OVER WESTERN TRAILS
SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY
REVIEWED BY TIM DEFOREST
Over Western Trails is an excellent anthology of new Western short stories. Most of them are set aboard stagecoaches and its amazing how much variety in terms of plot and character the various authors drew from that basic Wild West setting.
I enjoyed every story here, but the ones that standout in my mind are:
Minuet has an ending that could easily have been corny and contrived, but works perfectly because of the author's effective prose and characterizations. This endows the story with real humanity.
Coffin Trace and Bullet Trap for the Stagecoach Queen both mix a lot of great action in with fun and unusual characters. Mrs. Stokes from Bullet Trap is now one of my favorite-ever supporting characters.
Stage to Yosemite contains a brilliant and unexpected plot twist involving the protagonist.
Run for Ruby Camp uses an unusual narrative technique to give us an exciting Pony Express tale.
Stagecoach to Trinidad and The Strongbox give their protagonists strong character arcs involving redemption while telling strong, action-packed stories.
These are my personal favorites, but every story in Over Western Trails is worth reading.