FAVORITE FIVE WESTERNS OF 2023
This proved to be a strong year for the western with young guns coming into their prime with the seasoned wordsmiths. Stories varied from well crafted classic shoot em' ups, genre crosses, and original takes. These authors and others held onto the traditions, delivered authenticity, and showed an unabashed love for the form, keeping it alive and thriving. A tip of the ten gallon to you all.
THE COW HUNTER'S LAMENT AND OTHER STORIES by Larry Sweazy
This collection of Larry Sweazy's short works shows the range the western can travel while keeping many of the traditional elements. While looking at frontier life in Florida, Indiana, or more traditional venues, existing in the 1930s, or touching on the supernatural, Larry melds his understanding of human character, study of history, and sense of of adventure for some great and unique yarns.
HUNTERS OF THE DEAD by Steven Hockensmith
After some time away from novels, Old Red Amylinger, a illiterate, but highly observant cowboy with dreams of being Sherlock Holmes, and his brother, Big Red who assists him and records their adventures in pursuing his aspirations of a writer, return. This time, they are solving a murder in a camp of dinosaurs hunters, uncovering fossils. Hockensmith mixes humor, authentic historical feel, mystery, and six gun action for another fun mix of traditional mystery and western.
THE REVENGERS by Terrance McCauley
Deputy Marshal Jerimiah Halstead Has his final showdown with nemesis Ed Zimmerman, pulling in his mentor Aaron Mackey to join him and his partner Sanborne. Theses strong characters stuck in changing times add to this stylish and moody horse opera.
RIDE A FAST HORSE by Kevin Warren
My Favorite debut western, introducing Captain Skinner of the U.S. calvary. Skinner's pursuit of an outlaw gang demonstrates Warren's knowledge of horsemanship and storytelling.
WYATT & THE DUKE bu Patrick Cirillo
An old Wyatt Earp is brought in to teach a young Duke Morrison ( later known as John Wayne) on how a western hero acts and end up fighting gangsters in 1920s Hollywood. A mix of crime, western, and Hollywood yarn that explores the idea of American legends.