Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Zeppelins West, by Joe R. Lansdale
Take Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, the concept of Buffalo Bill's Wild West and mix that together with a science fiction premise of airships (zeppelins, ya know, like the Hindenberg) with The Island of Dr. Moreau, Captain Nemo, Dracula, Frankenstein, and a little bit of the Wizard of Oz and you've got yourself one heck of a concept for a novella. Oh yeah, did we mention that Buffalo Bill is missing the rest of his body and his living head is saved in a jar of pig urine?
Joe R. Lansdale spins together an amazing tale that to simply call "Science Fiction" would not do it justice because it is such an imaginative work of creativity and storytelling that slapping a genre label on it is not enough. Zeppelins West is a work filled with sharp humor, a western feel despite the flying machines, crude language and violence, and a sense of lawlessness and adventure.
Zeppelins West has the feel of an old time pulp novel, complete with crazy adventure and genre goodness. But Zeppelins West is more. With the strong voice of Joe Lansdale we are reminded just how much fun a wild and crazy story can be.