The time is 1882. With the Gunfight at the O. K. Corral and the battle
with the thing that used to be Johnny Ringo behind him (see The Buntline Special),
the consumptive Doc Holliday makes his way to Deadwood, Colorado, with
Kate Elder, where he plans to spend the rest of his brief life, finally
moving into the luxurious facility that specializes in his disease.
But one night he gets a little too drunk — hardly a novelty for him — and loses everything he has at the gaming table. He realizes that he needs to replenish his bankroll, and quickly, so that he can live out his days in comfort under medical care. He considers his options and hits upon the one most likely to produce income in a hurry: he’ll use his skill as a shootist and turn bounty hunter.
The biggest reward is for the death of the young, twenty-year-old desperado known as Billy the Kid. It’s clear from the odds the Kid has faced and beaten, his miraculous escape from prison, and his friendship with the Indian tribes of New Mexico that he is protected by some powerful magic. Doc enlists the aid of both magic (Geronimo) and science (Thomas Edison), and goes out after his quarry. He will hunt the Kid down, and either kill him and claim the reward or die in the process and at least end his own suffering.
But as he is soon to find out, nothing is as easy as it looks.
Michael Diamond Resnick (1942-2020) was an American science fiction writer and editor. He won five Hugo awards, a Nebula award, was the guest of honor at Chicon 7, and was executive editor of Jim Baen's Universe.
His daughter Laura Resnick is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author.
Photo souce: Wikimedia Commons.