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Steven S. Drachman

Steven S. DrachmanSteven S. Drachman is a writer and critic whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, The Boston Phoenix, The Chicago Sun-Times, and Entertainment Weekly. His first novel, a Western sci-fi historical fantasy entitled The Ghosts of Watt O’Hugh, was named one of the Best of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and Winner, Best Fantasy Novel by Indie Excellence Book Awards 2012. Read more about him and about the books at Steven S. Drachman’s website.

The Ghosts of Watt O’Hugh: A Western fantasy

The Ghosts of Watt O'Hugh by Steven S. Drachman

I confess to having mixed feelings when I was done with The Ghosts of Watt O’Hugh, by Steven S. Drachman, but the book’s relative brevity, strong finish, and the fact that its sequel, Watt O’Hugh Underground, was an improvement, means in the end I feel OK in recommending it, with a few caveats.

The cover will tell you right away we’re in Western world, with its neckerchiefed, gun-toting, cowboy-boot-wearing hero with the square jaw dodging a bullet, all of it drawn in that classic comic book Western style a la Kid Colt: Outlaw or Western Bandit. That’s Watt himself, and he’s clear Western material — with his self-told “yarn,” his “shootist” skill and cattle drive experience. The hints that this is more than a simple Western though come early in the way that Watt address his 21st century readers in ways that mak... Read More

Watt O’Hugh Underground: Better than first book

Watt O’Hugh Underground by Steven S. Drachman

Watt O’Hugh Underground
is the follow-up by Steven S. Drachman to his early Western fantasy The Ghosts of Watt O’Hugh. I was pretty “meh” toward the first book, though it had a strong close, but I mostly enjoyed Watt O’Hugh Underground throughout, despite having some issues.

Watt O’Hugh Underground picks up not too long after the events of Ghosts, with Watt hiding out in the desert trying to keep out of trouble, drinking up a storm, and plotting how to get even with the Sidonian for what they’ve done to him. Not too far into the book, though, his door is knocked down by Hester Smith, who says she has his means of vengeance at hand, if he’ll just help out with a little train robbery (it is a Western, after all). While Watt is busy robbing trains and then planning his assault on Sidonia, over in San ... Read More