I spent yesterday closing the books on Six Guns Straight From Hell. By that, I mean I sent out final royalty payments to the contributing authors. I'd already closed the sales of the book. It's not the first time I've closed products and removed them. The first few issues of Science Fiction Trails long ago rode off into the sunset, mainly because we changed printers. We had one anthology where there was a contract dispute. It didn't sell well anyway, so I just quietly dropped it.
But Six Guns was different. It's been our best selling product for the past three years. It was not pulled for lack of sales. For better or worse, the contracts I wrote with the contributors have expired and I no longer can publish the stories. I know I could've tried to renegotiate, but I decided to simply let the book go on to anthology Boot Hill.
Some folks didn't think it was dark enough. The overwhelming trend in weird westerns these days is really dark fiction. I prefer more character driven horror stories than some folks do, I guess. Those people who actually read it seemed to like it. I was always proud of it. If, somehow, anyone missed it, there are still used copies with many online bookstores. There are a few new copies available at Written World Books in Colorado Springs, Braodway Book Mall in Denver and Quimby's Bookstore in Chicago. These folks will ship.
So, I'll just say thank you to my co-editor on this project, Laura Givens. We had some arguments over this book, but ended up with something we could feel pretty darned good about.
And I'd like to thank the contributors. Without your stories there would never have been a book like this in the first place. Maybe if you're hoisting a glass tonight, have a toast for Six Guns.
Finally, we have no western horror books planned for this year. I don't know what the future will hold. Low Noon and Gunslingers & Ghost Stories remain on the market. Our magazines will continue. Science Fiction Trails just released the tenth issue and the new kid on the block, Steampunk Trails, will debut in October.