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robert e howard

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Kveto from Prague
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robert e howard

Post by Kveto from Prague » Fri January 9th, 2009, 10:06 pm

in another thread, i mentioned how i "graduated" from historical fantasy to historical fiction. heres one who helped me. its ironic because hes the guy who forced the whole "sword and socerey genre on us. ironic since he probably wouldnt have liked to be seen as a "one trick pony"

some writers were victims of their times. Robert howard is a writer known for fantasy/sword and sorcery which is unfortunate. his HF is much better. he wrote a friend once that "nothing pleases me more than to rewrite history in the guise of fiction". unfortunately, there was no market for short story HF so he turned to fantasy. It was much easier, no research, no being constrained by actual events, but a serious loss in quality in my opinion.

his collection of crusader tales in the book "lord of samarcand" are really good. no magic, less swordplay, and pretty good historical research (some mistakes of course but overall pretty true). his favourite theme is the clash of barbarism and culture. i liked em.

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed January 14th, 2009, 5:50 pm

I knew his name only vaguely, so I just read up on him (on Wikipedia). What a sad, short life.

annis
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Post by annis » Wed January 14th, 2009, 7:08 pm

Robert E Howard often quoted Harold Lamb as a major inspiration. Several of the authors of that period played with mixing straight HF with a dash of sword and sorcery. I'm thinking of L.Sprague de Camp, for example, who also played with alternate history in "Lest Darkness Fall". "Dragon of the Ishtar Gate" is pretty much straight HF in the heroic, swashbuckling style. Poul Anderson (later period) also mixed fantasy and HF, though his straight HF is not very well known. The heroic epic lends itself so readily to a touch of magic, in the mythic "gods & heroes" tradition.
I was pleased to pick up a copy of Robert E Howard's "Conan Chronicles" not long ago. Orion Press have recently reissued a whole series of sword and sorcery classics in classy white, black and silver editions, and very reasonably priced.
I've still got my original Michael Moorcock "Elric of Melnibone" omnibus collection on my shelves, though - I always had a soft spot for Elric :)
Last edited by annis on Wed January 14th, 2009, 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Wed August 12th, 2009, 9:41 pm

bumping it up for Parthianbow

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parthianbow
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Thanks

Post by parthianbow » Fri August 14th, 2009, 8:17 am

Thanks Keny - I'm going to look them up on Amazon and Book Depository today..
I hope all's well with the little one and your lack of holidays?
We just came back from holidays with 2 little ones. They woke up earlier than normal virtually every day, thanks to the different environments and paper thin walls between rooms. Holiday? :eek:
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

annis
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Post by annis » Sat August 15th, 2009, 6:20 am

Chatting on Carla's blog recently reminded me of Robert E Howard's sea-raider series, which I enjoyed, though you don't see them mentioned very often. in the 1930s Robert E Howard wrote a number of stories featuring Gaelic heroes, generally outlawed by clan and country. Turlogh Dubh O’Brien and Cormac Mac Art are reivers of the 11th century, who fight alongside Danes or Saxons in their battles with other northern seafarers. While he was able to sell two stories of Turlogh to "Weird Tales" - ‘The Dark Man’ and ‘The Gods of Bal-Sagoth’ - I don't think he had much luck marketing the Cormac Mac Art stories, though some were reissuedin the 1970s

Some of the Turlogh Dubh O’Brien stories are available to read online here
Last edited by annis on Sat August 15th, 2009, 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sat August 15th, 2009, 7:34 am

heres a pretty good site that covers howards celtic characters and facination with the picts.

http://www.angelfire.com/tx3/robertehow ... morn1.html

Ive also got his bran mak morn collection, which are HF with a bit more magic thrown in. Some very good stories pitting the picts against the romans circa 300 AD. Id recommend it (but I feel the crusader stories are best)

I dont find his other celtic heroes particularly interesting. the cormac mac art stories are pretty standard and bland.

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parthianbow
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Post by parthianbow » Sat August 15th, 2009, 9:24 am

I knew I'd read more Robert E Howard than Conan! It was the Turlough Dubh ("Black") O'Brien and Cormac Mac Art stories. What a memory of childhood, and pride in Irish myths - even if they were fantastical :D
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

Jonathan
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Solomon Kane & El Borak

Post by Jonathan » Sun August 23rd, 2009, 12:06 am

Some of my favorite Howard stories are his Solomon Kane ones. As much horror as historical fiction, but but lots of adventure and swordplay. I understand a movie based on Solomon Kane is out there, somewhere...

I'm interested if any of the REH fans have read his El Borak stories, set in the Middle East at the beginning of the 20th century. I've not read any of those, but am very interested in finding them.

- Jonathan

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Post by annis » Sun August 23rd, 2009, 4:40 am

Hi Jonathan- I'm afraid that I haven't read the El Borak stories myself, but some (I'm not sure if all) are among the Wikisource Robert E Howard material available to read free online here:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Author:Ro ... vin_Howard

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