Monday, July 18, 2011

Shooter's Cross Review Expanded

Another new ebook series that I’m really enjoying is the Rancho Diablo series of westerns. The brainchild of three authors (James Reasoner, Mel Odom, and Bill Crider), the books tell the story of Sam Blaylock and his creation of the Texas ranch the books are named after. Three books are out so far, with plans for more, plus a spinoff series about some of the characters from the town’s backstory.

The first book, by Odom, dealt with Blaylock building the ranch. The second, by Reasoner, focused a bit more on Blaylock’s family, as well as darker elements from his past. I haven’t read the third one yet, but according to interviews, future books will focus on some of the other supporting cast members.

As a kid, I loved reading shared-world anthologies like Thieves’ World and Wild Cards. I loved the idea of a series of stories about a large cast of characters connected by their location. In a way, the Rancho Diablo series is reminiscent of that. Again, this is the sort of thing you couldn’t do in print: a series of shorter stories that don’t necessarily always feature the same central character. As a series of less expensive ebooks, there’s less financial risk on the part of the reader. Don’t particularly like this story? You’re out less than three bucks and maybe 90 minutes of your time.

Because there’s only three guys working on Rancho Diablo, they aren’t coming out as quickly as the Dead Man books. That’s fine; I’ve still got one to read before I’m caught up. After that, though, it’s going to be tough waiting between books.
Original post is here.

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