Here’s a look at a few more of the books and authors in the Weird Western StoryBundle.
Idyll (Idyll Trilogy #1) by James Derry
First off, several days ago I posted an interview with Walt Starboard, the main character in Idyll. I had just started reading the book and didn’t have much to say at that point except that I was hooked. Last night I finished it, and wow. Riveting book, and I’ll just say that nothing is the way it appears. The combination of western-style adventure and a science fiction tale of settlement on a far-distant planet work perfectly together.
About the book:
Idyll is a rugged planet—a new, simpler start for some 10,000 settlers who have fled Mother Earth. But a strange ‘plague’ of contagious sleep has devastated their Settlement, sparked by a mysterious mantra called the Lullaby.
After a three-year quarantine, Walt and Samuel Starboard set out from their ranch on a mission to cure their comatose mother and find their missing father. For days they ride through a blighted landscape: deserted cabins and gravestones and the ruins of towns destroyed by fire. Just when the brothers are about to give up, they stumble upon a second pair of survivors, two beautiful and determined sisters.
Miriam and Virginia Bridge offer new hope, but they also present new problems. Stirrings of emotion and shifting priorities threaten to set the brothers against each other. Can Walt and Samuel overcome years of festering resentment, or will their rivalry tear them apart before they can reunite their broken family? And will any of them survive the revelation of who—or what—unleashed the Lullaby on their home world?
About the author:
James Derry has been writing or drawing stories since the day his parents let him borrow a ballpoint pen. That’s when he created his first magnum opus in blue ink: a comic-book parody of Ghostbusters called ‘Roastbusters.’ Hey, he was ten.
He studied art in college, and eventually his aspirations shifted from being an illustrator to being a graphic designer. He returned to writing ten years ago after meeting his wife. He currently resides in Atlanta and spends large chunks of his free time working on (and reworking) a variety of fiction projects.
West of Pale (Dead West vol. 1) by J. Patrick Allen
I read this well before hearing about the StoryBundle, and really enjoyed it. The gentle setting, the countryside of post-Civil War Missouri and its communities of German settlers, makes a wonderful contrast with the creepy horror of the monster stalking the countryside. The story of Charlie, a young boy whose father was killed by the demon, and the world-weary monster hunter he recruits to help him, and their adventures through the frontier on the path of this monster that materializes through water, is engaging, suspenseful, and enjoyable.
About the book:
Six-guns, blazing hooves, and the horrors that stalk the night.
Everyone brought something from the old country. Grandfather’s watch, and grandmother’s china; great-grandfather’s folklore, and great-great-grandmother’s fairy tales. What is never discussed, however, are the undying characters of the folklore: nix and fairy, goblin and vampire, dragon and eldritch things who all came to America’s shores in time with the rhyme of their tales.
After Charlie’s father is murdered by something impossible, he discovers a letter that leads him across the wild west. The man who wrote the letter promised to help, if things went wrong.
And things could not go more wrong. His father’s murderer is on his trail, materializing from lakes, rivers, and stray pools of water. He will not rest until Charlie has joined his father…
Dead West: West of Pale is the first book in J. Patrick Allen’s Dead West series. This novel picks up right where his Pulp Ark New Pulp Awards (2016) nominated short story, “Dragonfly Shadow,” left off (featured in 18thWall Productions’ From the Dragon Lord’s Library: Volume One).
About the Author:
J Patrick Allen grew up exploring the American West with his family. He climbed mountains, fished, camped, visited the family cattle ranch, and explored a castle. Author of the Dead West series, JP writes about the monsters we take with us. Every other week you can listen to JP on the Rocket Punch Radio podcast on iTunes and TuneIn, where he and his friends hold round table discussions about all things geeky. In 2016 his story Dragonfly Shadow was awarded Best Short Story from the Pulp Ark New Pulp Awards. When he’s not hard at work he and his wife can be found curled up with a beer and a book or game.
Flash Gold Chronicles I-III by Lindsay Buroker
If you read my Reading Roundups at all, you may have noticed a lot of books by Lindsay Buroker. She’s one of my favorite authors, and I was really excited to see books 1-3 of her Flash Gold Chronicles included in this bundle. I also read this series before finding out about the bundle, and it’s a lot of fun. Set in the Klondike Gold Rush, it features all the great stuff you expect to find in a Lindsay Buroker book: danger, adventure, magic mixed with steampunk, appealing characters, snappy dialogue, explosions, and a touch (or more than a touch) of romance.
About the book:
A half-breed tinkerer who’s been an outcast her entire life.
A mysterious sword-wielding stranger on the run from the law.
A family secret that people are willing to kill for.
All Kali McAlister wants is to build an airship and escape the frozen Yukon where she was born. But the secret her alchemist father left her with, a magical energy source called flash gold, has put her in danger. Everyone from con artists to gangsters is hunting her down, and now a tight-lipped man with a sword has come into her life, offering to help. Kali is used to taking care of herself, and is about as trusting as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but when her enemies threaten to overpower her, she may have no choice but to join forces with the mysterious man.
Set in the Yukon’s gold-rush era, this collection contains three adventures of action, magic, and romance:
About the author:
Lindsay has early memories of convincing childhood friends, pets, and stuffed animals to play the roles of characters in her worlds, so it’s safe to say she’s been making up stories for a long time. She published her first novel, The Emperor’s Edge, in December of 2010 and has written and published more than 30 more since then.
When she’s not writing, she’s usually hiking with her dogs, skiing, playing tennis, or eating entirely too much dark chocolate (she only does one of those things truly well, and she will let you guess which it is). She grew up in the Seattle area and still visits the Pacific Northwest frequently, but after realizing she was solar powered, she moved to Arizona where she lives in the mountains north of Phoenix.