Tag Archives: Wild west

The Golden Age by Walter Jon Williams

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: The Golden Age
Author: Walter Jon Williams
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Superheroes, Weird western, Wild west
Dates read: 17th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: He whirred right over my head, and I felt the breeze from his cape on my face.

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Synopsis

The days of the Gold Rush are over. And, somehow, they have been overrun by a bunch of completely insane superheroes and supervillains running around in capes on their own personal crusades.

Thoughts

I could not stop laughing all throughout this short story. It was quirky and weird. And filled with a great humour that left me grinning. After all, it’s ultimately about a bunch of superhero-type characters running around the wild west. Actually, it’s more supervillains… but the humour and entertainment is still the same.

I absolutely loved that this story focused on the Gold Rush and the lack of law in the land at the time. But, then to overlay this, there were mortal enemies, insanity and all sorts of questionable decisions. There was also a constant discussion of the fact that they are all mad. It’s just a special kind of madness, running around, donning a persona and just generally wreaking havoc and mayhem. A madness that I can 100% get behind by the way.

The Golden Age is a really funny, cute and light short story. It had me giggling and smiling throughout the entire story. There was great wit and entertainment to the shenanigans throughout this. I would most definitely read this again and again whenever I need a light pick me up.

<- The Devil’s JackNeversleeps ->

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Black Train by Jeff Mariotte

Overview
Image result for westward weird book cover

Title: Black Train
Author: Jeff Mariotte
In: Westward Weird (Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Weird western, Wild west, Zombies
Dates read: 10th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Daw Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “Believe me, I would love to oblige, sir,” the man said.

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Synopsis

Two men are in love with the same woman, and on a hunting trip. What you think is going to go wrong gets slightly derailed when they stumble across a black train and a plot to destroy.

Thoughts

I really enjoyed this mould-driven short story. After all, mould is actually kind of a scary and insidious thing if you really think about it. So using it as a biological weapon and scary object in this short story was brilliant. And made me want to scrub every inch of my house to make sure that there wasn’t any zombie mould anywhere…

I found Evan and Charlie to be a very interesting team. They are so unalike, yet so similar at the same time. A great little juxtaposition that drew me in. Plus, from the beginning it’s obvious that they really don’t like one another. Though the depths of this dislike are only slowly unveiled. Yet another aspect of this story that I quite enjoyed – not everything was spelt out and indicated from the very beginning, but it is slowly revealed.

As with many short stories that I love, this tale ends with a very open-ended feeling. It highlights the dangers of such a weapon. And, just generally left me with a goosebump feeling. And some serious awkwardness.

<- The Clockwork CowboyLone Wolf ->

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The Clockwork Cowboy by J. Steven York

Overview
Image result for westward weird book cover

Title: The Clockwork Cowboy
Author: J. Steven York
In: Westward Weird (Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Cyborgs, Weird western, Wild west
Dates read: 5th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Daw Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Which was true.

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Synopsis

In the middle of the desert is a town where everyone just wants to be free. But it’s a town with a difference – it’s colonised by free automatons. And all they want is to be left alone.

Thoughts

I thought that this was a great short story that emphasised the fight for survival and freedom. Which, considering all of the Western themed stories I’ve been reading lately seems to be a bit of a theme. A great theme though. Particularly when this is combined with automatons and science fiction…

This was a wonderfully intense and brilliant short story. I was hooked from the very beginning and found it difficult to look away. Probably lucky that this was a short story, because my productivity would have gone down the drain if this was any longer. At least being so short, I was able to be fully immersed without jeopardising all of the adult things that I needed to be doing…

The cruel turning on the lead character in this story at the end was a little heartbreaking. After all, the saviour is then spurned. And finds himself an outcast when all he did was save everyone…

<- Showdown at High MoonBlack Train ->

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La Madre Del Oro by Jeffrey Ford

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: La Madre Del Oro
Author: Jeffrey Ford
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Weird western, Wild west
Dates read: 2nd November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: I was beginning to get a little sore as I’d not rode a horse in some time.

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Synopsis

He’s supposed to be helping fellow lawmen and gunslingers to hunt down the thing that is killing everyone in the area. But, what they come across may be too much even for this ragtag bunch…

Thoughts

I love that throughout this whole story, the lead character is constantly running from the monsters that go bump in the night. It makes this story feel a little more fast paced than I had anticipated… after all, the whole story is about running. And running is fast… see what I did there?

This short story takes the fairly typical themes of gunslingers and mining towns that I constantly come across in westerns. But, it has a slightly more wild west feel to it. One that, partnered with all of the horrible things that go bump in the night left me feeling very content and happy.

La Madre Del Oro is an incredibly easy and fun read. It doesn’t so much have a happy ending. And there is a lot of gruesomeness throughout. But it’s still a story that I would love to read again and again. Gruesome murders and lack of happy ending and all.

<- SundownWhat I Assume You Shall Assume ->

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Red Dreams by Jonathan Maberry

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: Red Dreams
Author: Jonathan Maberry
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Weird western, Wild west
Dates read: 19th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Then he fired.

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Synopsis

He is just spending a cold, dark night alone. But then a parade of the dead stream past and the Red Dreams begin…

Thoughts

The beginning of this story was a little bit convoluted and confusing. But, after a while, it started to get… less convoluted and confusing. And much, much better. And once the proverbial penny dropped in my teeny tiny brain… wow. I really, seriously loved this story! And, really, when you’re dealing with death and the dead… I kind of liked that it was so damn convoluted.

I love that this story was not only a parade of the murdered, but a reminder of the cost of war. A reminder that there is always a cost. Not just in soldiers, but also in those who are innocent, including the dogs and cats and horses… it was pretty gruesome really. But, seriously enjoyable.

I’ve love every single one of Maberry’s short stories that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. And this one was no exception. But, now I’m beginning to think that I should really start on some of the novels that I have sitting in my shelves…

<- Strong MedicineBamboozled ->

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The Ghost of Leadville by Jeanne C. Stein

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of vampire romance 2 book cover

Title: The Ghost of Leadville
Author: Jeanne C. Stein
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 (Trisha Telep) & Vampires: The Recent Undead (Paula Guran)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Vampires, Westerns, Wild west
Dates read: 29th October 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: We do not.

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Synopsis

She’s lived in Leadville before. But it was a different time, a different place, and full of fond memories. The Wild West meets vampires and a life full of regret.

Thoughts

This is a beautiful, bittersweet short story about loss and the possibilities of a future. It’s kind of sweet, incredibly nostalgic and a nice little read to occupy your time for about 10 minutes. I loved the narrative voice of this tale – she’s waxing nostaligic about her past love, but not in a way that makes you completely regret her past.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time travelling aspects of this – it starts in the present, flickers to the past, and then shudders back into the present again. Giving the reader not only an insight into modern-day vampiric life, but also the joys and tragedies of her past as she works towards a more interesting future. Or at least one that she’s a little happier with and more involved in.

I loved the fact that this is a Western Vampire story. you have Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid. A saloon. And a prostitute. All aspects of stories which I quite enjoyed and want to find out more about in the future…

 <- Eternity Embraced ReviewThe Vampire, the Witch and the Yenko Review ->
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Tom Edison and His Amazing Telegraphic Harpoon by Jay Lake

Overview

The Mammoth Book of SteampunkTitle: Tom Edison and His Amazing Telegraphic Harpoon
Author: Jay Lake
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: AdventureSteampunk, Wild west
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: Legendary as they were, there were no whispered tales of the might monsters’ defeat in battle.

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Synopsis

Tom Edison and his friend Salmon face up against one of the Nephilm. With a telegraphic harpoon in The Age of Reason.

Thoughts

Well. This was not what I was expecting. I thought something that featured Tom Edison would be a lot more concise and filled with a little less fantasy. But it was like a mad, crazy wild western tale that featured someone who is completely obsessed with electricity.

It wasn’t until the very end that I figured out why Edison and Salmon’s relationship was kind of secretive. It almost had homosexual undertones to it. Then, in the final pages, he was called ‘negro’. And, seeing as this is based in the wild west, I completely understood it. And it made this story all the better for me. I loved that this was fast-paced and filled with action. That it also touches on racism just made it all the better in my eyes.

 <- Icebreaker Review The Zeppelin Conductors’ Society Annual Gentlemen’s Ball Review ->
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