cover image One Night in Sixes

One Night in Sixes

Arianne “Tex” Thompson. Rebellion/Solaris, $7.99 mass market (448p) ISBN 978-1-78108-238-6

When young Sil Halfwick’s attempt to sell horses ends in abject failure, he dreads the long trek back to Hell’s Acre to admit defeat to Boss Calvert. Instead, Sil heads west toward Sixes, near the border of lands emptied of white settlers by war and invasion. It falls to Appaloosa Elim—a mixed-race man who’s older, wiser, and scorned by Sil—to try to keep the ambitious young idiot alive. Elim is experienced enough to suspect that Sil is wandering into a hive of treachery, deceit, and dark magic, but he’s quickly out of his depth when a demigod is killed and he’s accused of the murder. The racially divided societies of this weird western are uncomfortable but not implausible, and while Sil is a pompous, dangerous nitwit without much to redeem him, hapless Elim is more endearing. Thompson’s debut is clearly written and engaging even if the details of her setting remain murky. (July)