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The Buntline Special (Weird West Tales #1)

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  1,093 Ratings  ·  169 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

(showing 1-30)
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Stephen
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.
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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
The Shayne-Train
Jan 12, 2017 The Shayne-Train rated it really liked it
So, sometimes the Goodreads reviews from trusted reviewers can steer you away from time-wasting drivel. And other times, you take a chance and think: "Did they read a different fucking book? This was AWESOME!" This time is most definitely the latter.

You want Western? Oh it's dripping with it. Gunfights and faro layouts and cathouses and horse-rustlers and meticulously maintained facial hair and Indian medicine men and Federal marshals. Oh, and Doc fuckin' Holliday.

You want sci-fi? How about cybo
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 12, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it
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
Feb 18, 2012 Neal Litherland rated it did not like it
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
Harris
Nov 21, 2014 Harris rated it did not like it
So, apparently, me and “steampunk” have really not been getting along that well. This novel is no different; a boring account of the Gunfight at the OK Corral spruced up with superfluous fantasy elements that have no real effect on the story in an alternate history setting that falls apart under the least scrutiny. Really pretty bad, it 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 his ...more
Anna
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
Katina French
Aug 03, 2013 Katina French rated it really liked it
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
Eric
Feb 22, 2015 Eric rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that I had hard time putting it down, this book was awful. It was so awful, that I ended up rage reading it to see if it ever improved. It didn't.

The most egregious problem for me was the lack of characterization. This was especially true for the female and Native American characters in the book. Women could be dived into four categories: prostitutes, robot prostitutes, former prostitutes, and women who can't understand why their men like prostitutes. The depiction of Native Am
...more
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 18, 2012 Jacob Proffitt rated it it was ok
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
Ranting Dragon
Jan 29, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it
Shelves: benni
http://www.rantingdragon.com/the-bunt...


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
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
2.5 stars
A number of things I am interested in should have been enough for me to like this book. But it felt more like: Oh, we need vampires. Got it. What next? Zombies? Do we have zombies? No? Here you go. What about automatons? Ok, here take these whore automatons. And put some well-known names in the story as well. And another thing, even though I know it is an alternative reality I couldn't accept the idea of Thomas Edison as a good natured, well-meaning inventor only interested in his inve
...more
Sadie Forsythe
May 06, 2016 Sadie Forsythe rated it it was ok
Ermahgerd, was that book ever dull. I mean boring to the boringth degree! The writing is fine, if stark, but simply nothing happens. It's all talk, talk, talk—let me describe these anachronistic inventions to you, invitations to drinks and meals, greetings, threats and 'I'm not afraid to die' or 'I'm already dying' quips—talk, talk, talk and very little actual doing, even less actual narrative and/or development. I suppose Resnick figured we all know who Earp, Holliday and Ringo are so no need t ...more
James Martinez
Jan 25, 2011 James Martinez rated it really liked it
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
Craig
Mar 17, 2011 Craig rated it really liked it
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!
Emily
Jan 13, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok
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.
Rachel
Mar 02, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
really sweet. love the wild west meets steampunk.
Tesha Ratliff
Oct 30, 2016 Tesha Ratliff rated it it was amazing
Normally not into Westerns but this easily became a favorite.
Tarl
Oct 04, 2016 Tarl rated it really liked it
I had been toying with the idea of reading this book for awhile now and I am glad that I finally did. First off, I am not a fan of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. In fact, most of what I know is gleamed from the Star Trek episode where Kirk and the gang had to re-enact it.

That said, Resnick manages to not only entertain but also generates an interest of this piece of American history. I was surprised that Doc was the protagonist of this novel, but by the end of it I was pleased and enjoying the
...more
Louis-Étienne
Jan 02, 2011 Louis-Étienne rated it really liked it
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
Johnny
Jun 09, 2013 Johnny rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
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
D
Apr 12, 2013 D rated it it was ok
Shelves: series, ya, sci-fi
I found this in the YA shelves and I'm going to treat it as such. (Well, it does have illustrations in it, and illustrations in an 'adult' novel is pretty hard to come by these days.) It's steampunk and a Western, and I'm not really sure about Westerns because I've never read any before, but as far as steampunk goes, it's ok. That is, until you start to wonder what Edison uses to power his inventions (yes, electricity. But where is it stored? What is the process behind it?) and where Buntline ge ...more
Jonathan Fesmire
Sep 27, 2016 Jonathan Fesmire rated it it was ok
This book is full of great ideas that don't live up to their potential. Most villains are one dimensional, and love to threaten Doc Holiday and others when leaving a saloon or bordello. The description could not be flatter.

I really wanted a great steampunk western, but got a mediocre tale instead.
Lisa
Oct 09, 2011 Lisa rated it it was ok
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
Jimm Wetherbee
Sep 26, 2011 Jimm Wetherbee rated it liked it
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
Meg
Sep 07, 2012 Meg rated it liked it
The Buntline Special
OR
Zombies Need Whores Too

This book feels like it should be fantastic. It's a beautiful blend of steampunk elements and wild wild west. All metal stage coaches! Shoot outs with cracked out steampunk guns! Zombie and vampire gun men! Cyber whores! What is not to love? All of these wonderful elements and they're all even written well! The history feels alive and gritty, like a proper western. The fantastic elements are blended into this gritty setting to feel natural, appropriat
...more
Felix Zilich
Нед Бантлайн - известный газетчик времен Дикого Запада. Фактически - один из основоположников жанра “вестерн”. Статьи, книги, авторские колонки. Про всех известных преступников первой половины XIX столетия, а также про тех, кто появился позднее. В течении своей писательской карьеры Бантлайн участвовал в дуэлях (успешно), уличных беспорядках (не менее успешно). Однажды его едва не линчевали. Когда Бантлайн сообщил Дикому Биллу Хикоксу, что намерен написать про него книгу, стрелок достал свой ство ...more
Josh
Feb 22, 2013 Josh rated it it was ok
Recommended to me by a friend, this is one of my first ventures into Steampunk in any form. This one is an interesting fusion of Steampunk principles and Wild West history under the banner of "Weird West".

In this case the historical parallel is Tombstone & Doc Holliday. The story follows basically the same narrative as the historical Shootout at the OK Corral, but in this case, Thomas Edison has also gone out West and the greatest inventor in the United States has teamed up with Ned Buntline
...more
Benni
Mar 01, 2011 Benni rated it really liked it
http://www.rantingdragon.com/the-bunt...

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
Charles
Feb 19, 2016 Charles rated it it was amazing
I love the work that Mike Resnick does - his action, his Characters and his pacing are always good page turners and this is no exception - this is being labeled as Weird West and Steampunk, so let me explain this book this way - it is the movie Tombstone plus some supernatural elements (Vampires and Zombies and Native American Magic) plus Thomas Edison and his Science - there are no steam operated devices in this, but the aesthetics of this story would seem to be steampunk - but everything is el ...more
John Montagne
Aug 25, 2011 John Montagne rated it liked it
I adjusted this down from four stars, as I realized that my love for the weird west sub-genre was probably effecting my judgement of it. Buntline revolved around the famous conflict of the O.K. Corral re-written (though said shootout didn't actually happen in the corral), with the supernatural involved - and some steampunk thrown in. Western enthusiasts will recognize many of the characters, Bat Masterson, The Earp brothers, Doc Holiday, etc. The plot is pretty straight-forward, and while there ...more
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Michael "Mike" Diamond Resnick, 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 Poland. and has been short-listed ...more
More about Mike Resnick...

Other Books in the Series

Weird West Tales (4 books)
  • The Doctor and the Kid (Weird West Tales, #2)
  • The Doctor and the Rough Rider (Weird West Tales, #3)
  • The Doctor and the Dinosaurs (Weird West Tales, #4)

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