Archive for the 'News' Category

From TGR guest blogger Jeff Shanks is the latest on the index to The Collected Letters, which will be available from Amazon in a day or two. Clocking in at 212 pages, the index contains more than dozen letters that weren’t published in the original three volume set. Here are the specs:

The Robert E. Howard Foundation Press is proud to present this long-awaited index to the three-volume TheCollected Letters of Robert E. Howard. Compiled by Bobby Derie, author of Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos, with a foreword and annotations by Howard scholar Jeffrey Shanks, this important reference work provides a much-needed tool for researchers studing the correspondence of the father of sword and sorcery and the creator of Conan the Cimmerian. Also, included are seventeen letters by Howard newly discovered since the publication of TheCollected Letters, including several drafts of letters to H. P. Lovecraft. This index is a must-have for fans and scholars wishing to explore the fascinating epistolary corpus of one of the greatest fantasy adventure writers of the 20th century.

01/08/2015 Update: Now available from Amazon.com and the REH Foundation Press.

Fists_3_coverWith the jack-o-lantern rotting on the front porch and a half-finished list of items needed for Thanksgiving dinner in a kitchen drawer, the bombardment of Christmas sales and advertisements that unmercifully pound our senses has begun. In this tempest of holiday commercialism, where there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, there is solace within the pages of a spate of new Howard books and publications to calm one’s shattered and battered nerves. This year end publishing surge is a well-deserved reward for having survived yet another year of living on a planet that is seemingly coming apart at the seams. Escapism is the watchword for these troubled times, so let’s see what is on the reading menu for the waning weeks of 2014.

Now shipping is the third volume of the collected boxing stories of Robert E. Howard, Fists of Iron, Round 3. The volume is a smorgasbord of Costigan misadventures. If you are not onboard with the boxing stories, it is not too late. Volumes one and two are still available on the Robert E. Howard Foundation website. While you are there, check out the Membership details; being a member of the foundation is a great way to support REH, get discounts on books, the quarterly newsletter and some free swag to boot!

girasol-WeirdTales-September1934Neil Meacham over at Girasol Collectibles has been making many a Howard fan happy with the flurry of Weird Tales replicas featuring Conan stories he has been publishing the past months. The latest is one of Two-Gun’s best Conan yarns, “The People of the Black Circle.” Part one of the three part serial originally published in the September 1934, with a Brundage cover based on the story was published last month by Girasol, part two this month and part three will appear next month. It is really great to read Howard as he was originally published.

Also available from the Cimmerian Press is John D. Haefele’s A Look Behind the Derleth Mythos: Origins of the Cthulhu Mythos. This is the first volume from Leo Grin’s new publishing venture. The Cimmerian Press falls under the umbrella of LMG Books. Check out the website for more information. I am very please to see Leo get back in the publishing game. His The Cimmerian journal was far and away one of the best Howard zines ever, second only to Glenn Lord’s The Howard Collector

Swords-smSwords of the North from the REH Foundation Press is shipping next month. The book is one that the late, great Steve Tompkins dreamed of, what he called “The Northern Thing.” The volume is a comprehensive collection of all Howard’s “Northern Adventures,” featuring Cormac mac Art, Turlogh O’Brien, James Allison, and a number of other stories and poems. In a perfect world, this would have been the twelfth volume of the Del Rey series of Howard books.

A new volume from McFarland might be of interest to Howard fans: J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy by Deke Parsons, edited by Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III. Per the website “The birth of modern fantasy in 1930s Britain and America saw the development of new literary and film genres. J.R.R. Tolkien created modern fantasy with The Lord of the Rings, set in a fictional world based upon his life in the early 20th century British Empire, and his love of language and medieval literature. In small-town Texas, Robert E. Howard pounded out his own fantasy realm in his Conan stories, published serially in the ephemeral pulp magazines he loved . . . ”

With Christmas coming, any or all of the above items would make great additions to your collection or gifts for other Howard fans, provided they haven’t been naughty and reading Conan pastiches.

Fists_3_cover

Okay boys and girls, time to start flipping couch cushions and looking for those wayward pazoors because the newest offering from the REH Foundation Press is on the way. Coming soon is the third of four volumes of the collected boxing fiction of REH, Fists of Iron, Round 3. Ordering details have not yet been posted on the Foundation’s website, but you’d better keep a close lookout for the information, because if you are a Sailor Steve Costigan fan, this is one volume you must have. Hell, you really need all four of them! Here is the pugilistic fight card for Round 3:

Introduction: “Big Talk Don’t Bust No Chins” by Chris Gruber

“Circus Fists”
“Vikings of the Gloves”
“Night of Battle”
“Sailor Costigan and the Yellow Cobra”
“Sailor Costigan and the Jade Monkey”
“Alleys of Darkness”
“Sailor Costigan and the Destiny Gorilla”
“A New Game for Costigan”
“A Two-Fisted Santa Claus”
“The Slugger’s Game”
“General Ironfist”
“Sluggers of the Beach”
“The Honor of the Ship” (originally untitled)
Untitled story (“A sailorman ain’t got no business…”) (aka “Flying Knuckles”)
“Iron-Clad Fists”
“Sailor Costigan and the Swami” (originally untitled)
“Alleys of Treachery”

Appendix:

“Night of Battle: (synopsis)
“Sailor Costigan and the Turkish Menace” (incomplete)
“Sailor Costigan and the Turkish Menace” (synopsis)
“Sailor Costigan and the Jade Monkey” (3rd person version)
“Alleys of Darkness” (synopsis)
“Sailor Costigan and the Destiny Gorilla” (synopsis)
“A New Game for Costigan” (synopsis)
“A Two-Fisted Santa Claus” (synopsis)
“The Slugger’s Game” (synopsis)
“General Ironfist” (synopsis)
“Sluggers of the Beach” (synopsis)
“Iron-Clad Fists” (synopsis)
“Alleys of Treachery” (synopsis)

“The Lord of the Ring,” (part 3), by Patrice Louinet

And let’s not forget Round 3 has a knockout of a cover by Tom Gianni. Tom was a special guest at Howard Days this year and while there, he snagged the 2014 REHF Rankin Award for best Howard artist. Indeed, it was well deserved for all the fine work he has been doing on the Foundation books dust jackets.

Speaking of the Foundation, they recently changed their mailing address. All correspondence may now be addressed to:

Robert E. Howard Foundation
PO Box 2641
Sugar Land, TX 77487-2641

The web site remains the same at: www.rehfoundation.org.

The REHupa Barbarian Horde

Howard Days 2014 was another great success. Temperatures were quite moderate, though there was a hailstorm around Abilene that seriously damaged Chris Gruber’s car. There were many new faces there this year, evidently because of increased promotion on social media sites spearheaded by Jeff Shanks.

IMG_2928dThe theme this year was Howard History: Texas and Beyond. During the first panel, “In the Guise of Fiction,” Shanks and Al Harron discussed REH’s use of early history. Shanks said that Howard’s stories utilized the anthropological theory favored at the time, involving racial templates now known to pseudoscientific. REH was also inspired by Haggard and Burroughs, who were popular then. Harron opined that the Picts were Howard’s greatest creation, appearing in more different types of stories, both fantastic and historical, than any other of his creations. Historical fiction, e.g. by Mundy and Lamb, was quite popular. REH loved it and wrote as much as would sell, but he put a gritty, bloody spin on it that was more colorful and realistic than that of other authors. Shanks mentioned that Howard employed Wells’s The Outline of History and as many other authoritative references as he had access to. His first goal was to get into the adventure pulps, but he often had to add a weird element to sell his stories; this practice peaked with his submissions to Oriental Tales and Weird Tales. Harron said Conan incorporated historical and fantastic elements. Cormac Fitzgeoffrey is Harron’s favorite Crusades character. Shanks said that REH pioneered a dark, cynical, violent interpretation of history, which has made the stories age well and resonate with today’s readers, unlike a lot of other writers such as Doyle. But historical fiction requires a lot of research, so he set Kull and Conan in an earlier, hypothetical Hyborian Age that freed up Howard to write his own kind of fiction. Harron stated that “Shadow of the Vulture” starring Red Sonya was another groundbreaking character, being a strong female protagonist and warrior, with no romantic links to other characters. It was also anchored in historical characters and settings. Harron’s favorite female character is Dark Agnes, especially in “Sword Woman.” She is unique in having an origin story, though REH only able to get Red Sonya published. He and C. L. Moore conceived of their strong heroines independently. Shanks said that Howard was influenced in his historical fiction by Arthur Macon’s dark stories about fairies portrayed as malevolent little people. He said that REH did a lot of anthropological world-building, incorporating migrations which turned out to be very important historically, as we know now. Howard was also doing westerns, historical and weird, near the end. An audience member added that REH admired Jack London and may have just been emulating London’s racial theories, though these were somewhat behind anthropological theory of the time, however popular they were then. Another person pointed out how the race Howard regarded as superior changed with time and publishing venue.

10453434_10204295624973680_482758632251404194_nIn an interview by Rusty Burke, Guest of Honor Patrice Louinet said that he first got interested in REH through French translations of Marvel comics. He was the first to do pre-doctoral and doctoral theses based on Howard. He visited the U.S. to do the associated research, joined REHupa, and met legendary Howard scholar and collector Glenn Lord, who got him interested in examining REH’s typescripts of stories and letters. He found he could date transcripts from typewriter artifacts and REH’s idiosyncratic spellings. Burke also led him into looking at the Conan typescripts and recommended him to be editor of the Wandering Star Conan pure-text editions. The time-ordering of Howard’s stories is critical to understanding him as a writer, which is also why reading the Conan tales in the order they were written (as in the WS books) is so revelatory. Dating the transcripts was essential to determining which were the most authoritative versions to use in the pure-text books. Thus, there would be no de Campian Conan saga. REH used Conan as a catalyst to the plot and to tell the kind of story he wanted to tell. Louinet’s first professional publication was “The Birth of Conan” in The Dark Man. Reading Howard in English made him realize how bad the existing French translations were, so he started translating the stories himself. He thinks that Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright’s suggestions often improved REH’s stories. Louinet is now working on a documentary on REH and is a consultant on a Howard-related board game. He has done many interviews about REH, including ones on television. He won a Special Award from France’s Imaginales (Imaginary World) Convention for his Howard work. He has published 10 REH books in France and has another one coming out. In France, Howard was a cult figure in the ‘80s, was forgotten in the ‘90s, and is now popular and recognized as a pioneer fantasist. Lovecraft started becoming mainstream there in the ‘60s and has been helped by a Cthulhu video game. Clark Ashton Smith is unknown. The French do not like westerns. Working as a translator gave Louinet the most insight into REH’s maturation as a writer. Howard’s earlier work is bursting with ideas, but he later learned how to control that without losing anything. “The Dark Man” and “Kings of the Night” of 1930 are about when he became a mature writer. Louinet plans to do another doctoral dissertation on REH.

rsz_dscn0324The Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards were given to: (1) Jeff Shanks for the Outstanding Print Essay “History, Horror, and Heroic Fantasy: Robert E. Howard and the Creation of the Sword and Sorcery Subgenre”; (2) Bill Cavalier, Rob Roehm, and Paul Herman for the Outstanding Periodical The REH Foundation Newsletter; (3) Brian Leno, Patrice Louinet, Rob Roehm, Damon Sasser, and Keith Taylor for the Outstanding Web Site REH: Two-Gun Raconteur; (4) Rob Roehm for the Outstanding Online Essay “The Business”; (5) Patrick Burger as Emerging Scholar; (6) Ben Friberg for the Outstanding Achievement of filming REH Days panels, as he was doing for this event and selling DVDs of last year’s; (7) Tom Gianni for Artistic Achievement; (8) Patrice Louinet for Lifetime Achievement; and (9) Paul Herman for Outstanding Service. Karl Edward Wagner is next year’s nominee for Lifetime Achievement.

Read the rest of this entry »

EPSON MFP image

A third of the 200 copy print run of new issue of The Definitive Howard Journal sold in the five days since its publication this past Friday. Issue number 17, with its stellar line-up of rare Howard fiction, essays, articles, reviews and artwork is quickly being snapped up by hungry Robert E. Howard fans. So don’t procrastinate and be left on the field of battle with an empty scabbard, order your copy today!

REH: Two Gun Raconteur No. 17 Contents:

Front Cover: “…a fierce exultation swept her as she felt the edge cleave solid flesh and mortal bone.” From “Red Nails” by Michael L. Peters

Inside Front and Back Covers: Scenes From “Spears of Clontarf” by Stephen Fabian

Back Cover: Skull-Face by Terry Pavlet

“The Stones of Destiny” by Robert E. Howard, illustrated by Nathan Furman

“The Diabolical Blonde” by Rob Roehm, illustrated by Clayton Hinkle

“What the Thak?: Anthropological Oddities in Howard’s Works” by Jeffrey Shanks, illustrated by Clayton Hinkle

“Non Sequiturs Inside the Academy Gates” by Don Herron

“Robert E. Howard’s Heroes of the Desert: A Portfolio” by Bob Covington

“Robert E. Howard and Past Lives: Reincarnation, Dreams and Race Memories” by Barbara Barrett, illustrated by Richard Pace

“Apocalypse on the Liffey” by David Hardy, illustrated by Robert Sankner

“Ernest Hemingway, Robert E. Howard and Battling Siki: Typewriters and Fists” by Brian Leno, illustrated by Bill Cavalier

Price: $25.00, US postage paid.

To Order by Mail and Pay with Check or Money Order,
Send Your Order To:

Damon C. Sasser
6402 Gardenspring Brook Lane
Spring, TX 77379

(Please make checks or money orders payable to Damon C. Sasser.)

Order and Pay Via PayPal:

Patrice Louinet Getting The Black Circle Award

Well, it’s mid-afternoon in Cross Plains and the REH Foundation Awards have already been presented to the winners.  Originally the awards were known as The Cimmerian Awards and the black skulls on marble bases were handed out at the Pavilion after the Friday night banquet. When the awards became the REH Foundation Awards, the wooden plaques were given out at the Community Center immediately after the banquet and it was a somewhat rushed affair, with Howard fans wanting to go to the Pavilion and the locals bolting for the door, not having much interest in the awards. So it was decided to make the awards a bigger deal by having a less rushed and more formal ceremony on Friday afternoon at 2:30.

So without further waiting, here are the winners:

The HyrkanianOutstanding Achievement Print Essay:

Jeffrey Shanks – “History, Horror, and Heroic Fantasy: Robert E. Howard and the Creation of the Sword and Sorcery Subgenre,” Critical Insights: Pulp Fiction of the 1920s and 1930s.

The AquilonianOutstanding Achievement, Periodical:

The REH Foundation NewsletterBill Cavalier, Rob Roehm, Paul Herman.

The StygianOutstanding Achievement, Website:

Brian Leno, Patrice Louinet, Rob Roehm, Damon Sasser, Keith Taylor- REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (Website and Blog).

The CimmerianOutstanding Achievement for Online Essay:

Rob Roehm – “The Business” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (13 parts).

The Venarium AwardEmerging Scholar:

Patrick Burger

The Black River AwardSpecial Achievement (The following nominees have produced something special that doesn’t fit into any other category: scholarly presentations, biographical discoveries, etc.):

Ben Friberg for filming the panels at Howard Days, editing them, and making them available on YouTube.

The Rankin AwardArtistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work (Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.):

Tom Gianni for cover art for Pirate Adventures (REHFP), cover art for Fists of Iron, Round 1 (REHFP), cover art for Robert E. Howard’s Western Tales.

The Black Circle AwardLifetime Achievement:

Patrice Louinet

The Crom Award—Board of Directors Choice:

Paul Herman

Next Year’s Black Circle Award Nominee:

Karl Edward Wagner

Congratulations to the winners and remember, it is not too late for you to step up and find your name on the list next year!

EPSON MFP imageWhile Robert E. Howard’s anorexic super villain, Skull-Face has mellowed a bit with age, he is still pretty ornery. So you don’t want to get crossways with him. Since his ghastly visage graces the back cover of the new issue (courtesy of artist Terry Plavet) and he is obnoxiously vain, he wants you to buy the issue or else.

In addition to the portrait of ol’ skin and bones, the issue kicks off with a fantastic color cover by Michael L. Peters, followed by a hard-to-find Howard story and essays and articles by Barbara Barrett, Dave Hardy, Don Herron, Brian Leno, Rob Roehm and Jeff Shanks.

Of course there is the usual great line-up of artwork in the new issue of The Definitive Robert E. Howard Journal by the likes of Bill Cavalier, Bob Covington, Stephen Fabian, Nathan Furman, Clayton Hinkle, Richard Pace, Terry Pavlet and Michael L. Peters.

So scrounge through those couch cushions and dig out those stray pazoors so you can buy TGR #17 and not wake up to find Skull-Face hiding behind your curtains.

Howard Days 2014 Blog Cover

It is hard to believe the annual Howard Days celebration of Robert E. Howard, his life and writings is just two weeks away. By now everyone who’s going has their travel plans and reservations made. But it is not too late. If you are sitting on the fence about whether or not to make the pilgrimage to Cross Plains, hop off that fence and get the ball rolling. If you have been following Jeff Shanks’ Howard Days blog, then you are aware of all the featured attendees and the Guest of Honor, Patrice Louinet. The REHupa website has a full schedule of events, as well as information on the Silent Auction, which is especially important this year to raise the funds needed to give the Howard House Museum a long overdue restoration. To further help the cause, I’ll be donating some very special items for the Gift Shop to sell. And if my printier is not fibbing, the Gift Shop will have the new issue of REH: Two-Gun Raconteur print journal in stock. Hell, that alone is worth the trip!

Plate 4

The centerpiece of every issue of REH: Two-Gun Raconteur is the art folio.  For the upcoming issue number 17, Bob Covington has drawn four outstanding illustrations of Howard’s Desert Heroes. In addition to El Borak, Kirby O’Donnell and Steve Clarney, Lal Singh is featured and not one, but two Yar Ali Khans.

The issue is slated for publication next month, so keep checking back here for payment and ordering details, which will be posted soon. This illustration is just a tidbit of the great artwork and essays to come, not to mention a rare Howard story, in the pages of the new issue of The Definitive Robert E. Howard Journal.

This entry filed under El Borak, Howard Illustrated, News.

Award-001

The nominees for the 2014 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards have been announced by the REHF Board of Directors. The annual awards honor outstanding achievement in Howard Studies and other Howard-related endeavors. The final nominees were selected by Legacy Circle Members from all the Howard-related work made available in 2013. Ballots have been sent out to all members of all levels of membership (Supporting Members, Friends of REH and Legacy Circle Members) via e-mail. The next step is for all foundation members to cast their votes based on the finalists. Members have until April 30 to submit their choices. The winners will be announced at a ceremony during the 2014 Robert E. Howard Days celebration in Cross Plains, Texas, on June 13.

Here are the Nominees for the 2014 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards:

The HyrkanianOutstanding Achievement Print Essay:

ADAMS, ANGELINE B. AND REMCO VAN STRATEN – “Robert E. Howard: The Lost Celt Fortean Times 296, January 2013.

BURGER, PATRICK R. – “’I ’n’ I A-Liberate Zimbabwe’: Motifs of Africa and Freedom in Howard’s ‘The Grisly Horror.’ The Dark Man Vol. 7, No. 1, February 2013.

FINN, MARK AND JEFFREY SHANKS – “Vaqueros and Vampires in the Pulps: Robert E. Howard and the Dawn of the Undead West.” Undead in the West II: They Just Keep Coming, edited by Cynthia Miller and Bowden Van Riper.

SHANKS, JEFFREY – “History, Horror, and Heroic Fantasy: Robert E. Howard and the Creation of the Sword and Sorcery Subgenre” Critical Insights: Pulp Fiction of the 1920s and 1930s.

The AquilonianOutstanding Achievement, Periodical:

THE REH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER – Bill Cavalier, Rob Roehm, Paul Herman

THE DARK MAN: THE JOURNAL OF ROBERT E. HOWARD STUDIES – Mark Hall

The StygianOutstanding Achievement, Website:

BREAKIRON, LEE, FRANK COFFMAN, GARY ROMERO, AND SCOTT SHEAFFER REHEAPA The Robert E. Howard Electronic Amateur Press Association (Website and Blog)

LENO, BRIAN, PATRICE LOUINET, ROB ROEHM, DAMON SASSER, KEITH TAYLOR- REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (Website and Blog)

THOM, BILL – Howard Works (Website)

The CimmerianOutstanding Achievement for Online Essay:

LENO, BRIAN – “Out of the Shadows—Finally, ‘Kid’ Dula” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (10 Parts)

ROEHM, ROB – “The Business” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (13 parts)

SHANKS, JEFFREY – “La Reina de la Costa Negra: The Mystery of the Mexican Conan Comics” An Age Undreamed Of

TAYLOR, KEITH – “Barbarianism Must Always Triumph” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (3 parts)

The Venarium AwardEmerging Scholar (Vote either “Approve” or “Disapprove”):

PATRICK BURGER – A longtime member of REHupa and the editorial staff of The Dark Man, Patrick had an article published and completed his PhD dissertation on Robert E. Howard in 2013.

The Black River AwardSpecial Achievement (The following nominees have produced something special that doesn’t fit into any other category: scholarly presentations, biographical discoveries, etc.):

CAVALIER, BILL AND MORGAN HOLMES – For discovering and publishing a previously unknown photograph of Robert E. Howard

FINN, MARK – For organizing the REH presence, including panels and exhibits at Worldcon 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

FRIBERG, BEN – For filming the panels at Howard Days, editing them, and making them available on YouTube

The Rankin AwardArtistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work (Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.):

GIANNI, TOM: Cover art for Pirate Adventures (REHFP), cover art for Fists of Iron, Round One (REHFP), cover art for Robert E. Howard’s Western Tales

GIORELLO, TOMAS & JOSE VILLARRUBIA: Artwork for adaptation of “The Hour of the Dragon” —  King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon issues

KEEGAN, JIM & RUTH: Artwork for “The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob”

PACE, RICHARD: For artwork for adaptation of “Men of the Shadows,” Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword

The Black Circle Award—Lifetime Achievement:

PATRICE LOUINET

Information on the voting process can be found here and a list of the eligible candidates for nomination can be found here.

Congratulations to the nominees and good luck!