Dead-eyed, mindless and covered with sores, meth addicts — wandering an urban wasteland and driven by an insatiable hunger — are the closest real-world equivalent to zombies. So what happens if you take those tweakers and make them the sole survivors in a world overrun by actual undead? That's the premise of Colorado writer Peter Stenson's debut novel Fiend, a book that takes the stock zombie mythos and twists it some unusual ways.
"[Reviewers are] kind of saying 'Breaking Bad meets Walking Dead,' and I definitely get it, because there's zombies and meth, but the comparisons stop there," Stenson says. "I thought it would be weird and interesting to look at a world where quitting drugs was not an option. That was the genesis for the book."
That's right: The meth heads in Fiend have no choice but to stay high to stay alive. And with a drug as insidious and destructive as meth, it's hard to say who's better off — the living or the undead. Stenson's protagonists find out the hard way as they grapple with both the drug-fueled savagery of their fellow survivors/addicts and the hordes of flesh-hungry monsters everywhere.Stenson will read from and sign Fiend at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. Admission is free; the book is $22. For more information, visit tatteredcover.com.