Howard Waldrop

Howard Waldrop (born September 15, 1946, in Houston, Mississippi) 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 (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.

Though born in Mississippi, 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. In 2004 he started writing movie reviews with Lawrence Person for [ Locus Online].

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

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

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


Novels & novellas

  • The Texas-Israeli War: 1999 (with Jake Saunders, 1974) (Ballantine, 1986, )
  • Them Bones (Ace, 1984, )
  • A Dozen Tough Jobs (novella) (Mark V Ziesing, 1989, )
  • The Search for Tom Purdue (announced)[]
  • The Moone World (announced)[]

    Short story collections

  • Howard Who? (Doubleday, 1986) (2006 reprint from Small Beer Press, )
  • All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past (1987) (Ace, 1991, )
  • Night of the Cooters (1990) (Ace, 1993, )
  • Going Home Again (Eidolon, 1997, )
  • Dream Factories and Radio Pictures (e-book, 2001 at; printed form from Wheatland Press 2003)
  • Custer's Last Jump and Other Collaborations (Golden Gryphon, 2003, ) (includes Waldrop's collaborations with Steven Utley, Bruce Sterling, Leigh Kennedy, George R. R. Martin, and others.)
  • Heart of Whitenesse (Subterranean Press, 2005, )
  • Things Will Never be the Same: Selected Short Fiction 1980 – 2005 ("best of" collection from Old Earth Books, 2007, , trade paperback; for 300 copy limited edition hardcover)
  • Other Worlds, Better Lives: Selected Long Fiction 1989-2003 (Old Earth Books, 2008, , trade paperback; for 300 copy limited edition hardcover)
  • Horse of A Different Color: Stories (2013) Small Beer Press, )

    Short stories

  • "Thirty Minutes Over Broadway!" in Wild Cards I: Wild Cards, 1986
  • "Thin, On the Ground" in [ Cross Plains Universe], MonkeyBrain Books, 2006.
  • "The Dead Sea-Bottom Scrolls" in Old Mars (anthology), Tor Books, 2013. Nominated for a Locus Award.


  • The Soul-Catcher (1967, self-published)
  • You Could Go Home Again (Cheap Street, 1993)
  • Custer's Last Jump (with Steven Utley) (Ticonderoga Publications, 1996)
  • Flying Saucer Rock and Roll (Cheap Street, 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); given out to members of the 2005 Capclave (though it was not printed in time to be distributed there), and not available separately