The Six-Gun Tarot
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Six-Gun Tarot (Golgotha #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  725 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order o...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Tor Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Six-Gun Tarot, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Six-Gun Tarot

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
One of the most enduring motifs of the Western genre is the town in the forsaken deserts of the West where people go to run from their past lives and to escape to a new one. In this novel, Golgotha is such a place, however the voice that leads travelers into its depths is a sinister, ageless one. A voice that also attracts all sort of supernatural phenomena.

Young Jim makes it to edge of this town, where the desert almost kills him and his beloved horse, Precious. His life is saved by a strange h...more
Paul Nelson
This last 12 months I've concentrated mainly on the horror genre and as a result almost stumbled across an affinity for the western, initially starting with Tim Curran but there’s some fantastic stuff out there bred by some far from balanced imaginations.

Six Gun Tarot attempts an awful lot in this début novel, it’s an enjoyable read but the author may just have crammed too much into the story, there’s some fantastic characters, too many really and as he adds depth to them all, the pace of the st...more

Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: Six Gun Tarot is a debut that almost flew under my radar; it was thanks to Cindy, my fellow blogger that I was able to read it. The blurb details give you a small inkling about the book’s story but truly nothing truly prepares for the actual story. There are many POV characters in this story and as each chapter begins we are introduced to each and every one of them along with their backstory, motivations and futures. Jim is the young kid who’s...more
Forty miles in the middle of nowhere, there is a town called Golgotha. It sits in the middle of the desert. Silver mines once made this town thrive but now it is a collection of very unique residents. A boy with a magical eye, a man that can shift into a coyote, a mother and wife that is secretly a trained assassin, a shop keeper with a reanimated wife...Golgotha is quite distinctive.

Even in this unusual town even stranger things are happening. People are going missing, an ancient evil is coming...more
May 12, 2014 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Lovecraft, Weird West, Urban Fantasy
Recommended to Katy by: R.s. Belcher
Shelves: ebook
Book Info: Genre: Weird Western
Reading Level: Adult (although one of the main characters, Jim, is 15 and his coming-of-age is part of the story, I still think it's more of an adult story)
Recommended for: Fans of Lovecraftian literature, Weird Westerns, urban Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: murder, domestic violence against wife and daughter, slavery (during the part set prior to the civil war)
Animals Injured: Horse injures leg badly, had to push on through desert with no water for days (she's okay); tw...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Golgotha, Nevada 1869. Fifteen-year-old Jim finds himself in town after surviving the 40-Mile Desert, running from his past with just his horse and his father's magical jade eye in his pocket.

Golgotha has always had a way of attracting and drawing in the supernatural. With its history of unexplained occurrences, the old town is also home to many strange denizens, including Jonathan Highfather, the town's sheriff whose extraordinary luck has always preserved him despite many close shaves with de...more
Ok I read this a while ago, and this isn't the kind of book that's easily summarized far away from reading, but I know that I enjoyed it, so that's good enough for a review. It's a fantastical mystery, if you've read Tim Powers then this is RIGHT up your alley. A strange town, lots of points of views, folklore and big bad evil people. A bit of George RR Martin with all the different characters and brutal death scenes, but really engrossing. Definitely one to read slowly, but if you love complex,...more
Shanshad Whelan
So sometimes you just happen to spot a title and a cover and say "hey--that looks interesting." I hadn't heard a thing about this particular fantasy western. I was a tad skeptical that I'd actually like the darn thing--westerns are not my favorite genre by any means. But I decided to give it a try.

Folks, it is hands down the best adult SF/Fantasy work I've read this year. Now, given that it is only January, that's not saying much--but I've read about ten or twelve other novels so far, (and stopp...more
Experiment BL626
I picked this book up thinking it was an urban fantasy in the Wild West, and what I read wasn’t far off from that impression. It’s a small town fantasy; not a big difference. Where I went wrong was thinking it would be exciting. It wasn’t — at all. The book was goddamn awful. It was so awful it took me 2-3 months to finish, speaking as a reader who in a motivated mood can finish 2-3 novels in a single day.

One chapter in and I already knew this book wasn’t going to be rated more than 2 stars. Two...more
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)

Another book where I sit here trying to categorize it, think who would be most interested in reading it, and how to describe it without veering off into spoiler land. It is a Western with fantasy elements. I really like the blend of Western and Fantasy, so I've been looking forward to this one for awhile.

Very interesting mix of mythologies and apocalyptic prophecies. We have angels, Lucifer (in a minor role), Coyote's son, a man who cannot die, a boy with a magical artifact, a priestess...more
I just finished reading The Six-Gun Tarot, and found the climax enjoyable enough that I considered giving it three stars. However, a dramatic sequence in the end can't erase how frustrating it was reaching that point in the first place, especially considering that I would have stopped reading much earlier in the book if I hadn't been determined to forge my way to the end despite all discomfort.

There are plenty of great concepts and characters in this story, but they don't come together to form a...more
The story has a few things that I am not really a fan of, such as third person retrospective narrative to tell us what happened to a character. Not all of them tell their story using that device though. The sheriff is still a mystery to me, even if he revealed part of his life to another. Still, as much as I didn't like that particular way of telling a story, it worked well here, but I had to read the whole book to see it. While I was reading, it was occasionally annoying to have the main story...more
Elizabeth Bear
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ornella (Nyx)
4.5 Stars

This book was...I don't even know how to describe it. Twisted, dark, but very entertaining. I'm gonna be using a few quotes in this review, cause it's the only way to really describe things in this book.

I'll be honest, the first half of the book, I was totally lost. I was just nodding my head thinking 'Yeah, ok..' and just kept reading. After that halfway mark things started to get realllly interesting. Each chapter had the title of a tarot card, and it would be in pov of the person who...more
The Six-Gun Tarot is one hell of a debut novel. It’s not quite fantasy, not quite horror, and has a whole lot of fascinating mythology that plays on deeper themes. Though the plot does take a while to take off, and the numerous points of view that are almost constantly introduced can feel rather distracting, Belcher really has something promising on his hands. This is a book that’s a lot of fun with enough depth to keep you thinking. Tight writing and a unique setting keep everything fresh and n...more
In Nevada, 1869, there's a former mining town called Golgotha that seems to be a magnet for odd powers and eldritch monsters. Its sheriff seems to be unkillable, its deputy is half-Indian and kin to coyotes, the mayor is hiding religious treasures in caves near his home, and a banker's wife was initiated in a secret order of female killers and pirates. Golgotha has seen a lot of trouble, but the ancient evil stirring in its played-out silver mine may lead to the end of the entire world.

R.S. Belc...more
MB Taylor
I finished reading The Six-Gun Tarot (2013) yesterday. Not what I expected, but a fun read none the less; maybe not quite a 4 star read, but definitely better than 3.

I haven’t read too many westerns (half of Don Coldsmith’s Spanish Bit series, may have been it) but the set up seems pretty traditional based on the movies and TV shows I’ve seen. The novel open with Jim, a young man on the run, about to die in the desert. He’s found by Mutt, an Indian, and Clay, a stable owner and taxidermist, bot...more
Fangs for the Fantasy
Summarising this book is a difficult task because there’s so much going on.

At the dawn of creation, god built the world on the bones of the defeated darkness. Step by step his angels drove it back, but there was one, the leader, the first, the source of the darkness that could not be stopped, could not be killed and instead had to be chained and buried in the Earth itself.

And now, those chains are loosening. The town of Golgotha in Nevada, a town that already attracts all things weird and bizarr...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
First published on Radiant Attack and read as an ARC

3.5 Stars

They say there are only two stories ever written: a man walks into town and a man walks out of town. Welcome to the town of Golgotha, where you’re likely to walk into town but never walk out again. Where the residents have so many secrets, even their secrets have secrets.

Set in the Wild West, Jim Negrey rides towards Golgotha on a dying horse with a glass eye in his pocket. The eye is the last memory of his father who died in mysteriou...more
Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book by the publisher for reviewing purposes.

Warning: There are small spoilers in the following review.

I would summarize this novel in one word: ambitious. The setting of Six-Gun Tarot is a small town in the Weird West. The novel starts out with a scenario that clearly sets the scene, and the premise is engaging. As the first Act progresses, the author brings in a variety of mythologies and genres that could be reasonably found in a Weird West sett...more
Wow. The Six-Gun Tarot blew my socks away. I’d loved the cover, which set my expectations high, and boy did it deliver.

There’s so much between the covers. It starts at the beginning, with the very Creation itself, when God finds that something already inhabits this world, something so dark and contrary that it has to be contained so the plan for this world can go on as intended. God’s intention, of course.

But before you start thinking this is a Christian story, it’s not. It’s a story of an impro...more
Theo Logos
I'm setting this one aside for now unfinished. It came highly recommended, and looked like it would be right in my sweet spot, but it completely failed to capture me. Perhaps if I would have managed a few more chapters I would have caught on to it, and perhaps I will give it another try later on, but I'm done for now.
My major problem with the book had to do with tone. The author introduced quite a few different characters and plot threads in the first several chapters, but most of them simply di...more
Joshua Unruh
This is a fun book. But it's nowhere near as fun as it could have been.

The worldbuilding for this book is literally amazing and truly first rate. There are so many good ideas crammed into this novel that I kinda want to have some late night bushmill sessions with the author just to chat about them, where they came from, and how long he's been thinking about them.

But all those good ideas are ultimately the problem. They shouldn't ALL be in one book. Or at least not one that's this length. Double...more
A complete surprise. Every classic Western technique mixed with tons of traditional pulp, with Cthulhu mythos hiding in the middle. Very enjoyable with tons of good characters. Every now and then the writing slams together too quickly due to all of the different PoVs, but it isn't a real problem; the book is fun and doesn't suffer at all from the times it happens.
Picked this up on a whim, and was very pleasantly surprised by what a great ride it was! As many other readers have noted, it's part Deadwood, part Buffy, part steampunk, part Crone myth - what's not to like?!
S.A. Hunter
Full disclosure: I had the pleasure of attending several panels Rod was on and even got a hug from him at a convention. He's a super nice guy and an entertaining and knowledgeable author. It was actually due to meeting him and hearing him speak that I decided to pick up his book.

Six-Gun Tarot is what I would call a paranormal western. I haven't read any westerns, paranormal or normal, but I've seen a few on TV :-) The book is set in the small town of Golgotha, where weird shit happens all the ti...more
Carlos Emilio
I cannot use words to describe how cautious I was to approach this novel as it was one of those books I pick up out of mere curiosity without knowing squat about the book or author, I also cannot say how much I conflicted with giving it a three stars review.
The book is not bad if you are looking for a light read, if you are looking for a masterpiece that will be cliche-free and have the most mind bending story, you will be horribly dissapointed in picking this book up.
The characters are all hero...more
This book started very slow. It is full of bad, repetitive dialogue obviously crafted for dramatic effect. Its characters are tropes. It is full of small but very jarring anachronisms that make the setting hard to believe. Its badly misled attempt at Girl Power! culminates in blatant sexism and tentacle rape. And there is not enough plot to keep you going in spite of these things. I have read some pretty bad books all the way through, but honestly I couldn't find a single reason to keep reading...more
This was an interesting mix of genres, & over all not something I've typically read before. For one, it took place in the West in 1869. I can probably count on one hand how many books I've read that are western; they aren't typically my thing. But this book had enough of several other genres mixed in, that I didn't feel put off.

It was hard to tell, if the author was attempting to encourage the reader to buy into or be swayed away from belief in God or gods or religion or even feminism, for...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • She Returns From War
  • Quintessence
  • Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes
  • Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl (Gideon Smith, #1)
  • The Rise of Ransom City (The Half-Made World, #2)
  • The Aylesford Skull
  • Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy
  • Knife Sworn (Tower and Knife Trilogy, #2)
  • Doktor Glass
  • Mage's Blood (Moontide Quartet, #1)
  • Any Other Name (The Split Worlds, #2)
  • The Constantine Affliction
  • Wolfhound Century (Wolfhound Century, #1)
  • Firebrand (Rebel Angels, #1)
  • Emilie and the Hollow World (Emilie, #1)
  • Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence #1)
  • Deep Down (Wide Open, #2)
  • Black Feathers (Black Dawn, #1)
Rod Belcher won the grand prize in the Strange New Worlds SF-writing contest. He runs Cosmic Castle, a comic book shop in Roanoke, Virginia.
More about R.S. Belcher...
The Shotgun Arcana (Golgotha, #2) Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 9 Deep Cuts Neverland's Library

Share This Book

“However...," Satan said.
Bick sighed. "However, I didn't count on the growing interference of lawyers, regulators, bureaucrats and politicians into my business. I swear it seems that every year they stick their noses into more and more."
Lucifer chuckled. "Sorry about that-I outdid myself there.”
“Regrets will eat a man up. My pa told me that. Said you should always try to make your peace when you can, 'cause no man knows what the Lord has in store for us tomorrow.” 1 likes
More quotes…