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Worlds Without End Blog

THE DARK TOWER – Official Trailer (HD) Posted at 10:59 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Well, this looks pretty damn epic to me and I love Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey so I’m in for sure. What do you think? How does this compare to the books from what little we’ve seen thus far?

Hell is Adaptations: Carrie Posted at 8:02 AM by Charles Dee Mitchell


Hell is Adaptations: Carrie

Horror fans owe Tabitha King a dozen roses, a box of chocolates, something. When her husband Stephen tossed the unfinished manuscript of his first novel into the trash, it was Mrs. King who fished it out, read it over, and convinced him to finish it. And so we have Carrie and possibly all that has come after it.

I am not a Stephen King reader, and so, almost forty years after its publication, Carrie is the first of his novels I have read. However, on whatever Friday in 1976 Brian de Palma’s film version opened in Dallas, I was in line. I had seen de Palma’s films Sisters, Phantom of the Paradise, and Obsession and loved them all – well, maybe I admired Obsession more than it loved it. Those films and a poster featuring Sissy Spacek covered in blood got myself and some friends to the theater for that Friday bargain matinee. We expected to enjoy ourselves. We had no idea just how much fun the next ninety-eight minutes were going to be.


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Book Gift Suggestions: Fantasy Posted at 12:36 PM by Jonathan McDonald


We’ve all had those friends and family members who just don’t “get” genre fiction–who think that Fantasy is all about Hogwarts or football, who think that Science Fiction is no more than J.J. Abram’s oeuvre, who think that Horror is just a zombie in a hockey mask slicing up co-eds. You can either continue to inwardly seethe at these ignoramuses, or man up and buy them some fiction that will blow their minds and make them addicts just like you. To that end, we at Worlds Without End have put our heads together to come up with a list of books for the genre-clueless people in your life.

Today’s list contains half a dozen Fantasy books or franchises to knock the socks off the people who don’t have good genre taste… yet.

Storm FrontThe Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher

Butcher’s series about the self-deprecating wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden serves as a great introduction to the Urban Fantasy subgenre. Nearly every fantasy trope ends up on Harry’s to-do list at some point: vampires, warlocks, werewolves, faeries, ghosts, demons, archangels, and even the Shroud of Turin. The stories are frequently funny and always fast-paced, which makes the failure of its small-screen adaptation all the more perplexing.

Perfect For: Readers of thrillers and mystery novels.

First books in this series:

  1. Storm,, Kindle, Audible
  2. Fool,, Kindle, Audible
  3. Grave,, Kindle, Audible
  4. Summer,, Kindle, Audible
  5. Death,, Kindle, Audible

The Name of the WindThe Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

Some have described this series as Harry Potter for grownups. That’s a trite way of interpreting Rothfuss’ story about a polymath ne’er do well trying to survive through a school that focuses on alchemy and magical theory. It’s a lot smarter than the premise makes it sound. Rothfuss is well-educated himself, and he claims to have spent the better part of a decade writing and rewriting the first novel. This actually turns out to be a good thing.

Perfect For: The over-educated smartasses in your life.

First books in this series:

  1. The Name of the,, Kindle, Audible
  2. The Wise Man’s,, Kindle, Audible

The GunslingerThe Dark Tower, by Stephen King

As far as I know, this series is King’s longest foray into Fantasy. Despite being only seven novels long (with an eighth “midquel” just published), it took King twenty-two years to complete the whole thing, publishing the last three in a great burst from 2003-4. Alternatively a magical realist action-adventure story and a running metafictional commentary, King considers this to be his magnum opus, and it has been a hit with his fans.

Perfect For: Lovers of complex and referential storytelling.

First books in this series:

  1. The,, Kindle, Audible
  2. The Drawing of the,, Kindle, Audible
  3. The Waste,, Kindle, Audible
  4. Wizard and,, Kindle, Audible
  5. Wolves of the,, Kindle, Audible

Jonathan Strange & Mr. NorrellJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

This 800-page doorstopper is an alternative history of England during the time of the Napoleonic Wars if magic had been a real historical phenomenon. The novel is written as a faux-history text, and I have to admit that Clarke even had me fooled into thinking that many of the references to pagan and medieval magic traditions were taken from the real world. It’s a love story mingled with the methodical restoration of magical practice, and all of its societal implications.

Perfect For: Admirers of alternate history, world-building, and the Romantic literary movement.

The Once and Future KingThe Once and Future King, by T.H. White

The four-book series (and a fifth posthumous volume) on the life and adventures of King Arthur’s royal court was a big hit when the first volume was published way back in 1938. This is not a thorough retelling of the Arthurian body of legends, but rather a selection of episodes (mostly well-known from Malory) that allow White to focus on the themes of war and morality that, being and Englishman writing during World War II, were heavy on his mind. The whimsical idea that Merlin is a backwards traveler through time has its origins here, and the Disney film The Sword in the Stone is a loose adaptation of White’s first volume of the same name.

Perfect For: Anyone who likes the show Merlin but wishes it were a bit smarter.

GrendelGrendel, by John Gardner

Gardner as a novelist has nearly disappeared from the American literary scene, despite once having multiple novels on the bestseller lists. Even though he’s now appreciated almost entirely for his books about writing, Grendel has remained a perennial favorite. Telling the story of Beowulf from the monster’s point of view gives Gardner the opportunity to dramatically explore (as he claims) the darker aspects of Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential philosophy. The novel also incorporates many of the postmodern conceits popular at the time, and despite its serious subject is laced with humor and irony.

Perfect For: Someone who read Wicked but thought the witch was the villain.

It, by Stephen King Posted at 7:47 AM by Jonathan McDonald


It’s always interesting to look at the stats on the WWEnd site, to see where visitors come from, what pages they like, how long they stay, and which areas are most popular. As it turns out, the most popular page on is the novel page for It. While It is obviously a well-read novel—87 members have marked it as read, and 53 have rated it—the book remains unreviewed on our site. I thought that odd, and decided to make it a project for this year’s Month of Horrors to read and review Stephen King’s popular book. At 1090 pages, this was a daunting task, but King’s prose is rarely difficult to read, even if his subject matter is often repulsive, and I managed to complete it in about two weeks. After finishing this brick of a book, I think I have a better sense of why it’s as well loved as it is. That doesn’t mean I particularly love it, myself, but I think it might be constructive to explore why I do not. (Some revealing spoilers ahead, be warned.)

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Carrie Trailer Posted at 8:12 PM by Jonathan McDonald


I’ve never seen the original film, although I read the novel a few years back. Not my favorite King book, but I’d say that Chloë Moretz is the kind of actress who could pull this off, if anyone can.

Stephen King Goes Treeless Posted at 11:18 PM by Rico Simpkins


Mile 81Stephen King is the third most nominated author in the WWEnd database. Like a lot of authors, he has embraced the new digital book industry with gusto. Now we find that his latest short story, Mile 81, will only be available with ebook retailers. Is this a trend? Are book anthologies and industry magazines, like Analog, Asimov’s and Clarkesworld, facing new competition from individual authors? With the recent announcement of Science Fiction & Fantasy Magazine now offering a free bi-monthly digest, I’d guess yes.

The brief description that Scribner released evokes memories of Christine: "Mile 81 is the chilling story of an insatiable car and a heroic kid whose worlds collide at an abandoned rest stop on the Maine Turnpike."