Monday 26 May 2014

Dead Man's Hand Anthology


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.

My thoughts:
I am going to make this short, because they stories are just that, some very short, and if I say too much, then I have said it all.

Introduction—John Joseph Adams
Now I know what weird western is...

The Red-Headed Dead—Joe R. Lansdale
Short story about a priest. Ok but really short.

The Old Slow Man and His Gold Gun From Space—Ben H. Winters
Weird, short and had a nice twist to it.

Hellfire on the High Frontier—David Farland
Maybe they work cos they are short, interesting. Anyway, I liked the stuff at the end. very cool. Something happens there ;)

The Hell-Bound Stagecoach—Mike Resnick
A nice weird one. I liked it.

Stingers and Strangers—Seanan McGuire
InCryptic tale. You can follow along even if you have read nothing from that "world".

Bookkeeper, Narrator, Gunslinger—Charles Yu
I did feel a bit confused with this one.

Holy Jingle—Alan Dean Foster
A bit so and so.

The Man With No Heart—Beth Revis
I wondered where this one was going and at the end I totally wanted a book about him. Cool.

Wrecking Party—Alastair Reynolds
Scary future for all of us, nice sense of doom

Hell from the East—Hugh Howey
I read it 30 min ago and have forgotten it already *checks* Right, sun dance. Ok the concept was interesting of what is to come

Second Hand—Rajan Khanna
Same with this one *check* Right, cards. Needed more explaining

Alvin and the Apple Tree—Orson Scott Card
I have not read the Alvin books so..who is Alvin? Anyway freaky town! Do not go there!

Madam Damnable’s Sewing Circle—Elizabeth Bear
Not that much happened, I know they are short but still

Strong Medicine—Tad Williams
Now this was one weird place. Very nice.

Red Dreams—Jonathan Maberry
Freaky end, I do like freaky endings.

Bamboolzed—Kelley Armstrong
A good story 

Sundown—Tobias S. Buckell
I could have needed some more explanations here, it should have been longer

La Madre Del Oro—Jeffrey Ford
Ohhh, the end, I need more, what was that?! Awesome, creepy.

What I Assume You Shall Assume—Ken Liu
Eh, I mean ok, but I would rather have read this set in China and not as a backstory

The Devil’s Jack—Laura Anne Gilman
Interesting fellow this Jack.

The Golden Age—Walter Jon Williams
Ha, this one was weird too, but hey that is why they are weird westerns. Got to love that

Neversleeps—Fred Van Lente
Hey they mentioned Tesla, that is always good, cos booo Edison, Tesla rules! Could have been even more interesting fully fleshed out.

Dead Man’s Hand—Christie Yant
I did not get this one. Was it even a story?

And like always, some were good, some were ok, some I still remember, some I forgot. It's an anthology after all and every story will not be to my taste, they never are. But what they all had in common was that even if I was not a fan, they were still interesting. So, weird cool stories set in a west you have not seen before.

Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 30th 2014 by Titan Books (first published March 4th 2014)
Weird western
For review


  1. Your short and sweet reviews of each story made me giggle and snort. Now my hubby is staring at me like I have a few screws loose.

  2. Sounds like a nice collection. It's usually that way with short stories, some are better than others.

  3. Yep that is always how it goes with short story anthologies, some are great and some are so so and others are like WTF was that!

    1. Haha, luckily none were utterly boring, they were so short so it worked ;)

  4. I have always wanted check out one an anthology edited by Adams! Epic: Legends of Fantasy has been on my list for the longest time, but I'd hadn't heard of this one til recently and looks awesome. I have only discovered the joy of weird west myself!


    1. Ohhh fantasy is always nice :D I'd like to read that one too

  5. I don't usually do the short story anthologies, but some of these do sound interesting.

    1. I wanted to try this one as I like McGuire

  6. I'm ok reading novellas, but don't know if I'll like this one.

  7. Oh, must add it to the wishlist

  8. Interesting. I often avoid anthologies because if I love a story I'll want it to be longer, and if I don't like it I'll think it's most likely due to it being too short :)))
    I'm a long-read type of gal xD

    1. I am too, but here, oh it had McGuire and I adore her so I wanted to try them. And they worked cos they are really short, it's when they get a bit longer I start to feel there should be even more. Even if some did feel too short

  9. Weird western, LOL... Western isn't really my genre so I think I'll be skipping this.

  10. I haven't been big on short stories lately, but this sounds like a unique collection.

  11. The super short reviews - love it! :) Anthologies are still "blah" on my list though. I want it all or nothing!

    1. I do feel like that sometimes, but I seem to have gotten over it :D

  12. I think I would love to read it because of Armstrong and Mcguire! I don't know the others I confess but well... thanks for the discovery.

    1. Well those were the ones that mattered to me ;)

  13. You know, I might actually try this one. I'm not much for anthologies, but the freaky west and SFF/UF authors . . . yeah, seriously considering making an exception.

    1. Been there too. But yes those authors made me want to read it

  14. Interesting. Honestly...I haven't read a Western in quite some time...mmmmm...

  15. But what about the cover????? ;)

  16. Love the way you reviewed this anthology!

  17. Glad they were all interesting, even if some of them were better than others! I like a lot of these authors so I should check it out.

    1. They can't all be equal now, that would be great but so not gonna happen

  18. This sounds good. Something different at least from most stuff out there. Love your little descriptions of the stories!

  19. I don't think weird stories are for me, but glad you enjoyed most of it.



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