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Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Authors include: Joe Lansdale, Mike Resnick, Kelley Armstrong, Laura Anne Gilman, Fred van Lente, Elizabeth Bear, Jeffrey Ford, Hugh Howey, Tobias Buckell, Seanan McGuire, Walter Jon Williams, Ken Liu, Ben Winters, David Farland, Alan Dean Foster, Jonathan Maberry, Beth Revis, Alastair Reynolds, Tad Williams, Orson Scott Card, Rajan Khanna, Charles Yu, Christie Yant --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B00GVZJV80
- Publisher : Titan Books (May 13, 2014)
- Publication date : May 13, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 3116 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 464 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #84,875 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Most of the stories on the Short Stories page are available for free download there. Some of them, however, were published in anthologies, and to get these you need to buy or borrow the book. For access to the Patreon stories you need to sign up as a supporter at Patreon. The minimum charge is $1.50. That's a recurring charge, but you only need to sign up once for access to all currently available stories. The Short Stories page is organized by the primary characters and time period. Here I will be reviewing the stories listed under the heading Jonathan Healy and Frances Brown (1928-1945). These are:
The Flower of Arizona (published in Westward Weird)
One Hell of a Ride (free download)
No Place Like Home (free download)
Stingers and Strangers (published in Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West)
Married in Green (free download)
Sweet Poison Wine (free download)
The First Fall (free download)
Loch and Key (free download)
We Both Go Down Together (free download)
Oh Pretty Bird (free download)
Bury Me In Satin (free download)
Broken Paper Hearts (free download)
The Star of New Mexico (free download)
As you can see, there's a lot of material here. Even though it is formatted as stories, the stories in totality (in the order listed) are pretty much a novel about Jonathan and Fran. Of the two anthologized stories, which you would have to buy or borrow, the first, The Flower of Arizona, is entirely dispensible. You will read most of it in the other stories. Stingers and Strangers, in contrast, is a substantial story and important both to the continuity of the Jonathan and Fran stories and to the Incryptid series as a whole. What's more, the anthology Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West is pretty good, with a star-studded list of science fiction authors. So, if you're going to buy or borrow something, I would recommend it.
Well, how are the stories? They're excellent, of course. If you really want the backstory on the Healy/Price family, this is the place to look. Although the stories focus on Jonathan and Fran (more Fran than Jonathan), Jonathan's parents Alexander and Enid Healy are important characters as well, and you will pick up several hints about their backstories. Fran doesn't have a regular family, but the members of the circus/carnival where she performed before Jonathan swept her away are also important characters.
Of the main Incryptid novels, I have only read Discount Armageddon, and I was a bit surprised by the Jonathan and Fran stories. They are not as light-hearted as Discount Armageddon. Although McGuire's trademark humor and irreverence permeate the stories, they are more somber than I expected. In fact, there is tragedy, especially in the so-short-it-is-barely-there Broken Paper Hearts. I was also surprised at how important the Aeslin Mice were. In Discount Armageddon they are mostly just comic relief -- delightful, but not terribly necessary to the plot. In the Jonathan and Fran stories I can think of at least three occasions where they play crucial roles in the plot. The most important occurs when Alice, The Exceptionally Noisy Priestess, is born.
So, yeah, if you're into the Incryptid books, you should definitely read these stories.
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.