". . . these stories [in Custer's Last Jump and Other Collaborations] are too good to have languished uncollected for so long . . . I've always been a sucker for the short story form, especially when handled as well and as imaginatively as they are here by Waldrop and his collaborators . . . I'm sure you'll enjoy them as much as I did."
— Charles de Lint, "Books To Look For," F&SF, September 2003
In a career that has spanned thirty-four years, Howard Waldrop has withheld these collaborations from his five short story collections, in order to create a dream, this special volume. 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."
"One Horse Town" (with Leigh Kennedy) was chosen for inclusion in the nineteenth The Year's Best Science Fiction; a mix of the Sack of Troy, Homer's early days, the last day in the life of a Trojan warrior, and the archeological dig at Troy. This speculative (alternate?) history breathes fresh life into a tale that is literally thousands of years old. Alternate history is a specialty of Waldrop, as shown in "Custer's Last Jump!" (with Steven Utley), where Crazy Horse uses Confederate monoplanes in his famous battle with General Custer. "A Voice and Bitter Weeping" (with Jake "Buddy" Saunders) paints a grim post-nuclear age, where Israeli mercenaries fight Texans, in a never-ending, exhausting, hopeless war. A bid to study, and perhaps use as a bioweapon, an intelligent parasitic fungus forces the "Men of Greywater Station" (with George R. R. Martin) into a desperate war of their own, with an entire planet, plus some of Earth's own soldiers, attacking a poorly defended research station. Far, far into the future, Man has disappeared, except for "Willow Beeman" (with Steven Utley), who has lived so long that he doesn't even know what species he is, and whose only friend is a sentient Galapagos tortoise. Mystery, intrigue, and treachery abound in the Heian Japanese setting of "The Latter Days of the Law" (with Bruce Sterling), where a clever man must find a lost prince — and finally does. Astrophysicist A. A. Jackson mixes his scientific background with Waldrop's writing in "Sun's Up!" the desperate story of an artificial intelligence doomed by a sun that is going supernova years too soon. Finally, with a mix of Burroughs, Shelley, Lovecraft, Poe, Melville, and Farmer, poor invincible undying Frankenstein's monster explores the hollow Earth in "Black as the Pit, from Pole to Pole" (with Steven Utley).
As added bonuses, each story has a riotously funny and libelous introduction by Waldrop, and an equally funny and libelous afterword by the coauthor. There are also three "Nuts and Bolts" essaylets on the art of collaboration. These are well worth the price of admission, as they offer glimpses into the early and latter days in the careers of Waldrop and his coauthors.
Cover art by Frank Kelly Freas.
"This is another sign of a genius — good, bad, or indifferent, nobody but Howard could possibly have written one of Howard's stories; in most cases, nobody but Howard could possibly have even thought of them."
— Gardner Dozois
Cloth, ISBN: 1-930846-13-4
Out of Print!
For non-USA orders, please read shipping fees information.
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Read the essay "Howard Waldrop and the Future of Science Fiction" by Daniel Day on Literary Kicks