Habemus librum!

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It’s The Arabian Nights meets REH’s Oriental Tales, set in a version of 12th century Cairo that’s still in the shadows of ancient Egypt. It’s got sorcery, baby!

That’s Scott Oden, announcing the completion of his third novel The Lion of Cairo: 126,000 words, none of them wussified. Although his career is still in what a Flashmaniac might call “the earlies,” Scott has already joined Karl Edward Wagner and Charles R. Saunders on the short list of Howardists’ Favorite Authors Other Than REH Himself, and at his blog he reports “IMO, it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, as full of intrigue as it is full of ass-whuppery.”

Everything the author has let slip about his new book indicates that it will operate on a level deserving of thunder-sowing illustrations, although we’ll all have to be our own Krenkels at this late date:

And speaking of intriguing, among the side projects in the Oden future before he comes to grips with The Damascene Blade, a sequel to Lion, are “an illustrated history of Orcs and an encyclopedia of the Hyborian Age.” The latter endeavor just can’t get here fast enough for those of us who’ve been grimacing for thirty years at the errors (some of them de Camp-derived) committed by Julian May-as-Lee Falconer:

Scott, who posts frequently and learnedly at Conan.com, is as qualified a Hyboriophile for the job as there’s been since Robert Yaple added value to those magical startup issues of The Savage Sword of Conan.

Unless you’re commited to reading the Conan the Barbarian novelization out loud to your action figures to the exclusion of all else, while we await word of a release date for Lion why not catch up with the first two Odens, Men of Bronze and Memnon? Both rock as hard as Live at Leeds or From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah:

REHupan mainstay and hard-charging-fictioneer-in-his-own-right Charles Gramlich often participates in the comments section of Scott’s blog. Having already paid dues enough for one lifetime, let’s hope he and his fellow Gulf Coasters sail through Gustav. As of Sunday night Charles was okay and opining that “Dennis Weaver was a bit of a whiny bitch” in Spielberg’s Duel; we can all agree that hurricanes are best experienced by way of Robert E. Howard, in the pages of “The Black Stranger,” in the comfort of one’s own non-evacuated home.