Tag Archives: Ken Liu

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

What I Assume You Shall Assume by Ken Liu

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: What I Assume You Shall Assume
Author: Ken Liu
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Weird western
Dates read: 6th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: The deer trail that they had been following also seemed to dip and twist more than usual.

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

Synopsis

Amos just wants to be left alone, away from the horrors that humanity rains upon each other. And then he comes across a Chinawoman and a whole heap of issues land in his lap.

Thoughts

This short story is all about standing up for the “little guy”. Or in this case, the little woman. It’s about turning into a hero when you most need to and finding a way to live with the decisions that you make. Or at least, that’s what I got out of this story.

I love how this story constantly flicked between perspectives and timelines. There are great flashbacks to the past and the reasons for both of the characters’ decisions and choices. And they both have completely unique outlooks on the exact same experiences and moments. It also helps to highlight how damaging the “us vs them” mentality can truly be.

This story is not only fun and interesting, but it also highlights the importance and power of words. I love that although there is fighting, guns, and weaponry, somehow it’s the magic of words that really hold the power at the end of the day.

<- La Madre Del OroThe Devil’s Jack ->

Image source: Amazon