Lamb’s obituaries in 1962 barely mentioned his fiction. By then, the cheap magazines that had published his yarns were long forgotten except by a few passionate collectors. Like a burial mound’s hidden hoard of treasure, they lay undisturbed, awaiting their rediscovery by Mr. Jones — and now a growing band of admirers.
Such is the coda of John J. Miller’s article concerning Harold Lamb’s career and the publication of Swords From the West, one of a brace of (very recently published) editions collecting Lamb’s work put out by Bison Books.
Mr. Miller’s name should be familiar to long-time readers of The Cimmerian blog. His busy keyboard has kept the names of worthy authors such as Robert E. Howard (who is name-checked in the above article), Gemmell and Machen lurking about the contested borders of literary credibility for several years now.
Miller provides an excellent summary of both Lamb’s career (and literary talents) and of the themes underlying the tales included in Swords From the West. He also takes due note of the herculean efforts of Howard A. Jones in bringing Lamb’s fiction to a new audience. That said (despite JJM’s predictions), my money is still on Lamb (as opposed to Dumas) in another hundred years. Quality will out, and quality can be found on every page of Swords From the West.
Thanks go out to Pete Roncoli for the heads-up on this news.