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The Buntline Special (Weird West Tales #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,187 Ratings  ·  181 Reviews
Welcome to a West like you've never seen before, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western t ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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My expectations were erect and fully engorged going into this story. A steampunky Tombstone meets Terminator, complete with android sex machines, magic, zombies, and even a vampire…my inner nerd was swooning.

And then...well...Shit!!

Like getting doused with ice water, my happy quickly shrunk and went limp, which is a tough thing to adknowledge, espcially since Mike Resnick is one of my favorite storytellers. Yet, despite having all of the ingredients for a fun-loaded page turner, the book never
The Shayne-Train
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
So, sometimes the Goodreads reviews from trusted reviewers can steer you away from time-wasting drivel. And other times, you take a chance and think: "Did they read a different fucking book? This was AWESOME!" This time is most definitely the latter.

You want Western? Oh it's dripping with it. Gunfights and faro layouts and cathouses and horse-rustlers and meticulously maintained facial hair and Indian medicine men and Federal marshals. Oh, and Doc fuckin' Holliday.

You want sci-fi? How about cybo
Neal Litherland
Feb 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
The Buntline Special is one of the worst examples of either Steampunk or Weird West that I've ever come across. With characters/historical figures as rich as the Earps and Doc Holliday, you'd think this wouldn't be an issue... but from a pure lack of description of characters and the town, to the blandest shoot outs I've ever read, the Special falls flat on its face.

Additionally, The Buntline Special violates one of the key rules of alternative history; ignoring the ripple effect. Tombstone is a
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
I suppose read "sort-of" might be more appropriate. I just couldn't get into this book, so I skimmed through to see how he tied it up. If you can use that phrase.

This was a somewhat interesting idea with it's total (steam punk) rewrite of history and the gimmicks included. I have never found a steam punk novel I liked. I read a synopsis and think I ought to like a given book but in the end (so far) I never have. Part of me thinks that this might have worked better as a graphic novel. Oh well. So
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This one was a fun, rollicking read. I love westerns, and I think Resnick did great with this different view of the history of Tombstone involving the Earps, Doc Holiday, Bat Masterson, and the Cowboys. Recommended to western fans who like a little weird, steampunk fantasy vibe.

Full review to be posted on Bitten by Books website: http://bittenbybooks.com.
When my boyfriend came to me( a horrified look on his face) and told me I had to read this book, I wasn’t aware that he was asking me to read it so I could be scarred for life.

To be frank, I can’t even find something good about this book that isn’t stretching the truth. It seems, despite how prolific Resnick is, he writes like Stephenie Meyer. That is to say, he writes but doesn’t seem to bother with things like improvement. Come to think of it, he doesn’t bother with things like creating a coh
Feb 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that I had hard time putting it down, this book was awful. It was so awful, that I ended up rage reading it to see if it ever improved. It didn't.

The most egregious problem for me was the lack of characterization. This was especially true for the female and Native American characters in the book. Women could be dived into four categories: prostitutes, robot prostitutes, former prostitutes, and women who can't understand why their men like prostitutes. The depiction of Native Am
Aug 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
So, apparently, me and “steampunk” have really not been getting along that well. This novel is no different; a boring account of the Gunfight at the OK Corral spruced up with superfluous fantasy elements that have no real effect on the story in an alternate history setting that falls apart under the least scrutiny. Really pretty bad, it can’t even rise to the level of dumb fun. I don’t think I can think of anything that really worked, from the absurd premise to the ridiculous puns drawing on his ...more
Ranting Dragon
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: benni

The latest book by the prolific Mike Resnick is The Buntline Special, a standalone novel that gifts the events leading up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral with a steampunk treatment. In this fantasy world—depictions of which are supplied by the talented illustrator, J. Seamas Gallagher—the United States cannot expand beyond the Mississippi River due to the magic-wielding Medicine Men of the Apache Indians, led by Geronimo. Thomas Edison, inventor extraor
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
2.5 stars
A number of things I am interested in should have been enough for me to like this book. But it felt more like: Oh, we need vampires. Got it. What next? Zombies? Do we have zombies? No? Here you go. What about automatons? Ok, here take these whore automatons. And put some well-known names in the story as well. And another thing, even though I know it is an alternative reality I couldn't accept the idea of Thomas Edison as a good natured, well-meaning inventor only interested in his inve
Katina French
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm a little confused by so many poor reviews of this book. Not having read anything else by Mike Resnick, maybe there's a big disconnect between his style here and the rest of his work. Or possibly, fans of real Old West history were expecting something in a more solidly plausible alternate history vein, as opposed to this which is more pure steampunk Weird West fantasy.

I like a book that delivers what it promises, and The Buntline Special does. It's pretty much what would happen if they decid
Sadie Forsythe
May 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Ermahgerd, was that book ever dull. I mean boring to the boringth degree! The writing is fine, if stark, but simply nothing happens. It's all talk, talk, talk—let me describe these anachronistic inventions to you, invitations to drinks and meals, greetings, threats and 'I'm not afraid to die' or 'I'm already dying' quips—talk, talk, talk and very little actual doing, even less actual narrative and/or development. I suppose Resnick figured we all know who Earp, Holliday and Ringo are so no need t ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
While I expect to find a lot of hand-waving in this kind of fantastical alternate history, this book simply had too many elements that required a suspension of any kind of common sense. Robotic whores, electronic tracking devices, electricity with no known source, bullet-proof brass, zombies, vampires, shamanistic magic... It's like Resnick threw darts at a list of elements from other fantastical-type books and hoped it'd appeal to lots of people as a result. Resnick is a talented author and the ...more
David Schwan
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A steampuck retelling of the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral. Some parts of the story worked well and one seems somewhat contrived. The Bat Masterson story arc exploited a pun on his name yet as a character he was dissapointing.
James Martinez
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
So how do you breathe new life into a story that has been told as many times as the shootout at the Ok corral? Mr. Resnick does a great job by adding some steam punk style inventions by Thomas Edison that are built by Ned Buntline and you have a pretty good starting point. Add to that real Indian magic that has kept the white man at bay, an undead gunslinger and a Bat Masterson that actually turns into a giant bat and you have a very interesting retelling of a well traveled story. If you like we ...more
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a funny, steam-punkish, alternate-history retelling of the gunfight at the OK corral with Thomas Alva Edison, Geronimo, magic, a vampire, and enough other stuff thrown in to fill the kitchen sink twice over. It's very cleverly executed; a really fun volume!
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
really sweet. love the wild west meets steampunk.
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Great dialog. However, I kept waiting for something to happen, and when it did, it was the end of the book. That was not what I expected.
David Radspinner
Jan 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, steampunk
Had to abandon about half-way through. I typically hate not giving books a full go but this just could not keep me engaged enough. Perhaps this was a "young adult" book and no one told me. The premise was sound; fictional retelling of the wild west with the famous Tombstone cowboys but with a Steampunk twist. As an Arizona native, I'm very familiar with the story and thought I would love this. I did not. The store plays out much like a cartoon, with random characters assigned historical names an ...more
Benjamin Kahn
It was a decent read. I liked the integration between the technology and the old west. I started to find Doc Halladay a little tiresome after awhile, and there was a little too much talk and not enough action. I understand that Resnick was following the course of historic events, but then you're basically just inserting technology into real incidents, and it becomes a little redundant. The armour and advanced guns had no real impact on the shootout at the OK Corral, so then what does it matter? ...more
Gray Mouser
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
An agreeable read, but nothing more.

The book suffers from the constriction of replaying events in tombstone and the O.K. Corral shoot-out. In a completely invented setting, the liberties Resnick took with the historical characters would be just part of the alternate world background. Following the historical plot, the deviation from the historical characters and the steampunk science clash too much for me to enjoy the book completely.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Steampunk version of the Shoot out at the Okay Corral.

Why I started this book: Birthday gift from my brother, and since I was flying home this month I thought that I should read the book.

Why I finished it: I don't know that much about the Okay Corral and this is my second time reading Steampunk... that was both to my advantage as the other reviews attest. Popcorn fiction, turn off your brain and enjoy.
Joel J
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The blend of magic/steampunk /and the wild west was a refreshing change. The only thing that made me happier than reading this was finding out that there are 3 more books. This one was an adventure all its own and doesn't need to the others to be enjoyed. A well-imagined take on classic western history
Donald Armfield
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't understand why all the bad review/ ratings this book is getting. I'm already jumping into the next of the series.

Resnick's version of Doc Holliday is a very funny character with snazzy lines that stand out as diss and sarcasm. All the genres hold on line with one another west, steampunk and zombie lore.
I guess I'm just a fan of Resnick and look forward to what's next.
Kim Fitzpatrick
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was my first adventure into weird west novels. I will be honest, I really didn't care for this one. The author had so many interesting individuals to work with from history and made it very anticlimactic. I don't think I'll finish the series.
Michael Rhode
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Goofy steampunk fun. Don't expect much, and just enjoy the alternative OK Carrol.
Carena Wood beimler
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love Deadlands and this was a Deadlands book. ... I just felt it could have been a bit deeper. Everyone was a bit 2D and it was the world that was amazing.
Rick S
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
A decent story, a quick read, not very descriptive at all. Nothing about the setting is described, many chapters begin the same way (Holliday woke up late and went to the Oriental, or Holliday woke up early and everyone was surprised.) I am interested in reading the rest of the series, but it's not high on my priority list.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
For a reason or another, I seem to have drifted towards more steampunk reads than usual of late and The Buntline Special is latest to have captured my attention. Mike Resnick is one of those writers who’s been around for so long and published so many novels that he is surrounded by a mythical aura of sorts. Unfortunately, up to now I had never read any of his work, and I’m now thinking that may have been a mistake. His first attempt at steampunk is absolutely riveting, blending in plenty of the ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Mike Resnick (or his publisher) bills The Buntline Special as a “Weird Western,” but it could just as easily have been tagged as “steampunk.” Like the old role-playing game, Deadlands, it could be either for both the RPG and the novel. If you’re a stickler for historical fiction, this one isn’t for you. Of course, you can probably tell that from the lavishly illustrated cover. Alas, even though the same artist executed the cover and the internal line drawings, there seems like a huge disconnect ...more
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Weird Westerns: Thoughts 8 30 Feb 06, 2015 08:20PM  
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Michael "Mike" Diamond Resnick, better known by his published name Mike Resnick, is a popular and prolific American science fiction author. He is, according to Locus, the all-time leading award winner, living or dead, for short science fiction. He is the winner of five Hugos, a Nebula, and other major awards in the United States, France, Spain, Japan, Croatia and Poland. and has been short-listed ...more
More about Mike Resnick

Other books in the series

Weird West Tales (4 books)
  • The Doctor and the Kid (Weird West Tales, #2)
  • The Doctor and the Rough Rider (Weird West Tales, #3)
  • The Doctor and the Dinosaurs (Weird West Tales, #4)

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