Title: The Hell-Bound Stagecoach
Author: Mike Resnick
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Humour, Weird Westerns, Westerns
Dates read: 29th June 2020
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
5th sentence, 74th page: She indicated her basket.
Ben and Miss Alicia are travelling to the end of the line. Along the way, they pick up the Wichita Kid and another mysterious traveller. But when they realise that they don’t want to ride to the end of the line… things get a little… hell-bound.
I had a good giggle at this short story. Which makes sense, because I have frequently found myself giggling a little at Resnick’s writing. There is this incredibly satirical, dry sense to his writing that manages to fit perfectly into the genres he is writing in, whilst simultaneously highlighting some of the more ridiculous aspects of them.
At the beginning of this story, I didn’t really think much about the fact that Ben and Abigail were travelling in the same coach together. To the end of the line. It didn’t really seem like anything drastically surreal or monumental. Until the second man, the Witchita Kid got into the coach. Then I began to realise that maybe things weren’t quite what they seem in this story line… that’s when the smiling and giggling really and truly began…
The characters in this may be “bad”, but they were also completely delightful. They made you want them to win the final altercation. Even if it really wasn’t something that could be considered “for the best”. I love stories in which the “bad guys” are the ones you’re gunning for… pun and everything intended.