Exploring the Wild, Weird West
HBO’s Westworld has taken television by storm. I can’t get enough of its uncanny mix of the American Epic with robots worth of the best Asimovian stories. Westworld comes from a long literary tradition that fuses the history of the Old West with future tech, ancient magic, and all sorts of supernatural creatures.
In the mysterious, lawless lands of the Weird West, anything is possible.
If you’re a long time fan of the genre, or just discovered its pleasures hand in hand with HBO’s revival of Michael Crichton’s classic, here’s a list of titles you will enjoy while riding into the sunset.
Or in this case, into the wild unknown…
The Dark Tower Series
Stephen King’s seven-book magnum opus follows the adventures of Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger of the long gone land of Gilead. On his quest to the haunting Dark Tower, Roland explores a world that has moved on, caught in between Western, Dark Fantasy, and Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction.
Master of horror Jack Ketchum takes us back to 1848, Arizona. When a group of riders decide to help the beautiful Elena rescue her sisters from a slave camp, they find themselves in a nightmare of black magic, human sacrifices, and savage blood-thirst.
The Night Marshal Trilogy
Gary Jonas, Rebecca Hodgkins, Glenn Sixbury
In this Weird Western trilogy, vampires and werewolves run amuck the high plains and death valleys of the West. Marshal Jack Talon finds a whole new calling when he becomes a creature of the night, and has to face undead gunslingers, shapeshifters, and preachers with sinister intentions.
The Haunted Mesa
The beloved Western author Louis L’Amour took a dip into the supernatural, exploring the legend and mystic legacy of the Anasazi tribe, a mystery that still baffles historians around the world.
Shadow on the Sun
A blood-chilling horror novel from the author of I Am Legend. Local Indian agent Billjohn Finley will have to do his best to keep the peace between the townsfolk and the Apaches. While investigating a series of gruesome murders, he’ll come face to face with an ancient and powerful evil.
Dean F. Wilson
Steampunk is a sub-genre that mixes well with the Old West, as proven in this Science-Fiction, Western series. Follow the bounty hunter and master mechanic Nox in his quest through the Wild North, a wasteland full of outlaws, danger, and rust.
Get ready to feel your hairs standing on end after meeting Judge Holden and his gang of brutal mercenaries, the Glanton gang. Blood Meridian is not for the faint of heart, but most definitely worth the ride.
This Weird Western anthology explores all sorts of uncanny possibilities, including time travelers, aliens, demons, and shifters. All of it seasoned with the unique flavor of the Old West.
The Hexlinger Series
In this Horror-Fantasy saga, sorcery is as much a part of the Western life as is wielding a gun. Meet the Hexes, men and women who develop an ability for magic. But some of them might be interested in using their powers to bring an impending doom…
HBO was not the first to open the doors to the Westworld theme-park, nor was Dolores the first host to break a loop. Back in 1973, Jurassic Park‘s Michael Crichton wrote and directed the Sci-Fi classic that would inspire the 2017 TV show. And Yul Brynner as the deadly and implacable Gunslinger? Terminator, eat your heart out!
Hey pardner, I write Weird Westerns too!
My book series American Alchemy starts in the late 1800s: the twilight of the Wild West. Like my fellow authors above, I also mix Westerns with magic and mythology. The Old West is an epic moment in time still wrapped in mystery today. The perfect set-up for a dark fantasy story!
Silver & Bone (American Alchemy #1)
Magic, cowboys, and zombies. Welcome to Souls Well, Colorado. In my personal take on the Weird West, mysterious alchemists have seen an opportunity to expand their power and arcana in the wild lands of the West. Now it’s up to sheriff Tiberius Tibbetts to protect his town from dark forces he’d never thought possible. As if life up in the San Juan mountains wasn’t hard enough!
You can discover the American Alchemy series for FREE!
American Alchemy: Gold
Enjoy an occult mystery set in the Gold Rush for free.
California, 1849. The call of the Gold Rush is strong. No hostile land or sacrifice will stop Barton Saunders from becoming the man he always wanted to be. Not even the ancient darkness lurking in the shadows of the West.
Will Barton escape the gold fields before his heart drowns forever in them?
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