Dead Man’s Hand
edited by John Joseph Adams
The weird western is the forefather of steampunk, with a history that includes Stephen King’s Dark Tower and Card’s Alvin Maker. But where steampunk is Victorian, weird westerns are darker, grittier; in a weird western, the protagonist might be gunned down in a duel, killed by a vampire, or confronted by aliens on the streets of a dusty frontier town. In Dead Man’s Hand editor John Joseph Adams has produced an anthology that includes stories from many of today’s most talented authors, some new to the genre and others well-known to readers. The twenty-two original works—produced specifically for this volume—range from a brand new Orson Scott Card tale (his first “Alvin Maker” story in a decade), to an original adventure by Fred Van Lente (creator of Cowboys & Aliens). It also includes stories such as Elizabeth Bear’s story of a steampunk bordello, and new writer Rajan Khanna’s exploration of sorcery found in a magical deck of playing cards.
A fearsomely impressive lineup of contributors […] A satisfyingly filler-free compilation.
[A] splendid new anthology […] which includes a tantalizing assortment of short stories from many of the leading writers in the genre.
This anthology succeeds [and contains] many gold nuggets.
John Joseph Adams can do no wrong as far as short-story anthologies go; he has a knack for finding some of the best short-story writers out there, and I’ve found something to enjoy in every one of his collections. […] What really stands out about this collection is the sense that each of these could have easily been expanded into a much larger story. […] These were short stories, but none of them were small.
This is the gold rush of Weird Westerns, with more gunslingers, demons, fiery ladies of the evening, time travel, playing poker with the devil, and big ol’ bugs than you can shake a stick at.
—Barnes & Noble
A thoroughly satisfying collection of new stories that are sure to please fans of western fiction who rarely venture into science fiction, fantasy, or horror—and vice versa! Highly recommended.