Book tip: "Gwendy's Magic Feather" by Richard Chizmar
A few years ago, Richard Chizmar, head of horror specialty publisher Cemetery Dance, collaborated on a novella called "Gwendy's Button Box" with none other than Stephen King. The work followed the life of Gwendy Peterson from 12 to 22, when she shifts from awkward adolescence to confident young adulthood — with and despite the powers of the mysterious and titular box, which dispenses treasures and atrocities and over which Wendy has control for reasons she doesn't understand. Chizmar goes solo in this short novel sequel, and Wendy is now a 37-year-old bestselling novelist AND U.S. Congresswomen. This is a quick and irresistible bit of dark fantasy. As demonstrated in the first "Gwendy" and through his own novels and collections, Chizmar is effortlessly and impressively capable of not only swimming gracefully in the whitewater currents of King's clever and idiomatic style, he stands solidly on his own.