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Wednesday, 29 November, 2000, 08:45 GMT
King's e-book stalls
Stephen King
King wants to work on other projects
Fans of horror writer Stephen King who have paid to read his latest novel on the internet face years of wait before they find out the ending.

King published The Plant on his website in monthly instalments for fans to download at $1 (60p) a time.

But when they tried to download the latest instalment they were told the story was "going back into hibernation".

King said: "I'm sure it can survive a year or two while I work on projects."

He began the book, relying on the honesty of readers to pay on a chapter by chapter basis.

He warned readers that unless 75% of readers paid up he would stop writing.

No charge

The author told fans his e-novel would be put on hold after they downloaded the latest instalment, chapter five.

King said the reason was "so that I can continue work on Black House.

"I also need to complete work on two new novels and see if I can't get going on The Dark Tower Again."

The delay will be a disappointment to his fans who have paid up to $7 (5) for the book so far.

The multi-millionaire author will post one more chapter on the site, free of charge, before stopping.

He said: "The last time The Plant furled its leaves, the story remained dormant for 19 years."

A climax "of sorts" has been promised by the author to answer some of the readers' questions.

King signed off his note to readers: "Nastily, permanently."

The author has promised at least two more chapters, which the reader would have to pay for, while any further instalments would be posted free.

See also:

01 Oct 99 | Entertainment
King crash driver faces charges
20 Jun 99 | Americas
Horror writer hurt in accident
04 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Author King to chill again
09 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Author King rides the e-tide
14 Mar 00 | Entertainment
King's e-book goes online
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