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7 November 2017

This came in for review the other day and I was delighted. I’ve seen both authors’ work a number of times over the year and always enjoy it, and this duo is I fully expected to provide me with an excellent weekend’s reading – and it did.
The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung walks a clever line between the Occident and the Orient in the old west, beginning with Ling Fung deploring the modern manners of his niece before discovering that she had put out flyers all over the area describing him as an assassin and offering his talents. Things go on from there to become still more interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories of Ling Fung, and the peculiar events with which he became entangled. David does a very nice weird western at any time, and these are some of the best I’ve read.
Followed by Chin Song Ping and the Long Long Night by Laura Givens, whose stories I am also familiar with, and equally always enjoy.To my initial surprise this began in France in 1945, but I was reassured to find a page or so later than I was back in Wild Western territory and off on a wild ride into demons, dangerous mechanical creatures, mayhem, mystery and murder.
And to cap it all off, the presentation is excellent, the cover (By Laura Giverns too) both cleverly done and attractive, the layout good, and the print a decent size, neither over-large nor too small. The Editor, David Lee Summers has done his usual excellent job, and all in all, this is a nice piece of work. I’d recommend it to any reader who likes Weird Westerns – and to anyone who hasn’t met them yet, this is a great place to start.

old age is rather like a drought year. It sneaks up and you don’t really notice it – until things start dying on you.

And – fortunately – my illness came AFTER I’d put in a lot of hard writing. My newest Holmes double, FOUND DEAD, comprising DEAD IN A KITCHEN CHAIR, and TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, went to Wildside well before that, and the Mandalay complilation, CATASTROPHE (meant for 2018) and comprising the novellas, DEAD FELL, MEDIUM DEAD, and DEAD LOSS, with short story, DEAD AND GONE, went to Wildside a day before I was whipped into hospital. Phew.

or at least – back. On the 21st I was hastily removed to hospital with a kidney stone. That was lasered, after which I was initially fine for a couple of days, then deteriorated abruptly. However I was sent home 9 days later, and a week out of hospital and after that,I think I’ve mostly bounced back again. However I plan to take it easy for the remainder of the year just in case. I’ll shift to my usual writing schedule once it’s New year, and my energy levels return. Meanwhile I’m very happy to be home again – and the cat is very happy to have me home.