And so we arrive at harvest time. The air has chilled. The trees are bursting with red fruit. The hinge of your jaw tightens with want as you can taste the apple even before you bite it, bringing with it not only juice and tartness but also, the promise of being better than everyone, of being the greatest version of yourself, perfect and special in every way, damn any who disagree, and damn any who will not dare to take a bite of this red-black apple.
Black River Orchard is out this week. (Next week in the UK.)
Let us get your procurement options out of the way, with special note that Your Local Bookstore is always the best, unless you wish for a book that I have mauled with both my signature and some crass personalization — in which case, you’re best getting from either Doylestown Bookshop or any of of the bookstores I will be visiting in the coming weeks. Finally, signed copies available also through The Signed Page!
Otherwise, your choices include but are not limited to:
About the Book
A small town is transformed when seven strange trees begin bearing magical apples in this masterpiece of horror from the bestselling author of Wanderers and The Book of Accidents.
“Chuck Wendig is one of my very favorite storytellers. Black River Orchard is a deep, dark, luscious tale that creeps up on you and doesn’t let go.”—Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus
It’s autumn in the town of Harrow, but something besides the season is changing there.
Because in that town there is an orchard, and in that orchard, seven most unusual trees. And from those trees grows a new sort of apple: strange, beautiful, with skin so red it’s nearly black.
Take a bite of one of these apples, and you will desire only to devour another. And another. You will become stronger. More vital. More yourself, you will believe. But then your appetite for the apples and their peculiar gifts will keep growing—and become darker.
This is what happens when the townsfolk discover the secret of the orchard. Soon it seems that everyone is consumed by an obsession with the magic of the apples… and what’s the harm, if it is making them all happier, more confident, more powerful?
Even if something else is buried in the orchard besides the seeds of these extraordinary trees: a bloody history whose roots reach back to the very origins of the town.
But now the leaves are falling. The days grow darker. It’s harvest time, and the town will soon reap what it has sown.
“Wendig wows with this wildly unsettling horror tale… Wendig is brilliant at slowly raising the plot’s emotional temperature and making his characters, caught in a creeping nightmare, feel both real and empathetic. This masterful outing should continue to earn Wendig comparisons to Stephen King.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Wendig writes doorstoppers, but it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone here, from the creepy Eyes Wide Shut vibe (complete with sacrificial rituals) to the Stephen King–laced dichotomy between the world’s everyday cruelty and the truly grotesque carnage that follows. Both complex and compelling, a nightmare-inducing parable about our own wickedness.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An epic saga that is at once a propulsive horror novel and a parable, a thriller and a cautionary tale, Black River Orchard is the immensely talented Chuck Wendig at his finest.”—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six
“A gripping story of love and legacies gone rotten, deeply rooted in the landscape and as twisty and gnarled as an ancient apple tree.”—T. Kingfisher, USA Today bestselling author of What Moves the Dead
“This will undoubtedly be heralded as one of the finest horror novels of the twenty-first century.”—Eric LaRocca, author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke
“Enchanting, exquisite and dark, Chuck Wendig masterfully weaves a new horrifying fairy tale in Black River Orchard.”—Cynthia Pelayo, Bram Stoker Award winner of Crime Scene
“Creepy and insidious, Black River Orchard whets your appetite and then turns you inside out.”—Hailey Piper, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of Queen of Teeth
“Black River Orchard should come with a warning label: You’ll never bite into another apple without remembering this dark, demented, and genuinely frightening novel.”—Jason Rekulak, author of Hidden Pictures
“Chuck Wendig’s Black River Orchard slithers and shines, its dangerous belly full of dark magic and accusations. I’ve been a fan of Wendig for years, and this is his best novel yet.”—Gabino Iglesias, Stoker Award-winning author of The Devil Takes You Home
“An essential for horror readers, and buy it for new horror readers—it will convert them instantly.”—V. Castro, author of The Haunting of Alejandra
“Plucks your heartstrings and preys on your fears at the same time . . . High-stakes horror meets peak emotional investment means Total. Reader. Devastation.”—Sadie Hartmann, author of 101 Horror Books to Read Before You’re Murdered
“A fresh and unexpected horror feat, expertly drawing from the ancient, endless wells of our greatest fears.”—Premee Mohamed, Nebula Award–winning author of Beneath the Rising
“A dark, frightening tale that will chill readers to the core.” —Booklist
“Insatiable, passionate, weird, and creepy, Wendig’s latest is perfect for those who appreciate the slow-burning horror tomes of Stephen King and Robert McCammon.” —Library Journal
What You Can Do?
I’m ringing this bell a lot, and I apologize — but while readers do not owe their authors anything beyond nabbing the story from a store or library, there are things you can do to help this book (and by proxy, me as an author) continue to exist in the world and not perish in a deep dark abyss of obscurity. Those things include:
- Tell people about the book! Word of mouth really, really, reaaaaaaally matters, and it is arguably the best and maybe even the only truly effective way for a book to reach its readership.
- Leave a review. Somewhere! Anywhere! Amazon, Goodreads, Storygraph, TikTok, Instagram, your blog, my heart, carved into an apple and thrown through the windows of your neighbors!
- Call your local library and ask if they’ll carry it.
- Come see me on tour. It helps, seriously. Bookstores wanna see you. I wanna see you. I want you to eat weird apples with me. It’s gonna be great. We’re forming a cult. There’s probably a creepy uhh I mean totally cool and not creepy van. Get in. Let’s ride to the orchard.
- Send me bags of apples and money! I mean, can’t hurt to ask.
Ten Things To Know About The Book
1. It’s best to go in with minimal spoilers. (This is admittedly my belief with all books, but this is one where I think the less you know, the more rewarding the total reading experience will be.)
2. Yes, it’s a big book, but damnit, it has short chapters. I work very hard to make these books as easy and addictive to read as possible. Not to say that always works, that’s on you to decide. But I do make every effort.
4. The cover is also amazing. US cover is designed by Regina Flath. Fuck yeah, Regina Flath. If there is a Regina Flath fanclub, I wish to join. Check out her Insta, and follow her there.
5. I don’t have any particular trigger/content warnings conjured (outside, well, this is a horror novel, so expect some of that horror up in there). Storygraph is always a good place to go to look for community-curated content warnings, where you can find or add them accordingly.
6. This seems like a “fall book,” and it is, in the sense it’s very apple- and harvest-focused, but the book itself (roughly) comprises a year of time, from harvest to harvest.
7. It takes place in Bucks County, PA, but also, not there, exactly. Readers of The Book of Accidents will pick up what I’m laying down.
8. Speaking of that, as always, I like to connect my stories in curious little ways, and you’ll find those Easter Eggs here, too. Readers of The Book of Accidents might even realize there are some hints in that book about this book written in all the way back then…
9. Lately I’ve taken to using the acknowledgments portion of my books as an afterword to talk about the book itself, and you’ll find that in this one, too.
10. Hey, at the very least, you’re gonna learn some shit about apples.
And that’s it. I can only yell so much about this book. I’m really happy with it. It’s the evil apples book that has lived in my heart for like, five years now, and it’s gonna be out in the world and from here, it’s yours. Yours to love or hate, yours to carry forward or kick into the dirt. I hope you love it. I hope my weird finds your weird and the intersection is this book. I hope its roots dig in. I hope it bears fruit.
I hope you’ll take a bite of my apple.
Maybe I’ll see you out there in tour.
Enjoy the book.