I’ve read a lot of weird westerns lately. Most of them were, like this one, from Science Fiction Trails which seems to specialize in them.
Review: Gunslingers & Ghost Stories, ed. David B. Riley, 2012.
You get exactly what you would expect from the title: stories combining gunfighters and ghosts.
The majority of these 11 stories go past acceptable and into being memorable or well-done examples of typical ghost story motifs.
A couple of the standout stories were from series.
Joel Jenkins “Old Mother Hennessy” features his Indian bounty hunter Lone Crow. Here his partner is Six-Gun Susannah, a very quick draw with a gun if not a very good shot. In tracking down the vicious Hennessy boys to their mountain lair, they come across the graves of their victims. At the end of the trail is the beautiful and witch Mother Hennessy, the worst of the lot. As is usually the case in the Lone Crow series, Jenkins effectively mixes credible gunplay, magic, and characterization. Here Susannah pines away, in her unrequited love, for her partner.
Laura Givens “Chin Song Ping and the Hungry Ghosts” is a follow up to her “Chin Song Ping and the Fifty-Three Thieves”. Ping is a charming character given to romantic impulses and possessing equal parts of naivete, ignorance, and cunning. Here he gets involved hauling dynamite, and he and his partner camp for the night in the infamous Donner Pass. What better place to find hungry ghosts? And a band of Mexican bandits complicates things. Continue reading