Tag Archives: Orson Scott Card

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

Alvin and the Apple Tree by Orson Scott Card

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: Alvin and the Apple Tree
Author: Orson Scott Card
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Weird western
Dates read: 29th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: They got back to town well before dark.

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

Synopsis

Alvin is a travelling man, and he believes in God. But when he runs into John Appleseed and the village he tried to help… well, things get a little topsy turvy.

Thoughts

Like some of the westerns that I’ve read lately – this one plays with ideas of Christianity and what it truly means to be a “good” Christian. Although, I loved how this story took that topic better than some of the other topics. It also pulled in ideas of Adam and Eve, the apple, the Tree of Life, connection to nature… it was a great amalgamation of topics that completely hooked me from pretty much the very beginning.

I’m not entirely sure how this fits into the western genre – which is why I didn’t put it on the westerns shelf, just under weird westerns. It didn’t quite feel western to me, I’m not sure why. Although there was a nice hint of the cowboy and Indian theme which tends to weasel its way into this genre… so maybe I just jumped to conclusions too quickly since the setting felt a lot more modern than many of the other short stories in this collection thus far…

I’m really glad that I enjoyed this short story so much. I just bought a trilogy written by Orson Scott Card, and it would have been damn awkward if I didn’t actually like the first thing I’d read by him. In fact, after finishing this great short story, I can’t wait to pick up the series that I’ve bought. This tale just had such a great sitting around the campfire, having a yarn kind of feeling to it that I thoroughly enjoyed.

<- Second HandMadam Damnable’s Sewing Circle ->

Image source: Amazon