The upcoming anthology, Queer Weird West Tales (including my story, “Derailed”) is due out in 31 August 2022 – but you can pre-order it now so that it’s in your hands ASAP after that!
Frontiers have always attracted the Other – where they find that the Other is always already there. These 22 stories explore what happens when queer characters encounter weirdness on the edge of the worlds they know.
In “Derailed”, I revisit Polly Crewes and her beloved, Nettie, from “Virgin Soil” (And Then… Volume 1). “Derailed” is set in South Australia in 1866. 15 years after the events of “Virgin Soil”,and we get to find out how their forgiving and forgetting is working out while they face an unexpected danger.
Here’s a little taster of the story – a train has derailed and one man’s private and frankly dangerous menagerie is on the loose!
[Polly] rode up as close as her horse would take her, jumped down from the saddle with a rope in her hand and began to swirl a lasso while looking for an opening. She’d have prayed as well, if she’d been the praying type.
William had no more patience for her circus skills than the collector’s histrionics. ‘Get out of it, girl. A little rope trick’s no use against that thing if bullets can’t kill it.’
In the background, the red-head was wailing about not killing his specimens. Nobody was paying any attention to that nonsense.
Polly had exhausted her own patience for explaining herself to men a lot of years ago. She had her eye on the croc, in any case, which was where all the smart people should have had their attention.
The great beast’s maw was momentarily closed, its head lifted out of the shallow creek water as its forward-looking eyes fixed on the nearest potential meal.
‘Watch your arse, Cade,’ said Polly gruffly. ‘Old Man Croc wants a bite.’
William danced out of the way with alacrity as the croc surged then subsided, resentful, and closed its jaws again, head raised for the next opportunity. Polly acted instantly, swirling and throwing her rope.excerpt from “Derailed” by Narrelle M Harris, from Queer Weird West Tales
There is very much a weird element to the story too, but you’ll need to read it to find out what it is!
It’s wonderful to be sharing table of contents space with so many fantastic authors too! The contributors are Julie Bozza, J.A. Bryson, Dannye Chase, S.E. Denton, Miguel Flores, Adele Gardner, Roy Gray, KC Grifant, Peter Hackney, Bryn Hammond, Narrelle M Harris, Justin Warren Jackson, Toshiya Kamei, Catherine Lundoff, Bunny McFadden, Angus McIntyre, Atlin Merrick, Eleanor Musgrove, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Lauren Scharhag, Sara L. Uckelman, and Dawn Vogel.
Pre-order Queer Weird West Tales for its 31 August 2022 release from Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, Amazon & other online booksellers.