Another novel that can provide plenty of inspiration for The Sixth Gun campaigns is this one.
Doctor Potter's Medicine Show
This novel represents one of the reasons why I love having used book stores in the world. One day I was early for a dentist appointment, and so I popped into the nearby Half Price books to peruse the shelves. This novel was in the Sci-Fi Fantasy section and the title immediately caught my eye; otherwise, I might never have heard of it. Over winter break I finished reading the book, and here are my thoughts about it.
The premise is that a traveling medicine show is involved in searching for the Philosopher's Stone of alchemical fame, and so right away it involves plot elements that could work well, I think, in adventures and campaigns for The Sixth Gun.
There is a lot of swearing in it, which was off-putting for me. This was a stark contrast to, for example, Territory, in which most of the characters are pretty formal in their interactions.
The main antagonist is a really bad person. We're given a flashback to learn some of his story, but even then he is not a sympathetic character.
Along that line, because he does lots of bad things to people, the novel overall has a dark tone. It is definitely not for the squeamish.
The protagonists have their own flaws, one of which is drinking way too much alcohol. They do become likable, however, thanks in part to some nice and even tender moments between them.
There are also some real surprises, which do a good job of building up the conflict and thus making the reader root for the (relatively) good guys.
I'm not sure what I think about the ending, as it leaves some unanswered questions. It definitely provides some satisfying comeuppance, though.