About Neal Barrett, Jr.

A Photograph of Author Neal Barrett, Jr.
Neal Barrett, Jr.
Born in 1929, award-winning Texas-based author Neal Barrett, Jr. has been writing fiction in a variety of modes and genres since 1959, when he made his first short story sales to Galaxy and Amazing magazines (the book A Different Vintage collects some of the best of Barrett's early work). Barrett has continuously published short fiction since that time, including three stories published in 2011 and a new stories published in 2013's Impossible Monsters and Rayguns Over Texas.

In the 1970's, Barrett became known for several science fiction/fantasy novels, culminating in the Aldair quartet, which was completed in the early 80's.
Barrett became even more widely known in the 80's for a series of successes in both long and short form, including the novels Through Darkest America, Dawn's Uncertain Light, and The Hereafter Gang and the shorter works "A Day at the Fair", "Ginny Sweethips' Flying Circus", and "Stairs". In the 90's and 00's, Barrett was prolific writing for the comics, including collaborations with Joe R. Lansdale and Andrew Vachss. He also turned his hand to crime fiction, creating the successful "Blues" and Wiley Moss novels. In the 90's and into 00's, Barrett continued writing an increasingly harder to pin down long and short works, including the short novel Piggs and the novels Interstate Dreams and The Prince of Christler-Coke. In the 00's, Barrett also wrote two well received fantasy novels that were marketed to a young adult audience.
Since at least the 1980's, Barrett has done a variety of "franchise" projects that many writers would consider work-for-hire, but which Barrett has always managed to treat like an artform--whether it's a Daniel Boone or Hardy Boys novel in the 80's, a Judge Dread or Babylon 5 novel in the 90's, or a Dungeon's and Dragons novel in the year 2000.
In 2010, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named him Author Emeritus. Circa 2012, Barrett continues to write, and is working on a collection from Subterranean Press called Other Seasons: The Best of Neal Barrett, Jr.. Not to be left behind in the digital revolution, Barrett has also been making several titles available as e-books.

Free Online Reading by Neal Barrett, Jr.

Biting Dog Publications has also made a FREE ebook version of the story "A Day at the Fair" available for a variety of devices. (Click through from the ebook's Biting Dog Page to the ebook platform of your choice, whereupon you should find it freely available.)

2010 SFWA Author Emeritus Award

In 2010, Neal Barrett, Jr. was inducted as a Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America Author Emeritus. Click through on that link for a very nice SFWA article summarizing Mr. Barrett's career to date, with some retrospective quotes from the author. Here is my favorite quote from the article, which points to one of the things I like about reading and collecting Neal Barrett, Jr.
"Like many professional writers, I’ve written westerns, mystery-suspense, horror, noir, air war stories, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, novelizations such as Judge Dredd, Barb Wire and Dungeons & Dragons,” he said. “One of my all-time favorite jobs is writing comic books–I think I’ve turned out over a thousand pages by now. That’s what writers do, you know–they often do what needs to be done. And I’ve found that a real pro puts everything he or she has into whatever project comes along. You name it. I can’t tell you how many names besides mine are out there over the work I’ve done for a series or special projects."
In addition to the main SFWA article, several other articles about Mr. Barrett came out in connection with the Author Emeritus designation:

Neal Barrett, Jr. News

Neal Barrett, Jr. 1929-2014

Neal Barrett, Jr. left this Earth on January 12, 2014, leaving behind loving family and friends, and also a tremendous body of work and a growing legion of fans. It's hard to find words. Here are some of Neal's: "If there's a galaxy far, far away, the guy I'm interested in is the guy just outside the space port selling hot dogs, not the kings and queens of space." To read one of the last things Neal wrote and published, click through to this rememberance of the day JFK was shot, published in the Austin Chronicle, Nov 22, 2013.

New Neal Barret Jr. Interview/Podcast

Internet radio host The Funky Werepig recently interviewed Neal Barrett Jr. You may download or stream the interview in MP3 format from this link. (Or search for 'Funky Werepig' podcasts on iTunes.)

Other Seasons Now Available!

Fifty years of Barrett in 560 pages! In time for holiday gift-giving, Subterranean Press has published Other Seasons: The Best of Neal Barrett, Jr.. This is a limited edition hardcover, 750 numbered copies, fully bound in cloth, signed by Neal. Great reading, great gift, solid collectible. Paul di Filippo's stellar review says it is a "generous, stimulating, mammoth compendium...a landmark volume, " with "singular, macabre, exultant, visionary storytelling." And it's only $40!

Pink Vodka Blues Released as an E-Book!

In September 2012, Crossroad Press released Pink Vodka Blues as an e-book. I suspect we'll be seeing more of the Blues series of books in digital form.

Hereafter Gang Audio Book!

An audio book version of The Hereafter Gang is now available at Audible.com, narrated by Chet Williamson, and published by Crossroad Press. This is an unabridged reading--11+ hours!.

Neal Barrett E-Books Available!

Check out the new Neal Barrett Jr. E-Books page, where we will keep up with all of Neal's digitally published books.

New Neal Barrett Short Story!

Free for reading online, Subterranean Online has published the short story "HERE and THERE," by Neal Barrett Jr.

Neal Barrett Jr. on Facebook

In-Print Books and E-Books

Aldair Book 1: Aldair in Albion

Aldair in Albion e-book
Biting Dog Publications ebook edition, with new introduction by Neal Barrett Jr.