Monday, September 22, 2008

Let's go hunt us some Jackalope!!!

On a forum I frequent, someone reminded me of this excellent collection of short stories by Alan Dean Foster.
The protagonist is a burly mountain man named Amos Malone, who learned something about magic and monsters during his lifetime and now puts that knowledge to good use while wandering around the Old West. Riding on his mount--a disguised unicorn named Worthless--Amos inevitably stumbles into one odd adventure after another.
Foster's prose strikes a nice balance between straight adventure and tongue-in-cheek humor. In one story, Amos takes a skeptical British noble out to hunt jackalope, but the two men spend a wild night encountering a series of even weirder and more menacing creatures. Ghosts, dragons and ill-tempered shamans pop up in other stories.
Mad Amos is an entertaining trip into a fantasy Old West, where legends and myth take flesh-and-blood form. I don't believe it's currently in print, but it's worth tracking down through an online used book dealer.

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