Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world. Tuckitor’s Last Swim September 9, 2014 Tuckitor’s Last Swim Edith Cohn A hurricane is coming.
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If You Want a Monster to Hunt, You’ll Get It. Doctor Who: “Listen”
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The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
Mon
May 19 2014 11:05am

Hey, Conan Didn’t Become King By Just Punching Camels

King Conan Arnold Schwarzenegger 2015 movie posterSo, Conan might be back? Arnold Schwarzenegger first started rumbling about a sequel last summer, and since then Legend of Conan has gained some traction, talk of a trilogy, and this snazzy poster, which debuted at Cannes last week! The poster even has a release date of December 2015, because clearly what is best in life is going to watch a sword and sorcery epic immediately after Christmas dinner.

So far all we know is that the movie will pick up with an aging King Conan wanting to get back to his old skull-crushing glory days! Producer Chris Morgan “is hoping to do for Conan what he did for the Fast and the Furious franchise” which, honestly, we’re not sure what that means. The film is being written by Andrea Berloff, who previously worked with Oliver Stone on World Trade Center. How do we feel about a new Conan trilogy? Is there a role for Brigitte Nielsen? Will this be the break from Star Wars news that we’ll all want by 2015? 

Mon
Aug 19 2013 3:00pm

Advanced Readings in D&D: Gardner Fox

In “Advanced Readings in D&D,” Tor.com writers Tim Callahan and Mordicai Knode take a look at Gary Gygax’s favorite authors and reread one per week, in an effort to explore the origins of Dungeons & Dragons and see which of these sometimes-famous, sometimes-obscure authors are worth rereading today. Sometimes the posts will be conversations, while other times they will be solo reflections, but one thing is guaranteed: Appendix N will be written about, along with dungeons, and maybe dragons, and probably wizards, and sometimes robots, and, if you’re up for it, even more. Welcome to the eleventh post in the series, featuring Tim’s one-man look at a Kothar of the Magic Sword by Gardner Fox.

[Read More]

Mon
Jun 10 2013 12:00pm

Advanced Readings in D&D: Robert E. Howard

Weird Tales Red Nails Robert HowardWhen Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax published his now-classic Advanced D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide in 1979, he highlighted “Inspirational and Educational Reading” in a section marked “Appendix N.” Featuring the authors that most inspired Gygax to create the world’s first tabletop role-playing game, Appendix N has remained a useful reading list for sci-fi and fantasy fans of all ages.

In “Advanced Readings in D&D,” Tor.com writers Tim Callahan and Mordicai Knode take a look at Gygax’s favorite authors and reread one per week, in an effort to explore the origins of Dungeons & Dragons and see which of these sometimes-famous, sometimes-obscure authors are worth rereading today. Sometimes the posts will be conversations, while other times they will be solo reflections, but one thing is guaranteed: Appendix N will be written about, along with dungeons, and maybe dragons, and probably wizards, and sometimes robots, and, if you’re up for it, even more. Welcome to the first post in the series, featuring a look at a seminal story by Conan’s creator Robert E. Howard.

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 18 2013 9:00am

Talking With Tom: A Conversation Between Tom Doherty and Harriet McDougal

A conversation between Tom Doherty and Harriet McDougal Tor Books Wheel of Time Robert Jordan

Who better to interview a living legend than another living legend? “Talking with Tom” is the second installment of a new Tor.com series in which Tor publisher Tom Doherty chats with one of the many authors and industry icons whose careers he helped launch and shape.

Please enjoy this fascinating and wide-ranging conversation between Tom Doherty and Harriet McDougal, who collaborated for decades on many iconic science fiction and fantasy titles, including of course every novel in The Wheel of Time series. Tom and Harriet discussed Harriet’s work as an editor, her late husband’s career (including information about an as-yet unpublished fantasy novel by Jordan), the Wheel of Time’s famous artwork, and of course the recently released final installment in the series, A Memory of Light. Also present was Irene Gallo, Art Director for Tor Books.

[Read more]

Wed
Jan 9 2013 9:00am

Morning Roundup: Data is Fully Functional, Was Fully Terrifying

Star Trek: The Next Generation wardrobe and make-up screentests

Take the early wardrobe and make-up tests for Star Trek: The Next Generation, set them to creepy music, and let the scare times roll in. Brent Spiner has never looked shinier or more terrifying. (Like, literally he hasn’t. They thankfully toned down his look for the actual who.) Check out the full video here for more old school Next Generation. (via io9)

Your daily offsite links are programmed in multiple techniques. Highlights include:

  1. A monster-mash mash-up
  2. What is going on with the new Conan.
  3. Asteroids!

[Read more]

Wed
Oct 17 2012 6:00pm

Take That, Felix Baumgartner! Watch the World’s Shortest Free-Fall

Take That, Felix Baumgartner! Watch the World’s Shortest Free-Fall

Mankind, not content to merely jump from space to the surface of the Earth, also recently set the record for shortest free-fall during a stunt on a recent episode of Conan. Check out video below the cut.

[Read more]

Wed
Apr 25 2012 9:00am

Morning Roundup: Velociraptors Shafted by Mainstream Media. Again.

Velociraptor/Girls mashup by Best Week Ever

Just how upset should you be on a day-to-day basis about the death of the dinosaurs? If you were to hang out with us, we’d answer that question with “very.” If you aren’t sad about the dinosaurs being dead, there’s a chance you’re part of the problem. Best Week Ever agrees with us so much that they recently lost their cool about HBO’s new show Girls excluding raptors from mainstream media once again. Did everyone forget how smart raptors are? I mean, the man said “clever girl” for crying out loud. Didn’t HBO think “Clever girls” could have been a good tagline for this show, had it included raptors?

We continue to be confused. Your offsite links always travel in packs.

Highlights include:

  1. More on the real-life asteroid mining.
  2. Jim C. Hines poses like a man.
  3. What Palpatine’s face almost looked like.

[Read more]

Sun
Apr 1 2012 1:00pm

Sword and Sensibility: Conan Creator Robert E. Howard’s Lesser Known Collaboration

The most puzzling of Robert E. Howard’s manuscripts

At the time of his death in 1936, thirty-year-old Robert E. Howard had published hundreds of works of fiction across an astonishingly broad swath of genres. His voluminous output, according to Paul Herman of the Robert E. Howard Foundation, is estimated to have been “approximately 3.5 million words of fiction, poetry, letters and articles.” Among those millions of words were the iconic stories of Conan the Cimmerian, a character whose popularity has firmly established Howard’s reputation as the father of heroic fantasy, parallel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s place as father of epic fantasy.

But while Howard was an extraordinarily prolific writer, he was also a somewhat disorganized one and left behind a trunk of unpublished works. The so-called “Howard Trunk” contained thousands of typewritten pages by Howard. These abandoned stories and early drafts were collected and published in 2007 by The REH Foundation Press as The Last of the Trunk.

[One manuscript, however, baffled the Howard estate.]

Mon
Aug 22 2011 2:54pm

Hear The Lamentations Of The Audience: Conan The Barbarian

My late father was a massive Conan nerd; he had boxes and boxes of Conan comics, would hold court endlessly about how awesome Conan was to anyone who didn’t get out of the way fast enough, and took me to both of the movies in the 80s starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. (He was deeply impressed that I knew who James Earl Jones in the first, and Wilt Chamberlain and Grace Jones in the second, were already at the age of like 6). Until the very end, nothing was more sure to bring a smile to dad’s face than the line, “You killed my snake.” I hate to think how terribly disappointed the old boy would have been by the new Conan the Barbarian. It’s really not good. At all.

[Read more]

Fri
Aug 19 2011 2:21pm

Free Audio Adventures of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian Stories

Free Audio Adventures of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian StoriesArnold Schwarzenegger brought the Barbarian to the mainstream in 1982. Today, Jason Momoa brings the Barbarian back to the big screen in Conan the Barbarian.

But Conan is much more than a Hollywood icon; he is the legendary Cimmerian on a quest to conquer the pages of Robert E. Howard’s Conan of Cimmeria series. Now you can follow the amazing tales of Conan brought to life by narrator Todd McLaren. The series available through Tantor Audio has over twenty of Conan’s savage adventures.

[Free audio excerpts below]

Fri
Aug 19 2011 10:51am

Gigantic Mirth: Conan the Destroyer

Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired [badly wigged], sullen-eyed, looking mostly confused, sword in hand, [with] a thief, a reaver [former NBA star], and slayer Grace Jones, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet [and amazing jockstrap].

If you watch Conan the Destroyer back-to-back with Conan the Barbarian, it should take you less than five minutes to divine know how bad this movie is going to be. In the thirty years since I last saw it, I’d forgotten just how terrible it is. The Carmina-Burana-like “Anvil of Crom” theme that started the original has been replaced by a more upbeat adventure theme; the forging of a sword is now footage of horsemen wearing armor that looks suspiciously like armor from the first film; and we’ve been informed that Wilt Chamberlain is playing a role, and may be speaking lines. Things go rapidly downhill from there, and never recover.

[Read more]

Thu
Aug 18 2011 5:04pm

Gigantic Melancholies: Conan the Barbarian

This is the first of two reflections on the Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan films from the 1980s. (Check back tomorrow on Tor.com for the second one.) Both bear titles that reference the lines from Robert E. Howard’s first published Conan story, “The Phoenix on the Sword,” made famous as the epigraph to issues of Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian comic series: “Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.” We’ll get to the gigantic mirth soon enough with Conan the Destroyer. For now, we’ll focus on the gigantic melancholies of the first film, John Milius’s Conan the Barbarian, from 1982.

[Read more]

Thu
Aug 18 2011 3:00pm

The Creator of Conan, Part 3: Not Just Conan. What Robert E. Howard Wrote

Part three of a three part series. Check back at this link to read them all.

All considerations of talent and natural inclination aside, writing was important to Robert Howard for two reasons. Strictly controlled and home and resenting it, he couldn’t have lasted very long at any job where he had to obey someone else. Temperamentally, he had to be a freelance writer. After high school, he made a pact with his father, that his father would pay for him to take a bookkeeping course at a local business college. Afterwards, he had one year to prove he could make a living as a writer. Failing that, he’d have to become a bookkeeper, a career in which Robert would doubtless have gone stark raving mad very quickly.

Fortunately, he got to be a writer, but it was a near thing.

[Read more]

Wed
Aug 17 2011 3:00pm

The Creator of Conan, Part 2: The Death and Life of Robert E. Howard

Part two of a three part series. Check back at this link to read them all.

Robert E. Howard committed suicide at the age of thirty. While that no more sums up who he was and why he matters than it is adequate to say that William Shakespeare was a guy with a receding hairline, Howard’s self-destruction looms large in any consideration of him. Early on June 11, 1936, as his mother lay dying, Robert Howard asked the attendant nurse if she would ever recover consciousness and the nurse said gently, “No.” Howard then stepped outside and got into his car. No one present thought anything of this, because he made a daily run into town (Cross Plains, Texas) to pick up his mail. But then a shot rang out. Robert slumped over the steering wheel. He had shot himself above the right ear, the bullet passing out the other side of his head. He died eight hours later, without regaining consciousness. His mother died the next day.

[Read more]

Tue
Aug 16 2011 3:06pm

Robert E. Howard: The Creator of Conan

Weird Tales #20Part one of a three part series. Check back at this link to read them all.

Know, O Reader, that long before anybody thought of making a Conan movie, long before Arnold Schwarzenegger was born or Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian #1 appeared on the newstands, in 1932, to be precise, the world’s most famous Barbarian sprang to life in the pages of Weird Tales magazine under the byline of Robert E. Howard (1906-1936). Any suggestion that Conan is the work of many hands — some reference works will say “Robert E. Howard and others” is rather like saying Sherlock Holmes was created by “A. Conan Doyle and others.” No, there have been subsequent pastiches, reinterpretations, and movie adaptations, but the real, 100% bona fide Conan is Howard’s.

[Read why]

Wed
Aug 10 2011 3:02pm

Conan the Barbarian: First Time in Comic-Book Form!

Conan the Barbarian Marvel comicIt all began with an unassuming cover, from a Marvel comic called Chamber of Darkness #4, in the spring of 1970. A clash of grim Victoriana and mod fashions, the image on the front of that comic recalled the darker side of Edward Jekyll from Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novella and featured an ominous caption which read “And the Monster Man Came Walking – Walking – ”

But what was more important, perhaps passing unnoticed by the young readers who grabbed that 15-cent issue off the spinner rack at the local corner store, was the small yellow text box in the lower-left hand corner of that cover. “Also, in this incredible issue…” it read, “The Man who Owned the World” and “The Secret of the Silver Sword.”

That last title, odd for a horror comic, is the one that matters. It’s where Conan was born, at least in the pages of Marvel Comics. Readers didn’t realize it at the time. But that’s okay, because neither did the writer or the artist.

[Read more]

Tue
Jun 21 2011 12:24pm

New Conan Trailer Features Full-On Shirtless Action

To Game of Thrones fans, Jason Momoa is better known as Khal Drogo, the Dothraki leader. But now, he might be known by another name: Conan! Like he says in the trailer, how many names does he need? (The number of shirts he needs is apparently zero.) Complete with Ron Perlman, this bloodbath may end your summer on fun, if maybe a little cheesy note. What do you think of the new Barbarian?

Wed
May 4 2011 9:33pm

Conan 3D Trailer

Hrmmm...this might be one of those movies where 2:14 minutes is enough. What say you REH fans? Looking forward to, or dreading, this August 19th release?

Thu
Jan 6 2011 5:58pm

First Look at the Doug Wheatley Cover for Conan: The Road of Kings #5

Click for larger imageDark Horse Comics just sent along the finished cover for the upcoming issue #5 of Conan: The Road of Kings, adapted by Roy Thomas and drawn by Mike Hawthorne and John Lucas.

The cover artist depicting Conan’s forthcoming (and messy, judging from the angle) execution is longtime Conan and Star Wars artist Doug Wheatley. His portfolio is up for persual here.

Conan: The Road of Kings #5 comes out on April 20th, the first issue is on stands now. Thanks to Dark Horse for the sneak peek!