With Stephen King’s new book ‘The Institute’ now on shelves, he’s set to speak at Somerville event

Stephen King
Stephen KingKENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images/File 2013/AFP/Getty Images

Constant Readers, rejoice: On the heels of the release of his latest novel, which hit shelves Tuesday, author Stephen King is slated to speak with fans during a special event at Somerville Theatre next month.

On Oct. 10, the master of horror will sit down alongside his son, author Joe Hill — who also has a new book of short stories coming out, called “Full Throttle” — to discuss their respective works, according to Porter Square Books, which is organizing the event.

Perhaps in keeping with their horror personas, tickets to the father-and-son speaking engagement will go on sale Friday, Sept. 13, the announcement said.


“We hope you’ll join us for what is bound to be a memorable evening,” the company said in a statement on its website, promoting the author double-feature.

The Maine resident’s appearance at the theater will center on the release of “The Institute,” a nearly 600-page tale about the “most sinister of institutions,” where children with special talents like telekinesis and telepathy are imprisoned and experimented on by corrupt staff who are “dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts.”

“As psychically terrifying as ‘Firestarter,’ and with the spectacular kid power of ‘It,’ ‘The Institute’ is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win,” according to a description of the book on the author’s website.

To remind fans that he wrote a new book, King announced its impending arrival with a tweet this week featuring one of his most iconic monsters: Pennywise the Dancing Clown, from “It.”

“Pennywise wants you to know THE INSTITUTE is coming this Tuesday,” King said in a post on Twitter that included a GIF of the evil, pale-faced clown, squeezing a red balloon.


Beyond trying to get the word out on social media, which has become one of his central ways of communicating with avid readers, King appeared on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday to discuss “The Institute,” his 61st book.

During the start of the sit-down with King, the camera panned to a bookshelf stocked with many of the author’s novels. When asked by “GMA” cohost Amy Robach what it was like to see that many of his books together in one spot, King replied, “It’s pretty scary, actually.”

“All of that came out of my head? I can’t believe it’s still round,” he quipped.

So what else gives the king of the macabre the creeps and keeps him “up at night,” the hosts wondered?

“Well,” King said, after taking a deep breath, “the current political situation for one thing.”

The response from King, who has been an outspoken critic of President Trump and his administration and policies, drew applause and laughter from the crowd.

King said he tries to keep his politics and storytelling separate. But in “The Institute,” the two crossed paths.

“There’s a little bit in the book,” King said on “GMA.” (According to the New York Times, the novel takes “more than one overt dig at Trump”).

Excitement around King’s tales has been brewing on and off the bookshelves recently. Last week, “It: Chapter 2” arrived in theaters nationwide, and in November, “Doctor Sleep,” the sequel to King’s classic “The Shining,” will hit the big screen, starring Ewan McGregor.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.