The Traditional West: A Western Fictioneers Anthology
Western Fictioneers, 2011
I've been so busy this past year getting my grandfather's anthology of short stories out that I've been behind in reading up on other western fiction short story collections are coming out. I'm really glad that someone tipped me off on this new book, THE TRADITIONAL WEST, a collection of brand-new stories written by members of the Western Fictioneers group.
Western Fictioneers is an online group that was founded in 2010 to promote the oldest genuine American art form, the Western story. This anthology is their first and contains 24 stories by Steven Clark, Phil Dunlap, Edward A. Grainger, James J. Griffin, Jerry Guin, C. Courtney Joyner, Jackson Lowry, Larry Jay Martin, Matthew P. Mayo, Rod Miller, Clay More, Ross Morton, Kerry Newcomb, Scott D. Parker, Pete Peterson, Cheryl Pierson, Kit Prate, Robert J. Randisi, James Reasoner, Dusty Richards, Troy D. Smith, Larry D. Sweazy, Chuck Tyrell, and L.J. Washburn. With original cover artwork by acclaimed artist Pete Peterson, THE TRADITIONAL WEST is more than 100,000 words of classic Western fiction.
I particularly enjoyed stories by C. Courtney Joyner, Matthew Mayo and L.J. Washburn, Chuck Tyrell and Edward Grainger’s stories. But with two dozen stories, there is something for everyone.
Jackson Lowry’s “The Silver Noose” is the mystery of why a man is hanged after he was already dead. In Larry Sweazy’s “Lost Mountain Pass,” Hank Snowden wants to get out of town but ends up being an escort to a woman whose three brothers were just hanged and who now fears for her own life. Scott D. Parker’s “The Poker Payout” takes place over a poker game in which Calvin Carter is on the prowl of a robber, with the entire story played out during a card game. With Robert Randisi’s “Blood Trail to Dodge,” we are treated to the beginning chapters of a new series featuring Talbot Roper, a private investigator. James Reasoner’s Rattler is a quick but unforgettable tale about a man caught in a hole with a rattlesnake and an armed enemy bearing down on him. And what I think is my top favorite is Troy D. Smith’s “The Sin of Eli,” a beautifully written story about a father trying to get to his son before he is executed, but it’s not because of reasons you may think.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this collection for readers who have been hungry for fine new western fiction short stories. In THE TRADITIONAL WEST, you’ll get this and more: these stories are written by some of the finest writers in the business today.