Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight - Bud Sparhawk

Our next Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight features Bud Sparhawk, who is displayed on card number 70, from the Walter Day Science Fiction Collection.   Bud is an avid short story writer who has several books to his credit.   His new book, Distant Seas, as well as his other novels are is available on Amazon.  Bud’s short stories have appeared in Analog Fact/Fiction and other markets.  His work is available in electronic formats.  You can read Bud’s blogs on the pain of writing at    A complete bibliography can be found at   Bud has won many awards for his work and has been honored amongst his peers in the writing community.  

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a trading card?

The only trading cards that were around when I was a kid were baseball players and you had to buy a wad of gum to get them, so NO, I never thought I would play baseball so that route seemed closed.

Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the trading Card?  If so, where?

The only public display was Walter’s at the 2017 Nebula.

When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?

I first met Walter at the 2016Nebula weekend.  Before that I became aware when Cat Rambo told me that Walter wanted information, so he could prepare do a card.

How early in your life did you know you would be a writer?

I’ve never known I would be a writer. A better description would be a scribbler who eventually began selling stories.  I always did well at writing in school and business but never thought of it as writing for money until the mid-seventies.

How has writing today changed from when you were younger?

In a word: COMPUTERS and the associated software/hardware tools that facilitate rapid development of an idea into a finished story. I was an early adopter and was eager to abandon mechanical typewriters, second sheets, white-out, and paste-over tape.  Realizing that word processors were MORE than electronic typewriters was a seminal moment of my writing life. The second revelation came upon electronic submissions instead of mailing (and getting returned) paper manuscripts.

If you did not become a writer, what would you be doing?

I’ve now retired from the business world and can write or not as I please, when I please.  While I was employed, I managed to squeeze a few hours of writing into my evenings, weekends, and occasionally, lunchtime. Now I squeeze a few hours into my busy retirement schedule instead.  I have a lot of fun writing a weekly blog on the pain and suffering of being an independent writer and the occasional joy of having an editor publish my work.

Are you still involved with writing today, and what role do you play?

See above.  I have also been, for the last ten years, the Treasurer/CFO of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which has been a nearly full-time job. I manage to eke out a dozen stories a year, half of which see publication.

What are your favorite type of books and why?

SFF of course.  I tend toward the grand ideas that make one think or to comedy, of which there is so little in the apocalyptic works that are so popular today.  The most important characteristic is a compelling story and if a book hasn’t grabbed me in the first fifty pages I abandon it.  I prefer more short works than novels.

What are your favorite hobbies today?

Writing and reading. It used to be sailing until I had to part with my darling Sparrow, a Belgian ETAP 23.

How has your involvement in the writing profession been important to you?

If nothing else it has kept me sane. (Others may dispute this claim.)

What does it take to be a professional writer today?

The ability to accept rejection and the strength of character to continue to speak with your own voice is essential.  A second source of income helps a lot.

What do you think about electronic books that you can download versus the actual physical hard copy?

E-books are a great boon to readers who can now carry entire libraries in their pockets and more affordably venture into works they ordinarily would not consider exploring.  The e-book bundles are an affordable innovation that also provides variety of styles and voices.                                               

What authors do you admire today and who did you look up to as a child? 

I came to SFF in the ‘50’s so fell into the pantheon of great writers as SFF emerged from its pulp roots to become a somewhat respected genre of literature. Many of the mid-fifties works have stood the test of time while others; well they were loved at the time but have thankfully were put aside as my tastes changed.

What are your favorite books past and present?

“The Stars My Destination” would be my oldest favorite, but the Terry Pratchett series is my most loved series.  When I started seriously writing SF I tried to emulate Keith Laumer, who incidentally preceded me in many of my AF assignments, or so the base librarians told me.

What do you see yourself doing in the next 10 years?

Composing for most of them and then decomposing for the rest.