The Western

Have you noticed all the Westerns lately? They’re sneaking into all sorts of genres. Here’s a sampling:

Western Cosmic

Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s “Wish Bones“ in Dead Stars and Stone Arches: A Collection of Utah Horror ed by C.R. Langille

Schoonover with her sophisticated plots and character insight has become an auto-buy author for me. In this story, a group of men escort Miss Aramacia Simes to Cedar City for her hanging. She’s wanted for bone craftin’. Their trip doesn’t go well.

Queer Western

T.C. Parker’s Salvation Spring

“A wild plot and Western setting spiced with Parker’s unique style.” (ElleEm, Goodreads) I’m intrigued. It’s on my TBR!

Western Suspense

Terry Odell’s In the Crosshairs

Cattle rustling, thunderstorms, and a murder mystery kept me turning pages. (A bit of romance, too!) My favorite Odell to date.

Western Splatterpunk

Wile E. Young’s The Magpie Coffin, book 1 in the popular Splatter Western series.

The body count stacks up and there are some scenes that were terrifyingly twisted BUT it was all very fitting of the real American West. (Andrew Robert, Goodreads) Sounds rather bloody!

Western Gothic

I’ve saddled up my horse, too. Inspired (or haunted) by the wildfire that marched through our area four months ago, I wrote a Western about a man named Henderson and his encounter with a fire witch. Here’s a snippet:

Inside the church, warm light flowed through the stained glass windows and left dizzying patterns of color on the floor, the altar, and worshippers’ faces. Henderson sat between his wife, Honey, and their daughter, Sue. His trousers were buried under the overflowing ruffles of blue floral (Honey’s) and white eyelet (Sue’s). He couldn’t see his knees.

From there, Henderson’s life takes a decidedly dark turn. Right now, my story is in an acquisition editor’s in-box right now. Good luck, little Western story, good luck!

Today’s feature image is the landscape near our home. Some tree trunks are still black from March’s wildfire, and some of the scrub brush will never come back, but the mesquite and prickly pear are proving tough. It’s pretty in a rugged sort of way… a Western way!

79 thoughts on “The Western

  1. Western horror and gothic are always a fave for me. Love how flexible the gothic genre can be – adding that secret sauce to any style. Some great reads here. Thx. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah, you’re not a stick in the mud, Jacqui. You’re way to au currant for that. I have noticed about myself that I enjoy a broad span of reading genres… horror (of course), suspense, mystery, non-fiction, ancient historical:-), poetry…

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  2. Oooo! Something new to look forward to. I’ll enjoy hearing where to read it once the editor acquires it. 😉

    Also, perfect pic to complement this post. And I’m not the avid reader you are so I didn’t realize Westerns were making a literary comeback too but definitely had noticed it in TV shows and movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fire witch? Wow, Priscilla! I’ll add my wish for “good luck.”

    Living on the Main Street of a small town in a converted 100-plus-year-old building, we hear the volunteer firetrucks racing to put out Central Texas wildfires. Way too many this time of year, and now the siren will conjure the thought of a fire witch, scarier than before!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh and I forgot to add that I love the Western landscape. I lived in Albuquerque from age 10 to college. Moved up to Denver, Colorado for college and afterwards so spent many years back and forth on what I called the milk run (parents run). It is beautiful in it’s wide openness. I’ve been in NC for …16 years now and it took me a long time to shake off the claustrophobia of so many trees!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does feel wide open here, JM, and that’s nice. But I liked Virginia’s trees, too. The only “landscape” I’d find difficult is living in the middle of a big city. There’d be so many things to do, yes, but all those buildings closing in and cars swirling about!

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  4. There have also been a continuing thread of SF/Westerns in media. Star Trek was evidently pitched as “wagon train to the stars” and Firefly was replete with civil war references. For me, it’s an odd match, but I can definitely see with Urban Fantasy being so durably popular that westerns would blend into that.

    I love the sound of your story. Hope it finds a good home soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Wagon train to the stars,” that sounds so apt. I loved Star Trek TOS and totally had a crush on Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Thanks for kind words about my story snippet, and thanks for commenting, Deby!

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