Is Richard Wheeler Killing The Western?

…well, Richard Wheeler thinks so.

So, here I am, writing stories that wreck the genre. Can anyone doubt
it? Soon after I published my first novels at Doubleday, its western
line expired. Soon after I published my novels at Walker and Company,
its western line died. Soon after I published my westerns with M. Evans
and Company, its western line faded away. Soon after I published my
novels with Fawcett and then Ballantine, their western lines croaked.
Soon after I published my sole novel with Bantam, its western line
(except for L’Amour) faded into the sunset. Soon after I published the
last of my novels with NAL, its western line began to wind down. I
understand that soon after my last Pinnacle novel is published, its
western line will be planted in a grave. That leaves only Forge, and
its line is fading fast.

He says he’s done it by writing what the readers don’t want.

My publishers have responded by plastering a cowboy with blazing
sixguns on the covers of many of my novels to conceal the heresies
within the covers, but it did little good. My loose literary ways
trumped the orthodoxies of the western genre, and eventually laid the
genre in its grave, though there is still some residual western fiction
showing up.

His lengthy essay on Ed Gorman’s blog will make you want to go out and read all of his westerns.

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