Titan Books publishes Dead Man’s Hand – An Anthology of the Weird West, an exclusive “weird western” collection edited by John Joseph Adams, that includes stories from many of today’s most celebrated authors – some new to the genre.
The twenty-two original works — produced specifically for this volume — ranges from a brand new Orson Scott Card tale (his first “Alvin Maker” story in a decade), to an original adventure by Fred Van Lente (creator of Cowboys & Aliens). It also will include stories such as Elizabeth Bear’s account of a steampunk bordello, and new writer Rajan Khanna’s exploration of sorcery found in a magical deck of playing cards.
“The weird western is the forefather of steampunk, with a history that includes Stephen King’s Dark Tower and Card’s Alvin Maker,” editor John Joseph Adams explains. “But where steampunk is Victorian, weird westerns are darker, grittier, so the protagonist might be gunned down in a duel, killed by a vampire, or confronted by aliens on the streets of a dusty frontier town.”
“The phrase “dead man’s hand’ refers to the poker hand held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was shot and killed by the coward Jack McCall.
“What the hand actually was seems to be open to some debate,” Adams continues. “I suppose the only way we could ever know for sure would be to reanimate his corpse or to travel back in time … both of which are the stuff of the “weird western” tale—stories of the Old West infused with elements of the fantastic.”
Other contributors include Jonathan Maberry, Mike Resnick, Kelley Armstrong, Jeffrey Ford, Tobias Buckell, Seanan McGuire, Walter Jon Williams, David Farland, Alan Dean Foster, Beth Revis, Laura Anne Gilman, Charles Yu, and Alastair Reynolds.
JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS (www.johnjosephadams.com) is the bestselling editor of popular anthologies such as Epic: Legends of Fantasy, Wastelands, The Living Dead, By Blood We Live, and Oz Reimagined. A six-time Hugo Award finalist, he is the editor and publisher of the magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare. John co-hosts Wired.com’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.