western horror recommendation?
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I'm looking for a horror novel set in the old west, written in the 20th century or later however. I saw a book called The Hawkline Monster at the local library which says "gothic western" on its cover, but reviews here make it sound like some sort of pretentious art-house book. I'm looking for a straight forward horror book, just set in the old west. Any suggestions?
Oh, and no zombies or vampires. Thanks!
I was going to mention Stephen King's Dark Tower series, but I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for. No zombie or vampires, as far as I remember.
This is an interesting question. The closest thing I can think of is A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan. It doesn't have any supernatural elements, but is just fairly horrific. This may not be what you are looking for. Also, the setting is not typically Western, but it is set in latter 19th century in a town in the West.
There's a sub, sub genre called 'Weird West' that is just what you are describing. The style is a) not very popular and b) likely to include non-horror stuff too. The TV series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., the TV series The Wild, Wild West and the comic character Jonah Hex would be popular examples of weird westerns and only Jonah Hex deals much with horror.
I just ordered a book by Richard Matheson called Shadow on the Sun that is a horror/western. I haven't read it yet, so can't say if it deals with werewolves or vampires. However, it is cheaply available and by a respected author, so that might be a good place to start.
Joe R. Lansdale has done a bit of horror/western work. He has a very good novella called Dead in the West though it is out of print and expensive.
He also did a couple of Jonah Hex graphic novels: Two Gun Mojo, Riders of the Worm and Such and Shadows West.
And he edited an anthology of horror/westerns called Razored Saddles.
Robert E. Howard wrote some western/horror stuff. You can find a collection of it called Trails in Darkness. (Check Amazon. There's a review on there that goes in to detail on each of the stories.)
Nancy A. Collins has a collection of horror/western stories called Dead Man's Hand.
There's a set of anothologies set in the Deadlands universe (an RPG combining horror and westerns) called The Trilogy With No Name. The books are: A Fist Full O' Dead Guys, For a Few Dead Guys More and The Good, the Bad and the Dead.
There's also a Korean graphic novel series called Priest (which was just turned in to a movie) that looks promising.
FYI: Of all these recommendations, the only ones I've personally read are Dead in the West and the Jonah Hex graphic novels.
I'm planning on reading Shadow on the Sun soon and it is hard to go wrong with Richard Matheson. I've also enjoyed everything I've read by Robert E. Howrad.
Everything else in my thread here is stuff I'm planning on picking up 'one day' since I love the idea of weird western stories, but would suggest you do research before you purchase any of them.
Sorry for the rambling post!
Thanks all for the great recommendations!
jseger9000: weird west is exactly what I'm looking for. And Robert E. Howard is in my top three authors of all time, so I will definitely check out that collection.
edit: Is Joe R. Landsdale's work generally humorous? I've been thinking about checking out his work, but I'm worried about it being silly or tongue-in-cheek.
#6 - Is Joe R. Landsdale's work generally humorous?
That's a tough call. I think it would be better to label it as sometimes outrageous rather than humorous.
I'm not an expert on Joe Lansdale, but from what I've read and seen, the only thing that I would say is outright humorous is Bubba Ho-Tep and even that took a silly idea and mostly played it straight.
He has an excellent novel called The Drive-In which, if I explained it to you sounds like a comedy, but it is not one.
He does have some comedy stories, like Godzilla's Twelve-Step Program, but I think for the most part he deals with horror, crime and flat-out weirdness, some of which is humorous.
Ah, excellent, I thought Bubba Ho-Tep was where I knew the name from... horror, crime and flat-out weirdness are all some of my favorite things to find in a book, so I will add him to my list of to-reads.
Some of Lansdale's work is humorous in a way, but generally a very dark way. Some of it is pretty gonzo, but this is mostly set in some sort of modern west (automobiles, even sf tropes) (see "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks"). But some is old west done straight and dark ("Deadman's Road").
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