Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The return of Walt Ames

Just to take a break from all the political drama, Peter Grant offers an excerpt from his forthcoming Western, the sequel to Brings the Lightning:

Walt was interrupted as the batwing doors slammed back, and a big, burly man stalked through them. His gait was unsteady, as if he’d already had more than a few drinks and was feeling their effects. He was dark-haired, with a big, bushy beard. His grubby, stained checkered shirt was tucked into black trousers that fell to mud-stained boots. A revolver was holstered at his right side, balanced by a long-bladed knife on his left. He was followed by what looked like a younger version of himself, dressed and armed in the same style, also not very steady on his feet.
    Rosa hissed in anger, and started forward. The men at the bar looked around, then backed hurriedly away from the new arrivals as the bartender lowered his hands out of sight behind it.
    Walt pushed back his chair, and murmured to Isom, “Stand by for trouble.”
    “Got it.” Isom gently moved his chair back as well, to give himself room to move.
    Rosa stepped in front of the burly man, arms akimbo, fists clenched. “I told you not to come back here, Señor Furlong!”
    “Aw, shaddup, Rosa!” the man slurred, trying to focus his drink-sodden eyes on her. “I gotta wait here in town for a reply to a telegraph message, an’ I want someone to keep me warm ’till then. Here – I’ll pay.” He fumbled in his pocket.
    Rosa exploded with rage. “You hurt my girl last time! She couldn’t work for two weeks! No more of them for you! You get out of here, and take your son with you!”
    “Aw, you’re cute when you’re angry. Maybe I’ll take you tonight instead!” Bart’s hand shot out and grabbed her right breast, squeezing. Rosa’s eyes bugged out and she yelled in pain, pulling back, trying to free herself.
    The bartender lifted his hands above the bar. They were holding a sawn-off double-barreled shotgun. He began to swing it into line, but Walt was faster. He threw himself forward, drawing his right-hand revolver, lifting it, then chopping down with vicious force, clubbing Bart over the head with the butt of the gun. The man collapsed as if he’d been pole-axed.
    Isom was right behind him. As the younger man staggered unsteadily, reaching for his holstered revolver, the teamster grabbed his shoulder, spun him around, and launched a haymaker that came around with all the weight of his body behind it. It landed on the side of the man’s jaw with an audible crunching sound. His victim flew sideways, crashing into the wall with an impact that shook the room. He hung there limply for a moment, then toppled forward to land face-down on the floor.
    “Thank you, señor,” Rosa said, rubbing her breast absently, her eyes on the revolver in Walt’s hand. “You are very fast with that.”
    “I get by,” Walt said shortly, holstering the gun and looking round at Isom. “I heard something break – not your hand, I hope?”
    “Naw,” the other replied, massaging his knuckles with his left hand. “I think it was his jaw.”

There is an expanded excerpt at his site.



Anonymous Anonymous February 21, 2017 8:42 PM  

The saga continues, nice.

Blogger Jack Ward February 21, 2017 8:58 PM  

When? Right now is not too soon.

Blogger Jack Ward February 21, 2017 9:08 PM  

Read the excerpt. I've yet to read a Peter Grant novel I did not like.

Anonymous chemicallysalty February 21, 2017 9:22 PM  

Don't talk to me or my son ever again.

Anonymous Aphelion February 21, 2017 9:26 PM  

More WINNING! I can't wait. Second western I will read in last 20+ years. Brings the Lightning was great. If you haven't read it, do. More excellence from Walt Ames and Castalia House.

Blogger StrongCoffee61 February 21, 2017 10:25 PM  

The first book was excellent.

My favorite western writer, Peter Brandvold, was asked what appealed to him about the western genre.
And he said, "the land, the men, the women, the lack of civilized law and boundaries. It's really a mythic place, sort of like Robert E. Howard's Hyboria."

Westerns and the more masculine variety of fantasy fiction have interesting similarities.

I'll definitely be reading the Grant's sequel and will try some his science fiction as well.

Blogger tweell February 21, 2017 10:53 PM  

Peter Grant continues to improve as a writer.

Blogger Junius Stone February 21, 2017 11:52 PM  

Looking forward to this...

Blogger Nick February 22, 2017 12:04 AM  

I purchased the paperback. Great Western. Looking forward to the sequel

Blogger Roy Lofquist February 22, 2017 2:05 AM  

Gunfight ---

Blogger wreckage February 22, 2017 3:06 AM  

Hitting all the classic notes! Love it!

Blogger pdwalker February 22, 2017 3:46 AM  

Looking forward to reading the finished version. If Castalia House continues choosing excellent writers to publish, I'm going to have to sell my house to keep up with this little vice.

(yes, yes, I blame CH and I take no responsibility for myself... It's the progressive way!)

Anonymous VFMinion February 22, 2017 9:52 AM  

I was hoping for a sequel. Loved the first.

Blogger Jon D. February 22, 2017 9:56 AM  

As I mentioned over on Peter's blog: Brings the Lightning was my favorite fiction of 2016. I am extremely excited for this.

Anonymous CarpeOro February 22, 2017 10:03 AM  

Enjoyed the first one immensely. I'd be interested in proof reading/reviewing this one. VFM105

Blogger mike mike February 22, 2017 10:15 AM  

Look forward to it. I'm a slow reader and have a pretty big backlog of books to read. That being said, in the last two years I think I have only read Jack Vance, John C. Wright and Castalia House offerings. Glorious.

Blogger Gaiseric February 22, 2017 10:43 AM  

StrongCoffee61 wrote:My favorite western writer, Peter Brandvold, was asked what appealed to him about the western genre.

And he said, "the land, the men, the women, the lack of civilized law and boundaries. It's really a mythic place, sort of like Robert E. Howard's Hyboria."

Westerns and the more masculine variety of fantasy fiction have interesting similarities.

Given that Robert E. Howard basically invented sword & sorcery and the whole concept of the Hyborian age so he could write historical fiction without having to be reined in by historical accuracy, I've often wondered why nobody has thought to do a similar exercise with the Old West, or the Golden Age of Piracy. Fantasy doesn't have to be pseudo-Medieval, after all.

Blogger Chiva February 22, 2017 11:02 AM  

Just finished listening to the audible version of "Brings the Lightning". Looking forward to the second installment.
Keep up the good work Mr Grant.

Blogger Cail Corishev February 22, 2017 12:05 PM  

Gaiseric, you've piqued my curiosity. I would have said many Westerns have a fair bit of fantasy already, with things like impossibly accurate gunfighters and battles between good and evil, though that varies. Do you mean going further by taking it out of the real Old West into mythical lands, or something else?

Blogger Gaiseric February 22, 2017 12:15 PM  

@19: Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Creating a Hyborian Age that's based on the Old West INSTEAD of a melange of classical and early medieval Europe and the Near East that Conan inhabits. Where Howard came up with, for example ersatz Vikings (Aesir and Vanir peoples), ersatz Carolingian slash late Roman empire (the Aquilonians), an ersatz Byzantium (Nemedia), etc., creating a fantasy world with ersatz Angl0-Saxon colonists on an east cost, with ersatz Five Civilized Indian tribes nearby, ersatz Comancheria and/or Apacheria, ersatz Aztequeria, ersatz Fusang/Chinese colonization on the West Cost, ersatz Mound Builders ruled by an Atlantean elite, ersatz Viking settlements in the north, and shot throughout with Lovecraftian horrors, perhaps represented by ancient Indian burial grounds, Wendigo myths, dark forests haunted by populations of hostile and predatory Sasquatches, etc.

And then you could do something similar with the Golden Age of Piracy too.

Blogger Cail Corishev February 22, 2017 12:24 PM  

Interesting. You're right, it does seem like fertile territory. King's Gunslinger comes to mind, but I've only read the first book, so I don't know how far he developed that.

Blogger Gaiseric February 22, 2017 12:55 PM  

Me neither. I don't really like King anyway, but it's the only work I'm aware of that even attempts to mine any of that territory.

Fantasy fans seem to be oddly parochial and unwilling to venture too far out of their romanticized pseudo-Medievalism.

I guess that's a big part of the point Jeffro was trying to make with his Appendix N book though, isn't it?

Blogger JimR February 22, 2017 4:13 PM  

@22 re hyborian west.

Journey to Fusang might fit the bill, though it's scope is wider than the US west.

Blogger Gaiseric February 23, 2017 7:57 AM  

"Know, O Mr. President, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the rise of the Men of the West, there was an Age undreamed of, when realms of pioneers and their steadfast courage, of settlers with their windmills and plos, of savage Injuns burning, looting, pillaging, of the plains filled with vast herds of the buffalo, lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars. Hither came the Man with No Name of the Old Country, black-haired, sullen-eyed, six-shooter in hand, a cowboy, a wanderer, a gunfighter, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the thrones of the Old West under his feet."

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