One of the most common settings in Stephen King's novels and short stories is Derry, Maine, mostly known for being where his hit novel IT takes place, but there are other stories that also take place in this dark town. For decades, King has been building his own universe of horror creatures and events, some of which have become pop culture icons, but he has also taken readers to strange towns with very dark secrets underneath: Castle Rock, Jerusalem’s Lot (or Salem’s Lot), and Derry, all part of his fictional Maine topography.
Derry is mostly famous for being the home of the evil, shape-shifting entity that takes the shape of Pennywise, the Dancing Clown, but this town has also been the setting of other novels and short stories from King’s universe, confirming that there’s something evil living in Derry – aside from IT, of course.
The first reference to Derry is in the sci-fi novel The Running Man (1982), and was first used as a setting in IT. King went back to Derry in 1994 with Insomnia (which is also related to the Dark Tower series), which follows a recent widower struggling to recover from the death of his wife, and who finds himself waking up earlier and earlier each day. Bag of Bones (1998) and the short story The Road Virus Heads North (1999) are also set in Derry, although only partially, as well as 11/22/63, the latest novel to have some of its events happening in this town.
The latest story to take place in Derry completely is the novella Fair Extension (2010), found in the Full Dark, No Stars collection, as well as Dreamcatcher, published in 2001. As King’s universe is a connected one, with characters, places, and events from some novels being referenced in others, Derry is mentioned in a number of stories, such as The Body (adapted to the big screen as Stand By Me in 1986), Pet Sematary, Misery, Needful Things, Gerald’s Game, and Lisey’s Story.
Derry is not only the setting of some truly dark and disturbing events in the literary world of Stephen King, but also the home of beloved characters like the Losers Club and Dick Hallorann (The Shining). Although a place with evil literally living underneath it, Derry will keep on adding stories to the ever-expanding King universe, and with them more memorable characters fighting against all shapes and forms of said evil forces.
- IT Chapter Two (2019) release date: Sep 06, 2019