Hey! It’s here! Wayward, the sequel to the 2019 bestseller, Wanderers, has arrived in its glorious paperback form. It continues the tales of the characters from Wanderers, all of whom are dwelling in a world gravely and madly transformed by a (ahem, oops) global pandemic and by the artificial intelligence responsible for sending a flock of sleepwalkers to the town of Ouray, Colorado, in order to survive the end of the world. But the artificial intelligence, known as Black Swan, has grown strange in its proximity to humanity, and its desires and designs for the future of humanity grow darker and more dire day by day.
There’s also a golden retriever in it named Gumball. So that’s nice.
People said nice things about it:
“Chuck Wendig’s Wayward proves that there’s always more story to tell. If King had written a sequel to The Stand, it might look something like this monumental epic of a story. I don’t think I’ll get this book out of my head for a long time—maybe never.”—James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Kingdom of Bones
“As great as Wanderers was, Wayward is better: The best post-apocalyptic fiction combines grim extrapolation, great characters, and hope. Wendig nails it!”—Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Road of Bones
“Chuck Wendig has done it again. Salient, masterful, this is an author at the top of his game.”—Adam Christopher, New York Times bestselling author of Empire State
“IMAX-scale bleeding-edge techno-horror from a writer with a freshly sharpened scalpel.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
And if you read no other review of the book and still need convincing: Alex Brown’s review at Tor.com is truly something to behold, and I quite like their take on the book. Excerpt: “Wayward was written, in fits and starts, during the pandemic, and it’s impossible not to see how the real world bled into the fictional one. Could Wendig have written it without the pandemic? Sure, of course. It would’ve been a great science fiction thriller with lots to say about the human condition. But this version of the story feels tangible and truthful. It doesn’t feel so much predictive like Wanderers did but more like a reckoning or a reconciliation. Like catharsis. Like understanding. It’s not just a story of what could be but of what was and is and is still to come.”
I hope you check it out and enjoy it, and that you spread the word. To my surprise, I like this story even more than Wanderers, and that’s not nothing, given that I’m pretty pleased with the way that one turned out.
Also, if you want signed, personalized copies — I’m doing an event this week at Doylestown Bookshop with Philip Fracassi (Boys in the Valley) on Weds, and you can either show up and I’ll sign your book there, or you can order from the store and I’ll sign/personalize and they’ll ship right to you.
Finally, the UK version is also out now —
Similar covers, obviously, though feel free to let me know in the comments if you like one over the other, and why.
Thanks for checking out the book. Spread the word, leave a review, make a TikTok, scream about the book to doves and gulls, load a crate of the book into a trebuchet and launch it at the surrounding towns and villages, you know, normal stuff.
Your options for procurement:
Or, in the UK:
You can also check it out from your own local favorite indie, or you can request that your local library carry it.
(Audible and e-book are also options, of course.)
Finally, if you’ve already got this, do not forget about —
Black River Orchard.
Harvest time comes 9/26/23.
* some folks ask if there’s going to be a third book set after Wayward, and my answer is, truthfully, I’ve no idea, but at present I don’t expect to write one — if I have a full story to tell and the sales of Wayward make it sensible to do so, I’d consider it, but the nice thing is, these two books form a kind of inadvertent duology, and each tells a connecting tale, both different, both both part of a larger narrative. That said, I am perhaps writing a novella set after Wayward. More on that soon, to be sure…