Horse of a Different Color
Howard Waldrop's stories are keys to the secret world of the stories behind the stories . . . or perhaps stories between the known stories. From “The Wolfman of Alcatraz” to a horrifying Hansel and Gretel, from "The Bravest Girl I Ever Knew" to the Vancean richness of a "Frogskin Cap," this new collection is a wunderkammer of strangeness.
Waldrop (The Ugly Chickens) has long enjoyed a devoted readership, and this collection will help cement his place in the literary fantasy canon. His stories evoke many American nostalgia touchstones: vaudeville, early film stars, Alcatraz, the rural American South in summer. In Frogskin Cap, which takes place on Jack Vance s Dying Earth, one man who loves truth and science takes charge of what may be humanity s last great achievement. A fictitious Marx Brother relates the tale of master vaudevillians on an arcane quest in The Horse of a Different Color (That You Rode in On). The HMS Pinafore and the Pirate King square off on the high seas in Avast, Abaft! . The title character of The King of Where-I-Go wrestles with guilt for his sister s childhood polio before becoming her time-travel test subject. The punchy stories are reminiscent of Ray Bradbury, with the same feeling of occasional humor and something unsettling beneath the familiar.