In spite of the title, which implies freewheeling space opera, there’s only one raygun to be found in Rayguns Over Texas, an original anthology edited by Richard Klaw; most stories here don’t take us off Earth, and most don’t have anything to do with aliens (attacking or otherwise) or armadas of battling spaceships. That doesn’t mean that the anthology isn’t fun, though.
Big Names of the loosely defined school of Texas SF – Bruce Sterling, Howard Waldrop, Steven Utley, Lisa Tuttle, Lewis Shiner – aren’t represented here with fiction (Sterling provides an introduction), but the writers who are here do a decent job of delivering that difficult-to-classify stuff typical of the Texas School of SF, somewhere between gonzo fantasy and horror in tone with occasional touches of cyberpunk, that was once called ‘‘outlaw fantasy,’’ or occasionally ‘‘cowpunk.’’
(Not including the “Big Names” was very a purposeful decision. One of the rules of the volume was that the writers needed to currently be living in Texas. Of all he mentioned, only Waldrop currently lives here.)
The most enjoyable story here is probably Mark Finn’s ‘‘Take a Left at the Cretaceous’’, in which Good Ole Boy long-distance truckers tangle with dinosaurs, but there’s other fun stuff as well.
Dozois’ other fun stuff included stories by Lawrence Person, Aaron Allston, Derek Austin Johnson, Chris N. Brown, and Jessica Reisman.