Well, a few days ago I finally received my Deluxe edition of The Children of Húrin — arch-collector Doris Salley will be horrified to learn that Amazon mailed it to me with a slight ding in the slipcase, and I kept it. It has taken all of my willpower not to take a week off from work and read it from cover to cover. I have dipped into the Introduction and Appendices, and spot-checked some of my favorite moments from parts of the tale I have read before. It has the feel of a DVD director’s cut, with new passages that are fine in their own right but feel tacked on and a bit superfluous because of how well I know the original. Still, there’s a lot of new material, and I’m really looking forward to getting the time to read this.
If I got my copy, then Steve Tompkins must have got his, which means he’s likely read it several times by now, with a mental highlighter covering the pages in neon notations for use in the new essays already percolating within the supercomputer he calls a brain. I think we can assume he won’t be posting here for the next few days, until the Tolkien fever wears off. Rob is likely in the middle of the horrendous last few weeks of the school year, wrapping up his teaching duties in time to head down to Howard Days. Mark is off at the movies, probably running around the corridors of his new movie theater decked out in zombie makeup and scaring the kids attempting to sneak into the matinée for Twenty-Eight Weeks Later. Which leaves me taking a bit of time away from finishing the June issue of TC to point you to a few things of interest.
Over at Black Gate magazine, there is a new interview with a guy who has been kind of important to some members of the inner circle of Howard fans: writer David C. Smith. A former fantasist who penned a number of Howard pastiches in the late 70s and early 80s, Smith also had a stint in REHupa and is still friends with several members of that organization. In the Black Gate interview, you can read a bit about his career, how he managed to snag the Howard gigs, his writing style that pays homage to Howard’s pulp roots, and more. Check it out.
In other news, frequent Cimmerian contributor Gary Romeo has started a new Yahoo! group called “D is for de Camp.” This is a forum to discuss the work of the late science fiction grandmaster, including his intimate association with Howard publishing. Gary already has a few dozen people posting over there, and is looking for more posters and readers. I imagine a lot of the postings will relate to REH in some way, so put it into your Howardian online reading rotation.
Finally, there’s a few new posts over at REHupa.com, both by Morgan Holmes, who has been away from blogging for awhile but is now back with a vengeance. One post is about the version of the Prose Edda that Howard owned and read, and the other is Part II of his personal history of his involvement with REH fandom.
Not much else going on save for frantic preparations for Howard Days. Every year I try to get ahead of things and every year I end up rushing at the last minute to get everything finished. Still, it’s been worth it — the June TC is shaping up to be a real hot issue, with some great articles that will keep you turning the pages. It’s one of those issues that has a little something for everyone.