An occasional look at the West, wild and otherwise, in fiction and nonfiction, comics, moving pictures, radio, music, and in ways yet determined or created. Caveat lector: Irregular postings from The Woodstove Whittlers and Wrangling Association may include a tall tale whose veracity may be difficult to ascertain, but whose sincerity should never be doubted. This blog may go on unexpected hiatus due to natural disasters, stampedes, seasonal roundups, or spontaneous potluck suppers. (Oh, and everything here is copyright Duane Spurlock unless otherwise noted.)
A book I illustrated, The Bleeding Horse and Other Ghost Stories, has recently been named winner of the Children of the Night Award by the Dracula Society.
The Bleeding Horse is the name of a pub. No animals were harmed during the making of this book.
I must admit, this book is not a western. Although Dublin is noted for its long history in keeping Western civilization alive.
The book was published by Mercier Press in Ireland.
The author, Brian J. Showers, is a native of Madison, Wisconsin, who lives in Dublin, Ireland. The dust jacket painting is by noted fantasy artist, Scott Hampton. I provided the black-and-white pen-and-ink interior illustrations, one of which I've included with this post. Three stories from The Bleeding Horse, "Favourite No. 7 Omnibus", "Quis Separabit" and "Father Corrigan's Diary", received honorable mentions by fantasy and horror anthologist Ellen Datlow in her Best Horror of the Year (2008) listing.
The stories blend fact and imagination about a series of actual sites along the Rathmines Road, which runs through Rathmines, a Dublin neighborhood that Showers now calls home. Showers' creativity in melding truth with fiction lends a verisimilitude that leaves the reader wondering if these stories are really true.