Tag Archives: Rajan Khanna

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.

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

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

Second Hand by Rajan Khanna

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: Second Hand
Author: Rajan Khanna
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Weird westernWild west
Dates read: 19th September 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: No wonder Gunsmith survived for as long as she did.

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

Synopsis

In a world where you are gifted one deck of Cards, people are constantly scrambling to find a way to prolong their powers…

Thoughts

Cards and gambling appear to be a fairly big aspect of westerns and the whole idea of the Wild West. So of course, in a collection of Weird Westerns, there should be one that focuses on the power of cards. And boy is it a power. I love how the cards are magical weapons. It’s such a fantastic idea, and I’m kind of hoping that there are more stories which use this idea by Khanna.

At the beginning of this short story, I was convinced that it was all about gambling and card games and the dangers of this. It wasn’t until a little further in that I realised that it was more of a gunslinger story. Just with the guns being constructed by something else – playing cards that can do powerful and very intriguing things.

This story was a little fun. And a little evil. After all, it’s a mother and daughter who try and kill each other. And then they try and kill the protagonists. And just in general, there is a lot of scheming and killing. But, nevertheless. I still really enjoyed it. And can’t wait to sink my teeth into more, similar stories!

<- Hell From the EastAlvin and the Apple Tree ->

Image source: Amazon