Book review and giveaway: The Buntline Special

Posted by 6th December 2010

The Buntline Special: A Weird West Tale by Mike Resnick (Advance Reader Copy)

Imagine an America where the native inhabitants have fought back with magic. In Mike Resnick's The Buntline Special, the United States ends at the Mississippi River; the medicine men of various tribes have stopped the advance of the white men. The government is determined to reach the ocean, however, by any means necessary, and have sent Thomas Edison to Tombstone, Arizona in hopes of fighting magic with science. Who best to guard Edison's work than the Earp brothers? And so the story begins…

Resnick creates a wonderful world of the “weird west,” where Doc Holliday walks the streets with Bat Masterson and discusses philosophy with Johnny Ringo – or rather, the resurrected corpse of Johnny Ringo. (Did I mention the tribes use magic? Bat Masterson discovers the perils of underestimating these wizards early on in the story.)

The Buntline Special is fantastically steampunk, as one might expect in an 1881 Tombstone where Edison and Ned Buntline are free to experiment with electricity and weaponry. There are even mechanical prostitutes in town, to the interest of several of the menfolk in town. Readers familiar with the story of the Earp brothers, the Clanton gang, and Doc Holliday will find a fresh new angle with Resnick's storytelling, while those new to the Wild (and/or Weird) West can jump in with no worries. The Buntline Special is a real treat.

We have an advance reader copy of The Buntline Special to give away! To enter the drawing, post a comment below and tell us your favorite character (real or imagined) from the Wild West era. The deadline for entries is Friday, December 17. Good luck!

(More information on Mike Resnick and The Buntline Special is available at Pyr's website.)

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