Posts Tagged ‘novels

24
Sep
08

Bob Howard

Three months ago Dark Horse started up a new Conan series called Conan the Cimmerian. I usually will check out new series from reputable publishers, so I picked it up not really knowing anything about Conan other than he hits things. The series was actually quite good and I’ve picked up the other issues that have come out, three in all. The narrative has mostly focused on Conan’s grandfather who is from a land called Cimmeria, though I’ve yet to find out it it’s actually supposed to be set in the lands the Cimmerians were really from, which would be what is now known as the Ukraine from 8 to 7 B.C. What I did find is that Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan, wrote a poem called Cimmeria, essentially about the land of the same name, which the characters of his Hyborean World. Upon further research of the word Hyborean, I discovered that Howard had actually created a massive sword and sorcery fictional universe that was published in the pulp magazines in the 1930’s, which instantly makes him cool. I then found out that this guy was friends with H.P. Lovecraft. so okay, I’m on board.

Apparently Howard created multiple universes of pulp characters before killing himself in 1936. I was looking through Amazon, trying to find a good way to start reading him and it took a long time to coordinate what stories where were because he produced such a massive body of work. The man published hundreds of stories which amounted to dozens of thick novels of various genres. Then, nearing the end of my research when I was really liking the guy, I found that when he died he was only 30. Way to make a dude feel unproductive. Then I read about how H.P. Lovecraft was racist and I felt pretty good. I might not be talented, motivated or interesting, but I’ve never been vocal about the need of Aryan man to rise above the challenge of society.

Although pessimism permeates every pore of my body, it’s times like these that make me so happy and feel so lucky to be living in a time where we have such easy access to recorded entertainment in such vast quantities. So as soon as I have $9 I’ll probably start reading up on Howard’s stuff

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