Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Podcast from Greywater

A million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I looked more or less like the guy in the picture there, (1972, actually), I took a train down from Chicago, where I was living and working at the time, to Kansas City. There, at the very first KC science fiction convention, MidAmericaCon (not to be confused with the later worldcon, MidAmericon), I met Howard Waldrop. H'ard and I had been corresponding for almost a decade, since the fall of 1963, when I bought a copy of BRAVE AND BOLD #28 from him for a quarter. But he lived in Texas, and I lived in New Jersey, and never the twain had met.

Till KC.

We were both fledgling sf writers at the time, each of us with a few short story sales under our belt. When we met, we did what fledgling writers often did in those days: we decided to write a story together. We actually left the Playboy Club atop the con hotel to begin it. (Probably just as well. Beers were real expensive up there, I recall -- a whole quarter).

We only wrote a few pages at the con, but we kept at it afterwards, sending the manuscript back and forth, until it was done. "Men of Greywater Station," we called it. Pretty much everybody in the field rejected it until it finally got to the lowest paying magazine, where it was purchased and, finally, published. The readers seemed to like it well enough.

Howard and I remain close friends to this day, but we never collaborated again. Our styles were just too different. But it was fun doing it once.

And now, all these years later, it's been done as a podcast by Starship Sofa:


Check it out for yourself. It's free, and I thought they did a nice job.


Tom Roughan
Jun. 11th, 2015 08:07 am (UTC)
Greywater Station. Is that the inspiration for Greywater Watch?
Kyle Larson
Jun. 11th, 2015 12:37 pm (UTC)
Looks great
Thank you for sharing this, George. It's inspiring to see a writer of your success and stature put a new light on work your readers may have overlooked. I look forward to reading it.
Jun. 11th, 2015 12:41 pm (UTC)
omg that picture though!!! Adorable. :) Sorry, totally OT-ish.
Jun. 11th, 2015 01:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'll check it out. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have podcasts, Facebook, etc., back in the 70's. I enjoyed the decade well enough though.
Jun. 11th, 2015 01:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this memory, I will be sure to check out the podcast when time permits.
Jun. 11th, 2015 03:20 pm (UTC)
Howard's Influence?
I'm not acquainted with Howard's work, but I read on wiki that his stories "combine elements such as alternate history, American popular culture, the American South...", so I'm wondering if his work had any influence when you wrote Fevre Dream? Either way I'm looking forward to checking out the podcast.
Jun. 11th, 2015 04:21 pm (UTC)
Fevre Dream doesn't have that gonzo flair to it, it's more a story of raw emotional intensity - I'm sure that's part of what GRRM means when he says his and Waldrop's styles are very different - but it's sho nuff a Waldrop-type premise. So I too wonder. I'm trying to imagine what it'd be like if Waldrop had written it, and all I can say is, "Wow." You'd lose a lot of what makes that book great, so I'm not regretting or criticizing GRRM's novel, but ... wow.
Michael J. Walsh
Jun. 12th, 2015 02:24 am (UTC)
Re: Howard's Influence?
Oh, are you in for a treat ... discovering Howard Waldrop!

There are 4 books worth tracking down:

Howard Who? - his first collection, includes the classic "The Ugly Chickens".

These two retrospective collections:
Things Will Never Be the Same: A Howard Waldrop Reader: Selected Short Fiction 1980-2005
Other Worlds, Better Lives: A Howard Waldrop Reader: Selected Long Fiction 1989-2003

(Some overlap with Howard Who?, but not much.)

And lastly, his most recent collection:
Horse of a Different Color: Stories

"Howard Waldrop doesn't have e-mail. He doesn't have a word processor. He doesn't surf the Internet. I guess that means he spends most of his time writing. From my point of view as a devoted Waldrop reader, I'm eternally grateful to the Luddite in him." – Janis Ian

(Yes, that Janis Ian)

Jun. 11th, 2015 06:20 pm (UTC)
Nice! I'm gonna check it out.

Do you and Howard get royalties or any compensation from StarShipSofa? Or is this in some kind of public domain?
Jun. 12th, 2015 08:20 am (UTC)
Copyright remains with the authors.
Jeremy Szal
Jun. 13th, 2015 01:42 am (UTC)
Indeed it does. We only take nonexclusive audio right (separate from print rights), which means that anyone is free to turn it into a podcast or narration afterwards (with George's consent, of course). But in our case, we need to be the first ones to do it.
Jun. 12th, 2015 02:24 am (UTC)
Your travels....
I have lived in New Mexico for the last 12 years and this is the first time I have heard Aland mentioned here. My mothers family are all immigrants from there and have lived there since the 1300s. Enjoy your visit to the archipelago. I am proud to hear you are going to my families home! Travel well and hope to see you back soon in Santa Fe.
Jun. 12th, 2015 07:06 am (UTC)
Reminiscing . . .
Your post left me feeling nostalgic just like your 'current mood.' I was born and raised in KC, and although I've been gone a long time (in fact, 1972 was the year I left), I guess I'm still a Kansas City girl at heart. KC was always a good town. It's lovely that one of my very favorite writers has a fond memory from there. Thanks, George, for the KC shoutout.
Jeremy Szal
Jun. 12th, 2015 09:05 pm (UTC)
StarShipSofa's Assistant Editor
Hello Ser George,
This is Jeremy, assistant editor of StarShipSofa here. Thank you so much for letting us use your story and host it on the show, it's truly an honour and a privilege to do so. As someone who started reading ASoIaF when I was 13, and the show when I was 15 (obviously I'm 20 now), I can't explain just how gratifying it was to be given the chance to work with your story and help adapt it to audio, especially now that it's the only place you can ever find it electronically. Thank you so much for giving StarShipSofa the privilege of having it. We're thrilled that you approve of the job we did. And for the offer to post the collection, too!

And interestingly enough, Nick Camm, the narrator for the story, is also an actor, and this year he's acting alongside Iain Glen.

But anyway, thank you again for giving us the green light, good Ser. We're very proud of it.

- Jeremy
Jun. 13th, 2015 01:47 am (UTC)
Helluva Picture/Helluva Fevred Dreamer
It took me two days to register on Live Journal (gotta love the internet) just to leave you this little message. First, WOW, I didn't even recognize the young man in that picture, I wonder if it's because of the missing cap? Thank you for sharing it with us. I also wanted to thank you for sharing the interesting tidbit about the writing of your story "Men of Greywater Station" with Howard Waldrop. Reading that name and the good memories it triggered for me is what lead me to register and write this lil' internet post to you.

Seeing the name Howard Waldrop........lead me to instantly think the phrase "A helluva writer, a helluva friend, and a fevered dreamer if ever there was one." Ok, well, I cheated a little and used my old, yellowed paperback version of Fevre Dream to confirm the EXACT wording, but I knew instantaneously that this was the person to whom you dedicated Fevre Dream. The good memories that name and remembered phrasing brought me has lead me here to thank you for it all.

I had peeked in to look for word of ASOIAF, TWOW, and anything of interest, and instead......the name Howard Waldrop reminded me of my teens and my youth, of a fevered, all night read of a novel, and of my gratitude to you for my LOVE OF BYRON, not Bryon. For all those memories, and for all the books, and for the fevred dreaming, I truly thank you.

As you wrestle with Young Kong and the internet, surrounded by puppies, just remember, there are many out there who are appreciative for both the work and for all it makes us feel.

Good Luck and Don't let the internet crazies get to you.
Thanks again and enjoy.

Edited to correct the name Byron, George Gordon, Lord Byron. I guess my spelling errors in the post show.....that I was a-roving, so late into the night ;)

Edited at 2015-06-13 09:51 pm (UTC)
Jun. 14th, 2015 02:36 am (UTC)
I've always wondered how co-authoring a story went for the writers involved -- I mean, who gets credit where, and so on. For example, in your co-authored novel "Windhaven", Wikipedia (what a source!) implies Lisa Tuttle mostly wrote the book, but the characterisations, descriptions, and dialogue sound, to me, as though you mostly wrote it, based on everything else I've read of yours (which is pretty much everything you've published). Plus, there are place names in the book used later in ASOIAF, such as the Iron Islands and the Eyrie, which I associate entirely with 'you'... and if Tuttle did help you come up with these, she today gets absolutely no credit at all for the names! I write [obviously unpublished] fiction of my own, and I can't imagine sharing any of it with another writer, not even one single line. And so I can't see a writing collaboration as being anything more than an experiment, something to *do* at a specific time, rather than something a writer might invest a part of their soul in... I imagine exchanging manuscripts, like you say, and then when my turn comes up, there I am, cringing at a turn the story has taken, and maybe even losing the desire to continue writing... Then again, I'm incredibly picky. So.
I just wonder, is all.
(Nice mustard turtleneck, by the way!)
Jun. 14th, 2015 07:13 pm (UTC)
Re: co-authoring
Every collaboration is different.

Lisa and I wrote the WINDHAVEN stories together. That was as complete a collaboration as I have ever done. We split the first drafts equally, but she revised my first drafts, and I revised all of her first drafts.
Jun. 15th, 2015 01:23 pm (UTC)
Listening and Watching
Thanks for the link. I have a hard time listening to recorded stories. I can't sit still without something in front of my face demanding my attention. I end up distracting myself with some task. In fact, I had to rewind this story a couple times because I 'forgot' to pay attention. The narration of the tale was really good. I worried at first that the Scottish accent would add another distraction, but it didn't. It was a good story. I liked the ending.

With the reawakening of Philae it made for a spacey-themed weekend (right up until I was plunged into medieval winter from watching GoT).

I also watched the first episode of BBC's Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell this weekend. I liked the novel ok, but had thought it a bit slow and slightly bland. The visuals seemed to spice it up. Or maybe it was just sped up. The TV Mr. Norrell feels like he climbed right off the pages of the book. They did good work casting him. The Gentleman with the Thistledown hair seems angrier than I had imagined him - but I suspect it's just the eyebrows. Our perceptions are such funny things.

Edited at 2015-06-15 01:23 pm (UTC)


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

Latest Month

April 2018


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner