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Custer's Last Jump and Other Collaborations

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Story collaborations between cult figure Howard Waldrop and numerous other celebrated science fiction and fantasy writers are collected for the first time in this unique volume. 'One Horse Town' breathes fresh life into an ancient tale, combining elements from the sack of Troy, Homer's early days, the last day in the life of a Trojan warrior, and the archaeological dig at Story collaborations between cult figure Howard Waldrop and numerous other celebrated science fiction and fantasy writers are collected for the first time in this unique volume. 'One Horse Town' breathes fresh life into an ancient tale, combining elements from the sack of Troy, Homer's early days, the last day in the life of a Trojan warrior, and the archaeological dig at Troy. In 'Custer's Last Jump!' the legendary Crazy Horse uses Confederate monoplanes in his famous battle against General Custer. 'A Voice and Bitter Weeping' paints a grim post-nuclear age where Israeli mercenaries fight Texans in a never-ending, hopeless war. Mystery, intrigue, and treachery abound in the Heian Japan setting of 'The Latter Days of the Law', where a clever man must find a lost prince.


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Story collaborations between cult figure Howard Waldrop and numerous other celebrated science fiction and fantasy writers are collected for the first time in this unique volume. 'One Horse Town' breathes fresh life into an ancient tale, combining elements from the sack of Troy, Homer's early days, the last day in the life of a Trojan warrior, and the archaeological dig at Story collaborations between cult figure Howard Waldrop and numerous other celebrated science fiction and fantasy writers are collected for the first time in this unique volume. 'One Horse Town' breathes fresh life into an ancient tale, combining elements from the sack of Troy, Homer's early days, the last day in the life of a Trojan warrior, and the archaeological dig at Troy. In 'Custer's Last Jump!' the legendary Crazy Horse uses Confederate monoplanes in his famous battle against General Custer. 'A Voice and Bitter Weeping' paints a grim post-nuclear age where Israeli mercenaries fight Texans in a never-ending, hopeless war. Mystery, intrigue, and treachery abound in the Heian Japan setting of 'The Latter Days of the Law', where a clever man must find a lost prince.

30 review for Custer's Last Jump and Other Collaborations

  1. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    This is a collection of eight stories that Waldrop wrote in collaboration with five assorted other writers, a book in the tradition of Harlan Ellison's Partners in Wonder. Four of the stories are quite good and a couple of them are okay and the other two have none of those qualities. One Horse Town, a collaboration with Leigh Kennedy, is a terrific tale of Troy and the Horse and Schliemann and Homer and Cassandra. Custer's Last Jump, one of three stories in the book written with Steven Utley, is This is a collection of eight stories that Waldrop wrote in collaboration with five assorted other writers, a book in the tradition of Harlan Ellison's Partners in Wonder. Four of the stories are quite good and a couple of them are okay and the other two have none of those qualities. One Horse Town, a collaboration with Leigh Kennedy, is a terrific tale of Troy and the Horse and Schliemann and Homer and Cassandra. Custer's Last Jump, one of three stories in the book written with Steven Utley, is a classic alternate-history/steampunk explanation of powered military aircraft in the 19th century. A Voice and Bitter Weeping, written with Jake Saunders, is the short story upon which their terrific Texas-Israeli War novel was based. My favorite story in the book is Black as the Pit, from Pole to Pole, another collaboration with Utley. It takes liberal bits of Poe, Shelley, Burroughs, Lovecraft, and Farmer, and mixes them up most deftly into a good story. A third collaboration with Utley, Willow Beeman, was okay, as was a story with A.A. Jackson IV. The final two stories are collaborations with George R.R. Martin and Bruce Sterling. The one with Martin was rejected by every editor in the field of time until it appeared in the lowest-paying market of the time, and the collaboration with Sterling had never appeared anywhere until it was collected here. The Martin isn't terrible, just nothing much memorable or original about it, but the Sterling did nothing for me at all. One of the most enjoyable things about the book are the long introductions and afterwards by all of the authors involved, in which the stories and the collaborative process and the general state of the sf field of the time are discussed most honestly and amusingly. It's altogether a fun and fine book, with some good stories and a delightful Kelly Freas wraparound cover.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James

    Howard Waldrop is a proven master at writing witty, poignant and imaginative short fiction; here he shows that he is a masterful writing collaborator as well. The eight stories in this collection are in some ways quite diverse, yet in one way or another they all explore the struggle to survive under harrowing circumstances. At least three of these stories are widely acknowledged as classics, and deservedly so. "Custer's Last Jump," co-written with Steven Utley, uses faux book and magazine excerpt Howard Waldrop is a proven master at writing witty, poignant and imaginative short fiction; here he shows that he is a masterful writing collaborator as well. The eight stories in this collection are in some ways quite diverse, yet in one way or another they all explore the struggle to survive under harrowing circumstances. At least three of these stories are widely acknowledged as classics, and deservedly so. "Custer's Last Jump," co-written with Steven Utley, uses faux book and magazine excerpts to describe an incredibly detailed and moving alternate history of the American Civil War and the Indian Wars (fought with airplanes!) that is somehow still easy to follow; it's one of those stories you marvel at and think "how did they do that?" The same could be said of "Black as the Pit, from Pole to Pole,"(also with Utley) a tour-de-force which follows Frankenstein's monster through a series of hollow earth adventures based on the writings of Verne, Burroughs, Poe, Philip Jose Farmer, and Lovecraft, with even a nod to Herman Melville. Most writers would have needed a novel to tell this story which Waldrop and Utley successfully pull off in about 38 pages. The third major story is "One Horse Town,"(written with Leigh Kennedy) a powerful re-telling of the Fall of Troy and its echoes through time that haunt the young poet Homer and the archaeologist Schliemann during the dig that discovered the lost city's ruins. The other stories are also worthwhile. Set on a distant planet, the underrated "Men of Greywater Station" tells a tense, thrilling tale of an isolated manned research station under siege by an intelligent fungus that takes control of any living creature exposed to its spores. Howard's co-author George R.R. Martin has a low opinion of this story, and most reviewers tend to dismiss it as a simple pulp adventure. It certainly works on that level, but the story has deeper resonance because of eerie parallels between certain aspects of the story and the war in Vietnam (which was still ongoing when the story was written). "Sun's Up" (with A.A. Jackson) is a riveting scientific puzzle story where an A.I. on a spaceship must devise a desperate plan to save itself from a sun about to go supernova. The book also contains entertaining and informative essays by Waldrop and his collaborators about how the stories were written. Collaborations are tricky and not all writers do it well, but this book shows how to do it successfully. It doesn't get much better than this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steven Vaughan-Nichols

    More delightful Waldrop short stories. These are all collaborations, and for the most part they're quite good. That said, generally speaking I prefer his standalone stories. More delightful Waldrop short stories. These are all collaborations, and for the most part they're quite good. That said, generally speaking I prefer his standalone stories.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul F. Dame

    Re reading is rewarding for this unique SF fabulist who much deserves wider recognition

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Collaborations of mixed quality, but the title story is a masterpiece of alternative history/steampunkery(written with Steve Utley) Him and Steve also crank a story called I believe "Black as Pitch from Pole to Pole" a pastiche homage of Frankenstein,hollow earth theory, Journey to the center of the Earth, Moby Dick, Narrative of A Gordon Pym, E.R. Burroughs, and "At the Mountains of Madness"(if that list of books doesn't get you smiling I'm sorry) Collaborations of mixed quality, but the title story is a masterpiece of alternative history/steampunkery(written with Steve Utley) Him and Steve also crank a story called I believe "Black as Pitch from Pole to Pole" a pastiche homage of Frankenstein,hollow earth theory, Journey to the center of the Earth, Moby Dick, Narrative of A Gordon Pym, E.R. Burroughs, and "At the Mountains of Madness"(if that list of books doesn't get you smiling I'm sorry)

  6. 4 out of 5

    StevenF

  7. 4 out of 5

    Red Rook

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rod Pyle

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steven Farmer

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brian L.

  11. 5 out of 5

    John

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sheree

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lord Humungus

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris Blakeley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fraser Burnett

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bradley G.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brad Thompson

  20. 5 out of 5

    Graham Vingoe

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gaygeek

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lon Prater

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kbuxton

  25. 5 out of 5

    J Henderson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chw

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bill Reynolds

  28. 5 out of 5

    William Lexner

  29. 4 out of 5

    John Kenny

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anders

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