Tag Archives: Wendig

Corn-y Fiction

Under The Empyrean Sky
I’m all about spreading the love. So I’m going to give away a copy of the Kindle version of Under The Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig.

Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It’s the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow ? and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables, trying to earn much-needed ace notes for their families. But Cael’s tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He’s sick of the mayor’s son besting Cael’s crew in the scavenging game. And he’s worried about losing Gwennie ? his first mate and the love of his life ? forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry ? angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn’t seem upset about any of it. Cael’s ready to make his own luck . . . even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.(less)

I’m gonna make you work for it though. I want you to write a piece of flash fiction for me. Write something between two hundred fifty and seven hundred fifty words. Corn needs to play a central part. Make it funny or scary or sexy, I don’t care. Post it here in the comments or post it to your blog/social media site and put a link here so I’ll know about it. Just to take any sense of favoritism or anything else out of it, the winner will be chosen a week from today by random number drawing.

If I don’t get at least five entrants I won’t do a drawing, so encourage folks to check out the contest!

Review – Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig (E-book)

mockingbird-72dpi I think I may officially be a Chuck Wendig fan boy. I’ve reviewed Double Dead and Bait Dog and they both got glowing reviews. I read his blog and follow him on Twitter. All of this and I still managed not to realize that the book I’m reviewing today, Mockingbird, is in fact the SEQUEL to Blackbirds. I bought it, read it, and imagine my surprise at the end where he thanks people for reading and reviewing Blackbirds and making Mockingbird possible. D’OH! I’ll rectify that by buying and possibly reviewing it. So on with the review of this book.

Synopsis: Miriam is trying. Really, she is.

But this whole “settling down thing” that Louis has going for her just isn’t working out. She lives on Long Beach Island all year around. Her home is a run-down double-wide trailer. She works at a grocery store as a check-out girl. And her relationship with Louis–who’s on the road half the time in his truck–is subject to the piss and vinegar Miriam brings to everything she does.

It just isn’t going well. Still, she’s keeping her psychic ability–to see when and how someone is going to die just by touching them–in check. But even that feels wrong somehow. Like she’s keeping a tornado stoppered up in a tiny bottle.

Then comes one bad day that turns it all on her ear.

This is either the best synopsis or the worst. If it’s the best it’s because even thought I’ve read the book, it makes me want to read the book again. If it’s the worst it’s because you have no idea what happens in this book. Of course, if you’re a fan of the writer or have read the first one, you might have a few guesses. People die messily. The main character and every other character that lives gets FUCKED WITH BIG TIME. It ends badly for almost everyone. You laugh your butt off at least a half dozen times (if you have a sense of humor like me). You cringe at least twice that much. (In addition to the synopsis this may also be part of the review.)

More specifically, Miriam’s boyfriend Louis tells Katey, a teacher friend of his, about Miriam’s unique gift. Katey wants to know when and how she dies. In the process of answering the question, Miriam uncovers a series of grisly murders that will be happening in the near future. She feels the need to prevent them and gets embroiled in a weird ass show down.

If you like your fiction extra dark written by an author who seems to revel in making you squirm then this book is well worth checking out. If you haven’t read the first one then perhaps you should, but I didn’t and had no problem catching up with the program. Miriam isn’t a very likable character and yet I found myself drawn to her. That takes some mad skillz. The rest of the characters are quite a bit more likable but I didn’t see nary a one stereotype or cardboard cutout. Since, for me, character is the most important bit in storytelling I give this five out of five raven’s wings.

Mockingbird on Amazon
Chuck’s Website

Review – Double Dead by Chuck Wendig (Dead Tree Book)

DD press advert If you haven’t heard of Chuck Wendig then you haven’t seen my review of Bait Dog or my raves about him on Twitter. He’s a talented man and his blog posts are probably the funniest (and most profane) things that you’ll read on the internet.

What brings you here today (I hope) is the review of his newest book Double Dead

Coburn’s been dead now for close to a century, but seeing as how he’s a vampire and all, it doesn’t much bother him. Or at least it didn’t, not until he awoke from a forced five-year slumber to discover that most of human civilization was now dead—but not dead like him, oh no.

See, Coburn likes blood. The rest of the walking dead, they like brains. He’s smart. Them, not so much. But they outnumber him by about a million to one. And the clotted blood of the walking dead cannot sustain him. Now he’s starving. And nocturnal. And more pissed-off than a bee-stung rattlesnake. The vampire not only has to find human survivors (with their sweet, sweet blood), but now he has to transition from predator to protector—after all, a man has to look after his food supply.

So, should you read this book? If this quote from the author doesn’t grab you:

This ain’t Twilight, folks. Only way Coburn glitters is if he kills and eats a stripper.

Then maybe my TL;DR review will:

Buy this.

In case that’s not enough, here we go. I generally like my horror to be subtle these days. I enjoy the sorts of creepiness that happen off the screen or in my imagination. Reading this blood soaked carnival ride from Hell is one the occasional exceptions. Why is that? One word; characters.

If you’re going to send me through a dark world where some people have turned to cannibalism to survive and the body count on the page is high, you have to give me characters with some depth. While Coburn is the blood fueled terror that I believe vampires should be, there’s more to him than that. He’s not tortured by what he is, at least not at first. It’s not until he meets an odd little family of survivors and a girl who refuses to be afraid of him that he starts to wonder about his own past and his new role as protector of humanity. The conflict Wendig wrings out of that is delicious.

Okay there are actually more words. Wendig knows how to use humor to lighten up the bleakest story (CREAMPUFF THE WONDER TERRIER). He does things that surprise me (Insane Clown Posse loving despot). He takes the most basic tropes in the horror genre and infuses his own madness into them (mutant zombies, a unique cause for the zombie outbreak, a dying girl that may be the key to unlocking a cure to the whole mess).

The book isn’t perfect. There are a few characters that fall flat. Once or twice he pulled things out of his hat that were over the top even for a book like this. All in all though, if the premise and my above words are enough to make you want it, then go buy it!

I give it four and a half fangs.