You take the Wild West, complete with guns, saloons, cowboys, outlaws, gun fighters....and spacecraft? HELLS yeah!
Ever since I saw the movie Cowboys vs Aliens, I've chuckled at the thought of what a cowboy would do if faced with beings from space. I enjoyed the movie...even bought the book later (which I've managed to LOSE, of course)
So this magazine/anthology comes out, published by Science Fiction Trails complete with good stories, cowboys, aliens and best of all Brown, the Ghost Hunting Border Collie.
One of my favorite stories in there is by J.A. Campbell - Brown vs the Martians. One of my favorite lines in the story is where Elliott explains the color of blood (from a woman he rescues who was in a crashed "cow pie") to the doc from a small town...
'"She's not a demon. Just....a person. Like us, only a little different. Maybe she's from Canada."
"Strange folk up there, or so I've heard. Cold too. Winter all year round." He sounded like he would allow himself to be convinced.
"Yes, they're so cold that their blood turns blue." '
Brown equates the crashed space ship to a huge cow pie that smells kind of funny - remember that Brown, the narrator, is a dog, and thus thinks doggie thoughts - with a twist (of course, or how would she be able to narrate stories? Border collies ARE pretty smart).
The woman from the crash site isn't from Mars, she's actually from a planet further away in our solar system. Later the Martians come into play. The story was a fun take on SciFi and dog stories. Campbell, as usual, writes an interesting and entertaining tale with believable dialogue and action scenes.
One of the other books I read was The Day Death Wore Boots by Dorothy Davies. Chilling. A man HAS to buy this toy town he sees in the shop window. It's a cowboy town, with a saloon, figurines, etc. The shop owner tries to talk him out of it, but he insists. He gets it home...and things get weird. Good story with a chilling end.
There are more stories in this Science Fiction Trails #10 - and I'll write about them as I read them. I rarely read an anthology straight through - I tend to read a story in between other books...