Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: The Day After and Other Stories by Wil Wheaton @wilw

Did you know that Wil Wheaton came out with a book of short stories? I got my hands on a copy of The Day After and Other Stories a few weeks ago and just got the chance to sit down and really enjoy it. It was part of a very short release in December, and I am so happy I bought it for two reasons.

One: It's wicked good.
Two: I got a tweet from Wil himself!!!!!!

Yep, so here is the story. When I bought it, I got a very nice automated email from Wil, thanking me for buying his book. So of course, I tweeted this:

To which I got this as a response:

Needless to say, I fell off my chair, then babbled incoherently for about twenty minutes. I did handle it better than I thought I would, especially after my first Wheaton encounter.

Oh since this is a review, I should probably talk about the book. The Day After and Other Stories has four short stories, ranging in size and topic. Despite what I anticipated, these were not all sci-fi/fantasy stories. The element that ties the book together is that these are people stories. Each tale, no matter the length, touches upon the human condition. The title story, The Day After, is a zombie survivor story. One kid is trying to deal with his realization that his world is gone forever and there is no going back. Frankly, this story freaked me out but in that good way. You know, when you feel that connection to the characters. My favorite part is that he gives an intro for each story and his reasoning for writing it. One story, Language Barriers, is based on a conversation he overheard one day. Another story, Room 302, is based on a photo that a friend gave him. He even manages to bring his love of poker into a touching story about a bar patron called Poor Places.

In the intro for the book, Wil Wheaton says that he wrote this for his fans that wanted him to write more fiction. Well, the only fiction works of yours that I have read are this and The Last Unicorn (Pegasus Kitten) from Clash of the Geeks. Mr. Wheaton, I have to agree with them. You have great talent for drawing a person into a story and you should explore that.

Sadly, The Day After and Other Stories is no longer available, but I'm sure if enough people tweet him about it, he will cave to your demands. The Mob Shall Not Be Ignored! Until then, you should check out his bookstore, where he sells other literary delights!