Friday, January 22, 2010
Merkabah Rider: Tales of a High Planes Drifter!
For your weekend reading pleasure, a new Weird Western book as been brought to my attention. Its called Merkabah Rider: Tales of a High Planes Drifter, from Damnation Books, written by Ed Erdelac, with some pretty sweet cover art by Cinsearae Santiago. Here is a description of the story, in the writers own words:
Set in 1879, it follows the adventures of The Rider, a Hasidic gunslinger, the last of an order of ancient Jewish mystics capable of extra-planar travel, as he tracks down the renegade teacher who betrayed and murdered his enclave. Along the way he encounters a cult of Molech worshipers bent on human sacrifice, a murderous possessed gunman, a powerful ju ju man holding a boom town in his sway, and a bordello full of antediluvian succubi.
I called it a "book" instead of a "novel" because in truth its an anthology of 4 different novellas, each telling a different adventure featuring "The Rider":
Blood Libel: In 1879, the children of the Arizona mining town of Delirium Tremens have begun disappearing. The law has tracked the missing daughter of a local reverend to the neighboring Jewish settlement of Little Jerusalem. Old hatreds are fit to boil over when a mysterious Hasidic gunslinger known as the Rider checks into the local hotel. He soon discovers a rogue element of the population has taken over the settlement and instituted a cult dedicated to the profane worship of the demon king Molech. The Rider sets out to bring it down, with the lives of the innocent Jews and the kidnapped preacher’s daughter in the balance. But as he sheds his physical form to do battle in the spirit world, an irate mob breaks into his hotel room and drags his unconscious body away. The Rider must smash the cult and return to his body in time to avert his own lynching…
The Dust Devils: An impenetrable dust storm blows the Rider into the border town of Polvo Arrido. Its affluence points to a town in the midst of a boom, but where have all the people gone? A ruthless bandit chief and his gang may hold the answer, or else a strange eyed ju ju man whose powers rival the Rider’s own. Then there’s the fact that the storm surrounding the town doesn’t seem to dissipate….
Hell's Hired Gun: When the Rider discovers a massacred Franciscan mission, he turns aside from the trail of his master to track down the perpetrator. He is rescued from a snowstorm outside the remote town of Gadara by an odd old preacher, who spins him a yarn about Medgar Tooms, a cursed gunman who walks the West at the head of a herd of voracious pigs, dragging the broken chains of all those who have tried to bind him. But this is no fantasy. Tooms is coming to Gadara, and only the Rider and the preacher stand in his way…
The Nightjar Women: The Rider comes to a town without children where nightly, evil is born again and again. In the coils of his most secret dreams, an antediluvian menace calls him...by his true name.
I love anthologies, and this looks like a lot of fun! I actually have a copy....but being the terrible reader that I am, I haven't had a chance to sit down with it just yet; but don't you make the same mistake! Merkabah Rider: Tales of a High Planes Drifter is available in both print form and as a digital download for your Kindle HERE
You should definitely pick this up! We need to support more quality independent Weird West content! A review will be forthcoming.