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Howard Who?: Twelve Outstanding Stories of Speculative Fiction
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Howard Who?: Twelve Outstanding Stories of Speculative Fiction

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Introduction by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire): “If this is your first taste of Howard, I envy you. Bet you can’t read just one.”

“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

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Unknown Binding, 181 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Doubleday Books
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Don
Mar 02, 2008 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes strong genre literature without any so-called "literary pretentions"
Shelves: favorites
There's a reason people call Waldrop a master. Not a single story out of the dozen in this collection failed to satisfy. They're the real deal, with imaginative plots and spot-on characterizations. Not to mention the risks he takes on theme and subject matter that pay off. When I finished the story "Horror, We Got" I thought to myself, Oh no, he didn't!. You'll either have to take my word, or check it out yourself.
Georgene
Oct 13, 2014 Georgene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Georgene by: Philip Wickstrand
Shelves: fantasy
My son loaned me this book. As a loan, I try to get them read before books I own. So, I took this to bed with me, fell asleep with it in my arms, had to re-read 3 of the short stories (the sacrifices I make!) when I picked it up again. GREAT stories! This author has been around longer than I have and I VERY happy to discover him. Harold Waldrop has a lovely, warped style of writing. Please, if you find this book, READ IT!
Christian
Dec 10, 2016 Christian rated it it was ok
I concede that this Waldrop collection is — in all likelihood — objectively better than a two-star rating gives it credit for, but I just didn't enjoy it. Some really inventive ideas here, but I couldn't work up an interest in the substance of the stories once I got over the novelty of their premises.
le-trombone
This is Waldrop's first collection of short stories, re-issued by Small Beer Press, and bless them for it. I'm happy to have it, since I can't loan out my old Doubleday copy anymore, and any excuse to re-read Waldrop is a good one.

The Ugly Chickens (1980) can it be that the dodo still survives? Possibly Waldrop's best-known story.

Der Untergang des Abendlandermenschen (1976) almost indescribable. Weimar Germany, German Expressionist movie monster, touring cowboys. All of which pale before a truly
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John
Dec 11, 2010 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly imaginative book, full of strange characters and ideas, tragedy and loss and a lot of humour. The famous 'The Ugly Chickens' concerns the last Dodo on the planet - only nobody knows that's what it is until it's too late. 'Save a Place in the Lifeboat for Me' has Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges trying to stop Buddy Holly from getting on the plane that ultimately killed him. 'Man-Mountain Gentian' is the tale of Sumo wrestlers who fight using only their mind ...more
Darrel
Feb 15, 2014 Darrel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every time I pick this book up I seem to have forgotten how wonderful it is. Without a doubt, Waldrop is the greatest short-story writer I know of, and partially because he is willing to take such huge risks. The Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy, and Abbott & Costello traveling through time on the orders of God, to prevent The Day the Music Died? Yup. A post-apocalyptic tractor pull where license plates are traded as currency? Sure. A scientist who discovers the dodo may not actually be ext ...more
Ed
Jan 27, 2010 Ed rated it liked it
Recommended to Ed by: Larry
Shelves: sf-fantasy, quendi
Howard Waldrop isn't a very well known SF author. I think it's because he doesn't really write novels. He mostly writes short stories and novellas, and he has won a slew of awards for them. His stories are very innovative, but, if I had one criticism, the stories sometimes have little going for them besides innovation. As with any short story collection, I liked some more than others. I particularly liked "Dr. Hudson's Secret Gorilla," "Green Brother," "Mary Margaret Road-Grader," and "Man-Mount ...more
Don Massi
Apr 14, 2013 Don Massi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fantasy
Why haven't I read any Howard Waldrop before? Why haven't I heard of him before? Seriously, this guy's a master, his short stories are rivetingly quirky. Waldrop combines painstaking research, a wild imagination and sheer craft to give us a collection of some of the weirdest, most entertaining stories I've ever read. And while I liked some more than others, every story is a gem. This is an author I want to read a whole lot more.
Jason
Aug 04, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it
A bunch of top fantasy and science fiction writers are always mentioning Howard Waldrop and saying how good he is. George R.R. Martin even wrote the introduction to this collection. I can see why they enjoy his work. Even the weaker stories in this anthology by him were great fun to read and enjoyable to pick up. It's a pity he isn't better known but I'm glad I found him and read his works.
Unwisely
There was a note on the library shelf in the SF section that if you hadn't heard of this guy you were in for an experience. And I would say that's true.

This is a collection of short stories, with very little in common. I really enjoyed the first one, (about dodos), was mostly confused by several, and thought the rest were okay. So I'm not out to find more of this guy, but it was pleasant.
Larry
Jan 29, 2010 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quendi
Waldrop is such an inventive writer. Most of the stories, I finished with a huge grin on my face from the sheer amazement at what he'd pulled off. There were a couple of clunkers, but gems like "The Ugly Chickens", "Mary Margaret Road Grader" and "Heirs of the Perisphere" more than made up for them.
Syntactical Disruptorize
What if Sherlock Holmes and Billy the Kid went vampire hunting, only to run afoul of the early Nazi party? What if Dwight Eisenhower had gone into music while Elvis Presley went into politics? If Izaac Walton and John Bunyan went fishing for Leviathan? Best of all, the stories aren't just gimmicks; the characters are real, the detail amazing.
Katherine francis
breathless. There are no words to describe the depths of research that this man has done in order to tell a really weird tale. I loved this book so much. Each story was so random and odd-ball compared to the others--there was no connection, just beautiful weirdness with a lot of historical and cultural research to make it all seem so real.
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
This excellent first collection of Howard Waldrop short stories reminded me yet again that I'm sorry I didn't read more of his fiction earlier and how very glad I'm finally reading this now. He writes of worlds of marvels and I'm very glad to be along for the ride.
Adam
Short fiction written with the creativity of Robert Coover and Angela Carter (but way lighter in tone)filled with odd connections, skewerings of genre, history, and pop culture; a book filled with wonderful ideas.
Mitchell
These are some very clever stories, though Alternative History isn't a genre I usually enjoy. I liked at least half of these stories, so I'm happy.
Matthew
Matthew rated it it was amazing
Aug 04, 2009
Boyd Nation
Boyd Nation rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2012
Kurt
Kurt rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2015
Peggy
Peggy rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2007
Mike
Mike rated it liked it
Dec 15, 2007
José Antonio
José Antonio rated it really liked it
Apr 28, 2014
Mrkismet
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Oct 08, 2011
Ben
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Oct 12, 2011
Michael
Michael rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2013
William Lexner
William Lexner rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2011
Bud Norton
Bud Norton rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2010
Lon Prater
Lon Prater rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2013
Delis Ortiz
Delis Ortiz rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2016
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Howard Waldrop is a science fiction author who works primarily in short fiction. Waldrop's stories combine elements such as alternate history, American popular culture, the American South, old movies, classical mythology, and rock 'n' roll music.
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