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Just After Sunset  
First edition cover
Author Stephen King
Country USA
Language English
Genre(s) Horror fiction
Publisher Scribner
Publication date November 11, 2008
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 367
ISBN 978-1416584087
Preceded by Everything's Eventual
Followed by Full Dark, No Stars

Just After Sunset is the fifth collection of short stories by Stephen King. It was released in hardcover by Scribner on November 11, 2008, and features a holographic dust jacket. On February 6, 2008, the author's official website revealed the title of the collection to be Just Past Sunset. About a month later, the title was subtly changed to Just After Sunset. Previous titles mentioned in the media by Stephen King himself were Pocket Rockets and Unnatural Acts of Human Intercourse.[1]

On February 19, the author's official site revealed twelve stories that will comprise the collection, mentioning the possibility that one additional "bonus story" could be included, and on April 16 "The Cat from Hell" (a much anthologized but heretofore uncollected short story originally published in 1977) was added to the contents list.

King planned to begin writing a new novel, but after he was asked to edit The Best American Short Stories 2007, he was inspired to write short stories instead.[2]

Upon King's request, a limited edition was released, along with the regular version, featuring a DVD collection of the 25 episodes of the online animated series based on N., one of the stories collected in this volume.[3]


Stories collected

Title Originally published in
Willa December 2006 issue of Playboy
The Gingerbread Girl July 2007 issue of Esquire
Harvey's Dream June 2003 issue of The New Yorker
Rest Stop December 2003 issue of Esquire
Stationary Bike Borderlands 5 (2003)
The Things They Left Behind Transgressions (2005)
Graduation Afternoon March 2007 issue of Postscripts
N. Previously unpublished
The Cat from Hell June 1977 issue of Cavalier
The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates October/November 2008 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Mute December 2007 issue of Playboy
Ayana Fall 2007 issue of The Paris Review
A Very Tight Place May 2008 issue of McSweeney's


Special edition cover

References to other King works in Just After Sunset

(Arranged in Story Order)
  • "Harvey's Dream"

Janet looks at the "yellow calluses" on husband Harvey's "great toes," which remind her of "Wallace Stevens having on about 'The Emperor of Ice Cream'." This poem features prominently in other King works, particularly Salem's Lot and Kingdom Hospital. The phrase "viva ze bool" is used when Janet mentions her next door neighbor. This phrase is frequently used by Norman Daniels as he goes insane in the novel Rose Madder.

  • "Stationary Bike"

The Lipid worker Mitchell Whelan has a name similar to the artist who worked on Dark Tower 1 and Dark Tower 7 (Michael Whelan)

N. mentions the town of Castle Rock, where several of King's stories – including the Dead Zone, The Dark Half, and Needful Things – are set.

Several character names that appeared in the 1977 "Cat From Hell" would later appear in King's 1983 novel Pet Sematary; the butler in "CFH" is named Gage, as is Louis Creed's son in PS, and the theme of a hellcat is revisited as the family's cat Church is struck and killed by a truck only to return home the next day "a little dead." Louis Creed notes that "the cat also smells of death."

  • "Mute"

In part two of this story, the main character recounts how his wife and her lover, "Cowboy Bob," had gone up to Derry and spent a couple of days at a place called Hollywood Slots. The town of Derry, Maine is the setting of King's 1986 novel It and many of his other novels and stories.

The eponymous little girl in this story seems to have healing powers similar to those of John Coffey in King's serial novel The Green Mile.

References to other works in Just After Sunset

Arthur Machen and the Cthulhu Mythos
  • It has been stated that N. is rife with Cthulhu Mythos allusions and references. King, however, has denied a link to Lovecraft saying the story was inspired by Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan stating: "Not Lovecraft; it’s a riff on Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan,” which is one of the best horror stories ever written. Maybe the best in the English language. Mine isn’t anywhere near that good, but I loved the chance to put neurotic behavior—obsessive/compulsive disorder—together with the idea of a monster-filled macroverse." [4] Given that Machen's work was openly praised and paid homage to by H.P. Lovecraft and thus helped inspire the Cthulhu Mythos some confusion is inevitable.


External links

See also


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