LEGENDS OF THE DRAGON COWBOYS: Chin Song Pin and the Long, Long Night by Laura Givens and The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung by David B. Riley. Hadrosaur Productions (www.hadrosaur.com), 2017, 186 pp., $12.95. ISBN 978-1-8850-9383-7.
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In these tales of Chinese immigrants on America’s western frontier, we find the warriors and the near-magicians.
There are two parts to this character-story arc: THE VENERABLE TRAVELS OF LING FUNG by David B. Riley and CHIN SONG PING AND THE LONG, LONG NIGHT by Laura Givens. In the chapters of LING FUNG, beginning with “Assassin,” Ling Fung, a Chinese immigrant, a man trying to remove himself from the foolishness of the martial arts, is recruited to confront a criminal Mexican god who has stolen gold. It’s a clash of customs. Along the way, Ling Fung collects a lot of weapons, and his dream in the New Land is to have a gun store. In “Bounty Hunters,” it’s a Texas Ranger who consults with Fung about finding a stolen mail-order Chinese bride.
In the ensuring chapters, Ling Fung must confront a gun manufacturer who wants to know why ammunition for the guns is disappearing. Ling Fung does set up his gun shop with an orphan teenager, and along the way, must confront Ah Puch, from the Yucatan, the lost god of the Mayans. But Ah Puch is not a very good martial arts warrior, and Ling Fung makes sure the Mayan god won’t resurrect anywhere anytime soon.
In CHIN SONG PING AND THE LONG, LONG NIGHT by Laura Givens, Daniel O’Flay, “gentleman promoter of pugilistic pageantry on three continents,” sets up a fight involving the metal monsters. His own steam-powered monstrosity, Goliath, will face off against the gear-and-mechanism driven Iron Menace. Who’ll win this fight of the titans?
There are other mesmerizing tales of Chin Song Ping as well, but none are as much fun as the metal monster fight.