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Westward Weird (InCryptid 0.01 - The Flower of Arizona)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  292 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
From a Western circus where monsters and heroes collide to a Civil War robot that clanks into battle to a mining family that encounters parallel universes, "Westward Weird" features 13 original stories that open the Old West to new frontiers of science fiction and fantasy. Original.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by DAW (first published February 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Maria Dimitrova
Jan 13, 2017 Maria Dimitrova rated it liked it
Review only for the InCryptid story included.

Rating 3.45 stars.

This is the story in which Jonathan Healy meets his future bride Frances Brown. Since I'm familiar with both the quotes from the novels and some of the short stories featuring her, I knew she was a delightfully violent woman but I didn't expect that level of violence from the start. There were moments when I wondered if she isn't some long lost member of the family because damn she makes the rest of them seem like pacifists. So many
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
I started reading this without any expectations and ended up loving it. There are thirteen stories in this collection and while you might consider some stories better than others, as a whole this anthology has a great selection. There is not one universal theme unless you count the feeling of old West with a dash of supernatural as one. And that's just what it is - a feeling - because not all of these stories are set in the past, nor are all in the wild wild west.
(view spoiler)
And now, I proudly present *cough*

Westward Weird or How I Tricked Myself To Read Something I Had No Intention of Reading aka Forgive Me, It's 38°C Outside

(Not necessarily a review)

So, sometimes I pick a book based on a cover (at times, I'm shallow)

Here's an example ... I see this cover...


I immediately think of the movie Westworld ...


then obviously ...


followed by ...


and inescapably...


Then I start to hum ... and than sing

Shall we dance?
On a bright cloud of music shall we fly?
Shall we dance?
A fun collection of stories for the end of a long week, when you’re too tired to tackle serious literature and your attention span is that of a gerbil.

Somehow, the mixture of science fiction and fantasy with the western is a genre mash-up made in heaven. I enjoyed all the stories in the volume, but I had specially chosen it for the Seanan McGuire offering, The Flower of Arizona. McGuire did not disappoint, although I did think that if you were new to the InCryptid world, you might not have the
Apr 28, 2012 Jammies rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Some day, I will have a chance to use the phrase "Hail, Priestess of Unexpected Violence!"

I hope it's soon.
What delightful little story this was. Rating 4.5


A spoonful of mystery, a sprinkle of wild west, a bunch of humor, a couple of likable leads an a bag full of adorable mice. Delicious.

“Your horse is named ‘Rabbit’?” asked Jonathan.
“Your mouse talks,” countered Fran. “I don’t think you get to say a word.”
“Fair enough,” Jonathan said. “Please continue.

Nice way to draw a reader into a series.

“All aboard for Phoenix, Prescott, Ash Fork, and all points east!”


The Adventure Begins...
Carolyn F.
Anthology. My rating average is 3.42 stars which is better than I thought it would end up. So worth a read.

1. The Temptation of Eustace Prudence McAllen by Jay Lake. This story was chock full of metaphors. As short of a story as it is, if you made a drinking game out of reading a metaphor you'd probably have alcohol poisoning. **

2. The Last Master of Aeuronautical Winters by Larry D. Sweazy. Entertaining story. I couldn't figure out whether Buffalo Bill Cody was a good guy or a bad guy. And the
Jan 11, 2017 Sonia rated it really liked it
Shelves: incryptid
Only read the Incryptid short-story

Fran is really something :)
Borrowed this to read the Seanan McGuire "The Flower of Arizona" story from her Incryptid series, found myself reading all the stories. As with any anthology, some are better than others. One of the stories I particularly liked was the J. Steven York story "The Clockwork Cowboy", about a town of mechanical people fighting a human rancher's threat of cutting off their water supply.
Feb 28, 2012 Colleen rated it liked it
This anthology is an alternate history/fantasy/science fiction presentation of tales of the Old West. Well, except when the Old West is actually a colony on Mars (go read L Neil Smith's Pallas). Or when there is a crystal cave with time traveling powers. But hey, I can roll with the general theme. Like most anthologies, there were really good and only mediocre stories collected together.

The back of the book did a pretty good job describing it. While there is an Old West theme going on here, nea
Apr 05, 2016 Sarah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm not marking this as read or giving it a rating yet because I've currently only read one short story from the anthology. I do intend to come back to it and read the rest at some point though so I'll update this review when I get around to it.

4 stars for The Flower of Arizona by Seanan McGuire:
Read: 5th April 2016
Although The Flower of Arizona is the first story about Jonathan and Frances it's actually the third one I've read since I downloaded a couple of the freebies from Seanan McGuire's we
Dec 21, 2015 Cathy marked it as partially-read-was-enough
I only got it out of the library to read Seanan McGuire's story, The Flower of Arizona. I saw it advertised when it was release, but weird westerns aren't really my thing, even though the author line-up seemed OK. It's hard for me to put away an anthology without reading it these days, but this one didn't tempt me too much. Seanan's story was a good meet-cute story for fans of her InCryptid series. The grandparents of the current generation of heroines and heroes, Jonathan and Francis, met in Ar ...more
Fun little collection of Western stories... with a twist. Fantasy and science fiction fit in well with frontier-style storytelling. Highlights include J Steven York's "The Clockwork Cowboy," Christopher McKitterick's "Surveyor of Mars," and excellent contributions by Dean Wesley Smith and Seanan McGuire.
Hali Sowle
Jul 19, 2012 Hali Sowle rated it liked it
Not a bad anthology of science fiction/fantasy with an old west theme. I bought this book for one reason - to read Seanan Mcguires "Flower of Arizona" which is the .01 of the Incryptid series, the .02 and .03 being available on her website. That was the best read in the book as far as I was concerned. The rest were good, but none led me to want to go out and purchase any more of their authors books.
May 27, 2015 Ivy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice to know how Jonathan and Fran met. Wonder what it would be like in the old West. Can't wait to read more of Jonathan and Fran!
Dr susan
Jul 26, 2012 Dr susan rated it really liked it
Writing a review for an anthology is difficult if some of the stories aren't your cup of tea. Seanan Mcguire's story is an hysterical 5-- the Aeslin mice are priceless.
Only read The Flower of Arizona by Seanan McGuire because InCyptid - nice intro to Jonathan and Fran. I love their meeting and the Aeslin mouse (who is very sure of Fran's place even though Jonathan may not be).

I was a little bummed that the "monster" problem had to be resolved in the way it was, but I was glad that the person taking advantage was handled.

Quick and short story. Fun history into the Healy-Price family.
Dec 11, 2016 Steven rated it really liked it
Only read for the Flower of Arizona by Seanan McGuire, because INCRYPTID! :D
Only read "The Flower of Arizona" by Seanan McGuire.
Feb 23, 2017 Emily rated it it was amazing
Great selection of urban fantasy stories in a Wild West sort of setting. I need to look into some of these writers.
Sep 12, 2016 Strega rated it liked it
Creatures and cowboys. Some interesting. Some not so much.
Sep 23, 2014 gremlin rated it liked it
I got this just so I could read the Seanan McGuire story "The Flower of Arizona" which shows us how Jonathan and Fran met up. This was just as good as I expected from reading other short stories featuring the pair (free on the author's website.)

As long as I had it in my hands, I read a few other stories, but not the whole thing.

The Temptation of Eustace Prudence McAllen by Jay Lake - read this one because of the catchy title, it was ok.

Lowstone by Anton Strout - an interesting, if sad, western z
Feb 08, 2013 Veronica rated it it was ok
Shelves: weird-west, anthology
I only bought this anthology so that I could read the short story by Seanan McGuire, based on her Incryptid series. Those who have read Discount Armageddon (InCryptid, #1) by Seanan McGuire will be familiar with Verity Price and the history of the Price family. Well, Mcguire's entry in this anthology, "The Flower of Arizona", tells the story of how her multiple times great grandparents, Jonathan Healy and Frances Brown, first met. It's a cute story and it definitely gives you an idea of where Verity got her snark from. The rest of the stories in ...more
Maggie Gordon
Review for "The Flower of Arizona" by Seanan McGuire

Boy goes out west because there be monsters. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl also meet a questing beast. Boy and girl unfortunately have to kill the questing beast, but they send it's body back to the boy's parents for scientific observation. Boy and girl ride off into the sunset together. Well, less ride, more take a train, and then the train... well, that's the next story...

So begins the start of the Johnny and Frannie saga of the Incryptid seri
Feb 07, 2012 Lauren rated it it was ok
Shelves: anthology
For the record, Seanan McGuire's Incryptid story is a five star story. The rest run the gammit from mediocre to bad. A few stray towards good but not enough for me to even truly recall them only hours after finishing. Only had to skip one due to pure terribleness, however.

There are werewolves, zombies and steampunk to satisfy anyone's eclectic taste but overall, no standouts. This is a long anthology as well, compared to the new trend of four story anthology collections that take 20 minutes to b
Sep 15, 2013 Myndi rated it really liked it
*This review is only for the InCryptid portion of the book at this time.*

I have not read anything by Seanan McGuire before today. I picked up Westward Weird to read the InCryptid part of the anthology since it's listed as 0.1 in the series. Being unfamiliar with the series, I have to say that I was very impressed with the story considering how short a story in an anthology has to be. I was drawn to the two main characters and intrigued by the type of story it was. A series about this line of wor
Christopher McKitterick
Jul 16, 2014 Christopher McKitterick rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I love this collection of Weird Old West stories! It contains a full diversity of spec-fic forms and attitudes toward the genre. (I also have a story in this one, about a land surveyor - who is also a reluctant gunfighter - working on Mars who gets drawn into larger and less-pleasant events that will shape the future of the pioneer world. It's set in about 1900 on Percival Lowell's Mars after H.G. Wells' Martian invasion of England.) If you like the Old West, alternate history, and the supernatu ...more
Alisa Hedden
Feb 25, 2012 Alisa Hedden rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this collection of stories that took place in a mythical old west.
Starting with a story that is very much like a typical western tall tale, to faerie tales, science fiction, demons and steampunk. This collection has something for everyone and will join a spot in my permanent collection. Definitely not a waste of time and something I am very glad I had a chance to read. I am very sorry that Martin is no longer with us so that we can continue enjoying his sense of timing and e
Jean-Pierre Vidrine
Feb 05, 2014 Jean-Pierre Vidrine rated it really liked it
There is no shortage of imagination here. Clearly, the Western genre is far more versatile than some give it credit for. The standout tales for me were "Surveyor of Mars" by Christopher McKitterick, an interesting followup to War of the Worlds; "Coyote, Spider, Bat" by Steven Saus, if you're a mythology buff; "The Clockwork Cowboy" by J. Steven York, robots!; and "Black Train" by Jeff Mariotte, a new take on a living dead story.
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Martin Harry Greenberg was an American academic and speculative fiction anthologist. In all, he compiled 1,298 anthologies and commissioned over 8,200 original short stories. He founded Tekno Books, a packager of more than 2000 published books. In addition, he was a co-founder of the Sci-Fi Channel.
More about Martin H. Greenberg...

Other Books in the Series

InCryptid (7 books)
  • Discount Armageddon (InCryptid, #1)
  • Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2)
  • Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid, #3)
  • Pocket Apocalypse (InCryptid, #4)
  • Chaos Choreography (InCryptid, #5)
  • Magic for Nothing (InCryptid, #6)
  • Tricks for Free (InCryptid, #7)

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