H’ard Starts



H’ard Starts: The Early Waldrop by Howard Waldrop, edited by George R.R. Martin and Bradley Denton

Hardcover – Subterranean Press – Oct 2023 – 360 pages

World Fantasy Life Achievement Award winner Howard Waldrop’s career highlights include classic stories like “Night of the Cooters,” “Mary Margaret Road-Grader,” “Heirs of the Perisphere,” the Nebula-winning “The Ugly Chickens,” and dozens of other fantastic tales that have delighted readers for over fifty years.

But where did he come from?  Did Howard Waldrop spring forth fully formed, as if from the forehead of Zeus, with his first professional story in 1972?  Or were his origins more arcane, and perhaps messier?

H’ard Starts: The Early Waldrop answers these questions with over 100,000 words that reveal the genesis of an author now considered a National Treasure—including six fanzine stories and five professional stories that have never appeared in any other collection.

Here you’ll find long-lost Waldroppian gems such as:

  • Sword-and-sorcery adventures from 1960s fanzines, plus a hardboiled alien-fighter story first published (in an edition of twenty-five copies) by a nineteen-year-old Waldrop himself…
  • Howard’s two personal essays from Crawdaddy!, his first professional sale to Analog and previously uncollected stories of deep-space quests and time-travel tragedies…
  • Shocking reports from 1970s conventions and communes, describing twisted costume contests, magic-chili-fueled escapades, Howard’s first in-person meeting with pen-pal George R. R. Martin, and the bizarre screenplays of M.M. Moamrath…
  • And, finally, a sketch submitted to The Red Skelton Show (but rejected by CBS), two one-act plays, and a never-before-seen novelette, “Davy Crockett Shoots the Moon.”

Each of these four sections is introduced by part of a new 20,000-word interview in which Howard  reveals every secret (well, most of them) about how his career began, and spills the beans about the writers, editors, fans, and other real-or-imagined characters who were there at the start.

In short: If you’ve ever wondered how a legendary, one-of-a-kind author like Howard Waldrop emerged from the primordial soup—

H’ard Starts: The Early Waldrop is the prequel you’ve been waiting for.

Limited: 750 numbered hardcover copies, signed by Howard Waldrop, George R. R. Martin, and Bradley Denton



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