Once Upon a Time in the Weird West

Title: Once Upon a Time in the Weird West : Speculative Fiction with a Western Twist
Author: Astid Amara, Langley Hyde, Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, C.S. Poe, Lex Chase, Venona Keyes, Tali Spencer, Shira Anthony, Kim Fielding, Andrew Q. Gordon, Jana Denardo, and Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 16, 2016
Genre(s): Alternate History, Steampunk, Western
Page Count: 400
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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.

The subtitle to Once Upon a Time in the Weird West says it all. This is an amazing anthology of “Speculative Fiction with a Western Twist” from thirteen different authors totaling 400 pages. It’s impossible to do an in-depth review of every story, so perhaps imagine a bit of Wild Wild West along with Westworld plus Firefly, and topped off with Jonah Hex. If you’d like to read blurbs for each of the stories, click here and then select “Read an Excerpt” on the left-hand column underneath the cover pic.

There was not a single tale in this anthology that I did not like (and several that I madly adored). These tales ranges from fresh takes on Romeo and Juliet, the Pony Express, quixotic searches for treasure, gloriously steampunk airships, delicate craftsmanship creating mechanical wonders for the sake of love as well as hate, medicine shows, rainmakers and more. And there is M/M love threaded through each story, from young love to even beyond the grave.

Even if you aren’t a fan of the weird west genre, give Once Upon a Time in the Weird West a try – you might be pleasantly surprised. From the gorgeous covers to each story within, I highly recommend this anthology and give it 5 stars.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Once Upon a Time in the Weird West provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader