Vintage Treasures: Razored Saddles, edited by Joe R. Lansdale and Pat LoBrutto

Thursday, May 24th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Razored Saddles-small Razored Saddles-back-small

Razored Saddles is the first Weird Western anthology I can recall. It was published as a limited edition hardcover from Dark Harvest in September 1989; I don’t usually buy limited edition hardcovers, but for this I made an exception.

I wasn’t even aware there was a paperback edition until I came across a copy five years ago at the Windy City Pulp and Paper Show. I loved the spooky new Avon cover by Lee MacLeod, but that copy was priced at $25 — more than I paid for the hardcover! I’m pretty good at tracking down paperbacks though, and now that I knew it existed, I figured I could find one at a reasonable price. And sure enough, I did, although it took longer than I expected. With the help of an eBay Saved Search, I finally found the unread copy above in March… priced at $7, less than a brand new paperback.

Razored Saddles had two co-editors. Joe R. Lansdale needs no introduction; these days he’s best known as the author of the Hap and Leonard series, crime novels made into the highly regarded series on SundanceTV. But he’s also the author of over 50 novels and 26 collections, including The Nightrunners (1987), By Bizarre Hands (1989), and The Bottoms (2000). He has won ten Bram Stoker Awards. Pat LoBrutto began working with a summer job in the mailroom of Ace Books, and soon graduated to editing the US editions of Perry Rhodan with Forrest J. Ackerman in 1974. He won the World Fantasy Award for editing in 1986, and co-edited Full Spectrum 2 (1989). He is currently an acquiring editor for Tor Books.

Read More »


New Treasures: Blood Binds the Pack by Alex Wells

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Hunger-Makes-the-Wolf-by-Alex-Wells-smaller Blood Binds the Pack-small

As Rachael Acks, Alex Acks published some two dozen stories in places like Lightspeed, Shimmer, and Mothership Zeta. For novels he uses the name Alex Wells; his first, Hunger Makes the Wolf, was released last March by Angry Robot, and it got praised by a whole lot of people I respect. E Catherine Tobler said “It has a wonderful weird west vibe and some of the phrasing is simply delicious… Alex crafts a host of fascinating characters here – the Weathermen, the Bone Collector – and I reckon you’re going to love their adventures.” And at Tor.com, Liz Bourke said “It’s a science fiction Western thriller, and it is great, and I’m really, intensely, eagerly looking forward to the sequel.”

Well I have good news for Liz: the sequel has arrived. Blood Binds the Pack was released last week, it sounds as engaging as the first, and I ordered a copy as soon as it was available. Here’s the description.

War is coming to Hob Ravani’s world. The company that holds it in monopoly, TransRift Inc, has at last found what they’re looking for — the source of the power that enables their Weathermen to rip holes in space and time, allowing the interstellar travel all of human society now takes for granted. And they will mine every last grain of it from Tanegawa’s World no matter the cost.

Since Hob Ravani used her witchy powers to pull a massive train job and destroy TransRift Inc’s control on this part of the planet, the Ghost Wolves aren’t just outlaws, they’re the resistance. Mag’s miner collective grows restless as TransRift pushes them ever harder to strip the world of its strange, blue mineral. Now Shige Rollins has returned with a new charge — Mr Yellow, the most advanced model of Weatherman, infused with the recovered mineral samples and made into something stranger, stronger, and deadlier than before. And Mr Yellow is very, very hungry.

Blood Binds the Pack was published by Angry Robot on February 6, 2018. It is 496 pages, priced at $8.99 in paperback and $6.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Ignacio Lazcano. Read the first two chapters here.


New Treasures: The Trials of Solomon Parker by Eric Scott Fischl

Sunday, December 17th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

The Trials of Solomon Parker-small The Trials of Solomon Parker-back-small

The Trials of Solomon Parker doesn’t look it, but it’s part of a series. A loose series maybe, but still a series. The first novel, Dr Potter’s Medicine Show, was published by Angry Robot back in March. At least you don’t have to wait long between installments.

John Shirley called the first novel “A powerful alchemical elixir concocted of post Civil War historical fiction, dark fantasy, and Felliniesque flavoring.” And the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog labeled it a “gritty, down-and-dirty debut.” In her feature review at Tor.com, Arianne Thompson described it as:

An Enthusiastic Carnival of Horrors… even though Dr. Potter rightly belongs on the “horror/occult” side of the Weird Western spectrum, it cleaves apart from the sensational grimdark vogue that so heavily tints our view of the past. Fischl’s command of his characters’ world is grotesque, vivid, joyful, and sublime — an uncommon realism that honors the human side of history, and a reminder that a carnival of horrors is still a carnival, after all, with miracles and spectacles awaiting anyone brave enough to venture into the sideshow tent.

The B&N Sci-Fi Blog says “compelling and broken characters, and damn good storytelling elevates The Trials of Solomon Parker to whole new level of weird western. Two excellent books in a calendar year – Fischl is definitely a writer to watch.”

The Trials of Solomon Parker was published by Angry Robot on October 3, 2017. It is 384 pages, priced at $7.99 in paperback and $6.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Steven Meyer-Rassow.


New Treasures: Deadlands: Boneyard by Seanan McGuire

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Deadlands Boneyard-small Deadlands Boneyard-back-small

I must admit that my first thought on laying eyes on Deadlands: Boneyard was, “What the heck is Seanan McGuire doing writing a gaming tie-in?”

After all (as the cover of Boneyard proudly boasts) McGuire is a New York Times bestselling author all on her own, for her zombie Newflesh series (published under the name Mira Grant). It’s not often you see bestselling writers dabbling with game books. But who knows? Maybe she’s always wanted to write a Weird Western. Maybe she loves the Deadlands setting. Or maybe she promised Jay Lake she’d do it. (The dedicated to Boneyard reads, “For Jay Lake. Didn’t I always promise you a midway?”, whatever that means.)

But whatever the reason, I’m glad to have it. It went right to the top of my Halloween reading pile this year.

Read More »


October GigaNotoSaurus Features “To Us May Grace Be Given” by L.S. Johnson

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

GigiNotoSaurus

GigaNotoSaurus got my attention back in July with Daniel Ausema’s long Sword & Sorcery novelette “The Poetics of Defiance.” Here’s what Ausema said about the story at his website, Twigs and Brambles.

“The Poetics of Defiance” is one of the longer stories I’ve had published. It’s a fun one that I’m very proud of. It started with an idea to come up with the two most unlikely jobs for a traditional sword & sorcery story, and I came up with an alchemist (I’ve liked the idea of a traveling alchemist ever since I was into D&D back in high school) and a poet. It ended up straying from the S&S idea somewhat… I had a lot of fun with creating the snippets of poetry for the attack poet.

This month GigaNotoSaurus features a brand new 15,507-word Weird Western by L.S. Johnson, “To Us May Grace Be Given.” Here’s Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews.

October’s GigaNotoSaurus brings a sort of paranormal Western longer novelette, with a whiff of ash and the taste of blood and coming violence. It’s a storm of a story, sweeping through the life of the main character and leaving nothing untouched. It’s a piece that explores the vast frontier that the American West used to represent, the potential or at least the hope of renewal and forgiveness. And yet it was all built on murder, and exploitation, and blood, and the story paints this place as incredibly dark, perilous, and toxic. It’s a wonderful take on the setting and genre…

Read the story free here, and read Charles’ complete review here.

Read More »


Old School Steampunk: Reading The Steam Man of the Plains (1883)

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 | Posted by Sean McLachlan

39088017896721_0001_edit

In the days before television, movies, or even pulp magazines, readers who wanted exciting fantastic fare read dime novels. This style of popular literature lasted from about 1860 to 1930, before the pulps finally killed them off. In those 70 years, countless series and titles were published — mysteries, Westerns, historical dramas, romances, and even steampunk.

Yes, steampunk goes right back to the age of steam. I recently read one of the most popular titles, the 1883 edition of The Steam Man of the Plains, published by the Five Cent Wide-Awake Library, a series directed specifically at adolescent boys. You can read it online at Northern Illinois University’s excellent online collection of dime novels.

Warning: spoilers follow!

Read More »


The Dead Ride Fast

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 | Posted by Jackson Kuhl

The Dead Ride FastHey nerds! My latest collection, The Dead Ride Fast, is available at Amazon and Kobo.

It certainly feels like there’s been a recent abundance of weird Western fiction. Just this past summer alone several anthologies appeared on shelves, and even straitlaced historical magazines like True West have published listicles celebrating the genre.

Yet oddly we seem to have hit peak weird West way back in 2014, with searches today chugging along at 50 percent of that frequency. Still, the fact that searches haven’t dropped precipitously suggests a steady and abiding interest in cowpokes and aliens and zombies.

The Dead Ride Fast bundles together five previously published short stories of mine that appeared in Black Static and anthologies such as Eric Guignard’s Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations (nominated for a Stoker!). Also included is an original story involving a spoopy haunted house.

A gang of bank robbers arrives in a town where everyone knows the future. A prospector discovers the cost of gold is the loss of himself. An abandoned ranch house conceals a dark history. An ailing sailor is initiated into a secret world after consuming an unusual medicine. A businessman reopens a silver mine that should have been left sealed. Two young girls confront a string of unnoticed disappearances.

Just in time for Halloween! Makes a great gift!

If you’re interested in the collection’s provenance — how the book came together and the stories behind the stories — I’ve been blabbering about it at my blog.


New Treasures: Devil’s Call by J. Danielle Dorn

Monday, August 7th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Devil's Call J Danielle Dorn-smallI like to mix things up in the New Treasures pipeline, offering titles from a range of different publishers. I’ve featured several novels from Inkshares in just the past few weeks — including teleportation thriller The Punch Escrow, and Quebec horror novel The God in the Shed — so when a new Inkshares novel, J. Danielle Dorn’s debut fantasy Devil’s Call, landed on my desk last week, I figured it was a long shot.

But that was before I read the description. The Bibliosanctum calls it “One of the best novels I’ve read this year,” and James Demonaco, creator of The Purge movie trilogy, calls it “The Revenant with witches.” Devil’s Call leapfrogged several titles that have been waiting patiently in the queue, and I think you’ll thank me.

On a dark night in the summer of 1859, three men enter the home of Dr. Matthew Callahan and shoot him dead in front of his pregnant wife. Unbeknownst to them, Li Lian, his wife, hails from a long line of women gifted in ways that scare most folks ― the witches of the MacPherson clan — and her need for vengeance is as vast and unforgiving as the Great Plains themselves.

Written to the child she carries, Devil’s Call traces Li Lian’s quest, from the Nebraska Territory, to Louisiana, to the frozen Badlands, to bring to justice the monster responsible for shooting her husband in the back. This long-rifled witch will stop at nothing ​― ​and risk everything​―​in her showdown with evil.

Devil’s Call will be published by Inkshares on August 8, 2017. It is 275 pages, priced at $14.99 in trade paperback and $6.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by David Drummond.

See all our recent New Treasures here.


Urban Fantasies and Robot Westerns: The Novels of C. Robert Cargill

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Dreams and Shadows Robert Cargill-small Queen of the Dark Things-small Sea of Rust-small

In the wider world, C. Robert Cargill is probably best known for his Nebula-nominated script for the movie version of Doctor Strange, and for the uber-creepy Sinister (brrrr). But around these parts, he’s known for his pair of novels about the Austin wizard Colby: his debut Dreams and Shadows (2013) and the sequel Queen of the Dark Things (2014). In her Tor.com review, Emily Nordling said, “Dark, comedic, and unsettling, Dreams and Shadows is everything an urban fantasy sets out to be.” I bought both books last year and put them near the top of my to-be-read pile.

But now along comes his third novel, Sea of Rust, a robot western set in a post-apocalyptic landscape in which humans have been wiped out in a machine uprising. This doesn’t just one threaten to replace his previous two in my TBR pile; it’s likely it will move right to the top. It arrives in hardcover from Harper Voyager on September 5.

Read More »


Clockwork Gunslingers, Soul-Sucking Ghosts, and Vampire Cowboys: Straight Outta Tombstone, edited by David Boop

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Straight Outta Tombstone-smallNow I know you love a good Weird Western. And you’ve probably noticed, as I have, that there’s been a dearth of them recently.

But fret not… David Boop’s anthology Straight Outta Tombstone — with brand new stories by Jim Butcher, Alan Dean Foster, Robert E. Vardeman, Phil Foglio, Michael A. Stackpole, and others — arrives next month to set things right. Here’s Boop from his Foreword.

Collected here are stories from my idols, my mentors, my peers and my friends. When I sent out invitations, I asked each author to give me their favorite and/or most famous characters in all-new stories set in the Old West. They did not disappoint.

From Warden Luccio to Bubba Shackleford, they came. We get a visit from Mad Amos, and Dan Shamble shambles by. A barmaid lives up to her name “Trouble,” and a dragon named Pete wants to court the sacrificial girl, not kill her. Chance Corrigan, Hummingbird and Inazuma, Bose Roberds. Never before have these characters shared the stage like this. Cowboys and Dinosaurs. Adventurers and Aliens. Time-Traveling Bar Maids and Clockwork Gunslingers. Vampires. Zombies. They’re all in here…

Do you remember the Wild, Wild West TV series? Maybe you read Jonah Hex, the Two-Gun Kid or other cowboy comics. Did you, like me, watch old B-movies and serials such as Valley of the Gwangi and The Phantom Empire on Saturday afternoon TV? How many of you snuck to the living room once your parents were asleep to see Billy the Kid Versus Dracula during a late-night movie monster marathon on Halloween? I certainly did.

Sounds just like what the ole doc ordered.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

Read More »


  Earlier Entries »

This site © 2018 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.