Of Twenty-Fifths… and Giving the Dauntless Their Due



Enter the OE, bookmarking his place in “The Black Stranger”:

Rather proclaim it, Doc Pod, online and off,
That he which hath no ideas for this Mailing,
Let him gafiate; his name from the roster stricken,
And dues refunded put into his man-purse;
We would not zine in that fan’s company
That spares not his weekend to zine with us.
This day is call’d the feast of [Tim] Marion,
He that outlives this day, and comes safe to #201,
Will stand a tip-toe when this Mailing is nam’d,
And rouse him at the thought of August of ‘06
He that shall zine this day, and live to look like Burl Ives,
Will quarterly one night neglect the remote,
And say ‘Twas not always but a single section.’
Then will he fetch his stacks and show his zines,
And say ‘These printing problems I had in Mailing #200.’
All shall be Mylared; or sold off on eBay,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What pages he filled that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as usual suspects —
Indy the OE, Rippke and Trout-in-the-Dark,
Richter and Gramlich, Romeo and Sea-Burke
Be in their flowing cups beerily remembered.
This story shall the good fan teach his son;
And deadlines shall ne’er force FedEx,
From this Mailing to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered —
We few, we serconn’d few, we apa of brothers;
For he today that sheds his ink with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so minacked,
This day shall excuse his reprint;
And gentlefans at innercircle now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap while any speaks
That zined with us for Mailing #200.

The above was penned by Steve Tompkins on July 25th, 2006, exhorting his REHupan brethren in Bard of Avonic fashion to make the heroic effort that culminated in REHupa Mailing #200.

It seems hard for me to believe that Tompk posted that tribute to King Harry’s pre-game speech as given on the morn of the Battle of Agincourt (as envisioned by Shakespeare) without being aware that he was doing so on the twenty-fifth of July. Steve Tompkins was nothing if not mindful of the passing of time and of the importance of observing anniversaries. He was certainly capable of seeing unlikely, but fitting, connections. (Continue reading this post)

Fall REH Foundation Newsletter

The Fall 2009 edition of the Robert E. Howard Foundation Newsletter arrived today and it is a real treat. The cover is taken from an original print of the iconic Robert E. Howard portrait that a relative of Howard’s had recently sent to Patrice Louinet. The contents include pages from the Junto, a sort of small apa or amatuer press association that Howard belonged to, a letter to fellow Weird Tales writer Emil Petaja, two stories by Howard, one of which is rare, all written in his own hand or reproduced from typed manuscripts. The issue also includes the text of Larry Thomas’ speech at the last Howard Days. This is a very nice Howard collector’s item, and those who aren’t getting this should really look into it at the Foundation site.

Upcoming Howardian Celebrations in the Lone Star State


Over on the Official Robert E. Howard Forum, Paul Herman just passed along the news of an REH Halloween party being held on October 30th in Austin, Texas. Spearheaded by Dennis McHaney and the Texas Friends of REH (TFOREH), this beer-haunted gala will be convened at the Dog and Duck Pub, generally considered the finest establishment of its type in the Austin area.


(Continue reading this post)

More Cool News From Coming Attractions


The choice news on this week’s Coming Attractions was not limited to a word-up concerning Dark Agnes and Other Historical Adventures. There are plenty more upcoming projects that fans of Robert E. Howard and pulp fiction should get excited about. (Continue reading this post)

First Word on Dark Agnes and Other Historical Adventures


Del Rey: DARK AGNES AND OTHER HISTORICAL ADVENTURES By Robert E. Howard – Coming in  2011!
John Watkiss has officially been announced as the artist for the next volume of Robert E. Howard stories, titled DARK AGNES AND OTHER HISTORICAL ADVENTURES.
(Continue reading this post)

An Update on El Borak and Other Desert Adventures from Del Rey


Jay Zetterberg of CPI/Paradox was kind enough to provide the REH devotees of the Official Robert E. Howard Forum with a sneak peek at the cover (see above) for the upcoming El Borak and Other Desert Adventures volume from Del Rey. Painted by the marriage-made-in-Valhalla artistic team of Jim and Ruth Keegan, the cover depicts Howard’s Francis X. Gordon engaged in a dispute with a denizen of the desert wastes. The Keegans had this to say:

“We see El Borak as an old-school, swashbuckling hero. While we try to keep the historical influences in mind — Richard Francis Burton, “Chinese” Gordon, and T. E. Lawrence, etc., we also try to imagine a never-to-be El Borak movie directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr., with a soundtrack by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Cue the sun!”

(Continue reading this post)

Reflections Upon Karl Edward Wagner, Fifteen Years Gone



  Karl Edward Wagner (1945 -1994) died fifteen years ago today. I never knew Karl. Nevertheless, his work as an author, essayist, editor and REH scholar has affected my views regarding the entire field of weird literature since I was barely a teenager. I believe that he should be remembered and due attention paid.

(Continue reading this post)

Yo, Hadrian!


The Smithsonian’s new issue has an article about the current state of Hadrian’s Wall, “‘now the heart of an 84-mile-long National Trail that winds through some of England’s most scenic countryside, following in the footsteps of Roman soldiers who once patrolled the empire’s frontier.”

It is well worth reading in its entirety, for it makes the interesting assertion that the primary result it was built was not to keep the barbarians out, but to limit the glory-hungry Roman commanders from seeking new areas to conquer. It also is believed to have been used to control immigration and emigration. Though there are still those who hold to the “keep out the barabarians” school of thought:

Even so, the wall also served to keep out not just “casual migrants” but enemies, says Ian Haynes, an archaeology professor at Newcastle University. In the past decade, excavators have turned up extensive pits that had held posts, possibly for sharpened stakes, fronting parts of the eastern section of the wall. “The kind of effort that goes into these defenses isn’t just for decorative purposes,” says Haynes. “It’s wise to think that they were doing this in deadly earnest.” Archaeologists have long searched for traces of the tribes who lived north of the wall, partly to assess the threats the Romans faced.

And though they are not cited in the article, every true Howard reader knows whom of they are speaking — the bloody Scots and the savage Picts.

Written On the Hearts of Men: Swords From the Desert


These fragmentary histories were jotted down on “date leaves, bits of leather, shoulder blades, stony tablets or the hearts of men.” But, put into words by men born and bred to war who spent most of their lives in the saddle, the written hadith have a real ring to them. Here we find no lengthy memoirs, no monastery-compiled chronicles, or histories written long after events. We have the word-of-mouth narrative of men who were on the scene.

Harold Lamb, in a letter to Adventure magazine, concerning the traditions of the Arabs.

While Swords From the Desert (Bison Books) is a light-weight in page-count when matched against its hefty companion volume, Swords From the West, it definitely holds its own in quality. Weighing in at a “mere” three hundred and seven pages, it’s crammed full with the timeless adventure tales for which Harold Lamb should be more justly renowned.

(Continue reading this post)

Vess’ Drawing Down the Moon Free Online


Dark Horse Comics just announced that, in honor of their imminent publication of Drawing Down the Moon by Charles Vess, they are offering the entire book online for free viewing for an indefinite time.

(Continue reading this post)