Category Archives: Westerns

Recommended Read: Back To The World by James Shaffer

Back To The WorldJohnny Piper is raised and home-schooled by his strong and smart mother until his father returns home from the Korean War and things go awry.

Johnny is eventually sent off to fight in the Vietnam War leaving his boozing, gambling father to dig the family deeper into the mire.

James Shaffer’s Back To The World is his debut novella and it is as richly written as it is short and sharp, like a cross between Tobias Wolff and Jim Thompson.

Highly recommended.


Short, Sharp Interview: Richard Prosch

PDB: What’s going on?

I live in the country, so every season brings a new slate of activity. Between checking fences for winter and bringing in wood for the furnace, I’m working on the third story in my Dan Spalding crime series.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

I do, but can’t listen to vocals. So it’s jazz from any era with some rock guitar here and there. Bebop, fusion, contemporary—as long as its instrumental.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

Not a lot. But when I do, I blame Larry David or vintage 60s/70s comedians.

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover?

Ice water and Karate katas.

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Wyoming. Preferably on a patch of ground surrounded by a thousand square acres of nothing. Lived there for a couple years long ago and have been working my way back ever since.

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

See the previous question.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Two Dan Spalding entries are out in November: a short story and a novel- Answer Death (Dan Spalding). I’ll also have aspaldings_groove_kindle_promo collection of three hard-boiled western novellas out before the end of the year. And there’s some flash crime fiction coming too.

PDB: Anything else?

I’ve started sharing a music-related tweet or two on Twitter, @richardprosch #spaldingsgroove.

Thanks for hosting me here, Paul!

richard proschBio:  Richard’s crime and western fiction captures the fleeting history and lonely frontier stories of his youth where characters aren’t always what they seem, and the windburned landscapes are filled with swift, deadly danger. His crime fiction has appeared at and several anthologies including Protectors 2, edited by Thomas Pluck, which was nominated for an Anthony Award. Richard won the Spur Award from Western Writers of America for short fiction in 2016. Visit him on the web at

Recommended Reads: The Rain King by Kevin Lynn Helmick

The Rain King

A contemporary Western Noir. The Rain King is the story of, George Washington Parker, 107 year Comanche Indian, and the way he remembers his turn of the century travels through Oklahoma Territory with Ex-Confederate outlaw, Henry Faro as they pursue a genocidal preacher known as The Rain King.

‘The Rain King is a brilliantly inventive blend of gritty western and magic realism.’ Paul D. Brazill, author of A Case Of Noir and Guns Of Brixton.

Guest Blog: Danny Hogan – Them Old Westerns

Last weekend I visited my local second hand bookshop, the Two Way Exchange in Brighton’s North Laines area, in my search for pulps. As usual this meant perusing the crime section and heavily scrutinising the Science Fiction wall. I found very little apart from an sf number entitled Ginger Star which I bought for novelty reasons. I was on my way out when I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. It was a glint of light hitting the barrel of a Colt .45. Wielding this oldschool piece was righteously mean looking cowboy in full fig. The battered Stetson with the rim curled at the sides, denim jacket, batwing chaps, the lot. At his aft was naught more than a sage bushed desert and bright blue sky. He was Marshall McCoy’s Nevada Jim and he was planning on bringing justice to a lynch happy town according to a small piece of blurb. Thus, tucked away in a small corner of the shop that was practically obscured by the custodian’s counter, I discovered the Westerns section. Nobody had been by this way in a long while. I blew the dust off of the dog eared tomes shoved into Gaffer tapped racks and found stacks of pulp westerns in all their garish glory. Although I would count MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman and the Redskins as one of the best stories I have read so far, I wasn’t sure about westerns as a genre. I had read a few Zane Greys and I did not like the pace of them, so I bought two just to try them out. They were Gun Flash – A Nevada Jim Western by Marshall McCoy and McGee by Alex Hawke. The latter attracted me because of the blurb on the font cover: “McGee had nothing he could call his own – except a lust for vengeance.” Yeah, simple language, job’s a good’un.


I took them home and totally devoured them. Where had this stuff been my whole life, I asked myself. Apart from the punchy language, and great dialogue I realised instantly the attraction they held. They were the perfect antidote to today’s living. Pure escapism. They’re set in frontier lands, unpredictable and dangerous. Little town’s where living is simplified and everything is cut down to the bear essentials. You have a saloon or two, a store, a hotel and of course the court house, which is usually run by a hopelessly inept dullard, or a corrupt bastard (like real life I suppose). There’s no having to meet targets and deadlines, no 78 emails – not including junk – on a Monday morning and no god forsaken mobile phones. They are peopled by dastardly villains and their idiot henchmen and feisty ladies who are nobody’s fools. The protagonists are usually quiet loners, quick with their fists and fast on the draw. They always have the best lines which are kept to as few words as possible; something that any student of fiction should take a look at.


If people do read this and then go out and buy up all the Westerns then I feel a bit like I’m shooting myself in the foot. Because of their current lack of popularity the Westerns section is a sure fire way to find original pulps. They tend to go as quick as you please in the crime and sf sections. I had to knock someone the fuck out over an original Mickey Spillane, last time I found one. So if you do go out and buy a load of Western’s be sure to leave a few copies for Ol’Danny, d’ya hear?



Bio: Danny Hogan is the founder of Pulp Press and the author of Killer Tease. He was brought up by thieves and bandits in West London, and led a life of crime in Paris. He currently resides in Brighton where he reads and writes and deals with other peoples problems.