When I read Kenneth Mark Hoover's first story on The Western Online (see Til Death Do Us Part), I thought it was simply a damn well written western tale. Well, now I find it was part of a larger concept, a series, and maybe even a lifestyle.
Hoover's new story, "In the Image of Our Maker," debuted today, also on The Western Online. It features the same tough lawman I liked in the earlier story - and the same tight, tough writing - but in this one the locale, the town of Haxan, New Mexico, begins to emerge as a character unto itself. Haxan was described earlier as "the Sodom and Gomorrah of the West," and now we see why. Strange things happen there. Dark, unexpected things.
A trip to Kenneth Mark Hoover's website reveals much more. The town of Haxan, we learn, was inspired by both Gunsmoke and Jonah Hex. The first story in the series, called simply "Haxan," appeared in another online mag, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and can be found there in both print and podcast form. And there's a link to Cafe Press, where you can find Haxan shirts, caps, bags, clocks, coffee cups, water bottles and calendars.
Visit Haxan for yourself. You won't be sorry.