Johne's Reviews > The Buntline Special

The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick
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Feb 07, 11

Read in January, 2011

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 editing the book in my head for pacing and punch. That took me out of my enjoyment of the work a bit.

I was a little astonished at the overarching theme of conflict with Native Americans and felt it was borderline un-PC but ultimately worth unpacking.

This story tries to mix Sci-Fi and Fantasy and seems to handle that reasonably well overall, but due to the blurring of genre lines, I can see why he called it a Weird West tale.

Bottom line, I enjoyed this tale and will line up for the followup books. Resnick never fails to entertain, and while being a tad light-weight, this is a worthy addition to his collection. 7 / 10, with points for deftly handling guilty pleasure genre elements.
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