Those of you who pay attention to my monthly writing wrap-ups have seen an entry where I mention one of the short stories Kevin and I worked on last year. For example:
“Space Western Story – Kevin and I collaborated on this story for a new anthology that’s “coming soon.” Everything’s approved and signed off and we’ve been paid, but we’ve been informed that scheduling and supply chain issues have forced this book’s publication to spring 2023. We still don’t have any real info so far as an official announcement, author line-up, cover art, and various other details. Stay tuned for more info!“
Well, I’m finally here with some of that “more info” stuff! The anthology’s contributors have finally been given the green light to share our participation in High Noon on Proxima B, a collection of all new “Weird Western” stories and the latest in a series of such tomes edited by David Boop. What’s it all about? Well, here’s what the back cover will (more or less) say:
It’s always high noon on Proxima B. All original stories about the final frontier.
YOU TELL ‘EM THE SPACE COWPOKES A’COMIN’ AND HELL IS COMIN’ WITH ‘EM!
Adventure! Danger! Revenge! And a mail-order robot gunslinger in a wedding dress? Only in the wildest parts of space could this happen. It’s time again to get in your ramshackle rocket ship and journey to the universe’s western territories with this follow-up to Gunfight on Europa Station.
Meet the employees of a space bordello as they’re drawn together to pull a con on a con. Or the crew filming a Western on a colony ship only to fight gravity and each other. Or a soldier on a backwater planet hiding from her past when it—and the military—finally tracks her down. Each voyage invokes the type of western yarns you’ve loved before, but with a science fiction upgrade you’ll get to enjoy anew.
Taking you on this ride are another set of astounding space opera authors such as Walter Jon Williams (Hardwired), Susan R. Matthews (Under Jurisdiction), Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore (Star Trek), Brenda Cooper (Project Earth), Milton Davis (Changa’s Safari), John E. Stith (Naught for Hire), and Peter J. Wacks (Caller of Lightning).
High Noon on Proxima B. Ten tales of the West . . . not as it was, but as it might be!
Sounds pretty cool, eh? And that line-up. The whole roster is solid, but I can’t help fanboying a little bit when I see Walter Jon Williams’ name on the cover. As in “Hardwired Walter Jon Williams? Metropolitan? The Accidental War?”
Yeah, that Walter Jon Williams.
As you can see, I’m pretty stoked.
Thanks very much to David Boop, whom we’ve known for many years after first meeting at the Starfest Convention in Denver way back when, for inviting us to participate in this project. It was David who recommended me to David Rozansky, who at the time was heading up Denver-based Flying Pen Press, to take the editorial reins for what became Space Grunts, the third of the Full-Throttle Space Tales anthology series which was published back in 2009.
For me and Kevin, this new anthology is one of several opportunities over the few years that have allowed us to experiment with some new ideas, including setting up characters and premises we’re keen to revisit in future stories as time and circumstances allow. The story we wrote for this anthology, “Past Sins,” is hopefully just the first tale of Myla Dynion, a woman who learns she can’t outrun her former life. It’s a little bit Spaghetti Western and a little bit Firefly with a dollop of cyberpunk tossed into the mix. We have thoughts and ideas about where to next take Myla, but I guess we should see how this first outing goes.
High Noon on Proxima B is currently slated for publication on February 7, 2023 by Baen Books, making it the first of several new titles with which I (or Kevin and I) are involved. At present, pre-order links are live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the trade paperback editions. These will be joined by e-Book options, as well as links to other outlets like Books-A-Million and (I hope) a portal to support local independent booksellers as we get closer to publication.
Saddle up, yo. It’s gonna get all sorts of weird and Western-y in here.