The authors of The Nettle Tree had a challenging assignment indeed, to breathe new and strange life into a genre that all but the enthusiast may consider a bit overrated, trivialized or overdone, and they did so brilliantly. While my taste in Western fiction runs more in the lines of prospectors trudging through deserts looking for mythical gold caches and scouts surveying new lands, I found a number of stories in this collection that had me re-evaluating the Western and its possibilities. Phil Richardson's The Sheriff of Hog Waller is clever and convincing as outlaws, the townspeople, and the law conspire to make a killing off the bounty system. Christopher Wolf's zombie story, Tears on the Prairie, is poignant and intense. But I would have to say the title story, The Nettle Tree, with its transporting energy fields, captured my imagination and kept it close at hand throughout the story, and Leigh M. Lane's trickster in Valley of the Shadow deftly ramped up the suspense and atmosphere. There's bound to be something for just about any reader in this collection of original short stories. The Nettle Tree is most highly recommended. (5 stars)
Jeremy C. Shipp, Phil Richardson, Casey June Wolf, John Rosenman, Christopher Wolf, Leigh M. Lane, Richard Godwin, Salvatore Buttaci, Tonya R. Moore, Kenny Wilson, Jim Secor, and contributing authors Clayton Bye and Kenneth Weene.
About the editors:
Clayton Clifford Bye is an eclectic writer whose body of work spans a period of more than 20 years and includes such classics as How To Get What You Want From Life, The Sorcerer’s Key and The Contrary Canadian. His more recent work involves too many ghostwrites to count and some great anthologies from his publishing house Chase Enterprises Publishing. The Speed of Dark, a strangely different collection of horror short stories, won four awards and solid 5 star reviews. To check out Clayton’s work, visit http://shop.claytonbye.com.
Ken Weene: “The best part of being a writer is the endless opportunity to do life over. The worst part is knowing that I still won’t get it right.” With that motto in mind, Kenneth Weene offers an ongoing stream of books, short stories, poems, and essays. Visit http://www.kennethweene.com to find more of his work.
Title: The Nettle Tree
Publisher: Chase Enterprises Publishing
Editors: Kenneth Weene and Clayton Bye
ISBN (print): 978-1-927915-10-3
ISBN (eBook): 978-1-927915-11-0
Format: Trade Paperback and eBook
Genre: Speculative western
Price: $17.95 (print) $3.95 (eBook)
The book and PDF eBook can be purchased at: http://shop.claytonbye. Also available at Amazon and Smashwords.