Mile 81 is Stand by Me meets Christine—the story of an insatiable car and a heroic kid.At Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike is a boarded-up rest stop, a place where high school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high school kids have always gotten into. It’s the place where Pete Simmons, armed only with the magnifying glass he got for his tenth birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out. Not much later, a mud-covered station wagon (which is strange because there hadn’t been any rain in New England for over a week) veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that says “closed, no services.” The driver’s door opens but nobody gets out. By the time Pete Simmons wakes up from his vodka nap, there are half a dozen cars at the Mile 81 rest stop. But two kids and a horse are the only living things left...unless you maybe count the wagon. With the heart of Stand By Me and the genius horror of Christine, Mile 81 is Stephen King unleashing his imagination as he drives past one of those road signs. In the bonus story “The Dune,” originally published in Granta’s October 2011 horror issue, retired Florida Supreme Court Judge Harvey Beecher tells his lawyer about a mysterious sand dune on an unnamed island a short distance off the Gulf coastline of his family’s property. Harvey first visited the island at the age of ten in 1932, after his grandfather, a scoundrel and land speculator who’d created the family fortune, told him Blackbeard’s treasure might be buried there. Traveling to the island became a daily addiction for Harvey…and now his lawyer is about to discover the shocking reason why.
Stephen Edwin King was born in 1947 in the city of Portland, Maine. He attended the University of Maine, where he received a B.A. degree in English in 1970. He married his present wife, Tabitha, in 1971, and they have three children. King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His novels have sold more than 350 million copies. Many have been made into films, television movies, and comics. He has published 54 novels using a pen name (Richard Bachman) for a few of them. Many of his stories take place in his home state of Maine.
He has won about every possible literary award beginning with his 1980 novella, The Way Station. His most notable literary award was in 2007 for the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America.King has had the common human weaknesses including alcoholism and drug addiction. His health during that period was so bad that he barely remembered writing the novel, Cujo. The first novel written after he quit all dependent drugs and alcohol was Needful Things.Stephen King's wife, Tabitha, has published nine of her own novels along with both sons being published writers. His daughter is a Unitarian Universalism Church minister with her same sex partner.
A life altering happening beset King in June of 1999. King was walking on the shoulder of Route 5, in Lovell, Maine, when a driver, who was distracted by an unrestrained dog, struck him from behind. His severe injuries kept him in the hospital until July 9. His lawyer purchased the van that hit him to prevent it from being sold on eBay. It was crushed at a junkyard. King thought that he would not write again, but did resume writing with this caveat, "I'm writing, but I'm writing at a slower pace".
His most notable novels are: Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, Misery, It, The Dark Tower, Under the Dome, and The Shawshank Redemption.