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Hot Iron and Cold Blood: An Anthology of the Weird West

Hot Iron and Cold Blood: An Anthology of the Weird West

Current price: $19.99
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Death's Head Press
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"Each short story is unique, carefully crafted, and memorable. A fun read from cover to cover." – MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

Desperados and yellow-bellies be warned: These ain’t your typical westerns…

Herein find legendary masters of anomalous Western and Horror stories—along with a posse of budding word-slingers—who all bring you an electrifying and frightening collection of extraordinary tales set in the Old West and beyond...

Within these pages, the improbable is made real: cowboys encounter a chimeric critter of the night; dinosaurs return as massive poltergeists; Chinese railroad workers are haunted by invisible frights; outlaws experience Cronenbergian body-horror; fallen-light stalks mother and daughter upon a wintry prairie; a headless horseman roams the badlands; otherworldly creatures hunt within our domain; screaming spectral birds nest within the damned; and gunslinging women with murderous skills annihilate foolish notions of a man’s world.

These are just a handful of the offerings in this body of macabre lore. So, mount your saddle-horse and join this gang of rogue authors for a ride down dark trails of terror and unsettling thoroughfares that lead deep into strange, nightmarish territory. Here you gallop through places where law has no dominion and Death constantly deals a grim hand—and where the iron is red-hot and the blood drips ice-cold.

Featuring stories by Joe R. Lansdale, Edward Lee, David J. Schow, Jill Girardi, R.J. Jackson, Vivian Kasley, Owl Goinback, Kenzie Jennings, Jeff Strand, Wile E. Young, and more. Edited by Patrick R. McDonough with an introduction by R.J. Joseph

About the Author

Kenzie Jennings is an English professor residing in the sweltering tourist pocket of central Florida. She is the author of the Splatterpunk Award nominated books Reception and Red Station (Death’s Head Press). Her short horror fiction has appeared in The Avarice, Baker’s Dozen, Slash-Her: An Anthology of Women In Horror, Slice Girls, Worst Laid Plans: An Anthology of Vacation Horror, and Dig Two Graves, Vol. 1. Twitter: @kenzieblyjay

Jill Girardi is the award-nominated, internationally best-selling author of Hantu Macabre. A film based on the book with the same title is currently in the works (directed by Aaron Cowan, a senior member of the visual effects team that won four Oscars for Avatar and Lord of the Rings.) Jill is also the founder of Kandisha Press, an independent publishing company dedicated to promoting women horror authors around the world. She is currently working on Hantu Macabre 2, a short story collection, and a novella titled Mangrove Jack.

Drew Huff is the author of Free Burn, coming out on March 2024. Born and raised in eastern Washington, she enjoys writing stories that explore the intricacies of trauma, body horror, and fear. Her short fiction, “Word of Nellie,” is the closing story in Darklit Press’s The Sacrament anthology. Another short story was included in Hungry Shadow Press’s anthology, It Was All a Dream, and another short story, "Old World Birds” is being featured in Death’s Head Press’s anthology, Hot Iron and Cold Blood.

As a native of New Orleans, author and illustrator L.M. Labat weaves her artwork into horror, occult, and historical fiction stories. With accolades and origins stemming from biology, psychology, and fine art, she continues to fuse her collective knowledge and skills into her work. She debuted with her novel titled The Sanguinarian Id. Visit her at Twitter: @LMLabat

Rhonda Jackson Garcia, AKA RJ Joseph, is an award winning, Stoker Award™ nominated, Texas based academic and creative writer/professor whose writing regularly focuses on the intersections of gender and race in the horror and romance genres and popular culture. She has had works published in various applauded venues, including the 2020 Halloween issue of Southwest Review and The Streaming of Hill House: Essays on the Haunting Netflix Series. Her debut horror collection, Hell Hath No Sorrow Like a Woman Haunted was released in August 2022 by The Seventh Terrace.

Wile E. Young is from Texas, where he grew up surrounded by stories of ghosts and monsters. During his writing career he has managed to both have a price put on his head and win the 2021 Splatterpunk Award for Best Novel. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in History, which provided no advantage or benefit during his years as an aviation specialist and I.T. guru. His longer works includes Catfish in the Cradle (2019), The Perfectly Fine House (2020), The Magpie Coffin (2020), Shades of the Black Stone (2022), Clickers Never Die (2022), and Dust Bowl Children (2022).

Jeff Strand is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of over 50 books, including Pressure, Clowns Vs. Spiders, and Twentieth Anniversary Screening. He has never participated in a railroad heist or been thrown out of the front window of a saloon, but he did visit Tombstone. Several of his books are in development as motion pictures...a slow and maddening process. He won the Splatterpunk Award twice and lost one other time, but the loss was to Jack Ketchum, so it’s all good. He also lost the Bram Stoker Award to Peter Straub, Jonathan Maberry, and Stephen King (twice) before his eventual victory.

Jesse Allen Champion is a native Texan and writer of frequent western-themed stories. From Texas to California, Jesse has worked at dude-ranching, theatre management, technical writing, and editing. As comfortable on a horse as a keyboard, Jesse’s fiction remembers the Old West, with the tumbleweed going wherever it will and a man on horseback.

Praise for Hot Iron and Cold Blood: An Anthology of the Weird West

“A fun, weird, horrific anthology as full of stars as the vast prairie night. It empties itself into you like six shots from a cursed gun. I had the best time reading it, and so will you.” —Andy Davidson, author of THE HOLLOW KIND

“You'll never find a finer anthology of infernal shoot-em-ups this side of perdition.” —Clay McLeod Chapma, author of Ghost Eaters

“The history of the American West hides a multitude of sins--and fears--now on display in Hot Iron and Cold Blood. Weird and wild, this ain't your grandmama's Gunsmoke.” —Alma, Katsu, author of The Hunger

"Weird Horror and Western Horror fans alike, you need this anthology! Begin your read and prepare to get lost in the dust and gunfire.” — Erica Robyn Reads,

“HOT IRON AND COLD BLOOD puts the weird in the Wild West with this no-holds barred anthology of lore, legend, and lewdness.” —Candace Nola, author of BISHOP

"Strange, hilarious, pulpy, eerie, mysterious, even melancholy--each story is a gold nugget." —Dan Chaon, author of SLEEPWALK

“Hot Iron and Cold Blood is brutal and magical, familiar and strange. If you want a good Western with something unexplained and extraordinary, this is the anthology for you.” —Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Little Dead Red and Fracture.

“A cattle drive straight to hell, Hot Iron And Cold Blood loops a hangman’s noose around your neck and drags you kicking and screaming through the bloody dust. The weird west has never been so enthralling and terrifying.” —Trevor Henderson, horror artist, author of Scarewaves

"Each short story comprising Hot Iron and Cold Blood: An Anthology of the Weird West is unique, carefully crafted, and memorable. A fun read from cover to cover." -–Midwest Book Review

“HOT IRON AND COLD BLOOD assembles a versatile outlaw gang of writers, each of them bringing suspense, horror, and bloody mayhem to the page. From Owl Goingback's tale of dark magic, to Brennan LaFaro's terrifying manifestation of regret; from Vivian Kasley's story of vengeance, to Joe R. Lansdale's Reverend Mercer facing off against a creature of the night, this collection plays with genre tropes while twisting them into something new--a genre unto itself, where the past is simply an untold story written in blood.” —Tyler Jones, author of MIDAS and BURN THE PLANS