"The Wolf-man of Alcatraz" by Howard Waldrop: An Appreciation by Chris Barnes
That solidity doesn't lie just in the voice of the story, but in the details. The cell door isn't just a door, it's a Diebold vault door with a chrome-steel lock. The wolf-man, Bob Howlin (great name!), doesn’t just chew gum, he chews Beeman's Black Jack. Howlin's fascination with lunar astronomy is a masterful touch, and the reference to 17th Century fantasies about lunar voyagers is pure Waldrop. As is the unexpected and poignant ending.
Of course, that richness of detail doesn't come easily at all. It takes a formidable amount of research to get those details right; and Waldrop gets it right. Go check his facts and you'll see.
His stories continually impress not just with detail but with their variety of voices and settings. From the literate lycanthrope in Alcatraz to 50's doo-wop rock n' roll kids, from Isaac Walton angling for Leviathan to the WW2 teenage flying ace, each story covers new ground, and each one is a gem.
SCI FICTION published eight of Howard Waldrop's stories, six of them originals, and I believe there's still one more to come. I can't think of a better indication of SCI FICTION's quality than that. Thanks, Ellen. And thanks, Howard. Please keep the stories coming.
Link to story.