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.
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.