Skeleton Crew

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Skeleton Crew (1985) is the second collection of short fiction by Stephen King. The first collection, Night Shift, was published seven years prior in 1978. Different Seasons, a collection of four novellas, was published between the two in 1982. Skeleton Crew was originally published in hardcover form by Putnam. It has been reprinted multiple times in the years since in both hardcover and paperback forms. A limited edition of 1,000 copies was published by Scream/Press in 1986 featuring illustrations by J.K. Potter, as well as an extra "bonus" story, "The Revelations of 'Becka Paulson," which had originally appeared in two parts in Rolling Stone magazine (July 19 and August 2, 1984).


Stories collected


The collection features 22 works, which includes nineteen short stories, a novella ("The Mist"), and two poems ("Paranoid: A Chant" and "For Owen"). In addition to the introduction, in which King directly addresses his readers in his signature conversational style, Skeleton Crew features an epilogue of sorts entitled "Notes" wherein King discusses the origins of several stories in the collection. The stories are collected from science-fiction and horror anthologies (Dark Forces, Shadows, Terrors, and New Terrors) genre magazine publications (Twilight Zone, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Startling Mystery Stories, Weirdbook and Fantasy and Science Fiction) and popular magazines (Redbook, Gallery, Yankee and Playboy).

Although published in 1985, the stories collected in Skeleton Crew span seventeen years from "The Reaper's Image" (King's second professional sale when he was just eighteen years old)[1] [2] to "The Ballad of The Flexible Bullet" which was completed in 1983[3].

Skeleton Crew is critically held as showing King as a maturing writer [4] with greater breadth and depth than his previous short works [5].

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