Wikipedia says of him, "His style is sometimes obscure or elliptical", which is unnecessarily tentative — a Waldrop story is a story that you either get or you don't. If you do get it, it's awesome.
His stories include:
- "The Ugly Chickens", in which a researcher discovers that the dodo survived the extinction of the native population in the form of a flock owned by a farmer in the American backwoods. Won the Nebula Award and the World Fantasy Award.
- "Night of the Cooters", in which one of the alien war machines from H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds goes off-course and lands in Texas instead of England.
- "Ike at the Mike", in which Elvis Presley is a senator and Dwight D. Eisenhower a famous musician.
- "Man Mountain Gentian", the tale of the world's greatest zen sumo wrestler.
Howard Waldrop's works include examples of:
- The Catfish: "God's Hooks!"
- Mistaken for Dog: In "The Ugly Chickens", the family raising the dodo flock think they're just a particularly ugly variety of chicken.
- Not So Extinct: "The Ugly Chickens"
- Richard Nixon, the Used Car Salesman: In "Ike at the Mike", Elvis Presley is a senator, and Dwight D. Eisenhower and George S. Patton are jazz musicians.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: "God's Hooks!", in the spirit of all stories about catching improbably large fish, ends with the fish not being caught, making the whole story pointless. (Assuming you think that the fish getting caught is the point.)
- Viewers Are Geniuses
- Zeppelins from Another World: "Custer's Last Jump" is presented as a historical article from an alternate timeline, describing a Battle of the Little Big Horn fought between biplanes piloted by Sioux warriors and George Armstrong Custer's airship-borne paratroopers.