Reading About Robert E. Howard
Jan11

Reading About Robert E. Howard

Reading About Robert E. Howard by Bill Ward It’s safe to say Robert E. Howard has passionate fans. And this passion goes beyond buying stacks of books and old comics and limited edition resin sculptures, beyond pilgrimages to Cross Plains or Valeria cosplay, beyond, even, mimeographing ‘zines in their basement or writing fiction inspired by Howard’s example. For you see, Howard’s fans have dared to set their...

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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”...

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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...

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The Return of Howard Days
Jun11

The Return of Howard Days

The yearly pilgrimage to Cross Plains, Texas to celebrate the life and legacy of the pulp era’s two-fisted Bard of the Blade, Robert E. Howard, is back after 2020’s shut down. Always held on the second weekend of June, Howard Days is a chance to trod the ground once walked by this Texas original, see his actual typescripts archived at the local library, and connect with fellow writers, artists, scholars, and uber-fans of...

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Free Conan Novel With Purchase
Apr02

Free Conan Novel With Purchase

While supplies last and Crom wills it, we are giving away a free Conan novel with any print purchase from our online store of $25 or more! Yes, you read that right! In years past we would have sold these novels as part of our amazing vintage book racks at Gen Con, but now you can get them a different way—for FREE! While you’re at it, make sure to check out the Robert E. Howard section of our Adventures in Fiction page. He’s an amazing...

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Sword and Planet as Blood and Thunder: Robert E. Howard’s Almuric
Feb19

Sword and Planet as Blood and Thunder: Robert E. Howard’s Almuric

Sword and Planet as Blood and Thunder: Robert E. Howard’s Almuric by Bill Ward “’Lead us to Yugga, Esau Ironhand!’ cried Than Swordswinger. ‘Lead us to Yagg, or lead us to Hell! We will stain the waters of Yogh with blood, and the Yagas will speak of us with shudders for ten thousand times a thousand years!’” —Almuric, Robert E. Howard Robert E. Howard is a member of that select group of authors...

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Short Sorcery: Robert E. Howard’s “The Tower of the Elephant”
Jan29

Short Sorcery: Robert E. Howard’s “The Tower of the Elephant”

Short Sorcery: Robert E. Howard’s “The Tower of the Elephant” by Bill Ward “Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” – Robert E. Howard, “The Tower of the Elephant” The above is one of the most famous lines Robert E. Howard ever wrote, and it occurs as a young, somewhat naive Conan is mocked by a group of city dwellers in the...

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The Great Debate: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard
Jan19

The Great Debate: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard

The Great Debate: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard  by Brian Murphy If you’re interested in taking a look under the hood of sword-and-sorcery and what makes it tick, a great place to start is the letters of Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft. Today these are readily available in a highly recommended two-volume set published by Hippocampus Press entitled A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and...

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Hyborian Age World Building
Jan15

Hyborian Age World Building

Hyborian Age World Building by Bill Ward Robert E. Howard, pioneer of sword & sorcery fiction, creator of Conan and Solomon Kane, author of scores of stories across half a dozen genres or more, is rightly praised as a master of pacing, a crafter of visceral action, and a writer of vivid and poetic prose. What often goes unremarked, even among his ardent fans, is Howard’s impressive achievement as a world-builder, namely in the...

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Amra Who? Inside Conan’s Secret Identity
Jan12

Amra Who? Inside Conan’s Secret Identity

Amra Who? Inside Conan’s Secret Identity by Bill Ward Quick trivia question: what is Conan holding in his hand when we are first introduced to the character? It’s not the bloody head of a Stygian priest or the becrimsoned blade that severed it. No, it’s a pen. Or, to be more accurate, a stylus – King Conan is improving the map of his Kingdom of Aquilonia when first we meet him in “The Phoenix on the Sword,” filling...

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