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Joan D. Vinge

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Cowboys & Aliens (Excerpt)

Please enjoy this excerpt of Cowboys & Aliens by Joan D. Vinge, the novelization of the eponymous movie. If you’re interested in the inspiration behind the writing of this book, take a look at Joan Vinge’s piece detailing what drew her to this unique story and led her to release her first novel in a decade.

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Spring had come and gone in the desert lands of New Mexico Territory, with all the subtlety of an iron fist in a green velvet glove. For a few weeks rain fell, usually fretful, with frequent rainbows, and the land that had been bleached of color put on a cloak of verdant grass—in a good year, even a show of wildflowers. It was a thing of beauty for weary human eyes to behold.

But already the mantle of green was withering, laying bare the scarred, spectral face of the desert, its true face, amoral and pitiless.

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Cowboys & Aliens: “But Seriously…”

“Cowboys…and aliens?” Smile when you say that, pardner, but don’t you laugh. Seriously. It’s a book, it’s a movie, it’s cool fun in the hot summertime—but it’s not a comedy.

A lot of people did laugh, when I first told them the name of the movie for which I was writing the novelization. But it isn’t Blazing Saddles. Far from it.

For anyone out there who hasn’t yet seen a poster or a trailer for the film, Cowboys & Aliens is a historical western, true—and of course science fiction—and a thriller/horror story, with a little romance, and a few grins thrown in.

But at its core is a perfectly serious premise, not played for laughs: What would happen if aliens—hostile aliens—had landed in New Mexico in the 1870s?

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