Keep the Weird in the the West

Indianapolis blogger Roberta X muses on the literary sub-genre known as “Weird West.

Sometimes that means sort of H. P. Lovecraft-meets-Wyatt Earp, sometimes other things.

My introduction was the online graphic novel Tex Arcana, back when the Web was still young.

If your reading tastes don’t go that direction, here are Montana novelist Ivan Doig’s favorite Western reads.

Once when I asked a prominent historian what he thought of the many writings by Stegner, novelist and English-department star at Harvard and Stanford, about the background and the West, he didn’t hesitate: “He hits the nail on the head every time, damn him.”

Yep, every book that Stegner built (they always feel “built,” like Robertson Davies‘ stuff, but that is a Good Thing) was solid as the proverbial brick shithouse.

3 Comments

  1. Brannen says:

    And if you’re in the mood to dip into the genre with lots of setting bits and idea seeds, I vastly enjoyed Deadlands when I was younger, and it’s post-apocalyptic brother Deadlands: Hell on Earth. Both of them are games that try to distill into one pot the weird west.

  2. Pitch313 says:

    When I am looking for stuff to read–stuff that supports my reading habit and my science fiction/fantasy/horror fandom–genre tags mostly help in my online browsing. In a bookstore or library full of print books, I usually scan titles and authors and pick regardless of genre tags.

    But thinking about Weird West as a genre, my links probably date back to reading Jonah Hex comics when young. I don’t think that I liked them all that much, but I was intent on reading comics to feel like a fan. In addition, I bet I came across this genre via Famous Monsters of Filmland, too.

  3. Reminds me a little of the “acid westerns” that you get in cinema; namely Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “El Topo” and Jim Jarmusch’s “Dead Man”. Both really fascinating films, particularly for those interested in esotericism and/or mysticism.