Reviewed by Michael D. Griffiths
If you've read this book, why not
The Doc and the Kid, by Mike Resnick is the most enjoyable book that I have read in quite a while. It proved even more enjoyable to me since it was a genre I do not get around to that much. I have read a few Steampunk novels in my time, but this one is by far the best.
Set in the American Southwest, the book primarily focuses on the exploits of Doc Holiday. But it does not stop with him and a myriad of other famous people from America's past are involved. This list includes, but is not limited to: Big Nose Kate, Thomas Edison, Wyatt Earp, and of course the kid mentioned in the title is none other than Billy The Kid.
Doc Holiday is slowly dying and wants to insure that he has enough cash on hand to make his slow passing as comfortable as possible. However, a drunken poker game changes that and leaves him nearly penniless. He figures that the giant reward offered for Billy the Kid might be his last chance to raise the funds he needs before he is too weak to do so.
The plot becomes more involved and complicated when Doc finds out that Billy is protected Magickally and he must trade boons with Geronimo to help cancel that protection. Thomas Edison also brings up the Steampunk aspect of the book with several exciting inventions. I am afraid to tell you too much more since it is such a good book and I would hate to let any of the other surprises out of the bag. I will, however, mention the rather large number of appendixes that follow the novel and help prove how well researched it is. It also has several illustrations.
The book did not have any real issues that affected me negatively. I did find the idea of having sex with brass women a bit odd, especially after reading the descriptions of them.
The book is well written, fun, and inventive. A real joy to own. I usually look forward to finishing a book and jumping into the next one, but upon finishing The Doc and the Kid, I felt a little sad it was over. Still he wrapped up the loose ends and gave us a great climax, so hats off to Resnick. I will certainly be trying to read more of his work.Michael D. Griffiths