Being a semi-faithful transcription of pages 4 of the SwanCon 22 – Festival of the Imgination 1997 – Progress Report 1. Page 5 contains an excerpt of Howard Waldrop’s 1987 story, “Night of the Cooters”, which has not been transcribed.
“Howard Waldrop is a very strange man. He fishes a lot, lives in a shack on the side of a general store in the wilds of Washington State, and has no phone (get a phone, Howard!). He does too much research on each and every story he writes but he writes like a dream. He’s a swell guy. I adore him, even if he is strange”
I’m not surprised you asked. Howard asked us the same thing when we invited him.
I’ll be honest. Howard is sadly not the most reprinted writer around, thought I don’t know why. He’s not the most prolific writer, but what he writes appears in OMNI and Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Howard won the Nebula and world Fantast Award in 1980 for his novelette “The Ugly Chickens”. He gets numerous requests for originals for theme anthologies, is often invited to conventions (which, as legend has it, is the only time he writes his stories – often 30 minutes or less before he has to read them!).
So, from a purely selfish and superficial viewpoint, we wanted a new Howard story.
Previous Cons have shown that a guest doesn’t have to be overly famous, a “big name” to be exceptionally good value. Read the notes in his collections, he’s a great guy. Read what Ellen Datlow, editor of OMNI says.
Do anything but steal to get Howard’s stuff. You’ll be amused, surprised and entertained.
As to the man himself, Howard is build like Bob Hoskins, has a penchant for loud shirts, recently turned 50 and is still going strong. In his own words, he has “spent more time on couches all over the place than most people will ever think about…”
His two short story collections published by Legend, Strange Things in Close Up and Night of the Cooters, feature wonderfully frank introductions to each story providing a wealth of biographical material.
Russell B Farr
Here’s a vague Bibliography:
The Texas-Israeli War 1999 (co-written with Jake Saunders)
Strange Monsters of the Recent Past
(combined as Strange Things in Close Up, Legend)
Night of the Cooters – More Neat Stuff (Legend 1991)
A Dozen Tough Jobs (Ziesing 1989)
Most Recent Story
“Flatfeet!” (Feb 1996, Isaac Asimov’s SF Magazine)