The Sword and Laser discussion

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)
This topic is about The Gunslinger
166 views
The Gunslinger > TGS: Other Fantasy Westerns?

Comments (showing 1-43 of 43) (43 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Rob Secundus (Quintessential_Defenestration) | 1033 comments The idea of Fantasy Westerns has always appealed to me, but I've rarely ever actually encountered it in the wild. Whenever SFF crosses over with the Western, it seems to lean real hard on the SF end of the spectrum-- from that terrible Will Smith movie, to Firefly, to Cowboy Bebop, Cowboys & Aliens, etc etc, our cowboys always seems to get laserguns, not magic bullets.

Does anyone have recommendations for good Westerns that dip into Fantasy? The only ones I've really encountered are comics: East of West, Seven to Eternity, and Jonah Hex (and only the former two are any good).


message 2: by J (last edited Jul 30, 2017 09:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

J Austill | 72 comments I really like The Alloy of Law. It's essentially X-men in the Wild West but with a lot tighter rules on the super powers (how many there are. their limitations and cost to use).

But like you, I also wish to find more.


message 4: by Soo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Soo (Silverlyn) | 72 comments I'm currently reading The Six-Gun Tarot and it's a western fantasy. Golgotha series. =)


Geoff (GeoffGreer) | 328 comments Red Country by Joe Abercrombie


message 6: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4603 comments Rob Secundus wrote: "The idea of Fantasy Westerns has always appealed to me, but I've rarely ever actually encountered it in the wild."

I see what you did there.

Forget the Will Smith movie and go to the source, the TV series Wild, Wild West. It's basically Mission: Impossible in the Old West. (It's the show that finally tipped the national conversation into "are TV shows too violent?" The answer seemed to be a resounding "Yes!" resulting in it being canceled. Watching it now, it feels incredibly tame. But it's still tremendously entertaining.)

Alan Dean Foster's short stories about Mad Amos are pretty entertaining. A mountain man wizard, what's not to like?

If you look up Weird West books, you'll probably find something good there, like Soo's recommendation of The Six-Gun Tarot.


message 7: by Soo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Soo (Silverlyn) | 72 comments Just came across this one: Those Poor, Poor Bastards

Zombies in the wild, wild west! Looks interesting.

The show Wild, Wild West was great to watch as a kid. Course, when I tried to watch the same shows later, it was hard. lol


message 8: by Robert (last edited Jul 31, 2017 05:16AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robert Lee (harlock415) | 132 comments I have not read it yet, but Rebel of the Sands seems to mix western elements with middle eastern fantasy.

Mostly horror, but there is some fantasy in it is the anthology Razored Saddles


Melani | 75 comments Silver on the Road is my current favorite in the weird western subgenre, Territory is another one I put at the top of my favorites list. Six-Gun Snow White is good, but it's heavy on all of Valente's quirks so if those annoy you then you might want to avoid this little novela. I didn't make it very far into Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy, which starts with, Shaman's Crossing but I think it kind of fits. Ursula Vernon has a couple of short stories set in a weird western world, they're both collected in Jackalope Wives And Other Stories, and I love them both dearly. I would read a whole series based in that world.


Clyde (wishamc) | 297 comments Oh my. Has nobody here read any of C.K. Crigger's Gunsmith series. I reckon they fit perfectly. Start with In the Service of the Queen.


message 12: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4603 comments Clyde wrote: "Oh my. Has nobody here read any of C.K. Crigger's Gunsmith series. I reckon they fit perfectly. Start with In the Service of the Queen."

Those are new to me.

They sound a bit like the SyFy TV show Wynona Earp, which I quite enjoy.


message 13: by Lena (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lena Ooh me too! Love Wynona Earp.


message 14: by Clyde (last edited Jul 31, 2017 08:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Clyde (wishamc) | 297 comments Trike wrote: "Clyde wrote: "Oh my. Has nobody here read any of C.K. Crigger's Gunsmith series. I reckon they fit perfectly. Start with In the Service of the Queen."

Those are new to me."


Crigger writes mostly straight up westerns. Her gunsmith series, however, is wonderfully fantastic with a kickass female protagonist.
Don't know why they aren't more popular.
(The first two books aren't strictly westerns. The next two most certainly are, and the fifth book throws in alternate universe travel.)


message 15: by Mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark (mmtz) | 905 comments The Dead of Winter is an interesting old west fantasy. It took me a while to catch on to the status of the main characters.

Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns: Supernatural and Science Fiction Elements in Novels, Pulps, Comics, Films, Television and Games for more.


message 16: by Mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark (mmtz) | 905 comments About the same time that King was writing the stories that would be collected as The Gunslinger, Paul Lederer, writing as Logan Winters, created Doc Spectros, master magician in the Old West, for a series of westerns:

https://www.goodreads.com/series/2007...

The western fantasy subgenre didn't really exist at the time. These books have been reprinted in ebook format as by Paul Lederer.


message 17: by Mark (last edited Jul 31, 2017 12:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark (mmtz) | 905 comments Soo wrote: "The show Wild, Wild West was great to watch as a kid. Course, when I tried ..."

There are a few WWW tie-in novels too:

https://www.goodreads.com/series/1745...


message 18: by Tal (new)

Tal M. Klein (talmklein) | 8 comments Check out Devil's Call by J. Danielle Dorn - Wild West + Witchcraft. Loved it!


message 19: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4603 comments Spoilers for a 44-year-old film, one of my all-time favorite movie Westerns, High Plains Drifter, is a Fantasy. Although it's not obviously so until literally the very last line of the movie, whereupon you reevaluate everything you've just seen.


message 20: by Nils (new) - added it

Nils Krebber | 99 comments Rapunzel's Revenge is quite nice, if you look for other comics. Also the Deadlands Tie In Short Story collections Deadlands: A Fistful O' Dead Guys by Shane Lacey Hensley are fun, magic and steampunk mixing romps.


message 21: by Dave (last edited Aug 01, 2017 07:40AM) (new)

Dave Wallace | 8 comments I enjoyed this one. into the Furnace by Rish Outfield.
https://www.amazon.com/Into-Furnace-R...


message 22: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (HannarSolo) Dropping in to add Wake of Vultures


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 859 comments Joe R. Lansdale (whose story Bubba Ho-tep was made into the Bruce Campbell film of the same name) has done several stories in this vein. Though he's usually held up as the godfather of "Weird West", which is a blend of western with splatterpunk horror, Lovecraftian horror, fantasy, New Weird, etc. I've read Zeppelins West, which also adds steampunk to the mix.


message 24: by Sean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sean | 300 comments This one's a bit on the nose, but I'm going to recommend Unicorn Western. Unlike some of the stuff mentioned, it's a western set in a fantasy world, not a western with fantasy elements. The series is nine books long (ten if you include the prequel), but they're all fairly short.


message 25: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4603 comments Sean wrote: "This one's a bit on the nose, but I'm going to recommend Unicorn Western. Unlike some of the stuff mentioned, it's a western set in a fantasy world, not a western with fantasy eleme..."

I was wondering how that could possibly be, but after reading the description, I get it.

Since that first book is only 89 pages, it seems more like a series of novellas, thus quick to get through. Poking around, it looks like the entire 11-book series is 998 pages.


message 26: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4603 comments Joe Informatico wrote: "Joe R. Lansdale (whose story Bubba Ho-tep was made into the Bruce Campbell film of the same name) has done several stories in this vein. Though he's usually held up as the godfather ..."

I read Zeppelins West a couple years ago and it's certainly Western-adjacent, sort of the same way Dracula has a cowboy in it, in a The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 sort of "famous character mash-up." Not really a Western, though.


Clyde (wishamc) | 297 comments This thread wouldn't be complete without adding Louis L'Amour's The Haunted Mesa. Gunslingers and parallel worlds -- what's not to like.


message 28: by Leif (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leif (Leffa) | 18 comments Nekroskop wrote: "Rapunzel's Revenge is quite nice, if you look for other comics. Also the Deadlands Tie In Short Story collections Deadlands: A Fistful O' Dead Guys by Shane Lacey Hens..."

I've played a lot of the Deadlands: The Weird West Roleplaying Game, but never gotten around to reading any of the fiction. There's also Ghostwalkers set in the same setting. Don't yet know it it's any good.


message 29: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Sisco J wrote: "I really like The Alloy of Law. It's essentially X-men in the Wild West but with a lot tighter rules on the super powers (how many there are. their limitations and cost to use).

Bu..."


That was my first thought was Sanderson's second Mistborn trilogy, a really good read for any who haven't already.


message 30: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2489 comments Clyde wrote: "This thread wouldn't be complete without adding Louis L'Amour's The Haunted Mesa. Gunslingers and parallel worlds -- what's not to like."

Wait, really? I've idly toyed with the idea of reading a Louis L'Amour book, just to see what the fuss was about. This one could be good.


Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 654 comments I've read a few, but Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West is what comes to mind. I've read a few others, but nothing I can think of at the moment.


Brendan (mistershine) | 904 comments You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay by Alyssa Wong. Available to read for free from Uncanny Magazine here.


Rob Secundus (Quintessential_Defenestration) | 1033 comments Like John I've wanted to read Lamour for a while. He's my dad's favorite writer. Had no idea he wrote fantasy!


message 34: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4603 comments Rob Secundus wrote: "Like John I've wanted to read Lamour for a while. He's my dad's favorite writer. Had no idea he wrote fantasy!"

Same. This is why discussions like this are so cool.


message 35: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2489 comments LA library had it so I picked it up for my vacation reading. Seems to be more "Western plus supernatural aspects" than Fantasy, but I'm good. Heck, A Princess of Mars was pretty much a Western with some SF elements thrown in.


message 36: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4603 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "LA library had it so I picked it up for my vacation reading. Seems to be more "Western plus supernatural aspects" than Fantasy, but I'm good. Heck, A Princess of Mars was pretty much a Western with..."

By my reckoning, a single element of the impossible or supernatural turns a work into a Fantasy. For example, in the opening scene of Hamlet numerous people see the ghost of Hamlet's father, but there are no other supernatural elements in that play. The rest is teen angst and political drama. But I classify it as a Fantasy because of that ghost.

If, instead, only Hamlet had seen the ghost, one could make the argument it was his grief-stricken imagination, but the apparition is treated as real by other characters. Sometimes a story only needs that little bit of flavor to determine its genre.


message 37: by Fresno Bob (new)

Fresno Bob | 457 comments Soo wrote: "I'm currently reading The Six-Gun Tarot and it's a western fantasy. Golgotha series. =)"

good stuff here!


message 39: by J-F (new)

J-F Dubeau (JFDubeau) | 41 comments My publisher very recently released Devil's Call by the very promising J. Danielle Dorn. Worth checking out.

It's pretty much True Grit with witches.


message 40: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (SeanSandulak) | 396 comments Here's the thread that Vaginal Fantasy Western thread that V mentioned in Podcast #303 @28:40. It's mostly romance books but there's fantasy/supernatural stuff mixed in there: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

VF read westerns a couple of times:
•Silver Lining and The Outsider in Oct 2015 are more traditional historical novels: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...
•Silver on the Road in May 2016 has magic and the devil: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...


message 41: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 1842 comments One that I enjoyed a few years back -- a short story collection called Tales of the Far West that included contributions by Scott Lynch and Ari Marmell, amongst others. The setting was kind of a wild west/wuxia film amalgam with some light steampunk elements; it was fun stuff.


Koji-San (koji_san) | 9 comments Don't count out VERMILION by Molly Tanzer. Very weird weird Western.


message 43: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 72 comments I can't think of a book, but if you can I highly recommend Westworld which was on HBO. Excellent. There is also the Yule Brenner movie...


back to top