Friday, May 18, 2012

"The Buntline Special" by Mike Resnick

320 pages

The year is 1881. The Mississippi River divides the United States from the Indian nations of the West. The only thing keeping the US from expanding is the magic of powerful Indian medicine men. The America government is desperate to expand its territory (since it's the "destiny" of the US and all), so it sends Thomas Edison out West to the town of Tombstone, Arizona, to discover a scientific answer to the Indians' magic. When he arrives, he brings some of his other inventions to the town: horseless carriages, electric streetlights, and *ahem* robotic prostitutes. Meanwhile, Wyatt Earp and his brothers are hired to protect the genius. Problem is, Edison and Earp have enemies who make the Indian threat seem tame--the Clayton gang. When they find themselves in over their heads, Earp's old friends Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson ride into help. Though you'd think they'd get some good-karma by offering their assistance, Bat is turned into--what else--a bat and Doc is stalked by a zombie gunslinger. The gang will have to do some quick thinking--and shooting--to get out of this one.

I enjoyed every bit of this fast-paced story. Usually I want some more character development than what this one has, but because it's so action-oriented I was okay with a little less info in that department. I loved all the funky steampunkness and the wacky dialogue. The book kept me guessing about what was going to happen next and made me laugh as well. Fun, fun, fun!

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