A Final Flame-Lit Funeral

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Things change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The Cimmerian blog has been pretty steady for well-nigh five years in providing  coverage of topics both REH-centric and not.

In 2007, Leo Grin typed “The Deathliest Hallow,” opening the TC floodgates for numerous JRRT-related posts from Steve Tompkins and others. Blog entries about David Gemmell, Karl Edward Wagner and Charles R. Saunders have never been few nor far between here at The Cimmerian. Check the archives and tell me it ain’t so. The Cimmerian always supported the fantasy genre that Robert E. Howard loved (and, in the case of sword-and-sorcery, created). From the earliest days of the site, the bloody history of mankind, a topic REH found endlessly fascinating, has been explored.

Perhaps that matters to some. Perhaps not.

The Cimmerian blog seems to have mattered to a few people. To those loyal readers, I raise a mead-horn. Y’all were the best. My utmost thanks to the bloggers who kept The Cimmerian’s bloody sword swinging in the hinterlands of the aether all these years. Nobody involved (Leo Grin first and foremost) ever made a dime from writing for The Cimmerian blog. Love for the works of Robert E. Howard was the primary motivation and criterion for membership here.

The Cimmerian blog will cease as of the second weekend in June. I hope y’all enjoyed the ride.

*Art by Rebel Highlander.

LEO ADDS: Kind of a cryptic announcement that Deuce posted above, so allow me to elaborate a bit.

I was originally fully set on closing down the blog circa December 2008 when the print mag ended its run — I was ready to move away from REH fandom and into other endeavors, and wanted to make a clean end of it all. I figured the other bloggers would easily find new homes at REHupa or at Damon’s TGR blog, and the TC archives could be moved somewhere, and that would be that. But at the time, blogger Steve Tompkins implored me to allow him to keep it going under his leadership. I capitulated, gave up the reins to him. . . and a few months later poor Steve was dead.

TC was very fortunate for Deuce to step in and take over the managerial role at that time, and under his reign he added many bloggers and the hit-count exploded. Me and Steve got maybe 10,000 hits a month, give or take, but under Deuce he built that up to the current total of around 80,000 a month, or almost a million per year — not bad for a fantasy niche blog.

But Real Life issues of various kinds have been piling up on Deuce and me for many months now (that eternal fandom lament), to the point where neither of us is able to give TC the editing and management time it deserves. Remember, this blog was originally an adjunct to the TC print mag, and there was a certain focus and set of standards inherent in that endeavor (set down, it should always be remembered, by my friend and mentor Don Herron). Even though the focus of the blog has grown well beyond REH, I never wanted to lose those standards. Maintaining those standards, I learned from my time publishing the print mag, takes active editing and management: developing themes and subjects around which to post, correcting and enhancing the essays and posts of the newer people who may not be as up on the old scholarship, maintaining a certain editorial voice and taste. Even my own pieces went through this crucible at TC, to their benefit. We used to routinely do this back in the day, and the new crop of bloggers deserve the same courtesy and attention.

But of late, Deuce and I haven’t been able to be that involved — I’m ashamed to say I’ve been so busy I haven’t even been able to read many of the current posts at TC. And so every time Deuce and I see a mistake in a blog post we should have corrected before publication, or a critical take that it was our job as manager/editor to help expand or deepen, we’ve felt like we’re letting the TC name down. If I had it to do over, I would have closed the blog down back in 2008, but I don’t have that time-travel luxury. So now, in May of 2010, with less and less time for it, Deuce and I both decided that we should bite the bullet now, better late than never. The popular TC bloggers will not vanish from the web — some will pop up at the other REH and fantasy blogs you guys visit (REHupa, REH:TGR, Black Gate, et cetera). And many of them have personal blogs as well for you to monitor. I’m sure this move will have the effect of making these other venues all the stronger, and that’s as it should be.

So that’s the story. It’s been a good run (five years for the print mag, some six for the blog) but Life moves on. If you are a reader who wants to keep up with the things TC used to post on, I’d recommend checking out REHupa.com, REH: Two-Gun Raconteur, the forums at Conan.com (especially the REH-specific forum), and the group blog at Black Gate magazine. If the TC bloggers know where they are heading off to and where you can find them in the future, I trust they will post that information here in the coming weeks. We’ll keep the blog open for them here until June 11, the anniversary of Robert E. Howard’s own death. Soon after that, I expect that the TC archives will be shuttled off to some other site (most likely my personal site at leogrin.com) where any of you can continue to access them, and the internet address “thecimmerian.com” will vanish from the Internet.

Thanks to everyone who, as contributor or reader, helped make TC a going concern for its run. See you around the blogosphere.