeel, 1992. A good, updated biography of King. Includes bibliographical references and an index.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Stephen King: Modern Critical Views. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1998. This is the best single collection of essays about King, many collected from other sources listed here, but including previously unreprinted pieces from journals or non-King-specific books. High-quality pieces cover a range of themes and King’s works through Needful Things. Good chronology, bibliography, and index.
Collings, Michael R. Scaring Us to Death: The Impact of Stephen King on Popular Culture. 2d rev. ed. San Bernardino, Calif.: Borgo Press, 1997. Examines King’s influence on the rise of horror fiction in the United States.
Collings, Michael R. The Work of Stephen King: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide. San Bernardino, Calif.: Borgo Press, 1996. Provides both a good chronology and useful descriptions of some of King’s hard-to-find works, as well as a copious annotated list of secondary sources.
Docherty, Brian, ed. American Horror Fiction: From Brockden Brown to Stephen King. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990. This collection of essays places King’s works into context with other American horror writers.
Herron, Don, ed. Reign of Fear: Fiction and Film of Stephen King. Los Angeles: Underwood and Miller, 1988. The essays in this collection discuss the significance of film in the development of King’s reputation.
Hohne, Karen A. “The Power of the Spoken Word in the Works of Stephen King.” Journal of Popular Culture 28 (Fall, 1994): 93-103. Discusses the tension in King’s work between slang speech, which codifies a knowledge rejected by those in power, and monologic orality, which embodies that power; claims his works illustrate the tension between official and unofficial languages and ideologies that exists not only in literature but also throughout society.
Hoppenstand, Gary, and Ray B. Browne, eds. The Gothic World of Stephen King: Landscape of Nightmare. Bowling Green, Ohio: Popular Press, 1987. The collection of academic criticism of King includes an introduction by Hoppenstand and essays on themes (“Adolescent Revolt,” “Love and Death in the American Car”), characters (“Mad Dogs and Firestarters,” “The Vampire”), genres (King’s “Gothic Western,” techno-horror), technique (“Allegory”), and individual works.
King, Stephen. Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King. Edited by Tim Underwood and Chuck Miller. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988. Though many of the interviews collected in this volume become somewhat repetitive, they provide a good sense, in King’s own words, of what he is trying to do in his fiction and why he does it. The interviews were held between 1979 and 1987; the opening transcript of a talk King gave at the Billerica Public Library is most useful.
King, Stephen. Danse Macabre. New York: Everest House, 1981. King researched and wrote this critical work on horror fiction and film at the instigation of his editor. He focuses on works since the 1940’s and discusses novels, B-films, and horror comics to support his thesis that monsters such as Godzilla are a way of making tangible the fear of such things as nuclear war.
Magistrale, Tony. Stephen King: The Second Decade, “Danse Macabre” to “The Dark Half.” New York: Twayne, 1992. Discusses King’s work in the 1980’s, including his nonfictional analysis of the horror genre in Danse Macabre, his Richard Bachman books, Misery, and the novellas of the Dark Tower saga. Also includes a 1989 interview in which King discusses fairy-tale references in his work, as well as his treatment of sexuality, masculinity, and race; discusses critical and popular reaction to his fiction.
Magistrale, Tony, ed. The Dark Descent: Essays Defining Stephen King’s Horrorscape. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1992. This academic collection of interpretive essays covers subjects such as homophobia, treatment of female characters, and dialogic narratives in King’s work; the sixteen pieces examine most of King’s novels and some short fiction. Individual essay bibliographies, book bibliography, and book index.
Magistrale, Tony, ed. Landscape of Fear: Stephen King’s American Gothic. Bowling Green, Ohio: Popular Press, 1988. Placing King in an American gothic tradition with Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and William Faulkner, this study treats sociopolitical themes such as “The Betrayal of Technology,” individual accountability, innocence betrayed, and survival in the novels through It. The text is supplemented by a bibliography of scholarship from 1980 to 1987.
Miller Power, Brenda, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, and Kelly Chandler, eds. Reading Stephen King: Issues of Censorship, Student Choice, and Popular Literature. Urbana, Ill.: National Council of Teachers of English, 1997. Examines issues at the heart of horror fiction. Includes bibliographical references and an index.
Reino, Joseph. Stephen King: The First Decade. Boston: Twayne, 1988. This book-by-book analysis, from Carrie to Pet Sematary, attempts to show King’s literary merits, stressing subtle characterization and nuances of symbolism and allusion. The text is supplemented by a chronology, notes, and primary and secondary bibliographies.
Rogak, Lisa. Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King. New York: St. Martin’s. 2009. This easy-to-read biography examines King’s life chronologically by focusing on his books and their film adaptations. It also covers his childhood, his determination as a writer, his struggles with alcohol and drugs, and his near-fatal 1999 accident. Contains eight pages of black and white photos.
Russell, Sharon. Revisiting Stephen King. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002. Analyses of King’s later works, from The Green Mile through Dreamcatcher.
Spignesi, Stephen J. The Complete Stephen King Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Works of America’s Master of Horror. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1991. First published with the title The Shape Under the Sheet, this is an important guide for all students of King. Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
Spignesi, Stephen J. The Essential Stephen King: The Greatest Novels, Short Stories, Movies, and Other Creations of the World’s Most Popular Writer. Franklin Lakes, N.J.: New Page, 2001. A useful discussion of the horror writer’s works by a King enthusiast.
Underwood, Tim, and Chuck Miller, eds. Fear Itself: The Horror Fiction of Stephen King, 1976-1982. San Francisco: Underwood-Miller, 1982. This is another collection of articles on King’s work. The articles vary in quality, with Ben Indick’s “King and the Literary Tradition of Horror” providing a good introduction to the history of the horror genre. Douglas Winter’s essay, “The Night Journeys of Stephen King,” discusses several of the short stories. Includes a bibliography.
Vincent, Ben. The Road to “Dark Tower”: Exploring Stephen King’s Magnum Opus. New York: NAL Trade, 2004. In-depth study of King’s seven-volume masterwork, which revolves around the mystery of the tower from which the series takes its name.
Wiater, Stanley, Christopher Golden, and Hank Wagner. The Stephen King Universe: A Tale-by-Tale Examination of the Interconnected Elements in His Work. Los Angeles: Renaissance Press, 2001. A critical feast of all things King. The authors explore the common themes, places, and characters that run through King’s novels. Resources include a biographical chronology, a bibliography, and an index.
Winter, Douglas E. The Art of Darkness: The Life and Fiction of the Master of the Macabre, Stephen King. 1984. Rev. ed. New York: New American Library, 1989. Winter’s work provides a perceptive critical overview of King’s work, with long articles on each novel up to The Talisman and a chapter on the short stories in Night Shift and Skeleton Crew. Winter also includes summaries of King’s short stories, a short biography of King, and extensive bibliographies both of King’s work and of books and articles written about him.