Clarence Howard "Bud" Webster (born July 27, 1952) is a science fiction and fantasy writer who is also known for his essays on both the history of science fiction and sf/fantasy anthologies as well. He is perhaps best known for the Bubba Pritchert series, which have won two Analytical Laboratory readers' awards from Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine. Webster is also known for his survey of Groff Conklin's contribution to science fiction in 41 Above the Rest: An Index and Checklist for the Anthologies of Groff Conklin.
Webster is a contributing editor and columnist for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Bulletin and has published a collection of those columns titled Anthopology 101: Reflections, Inspections and Dissections of SF Anthologies through Merry Blacksmith Press. His Bulletin column, "Anthopology 101", examines the history of science fiction and fantasy through classic anthologies and anthologists, frequently pairing books by different editors but also presenting two or more books by the same anthologist. The column has included multi-installment pieces on Frederik Pohl, Robert Silverberg, Harry Harrison and more recently, Terry Carr. In addition, he has co-written three Bulletin articles with Dr. Jerry Pournelle. He is also a frequent contributor to the "Curiosity" page of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He was the poetry editor and columnist for Helix SF, an online speculative fiction quarterly. After Helix SF ceased publication, he took his column, "Past Masters", to Jim Baen's Universe, and when that closed, to Eric Flint's Grantville Gazette. The "Past Masters" columns are retrospective appraisals of so-called "classic" science fiction and fantasy authors, and include extensive bibliographies. Some of the authors covered in the "Past Masters" series include Zenna Henderson, Fredric Brown, Edgar Pangborn, and Murray Leinster.
Webster was poetry editor at Black Gate, a print fantasy magazine, for which he also wrote a column about little-known authors titled "Who?!" The only one of the columns appeared in Black Gate 15 and discussed author Tom Reamy.
In 2007, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) appointed Webster Estates Liaison, placing him in charge of their Estates Project, which makes it possible for pubslishers to contact the agents or individuals who represent the literary estates of deceased science-fiction and fantasy writers so that material by those authors can be reprinted. The Estates database currently contains information on more than 450 sf/fantasy authors.
In June 2013, Merry Blacksmith Press published a collection of Webster's essays about science fiction and fantasy authors and books titled Past Masters and Other Bookish Natterings, including articles on Clifford D. Simak. R. A. Lafferty, Judith Merril and others. This volume also includes short-short essays originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction as part of their "Curiosities" column, as well as three articles co-written with Jerry Pournelle.
Webster is also a collector of science fiction books, and is the author of The Joy of Booking: Webster's Guide to Buying and Selling Used SF and Fantasy Books.
Webster was born in Roanoke, Virginia, to Clarence H. Webster and Edna Urquhart Webster. He attended Crystal Spring Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Junior High and Patrick Henry High Schools, graduating from Hermitage High School in Richmond, Virginia in 1970. He studied music at Virginia Commonwealth University, majoring in composition. Raised a Baptist, he subsequently devolved into an Antagonostic. He currently resides in Richmond, Virginia, with his long-time companion, Mary Horton; they were married on May 26 of 2013.
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (March 28, 2012). "2012 Service to SFWA Award goes to Clarence Howard 'Bud' Webster". SFScope.
- Bud Webster at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Book Think: Interview with Bud Webster about 41 Above the Rest: An Index and Checklist for the Anthologies of Groff Conklin
- Book Think: "A Bibliographer's Job Is Never Done" by Bud Webster
- SFWA Bulletin
- Original "Past Masters" columns from HELIX SF and JIM BAEN'S UNIVERSE now at Galactic Central
- Anthopology 101: Reflections, Inspections and Dissections of SF Anthologies from Merry Blacksmith Press.
- SFWA Estate Project at SFWA.org
- Official Announcement of the 2012 Service to SFWA Award
- Past Masters and Other Bookish Natterings from Merry Blacksmith Press