The Second Occasional LoneStarCon Science Fiction
Convention and Chili Cook-off, Variously known as the 55th World Science
Fiction Convention and LoneStarCon 2, the 1997 Worldcon, To be held from
August 28th through September 1st, in the year 1997, in San Antonio,
Our Honored Master of
from LoneStarCon 2, the 1997 Worldcon Progess Report
#2, December 1995
ustin writer Neal Barrett, Jr.'s novels
and stories span the field from mystery/suspense, science fiction,
Westerns, historical novels, and young adult novels to "off-the-wall"
mainstream fiction. Reviewers have called his contributions to
publications such as OMNI and Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, "stories
that defy any catagory or convention."
In addition to his appearance in a number of magazines,
his work has been published in collections such as The Best of the West,
Razored Saddles, The New Frontier, The Best From Fantasy & Science
Fiction, Nebula Awards 24, OMNI:Best Science Fiction I, Asimov's Robots,
Dark at Heart, The King is Dead, Hardboiled, The Year's Best Science
Fiction (Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Tenth and Eleventh Annual Collections),
His novelette "Ginny Sweethips' Flying Circus" was a
finalist for both the Science Fiction Writers of America Nebula Award, and
the Hugo Award, for best novelette of the year. His short story, "Stairs",
received a Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. The New York Review of
Science Fiction named the story as "possibly the most all-out weird story
of the year".
Barrett has a habit of crossing genre lines with his
fiction. "Sallie C." from The Best of the West, and "Winter on the Belle
Fourche" from The New Frontier, were both chosen for Gardner Dozois' The
Year's Best Science Fiction. "Winter on the Belle Fourche" was named a
runner-up for the Best Western Short Story of the Year by the Western
Writers of America.
His 1986 novel, Through Darkest America, received
acclaim from readers and critics alike. Twilight Zone reviewer Edward
Bryant called it "a book of astonishing power...simply one of the best
books I've read this year".
His 1991 novel, The Hereafter Gang, was hailed by The
Washington Post as "one of the great American novels". American Book
Review said, "An abundance of everything the great American novel should
have, evocative style, memorable characters and, most of all, a unique
vision that will change the way the reader sees the everyday world..."
The author's 1992 mystery/suspense novel, Pink Vodka
Blues (St. Martin's Press), was optioned by producer David Brown and
purchased by Paramount Pictures. His second novel in this field, Dead Dog
Blues, was released by St. Martin's Press in 1994.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said of Pink
Vodka Blues, "Hits the ground running and never lets up...sharp,
irreverent humor and nonstop action make this a sure-fire winner..."
Booklist said of Dead Dog Blues, "Barrett... has hit
paydirt a second time, once again mixing a breezy, ironic narrative with
situations that are anything but funny. It's a roller-coaster ride to
hell, and the guy in the next seat is crackin' wise."
Barrett completed his third mystery/suspense, Skinny
Annie Blues, in the summer of 1995. This novel, first in the author's new
"Wiley Moss" series will be published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
in 1996 in conjunction with a national book tour. Kensington will also
publish the paperback editions of Pink Vodka Blues, Dead Dog Blues, and
Skinny Annie Blues. Barrett is currently at work on a second book in the
"Wiley Moss" series.
Slightly Off Center, a collection of eleven of
Barrettt's short stories and novelettes, was published in 1992. Locus
named this collection "One of the best of the year", and named a story
from the collection, "Four Times One", as one of the best short stories of
the year. Gardner Dozois chose the collection's one-act play, "The Last
Cardinal Bird in Tennessee", for his tenth annual, The Year's Best Science
Fiction, gave three more of the stories honorable mention and named the
collection itself one of the best of the year.
Barrett has been Guest of Honor at ArmadilloCon science
fiction convention in Austin, Texas, and in 1995 was Toastmaster at Texas
A&M's AggieCon. In late November of 1995 he will serve as Toastmaster
at SoonerCon in Oklahoma City, and in 1997 we will be proud to have him
serve as Toastmaster of the 55th World Science Fiction Convention in San