Blue Tyson’s Leigh Brackett (ology) Blog

Just a few short weeks after Leigh Brackett’s birthday last year, Blue Tyson fired up the finest (and, so far, only) blog/website dedicated to the Queen of Space Opera. Tyson is an indefatigable Aussie sci-fi/fantasy fan whose archival work in his favorite fields of literature became known to yours truly a few years back. This was due to several interesting posts he put up at The Official Robert E. Howard Forum. One was an exhaustive listing of Sword-and-Sorcery heroes; another was a link to Tyson’s cover gallery devoted to the fiction of Leigh Brackett. Now that he’s had a few months to work on his project, I say that Tyson can take a bow and let the Interwebs behold the proud monument he has constructed in honor of Brackett on this, the anniversary of her mortality.

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LepreCon 36 is coming…

…and George R.R. Martin is the guest of honor. Details from the official LepreCon 36 website lurk below.

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HPL’s “The Silver Key” on Youtube

Lovecraft was no fan of the cinema, and it could be argued that his disdain for moving pictures has been returned by a seemingly endless torrent of laughable and unfaithful film adaptations. Still, HPL was always a champion of the amateur artiste. Keeping that fact in mind, perhaps it is not too far-fetched to think that “Uncle Theobald” (as REH called him) would approve of the ten-minute film recently posted to Youtube which adapts his tale, “The Silver Key.”

One would have to look hard for a more fitting story to commemorate the anniversary of the passage from this mortal coil by the Man from Providence. Lovecraft always seemed fond of the tale, and Robert E. Howard expressed his deep admiration for it at least once. While an “update” in temporal terms, the short film seems to capture a bit of the atmosphere that the Great Old One strove for.

Matthew Woodring Stover and Steve Tompkins

Matthew Woodring Stover started a blog a few months ago. Recently (it would seem), he stumbled upon a web log entry written by the late Steve Tompkins. Stover’s post can be found here.

I remember the situation that precipitated Tompk’s post vividly. On the Official REH Forum, a newly-minted member by the name of “Baphomet” had spewn forth the supposition that Robert E. Howard had only influenced, at best, two or three authors in the last eighty years. Steve Tompkins made note of Baphomet’s contrarian idiocy and took action.  For my part, I did the same, creating a “Quotes in Praise of Robert E. Howard” topic to demonstrate the far-reaching impact of REH’s work. Destruction of an enemy is all well and good, but construction of a shieldwall as a bulwark against future silly attacks has its place as well. The “chants of old heroes” that REH spun out of his singular imagination are still ringing in the ears of authors today; make no mistake.

It’s a damned shame that we’ll see no more installments from Tompk in his (occasional) series: “REH Alive & Well As a Ghost in the Pop Culture Machine.” We’re doing our best here at TC to carry forward the banner, fear not.

Mr. Stover is working on a new “Caine” novel entitled His Father’s Fist.

Frazetta Inks a New Deal With Vanguard Productions


Despite all of the recent controversy, there is some bright news on the Frazetta front. Here’s the word straight from Vanguard

Legendary fantasy artist Frank Frazetta and acclaimed publisher Vanguard Productions announce a new publishing relationship. Frank Frazetta said, “We’ve known Vanguard publisher J. David Spurlock for many years. Vanguard publishes the very best! I’ve enjoyed their books on Hal Foster, Al Williamson, Jeffrey Jones, Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Basil Gogos, Carmine Infantino and more. David helped on our Painting with Fire documentary and we helped him on Vanguard’s Roy G. Krenkel, Wally Wood, and J. Allen St.John books. It’s a natural that we should work together. I’m looking forward to seeing the quality job they do on the new books.”

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Conan of Cimmeria, Volume Three: A Special Deal for TC Readers

This just in at The Cimmerian HQ: Glendale, California bookseller and REH fan, Terry McVicker, has a special deal for frequenters of this website.

Ten boxes of CONAN 3 (nearly 200 lbs worth!) left England’s shores today bound for Glendale. At long last the concluding volume of the series is complete. The price of CONAN 3 will be $225 which includes domestic shipping insured; foreign orders shipping and insurance at cost. The three volume set may be had from me for $650 with domestic shipping and insurance paid. PLEASE NOTE: The edition is nearly out-of-print. As of early February 3/4 had sold in advance! I know economic times are tough and this is a lot of money to fork out on a book at one time, so anyone who sends me a downpayment of $50 and mentions “THE CIMMERIAN” I will hold the book for six months at the in-print price. Cheers, Terry.

Collectors of the Conan Wandering Star/Book Palace editions aren’t going to find a better deal than this. Terry is a great guy who maintains an excellent reputation within the bookselling community. Mr. McVicker can be contacted here:

Terence A. McVicker, Rare Books
1745 W. Kenneth Road
Glendale, California 91201

More Sneak Peeks From Black Gate, Including John C. Hocking

As [redacted] reported earlier this month, the release of Black Gate #14 is imminent. Whilst copies of the new issue, like unto blood-mad dogs of war, await release from the loving clutches of the printer, publisher John O’Neill has been providing previews of some of the stories.

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Sentiment: An Olio Is Gone, But Not For Good

[redacted] just posted this over at the Robert E. Howard Foundation site:

Sentiment: An Olio of Rarer Works is officially Sold Out. We have at least one copy with a dirty thumbprint on the page edges, and perhaps one more clean copy held back in case the postal service lost or damaged a book.  Anyone interested in the ”dirty book,” or in being placed on a wait list for the other and/or future printings, should contact us:

Not to worry, gentle readers. Paul Herman informed the denizens of the Official Robert E. Howard Forum that a second edition of Sentiment is definitely in the cards.

The Third Printing of Collected Poetry Is Almost Gone…

According to [redacted] over at the Robert E. Howard Foundation, there are less than ten copies of The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard left unsold. Rob also said that there are no plans at present to produce a fourth printing. I cannot stress enough what a fine collection this is. Both Leo Grin and myself (and others) have sung its praises. Ordering information can be found here.

Spartacus Redux

Howard Fast’s book Spartacus is a kind of paradox; a book about the spirit of freedom written by an avowed Communist.  There are suggestions that the free slaves will share the wealth, but the main idea of the book is that all people must be free. It is subversive in a way, even today.  Howard Fast, like the screen-writer for the movie, Dalton Trumble, was jailed by the House UnAmerican Activies Committee for refusing to name names. He later renounced Communism after learning of Stalin’s crimes against his own countrymen and the repression of Hungary in 1956. But Spartacus had been written in 1951, while Fast believed in Communism. Because of the political climate of the time, he had to publish it himself, with the help of friends and fans who gave him money in advance.

For an account of how he came to write Spartacus, go here.

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