Some of you may have heard that my article “The Everlasting Barbarian: Robert E. Howard at 100 Years” is now available in the August/September issue of Weird Tales (#341). What you may not know is that Weird Tales has finally revamped their website to reflect the new editorial vision of Wildside’s John Betancourt, and that as part of this they have posted my article online for all to read. So if you haven’t seen it yet, head over to their site and check it out.
The goal of the article was to get something about Howard’s centennial into the magazine he helped make famous seven decades ago. Lots has changed since the last time many WT readers had Howard on their radar (circa 1970), and some may be surprised at all they have missed. I agree with various people who have told me that a single article in one issue is a rather weak attempt at a Howardian celebration, and that Weird Tales should have had a tribute issue filled with articles, reviews, pictures, classic Howardian art, and rousing examples of Howard’s best fiction and poetry. But beggars can’t be choosers, and it’s nice to have Howard represented in a way that gives him a fair shake in such a venue, without the sneers and guffaws that too often accompany any mention of the Texan by genre critics.
When I was in San Francisco visiting with Don Herron, Scott Connors, Dennis Rickard, and Ron Hilger (among others) I flipped through Scott’s copy of #341 and was astounded to read the announcement that WT had not received a single letter of comment on their last issue. With The Cimmerian, the task too often is trying to find room for all of the letters that pour in regularly (in June I was reduced to using a font size that bordered on the microscopic). So if you read my article, drop WT a line telling them whether you liked it or hated it, and what else they might do to honor Howard in his centennial year. I’m sure Darrell Schweitzer (a regular Cimmerian contributor and a great friend of the journal) and the other editors of WT would appreciate the feedback.
And if you like the article online, consider buying the issue. At $5.95 it’s a good bargain considering all of the fiction you get, including a new story by another friend of The Cimmerian, Howard Days 2004 Guest of Honor Bob Weinberg. (you can read my Howardian-themed interview of Weinberg here).