Fans of short fiction—especially Westerns—have suffered a dearth of options in recent years as major publishers seem to shy away from these collections. Fortunately, smaller presses have stepped into the void. Pen-L Publishing is one of the better ones, and Rod Miller’s recent offering, The Death of Delgado and Other Stories (Pen-L Publishing, $14.97), is the payoff. Miller, a three-time Western Writers of America Spur Award-winner (including one for the title piece), knows his way around short fiction, and it shows in this eclectic collection of Western-themed tales that embrace both the Old West—“Play Dead or Die,” a story of the 1863 Bear River Massacre—and the New West—“The Passing of Number Sixteen,” a rodeo tale of drug dealers and bareback riders.
—Michael Zimmer, author of Charlie Red