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Keep an eye on Belcher because if this, his first novel, is any indication, he will be a must-read. The Six-Gun Tarot is nothing short of fantastic: a complex page-turner with philosophical, metaphysical, and mystical underpinnings. Placing his tale in Nevada in 1869, Belcher deftly describes a complex cast of characters and a setting so sharp you can feel the dust in your mouth. Beyond 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a small town that draws its inhabitants from the unnatural: a store owner who talks to the head of his deceased wife, who answers back; a sheriff with the scars of a noose around his neck; a boy with a magical jade eye; and a townswoman who is a member of a group of female assassins. Besides the peculiar townsfolk, there is an evil brewing, and unless the undead Sheriff can defeat it, Golgotha will be no more.--Downs, Alison Copyright 2010 Booklist
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When young Jim Negrey and his long-suffering horse find sanctuary in the cattle town of Galgotha, NV, Jim notices that the sheriff bears the marks of a noose round his neck; his deputy calls the coyotes his kin, and a nameless evil inhabits the nearby silver mine. Belcher's debut is an astonishing blend of first-rate steampunk fantasy and Western adventure. The author reinvents Wild West stereotypes into fresh, original characters and imbues the landscape with its own mystical characteristics. VERDICT Though this fantasy debut should especially appeal to fans of both "Weird West" fiction and steampunk, the power of the author's storytelling and strong characters deserve as wide an audience as possible. The author is the Grand Prize winner in the Strange New Worlds SF writing contest. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Golgotha, Nev., is an unlikely place for humans to battle ancient evil, but that's precisely the fate awaiting sheriff Jon Highfather; his half-human deputy, Mutt; blustering mayor Harry Pratt; and runaway boy Jim Negrey. Angels imprisoned the Greate Olde Wurm under a mountain; millennia later, in 1869, Reverend Ambrose's zombie army is about to set it free. The Wild West was never as wild as Golgotha, nor as mysterious; everyone here has secrets. Jon is aware some things just can't be explained, but accepts whatever he must to protect his town. Meanwhile, the mayor struggles to reconcile his religion and his homosexuality, and an angel and Lucifer debate God's plan. Against the backdrop of Chinese and Mormon mythology and the Civil War, with a bit of Frankenstein for color, the mix of theology, frontier justice, and zombies is merely cover for an intense and irreverent exploration of good, evil, and free will. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.