Yes, it’s time for another weird western, two of them in fact, as I work my way through the backlog of reviews.
Riley and Givens are familiar names to this blog since they appear in several of the publications put out by Riley’s Science Fiction Trails. This book, however, is published by David Lee Summers’ Hadrosaur Productions, and his own fiction has shown up in Science Fiction Trails publications.
Review: Legends of the Dragon Cowboys, 2017.
As you can tell by the cover, this book hearkens back to the days of Ace Doubles.
It doesn’t exactly give you two novels. Both of them have an episodic feel to them though David B. Riley’s The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung seems to be all new while Laura Givens Chin Song Ping and the Long, Long Night is mostly reprints assembled around a frame.
Both books have Chinese immigrants, men on the make, in the American Old West.
I’ve long thought that weird westerns could do more with the Chinese. Even though I prefer the science fiction variety of the weird western, I’d like to see it use more Chinese mythology and history even it that means a fantasy weird western.
Ling Fung is kind of a Shaolin monk (obvious shades of the old tv show Kung Fu) and kind of a Jesuit though he didn’t complete training with either before a death sentence by the Chinese Emperor forced him to flee to America. There Riley puts him in the same fictional universe as his Miles O’Malley books, and Ling possibly solves the problem of Ah Puch, Mayan God of Death, for good.
He also learns the practicalities of bounty hunting (it’s not the gross, it’s the net), runs across a cannibal and a yeti, investigates the mystery as to whom is buying all the .40 caliber Purdy ammunition, and gets enough guns and knives from people trying to kill him to stock his own store with them. Continue reading