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Welcome to a West like you've never seen before, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western t Welcome to a West like you've never seen before, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western tale, and the West will never be the same.


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Welcome to a West like you've never seen before, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western t Welcome to a West like you've never seen before, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western tale, and the West will never be the same.

30 review for The Buntline Special

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    My expectations were erect and fully engorged going into this story. A steampunky Tombstone meets Terminator, complete with android sex machines, magic, zombies, and even a vampire…my inner nerd was swooning. And then...well...Shit!! Like getting doused with ice water, my happy quickly shrunk and went limp, which is a tough thing to adknowledge, espcially since Mike Resnick is one of my favorite storytellers. Yet, despite having all of the ingredients for a fun-loaded page turner, the book ne My expectations were erect and fully engorged going into this story. A steampunky Tombstone meets Terminator, complete with android sex machines, magic, zombies, and even a vampire…my inner nerd was swooning. And then...well...Shit!! Like getting doused with ice water, my happy quickly shrunk and went limp, which is a tough thing to adknowledge, espcially since Mike Resnick is one of my favorite storytellers. Yet, despite having all of the ingredients for a fun-loaded page turner, the book never really got me going. The promise of the premise quickly petered out and the whole thing stalled somewhere short of likeable. Don’t get me wrong, this isn't a bad read. Resnick’s prose is very, very readable, and the pacing was brisk enough that I read all 300 pages in a single sitting. That says something good about the story. I’d say it’s between okay and good (hence my 2.5 star rating). It’s just that my nerdlinger hopes were dashed and I was left disappointed, which probably left me judging the book a bit more harshly than it really deserves. I can’t help it…I just feel let down. PLOT SUMMARY: The novel, book 1 of a proposed series, takes place in an alternative 19th century America, where the United States never expanded beyond the Mississippi River. The westward expansion was halted by tribes of Native Americans. The most power of these tribes are led by Geronimo, whose “medicine men” possess magic formidable enough to create a stale-mate with the U.S. Territories like Tombstone, Arizona, while located within the Native American sphere of influence are pretty much left alone so long as they do not interfere with the tribes. Well, along comes Thomas Edison and Ned Buntline, whose invention of electricity and electric trains have transformed Tombstone into a thriving city, while the development of brass has provided buildings, trains, and people with protection against the weapons of the Native Americans. Throw in the recently developed “gatling” machine pistol being used by the United States and the Native American’s are growing nervous. The central plot surrounds Edison’s latest project, an attempt to neutralize the magic of the Native Americans so that expansion of the U.S. can continue to the Pacific Ocean. Several powerful groups are trying to kill Edison before he completes his work, and the Earp brothers (Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan), Doc Holliday, and Bat Masterson, have been hired to protect Edison, while also trying to uncover who’s trying to murder him. This all leads to an alternate version of the story of the O.K. Corral. THOUGHTS: Decent…that’s the best I can do, which is a shame because it could have been something terrific. Instead, it turned out to be the literary equivalent of a bag of potato chips. A decent, diverting read, but nothing you are going to remember when you’re finished. On a positive note, the end of the novel left me with some hope that future novels may develop several interesting threads involving the ongoing struggle between the U.S. and Native American tribes. That was the most interesting aspect of this book, and if subsequent novels more fully explore this, good things may happen. As for this one… Turns out...quite a lot. 2.5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    The Shayne-Train

    So, sometimes the Goodreads reviews from trusted reviewers can steer you away from time-wasting drivel. And other times, you take a chance and think: "Did they read a different fucking book? This was AWESOME!" This time is most definitely the latter. You want Western? Oh it's dripping with it. Gunfights and faro layouts and cathouses and horse-rustlers and meticulously maintained facial hair and Indian medicine men and Federal marshals. Oh, and Doc fuckin' Holliday. You want sci-fi? How about cybo So, sometimes the Goodreads reviews from trusted reviewers can steer you away from time-wasting drivel. And other times, you take a chance and think: "Did they read a different fucking book? This was AWESOME!" This time is most definitely the latter. You want Western? Oh it's dripping with it. Gunfights and faro layouts and cathouses and horse-rustlers and meticulously maintained facial hair and Indian medicine men and Federal marshals. Oh, and Doc fuckin' Holliday. You want sci-fi? How about cyborg whores and handheld Gatling guns and electric cars in the goddamned Wild West? A bit of horror? A zombie gunfighter, and a reluctant vampire. Alt-history? Will do. Why don't we say that Thomas Edison moved to Tombstone and lit up the whole place with electric lights and horseless carriages? And even beyond all that, a great storyline, delicious cowboy banter, and a heartfelt portrait of an American legend, who spend most of his short life dying, and living more than we ever will. Did I enjoy this book? Yes, I did, immensely. Were all those less-than-4-stars reviews completely fucking wrong? Well, yeah, but everyone has their 'off' days, I reckon. Will I be back to read the rest of the series? You know it. Why does this review have so many question marks? I couldn't tell you. And was I held back by my complete inability to read anything featuring Doc Holliday without picturing Val Kilmer in my head? No. Everybody's got their crosses to bear. Oh! And my own little P.S.: Goodreads has this categorized as Steampunk. I heartily disagree. I can see why they did it, but this is not Steampunk. There are no steam-powered anythings, and no mention of corsets, and it doesn't take place in Victorian England. This is a singularly-realized American offshoot, which I'm dubbing Staticpunk. So there.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Neal Litherland

    The Buntline Special is one of the worst examples of either Steampunk or Weird West that I've ever come across. With characters/historical figures as rich as the Earps and Doc Holliday, you'd think this wouldn't be an issue... but from a pure lack of description of characters and the town, to the blandest shoot outs I've ever read, the Special falls flat on its face. Additionally, The Buntline Special violates one of the key rules of alternative history; ignoring the ripple effect. Tombstone is a The Buntline Special is one of the worst examples of either Steampunk or Weird West that I've ever come across. With characters/historical figures as rich as the Earps and Doc Holliday, you'd think this wouldn't be an issue... but from a pure lack of description of characters and the town, to the blandest shoot outs I've ever read, the Special falls flat on its face. Additionally, The Buntline Special violates one of the key rules of alternative history; ignoring the ripple effect. Tombstone is a small town, and in this book Edison (who contrary to historical doctrine is a nice and helpful genius rather than an absolute prick that hires people and steals their brilliance) and Buntline have opened shop and have revolutionized more things in town than you can name. The town's wired with electricity, they've developed super-hardened brass, there are horseless carriages, android prostitutes... but despite all of this Tombstone remains a fairly small place. Beyond that, where are these crazy inventors getting the supplies? There's no railhead, hence the need for carriages, and that being the case where are they getting everything they need to invent items like Victorian robots or functioning cybernetic prosthetics? These things are essentially being pulled out of thin air, as there's no logical reason for all of this to be in Arizona. This is why science fiction from the era of industrialization tends to happen in big cities... frontier towns just didn't have anything, and getting supplies to them was a long, arduous process that was sometimes more trouble than it was worth.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    I suppose read "sort-of" might be more appropriate. I just couldn't get into this book, so I skimmed through to see how he tied it up. If you can use that phrase. This was a somewhat interesting idea with it's total (steam punk) rewrite of history and the gimmicks included. I have never found a steam punk novel I liked. I read a synopsis and think I ought to like a given book but in the end (so far) I never have. Part of me thinks that this might have worked better as a graphic novel. Oh well. So I suppose read "sort-of" might be more appropriate. I just couldn't get into this book, so I skimmed through to see how he tied it up. If you can use that phrase. This was a somewhat interesting idea with it's total (steam punk) rewrite of history and the gimmicks included. I have never found a steam punk novel I liked. I read a synopsis and think I ought to like a given book but in the end (so far) I never have. Part of me thinks that this might have worked better as a graphic novel. Oh well. Sorry if you liked it. I am as I've said before a big believer in "to each his own" where books are concerned. This isn't for me, but I'm happy for you if you like it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More)

    This one was a fun, rollicking read. I love westerns, and I think Resnick did great with this different view of the history of Tombstone involving the Earps, Doc Holiday, Bat Masterson, and the Cowboys. Recommended to western fans who like a little weird, steampunk fantasy vibe. Full review to be posted on Bitten by Books website: http://bittenbybooks.com. This one was a fun, rollicking read. I love westerns, and I think Resnick did great with this different view of the history of Tombstone involving the Earps, Doc Holiday, Bat Masterson, and the Cowboys. Recommended to western fans who like a little weird, steampunk fantasy vibe. Full review to be posted on Bitten by Books website: http://bittenbybooks.com.

  6. 5 out of 5

    October

    When my boyfriend came to me( a horrified look on his face) and told me I had to read this book, I wasn’t aware that he was asking me to read it so I could be scarred for life. To be frank, I can’t even find something good about this book that isn’t stretching the truth. It seems, despite how prolific Resnick is, he writes like Stephenie Meyer. That is to say, he writes but doesn’t seem to bother with things like improvement. Come to think of it, he doesn’t bother with things like creating a coh When my boyfriend came to me( a horrified look on his face) and told me I had to read this book, I wasn’t aware that he was asking me to read it so I could be scarred for life. To be frank, I can’t even find something good about this book that isn’t stretching the truth. It seems, despite how prolific Resnick is, he writes like Stephenie Meyer. That is to say, he writes but doesn’t seem to bother with things like improvement. Come to think of it, he doesn’t bother with things like creating a coherent narrative, or anything else that you discuss if you participate in a basic fiction writing workshop. Characterization was practically nil, which is made even more pathetic by the fact that Resnick was working with more than just pre-made characters—he was working with real people. Everything that happened to them was written as if it was no consequence. Even worse, Bat Masterson’s part in the story was completely useless. If you read the back of the book it seems to emphasize his part—as well as Johnny Ringo’s (who actually has something to do with the half-hearted and decidedly incoherent pseudo-plot). However, this is not the case. In fact, Bat’s part seems to be the sort of fluff that I was always taught to cut because editors don’t like it, and it only hurts the quality of your narrative. Obviously Resnick didn’t get that memo. Speaking of characterization, I was also incredibly disappointed to find that Geronimo was portrayed as childish and, above all, two faced (as we see at the end of the book). Unfortunately, Resnick seems to think the stereotypical approach to Native Americans is in vogue for Weird West books. Unfortunately for him, he missed that memo, as well. Even the medicine man that helps Doc and the rest of the crew is not only the worst sort of two-dimensional, but just as stereotypical. I was half expecting to hear them throw around stiff ‘How’s and ‘You pale-face’ and other such nonsense. Frankly, I’m glad this tree murder is a fast read—it’s not at all exciting, but the horrid writing makes it easy for your eyes to skip whole pages. I found myself having to go back and reread multiple times. However, it was all for naught, really, since I’d missed absolutely nothing. Not that any of it made sense. That said, I would strongly warn any steampunk/weird west/etc. enthusiast away from this crime against literature. Go watch Brisco County, Jr. if you want something in the same basic genre, and you won’t feel like you’ve killed brain cells by the end of it. And don’t be like me and feel confident about it just because Goodreads suggested it—the site seems to go by genre rather than quality. This sorry excuse for a book has none of the latter. But, then again, what else could I have expected when the book advertised with a ridiculous amount of cleavage on the cover?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Despite the fact that I had hard time putting it down, this book was awful. It was so awful, that I ended up rage reading it to see if it ever improved. It didn't. The most egregious problem for me was the lack of characterization. This was especially true for the female and Native American characters in the book. Women could be dived into four categories: prostitutes, robot prostitutes, former prostitutes, and women who can't understand why their men like prostitutes. The depiction of Native Am Despite the fact that I had hard time putting it down, this book was awful. It was so awful, that I ended up rage reading it to see if it ever improved. It didn't. The most egregious problem for me was the lack of characterization. This was especially true for the female and Native American characters in the book. Women could be dived into four categories: prostitutes, robot prostitutes, former prostitutes, and women who can't understand why their men like prostitutes. The depiction of Native Americans was so one dimensional and borderline racist that it made my skin crawl. Ultimately, the writer was simply lazy and assumed that a steampunk western that included robotic prostitutes and Indians with magic powers was the same as putting in some effort.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I will start by saying that I was not sure what I was letting myself in for here. I have heard a lot about Mike Resnick but never really intentionally went out to read his work - that is until I picked up his weird West Tales series (yes I will admit it I do not do things by half and if there is a series involved I will usually try and collect it all before I start it)/ So it was a pleasant surprised when I realised how much fun this book was. Yes it took historical events and twisted in to somet I will start by saying that I was not sure what I was letting myself in for here. I have heard a lot about Mike Resnick but never really intentionally went out to read his work - that is until I picked up his weird West Tales series (yes I will admit it I do not do things by half and if there is a series involved I will usually try and collect it all before I start it)/ So it was a pleasant surprised when I realised how much fun this book was. Yes it took historical events and twisted in to something utterly bizarre but it also added in elements you were not expecting (as one of the cover comments starts - where else would you see this combination of plot hooks brought together). I can certainly see why Mr Resnick collected so many accolades and praise as well as cementing his name in the genre as both a creative and prolific author - I guess now I have to look at what other series of his I want to invest in as sadly it seems many of them are now either out of print or highly collectable or both. I suspect this may be a rather expensive author to follow

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    This book was not for me. There are only 320 pages, and I still struggled to get through this. I am not a fan of westerns to begin with and I am picky about the steampunk genre, so that already put The Buntline Special at a disadvantage. However, it definitely did not win me over or change my mind. I was constantly going back and forth between being bored and wondering "…but why??" at some of the major events. I had never heard of Doc Holliday before reading this, and I was honestly not impresse This book was not for me. There are only 320 pages, and I still struggled to get through this. I am not a fan of westerns to begin with and I am picky about the steampunk genre, so that already put The Buntline Special at a disadvantage. However, it definitely did not win me over or change my mind. I was constantly going back and forth between being bored and wondering "…but why??" at some of the major events. I had never heard of Doc Holliday before reading this, and I was honestly not impressed. Doc, along with all the other characters, was extremely dull and stereotypical. Based off this book, apparently all men in the 1800s in the west were cowboys who liked only two things: guns and prostitutes. And apparently all the women are either prostitutes or the owner of a brothel. The story was a strange mix between being boring and extremely outlandish, which it turns out is not a combination that I like. There was very little that I enjoyed about The Buntline Special, but at least I can cross Western off my genre challenge list of 2021. Story (50%): ⭐ Characters (10%): ⭐ Writing (10%): ⭐⭐ Pacing (10%): ⭐ Ending (20%): ⭐ Overall: ⭐

  10. 4 out of 5

    Harris

    So, apparently, me and “steampunk” have really not been getting along that well. This novel is no different; a boring account of the Gunfight at the OK Corral spruced up with superfluous fantasy elements that have no real effect on the story in an alternate history setting that falls apart under the least scrutiny. Really pretty bad, it can’t even rise to the level of dumb fun. I don’t think I can think of anything that really worked, from the absurd premise to the ridiculous puns drawing on his So, apparently, me and “steampunk” have really not been getting along that well. This novel is no different; a boring account of the Gunfight at the OK Corral spruced up with superfluous fantasy elements that have no real effect on the story in an alternate history setting that falls apart under the least scrutiny. Really pretty bad, it can’t even rise to the level of dumb fun. I don’t think I can think of anything that really worked, from the absurd premise to the ridiculous puns drawing on historical figures names (i.e., the Bunt Line, (view spoiler)[Bat Masterson is an actual bat! (hide spoiler)] ), and certainly not the boring story telling and lackluster writing. The Buntline Special has a typically goofy, standard steampunk premise. It’s the Weird West and science and magic coexist in a gumbo of weird genre mashing and retells the old story of Tombstone (Arizona? “Tombstone Territory?” Who knows) with gatling pistols and werebats. However, these elements are mixed so poorly you might well break a tooth on all the contradictory elements. Why was Tombstone chosen as this hotbed of mad science by Edison and Ned Buntline (a two bit hack rather than a captain of industry as presented)- there is no reason. The familiar events of the OK Corral are clumsily shoehorned into this bizarre world of robot prostitutes, “Indian curses,” and zombies, along with historic figures far less interesting than their wikipedia entries, even if they have robot arms now. The alternate history premise is so patently nonsensical and lazy, I could not suspend my belief for an instant, let alone an entire book. So, apparently, indigenous Americans can use magic and fought European invaders to stalemate, leaving them in control of all territory west of the Mississippi. Fair enough. However, the historical connotations of this major change are all but ignored and the setting, as presented, makes not a lick of sense; why, if capable of power strong enough to check “Manifest Destiny,” did they draw the line at the Mississippi River, what about the eastern peoples? Why was Tombstone founded in the same place with the same name with the same people in this wildly different world? How are things so practically similar in an America without, say, the Louisiana Purchase, the California Gold Rush, or the Missouri Compromise? The Civil War, Texas, and the “Mexican border” are casually referenced, leading me to think that the history is basically unchanged and that Mexico exists as normal, an absurd notion if the US could not expand past the Mississippi river. It’s almost as if the author himself forgets his own premise half of the time. Maybe I’m being picky,* but if the book fails to render any feeling other than bewilderment, something is lacking. At the very least, atmosphere should be drawn in this iconic Western setting, but the writing is so unappealing and bland, it does not even manage that. Aside from all this set dressing, the familiar story brings nothing new in the telling. Finally, the frankly appalling treatment of women and minorities detract even further. In spite of possessing magical power sufficient to beat back the western powers, like turning into giant snakes or cursing people, the Apache are depicted as shiftless inscrutable primitives who apparently like to throw their lives away for no reason. The less said about the steam powered prostitutes, the better. Don’t bother. There’s got to be better. *but it really does bug me! According to the book, the Mexican border is described as a few dozen miles south of Tombstone, as in real life- if the US has a treaty with the native tribes to stay east of the Mississippi, how could this border, which was created by the 1853 Gadsden Purchase, exist? Why would the US government purchase territory from Mexico in land that they apparently cannot occupy? Was there still a war with Mexico? Why? Were the Mexicans/the Spanish also kept from expanding north due to native magic? Why keep the same border?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ranting Dragon

    http://www.rantingdragon.com/the-bunt... The latest book by the prolific Mike Resnick is The Buntline Special, a standalone novel that gifts the events leading up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral with a steampunk treatment. In this fantasy world—depictions of which are supplied by the talented illustrator, J. Seamas Gallagher—the United States cannot expand beyond the Mississippi River due to the magic-wielding Medicine Men of the Apache Indians, led by Geronimo. Thomas Edison, inventor extraor http://www.rantingdragon.com/the-bunt... The latest book by the prolific Mike Resnick is The Buntline Special, a standalone novel that gifts the events leading up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral with a steampunk treatment. In this fantasy world—depictions of which are supplied by the talented illustrator, J. Seamas Gallagher—the United States cannot expand beyond the Mississippi River due to the magic-wielding Medicine Men of the Apache Indians, led by Geronimo. Thomas Edison, inventor extraordinaire, is dispatched to Tombstone to discover scientific methods to counter the Indians’ magic, and Doc Holliday and the Wyatt Earp crew are tasked with protecting Edison. Witty banter Sparse with descriptions and overflowing with witty banter, The Buntline Special delivers dialogue to die for. When zombie Johnny Ringo observes that the consumptively ill Doc Holliday looked as if a strong wind might blow him away, Doc replies, “A strong wind might…But a dead gunslinger won’t.” Credit the dialogue for propelling the novel forward at such a spine-bending pace. Historical figures reimagined Though there may be little proof that the real Big Nose Kate ran a brothel, what’s a western without a kickass madam? For that matter, what’s a steampunk western without robot prostitutes and the gentlemen who love them? The whole Earp crew is present, as is the Clanton gang, not to mention Johnny Ringo, who has been brought back from the dead to make life difficult for our protagonist, Doc Holliday. And perhaps because Nikola Tesla has been done to death in steampunk fiction (or that Tesla’s only 25 years old in 1881), as mentioned above, Resnick chooses instead to feature the bright-eyed Edison, with mechanical arm enhancements, of course. Then there’s batty Bat Masterson and the talented Ned Buntline, the manufacturer who realizes all of Edison’s funky ideas and crafts the titular Buntline Special that resolves the climactic gunfight. Even if you don’t already know these folks (or can’t be bothered to Google them), Resnick provides a handy appendix with short biographies of the real life counterparts. Why should you read this book? Do you love rollicking adventures? Appreciate the wry gunslinging attitude? If you don’t mind a book that reads like a movie script, The Buntline Special is vying for a space on your book shelf.

  12. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    2.5 stars A number of things I am interested in should have been enough for me to like this book. But it felt more like: Oh, we need vampires. Got it. What next? Zombies? Do we have zombies? No? Here you go. What about automatons? Ok, here take these whore automatons. And put some well-known names in the story as well. And another thing, even though I know it is an alternative reality I couldn't accept the idea of Thomas Edison as a good natured, well-meaning inventor only interested in his inve 2.5 stars A number of things I am interested in should have been enough for me to like this book. But it felt more like: Oh, we need vampires. Got it. What next? Zombies? Do we have zombies? No? Here you go. What about automatons? Ok, here take these whore automatons. And put some well-known names in the story as well. And another thing, even though I know it is an alternative reality I couldn't accept the idea of Thomas Edison as a good natured, well-meaning inventor only interested in his inventions and the glory of his country. Separately, all the things in the book were great. Together, not so much. The story itself isn't bad though and I love the way it is written. I just don't care for its characters, that's all. Not one singled himself/herself out. I hated how the relationship between Big Nose Kate and Doc Holliday was depicted. Wyatt Earp and his brothers are up against a group of cowboys and maybe even the Indians. They get Doc Holliday and Matterson to help them guard Edison and Buntline, because someone wants them dead. Of course, the other side doesn't sleep and they get their own help. As far as the story goes, as soon as he arrives it becomes Doc Holliday's.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katina French

    I'm a little confused by so many poor reviews of this book. Not having read anything else by Mike Resnick, maybe there's a big disconnect between his style here and the rest of his work. Or possibly, fans of real Old West history were expecting something in a more solidly plausible alternate history vein, as opposed to this which is more pure steampunk Weird West fantasy. I like a book that delivers what it promises, and The Buntline Special does. It's pretty much what would happen if they decid I'm a little confused by so many poor reviews of this book. Not having read anything else by Mike Resnick, maybe there's a big disconnect between his style here and the rest of his work. Or possibly, fans of real Old West history were expecting something in a more solidly plausible alternate history vein, as opposed to this which is more pure steampunk Weird West fantasy. I like a book that delivers what it promises, and The Buntline Special does. It's pretty much what would happen if they decided to remake the movie Tombstone in the style of Wild Wild West. Except, not awful. It reminded me of the Quirk Classics books (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter). I enjoyed those, but they're definitely intentionally tongue-in-cheek and not for everyone who loves either of the mashed up genres. I liked how Resnick was able to work European monsters (vampires, zombies) into a weird west tale in a (relatively) plausible way. It's not a book that bears overthinking, but it was an entertaining romp nonetheless.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Forsythe

    Ermahgerd, was that book ever dull. I mean boring to the boringth degree! The writing is fine, if stark, but simply nothing happens. It's all talk, talk, talk—let me describe these anachronistic inventions to you, invitations to drinks and meals, greetings, threats and 'I'm not afraid to die' or 'I'm already dying' quips—talk, talk, talk and very little actual doing, even less actual narrative and/or development. I suppose Resnick figured we all know who Earp, Holliday and Ringo are so no need t Ermahgerd, was that book ever dull. I mean boring to the boringth degree! The writing is fine, if stark, but simply nothing happens. It's all talk, talk, talk—let me describe these anachronistic inventions to you, invitations to drinks and meals, greetings, threats and 'I'm not afraid to die' or 'I'm already dying' quips—talk, talk, talk and very little actual doing, even less actual narrative and/or development. I suppose Resnick figured we all know who Earp, Holliday and Ringo are so no need to develop their character. And the poor women, they aren't even alive if you judge by their characterization, just faceless whores that range from wholly human, half-human or not human. But they're all pretty interchangeably unimportant. Ugh. My library has two more of this series, but I won't be bothering with them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    While I expect to find a lot of hand-waving in this kind of fantastical alternate history, this book simply had too many elements that required a suspension of any kind of common sense. Robotic whores, electronic tracking devices, electricity with no known source, bullet-proof brass, zombies, vampires, shamanistic magic... It's like Resnick threw darts at a list of elements from other fantastical-type books and hoped it'd appeal to lots of people as a result. Resnick is a talented author and the While I expect to find a lot of hand-waving in this kind of fantastical alternate history, this book simply had too many elements that required a suspension of any kind of common sense. Robotic whores, electronic tracking devices, electricity with no known source, bullet-proof brass, zombies, vampires, shamanistic magic... It's like Resnick threw darts at a list of elements from other fantastical-type books and hoped it'd appeal to lots of people as a result. Resnick is a talented author and there wasn't anything wrong with the writing or characters. All the different elements just added up to a big ole mess, however, and one I'd just as soon I'd passed on by.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Schwan

    A steampuck retelling of the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral. Some parts of the story worked well and one seems somewhat contrived. The Bat Masterson story arc exploited a pun on his name yet as a character he was dissapointing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    C Jon Tice

    I didn't realize picking this book up that it was an alternate history steampunk novel. I usually dislike an authors portrayal of historical figures, but it looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. Doc Holliday was overly cocky and pretty agile for being so sick. All the famous gunslingers were pretty sure of themselves even when facing their undead equal, and the zombie gunslinger had all the advantages for a slaughter yet he still gave the 'good guys' plenty of time to figure a way to I didn't realize picking this book up that it was an alternate history steampunk novel. I usually dislike an authors portrayal of historical figures, but it looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. Doc Holliday was overly cocky and pretty agile for being so sick. All the famous gunslingers were pretty sure of themselves even when facing their undead equal, and the zombie gunslinger had all the advantages for a slaughter yet he still gave the 'good guys' plenty of time to figure a way to arm up against him. Sheesh! Some scenes were so irrelevant I wondered why the author took the time to write them. One chapter focused on the zombiefied gunslinger demanding a prostitute lay with him. I was disappointed at the uneventful conclusion, but more annoyed that it didn't progress the storyline. I finally put the book down after a hundred pages. So many famous names were thrown out I couldn't keep up with who or where everyone was supposed to be, partly because the storyline was sluggish but mostly because I couldn't find the motivation to care.

  18. 4 out of 5

    James Martinez

    So how do you breathe new life into a story that has been told as many times as the shootout at the Ok corral? Mr. Resnick does a great job by adding some steam punk style inventions by Thomas Edison that are built by Ned Buntline and you have a pretty good starting point. Add to that real Indian magic that has kept the white man at bay, an undead gunslinger and a Bat Masterson that actually turns into a giant bat and you have a very interesting retelling of a well traveled story. If you like we So how do you breathe new life into a story that has been told as many times as the shootout at the Ok corral? Mr. Resnick does a great job by adding some steam punk style inventions by Thomas Edison that are built by Ned Buntline and you have a pretty good starting point. Add to that real Indian magic that has kept the white man at bay, an undead gunslinger and a Bat Masterson that actually turns into a giant bat and you have a very interesting retelling of a well traveled story. If you like westerns or steam punk type stories you have to gives this book a read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    This is a funny, steam-punkish, alternate-history retelling of the gunfight at the OK corral with Thomas Alva Edison, Geronimo, magic, a vampire, and enough other stuff thrown in to fill the kitchen sink twice over. It's very cleverly executed; a really fun volume! This is a funny, steam-punkish, alternate-history retelling of the gunfight at the OK corral with Thomas Alva Edison, Geronimo, magic, a vampire, and enough other stuff thrown in to fill the kitchen sink twice over. It's very cleverly executed; a really fun volume!

  20. 5 out of 5

    edifanob

    This is really a weird west tale. My favorite character is Doc Holliday. A lot of fascinating inventions. Full review in progress .....

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Great dialog. However, I kept waiting for something to happen, and when it did, it was the end of the book. That was not what I expected.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    really sweet. love the wild west meets steampunk.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    By far one of the best books I have ever read. It was fantastically fun and enthrallingly entertaining. I love the wild west and have taken up an interest in steampunk in recent years so reading this book was an absolute delight. I've had this book and the series for a few years and I wish I had started reading sooner! Number one reason I loved this book was because of Doc Holliday. What a character! Fearless, witty, ruthless and quite funny as well. If the real Doc Holliday was like this then I' By far one of the best books I have ever read. It was fantastically fun and enthrallingly entertaining. I love the wild west and have taken up an interest in steampunk in recent years so reading this book was an absolute delight. I've had this book and the series for a few years and I wish I had started reading sooner! Number one reason I loved this book was because of Doc Holliday. What a character! Fearless, witty, ruthless and quite funny as well. If the real Doc Holliday was like this then I'm adding him to the list of people I wish I could have met. All the characters were portrayed very nicely and were great but Doc Holliday really takes the bullet. The storyline, characters, plots, and historical fiction spin of actual events were all amazing and kept me glued to every page wanting to find out what happens next. I really loved the weird western and steampunk spin(which is what this book is) that this book had. It was done reasonably and it fit as if you could see it really happening rather then ideas being thrown in from a standpoint that wouldn't. Thomas Edison and Ned Buntline really make Tombstone as weird and steampunk as possible. Again, I absolutely loved this book and I could go on about everything that was great about it which is everything. I have no complaints and I can't wait to read the next one. If you're into the wild west with a weird steampunk spin and your gunfighters witty as a whip and ready for a fight then this book is definitely for you! 5 bullets!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Arnold Reese

    I have had excellent (808) credit score for over 5 years, maybe more like 7 or 10. My oldest credit card is my BofA VISA card which I opened in 1981. I seldom use it nowadays, just keep it as backup. I used it last spring in England when my regular card didn't work, but forgot about it when I got home. Some of my mail still goes to my ex's address, including BofA mail, so I didn't realize I owed $85,000 until it was about 32 days past due. I went to the bank and paid it off. However, Transunion I have had excellent (808) credit score for over 5 years, maybe more like 7 or 10. My oldest credit card is my BofA VISA card which I opened in 1981. I seldom use it nowadays, just keep it as backup. I used it last spring in England when my regular card didn't work, but forgot about it when I got home. Some of my mail still goes to my ex's address, including BofA mail, so I didn't realize I owed $85,000 until it was about 32 days past due. I went to the bank and paid it off. However, Transunion dropped my credit score from 808 to 675. A couple of months later it rose to 730 and has stayed there for 4 months. Transunion says they can't help. BofA says they reported the fact I missed the February and march deadline, I was helpless until a very close friend disclosed JERRY LINK CREDIT GROUP to me who help me boost my score back to 803 excellent score, a big shout out to TEAM JERRY for their help to humanity, reach them via: [email protected] Text 416 888 4118 Chex system DUI FIX.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Kahn

    It was a decent read. I liked the integration between the technology and the old west. I started to find Doc Halladay a little tiresome after awhile, and there was a little too much talk and not enough action. I understand that Resnick was following the course of historic events, but then you're basically just inserting technology into real incidents, and it becomes a little redundant. The armour and advanced guns had no real impact on the shootout at the OK Corral, so then what does it matter? It was a decent read. I liked the integration between the technology and the old west. I started to find Doc Halladay a little tiresome after awhile, and there was a little too much talk and not enough action. I understand that Resnick was following the course of historic events, but then you're basically just inserting technology into real incidents, and it becomes a little redundant. The armour and advanced guns had no real impact on the shootout at the OK Corral, so then what does it matter? It's a little like throwing zombies into Jane Austen. You're not doing anything that imaginative. That said, I did find it very readable and it kept me turning pages for the most part. I just think Resnick could have done so much more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Radspinner

    Had to abandon about half-way through. I typically hate not giving books a full go but this just could not keep me engaged enough. Perhaps this was a "young adult" book and no one told me. The premise was sound; fictional retelling of the wild west with the famous Tombstone cowboys but with a Steampunk twist. As an Arizona native, I'm very familiar with the story and thought I would love this. I did not. The store plays out much like a cartoon, with random characters assigned historical names an Had to abandon about half-way through. I typically hate not giving books a full go but this just could not keep me engaged enough. Perhaps this was a "young adult" book and no one told me. The premise was sound; fictional retelling of the wild west with the famous Tombstone cowboys but with a Steampunk twist. As an Arizona native, I'm very familiar with the story and thought I would love this. I did not. The store plays out much like a cartoon, with random characters assigned historical names and a steampunk-by-numbers recipe. Thomas Edison is an inventory; so he should have a mechanical arm and big brass monocle on his head. Geronimo is an Indian name, so that character can use magic and turn people into bats and Apaches can shape-shift into animals? I just couldn't, I'm sorry.

  27. 5 out of 5

    melydia

    I'm not a huge fan of westerns, alternate history, or steampunk, but I am a huge fan of Mike Resnick so I decided to trust him. And I was not led astray. It's 1881 and Thomas Edison lives in Tombstone, Arizona, designing fantastic inventions for Ned Buntline to construct. The Earps are in town, and Bat Masterson and Doc Holliday and a bunch of other famous characters from the time period, plus cyborgs and zombies and vampires. Because why not. It's not really steampunk - it's all electricity, no I'm not a huge fan of westerns, alternate history, or steampunk, but I am a huge fan of Mike Resnick so I decided to trust him. And I was not led astray. It's 1881 and Thomas Edison lives in Tombstone, Arizona, designing fantastic inventions for Ned Buntline to construct. The Earps are in town, and Bat Masterson and Doc Holliday and a bunch of other famous characters from the time period, plus cyborgs and zombies and vampires. Because why not. It's not really steampunk - it's all electricity, not steam - but the aesthetic is similar. I think this story might have been better had it been entirely fictional characters, but I've read enough fiction about Doc Holliday to appreciate him as an amusingly sardonic antihero. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Crow

    In this novel, Doc Holiday and his vampire friend have been called to Tombstone to defend Thomas Edison from a zombie gunslinger. I’ll make this short. This book is as stupid as it is enjoyable. The prose are repetitive, the end feels rushed and there is no character development. In fact, none of the characters show any emotion at all, even when their close friends die. That being said, this book is exactly as advertised. It’s a fun fantasy romp through the west with your favorite western heroes In this novel, Doc Holiday and his vampire friend have been called to Tombstone to defend Thomas Edison from a zombie gunslinger. I’ll make this short. This book is as stupid as it is enjoyable. The prose are repetitive, the end feels rushed and there is no character development. In fact, none of the characters show any emotion at all, even when their close friends die. That being said, this book is exactly as advertised. It’s a fun fantasy romp through the west with your favorite western heroes. My enjoyment level was about a 4 star rating, but there were too many missed opportunities to give it that. I’ll keep reading the series because in the fourth book Doc Holiday fights a dinosaur bringing the stupidity to an all new high!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bob Colwick

    Have you ever wondered how the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (side note: it actually occurred in the alley behind the O.K. Corral; kudos to the author for weaving this often-overlooked fact into the alt-history steampunk tale. But I digress) would have gone if the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday would have been outfitted with Gatling gun pistols and lightweight brass armor? If so, look no further than Mike Resnick's first entry into his Weird West Tales...it's an enjoyable read that doesn't take it Have you ever wondered how the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (side note: it actually occurred in the alley behind the O.K. Corral; kudos to the author for weaving this often-overlooked fact into the alt-history steampunk tale. But I digress) would have gone if the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday would have been outfitted with Gatling gun pistols and lightweight brass armor? If so, look no further than Mike Resnick's first entry into his Weird West Tales...it's an enjoyable read that doesn't take itself too seriously (except when cross-referencing actual historic events), recommended for those who can do the same.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gray Mouser

    An agreeable read, but nothing more. The book suffers from the constriction of replaying events in tombstone and the O.K. Corral shoot-out. In a completely invented setting, the liberties Resnick took with the historical characters would be just part of the alternate world background. Following the historical plot, the deviation from the historical characters and the steampunk science clash too much for me to enjoy the book completely.

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