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I don't typically 'judge' authors or rate them on some kind of scale, but certain authors are remarkably consistent in the quality they produce. Each book they write is a pleasure to read and it seems unnecessary to 'check the flap' to determine if I want their current offering.
Some authors produce very good books that, for reasons quite unknown to me, do not support a second or third read. Some authors simply write rereadable books and some don't.
You now write in four different genres. SF is my personal delight and I reread your SF series most often; but I can reliably pick any of your books in any of the series and know, without a doubt, that I will again enjoy reading that story. - Gary York
re: 3rd World Products, Book 16 - Ed, until I met you at NecronmiCon, I was sure you were a lesbian writing under a man's name. If I hadn't met you, I'd be more convinced than ever. But did you have to make me an NIA agent? - VickyT
Ed note - Yes, milady. I needed that character and you fit the bill perfectly. Thanks!
re: 3rd World Products, Book 16 - Just a note: I emerged from reading your very compelling 'battle' with the psionic menace to find my wife staring at me. She said, "I've been talking to you. Did you not hear me at all? I finally figured out what you were reading must've been really good."
Congrats! One of your best-written scenes in all of your work, so far. - (one of my editors :)
re: 3rd World Products, Book 15 - Awesome read! Couldnít stop reading until I finished it. Just canít get enough of your stories. Keep them coming. - Michael S.
I have enjoyed your books greatly. Bought the download package for reading during post-surgical recuperation, and have read everything through twice. I've only read Heinlein, Asimov, and Chaim Potok twice, so you're in good company. - T. Rose
Happily munching through the 3rd World series, halfway through book 4 at the moment, has filled 6 hours on a train wonderfully. - Leslie S.
One of the reasons your books will long outlive you is that you understand women in general - better than any male writer I've ever read. You repeatedly demonstrate why any man with a brain values strength, conviction, intelligence, and honest passion in a female. More importantly, you convey the value of such qualities *to her*, and paint pictures of realistic, powerful women worth emulating.
Nevertheless, all the significant female characters in your stories are also prime meat. That trivializes those messages.
(Disagree. Some of today's powerful women are reasonably attractive or even beautiful. Somehow that doesn't hinder them much.)
Ever consider that there could be worthwhile story elements if an AI chose to prefer a female persona who isn't Ed's cuppa tea? - Beej
(No. There's more than enough drama in the world. When writing stops being fun, I'll stop writing.)
re: 3rd World Products, Book 4 - Thanks for writing such a damn good story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. -- Alan Schneider
Subject: Congrats, Ed... When I looked ('s 'Bestsellers' page), you were beating out Michael Crichton and Pamela Sargent. Yes, the same Mr. Crichton who's written such stories as Sphere, Timeline, Jurassic Park, and my favorite of his works, The Andromeda Strain. You weren't that far behind Anne McCaffrey either, and her name is much more recognizable. - A. Vincent
Interesting SF. Kind of a cross between Heinlein/McCaffery/Norton. Very good writing, some psi, good dialog, confident characters, and current topics/settings (on what I have read so far). Good stuff. Read it on my HP200lx and my Jornada 548. - Joe Buford
(from Author's Den page) re: 3rd World Products, Book 1
Comment by Linda Pierce: I received a copy of this ebook with my REB1100 and read it on a flight to London. It made me laugh out loud during the flight. I've since bought all of this author's books.
I was anxious to meet you too. (at DragonCon)
It has changed nothing in my opinion of you - except now I have a 3D picture and a voice/scent/aura to go with my initial (and predominately correct) impression of the person you are. You say what you mean, mean what you say, and I respect that. -- Jolie Howard
You definitely rate right up the with the big hitter authors. I enjoyed all of your books to date. I pretty much read them back to back nearly non-stop for several weeks while I was on vacation. I enjoyed the story lines, the characters and your unique (and somewhat twisted, hehe) outlook on life and the people you encounter. "Field Decision", "Kim", Anne" and "Dragonfly Run" would have to be my favourite ones. Of course closely followed by the "Third World Products" series. I found 3WP on FictionWise, which eventually led me to your website where I found a gold mine of entertaining stories. If I happen to end up the inspiration of a character, I would be quite honoured. ;-) -- Sonja
Ed note: this lady is a firefighter. See her page at:
Subject: COMMENT: Bitten & Smitten
Folks, if you haven't checked out this short story, you are missing a treat.
I really enjoyed the realism and it certainly had a twist !! - Patsy Gail Phillips
Very quick service, thanks! I get the impression you have a lot of fun with your writing. I'm enjoying your books immensely. My husband and several friends are Canadian ex-artillery. Your protagonists' characters ring true for me, especially the complete lack of patience with bull ;-) - Kim W.
What I have read of your work has been most enjoyable, and in my humble opinion you do seem to have a refreshing insight to life, free from the ambiguity and complexity that so many writers I have met recently have been bound up with. I wish you continued success. - Lydia S.
re: Florida visit, May'07...
You're just YOU. Smart, funny, enjoyable, annoying as hell, and like that.
Truthfully, a large part of why I liked being around you is all about me. I reacted and felt differently than around anyone else I've known. It was usually very self-educational, and even when it wasn't, it was entertaining. You're like visiting a foreign country. Part of your charm is attentiveness towards women you like that's respectful, and sometimes nicely 'warm', yet entirely devoid of 'little-woman-ism'. -- BJ
(Now I'll have to apply for diplomatic status. Thanks, BJ!)
Well, Ed, I just finished the last of your titles. It was the best money I've spent in a long time, an absolute bargain in terms of reading entertainment. Your storytelling is unique in that it revolves around real events turned quasi-fictional, and the dialogue and interactions keep things real and kept me involved with the story and characters (and wishing for my very own flitter). And you can quote me on that. Great job! --Dwight
Yeah, Ed, I know what you mean about potential lawsuits. I can tell there's lots of real personal detail in FIELD DECISION, KIM, and DRAGONFLY RUN because I was in Germany back then, too, and I remember the incident involved in FIELD DECISION.
I'm still working on ISTAG-1, but I love it so far. Keep writing! I'm enjoying them immensely. I even have the desire to fly ;) I'll wave in your general direction this weekend. Marie and I are headed to West Palm for SCUBA & much needed down time. - Kimmie P.
You write Awesome stories. Looking forward to more great works from you. Loyal Fan!! - Howard C
(General Comment re: writing style) Best answer I can come up with is that it 'feels' right when I read it. The progression is good, things get explained without being buried in detail, and some of the antics are downright humorous in their enactment.- Jim S
(From misc.writing newsgroup) I came out strongly against e-books a year ago, but since then I've changed my mind somewhat. The catalyst was Ed Howdershelt's works. wpenrose@...(William Penrose)
re: In Service to a Goddess, Book 1 - Dear Sir, I just wanted to tell you how fantastic I thought your story was. I guess I'm writing this because before, when reading a brilliant story like yours, it was difficult to give feedback to the author. Because of the 'net my response was able to be immediate.
The lead character's military background gave an additional dimension of interest to the story for me.
I'm currently an Officer Cadet at the Australian Defence Force Academy, so the parts on military experiences and skills was a big selling-point for me. I must say that I found it to be a truly interesting concept. Your character development is exceptional. I couldn't stop reading, to such an extent that I have spent this entire afternoon reading it from start to finish, putting aside work that I really should have done. I want to thank you for that experience. Yours Sincerely, Lachlan H.
I think "In Service to a Goddess" may be right up there with Robert A. Heinlein's "Glory Road," which I'm sure you realize is high praise. I might also place you in the company of Ralph Peters, except that he never mixes action with fantasy or with anything explicit (Odd that there's more sex in "women's" fiction than in "men's" fiction these days; ever see a graphic sex scene in anything by Tom Clancy or Dale Brown?). - Brantley
Ed: I bought a Rocket e-book from e-bay and your novel "3rd World Products, Inc. - Book 1" was loaded on it. I'm an SF fan, so it caught my attention right away. Stayed up 'til the wee hours that very night and read the whole thing. - G.Welliver
Wish you'd write more, I do enjoy your writing. - G.Hucks
(Jeez. I only take time off to eat, sleep, & play with the cat. - Ed.)
I hope you understand I have no reason to try to flatter you, but I really do like reading your books. I have plenty of other things I could be doing or reading, but I've read nothing but your material from start to finish, so that says something about it. You may only have started writing in 1997, but your material reads great, as if you've been writing all your life. - M. Cohen
Just wanted to tell you that I have enjoyed reading all of your works. This is my second time through the 3rd World Products books. - D. Morey
I really admire your ability as a story-teller; you really have a knack.
(re: Dragonfly Run) Did you stall the Taunus on purpose or was it an accident?
(Accident. It just stalled at a really bad time. - Ed.)
Your work hits me just right; I must admit I had no trouble accepting the "superwoman" fantasy in ISTAG1; the rest of the tale and its telling soon had me engrossed. And by-the-way, my personal philosophy toward my partner-woman is just like yours: I try to be a nice guy and PARTNER. As far as pleasure, I try for her enjoyment and that increases mine. Take Care, Gary N.
I was initially interested only in converting your books for the REB1200, primarily as a way of promoting the ebook reader and appreciated your cooperation. After reading your books I can say that it was a pleasure reading them. Thanks, Jeffrey Kraus-yao
Must say that your books are some of the most enjoyable ones that I have read. Waiting to hear more about Steph, Tiger and Elkor. - Sean
re: An Encounter in Atlanta - Ah-ha! Now I know your other books will be worth paying for. :-) - Ben L.
Ed, It's been long enough! I'm tired of waiting for more 3rd World Products stories! Tell your muse to get off her butt! (But I certainly hope she's got a cute little tush...or at least great legs...It helps!) Again, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed "Field Decision"! - Gary N.
(Answer: Okay, I dunnit! Another 3WP is out there! Stop yelling! - Ed.)
I loved Stardancer and my opinion after reading your other samples is revealed in the following Paypal order: - Phillip B. (He bought the All Titles package - Ed.)
Somebody in the newsgroups compared you to Heinlein. I'd hesitate to say that about any writer, but both of you tell a good yarn. You may also face the Elf Sternberg Dilemma: too much S-E-X (spelled with dashes so the censors won't catch it) for the sf fans, too much science for the pervs. I'm a scientific pervert, so that does not bother me. I read Stardancer first. It had me captive for most of the night. Third World Products was enjoyable to such extent that I found work interfering with my pleasure ;)
All in all it was a pleasure; thank you, Ed. - Kaye L.
re: 3rd World Products series - I liked it so much that I read it straight though and was still wanting more at the end. I love this series. - James M.
(Bought the All Titles package) Thought I might as well pig out. I read a couple of your books awhile ago and really enjoyed them. Those books - one was Mindy, the other was 3rd World Products Book 1 - were on my original rocket ebook (a pox on the pig that stole it). - Cathi Zak
Hope this doesn't go into some CIA profile on me or something...:)
What I like best...? Well, Anne and Mindy sort of bring back memories of younger/freer days...
DragonFly Run is more of the genre I'm used to reading (Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy) plus I was in the Army Security Agency, so I know how some of that stuff works too.
ISTAGxx is somewhere between Dragonfly Run and 3rd World Products, again with desirable young ladies and some sci-fi thrown in, but even for me (a non-sci-fi person), I enjoyed them.
3rd World Products was techie enough without being too techie, and had enough action and erotica to keep the interest... I guess overall the details, the technical side (espionage and other technical stuff), and enough sexual tension amongst the players to keep it flowing. Hope that's not too general...
As I wrote the rest of this, what went through my mind was how the character interacted with the various computers to keep building the 'level' the character could attain in 3rd World, and the way the computers were used to isolate the cause of the problems. I also liked the interaction with Stephie...
I can't think of any spots in anything that have read 'slow' to me.
Favorite characters, and why? geez... is this a high school English class?
I liked how Stephie interacted, and got more conversational as it went.
Mindy reminds me of someone who lives at my house...
Anne reminded me of the mother of a guitar student I had when I was a senior in high school.
Linda seemed very regimented, though very believable in context.
April seemed young and energetic, full of fun, open to experiences.
Sara was more toward the Linda side.
Ellen disappointed me when she bailed, but it made sense in the story line.
Hope this is what you were looking for. - D.Campbell wrote:
Dear Ed, I enjoyed your trenchant response on "internet-authors."
I respect your kaleidoscopic career, as delineated in the "Requisite Author's Bio". I admire your intrepid intellect. The world needs more like you! Best wishes, Louise U., PhD
* Oh, lordy, now I'm blushing. Thanks, Louise. I'll take fan mail any way I can get it, you know. I save the really good ones, too. (Fact is, I save 'em all if they're fan mail...)
* Too bad this wasn't a rave about one of my books; I'd ask to quote you on my "Comments" page. Might do that anyway, if you'll allow it.
* * Dear Ed, I would be honored. Thank you! Louise

Ed, I have to tell you - I read all your books in a little over 2 weeks! FANTASTIC is all I can say. Thanks for the reading adventures Ed. I stand in awe with the utmost respect, BG
Excerpt from Knowbetter Books review:
3rd World Products, Inc., Book I is called a "volume." Be warned. The story continues in Book II, Book III, Book IV (and so on). 3rd World Products, Inc. is an enjoyable and flowing read. Is Author Howdershelt creating a science fiction version of the Wheel of Time? Perhaps, but at least he's honest about it. Not to mention, he's a better writer (reviewer ducks to avoid brickbats tossed by Jordan fans).

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Author and staff in conference

"Pray that those with power have common sense
pray that those with common sense have power."

* Julia Sugarbaker *