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Friday, March 25, 2022

King, Chizmar Wrap Up Gwendy Trilogy

Written by Jon Williams

A new novel from Stephen King is on its way. Fairy Tale, due out September 6, promises a tale of dark fantasy, and will be King’s first solo novel since last year’s Billy Summers. But those constant readers (or listeners) looking for something else set in the land of King’s fertile imagination need look only for a recent collaborative release flying somewhat under the radar.

Released in February, Gwendy’s Final Task, written with Richard Chizmar, concludes the tale that began with Gwendy’s Button Box, released in 2017. Set in King’s famous fictional town of Castle Rock, it details the series of events that ensue when young Gwendy Peterson is approached by a mysterious stranger and entrusted with a powerful magical device.

While King collaborated with Richard Chizmar for the first and third installment in the saga, the second, 2019’s Gwendy’s Magic Feather, was written solely by Chizmar. Well known in horror circles as the publisher of Cemetery Dance magazine, he has also edited and contributed to a number of horror anthologies. In 2021, he released the well-received fictional “true crime” novel Chasing the Boogeyman.

King, of course, is no stranger to collaborations. His first was 1984’s The Talisman, written with fellow horror author Peter Straub. They teamed up again for a sequel, Black House, in 2001. He has also written with each of his sons. He and Joe Hill got together for the novellas Throttle, an homage to Richard Matheson, and In the Tall Grass, both published in Hill’s collection Full Throttle. And in 2017, King collaborated with his son Owen for the bestselling novel Sleeping Beauties.

And because longtime King fans will want to know: yes, the Gwendy books do have the connections to his other works that he loves to include. Stories set in Castle Rock include The Dead Zone, Cujo, The Body, The Dark Half, The Sun Dog, Needful Things, and Elevation, as well as numerous short stories found in Skeleton Crew, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. The Gwendy stories also tie into his magnum opus, the eight-volume Dark Tower series (which begins with The Gunslinger).

Even with these connections, it’s not necessary to read these stories in any particular order, so readers and listeners can feel free to jump in at any point. The stories on your shelves are sure to provide hours of entertainment for fans old and new—use the links above, or browse around on our website to find other novels and collections, available in physical formats and digitally on hoopla Flex.