Tag Archives: Joe R. Lansdale

Dead Man’s Hand edited by John Joseph Adams

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: Dead Man’s Hand
Author: John Joseph Adams, Joe R. Lansdale, Ben H. Winters, David Farland, Mike Resnick, Seanan McGuire, Charles Yu, Alan Dean Foster, Beth Revis, Alastair Reynolds, Hugh Howey, Rajan Khanna, Orson Scott Card, Elizabeth Bear, Tad Williams, Jonathan Maberry, Kelley Armstrong, Tobias S. Buckell, Jeffrey Ford, Ken Liu, Laura Anne Gilman, Walter Jon Williams, Fred Van Lente & Christie Yant
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Short story collections, Weird western
Dates read: 4th June – 26th November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: “Am I interrupting?” she asked.

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Synopsis

HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD!

From a kill-or-be-killed gunfight with a vampire to an encounter in a steampunk bordello, the weird western is a dark, gritty tale where the protagonist might be playing poker with a sorcerous deck of cards, or facing an alien on the streets of a dusty frontier town.

Here are twenty-three original tales – stories of the Old West infused with elements of the fantastic – produced specifically for this volume by many of today’s finest writers. Included are Orson Scott Card’s first “Alvin Maker” story in a decade, and an original adventure by Fred Van Lente, writer of Cowboys & Aliens.

Thoughts

What a fantastic collection. And a great new genre to add to my ever-expanding knowledge of / collection of books. Before reading Dead Man’s Hand and Westward Weird, I had never heard of Weird westerns. And now it’s a genre that I’m seriously keen to find more of. There is just something amazingly fun and awesome about this collection. Very, very enjoyable.

The gunslingers and card players throughout this anthology took me on an absolutely joyous ride. One that I was kind of disappointed finished so quickly. The idea of the wild west has always intrigued me, making this the first time that I was completely able to thrown myself into this fascination.

This anthology didn’t quite get five stars because I didn’t fall head over heels for each and every story. Having said that, I would most definitely read this again. Even those stories which weren’t quite as holy crap amazing as the others.

<- Dead Man’s HandThe Red-Headed Dead ->

Image source: Amazon

The Red-Headed Dead by Joe R. Lansdale

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: The Red-Headed Dead
Author: Joe R. Lansdale
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Urban fantasy, Weird western, Westerns
Dates read: 8th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: No one answered.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

This is a story that starts with a dead horse… and steadily goes downhill.

Thoughts

I love that this weird western story includes the origins story of vampires. As in, the Judas origins story. I’m not really sure why… but I always love when this mythos is included in any kind of story. Partnering that with a western? It worked ridiculously well.

Although I enjoyed this story because of the content, I didn’t necessarily love the writing style. I found it a little disjointed and unapproachable. And a little hard to follow at times. Yet, I did really enjoy the storyline. So I found it hard to be frustrated by the style of writing when I was drawn in by the content.

This is a story that starts with a dead horse. That has had a pole flung through it’s brain. And that is the least violent moment throughout. It just steadily gets bloodier and bloodier. Which is exactly what a western should be… or at least, a weird western that features a vampire risen from the dead…

<- Dead Man’s Hand CollectionThe Old Slow Man and His Gold Gun From Space ->

Image source: Amazon

Blood Lite edited by Kevin J. Anderson

Overview
Blood Lite

Title: Blood Lite
Author: Kevin J. Anderson, Kelley Armstrong, Joe R. Lansdale, Lucien Soulban, Christopher Welch, Matt Venne, Don D’Amassa, Mark Onspaugh, J.A. Konrath, Paul Wilson, Charlaine Harris, Steven Savile, Will Ludwigsen, Janet Berliner, Eric James Stone, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Mike Resnick, D.L. Snell, Nancy Holder, Nancy Kilpatrick, Jeff Strand, Sharyn McCrumb & Jim Butcher
In: Blood Lite (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Horror, Short story collections
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Edge
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: Sometimes, especially if I’ve been drinking, and I’m hungry, I revert to my basic nature.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

The Horror Writers Association Presents Blood Lite…a collection of entertaining tales that puts the fun back into dark fiction, with ironic twists and tongue-in-cheek wit to temper the jagged edge.

Charlaine Harris reveals the dark side of going green, when a quartet of die-hard environmentalists hosts a fundraiser with a gory twist in An Evening with Al Gore…

In an all-new Dresden Files story from Jim Butcher, when it comes to tracking deadly paranormal doings, there’s no such thing as a Harry’s Day Off for the Chicago P.D.’s wizard detective, Harry Dresden…

Sherrilyn Kenyon turns a cubicle-dwelling MBA with no life into a demon-fighting seraph with one hell of an afterlife in Where Angels Fear to Tread. NOTE: This story has been re-released in the Dark Bites anthology.

Celebrity necromancer Jaime Vegas is headlining a sold-out séance tour, but behind the scenes, a disgruntled ghost has a bone to pick, in Kelley Armstrong’s The Ungrateful Dead.

So let the blood flow and laughter reign – because when it comes to facing our deepest, darkest fears, a little humor goes a long way!

Thoughts

I’m kind of on the fence about this collection. Some of the stories in this were brilliant. Some downright weird. But all were enjoyable. Just not memorable. This is the kind of collection you read for a good, light laugh and something that isn’t going to make you think and linger in your mind’s eye after you’ve finished the story.

Although this hasn’t been my favourite collection of short stories that I’ve digested in recent times, it also wasn’t one that I ever considered stopping. I know that a collection or novel is truly horrible when I just can’t seem to pick it up and get through it. Yet I didn’t feel that way with this. I just didn’t want to completely bury my nose in these stories either. The best description I can think of for this series is easy. Easy reading. Easy to forget. But easy to spend some humorous time with.

 <- The Four Horsemen Reunion Tour ReviewThe Ungrateful Dead Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Mr. Bear by Joe R. Lansdale

Overview

Blood LiteTitle: Mr. Bear
Author: Joe R. Lansdale
In: Blood Lite (Kevin J. Anderson)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Easy reading, Fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Pocket Books
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: “My wife will kill me.”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

When Jim boards a plane, he hopes to get a few empty seats to give him some privacy. What he ends up getting is a new “friend” that is truly the stuff of nightmares.

Thoughts

This story is weird. It was weird from beginning to end and I still really don’t know where to put my feelings for it. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad. It was just really, really freaking weird.

Beyond being weird, this story also gave me the major heeby jeebies. It’s a bear that acts as the villain, but this is a story that does actually happen in real life. An unsuspecting fool falls into a trap and there follows calamity upon calamity until they realise that they are probably about to die. And then, because it is a story and needs a happy ending of sorts, they find their way out…

So yup. Mostly this story was incredibly weird. And heeby. And just in general kind of creepy…

 <- Ungrateful Dead Review Hell in a Handbasket Review ->
Image source: Goodreads