Posted in Book Reviews, Novels, Short Story Collections

REVIEW: Straight Outta Tombstone by Various Authors

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*No Spoilers*

Come to visit the Old West, the land where gang initiations, ride-by shootings and territory disputes got their start. But these tales aren’t the ones your grandpappy spun around a campfire unless he spoke of soul-sucking ghosts, steam-powered demons, and wayward aliens.

Here then are seventeen stories that breathe new life in the Old West. Among them: Larry Correia explores the roots of his best-selling Monster Hunter International series in “Bubba Shackleford’s Professional Monster Killers.” Jim Butcher reveals the origin of one of the Dresden Files’ most popular characters in “Fistful of Warlock.” And Kevin J. Anderson‘s Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., finds himself in a showdown in “High Midnight.” Plus stories from Alan Dean Foster, Sarah A. Hoyt, Jody Lynn Nye, Michael A. Stackpole, and many more.

This is a new Old West and you’ll be lucky to get outta town alive!

I don’t read short story collections very often, I find it difficult to jump into a new story after I feel like I know the main characters. However, when I saw this cover at my local library and saw the cover art, I was sold on the concept.

I enjoy the weird wild west genre. Two genres that are polar opposites colliding for one epic story is fascinating to me! This book has fun with the genre, and it’s an enjoyable read!

All of the short stories in this collection are good, but I had some favorites. And some stories that didn’t impress me. These are all good stories in total, but some just didn’t catch my attention.

My Three Favorites (in no particular order)

  • Bubba Shackleford’s Professional Monster Killers by Larry Correia – The first short story in this collection had charm and had my attention from the beginning. The characters were interesting, and I felt the stakes were dire. I would like to hear more from Bubba Shackleford sometime.
  • The Treefold Problem by Alan Dean Foster – A giant mountain man helps a family who is about to lose their home. I felt like this was inspired by Paul Bunyan, the famous lumberjack. I enjoyed the heart and good feelings in this short story.
  • High Midnight by Kevin J. Anderson – I love film noir. This is the story of a zombie detective who lives in a sort of purgatory with all kinds of monsters and the occasional human. The town is throwing a Wild West-inspired celebration. When things start going south, it’s up to our zombie detective to figure out the mystery.

My Three Least Favorites (in no particular order)

  • Chance Corrigan and the Lord of the Underworld by Michael A. Stackpole – This short story had promise, Chance investigates a mining town to figure out what’s going on. With robots guarding the mine, Chance finds a familiar face running the operation. I think this would have been better if it was its own novel. I felt like the ending was rushed and forced. The way this story ended left me disappointed.
  • The Greatest Guns in the Galaxy by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Ken Scholes – This is the story behind the cover art. Two aliens come to Earth in the 1800s in search of entertainment. However, when greed gets in the way, it’s up to them to deal with the consequences of their actions. Another interesting premise and I felt like the two aliens that caused the mayhem didn’t learn anything in the end. They just call their friends to help them and boom, everything’s fixed. I found the ending to be unsatisfying and I was disappointed.
  • The Key by Peter J. Wacks – The English Crown hires two hired guns to protect this mysterious object called “The Key” from the Russians. With help from some of history’s famous figures, can the gunmen keep the Russian invaders at bay? I felt like this story belonged somewhere else. This was more British undercover mission than western. I enjoyed the premise and ending well enough, but the lack of the Wild West left me bitter.

I would recommend this book to lovers of westerns, science fiction, fantasy, and short stories. This collection was a perfect addition to my Weird Wild West shelf. I would also recommend this if you are looking for new authors or authors you already enjoy.

More Short Stories HERE!

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Holy Terror by Robert Shearman

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*No Spoilers*

The TARDIS lands in a forbidding castle in a time of religious upheaval. The old god has been overthrown, and all heretics are to be slaughtered. Obviously, it isn’t the sort of thing which would happen there every day – just every few years or so.

And when the Doctor and Frobisher are hailed as messengers from heaven, they quickly become vital to opposing factions in their struggle for power. But will they be merely the acolytes of the new order – or will they be made gods themselves?

An evil destructive force is growing deep within the crypt. And the pair soon finds out that they will be lucky to escape their new immortality with their lives.

I am still learning about some of the Classic Doctor Who Doctors. I am not familiar with the 5th-8th Doctors yet. However, I still enjoy reading their spinoff stories.

This audio drama was very interesting. I could imagine the whole story as if it was an actual episode. It was well-acted and written.

My favorite character was Frobisher. He was full of good humor and took a major roll in this story. I was a little disappointed when it seemed like Frobisher was overshadowing the Doctor.

One of the instances where I felt Frobisher was overshadowing The Doctor was when the other characters in the story put him into Kinglike and Godlike power over their Kingdom, with that, I found it to be surprised that they didn’t put The Doctor in that position instead since The Doctor is always the main focal character of most of the stories.

With everything that happened in this story, I found it to be well written and the ending wrapped up quite nicely with no loose ends.

If you are looking for a good Doctor Who story, this is your audiobook. I would also recommend this novel for lovers of science fiction and short stories. This audiobook is about two hours long, so it’s a quick listen if you need something to listen to while waiting on another book.

Read More Doctor Who Reviews Here!

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Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Oops, Caught by Alli Reshi

33311439._UY2700_SS2700_ *No Spoilers*

In this sci-fi short story, we follow Mark Noland and Officer Gavson as they attempt to escape from an alien prison cell. The mission was supposed to be simple, an in-and-out job. However, due to outdated resources and unexpecting surprises, they are captured and will be killed in gruesome ways unless they can escape.

The LGBT genre is still a niche in the world of fiction, and this is not flat out LGBT, it’s more just hinted at. So I would say it has soft gay subtext involved.

Seeing Noland and Gavson work through their problems as they make an escape attempt is interesting. Their pasts are vastly different, but when it’s your neck on the line, it’s another ball game.

This was an entertaining read. I enjoyed it even though the beginning was a bit tough to start off. If you’re looking for a quick sci-fi read, this could be your book.

Amazon