Howard Waldrop

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Howard Waldrop
Howard Waldrop at ConQuesT 38 (2007), Kansas City, MO
Howard Waldrop at ConQuesT 38 (2007), Kansas City, MO
Born (1946-09-15) September 15, 1946 (age 76)
Houston, Mississippi
OccupationFiction writer
GenreScience fiction
Notable works"The Ugly Chickens", "Night of the Cooters"
Notable awardsNebula Award (1980)
World Fantasy Award (1981)

Howard Waldrop (born September 15, 1946) is a science fiction author who works primarily in short fiction. He received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2021.

Personal life[edit]

Though born in Houston, Mississippi,[1] Waldrop has spent most of his life in Texas. He moved to Washington state for several years, but has since returned to Austin. He is an avid fly fisherman. He is a member of the Turkey City Writer's Workshop, has attended the Rio Hondo Writing Workshop, and has taught at the Clarion Workshop.[2]

Professional life[edit]

He is a frequent attendee of ArmadilloCon, the local science fiction convention held annually in Austin. He was the Toastmaster at the first ArmadilloCon (1979) and again at #29 in 2007; he was Guest of Honor at ArmadilloCon 5 (1983).[citation needed]

Waldrop was one of three writer Guests of Honor at the 1995 World Fantasy Convention[3] held in Baltimore and at Readercon 15[4] held in Burlington, Massachusetts, in 2003.[citation needed]

Waldrop was Professional Writer Guest of Honor at Loscon 46 in Los Angeles, California, in 2019.[citation needed]

In 2004 he started writing movie reviews with Lawrence Person for Locus Online.[citation needed]


Waldrop's stories combine elements such as alternative history, American popular culture, the American South, old movies (and character actors), classical mythology, and rock 'n' roll music. His style is sometimes obscure or elliptical: Night of the Cooters is a pastiche of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds told from the perspective of a small town Texas sheriff (a homage to Slim Pickens) who faces a Martian cylinder crashing down near his town; "Heirs of the Perisphere" involves robotic Disney characters waking up in the far future; "Fin de Cyclé" describes the Dreyfus affair from the perspective of bicycle enthusiasts.

Waldrop's work is frequently out-of-print, though still available for sale on-line; several of his books have been reprinted in omnibus editions.

Several of his stories have been nominated for the genre's awards; "The Ugly Chickens" — about the extinction of the dodo — won a Nebula Award for best novelette in 1980, and also a World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction in 1981; this is perhaps his best known work. In 2021, he won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.[5]


Novels & novellas[edit]

  • The Texas-Israeli War: 1999 (with Jake Saunders, 1974) (Ballantine mass market, 1986, ISBN 0-345-33994-0)
  • Them Bones (Ace, 1984, ISBN 0-441-80557-4)
  • A Dozen Tough Jobs (novella) (Mark V Ziesing hardcover, 1989, ISBN 0-929480-01-5)
  • The Search for Tom Purdue (announced)[1]
  • The Moone World (announced)[2]

Short story collections[edit]

Short stories[edit]


  • The Soul-Catcher (self-published, 1967)
  • You Could Go Home Again (Cheap Street signed/numbered/tray cased very limited hardcover edition, 1993)
  • Custer's Last Jump (with Steven Utley) (Ticonderoga Publications, 1996)
  • Flying Saucer Rock and Roll (Cheap Street signed/numbered tray cased very limited hardcover edition, 2001)
  • A Better World's in Birth! (Golden Gryphon, 2003)
  • The Horse of a Different Color (You Rode In On)/The King of Where-I-Go (WSFA, 2006); saddle-stitched trade paperback given out to members of the 2005 Capclave, though not printed in time to be distributed there (not available/sold separately after publication)


  1. ^ Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (July 22, 2021). "Waldrop, Howard". In Clute, John; et al. (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (3rd ed.). Gollancz.
  2. ^ "Clarion Workshop Writers 2003". Archived from the original on August 17, 2003.
  3. ^ "History of the World Fantasy Conventions". Archived from the original on December 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Readercon15 Program".
  5. ^ "Howard Waldrop Awards". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus Science Fiction Foundation. December 21, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Howard Waldrop - Old Earth Books".
  7. ^ DeNardo, John (February 14, 2013). "TOC: Old Mars Edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois". SF Signal. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  8. ^ Bedford, Robert H. (October 8, 2013). "Mars as We Thought it Could Be: Old Mars, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois". Macmillan. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  9. ^ "2014 Locus Awards Winners". Locus. June 28, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.

External links[edit]