Don Herron alerts me to a post Scott Sheaffer wrote on the REH Inner Circle e-mail list alerting Howard fans to Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon’s new story appearing in installments for the Sunday New York Times magazine. The tale is titled “Gentlemen of the Road,” is influenced by various pulp authors, and is set in the Russian Dark Ages during a time of (I assume) swordplay and adventure. Best of all, in a Q&A with readers Chabon cites Robert E. Howard as an important influence:
I also, maybe more importantly, re-read some of my lifelong favorite writers of historical swashbuckling romance: Alexander Dumas, Rafael Sabatini, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock (to whom the story is dedicated), George MacDonald Fraser. The tone of the writing, the style, the approach to the idea of heroic swordsmen and their personalities (of which I favor the ironic variety found in the last three authors named and perhaps in Dumas, as well), all that was in many ways more of a challenge than the details of period, which are just a matter ultimately of reading and using the imagination. Though the Khazars and their world have a basis in general fact, I freely invented the situations and characters.
The first two chapters of the story are behind the usual draconian NYT firewall, but you can read the third chapter here (and the others if you have a password).