The Cimmerian V2n5 — October 2005


Edited by Leo Grin | Illustrated by Jae Woo Kim
40 pages

This issue was printed in two editions. The deluxe edition, numbered 1–75, uses a black linen cover with foil-stamped emeraude text. The limited edition, numbered 76–225, uses an emeraude cover with solid black text.



Features a comprehensive essay on Robert E. Howard’s work in the spicy pulp genre, an article on the historical origins of Howard’s fictional Cimmeria, a piece delving into the literary underpinnings of the Conan story “Black Colossus,” a rare Novalyne Price historical oddity, a breaking news scoop in Announcements, Howardian poetry, an overflowing letters column, and more.


The sexual attitudes of times gone by can seem odd, ironic or mystifying to people of later eras. As an example, consider these editorial guidelines from Frank Armer, publisher of the Trojan/Culture line of Spicy magazines:

1. In describing breasts of a female character, avoid anatomical descriptions.
2. If it is necessary for the story to have a girl give herself to a man, or be taken by him, do not go too carefully into details.
3. Whenever possible, avoid complete nudity of the female characters. You can have a girl strip down to her underwear, or transparent negligee or nightgown, or the thin, torn shreds of her garments. But while the girl is alive and in contact with a man, we do not want complete nudity.
4. A nude female corpse is allowable, of course.

It is therefore difficult to gauge Howard’s personal attitudes concerning rape based on the fiction he wrote for the spicy pulps.

— from “Blood Lust” by Charles Hoffman

All that remains today is the dim memory, a massive bronze statue of the Cimbrian Bull in the center of the city of Aalborg….

— from “Asgard, Vanaheim, and Cimmeria” by Leon Nielsen

When you shake an REH story, you never know what will fall out. In his critical essay “Hyborian Genesis,” Patrice Louinet gave the Conan story “Black Colossus” a shake, and noted that Howard’s villain, Natohk the Veiled One, was based on the tale of Mokanna the Veiled Prophet found in Sax Rohmer’s 1932 novel The Mask of Fu Manchu. But a little more shaking brings to light earlier versions of the Veiled Prophet….

— from “Trail of the Prophet” by David A. Hardy

“My college education teacher had stressed that we must answer questions with candor and honesty, even when they applied to us. A student asked me: ‘How deep was the ocean?’ I replied: ‘I don’t know.’ She shrugged her shoulders and said: ‘Imagine a teacher, and she doesn’t know that!'”

— Novalyne Price Ellis, excerpted from “Small World” by James Reasoner

So, too, this bard, whose Irish in his veins,
Imparted magic to a mundane town,
Inspired ghosts to gladly gather round
Some sparking fire while some arcane sound….

— from “That Bed Beneath the Stars” by Anthony Avacato

Somewhere out there might be copies of Grim Death, Keep on the Light, Terror By Night, possibly Creeps By Night, and maybe even Beware After Dark — all once owned by Robert E. Howard. Add that to the possible collections of Poe and Machen that are not documented or accounted for, and our mission is clear: start checking those flea markets and antique stores in Texas!

— Morgan Holmes, writing in The Lion’s Den