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Robert E. Howard

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  • #16
    James Atkinson?
    "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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    • #17
      I recently just finished The Hour of the Dragon. And just tonight I read The Tower of the Elephant. I'll be purchasing his Bran Mak Morn stories here soon.

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      • #18
        Ah those two are especially great tales!

        Howard was the bomb, no doubt about it, and IMHO the best writer the state of Texas ever produced.

        I love it because his material is so pure - written in the 30's before Tolkien put his stamp on fantastic fiction.

        Still hard to believe he wrote so much before dying at 30
        my sci-fi blog!

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        • #19
          It was Howard and the Conan stories that introduced me the world of S&S and eventually to Sf. Once had an argument with a high school English teacher. He saw me with a Conan pb leaving class one day and inquired about what I was reading o I lent it to him. When he returned it his comment was, "not a bad story but that's all there is to it." My reply was, "and what's wrong with something being just a good story?" which lead us to a 3 year discussion about reading in general. Him, being an English teacher, and the times being what they were, the early 70s, every thing had to have meaning and significance. To me, if you can't read it it ain't worth a hill of beans and so we argued for 3 years until I graduated. Don't know if I ever convinced him, know he never convinced me. Kind of hard to convince someone about the importance of a good read however when they've actually read Finnegan's Wake.

          herb
          herb

          Man spends his time on devising a more idiot proof computer. The universe spends its time devising bigger idiots. So far the universe is winning.

          http://www.wolfshead.net/wolfshowl


          http://www.wolfshead.net/books

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          • #20
            Presently listening to a Librivox recording of the Howard's Red Shadows
            "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Wolfshead View Post
              Kind of hard to convince someone about the importance of a good read however when they've actually read Finnegan's Wake.
              That is a fantastic line

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              • #22
                What disturbs me is the tenuous relationship between the lives of Robert E. Howard and Jack Kerouac. Their troubled relationships with their mothers, their compulsive writing, their deaths.

                Howard's writing depicted an intense and boundless, heroic, internal landscape, his need for fantasy, his tragic early suicide seemed a final rejection of an unbearable reality. Whilst, Kerouac's writing, depicted an intense and boundless, heroic, external landscape, formed from his mythologising of a sometimes gritty, even banal reality, his early alcohol soaked death an expression of existentialist despair.

                I know most of this relationship of fate, between the two writers, probably exists only in my own head and yet, they do form a sort pair of the mythical giants, Gog and Magog, of the great American writers.

                If I had to choose between barbarian heroes, then, the spe*d fuelled, Dean Moriarty (aka Neal Cassady), would just win over on the mead fuelled, Conan the Cimmerian, in my book. Probably owing to the fact that independent witnesses, as disparate as, Ken Kesey and Tom Wolfe, can testify to his, ice cool, take on reality. Plus, he could drive.
                Last edited by Pietro_Mercurios; 04-12-2009, 05:11 PM. Reason: Spelling and biographical background of semi-mythical character

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                  Oh hang on, I`m usually pretty good at this game.

                  Sean Connery was in Name of the Rose with Christian Slater
                  Christian Slater was in Murder in the First with Kevin Bacon
                  Kevin Bacon was in Flatliners with Oliver Platt
                  Oliver Platt was in Benny and June with Johnny Depp
                  Johnny Depp was in Pirates of the Caribbean with Jonathan Pryce
                  Jonathan Pryce was in Doctor Who: the Curse of Fatal Death with Rowan Atkinson.

                  (Mind you, it would have been so much easier to say Sean Connery was in Never Say Never Again with Rowan Atkinson, but it kind of defeats the point of the game when you leave Kevin Bacon out.)
                  "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
                  --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

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                  • #24
                    I used to refer to him as Sheen Born just for kicks.

                    Anyway, back to Robert E Howard.

                    December 08 saw the release of 'The Horror Stories of REH' (ISBN 9780345490209) which is a staggeringly good anthology. Don't think there's any Conan, but that'd be superfluous right? It does have plenty of Bran Mak Morn, a couple of Solomon Canes, and my personal fave 'Black Canaan'.
                    Black Canaan is simply awesome- the epitome of Howard's frantic, cloying xenophobia in the best Lovecraftian vein. It's terrifying, while at the same time completely erotic and revolting.

                    The complete Solomon Kane is available in a very cheap collection, 'The Right Hand of Doom' from Wordsworth Editions (don't have the ISBN) which is well worth a look. Excellent character, the cunning and ferocity of Conan tempered with Puritanical patience and zeal. Recommend this too (especially at its price which worked out at about $10 Australian).

                    Anyway Howard is a fantastic writer, despite frequent adherence to formula (and repetition- it's hard to recall Conan without the phrase 'pantherish thews' ) his ability to evoke a mood remains more or less unparalleled. Some of his poetry is really shockingly bad but nevertheless brings a tear to the unsuspecting eye. His writing has the power to quiet the soul and quicken the blood. His work is on the cusp of a pretty major (and perhaps timely) resurgence of recognition, and deservedly so.
                    sigpic

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by pilgermann View Post
                      I used to refer to him as Sheen Born just for kicks.

                      Anyway, back to Robert E Howard.

                      December 08 saw the release of 'The Horror Stories of REH' (ISBN 9780345490209) which is a staggeringly good anthology. Don't think there's any Conan, but that'd be superfluous right? It does have plenty of Bran Mak Morn, a couple of Solomon Canes, and my personal fave 'Black Canaan'.
                      Black Canaan is simply awesome- the epitome of Howard's frantic, cloying xenophobia in the best Lovecraftian vein. It's terrifying, while at the same time completely erotic and revolting.

                      The complete Solomon Kane is available in a very cheap collection, 'The Right Hand of Doom' from Wordsworth Editions (don't have the ISBN) which is well worth a look. Excellent character, the cunning and ferocity of Conan tempered with Puritanical patience and zeal. Recommend this too (especially at its price which worked out at about $10 Australian).

                      Anyway Howard is a fantastic writer, despite frequent adherence to formula (and repetition- it's hard to recall Conan without the phrase 'pantherish thews' ) his ability to evoke a mood remains more or less unparalleled. Some of his poetry is really shockingly bad but nevertheless brings a tear to the unsuspecting eye. His writing has the power to quiet the soul and quicken the blood. His work is on the cusp of a pretty major (and perhaps timely) resurgence of recognition, and deservedly so.
                      My only criticism for that release of REH's works is that it has Worms of the Earth, which has already been in print in the Bran Mak Morn stories and I think another one of REH's collected works. So that just completely wasted space in that collection when some of his other stuff could have gone into it. But, I do admit, it did have some nice artwork -- especially the first one

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                      • #26
                        Agreed, I skipped quite a few inc. the Solomon Kane stories for that reason. That said, the cover picture of SK musing over a 'vampire' is amazing...
                        sigpic

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by pilgermann View Post
                          (especially at its price which worked out at about $10 Australian).
                          Where did you find something like this for $10 AUD? I'm guessing somewhere else other than Australia.
                          Mutant Ill-Tempered Sea Bass Player

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                          • #28
                            it's part of the 'Wordsworth Editions' line from Peribo press, they also do a whole bunch of classics at around $6.95. They're just a really cheap, generally good quality imprint. The REH collection was part of the 'Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural' line which also includes some HPL, F. Marion Crawford, and a bunch of other cool stuff. Your local Dymocks should be able to order it for you

                            ps ISBN for the Solomon Kane is 9781840226119- currently at $12.95
                            sigpic

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                            • #29
                              Cheers for that. I recently picked up a Complete chronicles of Conan,though it's a bit hard to read on the train. It's kinda like holding 2 house bricks.
                              Mutant Ill-Tempered Sea Bass Player

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                              • #30
                                The original Conan stories are excellent, read them back in the 70's after being introduced to Conan in the marvel comic!! Favourite stories are probably The Frost Giant's Daughter, the Tower of the elephant and also Beyond the Black river.


                                , [Ok Emerson ...oot the motor !!!!

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