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Howard Waldrop

 Other Worlds, Better Lives by Howard Waldrop


OTHER WORLDS, BETTER LIVES: Selected Long Fiction, 1989 - 2003

by Howard Waldrop

"If Philip K. Dick is our homegrown Borges (as Ursula K. Le Guin once said), then Waldrop is our very American magic-realist, as imaginative and playful as early Garcia Marquez or, better yet, Italo Calvino."

– Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

"Now he brings us A Dozen Tough Jobs [included in this volume], which is, yes folks, a retelling of the Labors of Hercules, set in a Mississippi town in the 1920s. Because it's Waldrop writing it, though, it's more than a comic reworking of an old myth. It's also a clear depiction of life in that sunbeaten, humid, fearful place and time. The rhythms of speech, the slang, the relations between the races, between rich and poor, between men and women, all are there, with the power and ugliness and majesty of real life. Waldrop's comedy comes from his true-seeing eye, and A Dozen Tough Jobs puts him right amoung William Faulkner, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Conner, and Harry Crews as one of the umcompromising prophets of the American South. "

Orson Scott Card

Now Available from our fulfillment company, Pathway Book Service! Other Worlds, Better Lives - Selected Long Fiction 1989 - 2003, a new Old Earth Books collection of Howard Waldrop stories featuring a selection of longer fiction from the last twenty-five years of Howard's career.

Table of Contents:
  • "A Dozen Tough Jobs" (1989)
  • "Fin de Cycle" (1990)
  • "You Could Go Home Again" (1993)
  • "Flatfeet" (1996)
  • "Major Spacer" (2001)
  • "The Other Real World" (2001)
  • "A Better World's In Birth" (2003)

"In 2007, Old Earth Books, an independent press located in Baltimore, brought out Things Will Never Be the Same: A Howard Waldrop Reader, a comprehensive volume that features selected short fiction from 1980-2005 by the Nebula Award-winning and often anthologized writer. This is a book that belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in science-fictional and fantastic short fiction at its best. Old Earth has now followed that earlier and welcome volume with an equally fine companion, Other Worlds, Better Lives, which features longer stories written between 1989 and 2003, and it displays Waldrop's mastery of the novella form."

– By Pamela Sargent,
Sci Fi Weekly review

3 September 2008


"Following hard on the heels of the previous Old Earth Waldrop collection (Things Will Never Be The Same), Other Worlds, Better Lives presents seven novella-length stories told by the manic (maniac?) bard of Texas. As before, it's a roller-coaster ride through the mind of one very strange individual; a mind not quite deranged, but rather re-arranged. And re-arrange he does – reality, history, the reader's perceptions – nothing is sacred. From the retelling of the labors of Hercules ("A Dozen Tough Jobs") set in the Old South to what happens when television sitcom and movie characters get conflated with the Cuban Missile Crisis ("The Other Real World")."

– By Judy Newton,
SFRevu Review
1 September 2008


Available from our fulfillment company, Pathway Book Service

1-800-345-6665, pbs@pathywaybook.com

Order Trade Paperback from PathwayTrade Paperback • September 2008 • 272 pages • ISBN 978-1-882968-38-1 (1-882968-38-7) • $15 USD

Order Hardcover from PathwayHardcover (300 copies) • September 2008 • ISBN 978-1-882968-37-4 (1-882968-37-9) • $45 USD

Book Design by Robert T. Garcia / Garcia Publishing Services


Things Will Never Be the Same by Howard Waldrop


THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME: Selected Short Fiction, 1980 - 2005

by Howard Waldrop

"Howard Waldrop is the Studebaker Golden Hawk of genre fiction, a classic of structure and design. His unique stories autopsy the entrails of our eccentric past and reveal, often in oracular fashion, insanities to come."

– Lucius Shepard

"The only problem with THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME is that it's not nearly long enough.  Sure, sure, it's chock full of great stories by the best short fiction writer of his generation, modern classics like "The Ugly Chickens" and "Flying Saucer Rock n Roll" and "Heart of Whitenesse" and many more... but there are two or three times as many terrific Waldrop stories, equally good and sometimes even better, that have been left out for want of space.  There's only one solution.  Read this book... and then go out and track down all of Waldrop's other collections and read them too."

George R R Martin

"Howard Waldrop doesn't have e-mail. He doesn't have a word processor. He doesn't surf the Internet. I guess that means he spends most of his time writing. From my point of view as a devoted Waldrop reader, I'm eternally grateful to the Luddite in him."

– Janis Ian


"You want funny? Howard's got funny. You want weird? Howard's got weird. You want mind-bending? You're about to get it."

– Cory Doctorow

"There's no better writer alive than Howard Waldrop, and here are all his best stories, with funny and fascinating afterwords — you need this book."

Tim Powers

"It always feels like Christmas when a new Howard Waldrop collection arrives, and this one is as crammed with wonderful presents as Santa's sack.  This is even better than getting a BB gun!"

Connie Willis

"The 16 stories in this retrospective volume from World Fantasy Award-winner Waldrop tend to be more sober and less zany than those in his previous collection, Heart of Whitenesse (2005). Highlights include "The Lions Are Asleep This Night," a touching alternate history of a would-be playwright set in Africa; "French Scenes," in which Francophiles make movies using computers; and "Household Words or the Powers That Be," a tale Dickens fans are sure to love...."

Publishers Weekly

"You don't have to know a lot to read Howard Waldrop's fiction, but it helps. His stories are packed with inside jokes, allusions, historic and pop-cultural references which sometimes leave you wondering if you got everything out of it he put into it. That's why this collection of his short fiction is such a treasure: each story has an afterword written by Howard himself explaining (some of) the punch lines you may have missed, the premise he based it on, the circumstances under which he wrote, and anything else he felt his readers should know. (The continuing saga of how he single-handedly shut down a number of publications just by having a story accepted is truly amazing.)"

Judy Newton, SFRevu

Howard Waldrop's first sale to a professional magazine was "Lunchbox", which appeared in the May 1972 Analog. His unique fiction has consistently been nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards. Although Howard does not own a computer, SFF.net hosts a web site for him.

Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction is a monthly half-hour cable television series about the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, which started in 1989.  This is a link to an Apple Quicktime file (18.3 MB) of an interview (17 minutes) they conducted with Howard Waldrop in March of 2006.


Table of Contents

  • "King of Where-I-Go"
  • "Calling Your Name"
  • "The Dynasters, Vol. I, On the Downs"
  • "US"
  • "Mr. Goober's Show"
  • "Heart of Whitenesse"
  • "Household Words, or, The Powers-That-Be"
  • "The Sawing Boys"
  • "Do Ya, Do Ya, Wanna Dance?"
  • "Wild, Wild Horses"
  • "French Scenes"
  • "Night of the Cooters"
  • "The Lions Are Asleep This Night"
  • "Heirs of the Perisphere"
  • "Flying Saucer Rock and Roll"
  • "The Ugly Chickens"
THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME (formerly titled FLYING SAUCER ROCK AND ROLL) has been published in trade paperback and a limited run hardcover edition.





Available from our fulfillment company, Pathway Book Service

1-800-345-6665, pbs@pathywaybook.com

Order from PathwayTrade Paperback • March 2007 • ISBN 978-1-882968-36-7 • $15 USD

Order from PathwayHardcover (300 copies) • March 2007 • ISBN 978-1-882968-35-0 • $45 USD

Book Design by Robert T. Garcia / Garcia Publishing Services

Even More Howard From Our Friends at:

Small Beer Press

Founded in 2000 by Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link, Small Beer Press publishes books (as Small Beer Press and Peapod Classics), chapbooks, and a zine, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.

Peapod Classics, a new line of numbered, uniformly-designed trade paperbacks brings together the best in yesterday's books today.  Peapod Classics No. 3: Howard Waldrop's Howard Who?

Wheatland Press

Wheatland Press has established a reputation for publishing high quality trade paperback editions of literary science fiction and fantasy, primarily anthologies and single-author collections. In 2004, Wheatland Press was nominated for a World Fantasy Award.

Dream Factories and Radio Pictures collects all of Howard Waldrop's film and television stories along with original essays by the author. This collection first appeared as an Ebook from Electric Story in 2001. Wheatland Press is pleased to offer the first print edition.

The Moone World: A new work from Howard Waldrop to be available in trade paperback and hardcover with a tentative publication date of Summer 2008. [30 May 2009 Update: Due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, the publication of The Moone World by Howard Waldrop has been delayed.]

Golden Gryphon Press

Golden Gryphon Press was founded in 1997 by Jim Turner, the long-time editor of Arkham House, with the mission to publish handsome, quality books of short story collections by today's master writers and tomorrow's rising stars.

With A Better World's in Birth!, author Howard Waldrop has skillfully crafted another of his trademark alternate history stories, this one about the peoples' revolutionary leader (and German composer) Richard Wagner. More than 10,000 words of pure Waldrop. In the Afterword, the author details the story behind this story that was twenty years in the making. Each copy is signed and numbered by the author on the limitation page.

In a career that has spanned thirty-four years, Howard Waldrop has withheld these collaborations with A. A. Jackson, Leigh Kennedy, George R. R. Martin, Buddy Saunders, Bruce Sterling, and Steven Utley from his short story collections, in order to create a dream, this special volume, CUSTER'S LAST JUMP AND OTHER COLLABORATIONS.  Included are several Hugo and Nebula nominated stories, ranging from Waldrop's second year as a professional writer to, in his words, "metaphysically, the week before last."

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updated 11 March 2012