Thursday, August 7, 2014

Crossover Cover: Under the Dome

This novel by Stephen King has connections to King's other works, the Cthulhu Mythos, and a popular contemporary thriller series. In it, the town of Chester's Mill, Maine finds itself under a dome created by aliens for a little over a week. Journalist Julia Shumway also appears. Chester's Mill and Julia were first mentioned in King's story "N." Chester's Mill shares a border with the towns of Castle Rock, Motton, and TR-90, which are each mentioned in several of King's works, and Tarker's Mill, the setting of Cycle of the Werewolf. Two of the other main characters are Jim Rennie and Dale "Barbie" Barbara. A note written by someone called Barbie to a man named Jim appears in King's novel Desperation. Chester's Mill resident Myra Evans first appeared in Needful Things. There are several references to two more recurring elements of King's fiction, Shawshank State Prison and the town of Derry. One conspiracy theory about the dome suggests that Great Cthulhu is responsible for it. Finally, a military policeman named Jack Reacher is referred to. Reacher is the protagonist of a series of novels by Lee Child. Although this novel was first published in 2009, it takes place during Barack Obama’s second term as president of the United States, and therefore between 2013 and 2016. According to King, there is a great deal of national news coverage regarding the dome, as well as a military blockade, although apart from the government no one finds out about the aliens that caused it. The nationwide knowledge of the dome’s existence is probably exaggeration on King’s part, although obviously enough people outside of Chester’s Mill learned about or heard rumors of the dome to have theories as to its origins.

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