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The Buntline Special (Weird West Tales, #1)
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The Buntline Special (Weird West Tales #1)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  828 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Welcome to a West like you've never seen before, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western t...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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My expectations were erect and fully engorged going into this story. A steampunky Tombstone meets Terminator, complete with android sex machines, magic, zombies, and even a vampire…my inner nerd was swooning.

And then...well...Shit!!

Like getting doused with ice water, my happy quickly shrunk and went limp, which is a tough thing to adknowledge, espcially since Mike Resnick is one of my favorite storytellers. Yet, despite having all of the ingredients for a fun-loaded page turner, the book never...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I suppose read "sort-of" might be more appropriate. I just couldn't get into this book, so I skimmed through to see how he tied it up. If you can use that phrase.

This was a somewhat interesting idea with it's total (steam punk) rewrite of history and the gimmicks included. I have never found a steam punk novel I liked. I read a synopsis and think I ought to like a given book but in the end (so far) I never have. Part of me thinks that this might have worked better as a graphic novel. Oh well. So...more
Neal Litherland
The Buntline Special is one of the worst examples of either Steampunk or Weird West that I've ever come across. With characters/historical figures as rich as the Earps and Doc Holliday, you'd think this wouldn't be an issue... but from a pure lack of description of characters and the town, to the blandest shoot outs I've ever read, the Special falls flat on its face.

Additionally, The Buntline Special violates one of the key rules of alternative history; ignoring the ripple effect. Tombstone is a...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
This one was a fun, rollicking read. I love westerns, and I think Resnick did great with this different view of the history of Tombstone involving the Earps, Doc Holiday, Bat Masterson, and the Cowboys. Recommended to western fans who like a little weird, steampunk fantasy vibe.

Full review to be posted on Bitten by Books website:
Jacob Proffitt
While I expect to find a lot of hand-waving in this kind of fantastical alternate history, this book simply had too many elements that required a suspension of any kind of common sense. Robotic whores, electronic tracking devices, electricity with no known source, bullet-proof brass, zombies, vampires, shamanistic magic... It's like Resnick threw darts at a list of elements from other fantastical-type books and hoped it'd appeal to lots of people as a result. Resnick is a talented author and the...more
So, apparently, me and “steampunk” have really not been getting along that well. This novel is really pretty bad and can’t even rise to the level of dumb fun. I don’t think I can think of anything that really worked, from the absurd premise to the ridiculous puns drawing on historical figures names (i.e., the Bunt Line, (view spoiler)), and certainly not the boring story telling and lackluster writing.

The Buntline Special has a typically goofy, sta...more
When my boyfriend came to me( a horrified look on his face) and told me I had to read this book, I wasn’t aware that he was asking me to read it so I could be scarred for life.

To be frank, I can’t even find something good about this book that isn’t stretching the truth. It seems, despite how prolific Resnick is, he writes like Stephenie Meyer. That is to say, he writes but doesn’t seem to bother with things like improvement. Come to think of it, he doesn’t bother with things like creating a coh...more
Ranting Dragon

The latest book by the prolific Mike Resnick is The Buntline Special, a standalone novel that gifts the events leading up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral with a steampunk treatment. In this fantasy world—depictions of which are supplied by the talented illustrator, J. Seamas Gallagher—the United States cannot expand beyond the Mississippi River due to the magic-wielding Medicine Men of the Apache Indians, led by Geronimo. Thomas Edison, inventor extraor...more
Katina French
I'm a little confused by so many poor reviews of this book. Not having read anything else by Mike Resnick, maybe there's a big disconnect between his style here and the rest of his work. Or possibly, fans of real Old West history were expecting something in a more solidly plausible alternate history vein, as opposed to this which is more pure steampunk Weird West fantasy.

I like a book that delivers what it promises, and The Buntline Special does. It's pretty much what would happen if they decid...more
James Martinez
So how do you breathe new life into a story that has been told as many times as the shootout at the Ok corral? Mr. Resnick does a great job by adding some steam punk style inventions by Thomas Edison that are built by Ned Buntline and you have a pretty good starting point. Add to that real Indian magic that has kept the white man at bay, an undead gunslinger and a Bat Masterson that actually turns into a giant bat and you have a very interesting retelling of a well traveled story. If you like we...more
Scott Lee
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read only one steampunk novel before this one, a William Gibson, I think and I wasn't terribly impressed, although it was inventive. This one is admittedly a bit more pulpy and more of a genre mash-up, you've got fantasy, western, science-fiction/steampunk etc. all rolled in here with bits of horror in the appearance of both John Ringo (a zombie) and Bat Masterson (a giant vampire bat, and then a vampire).

The writing flows quick and easy and Resnick makes convi...more
Shazza Maddog
This was a very fun read. The changes in the familiar story of what happened at the gunfight at the O.K. Corral are different enough to really keep my attention, and the dialogue is snappy. I would've really liked more description, but I understand editors are whining about description.

Disappointing to someone who loves word pictures, believe me.

So. Anyway. Back to this novel.

John "Doc" Holliday comes to Tombstone to help out Wyatt Earp. His friend has been asked to protect Thomas Edison and N...more
This is a funny, steam-punkish, alternate-history retelling of the gunfight at the OK corral with Thomas Alva Edison, Geronimo, magic, a vampire, and enough other stuff thrown in to fill the kitchen sink twice over. It's very cleverly executed; a really fun volume!
Steve Conoboy
Odd book.
Enjoyable remix of western legends with crazy technology... but it all gets a bit hung up on the metal hookers invented by Edison and Bunt. I mean really hung up. Everybody wants a go with them, which I find frankly difficult to get my head around.
There's also a lot of repetition. A character will tell someone their thoughts or latest news, will bump into someone else a little later, then tell them the same bloody thing. And again. It grates on the nerves.
The ending is incredibly rushed...more
Great dialog. However, I kept waiting for something to happen, and when it did, it was the end of the book. That was not what I expected.
This is basically a steampunk version of The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

It's a classic.

Magic, mayhem and metal whores!

I loved it.
The Buntline Special is an interesting book. It's definitely not great, but it is a fun read, especially if you like Westerns and Steampunk. The alternate history of the shootout at the OK Corral, complete with vampires, medicine men, and all sorts of other bizarre and fantastic elements is creative to say the least. It reminded me of Scott Westerfeld''s Leviathan although I'd say Westerfeld's novels are a tad better.

Maybe I expected too much, but the biggest issue I had with this book was that...more
Stevie Franklin
Being new to Westerns, but a lover of Steampunk, I really enjoyed this book. However, I was a little disappointed with the character development. I think the lack of depth written into the story is mainly because these are famous people, and we should already know who they are. But, being new to the Western genre, I'm not as familiar with the lore behind these characters. I think I missed some of the emotional connections because I had no reference or attachment to these characters. I was just r...more
The Buntline Special is set in an alternate universe where the United States terminates at the Mississippi Rivers, held at bay by Indians with mystical powers. Tombstone is its own territory and there a young Tom Edison team up with Ned Buntline to put marvelous inventions into the hands of the people. Stagecoaches are driven by electric batteries- which angers the horse ranchers. Special Guns fire mutliple rounds. Electric lighting abounds. And Buntline has figured out a special method of refin...more
This was such a fun exercise - I blew through this in short order. Resnick does a great job here of introducing venerable tropes in fresh ways, marrying plausible steampunk elements with zombies (a revived Johnny Ringo as literary zombie) and Bat Masterson as an actual bat (before he became a more classic vampire). I enjoyed the interaction between the POV character Doc Holliday and the Earps, although the fight at the OK Corral felt rushed and could have been handled better.

I found myself editi...more
MB Taylor
I read The Buntline Special earlier this month, starting shortly after finishing The Six-Gun Tarot. Buntline was the type of book I was expecting when I read Six-Gun; mostly light, steampunk & magic in the Wild West. Oddly, I enjoyed Six-Gun a bit more than Buntline.

The two books aren’t very comparable except that they're both steampunk westerns. Buntline is pretty lighthearted fare; while Six-Gun is a horror novel. Six-Gun takes place in the fictional town of Golgotha, Nevada in 1869; Buntl...more
Buntline Special is the first installment of Resnick's entertaining and quirky "Weird West" series of Wild West meets steampunk. The characters are all well-known historical people, who may never have actually met each other historically, but they certainly meet up in this alternate history. The inventions of Tom Swift and Ned Buntline are provided to the likes of Doc Holliday and the Earps. Of course, the Clantons, the Cowboys, and John Ringo are also thrown into the mix. The climax of the book...more
LEC Book Reviews
For a reason or another, I seem to have drifted towards more steampunk reads than usual of late and The Buntline Special is latest to have captured my attention. Mike Resnick is one of those writers who’s been around for so long and published so many novels that he is surrounded by a mythical aura of sorts. Unfortunately, up to now I had never read any of his work, and I’m now thinking that may have been a mistake. His first attempt at steampunk is absolutely riveting, blending in plenty of the...more
Jimm Wetherbee
Classifying The Buntline Special is something of a challenge. At first one might be inclined to file it under steampunk. It is set in the late nineteenth century (Tombstone, Arizona, 1881) and the internal combustion is no where insight. However, the reason that no such engines exist is because it would appear that it is going to be bypassed altogether in favor of electricity. Besides, in many ways the Tombstone of The Buntline Special is like the the Tombstone of the Old West. There are no pret...more
I really wanted to like this book, as it had all the elements of a good steampunk story. However, the writing just seemed shallow and repetitive. Bat Masterson whining about going crazy if he has to endure another night of being locked up EACH night for about 8 nights in a row. Every time someone challenged Doc Holliday to a fight, he is asked if he is scared - he responds he always wins because he is not scared, as he is already dying so it is either dying quick or slow for him. And he is asked...more
Oct 09, 2011 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
(originally reviewed on starmetal oak book blog)

I first discovered The Buntline Special months ago after seeing the cover on various blogs. I was interested in the idea of a steampunk/wild west story. When I found out I could review it for Dreams and Speculation, I jumped at the chance.

The premise of the book is simple: Thomas Edison and Ned Buntline have joined forces; Edison with his genius ideas and Buntline with his expert engineering skill. Together they have created multiple inventions suc...more

The latest book by the prolific Mike Resnick is The Buntline Special, a standalone novel that gifts the events leading up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral with a steampunk treatment. In this fantasy world—depictions of which are supplied by the talented illustrator, J. Seamas Gallagher—the United States cannot expand beyond the Mississippi River due to the magic-wielding Medicine Men of the Apache Indians, led by Geronimo. Thomas Edison, inventor extraor...more
Mike Resnick (or his publisher) bills The Buntline Special as a “Weird Western,” but it could just as easily have been tagged as “steampunk.” Like the old role-playing game, Deadlands, it could be either for both the RPG and the novel. If you’re a stickler for historical fiction, this one isn’t for you. Of course, you can probably tell that from the lavishly illustrated cover. Alas, even though the same artist executed the cover and the internal line drawings, there seems like a huge disconnect...more
Mike Resnick pens a fun little tale, re-imagining the shootout at the O.K. Corral in a Weird West/steampunk universe. The Earp brothers don lightweight brass armor and wield Gatling pistols, facing off against the Cowboys. Also, the Thing That Was Johnny Ringo, now an undead gunslinger animated by native shaman Hook Nose to kill Thomas Edison. There's a lot more too it than that, but the combination of weird western steampunk should whet some readers' appetites.

The book flows along in a breezy m...more
Chris Tice
I didn't realize picking this book up that it was an alternate history steampunk novel. I usually dislike an authors portrayal of historical figures, but it looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a try.

Doc Holliday was overly cocky and pretty agile for being so sick. All the famous gunslingers were pretty sure of themselves even when facing their undead equal, and the zombie gunslinger had all the advantages for a slaughter yet he still gave the 'good guys' plenty of time to figure a way to...more
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Michael "Mike" Diamond Resnick (born Chicago, March 5, 1942), better known by his published name Mike Resnick, is a popular and prolific American science fiction author. He is, according to Locus, the all-time leading award winner, living or dead, for short science fiction. He is the winner of five Hugos, a Nebula, and other major awards in the United States, France, Spain, Japan, Croatia and Pola...more
More about Mike Resnick...
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