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Burden Kansas (Vampires of the Plains #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Vampires are not sexy or sensitive.

Hungry, bloody and stinking of the grave, they hunt the dry Kansas plains, taking what they want until they cross rancher Keith Harris. Keith is a damaged man who's always made the hard decisions others couldn't. As the two forces battle for survival, the lines between man and monster begin to blur. How much of a community's burden of si
Kindle Edition, 142 pages
Published (first published March 27th 2011)
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Farsighted by Emlyn ChandThe Next Thing I Knew by John CorwinPerpetual Night by Georgina MoralesWired by Martha R. CarrThe Vivisector by Patrick White
Creepy Covers
37th out of 139 books — 138 voters
The Foundlings by R.M.  GarciaDark Lover by J.R. WardOne Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene FrostBurden Kansas by Alan RykerFeral Hearts by Edward P. Cardillo
Cool vampire books
4th out of 37 books — 19 voters

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Community Reviews

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there comes a time in every young girl's life when she has to make that big life decision: vampire or werewolf? this book should make that decision pretty simple.

these vampires are not cuddly or sparkly or beautiful. they suck the cattle dry and then go after the humans. teenfangirls be warned. most vampires aren't the nurturing type.

in other pop culture news, cowboys and aliens is a good premise because it is a humorous juxtaposition, a ballsy "why not?" "imagine if" situation where technology
Jeffrey Keeten
The climate in Kansas is not for the meek. The wind blows a gazillion miles an hour most of the time. The sun bleaches the color out of everything turning the landscape a light shade of gray or dusty brown. The high temperatures in the summer evaporates water leaving ponds a muddy muck. High pressure systems and low pressure systems collide dropping golf ball size hail, pelting us with wind driven rain, and spawning monstrous, howling, black twisters. In the winter time that same wind burns our ...more
This is a very different kind of vampire book. These are by no means your father's vampires. The vamps are fast, insane and for the most part, stupid.
Keith is a relatively new widower who is still grieving. He is also a very angry guy; he is alienating everyone else in his life. Keith's brother and niece are trying to keep an eye on him, but his drinking and his temper are getting out of control.
Keith is trying to keep his cattle ranch going during all this, but now something is attacking the c
I had the amazing luck of Alan Ryker contacting me on Twitter. He offered to send me one of his stories and I was thrilled. I love horror and I haven't read much lately. Mr. Ryker graciously sent me a copy of his novella Burden Kansas. I'm not one for novellas because I like a long and detailed story but this book packs a punch. What Alan Ryker can do in 132 pages puts to shame most of the 400 plus horror books I have read. I am forever a fan.
Here is the book summary: Vampires are not sexy o
I've read a couple of vampire westerns in my day and this is sadly the weakest of the lot. There's some really clever writing in places - I'm a particular fan of "'But you strode in here jingle-jangling like you were going to settle some foolishness'" because that's pretty killer; also the exchange:

"'Sure, but you have to come up with a name. I've never been good at that.'
'How about "the vampire?"'
'Well, I guess I could've come up with that.'"

Unfortunately, by the end of the book, the many g
Great novella and I think a "must read" for any vampire fan (real vampires, not the shy sensitive vampires)
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
No, no of course not.
11811 (Eleven)
Blood sucking creatures of the night
Nocturnal spectre hiding from the light
Cries screaming out every fright
Eagerly awaiting plight
Apparitions from the pits of Hell
Death plagues the streets in which they dwell
Demented lust, the secrets they must keep
Addicted to your blood
At dawn they sleep

-Slayer, Hell Awaits
Burden Kansas is a really peculiar Western/nihilistic look at Vampirism out in the plains of (would you believe) Kansas.

The book opens with a study of how a small cattle-ranching community would respond to new predators as they kill their livelihood off and quickly turns into a pretty great monster story. The main characters are a mean old Rancher and a sadistic young drug-dealer turned vampire, and we never get a proper handle on which one of them is more horrible than the other. Having just re
Jun 20, 2013 Jack rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
Ryker has an enjoyable conversational prose style. It often feels like you are being told a story on a Saturday night outside the store in the same small Kansas town where this book takes place. During a panel on Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies that I attended Ryker said this was his reaction to the glittery, romantic vampires of Twilight. There is nothing Romantic here. The vampire is savage and dangerous, mostly an instinctual animalistic predator.

I'm not a big vampire fan, but when I do re
Karly *The Vampire Ninja*
It is thanks to the ever amazing Karen that I attained access to this novella, and I can not thank her enough!!!

I am a big fan of fan-dys-sci and the current craze of YA novels. Their brooding and sensitive vampiristic characters have brought a lot of enjoyment for me. There comes a time, though, in every woman's life where they have to face up to reality. And the reality of the matter is that if the vampire element exists it is highly unlikely that they sparkle and/or brood.

Vampires are not se
One of the best vampire stories that I have read in a while. Economical prose, yet detailed enough to provide good characterization. Upon reviewing Ryker's bio I discovered that he writes both literary fiction as well as dark fiction. No surprise once I had read this very well written short novel. Ryker clearly not only knows how to fashion a well-paced, exciting horror novel with good characters, settings, and imagery, but he has the chops to tackle other genres as well.

And the best part is th
I. Clayton Reynolds
I feel like I'm handing out five star reviews like candy lately, but I'm reading some really good stuff. Again, I was surprised by how much better this story was than I expected. I expected cowboys and vampires...what I got was a great, deeply-layered story of redemption that I could not put down.
Enjoyed reading the first book in the Vampires of the Plains series. Not your typical vampire story. Like it so much I started book two (Blood Tells True) this morning. I highly recommend this book.
This is a very good vampire book. It wasn't your "Twilight" vampires which was great. It was an overall good book and I'll definitely read the next book.
Pretty good story... I can see the survivor becoming a one-man vigilante if the author decides to make this a series.
Bud Mallar
It reads like a western, and I don't normally read westerns.

It's about vampires, and I don't normally read about vampires.

It's about people, and sticking together and the decisions we must make and live with in life, and I like reading about that.

It was short - 133 pages or so.

It was highly recommended by Karen who has great taste and loves books and has introduced me to many I might not have ever considered.

But, this one just didn't do it for me. I'm not its audience, well at least the vampire
Wayne Klick
I thought I would surely never read another vampire story. I've grown so disgusted with how the legend has gotten twisted between Bram Stoker's origins and that......that trendy teeny bopper love story thing that takes place in Washington. I'm all for poetic license and anybody will add their own interpretation to anything. But, I'm sorry folks. Vampires are not nice, they don't care, they don't fall in love with humans, and for crissake's they don't sparkle. And Alan Ryker's vampires definitely ...more
K.Z. Snow
I vastly prefer spookiness to slice-'n'-dice in dark fiction, but once in a while I crave me some vicious, 30 Days of Night vampires. This book's got 'em. (Just look at the freakin' cover!) Likable characters, though, not so much. I can take that, too . . . although I almost gave up when the protagonist started mistreating one of his dogs. I absolutely cannot tolerate that in fiction any more than I can tolerate it in real life -- my one hardline when it comes to subject matter. Fortunately, the ...more
In the wake of pretty-boy Vampires & sweet Southern faerie vamp lovers, comes Alan Ryker, trailing behind him the real thing. Vampires...ugly, animal-like, smelly, and mean...and one (one town dealer) who has a semblance of intelligence left....just enough to spawn cruel vengeance. Add in a "hero" who isn't, whom you love to hate (or at least I did), and you have a real, modern-day Vampire thriller.

It takes place in the farmlands of Kansas, where something has been slaughtering cattle. The
This was not the book I expected it to be.

I thought it was gonna be about a lonely farmer hunting vampires like a badass.
And well, while that does happen (a little), it's not at all what actually happens. The plot does go a little deeper. And I suppose that's a good thing (actually, I suppose nothing - it is). But for it to have really worked this book should have been a bit longer. You can't carry a plot like this in only 133 pages. Alan Ryker tries, though, and he does it very well.

Had it had
Alice Yeh
In a small town in Kansas, cattle are getting attacked. Some are torn apart, while others get away with a little blood loss and some strange sort of virus. The target of the contagion isn't bovine, after all: it's human. Keith Harris, an angry man with a weak sense of self control, is the first to come across the vampires, and his actions set off a twisted chain of events that delves into the darkness lurking within us all.

For a novella of its limited length, Burden Kansas does a superb job sett
Edward Gordon
"Burden Kansas," a novella by Alan Ryker (Sucker Punch Press, March 2011), is probably the most unsexy vampire story ever written. However, inasmuch as it forgoes any romantic notions of vampirism, I believe its themes hit closer to home for most people.

Ryker’s vampires are much more like rabid animals than sexy immortal humans. They live in muddy holes under trees, stink of death, and come out to feed primarily on cattle. But things take a turn when two of the main character’s trailer-trashy en
Ann Tamimi
This a very short book and it didn't have to be. The premise of the not cuddly vampire is a good one and I prefer it so that was good. However the story felt rushed if the author had taken a bit more time with thr story and development I would have been a much happier reader. The characters were eh take them or leave them no strong connections at all. They lacked feeling and depth just all very superficial. maybe the writing gets better in the next book I'm not sure I'm going to try and find out ...more
Jay Krow
Burden Kansas, written by Alan Ryker, is a breath of bloody, evil, stinking, fresh air for anyone who enjoys the vampire genre. There aren’t any touching love scenes to be had in this fast-paced, brutal, in-your-face story. What you will get is a story about a man who is forced to fight his inner demons as well as the monsters roaming the Kansas plains.

As we follow the main character, Keith, and his brother, Roy, we learn that Keith is a tortured soul. You can’t help but feel sadness for him as
If you like your vampires sexy or glittering, this book is not for you. This is how vampires should be - fast, vicious and deadly.

Keith Harris, the main character, might be hard for some to like seeing how he's made some difficult decisions in the past, drinks a lot and generally doesn't care what the public thinks about him. He gets involved with helping some of the townsfolk when something is feeding on his cattle by draining blood from them and sometimes killing them. No one had an inkling o
Apr 01, 2012 Nathan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
Not really 'sf' but I don't read enough horror to be bothered creating a horror shelf. I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" on my phone in spare moments, and I'm in love with that book's sparse evocation of a dry and dusty southwest devoid of hope and redemption. "Burden Kansas" is nowhere near so bleak, and I suspect it suffered a little in comparison (heck, what wouldn't?).

Whereas most vampire books are 99% plot (chase chase bite bite chase chase bite bite) and 1% gimmick ("oh, he c
I'm not a big fan of vampire books, so it takes a lot to impress me in this area. But Ryker adds a depth to the genre that I didn't expect and, ironically enough, it comes in the setting and the central non-vamp character. I'm not too sure that vampire purists will like this one very much, but if you;re looking for a new vibe to a well-trod genre, this one is for you.
As I started to read this book, I found myself wishing the writer would use more than just the characters name "Keith" alot I felt a little redundant in the writing. Thought I pushed through eager to read and know a little more of the story and what was going on. So it starts with the problem of a small farming town missing it's cattle. As I continued to read I was delighted to see that what was slowing me down before with my inability to concentrate cleared up with the story's new smoothness. G ...more
This had a little different view on vampires. It made it more oringal. kept me interested to see how it all worked out at the end. Keith is a ranger and somthing been killing his cattle and his nieghbors cattle. The sheriff came out to see what he could see but he hates keith. A scientist from federal goverment has come out and knows a little about the creature but not much.
Keith ends up trapping one and learned a little bit more about them and knows how to stop them from killing his cows. Keith
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paced reading hor...: burden Kansas 100% spoilers 15 14 Jul 24, 2013 06:43AM  
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“It's not your fault," she said. "Then whose fault is it?" Keith asked. "No one's. Sometimes things happen and it's no one's fault.” 0 likes
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