Dead Man’s Hand, an Anthology of The Weird West was a true joy to read, at least for a man such as myself, living in the southwest and addicted to Speculative Fiction. This anthology had it all, Steampunk, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, and I was so pleased to find several stories which were straight up Horror. Titan has been my favorite publisher for a while now, although have not gotten a book from them for years. So, it pleased me no end to find this yet unread gem within my collection when I moved into a dryer and bigger home.
Dead Man’s Hand, an Anthology of The Weird West
Stars: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths
This anthology is heavy in both authors and content. Many stories to move you or gives you a few chills. I would give most of the tales in here an A. A couple might have fallen short, but it just could be more they did not fit my personal tastes.
I think my favorite tale was about a poor young man heading west who joins a posse just for the cash. La Madre Del Oro by Jeffery Ford is a well written horror story which jumps out of the collection. Dark moods, intense and realistic characters flow through this story. When the small posse tries to track down the cannibal murderer, they run into something far worse.
Hell From the East by Hugh Howey is another story which I would place in the horror camp. When people start seeking enlightenment though blindness, you know you need to start getting worried. Eerie mood, complete with danger, and mystery. This one did it for me.
I will also give a shout out to The Golden Age by Walter John Williams. This is an alternative, superhero, steampunk type of yarn and probably the longest story in the book. It is just old-fashioned fun. I also like that the entire story is told from the ‘villain’s’ point of view. When the miner 49ers turn superhero and villains, you know things are about to get intense.
The only downside to this book is I wish it could be longer. Just great stuff here. If you like westerns which go off the rails, want to feed your imagination, and maybe get a little scared, this is a must grab. Enjoy.
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