eSpec Books interviews Robert E Waters, stretch goal author for The Weird Wild West edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret McGraw. Check out our Kickstarter campaign at Help us fund to see Robert’s story in the book!

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What is your favorite western movie and why? My favorite has got to be High Plains Drifter. I love the blending of the genres; on one hand, we have a classic good versus evil Western; on the other, a ghost story that pulls no punches in my opinion. It was also the first anti-hero story that I ever saw and has influenced my own writing ever since.

What does the wild frontier mean to you? Freedom and opportunity; a wild land stretched before you, ready to use (and sometimes exploit) to better yourself, your community, your family.

Can you tell us anything about your story/artwork for The Weird Wild West? My story is titled “Mungo Snead’s Last Stand. It’s a story about Captain Snead and the remnants of an expeditionary force holed up in a Colorado fort, circa 1880s. Desperately outnumbers, they must try to hold off an invasion force of Pawnee, Arapaho, and aliens known as the Killajunkur, who are desperate to remove all semblance of human life in the frontier. Can Captain Snead hold off the horde long enough to receive reinforcements? Contribute to this kickstarter and find out…

How do you research to capture that western feel? I spend some time thinking of an idea, and then I begin researching any and all aspects of the story that need a certain amount of historical credibility. For instance, for this story, I researched Rorke’s Drift, one of the classic battles fought by the British against the Zulus in South Africa. I wanted to try to capture the desperation of the soldiers trapped in the fort. I then researched the weapons of the period to ensure that I used the correct types of firearms. I then researched the South Platte river valley in Colorado, so make sure that I got the terrain correct.

Which Wild West archetype (Gambler, Outlaw, Saloon Girl, School Marm, Railroad Man, Pioneer, Cowboy, Lawman or Indian) would you chose to be and why? Probably an outlaw, because an outlaw can go either way. He can be a royal son of a bitch when he wants to be, but then he can surprise people and become a good person and do good deeds if and when the need arises. In contrast, a lawman’s behavor is kind of set in stone. If he falls from grace and does something despicable, he then is tarnished for life. But an outlaw has the luxury of rising in stature through his deeds.

Have you written/created anything else in a weird western vein? Please tell us about it. My first novel, The Wayward Eight: A Contract to Die For, was recently published by Winged Hussar Publishing. It’s set in the weird wild west gaming universe, Wild West Exodus. It’s a story about a mercenary unit called The Wayward Eight, led by ex-Confederate captain Marcus Wayward. They are on a mission to find and kill the most notorious man in the west, Doctor Burson Carpathian, who has designs on ruling the world through an undead horde known as The Enlightened. This universe is unique in that it combines both fictitious characters (like my mercenary unit) to historical characters like Abraham Lincoln, Jesse James, Thomas Edison, Wyatt Earp, and many others. You can learn more about the novel here…

You can learn more about the WWX game here…

What are some of your own works readers can look for? I have published many short stories over the years. Most recently I co-edited an anthology titled Fantastic Futures 13, published by Padwolf Publishing, which contains 13 science fiction and fantasy stories about our earth’s future. I’ve also had other stories published in Padwolf’s “13” series, such as “Tinian Song” in Mermaids 13, “What Happens in Vegas” in Lucky 13, and “Indeh” in Apocalypse 13. I also write a military SF series about Apache fighter pilots (Devil Dancers) which can be found in Mike McPhail’s Defending the Future anthology series. I have also published several stories set in Eric Flint’s 1632 alternate history series published by Baen Books. All of these and more are available now on

What projects of your own do you have coming up? I have several stories in the works. I have two short stories that will appear in an upcoming WWX anthology, published later this year. I also have another Devil Dancers story coming in an anthology of military SF. I have another novel in the WWX universe planned, and I’m in the early discussion phase for planning a novel set in the 1632 universe.

How can readers find out more about you? I have a website that lists all of my published work and upcoming projects.


Robert E. Waters is a science fiction and fantasy writer. Since 1994, he has worked in the computer and board gaming industry as technical writer, editor, designer, and producer. A member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, his first professional fiction publication came in 2003 with the story “The Assassin’s Retirement Party,” Weird Tales, Issue #332. Since then he has sold stories to Nth Degree,Nth ZineBlack Library Publishing (Games Workshop)Dark Quest BooksPadwolf PublishingMundania PressDragon Moon PressRogue Blades Entertainment, and theGrantville Gazette. Between the years of 1998 – 2006, he also served as an assistant editor to Weird Tales, and is still a frequent contributor to Tangent Online, a short fiction review site. Robert currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife Beth, their son Jason, and their cat Buzz.

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