writer. Though he has authored several novels (The Texas-Israeli War: 1999
, Them Bones
, You Could Go Home Again
and The Search for Tom Purdue
) and one novella (A Dozen Tough Jobs
) he is best known for his somewhat eccentric short fiction, collected in Night of the Cooters
, All About Stange Monsters of the Recent Past
, Howard Who?
and most recently Going Home Again
. His story "Thirty Minutes Over Broadway!" was featured in the shared-world superhero anthology Wild Cards
One of Waldrop's favorite bits is to imagine an alternate history and have two famous individuals from history or literature meet there. What makes his stories different is that the famous people are rarely the ones you'd expect - picture, say, Thomas Wolfe and Fats Waller in a world where F.D.R. was never President, or Peter Lorre, Shemp Howard, and Zero Mostel trapped in Switzerland after the Nazis won World War II, working at a theater run by Bertolt Brecht's widow. Stuff like that.
Waldrop's breakthrough story is widely considered to be 1980's "The Ugly Chickens", which won the Nebula and World Fantasy awards, and was nominated for a Hugo.
My personal favorite is the incredible "El Castillo De La Perseverancia", which is like a medieval mystery play only featuring Mexican wrestlers. Second place to the novella "A Dozen Tough Jobs", a retelling of the twelve labors of Hercules set in rural Mississippi in the 1920s.