“I ain’t much for shootin’ unarmed men, so if you got an iron, you better slap leather.”
A great line from a fun short story in the western steampunk vein called Clockwork Chloe. The story is simply one night in the life of Bert Tillory, a man who has “slept with every woman west of the Pecos” and tells everyone he sees about the deeds. Bert spends most of the story in a bar recounting his exploits, including the great love of his life, Clockwork Chloe. With one metal arm, one metal leg, and lots of gears and sprockets, Chloe was the one great love of his hednonistic life.
There isn’t much of the story past this, as the entire thing is less than 3000 words long (by comparison, my average post is about 500 words). It is fun and zippy, though, with the author clearly stating in his plot outline that the story is an homage (or is the term “shout out” nowadays?) to Spider Robinson's Callahan series.
Perhaps best of all, Clockwork Chloe is free to download from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. At no cost and taking only a few minute to read, Clockwork Chloe is well worth the brief investment of your time to check out. The author, Ian Healy, has turned out a number of other books as well, including some westerns (with elves). One more crazy author to add to the stack…