Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Law of the Gun

Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Russell Davis
Pinnacle, November 2010

It’s an American icon: the Western shootist, living by skill, courage and a willingness to spit in death’s eye. Now, the greatest names in Western literature turn this mythical character upside down, inside out and every way but loose…

Law of the Gun is about journeys, vendettas, standoffs, and legends that end – or sometimes just begin – with the roar of a gun…

The Trouble with Dudes by Johnny D. Boggs
Uncle Jeff and the Gunfighter by Elmer Kelton
The Devil Doesn’t Sleep by Deborah Morgan
Destiny’s Gun by Jory Sherman
As Good as the Bad by Ken Hodgson
Inferno by William W. Johnstone, with J.A. Johnstone
Waiting for Mr. Griffith by Tom Carpenter
The First Ride of Monday Happenstance by Russell Davis
Ricochet by Don Coldsmith
Bounty Hunter by John Duncklee
The Wanted Man by Rita Cleary
Dead Man Riding to Tombstone by Andrew J. Fenady
Hap by John D. Nesbitt
Gunfighter’s Lament by Ellen Recknor
Shootout at White Pass by John Jakes
The Long High Noon by Loren D. Estleman
The Two-bit Kill by C. Courtney Joyner

For me, this anthology is filled with tales by a terrific selection of authors, making it virtually impossible to say which story I liked best. If pushed I’d probably choose Loren D. Estleman’s tale, the length of time the story takes place over giving it that little extra appeal. Ask me tomorrow and I’d more than likely single out a different story. Yes, there are a couple I didn’t like as much, but that is to be expected when reading such collections. I’ve read most of these authors before, and of the two I hadn’t, one will certainly have me checking out more of their stories as soon as possible.

Fans of William W. Johnstone / J.A. Johnstone Last Gunfighter stories will be pleased to find that Inferno stars Frank Morgan in a tale set before the first book in that series, The Drifter.

Law of the Gun is definitely a great way to introduce yourself to authors that may be new to you, and for those already familiar with them, make sure you pick up a copy of this book as it contains some excellent stories you won’t want to miss.


Nik said...

Good to see Court Joyner in there - whose first western story can be found in A Fistful of Legends!

Oscar said...

Sound like another one I'll have to have.

courtney joyner said...

Nik, thanks so much for the kind words and (as always) your terrific support! Your stewardship on Fistful meant more to me than you know.