by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
A Wilder West, by Ted R. Blasingame
Raleigh, NC, Lulu.com, August 2014, trade paperback $13.99 (258 pages).
“The range of low granite mountains baked in the prairie’s summer sun, heat waves shimmering into water mirages wherever there were flat places. A ghostly dust devil stirred up dirt in a dancing pirouette while heat-loving cicadas chirred across the plain, filling the air with their rolling song of mating.” (p. 8)
If you think that this sounds like the opening of a Western, you’d be right – except that this is a Western with a Fur, a nude half-human, half-cheetah woman named Citra Kayah. No human has ever seen anything like her before, until she saves the life of Jacob Harrison, a middle-aged showman who is attacked by a mountain lion while out riding in Oklahoma. Jake is dumbfounded, but grateful and in her debt, so he can’t turn Citra down when she asks to join his small traveling Wild West show.
“‘I am far from my home,’ she replied, ‘and I am in constant danger from others like you who would not hesitate to kill me for my pelt. Until I can find a way to return to where I belong, I will need your protection.’
‘How can I protect you?’ he asked, wiping the sweat from his brow.
‘Take me in as a curiosity for your show. It would allow me to hide in plain sight.’” (p. 24)