Robert E. Howard’s Adventures in Science Fantasy

Earlier this year I had the honor of supplying the introduction to Adventures of Science Fantasy by Robert E. Howard. The book is published by The Robert E. Howard Foundation. They promote the works of Robert E. Howard and scholarship concerning same. It’s a very dedicated group which looks past glib dismissals of Howard’s work as escapist fare, and examines it for its literary merit.

In preparation of the essay I read through all the stories, some of which I’d never seen before, and some I’d not read in ages. What really struck me is that they were a product of their time, and I don’t mean that in a strictly Depression-era sense. There are what I refer to as “writer generations.” I think they last about 20 years, which is about the time it takes for a writer who grows up reading one author to start being published. Thus one can look at Edwin Arnold’s Gulliver of Mars as a direct antecedent of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars, and then on to Howard’s Almuric—that novel being included in this collection.

Another point about this collection is that it really shows Howard and his skill off in number of stories that would be considered outliers. Howard, as were many of the writers of his day, could craft all sorts of stories. The fact that we remember them for very few tales and iconic characters means these others stories are gems.

The collection is limited to a printing of 200. I just got my three contributor copies in the mail. Given the numbers I received, this collection will be sold out very quickly. Hit the link above and place an order now if you’d like to own this wonderful volume. (I will be more than pleased to sign copies at Phoenix Comicon, Origins, Gencon and DragonCon.)

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