Six-Gun Tarot

Book cover of a young but weathered man holding a jade eye to his face.
The Six-Gun Tarot

A pirate-ninja-witch, a son of Coyote, an unkillable sheriff, and a gay Mormon walk into the apocalypse.

I think two things make this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink fantasy work. First, it’s weird wild west and not Seattle, Chicago, New York, or London. The Western genre has been over-the-top since Sergio Leone sent us on a surreal trip across the civil war. It doesn’t go quite as far as King’s The Gunslinger, Jarmusch’s vision quest Dead Man, or the wire-fu Warrior’s Way.

The second saving grace of this book is that it embraces its weirdness rather than trying a charade of a “masquerade” or “Secret World.” Golgotha is the town where weird stuff happens. “Hey, John, remember that time with the rat people?” (paraphrased from memory.) It’s the kind of place where the mayor can organize an evacuation or the sheriff can hand out silver bullets without anyone blinking an eye.

A fair bit, perhaps a bit too much, is left to be explained by sequels, but I think I’m ok with that.