The Langoliers Art
Works / Novellas

The Langoliers

The Langoliers Art

Released

September 24th, 1990

Available Format(s)

In Collection

A group of travelers on a red-eye flight from California to Maine wake up to discover that most of their fellow passengers have vanished mid-flight, along with the pilots and flight attendants.

Available In

Name
Type
Date
Story Collection
September 1990

Inspiration

Stories come at different times and places for me—in the car, in the shower, while walking, even while standing around at parties. On a couple of occasions, stories have come to me in dreams. But it's very rare for me to write one as soon as the idea comes, and I don't keep an "idea notebook." Not writing ideas down is an exercise in self-preservation. I get a lot of them, but only a small percentage are any good, so I tuck them all into a kind of mental file. The bad ones eventually self-destruct in there, like the tape from Control at the beginning of every Mission Impossible episode. The good ones don't do that. Every now and then, when I open the file drawer to peek at what's left inside, this small handful of ideas looks up at me, each with its own bright central image.

With "The Langoliers," that image was of a woman pressing her hand over a crack in the wall of a commercial jetliner.

It did no good to tell myself I knew very little about commercial aircraft; I did exactly that, but the image was there every time I opened the file cabinet to dump in another idea, nevertheless. It got so I could even smell that woman's perfume (it was L'Envoi), see her green eyes, and hear her rapid, frightened breathing.

One night, while I was lying in bed, on the edge of sleep, I realized this woman was a ghost.

I remember sitting up, swinging my feet out onto the floor, and turning on the light. I sat that way for a little while, not thinking about much of anything ... at least on top. Underneath, however, the guy who really runs this job for me was busy clearing his workspace and getting ready to start up all his machines again. The next day, I—or he—began writing this story.

Characters

Hide List Show List
Name
Description
God
Mentioned in passing
Grateful Dead Band
thought of by Albert Kaussner
Jesus
Mentioned in passing
King Tut
Mentioned in passing
Led Zepplin
Band that Albert Kaussner often played on the violin
Mary
From the children's story about Mary and her Lamb
Mary
Mother of Jesus
Muffin
A man with a peg leg who was in a dream of Albert Kaussner's while on American Pride Flight 29
Saul
Biblical character mentioned in passing
Stanley
Darren Crosby's cat
?, Shawna
Aunt of Bethany Simms
?, Vicky
Aunt of Dinah Bellman
Bellman, Dinah Catherine
A 10-year-old blind girl who could "Sight Share" with other people.
Bellman, Mrs.
Mother of Dinah Bellman
Berlitz, Charles
Wrote a book on the Bermuda Triangle and the disappearances in it.
Bond, James
Character in spy movies and books.
Briggs, ?
Name in a folder at the rental car stand in Bangor airport
Brimley, Wilford
Actor mentioned in passing
Burns, Bobby
Quoted by Nick Hopewell
Callender, Newgate
Author mentioned in passing
Chanel, Coco
Mentioned in passing
Christopher, John
Writer mentioned in passing
Cooper, Gary
Actor mentioned in passing
Crosby, Darren
Supposed to meet Laurel Stevenson at the airport in Boston.
Crusoe, Robinson
Mentioned in passing
Crystal, Billy
Actor in the in-flight movie on American Pride Flight 29
Dalton, Emmett
Brother of Ike Dalton
Dalton, Ike
Brother of Emmett Dalton
Dalton, Paw
Father of Emmett and Ike Dalton
De Havilland, Olivia
Actress mentioned in passing
Deegan, John
American Pride Deputy Chief of Operations at Los Angeles.
Dickey, James
Poet mentioned in passing
Dillinger, John
Mentioned in passing
DiMaggio, Joe
Baseball player
Dvorak
Musician/Composer
Earhart, Amelia
Pilot who went missing over the Pacific Ocean
Earp, Virgil
Brother of Wyatt Earp.
Earp, Wyatt
Brother of Virgil Earp.
Engle, Anne
Ex-Wife of Brian Engle, married name of Anne Quinlan.
Engle, Brian
43-year-old Pilot who was returning home on American Pride Flight 29
Engle, Mrs.
Mother of Brian Engle
Feldman, Dr.
Dinah Bellman's doctor
Fenwick, ?
Name in a folder at the rental car stand in Bangor airport
Floyd, Pretty Boy
Mentioned in passing
Gaffney, Don
One of the passengers on American Pride Flight 29
Halliday, Doc
In a dream of Albert Kaussner's while on American Pride Flight 29
Handleford, ?
Name in a folder at the rental car stand in Bangor airport
Hauer, Rutger
In a dream of Albert Kaussner's while on American Pride Flight 29
Heinlein, Robert
Writer mentioned in passing
Heston, Charlton
Actor mentioned in passing
Holby, Tom
Senior Vice President of Desert Sun Banking Corporation, which employed Craig Toomy.
Holmes, Sherlock
Detective mentioned in passing
Hopewell, Mr. (The Gaffer)
Father of Nick Hopewell.
Hopewell, Mrs.
Mother of Nick Hopewell
Hopewell, Nicholas (Nick)
One of the people on American Pride Flight 29 that survived the initial time-rift.
James, Frank
In a dream of Albert Kaussner's while on American Pride Flight 29
Jenkins, Robert
One of the people on American Pride Flight 29
Jones, Indiana
Movie character mentioned in passing
Kaussner, Albert (Ace) (The Arizona Jew)
One of the people on American Pride Flight 29
Kaussner, David
Brother of Albert Kaussner.
Kaussner, Mr.
Father of Albert Kaussner
Kaussner, Mrs.
Mother of Albert Kaussner
Keene, Danny
Co-Pilot for Brian Engle on American Pride Flight 7 from Tokyo to Los Angeles
Kennedy, John F.
US President who was killed 22 November 1963
Langoliers, The
Creatures that clean up time after we have progressed into the future.
Larson, Gary
Cartoonist mentioned in passing
Lee, Miss
Dinah Bellman's blind therapist - blind since birth.
Marchant, ?
Name in a folder at the rental car stand in Bangor airport
Markey, ?
Airport Security at Bangor Airport
Mozart
Musician/Composer thought of by Albert Kaussner
Niven, Larry
Science Fiction writer
Nixon, Richard
Politician mentioned in passing
O'Banion, Mr.
A politician that Nick Hopewell was supposed to stop from supporting the IRA.
O'Brian, Hugh
In his dream on American Pride Flight 29, Albert Kaussner looked a lot like Hugh O'Brian
Parker, Mr.
The president of Desert Sun Banking Corporation.
Patton
General mentioned in passing
Pestleman, ?
Name in a folder at the rental car stand in Bangor airport
Pickins, Slim
In a dream of Albert Kaussner's while on American Pride Flight 29
Poirot, Hercule
Detective mentioned in passing
Quinlan, Anne
Maiden name of Anne Engle.
Rohmer, Sax
Wrote the Fu Manchu novels
Rush, Merrilee
Country singer thought of by Craig Toomy
Ryan, Meg
Actress in the in-fight movie on American Pride Flight 29
Scrooge, Mr.
Cartoon character mentioned in passing
Searles, Steve
Navigator with Brian Engle on American Pride Flight 7 from Tokyo to Los Angeles
Simms, Bethany
One of the people on American Pride Flight 29 who lived.
Simms, Mrs.
Mother of Bethany Simms.
Simpson, O.J.
Mentioned in passing
Spock, Mr.
Character in Star Trek
Stevenson, ?
Sister of Laurel Stevenson.
Stevenson, Laurel
One of the people on American Pride Flight 29 who lived.
Stravinsky, ?
Musician/Composer thought of by Albert Kaussner
Sutherland, Donald
In a dream of Albert Kaussner's while on American Pride Flight 29
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Writer mentioned in passing
Toomy, Catherine
Mother of Craig.
Toomy, Craig
He was on American Pride Flight 29.
Toomy, Roger
Father of Craig.
Travis
Colonel at the Alamo
Trevor, Melanie
Stewardess on American Pride Flight 29.
Van Dyne, S.S.
Author of detective novels.
Vance, Philo
Detective in S.S. Van Dyne novels
Varley, John
Science Fiction writer
Warwick, Rudy
One of the people on American Pride Flight 29 who lived.
Williams, Ralph
Vaughan Musician/Composer thought of by Albert Kaussner
Williams, Ted
Baseball player
Wyndham, John
Writer mentioned in passing
...
...

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