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All About Strange
Monsters of the Recent Past


Speaking of giant monster movies . . . suppose they all came true and happened at once. Would mankind stand a chance? Would human bravery and ingenuity save the day? Are you kidding?

From this cheerfully apocalyptic yarn, it’s obvious that Howard Waldrop has seen nearly every movie monster that stalked, stomped, slithered, or oozed across the silver screen in the 1950s. Having also at the time seen nearly every movie monster that etc., etc., I can state this with confidence. True, I didn’t notice a walk-on by the Killer Shrews, but I might have blinked. And there were a few sly references which I couldn’t nail down. Identifying all the movies referenced (not all of them with giant monsters) would be an interesting exercise for the reader, or for an academic type, though in the latter case the number of footnotes would probably triple the length of the text. The tale begins with the title character from one of the worst monster flicks from the 1950s, and ends with the overgrown things from one of the first and best of the breed.

Howard Waldrop was born in Mississippi, but has spent much of his life in Texas, where he currently resides. His novelet, “The Ugly Chickens,” won both the Nebula Award and the World Fantasy Award. Most of his output consists of short stories, written in a very individual style around striking ideas. His collections of short stories include Howard Who?, All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past, Night of the Cooters, Going Home Again, and the recent Horse of a Different Color. That last one’s still in print, so order it quick before you have to pay collector’s prices —not that it wouldn’t still be worth it.

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