Holy Jingle by Alan Dean Foster

I loved that this short story bought in the Chinese settlers to the Western front. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it worked brilliantly. And I love that it bought in a new perspective that I hadn’t really expected / anticipated. It wasn’t quite what I’ve come to expect from Weird Westerns. But I loved the departure from the expected.

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Command by James Warner Bellah

I like that some of this short story is about questioning the whys and the whats of the war against the Indians. Or at least, that was my understanding of who the war was between. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure because I don’t know that much of the American West and the different groups which were in play during the time…

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Sweet Poison Wine by Seanan McGuire

Jonathan and Frances Healy are beginning their new lives together with that most traditional of celebrations: the honeymoon. Leaving their infant son with Jonathan's parents, the Healys are leaving Buckley Township, Michigan for the cosmopolitan wonders of the city of Chicago, where they can properly celebrate the fact that they managed to have a wedding without anybody winding up dead.

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Married in Green by Seanan McGuire

This short story opens with a bit of a quote. A saying about marriage that is full of superstition, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a unique and fun way to set the setting for this short story. The fact that it hints at some possible sadness in the future of Fran and Johnny’s lives doesn’t really make me feel super happy and lighthearted. But it was a good way to start a story about a marriage in the insane Healy clan.

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Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

I first read this book when I was about ten years old. My mum probably didn’t quite realise what an intense story she was buying me. But it was certainly a great read, even back then. But, now? As an adult? Wow. I had actually forgotten just how damn good this book actually is! It’s brilliantly written, has a seriously intense storyline, manages to somehow be relatable in unrelatable circumstances, and, the part that I probably like the most… it has a great and strong character development / arc that makes you want to pick up the next book immediately and without reservation.

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The Mansion of Imperatives by James Grady

So this is a super dark and powerful and uncomfortable story. It’s kind of awesome. But definitely give you the heebie jeebies as you read it. It’s pretty obvious that it’s going to be like that from the very beginning though. There is no misleading from that first sentence that this is likely to be a fun or light-hearted story. Actually, from the first sentence I kind of just assumed that they would all die…

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Bookkeeper, Narrator, Gunslinger by Charles Yu

I’ve been reading a lot of western short stories lately. Yet, weirdly enough, this felt like the first story which features a gunslinger. I’m not entirely sure how that hasn’t happened before now. But I definitely loved reading about a gunslinger. The fact that he’s a bit of a dweeby guy who is also the town narrator and bookkeeper… it just made me that, that, that much happier…

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