By Susan Lowell
2018 George Garrett Fiction Prize Winner.
Two Desperados is a collection of southwest-flavored stories that feature a blacksmith, several smugglers, a mule, a jaguar, a runaway groom, a murderess, a witch, a basket weaver, a Gremlin, three cowboys, and a ghost. Settings range from a grand university library to a construction site, from an apocalyptic dream world to the coyote-haunted banks of the Rio Grande.
These eighteen stories play a few games with traditional short story form, but by and large they remain in the realism camp—yet it is realism tweaked or enlivened with an occasional sprinkle of magic or a small electric zap.