97 books like The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu

By Tom Lin,

Here are 97 books that The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu fans have personally recommended if you like The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Buntline Special

Julie Bozza Author Of Writ in Blood

From my list on set in the weird Wild West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good story that crosses genres; seeing where they mesh together, playing with where they differ, and letting the various parts spark into a whole that’s greater still. Though my writing usually takes place in the “real” everyday world, I often introduce supernatural elements. Partly because, while I’m an atheist, I still believe there are more things in the universe and on earth than we yet know. And partly because these elements, whether real or imagined on the part of the character, can act as splendid metaphors – or help to understand a state of mind. 

Julie's book list on set in the weird Wild West

Julie Bozza Why did Julie love this book?

This short novel is heaps of fun! It’s another take on the Tombstone story, told from Doc Holliday’s point of view with great wry wit. This Doc is an engaging and unexpectedly kind character, with little or no hint of his reputed “mean disposition”. Weird elements include steampunk – with Thomas Edison living in Tombstone and bringing not only electric light but cyborg sex workers – as well as an undead Johnny Ringo, and supernatural justice wielded by the Native American shamans. It’s delightful!

By Mike Resnick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Buntline Special as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Welcome to a West like you've never seen before, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western tale, and the West will never be the same.


Book cover of The Weird Wild West

Julie Bozza Author Of Writ in Blood

From my list on set in the weird Wild West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good story that crosses genres; seeing where they mesh together, playing with where they differ, and letting the various parts spark into a whole that’s greater still. Though my writing usually takes place in the “real” everyday world, I often introduce supernatural elements. Partly because, while I’m an atheist, I still believe there are more things in the universe and on earth than we yet know. And partly because these elements, whether real or imagined on the part of the character, can act as splendid metaphors – or help to understand a state of mind. 

Julie's book list on set in the weird Wild West

Julie Bozza Why did Julie love this book?

This anthology “blends western grit with the magical and mysterious unknown that waits beyond the next horizon” and includes both a great range of stories and some delightful illustrations. “Abishag Mary” by Frances Rowat brings sea-based imagery deep into the landlocked deserts. “Frank and Earnest” by Tonia Brown features some cracking dialogue, not to mention a villain who seems entirely out of place and mostly baffles the two heroes. Other stories venture beyond the Old West, including "Fifteen Seconds" by Scott Hungerford featuring an alien invasion of a different kind in a more recent West. An excellent collection!

By Faith Hunter, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Weird Wild West as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The untamed frontier is a challenge, a test of character, a proving ground for the soul. It's a place where pioneers rewrite their future, or end their days…for better or worse. In the spirit of Bret Maverick, Cat Ballou, Kwai Chang Caine, and James West, The Weird Wild West blends western grit with the magical and mysterious unknown that waits beyond the next horizon.

With thrilling stories by Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, John G. Hartness, RS Belcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Misty Massey, James R. Tuck, Robert E. Waters, David Sherman, Tonia Brown, Liz Colter, Scott…


Book cover of Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West

Tammy Salyer Author Of Gnome on the Range: Otherworld Outlaws 1

From my list on necromancy and communing with cadavers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being a lifelong fan of fantasy and horror, I've always embraced stories of creepy monsters and vainglorious gods, especially novels that mash-up genres, like Stephen King's Gunslinger, Neil Gaiman's American Gods, and Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow. But my fascination always circles back to the supernatural, especially sorcerers who raise the dead. After writing my dark fantasy Shackled Verities series, I decided to venture into the Old West with a twist—monsters, magic, and mayhem, featuring, of course, a necromancer gnome. So let me present a spellbinding list of stories about these doers of the dark arts that span genres, from spine-chilling to lighthearted—because who says raising the dead has to be serious?

Tammy's book list on necromancy and communing with cadavers

Tammy Salyer Why did Tammy love this book?

This rollicking set of whip-smart short stories through a supernatural Wild West is guaranteed to engage readers, with tales ranging from uncannily magical cards to steampunk bordellos to undead outlaws.

Delivering chaotic gunslinger fun from start to finish, Dead Man's Hand explores the intersecting worlds of the living and undead in many delightful and unforeseen ways. As a supernatural storyteller myself, I couldn't stop turning the pages to see what new fantastical creature or magical spell the authors would envision next.

It was my faithful companion through many late nights crafting my own novel, inspiring me with its spirited inventiveness of mysterious beings and magical mayhem. 

By John Joseph Adams,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dead Man's Hand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD! From a kill-or-be-killed gunfight with a vampire to an encounter in a steampunk bordello, the weird western is a dark, gritty tale where the protagonist might be playing poker with a sorcerous deck of cards, or facing an alien on the streets of a dusty frontier town. Here are twenty-three original tales - stories of the Old West infused with elements of the fantastic - produced specifically for this volume by many of today's finest writers. Included are Orson Scott Card's first "Alvin Maker" story in a decade, and an original adventure by Fred Van…


Book cover of Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre

Julie Bozza Author Of Writ in Blood

From my list on set in the weird Wild West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good story that crosses genres; seeing where they mesh together, playing with where they differ, and letting the various parts spark into a whole that’s greater still. Though my writing usually takes place in the “real” everyday world, I often introduce supernatural elements. Partly because, while I’m an atheist, I still believe there are more things in the universe and on earth than we yet know. And partly because these elements, whether real or imagined on the part of the character, can act as splendid metaphors – or help to understand a state of mind. 

Julie's book list on set in the weird Wild West

Julie Bozza Why did Julie love this book?

These fourteen essays explore the hybrid “weird west” genre, examining a range of texts including some by Native American authors, as well as TV series, films, fiction, roleplaying games, and comic books. It makes for an interesting read – and is thought-provoking in its conclusion that despite weird westerns challenging and destabilizing many of the old cliches, they have yet to “imagine an existence outside of colonial frameworks”. This has given me much food for thought, as it seems to me that frontiers (wherever found) are an intrinsic part of the western genre, and frontiers tend to imply conflict between the inhabitants and the invaders, between the new and the established. Maybe I’m wrong! In any case, this proves that we still have a long way to go before we’re done exploring all the possibilities of this intriguing genre! 

By Kerry Fine (editor), Michael K. Johnson (editor), Rebecca M. Lush (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Weird Westerns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2021 Top Ten Finalist for the Locus Awards in Nonfiction

Weird Westerns is an exploration of the hybrid western genre-an increasingly popular and visible form that mixes western themes, iconography, settings, and conventions with elements drawn from other genres, such as science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Despite frequent declarations of the western's death, the genre is now defined in part by its zombie-like ability to survive in American popular culture in weird, reanimated, and reassembled forms.

The essays in Weird Westerns analyze a wide range of texts, including those by Native American authors Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfeet) and William Sanders…


Book cover of Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad

Laurie Marr Wasmund Author Of My Heart Lies Here

From my list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised in the American West, I have watched the explosive growth in Colorado with dismay. In my lifetime, metro Denver has grown from a population of about 500,000 people to more than 5.5 million. The Colorado of large ranches and wide, open spaces is disappearing. I have named my publishing company “lost ranch books,” in honor of the ranch where I grew up, which was sold and developed with cookie-cutter houses. I’ve now set out to recapture historic Colorado by writing about it. My award-winning books center on Colorado’s and the American West’s history, for not only is it fascinating and, often, troubling, but it still resonates today.

Laurie's book list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”

Laurie Marr Wasmund Why did Laurie love this book?

This is a big book, more than 700 pages, but it is worth every word. Bain focuses not on the workers who built the railroads, but the machinations, corruption, and political hijinks of those who dreamed up, financed, and managed the companies of the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific. It’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys—or even if there are any good guys. Bain manages to make the multiple historical figures in his book memorable and easily identifiable, which not all historians achieve. He also infuses his telling with a sly humor that catches the reader off-guard and, at times, made me laugh aloud.

By David Haward Bain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Empire Express as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After the Civil War, the building of the transcontinental railroad was the nineteenth century's most transformative event. Beginning in 1842 with a visionary's dream to span the continent with twin bands of iron, Empire Express captures three dramatic decades in which the United States effectively doubled in size, fought three wars, and began to discover a new national identity. From self--made entrepreneurs such as the Union Pacific's Thomas Durant and era--defining figures such as President Lincoln to the thousands of laborers whose backbreaking work made the railroad possible, this extraordinary narrative summons an astonishing array of voices to give new…


Book cover of Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

Michael A. DeMarco Author Of Wuxia America: The Timely Emergence of a Chinese American Hero

From my list on uniquely fantastic, yet possible heroic skills.

Why am I passionate about this?

Life is pretty dull without passion. Since early childhood I was attracted to Chinese philosophy, then to all the cultural aspects that reflect it. At the same time, I felt the blood in my veins drawing me to ancestral roots. Learning about other cultures helps us learn about our own. I’ve been driven by sympathy for the immigrant experience, the suffering, and sacrifices made for a better, peaceful life. What prepared me to write Wuxia America includes my academic studies, living and working in Asia, and involvement in martial arts. My inspiration for writing stems from a wish to encourage ways to improve human relations.

Michael's book list on uniquely fantastic, yet possible heroic skills

Michael A. DeMarco Why did Michael love this book?

The Chinese American presence in the USA started with the gold rush and the building of the transcontinental railroad.

It was a blessing to find Chang’s non-fiction work because he utilized a tremendous about of research to accurately cover the book’s topic. I’m also grateful that his writing style is not dull.

Building a railroad trestle through the High Sierra mountains in winter implies work conditions that affect laborers as well as investors. Chang strings the human sentiments throughout the history of those who participated in noble fashion, Chinese and non-Chinese alike.

In portraying the Chinese experience, Chang’s book as underscores how vital the transcontinental railroad was to the development of America. 

By Gordon H. Chang,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ghosts of Gold Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Gripping . . . Chang has accomplished the seemingly impossible . . . He has written a remarkably rich, human, and compelling story of the railroad Chinese.” — Peter Cozzens, Wall Street Journal

WINNER OF THE ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR LITERATURE 
WINNER OF THE CHINESE AMERICAN LIBRARIANS ASSOCIATION BEST BOOK AWARD

A groundbreaking, breathtaking history of the Chinese workers who built the Transcontinental Railroad, helping to forge modern America only to disappear into the shadows of history until now

From across the sea, they came by the thousands, escaping war and poverty in southern China to seek their fortunes in…


Book cover of Dead in the West

Edward M. Erdelac Author Of High Planes Drifter

From my list on for those who like their westerns weird.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became fascinated by westerns when my parents took me on vacation to Deadwood, South Dakota and I came home with a brace of toy six-shooters and a book called The Gunfighters by Lea F McCarty, which featured bios of various notorious westerners, from Billy The Kid to Calamity Jane. I eventually left Clayton Moore and The Cisco Kid behind for Sergio Leone. I had a strong interest in ghost stories, and it was Robert E. Howard that gave me the bug for the weird western genre. I wrote two straight-up western novels, Buff Tea and Coyote’s Trail, but I didn’t find an audience until I started injecting my stories with ghoulies. 

Edward's book list on for those who like their westerns weird

Edward M. Erdelac Why did Edward love this book?

If Howard is the father of the weird western, Joe Lansdale is the godfather. The trope of the wronged Native American shaman afflicting a frontier town with an undead plague has surely been used time and time again in the genre, but this is the original and best iteration. Joe’s Texas dialogue pops like a bullwhip cracking on a skeletal mule’s vertebrae and you can smell the iron and gunsmoke in his prose. He establishes his reputation with this book and in my opinion, cements it with the Jonah Hex weird western comics Two-Gun Mojo and Riders of The Worm and Such.

By Joe R. Lansdale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dead in the West as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dead in the West is the story of Mud Creek, Texas, a town overshadowed by a terrible evil. An Indian medicine man, unjustly lynched by the people of Mud Creek, has put a curse on the town. As the sun sets, he will have his revenge. For when darkness falls, the dead will walk in Mud Creek and they will be hungry for human flesh. The only one that can save the town is Reverend Jebediah Mercer, a gun toting preacher man who came to Mud Creek to escape his past. He has lost his faith in the Lord and…


Book cover of A Book of Tongues

Errick Nunnally Author Of All The Dead Men: Alexander Smith #2

From my list on history to thrill, disturb, and intrigue.

Why am I passionate about this?

Errick Nunnally was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and served one tour in the Marine Corps before deciding art school was a safer pursuit. He enjoys art, comics, and genre novels. A graphic designer, he has trained in Krav Maga and Muay Thai kickboxing. His work has appeared in several anthologies of speculative fiction. His work can be found in Apex Magazine, Fiyah Magazine, Galaxy’s Edge, Lamplight, Nightlight Podcast, and the novels, Lightning Wears a Red Cape, Blood for the Sun, and All the Dead Men.

Errick's book list on history to thrill, disturb, and intrigue

Errick Nunnally Why did Errick love this book?

This book falls under the category “urban fiction” or “magical realism” or “western” or…something. At least, that’s what drew me to it in the first place. It takes place in America’s old west, features magic-using criminals leading a gang and draws on some Native American lore. The magic is terrifying, it’s a mix of environmental and mind-altering hoodoo. The most powerful antagonist is rugged, homosexual, unashamed, and a conflicted terror of a person. His partner in crime is simply terrifying. Together, they drive a trilogy that’s so well threaded through the old west you can taste the grit as you turn the page. Though the emphasis is on the pursuit of magic and the machinations it drives, the settings are a delight to experience. Files weaves a world in these novels that is equally fascinating and terrifying. Her prose and daring are an inspiration.

By Gemma Files,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Book of Tongues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Gemma Files has one of the great dark imaginations in fiction visionary, transgressive, and totally original." -Jeff VanderMeer

In Gemma Files's "boundary-busting horror-fantasy debut," former Confederate chaplain Asher Rook has cheated death and now possesses a dark magic (Publishers Weekly). He uses his power to terrorize the Wild West, leading a gang of outlaws, thieves, and killers, with his cruel lieutenant and lover, Chess Pargeter, by his side.

Pinkerton agent Ed Morrow is going undercover to infiltrate the gang, armed with a shotgun and a device that measures sorcerous energy. His job is to gain knowledge of Rook's power and…


Book cover of Let Sleeping Gods Lie: A Lovecraftian Gods Horror Story

Gerry Ironspear Author Of Lakhoni

From my list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was younger, I turned to fantastical stories of determined, flawed heroes to bring me a world I could understand and control – unlike the scary reality I lived in. Most of the fantasy stories I read as I grew up were, of course, set in a medieval England-type world. But as I got older, I found myself fascinated by the history and mythology of the New World and got the feeling there was a lot of untapped potential there. So, I started studying Mesoamerican and Native American peoples, as well as picking up alternate history fantasies set in America. So of course, I had to write my own. 

Gerry's book list on fantasy set in a familiar but strange old America

Gerry Ironspear Why did Gerry love this book?

Sometimes I want a dense, fascinating world to unpack, and sometimes I want to open a book and have it punch me in the face with no-holds-barred action and adventure.

The main character of Let Sleeping Gods Lie is Porter Rockwell – a real person from the history of Utah Territory and the Old West. But this story takes place where, once again, legends of the area have come to life and evil has real, lethal fangs. It’s like a spaghetti western meets Die Hard meets a D&D campaign – which pushes every single one of my buttons.

This one has a hero that refuses to be stopped, action that isn’t afraid of pushing expectations, and an unabashed love of over-the-top set pieces that made me giggle in delight.

By David J West,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let Sleeping Gods Lie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Louis L’Amour Meets Lovecraft

Porter Rockwell, wanted for a murder he did not commit, is hiding out in Old California selling whiskey to thirsty forty-niners. When his friends dig up some monstrous bones and a peculiar book and offer to sell it for a helluva price, Porter can’t resist the mystery.

But when both his night bartender and the sellers are murdered at his saloon Porter has to find out what the mysterious artifacts are all about. With some Native American legends, Sasquatch, Lovecraftian horror, and murderous bandits thrown in, not even bullets and blades can stop Rockwell from leaving…


Book cover of The Black Stranger: And Other American Tales

Edward M. Erdelac Author Of High Planes Drifter

From my list on for those who like their westerns weird.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became fascinated by westerns when my parents took me on vacation to Deadwood, South Dakota and I came home with a brace of toy six-shooters and a book called The Gunfighters by Lea F McCarty, which featured bios of various notorious westerners, from Billy The Kid to Calamity Jane. I eventually left Clayton Moore and The Cisco Kid behind for Sergio Leone. I had a strong interest in ghost stories, and it was Robert E. Howard that gave me the bug for the weird western genre. I wrote two straight-up western novels, Buff Tea and Coyote’s Trail, but I didn’t find an audience until I started injecting my stories with ghoulies. 

Edward's book list on for those who like their westerns weird

Edward M. Erdelac Why did Edward love this book?

Best known for creating Conan The Barbarian, Howard fathered the weird western genre with his seminal 1932 short story "The Horror From The Mound," collected here along with "The Thunder-Rider" and "Old Garfield’s Heart." Reading these early genre mashup stories of conquistador vampires, reincarnation, and Native American magic in high school was like tasting peanut butter and chocolate for the first time. They made new notions bloom like a field in my mind. You could take the gritty frontier of Lonesome Dove and introduce an element of the magical fantastic, and if you respected both genres, come up with something entirely new. I especially appreciated the culture clash of the frontier.

It’s something I explore a lot in my own work; that disparate peoples meet, mix, and come away changed by the encounter. This is an idea that Howard, who adored research and folklore, represents pretty well in "Old Garfield’s…

By Robert E. Howard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Black Stranger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Robert E. Howard is celebrated as the founding father of sword-and-sorcery, the creator of Conan of Cimmeria and Kull of Atlantis. The Black Stranger and Other American Tales demonstrates that in some of his most powerful heroic fantasy and horror stories, he also explored a New World older and more haunted than that which we've seen in textbooks or museum exhibits. In Howard's Gothic America, dominion goes hand in hand with damnation and the present never ceases to writhe in the grip of the past. "The Black Stranger" spearheads the collection. Located at the extreme edge of Hyborian geography and…


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Interested in the Ming dynasty, American frontier, and the American West?

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