Hide and Horns • 2009 • Western novelette by Joe R. Lansdale

★★★

Summary:  Buffalo soldier Deadwood Dick encounters a black man with one leg pinned under a dead horse and the white men on his trail. A bunch of Chinese girls and racist white men from the eponymous settling add additional colours to the shooting action.

Review: I never expected to read a piece of Western fiction with zero connection to speculative fiction. So, this is a premiere for me, and I stumbled over it in an anthology, and I can say that it was a happy accident. Don’t expect an objective assessment in this case. The author choose the setting from his home turf, which gave a nice background touch – not that the desert atmosphere has a huge impact on the course of the story. The perspective of Deadwood Dick with his dialect and hilarious deadpan humour contrasts the grim killing action. Lansdale knows how to transport a tension arc with more than one peak.

Meta: isfdb. Published Subterranean Online, Spring 2009. Part of the Deadwood Dick series. Read in The Best of Subterranean. Available online.

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