cover image The Buntline Special

The Buntline Special

Mike Resnick, Pyr, $16 trade paper (322p) ISBN 978-1-61614-249-0

In this lusterless steampunk western, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are outfitted with superhard brass body armor and Gatling-style handguns; Thomas Edison is a cyborg working with Ned Buntline on motorized stagecoaches and other wonders; lawman Bat Masterson has vampiric tendencies; gunslinger Johnny Ringo is a zombie bent on besting Holliday in a gunfight; and Geronimo is a successful shaman and general making sure the United States stops at the Mississippi. Five-time Hugo winner Resnick brings a sparse, dialogue-centric writing style to the classic story of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, twisting it ever so slightly to blend magic and mechanism into its narrative weave. The larger story of the feud is untouched, making Resnick's rendition feel like a copycat of Tombstone with gears glued on. (Dec.)