Dark Owl     Publishing

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Something Wicked This Way Rides

An anthology of weird westerns and genre fiction in the Wild West
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Releasing in paperback and on Kindle
JULY 1, 2021
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Double, double toil and trouble...

Shakespeare began the tense apprehension with his melodic yet warning phrase.

Ray Bradbury continued the dark and ominous foreboding that oozes between the words.

Now, it has come to the North American Old West, a world with its severe terrain and hardened residents. The rules were harsher out here, the ethics and morals changed, the fight for life and liberty quite different than anything these pioneers, these outlaws, these six-shooters and rebel rousers, these unquestionably brave men and women had bargained for.

For them, something wicked certainly rode.

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble...

In this anthology, we explore the Old West with a skewed view, showcasing the weird western genre through stories that explore the peculiar and fantastic, the wicked that was and could have been. You'll experience spiritual nightmares, mythical monsters, cosmic outlaws, discerning gods, and science run amok. Even the North Pole Security Division isn't immune to the supernatural strangeness that stalks the late 1800s. In the tradition of pulp and western stories of a bygone era, these are thirty tales to intrigue, amaze, and perhaps downright spook you out of your boots.

So brew up some coffee, head out to the rocking chair on the porch, and tilt your hat to shade your eyes so you can read real close. Just be sure to keep one eye on the horizon, and one hand near your holster. For...

With dark intentions and creatures astride,

Something wicked this way rides.

The Author Corral

These authors have graced us with unusual tales that we are proud and honored to share with you.

We recommend taking a gander at their other works as well.

Q Parker

Peter Prellwitz

John B. Rosenman

Alistair Rey

Darrell Schweitzer

Bradley H. Sinor

Matias Travieso-Diaz

Charles Wilkinson

Martin Zeigler

Within these pages...

While we wait for Something Wicked This Way Rides to be released,

here's some of the subjects and events the authors have used to flesh out their stories,

along with some explanation of what weird westerns actually are.

We hope you'll sit a spell and learn a thing or two.

Weird West on Wikipedia

Weird West: A Creative Combination of Genres [2 parts] from

J.W. Collins, Western Author

Six-Guns and Strange Shooters: A Weird West Primer from

The Weird Wild West: 10 Great Horror Westerns [films] from

Favorite Western Pulps from Rough Edges by James Reasoner

Where to Begin with the Weird West [films] from the British Film Institute

Weird West Fantasy from

Old West Legends - Adventures in the American West from Legends of America

Buffalo Soldiers from

Buffalo Soldier Museum official website

Coahuila y Tejas from Wikipedia

Pony Express from Encyclopedia Britannia

History of Arizona Gold Mining from Western Mining History

California Gold Rush from

Painted Ladies of the Old West from Legends of America

Wild West shows from Wikipedia

Gambling in the Old West from Legends of America

Frontier Dentistry from True West Magazine

Native American Mythology & Legends from Legends of America

Native Indian Legends and Folklore from

Native Languages of the Americas

Civil War Ghosts official website

Loa from Wikipedia

Gaea from

Giant Beaver from the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre

Roanoke Colony from Wikipedia

Table of Contents

Wanna know what you're in for? Here's the table of contents.

We're releasing the titles and a story description on social media every day in the month of June.

Come on over and sit a spell to learn more about this wicked anthology.

Story 1

"Tears of Winter" by Jason J. McCuiston

A small command of Buffalo Soldiers finds the fort they're posted to completely empty, with one naked, dead body left behind. The men must find out what happened... but a strange spirit woman is following them

and haunting their progress.

Story 2

"Ghost" by Bradley H. Sinor

A secret service officer in the Confederacy is assigned to guard a European diplomat. The diplomat is ultimately murdered, and the young captain must solve the mystery, aside from the ghost that keeps appearing wherever he is.


Story 3

"Borrowed Gods" by Gustavo Bondoni

Train tracks suddenly appear in a small town, baffling its citizens. But a train is coming with mysterious passengers

to discuss the townspeople's sins.

Story 4

"Inner Skin" by Kevin M. Folliard

An unidentified creature has been killing people in Devil's Spring. The barkeep has contacted his one-time lover who is a monster hunter for his help, and a card game among outlaws is about to experience a big change.


Story 5

"The Tears of Scorpions" by John B. Rosenman

A distressed young girl rides into Dulton, New Mexico, clearly hurt and scared. After her arrival, the townspeople start to change, and the doctor suspects something far worse than her experience is happening in this town.

Story 6

"Inner Skin" by Kevin M. Folliard

An unidentified creature has been killing people in Devil's Spring. The barkeep has contacted his one-time lover who is a monster hunter for his help, and a card game among outlaws is about to experience a big change.


Story 7

"Showdown in the Panhandle" by Matias Travieso-Diaz

A man with the ability to sense emotions is a card sharp in Texas. He comes up on a situation that might just expose

who - or what - he really is.

Story 8

"Store of Value" by Charles Wilkinson

A taste of new weird in a weird western:

Two brothers are following each other between

Wales and Old West Wyoming, while a dentist

is using her gold mine to replace teeth.


Story 9

"A Drink With the Devil" by Jonathon Mast

A man returns home to discover his town is gone, taken by the Devil, and he must win a contest to get it back.

Story 10

"What Hath God Wrought?" by Alistair Rey

A journalist from Boston visits a town in the Mexican Territory.

He discovers something strange is happening at the old mission, and he wants to learn more.


Story 11

"The Hexman Who Came for Dinner" by Gregg Chamberlain

A strange man buys a spot on a stagecoach,

and he's determined to get the lunch he's paid for.

Story 12

"Ghost Shirt" by Dwain Campbell

A Canadian Mountie is assigned to stop an Indian magi from starting a war on the British Empire with the help of an old earl and some ancient magic.


Story 13

"Pony Express" by Vonnie Winslow Crist

A young girl disguised as a boy rides the night leg of

the Pony Express. She is followed by a god-like spirit,

and she finds her assigned ponies - and her wits - must be sharp to outrun it.

Story 14

"The Ballad of Billie Lee" by Steve Gladwin

A newspaper journalist is writing the story of Black Sam, a marshal, and Billie Lee, a saloon girl who has experienced a terrible crime. But something isn't quite right, and this story needs to be changed.


Story 15

"State of the Art" by John B. Rosenman

Decades into the future, shows are programmed through computer technology and artificial intelligence. But this not-so-traditional western is starting to change, and it's not necessarily for the good.

Story 16

"Sunset Cowboy" by John A. Frochio

A stranger riding a quite peculiar horse comes to the Brewster Ranch to claim Jessica Brewster. The sheriff, who fancies the young lady, makes out for the ranch to learn what's going on, and is met with a supernatural strangeness he may have wanted to leave alone.

Images from top to bottom:

Book cover image by InvisibleNature; book cover design by Dark Owl Publishing, LLC

Skeletal cowboy image by Vlad Min from Pixabay

Weird West by Tarmo Juhola

The Snake Eater by Jake Clark

New Lands by Weston T. Jones

Table of Contents images:

Buffalo soldiers image from Getty Images

Virginia Confederacy Capitol from History Replays Today

Old West Railroad by Pamela Romjue

Montana Hotel Saloon in Anaconda, Montana

Girl image from

Pipe image from

Card game image from

Image of Dr. Rankin in 1909 with one of her patients from NYC Vintage Images

Cactus image from

Mission image from

Stagecoach image is of a commercial stagecoach from A Little Reality blog

Image of North-West Mounted Police, Officers of B Division, Yukon Territory from the Canadian Encyclopedia

Pony Express image from

Saloon girl is of unknown origin. If you know, please contact us!

Desert image is Cowboy TV by Frank Schott

Horse image is from