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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An American Iconoclast, February 19, 2007
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This review is from: Howard Who?: Stories (Peapod Classics) (Paperback)
Howard Who? is a short story collection by Howard Waldrop with an introduction by George R. R. Martin.

It consists of the following stories.

The Ugly Chickens

This story won the Nebula and the World Fantasy awards as well as being nominated for a Hugo.

It puts forth the question What if the Dodo hadn't been wiped out.

Der Untergang des Abendlandesmenschen

I have no idea what this story was about, but I was never the less tremendously entertained by it.

Ike at the Mike

Did you ever wonder how the world would be different if Eisenhower and Patton had been in a band with Louis Armstrong rather than leading the allies in Europe? Well Me neither, but Howard did, and its a wonderful story.

Dr. Hudson's Secret Gorilla

Classic old school horror movie plot. Or old school bugs bunny cartoon either way .

. . . the World, as we Know't

I don't see the word Phlogiston used enough anymore. This story is a cautionary tale of a science experiment gone bad. Really, Really, horribly bad.

Green Brother

This is the first of two Native American centered stories. I much preferred the next one.

Mary Margaret Road Grader

Or Mad Max meets the county fair. This is a post apocalyptic story where Native American again rule the plains of the US, and they engage in tractor pulls.

"Save A Place in the Lifeboat for Me

Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, and others are sent to prevent "The day the music died." This was also one of my favorites perhaps because I've been to the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake IA many times.

Horror, We Got

You've got to love a time travel tale crossed with a Zionist conspiracy don't you? I loved this story.

Man-Mountain Gentian

Zen Sumo. 'nuff said.

God's Hooks

Izaak Walton goes fishing for a nightmare.

Heirs of the Perisphere

Another post apocalyptic tale. This time Mickey, Goofy, and Donald are the only survivors and they are trying to figure out why no one is coming to Disneyland.

I enjoyed this collection, but I've found I have a hard time getting into reading short fiction. I have a zone I get into in a book I really like, and short stories are over before I ever get to that point. Its much more of a chore to read short fiction for me. But taking that into account the writing itself is very good. Waldrop is very eclectic, and is certainly a master of the short story.

8 out of 10
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Stories? Definitely, August 11, 2001
The title does not lie. This is a collection of 12 outstanding stories. Each story is a tiny gem, a short 13-25 page story that makes a large impact.
Waldrop's stories have to be read to be believed. He is able to turn the mundane into the spectacular. Take 'Man Mountain Gentian' about sumo wrestlers with telekinetic powers. Or 'Heirs of the Perisphere' about intelligent Disney robots that are mistakenly activated years after humanity mysteriously disappeared. 'Mary Margaret Road-Grader' is a fascinating story about Native American Tractor pulls. World-Fantasy-Award winning story 'The Ugly Chickens' is about a possible rediscovery of the supposedly extinct Dodo. 'God's Hooks': a story about a fishing expedition for Leviathan and the consequences thereof.
There is not a bad story in this collection. Waldrop is a towering talent in the speculative fiction scene. Unfortunately most of his works are out-of-print. He's written a lot of stories but it takes an effort to track them down. Trust me, it's worth it. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whose Blues?, January 22, 2014
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This review is from: Howard Who?: Stories (Peapod Classics) (Paperback)
Howard Waldrop is the best writer you've never heard of. Thing is, where other writers become specialists -- mining a particular vein of obsessions in a single, recognizable tone of voice -- no two Waldrop stories are alike.

His scope is staggering. These stories, written between 1974 and 1983, invite us into the quest of 18th-century natural philosophers to isolate the atomic substance "phlogiston"; into a proud Native American society based on auto theft and tractor pulls; into a band of time-traveling Jewish terrorists; into a tournament for telekinetic sumo wrestlers; into a reunion concert for two of the world's greatest jazz musicians, Louis Armstrong and Dwight Eisenhower. And I haven't even mentioned that there are cowboys gunning for vampires, Izaak Walton as a 17th-century Captain Quint, robot simulacra of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy as the last survivors in a postapocalyptic landscape, and Groucho Marx as God.

If you love dazzlingly imaginative science fiction and fantasy writing, you must read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, most underappreciated writers, October 3, 2008
This review is from: Howard Who?: Stories (Peapod Classics) (Paperback)
I have been obsessed with Howard Waldrop for about fifteen years. The first three were spent trying to find his collections (this one especially) or locating a working copier so I could xerox any stories I located in the library. It was attempting to purchase "Howard Who?" and "Strange Monsters of the Recent Past" online that led me to become an Amazon.com member. Now I've got everything he's done up to a booklet containing two of his stories I bought from a gentleman in Austin. I found out recently that he was hospitalized for heart troubles. I don't know what his condition is now, but I would advise everyone to get as much of his work in your hands as you can before they go out of print again. And this is the best place to start, his first collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waldrop Rules!, June 8, 2008
By 
Michael Walsh (Baltimore, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Howard Who?: Stories (Peapod Classics) (Paperback)
One of the most eclectic writers in the Sf/F genre one can find. No Waldrop story is like any other story, or like any other Waldrop story for that matter.

If you haven't read Waldrop before, have you got a treat coming!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heirs..., June 4, 2004
By A Customer
First let me confess I have not read this book, not yet... You see I read Heirs of the Perisphere years ago when it was first published * ahem * in Playboy (Nothing risque in the writing, just well written.).
More memorable than the girl, I still remember passages today - must have been close to twenty years ago.
Mr Waldrop... Genius. Years ahead of his time. Great writer. I highly recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Getting Ideas from Howard Whom?, October 13, 2010
By 
David Nelson "mcwee" (Ann Arbor, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Howard Who?: Stories (Peapod Classics) (Paperback)
You've never heard of Howard Waldrop. The man's been pounding on his typewriter since before you were out of diapers, and even if you're a science fiction aficionado, you haven't heard of him. He's won the trifecta of major s/f awards -- Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy -- and "turns up monotonously on the shortlists for every major award in the field and most of the minor ones", as George R.R. Martin puts it, but you haven't a clue who he is. Fortunately, Small Beer Press is working tirelessly to remedy this shocking deficit in the American character; their Peapod Classic series is dedicated to putting influential, out-of-print, unjustifiably obscure titles back on shelves, and "Howard Who? Twelve Outstanding Stories of Speculative Fiction" is their most recent offering.

Why should you care that you've never heard of Waldrop? Because Waldrop's stories bend our brains open a little further. He writes with the plain grace of William Carlos Williams, but instead of giving us plums and red wheelbarrows, Waldrop offers "squid in the mouth" stories of time travel, alternate history, telekinesis, and Disney robots. In a field choked with derivative work, Waldrop doesn't write like anyone else, living or dead. He gives us the world not just as it should be, or could be, but as it cannot be. Unfortunately, by writing about the fantastic with a literary sensitivity to linguistic and narrative economy, Waldrop squarely lands in a no-man's-land genre often called "slipstream"; his stories are too literary to find a broad readership in the teeming mass-market aisles, and too damn weird to grace the pages of the New Yorker.

So, what do you get if you get "Howard Who?" The story not to miss is "Ike at the Mike," a tale of swapped celebrity that finds Elvis Presley a US Senator and Dwight Eisenhower a jazz clarinetist, and re-humanizes both pop-cultural heavyweights without straining credulity. But that's not all; you also get to find out how it actually ended for the dodos, and you get the real dirt on the time traveling International Jewish Conspiracy, and the telekinetic zen sumo world championship, plus you'll get Hitler taking credit for killing a post-WWI vampire, Laurel and Hardy in purgatory, and the best damn post-apocalyptic Native-American tractor-pull powwow in these United States. You get everything. You get more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining Collection, July 25, 2010
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This review is from: Howard Who?: Stories (Peapod Classics) (Paperback)
I especially liked the Ugly Chickens story. All in all it was a fast and interesting read. I recommend all of Howard's writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Horton Hears A Waldrop!, June 27, 2001
The problem with books likes this is that publishers always try to squeeze them into some kind of recognizable category. In this case, the usual well-worn descriptions of "fantasy" or "science fiction" were avoided, but only in favor of the ambiguous genre of "speculative fiction." It's still a rough fit for Waldrop. This guy has an imagination that defies imagination. All of these are true short stories, worthy of any contemporary analysis. "Ike At The Mike" is *the* best alternative history story I've ever read. "The Ugly Chickens" is nothing short of brilliant and startling in its examination of lost possibilities. "Heirs Of The Perisphere" is heartrending in its utter simplicity. Perhaps the best recommendation of all, I met Waldrop in San Antonio in 1988, and I was duely impressed by his genuine humility and straightforwardness. He wrote this on the title page of my copy: "Thanks for finding the book. Hope you enjoy it." I pass that recommendation on to you.
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Howard Who?: Stories (Peapod Classics)
Howard Who?: Stories (Peapod Classics) by Howard Waldrop (Paperback - August 1, 2006)
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