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classic fantasy & science fiction   Robert E. Howard


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headshot of Robert E. Howard
1906 - 1936
Writer

Biography

Some of the pulp fiction of the short-lived Texan Robert Ervin Howard are straightforward Westerns or historical romance; his contribution to the history of fantasy was to realize that setting his stories of ruthless hard men in Atlantis or a mythical age shortly after its fall enabled him to write without the trammels of historical accuracy. His Conan stories feature a young barbarian warrior who carves himself a kingdom and rules with a degree of wisdom and justice; they are notable for their violent energy--in one of the films with Arnold Schwarzeneggar there is a moment when Conan, crucified by an enemy, bites out the throat of a vulture that gets too close too soon, and it is worth pointing out that this, unlike most of the film, is pure unadult erated Howard. Howard's early death--he shot himself when his mother died--meant that pious friends like L Sprague de Camp finished a number of unpublished stories, and then, as with H P Lovecraft, the Howard mythos became something which endlessly newer writers have quarried--Poul Anderson and more recently Robert Jordan.

Bibliography

Cthulhu Mythos Tales series
Titles in series