My Western steampunk short story, "Scourge of the Spoils," is due for release on November 2, 2010, in the DAW Books anthology, Steampunk'd, edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg (softcover, DAW Books, 320 pages). Fellow WF member Robert Vardeman also has a story in this anthology. The stories in this all-original collection explore alternate timelines and have been set all over the world, running the gamut from Western to science fiction to mystery to horror to a melding of these genres.
My selection is in most ways a traditional Western tale, save for a few steampunky elements. Wait ... what's steampunk, you ask? It's "what the past would look like if the future had come along earlier." Think "Wild, Wild West," and you're close. According to Wikipedia, "steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction involving an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian-era Britain. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne...."
The American West of the 19th century is an ideal setting for steampunk tales, and it's a great way for the Western genre to stretch and grow in new and unexpected directions. Hopefully we'll see many more Western steampunk stories in the near future. In the meantime, though, there's no better place to begin than with your very own copy of Steampunk'd. It's available for pre-order today! Here's a link: http://matthewmayo.com/books/anthologies.