Classic Covers: Frank Frazetta’s Lancer/Ace Conans
Jun10

Classic Covers: Frank Frazetta’s Lancer/Ace Conans

Second only to Robert E. Howard in importance in the development of the perception of Conan, Frank Frazetta’s explosively elemental take on the Cimmerian achieved instant cultural cache and has become the defining image not only of Howard’s most famous creation, but of the barbaric hinterlands of fantasy fiction itself. Frazetta’s frenzied depictions of havoc and battle, his iron-muscled killers taut with violent...

Read More
Dehumanizing Violence and Compassion in Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails”
Jun07

Dehumanizing Violence and Compassion in Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails”

Goodman Games and Tales From the Magician’s Skull are honored to report that this essay by Jason Ray Carney, Dehumanizing Violence and Compassion in Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails,” has been nominated for a 2022 Robert E. Howard Award in the category of Outstanding Achievement, Essay — otherwise known as The Hyrkanian! The Robert E. Howard Awards 2022 will be presented this weekend, June 10 at Howard Days...

Read More
A Look at Caveman Stories
Jun03

A Look at Caveman Stories

Caveman Stories by Fletcher Vredenburgh That Robert E. Howard’s first professionally published story, “Spear and Fang,” was a caveman story should mean something to the history of heroic fiction and sword & sorcery itself. Perhaps, because it’s not a very good story, it never had the effect a better one might have. But I’m not totally sure; teenage Robert E. Howard already had a sure grasp of the elements that hook a reader...

Read More
My Favorite Solomon Kane Tale: “Wings in the Night”
Jan28

My Favorite Solomon Kane Tale: “Wings in the Night”

My Favorite Solomon Kane Tale: “Wings in the Night” by Robert E. Howard by Fletcher Vredenburgh “Wings in the Night” (1932), is one of Solomon Kane’s, Robert E. Howard’s swashbuckling Puritan, African adventures. In the face of darkness, he sees himself as Satan’s implacable foe.  Kane’s a dour man, dedicated wholly to defeating evil and meting out justice. In two separate stories, he spends years hunting for the killers of...

Read More
Classic Covers: The Savage Sword of Conan
Jan25

Classic Covers: The Savage Sword of Conan

How do you skirt a restrictive comics code and make visual Conan stories with the requisite blood-pumping grittiness that is integral to Howard’s adventures? You make a magazine of course! Already popular in his initial comic book incarnation of Conan the Barbarian, Marvel introduced the more adult-oriented The Savage Sword of Conan in 1974, quickly achieving a wide circulation and, thanks to writer and editor Roy Thomas’...

Read More
Films of High Adventure: Robert E. Howard
Jan24

Films of High Adventure: Robert E. Howard

The Films of High Adventure series examines the impact that the authors of Appendix N have had on the world at large. Be sure to check out the entire series, as we present the following article in celebration of the birthday of Robert E. Howard. Films of High Adventure: Robert E Howard by Bob Brinkman The wonderful thing about Appendix N is that the authors’ work often leapt off the page and into other mediums – such as film...

Read More
The Best Of The Conan Pastiche Novels
Jan23

The Best Of The Conan Pastiche Novels

The Best Of The Conan Pastiche Novels by Howard Andrew Jones If I didn’t love the writing of Robert E. Howard I would probably never have bothered with any Conan pastiche. As a matter of fact, those Conan novels on store shelves in the ’70s and ’80s made me so skeptical of Conan that I didn’t try Robert E. Howard’s fiction until years later. I wrongly assumed that because the series looked cheap and...

Read More
Adventures in Fiction: Robert E. Howard
Jan22

Adventures in Fiction: Robert E. Howard

Our Appendix N Archeology and Adventures in Fiction series are meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby but our lives. We invite you to explore the entirety of the series on our Adventures In Fiction home page. There may not be a more iconic character in fantasy—and particularly sword and sorcery—fiction than Conan the Barbarian. From...

Read More
Where to Start With Robert E. Howard
Jan14

Where to Start With Robert E. Howard

Where to Start With Robert E. Howard by Bill Ward Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) was a giant and a father to giants, his literary creations so potent that they have informed popular culture and permeated mass consciousness down to the present day. But their very ubiquity can obscure and deceive – if two people strike up a conversation about Conan, are they actually talking about the same Conan? What’s going on with all of these...

Read More
Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season
Oct08

Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season

Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season by Brian Murphy On a blog such as this, I doubt I’m alone in my irrational love of Halloween, a holiday for me that, more than Thanksgiving or Christmas, evokes a Ray Bradbury-like level of nostalgia and anticipation. Here in New England, I find that as the leaves begin to turn and October shadows lengthen, so too do my thoughts drift from my natural sword-and-sorcery bent toward the...

Read More
Dehumanizing Violence and Compassion in Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails”
Aug24

Dehumanizing Violence and Compassion in Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails”

Dehumanizing Violence and Compassion in Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails” by Jason Ray Carney Robert E. Howard’s sword and sorcery tale “Red Nails,” published as a three-part serial in Weird Tales in 1936, tells the story of the city of Xuchotl, the enduring, blood-soaked war between the Tecuhltli and the Xotalanc, and the dehumanizing effect of sustained hatred and violence. “Red Nails”...

Read More
Classic Covers: The Weird Tales Conan Covers of Margaret Brundage
Aug20

Classic Covers: The Weird Tales Conan Covers of Margaret Brundage

We all know what Conan looks like—ferociously muscled, scowling, a barely-contained dynamo of steel-hard flesh and savage energy. It can come as a bit of a shock, then, for those of us in the post-Frazetta, post-Savage Sword, post-Schwarzenegger era to meet Conan in his earliest depictions on the covers of Weird Tales magazine. Howard sold seventeen Conan stories to Weird Tales, the character appearing in twenty-five issues and making...

Read More