The Buntline Special
PYR, Dec 7 2010, $16.00
In 1881, the leadership of the United States of America still dreams of manifest destiny to the Pacific though the country’s western border remains The Mississippi. On the other side of the mighty river is rich land occupied by Indian tribes with powerful shaman whose magic has kept the Americans frustratingly in the east.
The government sends the great inventor Thomas Edison, who has worked with Ned Buntline on a horseless stagecoach, on a quest to determine whether science and technology can defeat magic. The Earp brothers escort Edison to Tombstone, Arizona where a last stand is forming. On one side is the enigmatic Edison, the Earp siblings and their pals Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson. On the other side are two separate deadly foes; the dangerous Apaches led by Geronimo the most powerful Medicine Man and the Clanton gang who are abetted by the once dead Johnny Ringo.
With seemingly none of the real persona purebred human, there is an overabundance of paranormal leaving the Arizona confrontations entertaining, but also never moves out on the larger theme of manifest destiny propelled by science and technology as opposed by magic. Thus fans of steampunk thrillers will enjoy the Buntline Special as a fun exciting Weird West Tale at the OK Corral, but never quite obtains the revolutionary quality of the author’s wonderful alternate history Dragon America