I have a new speculative fiction short story being released December 16 through Dreamspinner Press. It’s part of an amazing anthology of wild west-themed magical stories, Once Upon a Time in the Weird West.
This isn’t the same old Wild West. The usual suspects are all present: cowboys, outlaws, and sheriffs. There’s plenty of dust, tumbleweeds, horses, and cattle on the range, but there are also magical gems, automatons, elementals, airships… even dinosaurs and genetically modified insects. Roaming among the buffalo and coyotes, you’ll encounter skinwalkers, mad engineers, mythical beings cloaked in darkness, and lovers who stay true to their oaths… even beyond the grave. On this frontier are those at the mercy of their own elaborate devices as well as men whose control of time and space provides a present-day vision of the West. There might even be a dragon hidden amongst the ghost towns and wagon trains.
If you like your Westerns with a splash of magic, a touch of steampunk, and plenty of passionate romance between men, these genre-bending tales will exceed expectations.
Hold on to your hats, cowboys and cowgirls. The West is about to get weird, and you’re in for a hell of a ride.
Reaper’s Ride by Astrid Amara
Johnny Jenkins loves most aspects of riding for the Pony Express, but the loneliness can be hard to abide. When a raid injures the station keeper at remote Jacob’s Well, Johnny is left alone to tend the incoming riders until a replacement can be found. Isolated and without even a horse to keep him company, Johnny thinks he might go mad from solitude.
That is, until he meets Sye Fairchild, a rider for a different kind of express. This one operates in the shadows, and the deliveries are of a much darker nature. Sye is dashing and kind, but he’s also under a deadline—he’s got to finish his deliveries by Friday, or he breaks a very old and very serious bargain.
And as Johnny finds a kindred soul in Sye, he realizes that soul needs saving—even if it means ruining his own.