Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts. The Devil in the Details July 2, 2014 The Devil in the Details Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald A Peter Crossman adventure. Little Knife June 26, 2014 Little Knife Leigh Bardugo A Ravkan folk tale. The Color of Paradox June 25, 2014 The Color of Paradox A.M. Dellamonica Ruin, spoil, or if necessary kill.
From The Blog
July 3, 2014
Gaming Roundup: Elite: Dangerous Gives You A Universe
Pritpaul Bains and Theresa DeLucci
July 3, 2014
Flintlocks and Freedom: Check Out these Revolutionary War Fantasies!
Leah Schnelbach
June 30, 2014
The YA Roundup: With News from the Capitol!
Kat Kennedy and Steph Sinclair
June 30, 2014
Queering SFF: Wrapping Up Pride Month Extravaganza (Redux)
Brit Mandelo
June 30, 2014
Change is in the Air on The Legend of Korra!
Mordicai Knode
Showing posts tagged: robert e. howard click to see more stuff tagged with robert e. howard
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? 

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,” 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]

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.]

Sep 8 2011 4:05pm

Dragon*Con 2011: The Fan Tracks

Dragon*Con 2011: The Fan TracksAs I said in part one of my Dragon*Con 2011 coverage, there is a lot to do at Dragon*Con. I never saw or heard an official number of attendees, but the number 65,000 was batted around by quite a few. With that many people, you cannot survive on large panels alone, no matter how many stars and ballrooms you have. Or at least, I’m glad Dragon*Con doesn’t try. No, there is quite a bit more to do, from the Exhibitors’ and Dealers’ halls, the Art Show and Artist Alley, the costume contests, the parade, and the gaming. Then there is what is for me the other half of Dragon*Con: the fan tracks. There are thirty-five fan tracks, not counting “Main Programming,” and while it is humanly impossible for me to cover or attend all of them, I did attend quite a few.

[No, they weren’t all in the Wheel of Time track!]

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]

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 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]

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]

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]

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]

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?

Apr 24 2011 12:58pm

Two From Weird Tales

John M. Ford and Robert E. Howard

TROY: The Movie
By John M. Ford

Originally published in Weird Tales, Spring 1994


The wind still blows from Hisarlik
Shaking the great white sign, four letters
In painted plywooden proclamation
That this is the City of Dreams:
The Place of the Epic, Where Heroes Lived
And sometimes Died. If you will cut
As Schliemann cut, guided by the tale,
Through the hill, the cities,
Ordering the setups and scenes into continuity,
What runs through the many-gated light
Of the fabulous Moviola
Will be not Homer not Virgil not Truth
But in its own way real
As anything in the darkness:
Popcorn and figs in the lobby,
Ladies remove your hats,
The lights go down—

[Read on]

Jan 19 2011 1:54pm

SFF and the Classical Past, Part 1—Atlantis

Ajax and Achilles dicing before battle. Attic black figure amphora, 6th century BCE.

Few of us realise how deep the roots of the classical past actually reach.

The written history of the Greeks doesn’t go back as far as that of say, Egypt. In fact, Herodotos, in the fifth century BC, thought that the Egyptians were the bees’ knees when it came to any number of things, the antiquity of their records among them. But the writings and art of the ancient Greeks—and their cultural emulators, inheritors, and adaptors, the Romans—have exercised an influence over European culture and imagination which is to all practical purposes unparalleled. Before the twentieth century, literature, art and architecture were saturated with classical allusions, and the so-called “classical education” was de rigueur. Even today, whether or not we realise it, we’re surrounded by classical references.

[Read more]

Oct 25 2010 5:03pm

12 Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks Who Made a Difference

OrcAs a teen, I was warped by reading swords and sorcery novels, painting miniature goblin and dwarf figurines, and collecting polyhedral dice. Twenty-five years later, I wrote the book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks to unearth the root of my attraction to tales of magical powers and heroic deeds. But one quest I didn’t get around to completing: making a list of fantasy and gaming’s all-time heroes.

Who is on the all-star team of fantasy authors? Which gods eternally lodge in the Valhalla of gaming (and by “gaming,” we don’t mean Texas Hold-Em, we mean Dungeons & Dragons). Who had the most influence on the genre?

I’ve given it a shot (listed here by year of birth). Several didn't make the cut. I have my biases. Of course, you’ll quibble over my selections. But isn’t that what these Top-Whatever lists are all about?

[Get out your 20-sided dice. Game on!]

Sep 15 2010 6:10pm

New Finder series graphic novel and Savage Sword preview

Our pals at Dark Horse Comics have given us a sneak peek at the powerful cover [Edit: by Esad Ribic] for Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #1, which drops on December 22, just in time to save your holidays from hordes of late shoppers barbarians.

Each eighty-page issue of Savage Sword will showcase the exploits of Howard’s heroes in new comic adventures and restored reprints of classic tales, featuring the work of industry legends and talent like Barry Windsor Smith (Conan), Paul Tobin (Spider-Man & the Secret Wars), Wellinton Alves (Nova), Marc Andreyko (Manhunter), Robert Atkins (G.I. Joe), Tim Bradstreet (Punisher), and more. The first issue also includes Roy Thomas, Tim Conrad, and Barry Windsor-Smith’s Savage Sword of Conan epic, “Worms of the Earth,” recolored and reprinted in its entirety.

[Get a peek at the newest installment in Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder series, too!]

Sep 18 2009 5:15pm

Coming Soon: Solomon Kane?

Solomon Kane premiered this week at the Toronto International Film Festival. From the trailer, it looks like a mish-mash of historical periods, brooding landscapes, and grim cloak and leather costuming.

[I suspect Robert E. Howard would have been proud.]

Feb 23 2009 3:24pm

Red Sonja vs. Red Sonya

Red Sonja 35th Anniversary poster by Jim Lee and Richard IsanoveAllow me to return to a topic I can’t seem to milk enough: the creations of Robert E. Howard.  This time around I’d like to discuss Red Sonja/Red Sonya.

Let’s start with Red Sonja, clearly the more popular of the two Reds.  Many fans of speculative literature and comics will have heard of her.  Red Sonja is probably the most famous “chick in chain mail.”  Originally created as a foil to Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, she is the flame-haired she-devil with a sword, one of the most feared and desired warrior-women of the Hyborian Age, who will lie with no man unless he first defeats her in fair combat.

This Red Sonja—who was the premiere archetype for the scantily clad, beautiful but deadly swordswoman; who has appeared in comics, B&W illustrated magazines, novels, her own movie, and other assorted venues; who seems like a logical female addition beside Howard’s other sword & sorcery creations of Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane, and Bran Mak Morn—was not created by Robert E. Howard.

[Read More About Big Red.]

Dec 29 2008 1:12pm

Illustrating Conan


Earlier, on, Douglas Cohen’s post “The Hidden Burden of an Icon: Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian” explored the popular perception of Howard’s work versus his actual writing. I have often wondered how difficult it must be for an artist to tackle a character so defined by Frank Frazetta’s visceral barbarian and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s monosyllabic warrior. Wandering Star and Del Rey have been publishing lavishly illustrated editions of Howard’s work over a number of years, and I asked four of the artists recently associated with the Cimmerian how they were able to make the character their own considering the weight of it’s visual history.

[Mark Schultz, Greg Manchess, Jim and Ruth Keegan, and Gary Gianni talk Conan below the cut.]

Dec 16 2008 2:56pm

The Pictish King: Robert E. Howard’s Bran Mak Morn

I thought I’d wrap up my recent mini-series about Robert E. Howard’s recurring sword & sorcery heroes by discussing the least renowned of the bunch, Bran Mak Morn. Like Conan & Kull, Bran Mak Morn is a barbarian king. But unlike these other two, Bran is not the usurping king of the most civilized nation in the world. Instead, he is the king of his own people, the savage remnants of the once proud Picts.

Like Howard’s other sword & sorcery heroes, Bran Mak Morn made his first appearance the magazine Weird Tales, in the November 1930 issue, with the story “Kings of the Night.” As it happens, this tale also features an appearance by King Kull, and would mark the sole crossover tale among any of Howard’s primary S&S heroes. In total, Bran Mak Morn would appear in two stories during Howard’s lifetime. If you include “The Dark Man” and “The Children of the Night”—a pair posthumous tales either about or concerning Bran Mak Morn some years after Bran’s death—that brings the total to four. If you’ve read my other articles on Howard’s creations, it should come as no surprise that in the decades following Howard’s suicide, a host of unpublished materials about Bran found their way into print.

[Read More...]

Dec 11 2008 11:26am

The Tortured Soul: Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane

The character of Solomon Kane is another one of Robert E. Howard’s seminal sword & sorcery creations.  Unlike Conan and Kull—two of Howard’s creations I’ve discussed in recent posts—Solomon Kane is neither barbarian nor king.  Instead, he’s a Puritan adventurer traveling through Europe and Africa during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.  Armed with his sword and pistols, he battles wickedness in the name of God wherever he encounters it.  Sometimes this means fighting common brigands and pirates, and other times it means pitting his wits and brawn against black sorcery.  He is a bit like Marvel’s Punisher, in that whenever possible Kane deals out death to those he considers evil.  The main difference between them in terms of psychology is that Kane believes he’s doing God’s work.  Kane always strives to do good as he sees fit.  The wonderful twist to this avenging angel of goodness is that Howard makes it abundantly clear that Solomon Kane is a functioning madman.

[Read more...]