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George R.R. Martin announces Howard Waldrop’s H’ARD STARTS: The Early Waldrop




Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin has been building his fantasy world since the ’90s. And it’s ever-growing. Just like every sci-fi writer of the 70s, Martin too had a humble beginning, with his own little circle of like-minded friends who shared their expertise of sci-fi fantasy with him. Martin recently announced the launch of the book H’ARD STARTS: The Early Waldrop, a memoir of the early life of Howard Waldrop and a collection of his earliest stories, that also include how he met with Martin and the others.

Martin wrote on his blog Not A Blog:

“In the due course of time, the prozines started to take note as well. Howard’s first professional sale was a story called “Lunchbox,” which the legendary John W. Campbell Jr. bought for ANALOG a few weeks before he died. I made my first sale right around the same time, a story called “The Hero,” to GALAXY. Other sales followed, for both of us. Eventually both of us had published enough stories to publish collections. Howard called his HOWARD WHO?

But we knew.

He did not include everything in HOWARD WHO? though. He left out some of his early professional sales, and of course all those fanzine stories. Some of those had been published on ditto’ed fanzines that were fading more with every passing day, and were in danger of being lost to the ages.

We couldn’t have that. So I got together with my friend Bradley Denton (an amazing writer himself, author of BUDDY HOLLY IS ALIVE AND WELL ON GANYMEDE, which really needs to be a movie), and we put together a collection of Howard’s early work, most of it long out of print. We call it H’ARD STARTS: The Early Waldrop.

I’ve never edited an anthology that was more fun. We’ve got the Wanderer stories here, we’ve got Howard’s con reports (including his account of our first meeting), we’ve got “Lunchbox” and “Billy Big-Eyes” and “My Sweet Lady Jo,” and the never-before published “Davy Crockett Shoots the Moon,” a couple of plays he wrote in college, his essays for Crawdaddy (the one about the Flying Wing still moves me), even a sketch he wrote for Red Skelton, who did not buy it. (Imagine if he had, and Howard had gone on to a career writing comedy for television. That’s a truly Waldropian alternate world).

But there’s more than just fiction here. Brad sat down with Howard for days, and compiled an amazing set of interviews about the history of every one of these pieces. Howard’s recollections are not always accurate (I was there for some of them), but they are funny, and moving, and give us a peek into his own life, and the lost world we lived in during the 60s and 70s.”

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Each of the copies is signed by Waldrop, Denton, and Martin themselves and is available to pre-order on this page.

Read Next: George R.R. Martin’s ‘In The Lost Lands’ starring Milla Jovovich enters post-production


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