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Gabe Hudson Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Gork, the Teenage Dragon (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Dear Mr. President (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Gabe Hudson is an American writer best known for writing fiction, fantasy, and young adult novels. His first work was the critically acclaimed anthology of eight stories “Dear Mr. President”, first published in 2002. He lives in Seoul, South Korea where he teaches creative writing and chairs Underwood International College of Yonsei University’s Creative Writing Program. Prior to moving to South Korea, he was a professor at Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program between the years 2004 to 2007. “Dear Mr. President” his anthology has been highly successful being translated into over seven languages. The anthology won the Sue Kaufman Award for best first work from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The title also won the Hemingway/PEN Award, and was on GQ’s 10 Best Books of the Year. He has also written a fantasy fiction novel that made Buzzfeed’s 22 Exciting Books You Need to Read This Summer and Google Play’s Summer Reading list. For his writing prowess, Gabe Hudson was the recipient of Princeton University’s Hodder Fellowship, as well as being honored as one of Granta’s 20 Best of Young American novelists. He also won Brown University’s John Hawkes Prize in Fiction, and the University of Texas at Austin Adele Steiner Burleson Prize.

Hudson was born and grew up in Austin Texas. He would go to the University of Texas before he joined the United States Marine Reserves, before proceeding to Brown University for his MFA. He grew up in a very artistic household and spent much of his childhood playing the violin. His father who was a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas before he started working for the Chamber of Commerce, would read Moby Dick or Wallace to him for hours every night before he went to sleep. With a life that had little of pop culture or television, Gabe Hudson joined the Marines when he was 18 as an act of rebellion against his strict upbringing. Nonetheless, he had read Cormac MacCarthy’s “Blood Meridian” a lot in his childhood and was intrigued by its philosophical underpinnings that advocated following your heart. After leaving the Marines, he would publish in some journals before applying to MFA programs. He applied to Brown University, an artistic school because he believed that it would be the best fit for his subversive and rebellious nature. While he never intended to get into a writing career after leaving Brown University, he still kept in touch with one of McSweeney’s editors, Dave Eggers who encouraged him to publish something. A few weeks after moving to New York, he had a manuscript and a few weeks later an offer on the table from Knopf.

Gabe Hudson likes to call his writing as an opportunity for one to get to a state he describes as Leath. This is the half way state between alive and dead where people can easily travel between life and death, see with their eyes closed, and even change species or genders. The eight short stories in his first work “Dear Mr. President” are surreal stories about Gulf War veterans that are in the psychotic or leath like altered states. Hudson’s protagonists are antagonistic gang members and soldiers that have killed in Iraq, who are given to some supernatural cross-dressing. The stories demonstrate a focused and grounded combination of Kurt Vonnegut and Chuck Palaniuk, though they are set in a queasier quasi universe that is just as baffling as it is entertaining. As for his novel, it is an original take about dragons with a hilarious bent. Gabe writes of the life and times of a youthful scaly green dragon known as Gork the terrible. As opposed to your usual dragon tales that depict dragons as horrible creatures demanding maidens and hoarding treasure, and ultimately meeting their end at the hands of wisdom, magic, or bold knights, the novel is nothing like your conventional dragon tale. Gork and his friends are organic cybernetic robots that breathe fire and have scales and tails, but are mortal and have intelligence that is similar to that of their human counterparts.

Gabe Hudson’s first work “Dear Mr. President” is an anthology of short stories about the Gulf War. Everybody seems to experience the Gulf War a bit differently and hence it is fertile ground for the eight short narratives that make this anthology. The title narrative is a story about biological warfare and PTSD, as a soldier that had been to Iraq grows a third ear on his back after coming back home. “The Cure as I Found” it is a story about a Gulf War veteran whose cat is killed by a thug in his neighborhood, an event that surprisingly helps him find peace. “Cross Dresser” is written as a prisoner of war’s letter to his psychiatrist, in which he believes he is his thirteen-year-old daughter. By switching bodies with his daughter, he escapes his torment from the Iraqi War. The most complex and arguably the best story in the collection is “Notes From a Bunker Along Highway #8” that tells the story of a marine that deserts his platoon only to find himself trapped in a bunker with an unruly troop of monkeys. Demonstrating a fine ear for bureaucratic and military clichés, a macabre sense of humor, Hudson writes excellent narratives that will have you in uproarious laughter.

“Gork, the Teenage Dragon” is a coming to age novel, a fantasy and love story that shows the different side of a dragon. Gork is unlike any of the other trainee dragons of the WarWings Military academy having an occasional fainting problem, two-inch horns, and a gigantic heart. He has the lowest Will to Power Ranking of anyone in the academy, hence the nickname Weak Sauce. But on the eve of his graduation from high school, he is not going to let any of that prevent him from doing what he has been waiting to do the whole of his high school years – ask a female dragon to go to the homecoming dance with him. If she says yes to him, they can fly away to a distant planet to start new lives. If she says no, his life will be ruined as he will be sold into slavery. Vying for her attention with his fellow mates Multi-Dimensioners, Mutants, Nerds and Jocks, he encounters some hilarious and most interesting characters. Some of these include a healer that is a specialist in healing wounds with swords, Matheldra; a robot dragon with an obsession with death, Fribby; and a mad scientist that goes by the name Dr. Terrible. Will his huge heart guide him to attain his epic quest and arrive at his ultimate destination?

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