When it comes to fiction, Chaosium is generally known for their anthologies of Lovecraftian Mythos related stories. This collection, edited by Kevin Ross and Brian M Sammons, however, delves into Horror Westerns without a focus on the Mythos. Though a couple stories have a few references, particularly the odd and almost comic “Drake Takes a Hand.”
Like any anthology, there are some hits and misses, though none of the stories in this book are what I’d call bad. None of the stories stood out as especially great, either. It was all worth reading, but I can’t advise that you drop everything and go get a copy.
The introduction really builds up the stories that will follow, talking them up as being really scary and focused on being true frights. They are not. They’re fine. A couple of them are kinda creepy or weird. One of stories, ‘Son of the Wild Moon,’ goes heavy into gore in a way I found off-putting, not because of the gore, but because it felt like the author was trying too hard. It was like the written equivalent of a lot of recent film action scenes, where I start checking my watch because it’s taking time away from the story and adding nothing. The story didn’t need it, and would have been better with like 75% less. ‘The Flute Players’ is probably my favorite story. It’s got a good cinematic quality, is fairly tight, and juggles the characters well.
So, if you’re looking for some Horror/Western stories, this is a worthy collection that might wet you whistle, but it’s probably not going to satisfy your thirst.