Thursday, February 12, 2015

What Rough Beast - James A. Moore and Charles R. Rutledge

WHAT ROUGH BEAST is a new limited edition chapbook from James A. Moore and Charles R. Rutledge, with art by Keith Minnion, available from White Noise Press. It combines horror and sword and sorcery with a Western yarn, making for one of the weirder Weird Westerns you'll ever read. And it's top-notch work, as well.

The protagonist is Tom Morton, a deputy whose wife is on a stagecoach lost in a snowstorm. When he asks for help from the townspeople in looking for the coach, three of the four volunteers are strangers: Jonathan Crowley, a normal-looking hombre who is more than he seems; Slate, a mysterious and dangerous albino; and a huge man who calls himself Kharrn. No mister, just Kharrn.

This odd group sets out to look for the stagecoach, but there is more lurking in the snowstorm than a disabled vehicle. The cover art is a pretty good tip-off to what's waiting for our heroes. They find a lot more than Tom Morton expected, and the result is a bloody, epic battle in the snow with creatures made more dangerous by the fact that they're partially human.

WHAT ROUGH BEAST is a well-written, fast-moving tale that generates quite a bit of suspense before it explodes into action. Moore and Rutledge have crafted an excellent story with some great characters, and Keith Minnion's art and production match it. This is actually the first thing I've read by these two authors, but I have several more of their books and look forward to reading them soon.

4 comments:

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thanks so much, James. Really glad you enjoyed it.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'd heard of this but didn't know it was a such a cool mixture of genres. I'll check it out.

Keith West said...

Charles G., I think you would like this one.

James, these guys are on my must read list, both collaboratively and individually.

James A. Moore said...

Thank you very kindly, James. I'm truly glad you enjoyed the work!