10 Weird West Books to Celebrate the Return of Westworld

HBO's Westworld has taken television by storm, and I personally can't get enough between episodes, let alone between seasons. But I realize not a lot of people know Westworld comes from a long tradition of fusing the American epic with future tech, ancient magic, and all of the supernatural creatures between.

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 can check out while riding into the sunset. Or in this case, into the wild unknown...

The Dark Tower cover

1. the dark tower series
stephen king

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, flowing between western, dark fantasy, and post-apocalyptic science fiction.

The Crossings book cover

2. the crossi​​​​ngs
jack ketchum

Master of horror Jack Ketchum takes us back to the 1848 Arizona territory. When a group of riders decide to help the beautiful Elena rescue her sisters from a slave camp, they find himself thrust into a world of black magic, sacrifice, and bloodthirst.

Night Marshal book cover

3. the night marshal trilogy
gary jonas,glenn r. sixbury, and rebecca hodgkins

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, mysterious shapeshifters, and sinister preachers.

The Haunted Mesa book cover

4. the haunted mesa
louis l'amour

The beloved western author Louis L'Amour decided to take a dip into the supernatural, exploring the legend and mystical legacy of the Anasazi tribe, a mystery that even today baffles historians around the world.

Shadow on the Sun book cover

5. shadow on the sun
richard matheson

A blood-chilling horror story 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 that will lead him face to face with an ancient and powerful evil.

Coilhunter book cover

6. coilhunter
dean f. wilson

Steampunk is a sub-genre that mixes well with the Old West, as proven with 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.

Blood Meridian book cover

7. blood meridian
cormac mccarthy

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.

Lawless Lands book cover

8. lawless lands
various authors

This weird west anthology explores all sorts of uncanny possibilities, including time travelers, aliens, demons, shifters, and every supernatural creature in between. All of it with the unique flavor of the Old West.

Hexlinger book cover

9. the hexlinger trilogy
gemma files

In this horror-fantasy saga, sorcery is as much a part of the western life as is shooting 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...

Westworld book cover

michael crichton

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, introducing us to the deadly and implacable Gunslinger. Terminator, eat your heart out!

Silver and Bone book cover

the american alchemy series

oliver altair

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!

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american alchemy: quicksilver

While exploring the depths of Souls Well's silver mine, young Jonathan Tucker discovers a mystical beast made of priceless, liquid mercury. Just a few drops would make Jonathan rich beyond his wildest dreams, but to get them, he must risk awakening the ancient creature's wrath.

Get this exclusive prequel to Silver & Bone. Available only for the members of my readers group!

Quicksilver book cover

Happy reading!