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R.S. (Rod) Belcher

Kate DanleyR.S. (Rod) Belcher is an award-winning newspaper and magazine editor and reporter. He has been a freelance writer for over a decade. He has written for local, state and international publications. Rod has been a private investigator, a DJ, a comic book and game store owner and has degrees in criminal law, psychology and justice and risk administration, from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has done Masters work on a degree in Forensic Science at The George Washington University, as well as worked with the Occult Crime Taskforce for the Virginia General Assembly’s State Crime Commission. He was the Grand Prize winner of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Anthology contest. His short story “Orphans” was published in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 9 published by Simon and Schuster in 2006. His story, ”Hollow Moments” is featured in the horror anthology Deep Cuts published by Evil Jester Press in 2013. Rod’s first novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was published by Tor Books in 2013. He lives in Roanoke Virginia with his children: Jonathan, Emily and Stephanie, three cats and two dogs. Learn more at Rod Belcher’s website.

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The Six-Gun Tarot: A crazy-wild desert town and a roller-coaster adventure

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The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher

I don’t know if I’ve seen a book as packed with ideas, tropes, storylines, and genres as The Six-Gun Tarot, by R.S. (Rod) Belcher. To give a rough idea, here is a mere sampling of what’s in the mix: Native American coyote mythology, zombies, a seemingly unkillable sheriff, Lovecraftian/Cthulhu mythos, Western genre tropes, acupuncture, Lilith mythos, steampunk, a re-examination of Christian creation myth, romance, Mormonism, Civil War stories, horror, ghosts, pirates (OK, only briefly mentioned, but still), Chinese creation mythology, hidden tunnels, reanimation, hidden pasts, assassins, hidden sexuality, evil preachers, hidden affairs, angels — Fallen and fallen — and, well, you get the idea. And remember, this is a “sampling.”

Is it too much? You know, I... Read More

The Shotgun Arcana: Gory but fun

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The Shotgun Arcana by R.S. Belcher

To get a sense of R.S. Belcher's world of The Shotgun Arcana, his follow-up to The Six-Gun Tarot, one need only eavesdrop on the conversation of the seen-it-all residents of Golgotha, Nevada as they watch a wagon wheel away with some mysterious contents:
"Hey, Mutt, what is it this time . . . Another one of them boogeymen? Those black-eyed children? Like the ones that up and took the Summerton family and only left their shadows behind? . . . "

The crowd began to mutter among themselves.

"Them bat-people again, I bet ya . . . "

"Hope the buildings ain't coming alive like last June again . . . "

"Long as it ain't those worm things. I still can't swallow pert near nothing without wanting to upchuck."
That's life i... Read More

The Queen of Swords: A disappointing step backwards in the series

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The Queen of Swords by R.S. Belcher

R.S. Belcher’s first two Weird West books set in Golgotha, Nevada (The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana) were hot mess cacophonies of fantasy tropes, characters, source elements, and the like — huge Sunday brunch all-you-can-eat buffets where lifting a lid off of one of those big metal serving bins might reveal zombies, bat-people, cannibals, a primal evil, primal evil’s minions, Mormon artifacts, mythos from just about anywhere or anywhen, martial-arts-wielding female assassins, a hundreds of years old pirate called “Gran,” and more. Lots more. Neither book should hav... Read More

The Brotherhood of the Wheel: Full of atmosphere and heart

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The Brotherhood of the Wheel by R.S. Belcher

The Brotherhood of the Wheel (2016) was one of those books I never really thought I’d read. However, I picked it up and it took exactly one paragraph for me to be hooked. The reason for that is simple. Belcher has one hell of an addicting style of writing. Lyrical, flowing, full of imagery and atmosphere, this book instantly sucked me in.

And then he hit me with all the mythology and urban legends and I was in heaven.

Belcher creates a whole new culture with The Brotherhood of the Wheel, a nomadic sort of life where almost everything worth happening happens on the move. The United States is a landmass drawn by highways and byways, and this is where the action happens – fast moving, across states and landscapes. Nothing happens in one place for very long, but despite this ... Read More