I have had a fascination with the horror genre since the first time I read Edgar Allan Poe’s short story ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ back in middle school. Ever since then I’ve devoured a wide variety of books in the genre. Everything from classics like It by Stephen King and I am Legend by Richard Matheson to utter garbage not worth mentioning. Over the years my interest in the genre has evolved from splatter punk/gore hound to eventually the style and theme of Lovecraft’s mythos of the Elder Gods and that of Clive Barker.
History has always been one of my favorite subjects, in particular the history of the American West. The fact that I now live out West has only increased my interest in it.
So it isn’t a huge suprise that lately my writings have combine these two interests. The name of the subgenre is Weird Western which is defined as literary subgenre that features many aspects of the traditional Western combined with other genres such as horror, sci-fi, or fantasy.
Some examples of the genre would be the DC comic Jonah Hex, the role-play game DeadLands. Perhaps the most popular writer of the genre is John R. Linsdale who writes in a folksy style in a similar vein as Mark Twain but with elements of horror, ie zombies and such.
Weird Western actually goes back to the 1930’s with Robert E. Howard’s ‘The Horror from the Mound’.
Weird Western may appeal to a select niche but like any genre there’s defintely some gems out there along side some duds. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path to read I’d recommend Lansdale or even Howards’ writings.