“Belcher draws readers into a fascinating world that reads like a mashup of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Deadwood. Part western, part urban fantasy, part coming-of-age tale, Belcher's story balances all pieces perfectly.” RT Book Reviews
“Against the backdrop of Chinese and Mormon mythology and the Civil War, with a bit of Frankenstein for color, the mix of theology, frontier justice, and zombies is merely cover for an intense and irreverent exploration of good, evil, and free will.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A jaw-dropping first novel that explodes across genre lines. Wild, gritty, insanely inventive and a hell of a lot of fun!” Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Dust & Decay and Assassin's Code
“A steampunk'd romp through a Mythic West drenched in blood and magic.” Rosemary Edghill, coauthor of The Shadow of Albion
“If you want to see what Weird Westerns are all about, there's no better place to start than The Six-Gun Tarot.” Mike Resnick, award-wining author of Santiago
Golgotha, Nev., is an unlikely place for humans to battle ancient evil, but that's precisely the fate awaiting sheriff Jon Highfather; his half-human deputy, Mutt; blustering mayor Harry Pratt; and runaway boy Jim Negrey. Angels imprisoned the Greate Olde Wurm under a mountain; millennia later, in 1869, Reverend Ambrose's zombie army is about to set it free. The Wild West was never as wild as Golgotha, nor as mysterious; everyone here has secrets. Jon is aware some things just can't be explained, but accepts whatever he must to protect his town. Meanwhile, the mayor struggles to reconcile his religion and his homosexuality, and an angel and Lucifer debate God's plan. Against the backdrop of Chinese and Mormon mythology and the Civil War, with a bit of Frankenstein for color, the mix of theology, frontier justice, and zombies is merely cover for an intense and irreverent exploration of good, evil, and free will. (Jan.)
When young Jim Negrey and his long-suffering horse find sanctuary in the cattle town of Galgotha, NV, Jim notices that the sheriff bears the marks of a noose round his neck; his deputy calls the coyotes his kin, and a nameless evil inhabits the nearby silver mine. Belcher's debut is an astonishing blend of first-rate steampunk fantasy and Western adventure. The author reinvents Wild West stereotypes into fresh, original characters and imbues the landscape with its own mystical characteristics. VERDICT Though this fantasy debut should especially appeal to fans of both "Weird West" fiction and steampunk, the power of the author's storytelling and strong characters deserve as wide an audience as possible. The author is the Grand Prize winner in the Strange New Worlds SF writing contest.
Adherents to a variety of magical and spiritual traditions confront a Lovecraft-ian menace in an 1869 Nevada desert town. Peculiar people tend to collect in Golgotha, an isolated little place bordering a supposedly played-out silver mine. When an evil older-than-creation begins to stir in that mine, the angel entrusted with guarding it (now masquerading as a shady local businessman), a sheriff who can't die, his half-coyote deputy, the mayor and heir to the Mormons' most sacred treasures, an assassin following the path of Lilith and a young fugitive carrying a mysterious Chinese jade eye must imprison it again before it destroys the world. The core crisis--the threat of an eldritch menace to our reality--is so played out that it's typically the source of parody these days. What distinguishes this book are the colorful back stories of the characters; unfortunately, there is simply not enough time or plot to give these intriguing people the fleshing out they deserve. It would have been wonderful to spend more time with the proto-feminist assassin trained by a legendary pirate queen; the resurrectionist so desperately in love with his best friend's now-deceased wife that he reanimated her preserved head; the closeted gay Mormon mayor who neglects his two wives to spend time with his male lover; a bordello piano player and so on. This is a debut work; perhaps the author will devote more pages to these fascinating types, or others like them, in the future. Interesting and polished, if somewhat overstuffed and not entirely satisfying.