Reading About Robert E. Howard
Jan22

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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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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Bran Mak Morn, The Doomed King
Jan08

Bran Mak Morn, The Doomed King

Bran Mak Morn, The Doomed King by Bill Ward Most new readers approach the work of Robert E. Howard from the perspective of his most famous creation, Conan. As is only natural, they tend to look at Howard’s other heroes in terms of their relation to the Cimmerian, and look for those elements that later make their way into the much more famous stories of the Hyborian age. Kull is perhaps the most well known ancestor of Conan for, after...

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Where to Start With Robert E. Howard
Jan01

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...

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