Archive for March, 2014

This is the first post for 2014 of the online version of Nemedian Dispatches. This feature previously appeared in the print journal and is now on the blog. On roughly a quarterly basis, Nemedian Dispatches will highlight new and upcoming appearances of Howard’s fiction in print, as well as Howard in other types of media.

In Print:

00-Web“Spears of Clontarf” Draft
With the 1,000-year anniversary of the historic Battle of Clontarf coming next month, and Howard’s interest in it, the REH Foundation Press is publishing a facsimile version of an early draft of “Spears of Clontarf.” In addition to the typescript, this slim volume includes Howard’s letter to publisher Harry Bates and an introduction by Rusty Burke. Cover art by John Watkiss. Order details can be found here.

Strange Detective Stories, Volume 5 Number 3
Adventure House’s latest pulp replica has not one, but two Howard stories in it: “The Tomb’s Secret” and “Fangs of Gold.” You can order your copy here.  Adventure House also recently published an issue of Fight Stories (December 1931), featuring Robert E. Howard’s Sailor Steve Costigan in “Circus Fists.”

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Fists of Iron, Round 2
This is the second volume of a four-volume series from the REH Foundation Press that presents the Collected Boxing Fiction of Robert E. Howard. This book features the first half of the collected Sailor Steve Costigan yarns and clocks in at 330 pages (plus introductory material). The volume is printed in hardback with dust jacket; the first printing is limited to 200 numbered copies. Cover art is by Tom Gianni. with an introduction by Mark Finn.  Other volumes will follow as their covers are completed. Be sure and order soon — this volume is going fast.

Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #7
This current issue is overflowing with action and swordplay, featuring the conclusion of the origin story of swordswoman Dark Agnes, Pictish king Bran Mak Morn clashing with an ancient sorcerer in “Men of the Shadows” Part 3, Breck Elkins takes on civilization with much blood an mayhem and Valeria the swashbuckling lady pirate star in a solo adventure drawn by the late, great John Buscema. Available from Things from Another World.

Cover SmallZombies from the Pulps!
TGR contributor and guest blogger Jeff Shank’s zombie anthology is available for Kindle, as well as being available in paperback. The volume is chock full of zombie stories from the pulps, including Robert E. Howard’s “Pigeons from Hell.” Other authors featured include H.P. Lovecraft, Henry S. Whitehead, Clark Ashton Smith, Seabury Quinn, August Derleth, E. Hoffmann Price and others.

Weird Tales, March 1935
Girasol has recently published a pulp replica of the March 1935 issue of Weird Tales featuring Conan in “Jewels of Gwahlur.” Conan is not on the cover, but it sports a really nice Brundage painting for “Clutching Hands of Death” by Harold Boyd. Order it directly from Girasol.

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With less than three months before this year’s Howard Days (June 13 – June 14), the schedule has just been posted over at the REHupa website. This year’s theme will be “Howard and History.” Being the prolific author that he was, Howard wrote in all arenas of history, including history woven from his own imagination. So it is only fitting that world renowned Howard editor and scholar Patrice Louinet, a man who has been so instrumental in bringing all this history to us, is the Guest of Honor for this year’s Howard Days.

So if you have not made plans to attend, it is not too late. Check out the link above for full details — meanwhile here is the summary schedule of events:

Howard Days 2014 Schedule Summay Version

Friday June 13th

8:30 am – 9:00 am: Coffee and donuts at the Pavilion, compliments of Project Pride

9:00 am – 4:00 pm: Robert E. Howard House Museum open to the public.

9:00 am – 4:00 pm: REH Postal Cancellation at Cross Plains Post Office

9:00 am – 11:00 am: Bus Tour of Cross Plains & Surrounding Areas

10:00 am – 5:00 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open

11:00 am: PANEL “In the Guise of Fiction”

Noon: Lunch hosted by Project Pride. Donations welcome.

10:00 am to 4:00 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap Meet

1:30 pm: PANEL Patrice Louinet, Guest of Honor

2:30 pm: PANEL Presentation of the REH Foundation 2013 Awards

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Silent Auction items available for viewing & bidding at Banquet site

6:30 pm: Robert E. Howard Celebration Banquet & Silent Auction at the Cross Plains Community Center.

9:00 pm: PANEL “Fists at the Ice House” (behind the Texas Taxidermy building on Main St.)

Afterward there will be some extemporaneous REH Poetry Reading at the Pavilion.

Saturday June 14th

9:00 am – 4:00 pm: Robert E. Howard House Museum open to the public.

9:00 am – 4:00 pm: BARBARIAN FESTIVAL at Treadway Park, 3 blocks west of REH House

10:00 am – 3:00 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open

10:30 am: PANEL “The Legend Continues:

10:00 am to 4:00 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap Meet

Lunch & Festival Activities at your leisure during the day.

2:00 pm: PANEL “Fists of Iron”

3:30 pm: PANEL “What’s Up with REH?” (at the Pavilion)

5:00 pm: Sunset BBQ at the Caddo Peak Ranch

NOTE: All panels at REH Days last about one hour and are held at the Library unless otherwise noted.

(The Robert E. Howard House Museum will be open again this year on Thursday June 12th from 2-4 pm. No docents on duty, but the Gift Shop is open.)

Howard Days Pre Registration: 

You do not have to pre-register to partake of the weekend’s festivities. All are welcome to attend, visit the House and enjoy all of the activities free of charge. Project Pride likes to pre-register folks primarily to get a head count of how many will be attending the Banquet on Friday night and the BBQ on Saturday night. All the panels, tours, Swap Meet, Pavilion activities etc. are presented at no cost. Your registration fee covers coffee & donuts Friday morning, lunch at the Pavilion Friday noon, the Friday Banquet and the Saturday BBQ.

The cost for pre-registration this year is only $15 per person. Please send your name(s) & address with a check or money order or register via PayPal: ProjPride@yahoo.com

Project Pride
Attn: REH Days 2013 Pre-registration
PO Box 534
Cross Plains, TX 76443

Please pre-register before June 6, 2014.

Update 3/24/2014:

There is a new blog devoted exclusively to Robert E. Howard Days. Keep up-to-date here.

PulpFest 2014

Howard Days 2014 is fast approaching, but there is another big summer event to look forward to— PulpFest 2014. The convention will happen August 7th through August 10th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio. This year’s themes include celebrating science fiction’s golden year of 1939 and 75 years of fantastic fiction. And right now you can cash in on an early bird special:

The Early Bird Catches the Pulp

Early-bird shopping will be returning to the PulpFest dealers’ room on Thursday, August 7th, from 6 PM until 10 PM.

For an additional $30 over your regular membership fee, you’ll be able to purchase early-bird privileges for an extra four hours of shopping.

But wait! There’s an even better deal!

To reward loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s substantial costs by staying three nights at our host hotel,

PulpFest is pleased to offer free early-bird privileges. That’s a very significant savings of $30!

Only staff, dealers, and early-bird shoppers will be allowed into the dealers’ room during Thursday evening, August 7th, to reward them for their terrific support.

So what are you waiting for?

Book your room at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, save thirty bucks, and get in on the action!

Go to this link and we’ll be waiting for you.

Every year PulpFest gets bigger and better. Here are just a few highlights of events scheduled for the pulp con to end all pulp cons:

PulpFest 2014 Programming

PulpFest is known for its great programming and the line-up that we’re planning for our 2014 convention is shaping up to be one of our best. As mentioned previously, we’ll be celebrating science fiction’s golden year of 1939 and seventy-five years of fantastic fiction, as well as eighty years of the shudder pulps, zeroing in on the weird-menace magazines of 1934.

As always, we’ll have a wide variety of panels and presentations, including a discussion of Famous Fantastic Mysteries  featuring Blood ‘N’ Thunder editor Ed Hulse and author Nathan Madison; Meteor House publisher Mike Croteau’s review of Philip José Farmer’s early science fiction stories for the pulps and digests; art historian David Saunders‘ presentation on John Newton Howitt, one of the leading cover artists for the weird-menace pulps; and preeminent pulp authority and author of The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage, Will Murray’s celebration of the diamond jubilee of The Avenger, the last of Street & Smith’s major pulp heroes to get his own magazine.

Of course, every year there is a large contingent of Howard fans to hang out with and there may even be a REH Foundation luncheon for everyone to gather and talk Howard.

More information and a preliminary schedule can be found here.

This entry filed under Collecting Howard, News.

1928 12-27 TV to HP 1

1928 12-27 TV to HP 2

Around the time the January 1929 issue of The Junto was making the rounds, certain members of that group were planning a get-together for after Christmas. On December 27, 1928, Truett Vinson sent Harold Preece the postcard above, and nearly 50 years later (in his essay “The Last Celt”) Preece described what happened next:

The time was Christmas week of 1928; the locale, a wooded ravine in Brown County. The central personage of that reunion was also Bob Howard, metamorphosing through a haze of booze and talk into Conan. Bob was in extra fine fettle on that mild night in an Ireland created ephemerally from Texas. His tongue had been whetted by the bottle of liquor he’d been able to pick up from a drugstore as a “medical prescription” during that hypocritical era of the Eighteenth Amendment. I can remember his bawling at the top of his voice a verse from an Irish revolutionary song, “The Rising of the Moon,” but which he rendered to the tune of that sentimental popular ballad, “Where the River Shannon Flows”:

“Oh tell me, Sean O’Farrell,
Where the gathering is to be.
At the old house by the river,
Sure ‘tis known to you and me.”

During that night, too, the talk turned to fairies and leprechauns and all those diminutive humanoids of Celtic legend. From Bob Howard, I heard for the first time some plausible explanation of the stories.

Besides the above conversation, there appears to have been a bit of discussion regarding the fairer sex, or so it seems from Preece’s January 6, 1929 letter to Smith:

I had a wonderful time with you fellows, one that I shall always remember; and I deeply appreciate the hospitality which you and your family extended to me.
[. . .]
That Rogers girl! I can’t forget her cold, yet siren, eyes. Verily, I would give whatever soul I may happen to have for a rendezvous with her. And I doubt not that she would slit your throat for a nickel.

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And while we don’t know if any of the group had actually seen the January Junto by then, there was almost certainly discussion of it. In that issue’s “The Commentary,” the controversy surrounding Vinson’s “Hell Bent” continued:

Bob Howard: About this Hell bent stuff: Truett Vinson ain’t goin’ with this A.M.Y. business because me and Truett are pards and we’re goin’ to Hell together, and we’ll be the best men there, by God.

Truett Vinson: Bob’s poem and article [“More Evidences” and “Hairy-Chested”] and Harold’s article [“Religion”] save this issue from being “dry rot.” A.M.Y. evidently thinks I want to be good only that I may see the “pearly gates”! What utter “hooey”! I prefer to deal with persons who sign their names to their opinions. Will A.M.Y. reveal himself or herself?

Besides the above, Harold Preece submitted “In Defense of A.M.Y.” which takes Juntite Roy McDonald to task for sinking to personal attacks in his assessment of “A.M.Y.” in the December mailing. And “A.M.Y.” him or herself also steps to the plate to refute McDonald’s argument, ending with this: “Through it all, I have retained an innate modesty and spirit of self-abasement. But now I cannot resist strutting a little. I have been called a damn fool by Roy W. McDonald, lawyer.”

Besides the “A.M.Y. business,” there’s also this comment on a piece by Bob Howard:

Lenore Preece: B.H., in his “Further Evidences of the Innate Divinity of Man,” is very much like a preacher: he presents alluring promises, but will not produce specific information. Why not go into detail? As for woman’s delight in torture, I confess I enjoy nothing more than a good reeking funeral, and I have, on several occasions, indulged in scientific experiments.

Of course, the comments aren’t the only items in the mailing. The issue also contains “The Destructive Critic,” verse by Harold Preece; a bit of autobiographical fiction, “Ambition in the Moonlight,” by Bob Howard; “Books and Things,” an article by Truett Vinson with discussion of John Brown’s Body, The Film Spectator, New Masses, and Upton Sinclair’s Boston; the next installment of “Confessions of a Virgin” by “H” (A Virgin); and “I Am the Destructive Critic,” verse by Lenore Preece.

And, unfortunately, that’s the last Mooney-edited issue of The Junto that we have. There is, however, some mention of other issues in the surviving correspondence. Preece’s February 23, 1929 letter to Smith: “I enjoyed your article in the last issue of The Junto, although it was pornographic in spots. Either Sinclair Lewis or H. L. Mencken has influenced you tremendously.” And the following, from a circa March 1929 letter from REH to Preece:

I haven’t heard from Booth lately. I liked Strachan’s  article in the latest Junto. The last I’ve seen, I mean. A naked negress is a rather fascinating study, when young and lissome. Truett’s article was about the best of its kind he’s written yet I think.

Clyde’s preparing a novel on college life, I think. It will sell I’m sure and will probably cause an upheaval. He’s gone to the roots of the college system in America.

Mooney’s tardiness in corresponding would soon spill over into his Junto activities and cause him to pass the publication on to another. We’ll have more on that next time.

[Go to Part 6.]