They’re not bad men. They just do bad things. And when they find themselves trapped at the bottom of a canyon after a stage coach robbery goes horribly wrong, they quickly realize it’s more than just bad luck. The path out has been destroyed by a rockslide, and more than half of them are injured. Their horses are dead, and food is in short supply. And then there’s the man up on the rocks with a rifle. Watching them. Waiting for them to go mad and starve.
Praise for THE CANYON
“I’m only familiar with Dyer Wilk as a book cover illustrator and designer, since he is one of the most ubiquitous in-demand artists in the indie lit scene. So I was quite impressed — but not surprised — that he is equally talented as an author himself. The prose is razor sharp clean and pristine, polished to perfection. It’s as if Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea was reimagined as a classic Western, with desperate men confronting Nature and Death, stripped of any distractions, pop cultural references, or other elements that would limit its thematic universality. There’s a cinematic and even operatic quality to the simple but effective descriptions of the intense situation, which is very familiar to fans of the genre, but presented with such precision and vision that it feels wholly original and unique. This could easily have been published, exactly as is, in a popular 1930s pulp magazine, and if so, it would by now have earned a reputation near or on a par with Ambrose Bierce’s post Civil War fever dream “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” It may take time for this short but memorable story to gain that level of literary respect, but since it will be just as relatable and accessible 100 years from now as it would’ve been a hundred years ago, I have faith in its longevity.
— Will Viharo