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Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West Paperback – May 13, 2014
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Incorporating elements of horror, science fiction, and fantasy into traditional western settings, 22 authors deliver supernatural spins on a classic genre. Though not a new literary construct, the weird western has recently gained momentum due to the megapopularity of fantasy and the reemergence of steampunk lit. As varied and wide as the open range, several of these eerie tales feature characters and locales steeped in both history and legend. In Christie Yant’s titular Dead Man’s Hand, Wild Bill Hickok is resurrected; Johnny Appleseed makes an appearance in Orson Scott Card’s Alvin and the Apple Tree; and Monument Valley provides the backdrop for Fred Van Lente’s Neversleeps. While the landscape and the personalities may be familiar, each of these original stories is steeped in an appropriately eerie atmosphere, informing an alternative version of the American frontier. --Margaret Flanagan
"If you like weird west tales, I think this anthology should be a priority." - True Review
"Relentless pacing and authentic Western flavor." - Ain’t It Cool
"Every narrative is strong and held my attention." - Criminal Element
"Looking for something a little more...weird? Your first stop should be the new Weird West anthology by John Joseph Adams. Dead Man's Hand features 23 original and gloriously weird tales from Elizabeth Bear, Tad Williams, Joe R. Lansdale, Seanan McGuire and more." - Kirkus
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The concept of blending disparate genres together can be hit or miss, yet remains a potent source of creativity for many writers looking to inject an infusion of fresh blood into the time honored traditions, as well as readers looking for something new and different on the shelves. DEAD MAN’S HAND presents traditional characters and settings of the Western blending with elements of Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, and History. There are vampires, werewolves, demons, aliens, and even dinosaurs permeating the pages, and they’re depicted without a hint of camp or parody. The writers treat the content of their work seriously, and the stories are better received for it.
As is the case with anthologies, the book as a whole may not please every single reader but there is sufficient variety from which to pick and choose, and many of the combinations are unusual enough to inspire initial interest. Whether that interest is sustained for the duration of each tale is dependent upon each reader’s individual tastes, but the majority of the stories are brilliantly crafted, with some bizarre twists, strong leading characters, clever dialogue, and an overall sense of wonderful escapism.
Highly recommended to fans of Westerns who are eager to see new spins put on the genre.
Liked: Winters, Resnick, McGuire, Yu, Howey, Khanna, T. Williams, Liu
Disliked: Lansdale, Foster, Revis, Card, Maberry, Buckell, Van Lente
Either-loved-it-or-hated-it, depending on whether one was a comic book fan or not: W.J. Williams' "Golden Age"
Most recent customer reviews
Picked it up for Seanan McGuire's story, "Stingers and Strangers," which was very good.Read more
Sci-fi meets the Old West, or Horror meets the old west.
For me, just about every story was enjoyable.