Byrd's Luck & Other Western Stories by Jeffrey J. Mariotte Genre: Traditional Western and Western Horror Fiction
The crack of a rifle, the thunder of hooves, the silence of the desert at dawn . . . Mariotte takes you there
Western stories by Jeffrey J. Mariotte have appeared in collections alongside those of legendary Western writers like Louis L’Amour, William Johnstone, Elmer Kelton, and Loren Estleman. Now, BYRD’S LUCK & OTHER WESTERN STORIES collects ten of his own riveting tales of the wild West.
Brand-new stories include “Byrd’s Law”—a sequel to the Spur Award and Peacemaker Award finalist “Byrd’s Luck,” costarring Cody Cavanaugh—the hero of his own action-packed novel trilogy—and the first-ever prose story featuring characters from Mariotte’s bestselling, award-winning horror-Western comics series Desperadoes. A mix of traditional and weird Western tales, this book has something for every fan of Western adventure.
Click the Buy Now button and be immediately transported back to the Wild West!
Praise for Jeffrey J. Mariotte
“Jeffrey J. Mariotte . . . can tell a good story in any genre.” – Johnny D. Boggs
One of the best storytellers in the business." – Brian Keene
"Jeff is a very creative guy." – Clive Barker
"This taut, superbly-written elegy also has a cinematic quality, and I thought of a Sam Peckinpah-directed end-of-the-west movie with a script by Elmore Leonard.” – Andrew McBride, on "The Fox and the Snake" (included in Byrd's Luck & Other Western Stories).
“Mariotte can flat-out write.” – Don Winslow (on River Runs Red)
"...several jaw-dropping plot twists and one of the best action sequences I’ve read in a long time.” – David Morrell (on River Runs Red)
"Mariotte's one hell of a writer." – Christopher Golden (on River Runs Red)
"I was pulled in from the start on this one and it never let up. I highly recommend it.” – Michael Connelly (on Empty Rooms)
"Keenly observed and deftly written, it’s something you’ll want on your shelf as long as you have one." – T. Jefferson Parker (on Empty Rooms)
Jeffrey J. Mariotte has written more than sixty books, including the police-procedural mystery series Major Crimes Squad: Phoenix, historical Western epic Blood and Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta (with Peter Murrieta), the Cody Cavanaugh traditional Western series, supernatural thrillers River Runs Red, Missing White Girl, and Cold Black Hearts, horror epic The Slab, and the teen horror quartet Year of the Wicked. Other works include the acclaimed thrillers Empty Rooms and The Devil’s Bait, and—with his wife and writing partner Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell—the science fiction thriller 7 SYKOS and Mafia III: Plain of Jars, the authorized prequel to the hit video game, as well as shorter works. He has also written novels set in the worlds of Tarzan, Deadlands, Star Trek, CSI, NCIS, Narcos, 30 Days of Night, Spider-Man, Conan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and more. He is also the author of many comic books and graphic novels, including the original Western series Desperadoes, the horror series Fade to Black, action-adventure series Garrison, and the original graphic novel Zombie Cop.
Three of his novels have won Scribe Awards for Best Original Novel, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. He’s also won the Inkpot Award from the San Diego Comic-Con, is a co-winner of the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America, and has been a finalist for the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America, the Peacemaker Award from the Western Fictioneers, the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, the International Horror Guild Award, and for his comics writing, the Harvey Award and the Glyph Award.
He has worked in virtually every aspect of the book business, as a bookstore manager and owner, VP of Marketing for Image Comics/WildStorm, Senior Editor for DC Comics/WildStorm, and Editor-in-Chief for IDW Publishing and a publishing consultant for various companies. When he’s not writing, reading, or editing something, he’s probably out enjoying the desert landscape around the Arizona home he shares with his family and dog and cats. Find him online at www.jeffmariotte.com, www.facebook.com/JeffreyJMariotte, and @JeffMariotte.
Byrd’s Luck & Other Western Stories is a collection of some of my Western short fiction, both traditional Western and Weird Western. Most of the stories in it were inspired by having anthology editors come to me and ask me to write a story for an upcoming anthology. But there are two longer stories in it that are original to this book. The first, “Byrd’s Law,” is a sequel to the story “Byrd’s Luck,” which was a finalist for both the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and the Peacemaker Award from the Western Fictioneers. “Byrd’s Law” brings Byrd, from that story, together with Cody Cavanaugh, the protagonist from a trilogy of Western novels published in 2022. The other new story, “Desperadoes: Into the Everdark,” is the first-ever prose story featuring characters from a long-running, award-winning comic book series I wrote between 1997 and 2007. Fans have been waiting a long time for a new Desperadoes story.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I write novels more than short stories or comics these days, and I expect to continue doing so. I have several novel projects and comics projects in various stages of development, so we’ll see what comes to fruition first. I have literally hundreds of publication credits, so I don’t expect to stop any time soon.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Western fiction is kind of on a downward slope these days. A lot of younger readers don’t think there’s anything in it for them, and they’re not as tuned in to the history of the American West as older ones are. My grandfather was born in the era that we still consider the Old West (though he was a plumber, not a cowboy or outlaw), and I grew up at a time when Western TV shows and movies were popular. Since then I’ve studied the real history of the West, and I know it’s not like it was depicted in those shows.
So I try to present some of the truth in my stories. The West wasn’t all straight, white, heroic men, victimized women, and savage Indians. I have straight white men in my Western stories and novels, but I also have Indigenous people, Black people, gay people, trans people, and so on. My Westerns tend to present the Old West as the diverse place it was. For example, the first state to grant women the right to vote was Wyoming. Most of the Western states followed suit, long before the eastern and southern states did. Sometimes I stretch things a little to make a point—for example, in my Cody Cavanaugh Western novels there’s the Empress Ranch, which is owned and operated entirely by women to provide shelter and work for women who need it. There might not have been any real ranches like that in the West of the 1870s, but there were brave, tough women who took care of themselves and each other.
Also, half of the stories in the book are Weird Western stories, or Western horror. Horror readers will find plenty of creepy, terrifying stuff in those stories (as well as some pretty scary moments in the more “traditional” stories.
In other words, the Weird Western stories in “Byrd’s Luck & Other are not like any other Westerns you’ve read and are more like the movies Bone Tomahawk or Ravenous than Tombstone or High Noon.