Martin H. Greenberg
Berkley, September 2003
Immortalized in film and legend, the stagecoach was a colourful, hard-driving transport that linked far-flung places the railroads didn’t reach. Now, Stagecoach is galloping into town with a strongbox full of eight action-packed stories celebrating this icon of the American West, written by some of today’s top Western writers. Each tale follows an enigmatic stranger who arrives by stage at Tombstone – the town that was too tough to die – where they encounter the likes of the Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday.
Bluff Creek Station Louis L’Amour
A Fresh Start Don Coldsmith
Hearts Richard S. Wheeler
Nate’s Revenge Robert J. Conley
The Fly on the Wall Judy Alter
Killer in the Dark Ed Gorman
The Story Robert J. Randisi
Hangman’s Choice Loren D. Estleman
Anthologies are a good way to try authors you’ve never read before, and for me this collection contains stories by three such writers, Alter, Conley, and Wheeler. Two of which inspired me to read more by them.
All the stories were very readable and, even though some feature the same real life characters, were all very different in content.
Some have a traditional approach, a couple managed to touch my emotions, others include humorous moments, one doesn’t contain any gunplay but is non-the-less a compelling read, a couple contain great twists, one or two are quite dark in their themes.
So a great mix of stories, those by Gorman and L’Amour being the standout tales to me. In fact L’Amour’s story being the best work I’ve ever read by him - and this is the only story to have been published before, the others being written for this anthology.