Sunday, January 25, 2015
recent short read; Fangs of the Dragon
So, you want to read a "weird Western" tale? How about something with a lake monster and more? How about including some interesting history of schism in the Mormon church woven into the tale with a real life gunslinger?
David J. West takes the historical Porter Rockwell and makes him his own semi-fictional character. Taking the basis of Porter's modern-day Samson blessing - so long as he did not cut his hair, he would be impervious to blade and bullet - it is not an unreasonable step into the weird and supernatural.
West asks the simplest author question. He asks, "what if?"
What if Porter came up against tooth and claw? How would he survive that?
I thoroughly enjoy the character of Porter as presented by West. Porter is rough and tumble, but true to those who are true to him. He's not above a touch a medicinal alcohol - he particularly favors a tincture infused with raspberry when he needs it. But, he doesn't swear - which is great fun, because his go-to cuss word is "Wheat!"
This story is not straight forward, either, which is a good thing. There is more than a simple lake monster, and Porter needs to put together all the pieces between monster chasing and gunslinging action.
You can read "Fangs of the Dragon" in West's collection, Weird Tales of Horror (which contains other Porter Rockwell tales, too, btw) or stand-alone for the price of a cup of coffee (or less.) So, grab that cuppa (or some raspberry tincture) and enjoy a rousing tale of the weird West.