Review of Straight Outta Tombstone edited by David Boop
Straight Outta Tombstone was worth the price of admission. An above average success.
What is my definition of success, you may ask?
(You can skip this part if you have read any of my previous short story compilation reviews.)
To me, a short story compilation is akin to one of those giant bags of mixed candy you buy for Halloween. Some of what you get are your favorite kind, some are exceptionally good (just not your favorite), some are OK (but still candy, so pretty darn good), and some are awful because you can’t stand the flavor but you know other people love them anyway. And occasionally it includes one or two kinds of candy even the kids won’t touch.
With that in mind, I consider any short story collection to be a success if at least 3 or 4 stories fall into the first two categories of favorite or exceptionally good, and one (or better, none) fall into the even the kids won’t touch it category.
13 of the 16 stories were either favorites or exceptionally good. The stories ranged from fun to serious, from good to excellent, and from zombies to warlocks. None of the stories was of the “even the kids won’t touch it” variety or the “I can’t stand the flavor” pile.
My favorite stories were “The Treefold Problem” by Alan Dean Foster, “Dry Gulch Dragon” by Sarah A. Hoyt, and “A Fistful of Warlocks” by Jim Butcher.
A veritable grab bag of good tales. I recommend it.
Short thoughts on each story without spoilers:
“Bubba Shackleford’s Professional Monster Killers” by Larry Correia
A fun Monster Hunters story. 4 stars
“Trouble in an Hourglass” by Jody Lynn Nye
This one made me dizzy. 4 stars
“The Buffalo Hunters” by Sam Knight
Well done story . 4 stars
“The Sixth World” by Robert E. Vardeman
Interesting premise. 3 stars
“Easy Money” by Phil Foglio
I didn’t see that coming. 3 stars
“The Wicked Wild” by Nicole Givens Kurtz
Strong story. 5 stars
“Chance Corrigan and the Lord of the Underworld” by Michael A. Stackpole
Steampunk, western, fantasy in one. 4 stars
“The Greatest Guns in the Galaxy” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Ken Scholes
Fun and unexpected. 4 stars
“Dance of Bones” by Maurice Broaddus
A story with gravitas. 4 stars
“Dry Gulch Dragon” by Sarah A. Hoyt
Excellent story. 5 stars
“The Treefold Problem” by Alan Dean Foster
Mad Amos is becoming one of my favorite characters. 5 stars
“Fountains of Blood” by David Lee Summers
Story with a twist. 3 stars
“High Midnight” by Kevin J. Anderson
A fun Dan Shamble story. 4 stars
“Coyote” by Naomi Brett Rourke
Spooky and well done. 4 stars
“The Key” by Peter J. Wacks
Intriguing. Makes you want more of this story. 4 stars
“A Fistful of Warlocks” by Jim Butcher
An excellent Warden Luccio story. 5 stars
I give it 4 stars.