“If this is your first taste of Howard, I envy you.”—From the Introduction by George R.R. Martin
Acclaimed cult author Waldrop's stories are sophisticated, magical recombinations of the stuff our pop-culture dreams are made of. Open this book and encounter jazz singers, robotic cartoon ducks, nosferatu, angry gorillas, and, of course, the dodo.
The first paperback (and twentieth anniversary) edition of a landmark debut collection. Waldrop’s capacious, encyclopedic knowledge of superheroes, baseball players, world wars, long-dead film stars, Mexican wrestlers, pulp serials, and fairy tales is put to good use in these sophisticated re-combinations of oddball television shows, radio plays, scientific expeditions, extinct species, knock-knock jokes, and questions like these:
* What if the dodo wasn't extinct after all? * What if sumo wrestlers could defeat their opponents with the power of the mind? * What if Izaak Walton and John Bunyan went fishing for Leviathan in the Slough of Despond?
Never published in paperback, long out of print, and extremely collectible, Howard Who? was Waldrop's seminal debut collection. If you haven't read Waldrop before, you're in for a treat.
"The best Waldrops tend to mix the humorous and wistful.... Italo Calvino once said that he was "known as an author who changes greatly from one book to the next. And in these very changes you recognize him as himself." Much the same could be said of Howard Waldrop. You never know what he'll come up with next, but somehow it's always a Waldrop story. Read the work of this wonderful writer, a man who has devoted his life to his art -- and to fishing."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post
"A charming collection."—Los Angeles Times
"Back in print after so many years, Howard Who? remains a terrific collection of short stories. There is nobody else alive writing stories as magnificently strange, deliriously inventive, and utterly wonderful as Howard Waldrop." —Metrobeat
Table of Contents Introduction by George R. R. Martin. The Ugly Chickens Der Untergang des Abendlandesmenschen Ike at the Mike Dr. Hudson's Secret Gorilla . . . the World, as we Know't Green Brother Mary Margaret Road-Grader "Save A Place in the Lifeboat for Me Horror, We Got Man-Mountain Gentian God's Hooks Heirs of the Perisphere
Praise for Howard Waldrop:
"Clever, humorous, idiosyncratic, oddball, personal, wild, and crazy."—Library Journal
"Wise and funny."—Publishers Weekly
"An authentic master of gonzo sf and fantasy."—Booklist
"Erudite and gonzo."—Science Fiction Weekly
"Waldrop subtly mutates the past, extrapolating the changes into some of the most insightful, and frequently amusing, stories being written today, in or out of the science fiction genre."—The Houston Post/Sun
"The man's a national treasure!"—Locus
"The resident Weird Mind of his generation, he writes like a honkytonk angel."—Washington Post Book WorldAbout the Author:
Howard Waldrop, born in Mississippi and now living in Austin, Texas, is an American iconoclast. His highly original books include Them Bones and A Dozen Tough Jobs, and the collections All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past, Night of the Cooters, and Going Home Again. He won the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards for his novelette "The Ugly Chickens."
Stories are one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements. Whether written down or spoken they have an ability to capture our imagination and thoughts, and take us on incredible journeys in the space of a phrase and the turn of a page.
Within a few words of text or speech, new worlds and characters form, propelling a narrative to a conclusion with intricate ease. Finely crafted, perfectly formed these Miniature Masterpieces, at first thought, seem remarkably easy to conjure up. But ask any writer and they will tell you that distilling the essence of narrative and characters into a short story is one of the hardest acts of their literary craft. Many attempt, but few achieve.
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award: A “gorgeous, rueful collection of eight linked stories” capturing the collective dreams of Israel in the 1950s (Chicago Tribune). These eight interconnected stories, set in the fictitious Kibbutz Yekhat, draw masterful profiles of idealistic men and women enduring personal hardships in the shadow of one of the greatest collective dreams of the twentieth century. A devoted father who fails to challenge his daughter’s lover, an old friend, a man his own age; an elderly gardener who carries on his shoulders the sorrows of the world; a woman writing perversely poignant letters to her husband’s mistress. Each of these stories is a luminous human and literary study; together they offer an eloquent portrait of an idea, and of a charged and fascinating epoch. Award-winning writer Amos Oz, who spent three decades living on a kibbutz, is at home and at his best in this “lucid and heartbreaking” award-winning collection (The Guardian). “Oz lifts the veil on kibbutz existence without palaver. His pinpoint descriptions are pared to perfection . . . His people twitch with life.” —The Scotsman “A collection of stories . . . that boasts the sense, scope and unity of a novel . . . Breathtaking.” —Irish Examiner “A complex and melancholic vision of people struggling to transcend their individuality for the sake of mundanely idealist goals.” —The Times Literary Supplement
Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was a prolific English writer, now best remembered for his science fiction novels and often credited as being the father of science fiction.'The Country of the Blind' is the strange story of a mountain guide who accidently falls off a cliff ledge in the Andes. He survives the fall unhurt, and finds himself in a remote valley where a tribe lives completely cut off from the rest of the world.A hereditary illness has meant that for 15 generations all the members of the tribe have been born blind. As a result, they now have a highly evolved sense of hearing, scent and touch. 'In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,' thinks the mountaineer. But he finds that the gift of sight is far less useful or appreciated that he had expected in the country of the blind.
It is the spring of 1800. Captain Alan Lewrie, fresh from victory in the South Atlantic, is back in England and fitting out his new frigate, the HMS Savage. But true to fashion, Lewrie can't stay ashore too long without trouble arising. A Jamaican court has tried him in absentia and sentenced him to hang for the theft of a dozen black slaves. The vengeful slave owner has made his way to London to seek Lewrie's end . . . with or without the majesty of the law!To complicate matters further, Lewrie must also deal with allegations that he is a faithless rakehell, as his wife has been informed through anonymous letters. Despite shoreside legal matters, Lewrie takes the Savage on King's business to Sou'west France to plug the threat of enemy warships, privateers, and neutrals smuggling goods in and out of Bordeaux. It could be dull and plodding dreariness, but a bored Captain Alan Lewrie, safe in his post (for the moment), can be a dangerous fellow to his country's foes . . . if only to relieve the tedium!
When first published in 1899, "The Awakening" shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin's daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the confines of her domestic situation.
The Argonauts are the gold seekers of 1849 and the years immediately following. These adventurers came from all quarters of the globe and all ranks of society, and they had in common only the possession of the strength and determination necessary to reach the new Colchis. Here they lived, at first, wholly free from the conventional restraints imposed by an organized society, and each man showed himself for what he was. Many of these primitive social conditions still existed when Harte went to California in 1854, and they made a great impression on the observant boy. He did not use them in literature, however, until he was able to look back on them in the light of experience.
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