Where to Start With American Fantasy Series
May11

Where to Start With American Fantasy Series

Where to Start With American Fantasy Series by Bill Ward While J.R.R. Tolkien may be the most famous and ubiquitous of fantasy writers, introducing generations of readers the world over to fantasy fiction through The Hobbit and influencing the way such stories are forever told with his masterwork, The Lord of the Rings, American letters has perhaps contributed more profoundly to the development of the modern secondary world fantasy...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More