>Our Own Worlds<

A Speculative Fiction Community for Independent Writers & Readers

Review: Rollo’s Herd by Claire Ryan

1 min read

I recently had the pleasure of reading a lovely short story by Claire Ryan – Rollo’s Herd. This tale was included in Diane Morrison‘s Weird West Anthology, Gunsmoke & Dragonfire.

This short story is everything you could want from a fantasy western. It is packed with action, a bit strange, and full of sassy, memorable characters. The ending was very satisfying, playing into the expectations set up by the rest of the story, but not being so obvious as to make it boring. In other words, the right ending for the story.

Spoiler-free Summary

Gunsmoke & Dragonfire

This tale is about Rollo, a slug rancher (yes, like the bugs, only HUGE) driving her herd to market. However, something is killing off her slugs. She and her cow hands (slug hands?) have to figure out what it is and how to stop it.

The inclusion of small details about the town they are headed to and the weapons at their disposal are perfect hints at a larger world. This is definitely the kind of story stands alone just fine, but it could play into a larger series.

I recommend Rollo’s Herd to anyone who enjoys western fantasy, weird west, or even just creative takes on the genres we’ve all encountered for decades. You can purchase it HERE.

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