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The nominees for the 2014 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards have been announced by the REHF Board of Directors. The annual awards honor outstanding achievement in Howard Studies and other Howard-related endeavors. The final nominees were selected by Legacy Circle Members from all the Howard-related work made available in 2013. Ballots have been sent out to all members of all levels of membership (Supporting Members, Friends of REH and Legacy Circle Members) via e-mail. The next step is for all foundation members to cast their votes based on the finalists. Members have until April 30 to submit their choices. The winners will be announced at a ceremony during the 2014 Robert E. Howard Days celebration in Cross Plains, Texas, on June 13.

Here are the Nominees for the 2014 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards:

The HyrkanianOutstanding Achievement Print Essay:

ADAMS, ANGELINE B. AND REMCO VAN STRATEN – “Robert E. Howard: The Lost Celt Fortean Times 296, January 2013.

BURGER, PATRICK R. – “’I ’n’ I A-Liberate Zimbabwe’: Motifs of Africa and Freedom in Howard’s ‘The Grisly Horror.’ The Dark Man Vol. 7, No. 1, February 2013.

FINN, MARK AND JEFFREY SHANKS – “Vaqueros and Vampires in the Pulps: Robert E. Howard and the Dawn of the Undead West.” Undead in the West II: They Just Keep Coming, edited by Cynthia Miller and Bowden Van Riper.

SHANKS, JEFFREY – “History, Horror, and Heroic Fantasy: Robert E. Howard and the Creation of the Sword and Sorcery Subgenre” Critical Insights: Pulp Fiction of the 1920s and 1930s.

The AquilonianOutstanding Achievement, Periodical:

THE REH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER – Bill Cavalier, Rob Roehm, Paul Herman

THE DARK MAN: THE JOURNAL OF ROBERT E. HOWARD STUDIES – Mark Hall

The StygianOutstanding Achievement, Website:

BREAKIRON, LEE, FRANK COFFMAN, GARY ROMERO, AND SCOTT SHEAFFER REHEAPA The Robert E. Howard Electronic Amateur Press Association (Website and Blog)

LENO, BRIAN, PATRICE LOUINET, ROB ROEHM, DAMON SASSER, KEITH TAYLOR- REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (Website and Blog)

THOM, BILL – Howard Works (Website)

The CimmerianOutstanding Achievement for Online Essay:

LENO, BRIAN – “Out of the Shadows—Finally, ‘Kid’ Dula” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (10 Parts)

ROEHM, ROB – “The Business” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (13 parts)

SHANKS, JEFFREY – “La Reina de la Costa Negra: The Mystery of the Mexican Conan Comics” An Age Undreamed Of

TAYLOR, KEITH – “Barbarianism Must Always Triumph” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur (3 parts)

The Venarium AwardEmerging Scholar (Vote either “Approve” or “Disapprove”):

PATRICK BURGER – A longtime member of REHupa and the editorial staff of The Dark Man, Patrick had an article published and completed his PhD dissertation on Robert E. Howard in 2013.

The Black River AwardSpecial Achievement (The following nominees have produced something special that doesn’t fit into any other category: scholarly presentations, biographical discoveries, etc.):

CAVALIER, BILL AND MORGAN HOLMES – For discovering and publishing a previously unknown photograph of Robert E. Howard

FINN, MARK – For organizing the REH presence, including panels and exhibits at Worldcon 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

FRIBERG, BEN – For filming the panels at Howard Days, editing them, and making them available on YouTube

The Rankin AwardArtistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work (Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.):

GIANNI, TOM: Cover art for Pirate Adventures (REHFP), cover art for Fists of Iron, Round One (REHFP), cover art for Robert E. Howard’s Western Tales

GIORELLO, TOMAS & JOSE VILLARRUBIA: Artwork for adaptation of “The Hour of the Dragon” –  King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon issues

KEEGAN, JIM & RUTH: Artwork for “The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob”

PACE, RICHARD: For artwork for adaptation of “Men of the Shadows,” Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword

The Black Circle Award—Lifetime Achievement:

PATRICE LOUINET

Information on the voting process can be found here and a list of the eligible candidates for nomination can be found here.

Congratulations to the nominees and good luck!

Fifth Annual Rencontres Howardiennes

I have spent time with Miguel in Texas and California but as with many good things in this world, it all started in Paris.

The big event was the Fifth Annual Rencontres Howardiennes. On the final leg of my 2010 trip to Europe and Greece, I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport at 4:00, took a taxi to my hotel and in a flurry of activity, I managed to be ready when Patrice Louinet, Fabrice Tortey and Quelou Parente arrived to take me to the get together. It was great to see Patrice and Fabrice again and to finally meet in person Quelou and then later at the party, Miguel. Miguel and I were co-bloggers on The Cimmerian and had exchanged lots of emails. It was fun night. I had the rare opportunity to meet many of the wonderful French REH fans and I took advantage of it by talking to almost everyone there. Best of all that night, Miguel and Fabrice offered to be my guides for Paris.

After the party, Miguel took me back to my hotel. He and Fabrice picked me up the next morning and took me sightseeing. We had a blast. Being shown around Paris by two Frenchmen made that time so much more special. At my request, we visited the Musée D’Orsay and saw every Impressionist painting they had. Best of all, Miguel, Fabrice and I discussed the paintings and sculptures as we went through the Museum. Afterwards we went down by the Seine and had dinner on a riverboat.

Miguel MartinsThe next day was a French holiday so they came to my hotel and picked me up again. I’m not much on visiting regular tourist spots, I’m much more interested in people but we did see Notre Dame and I enjoyed wandering through the Left Bank. I remember Miguel remarking that he spent two weeks going to the Louvre every day just to see everything in it. The whole excursion took on a new turn when Fabrice mentioned there was a regular meeting of the Monday Science Fiction club that day and asked if I’d like to go. I was very excited and when we arrived, I discovered I had already met a couple of them on Saturday night at the REH get together. I found out these meetings are held every Monday in Paris; they start at noon and went to all hours of the night. The French really know how to party or else I’ve been left out of the loop in here in my small town in California.

Miguel, Fabrice and I didn’t get to the meeting until about 5:00 but we started at one bar and then six of us walked about a mile to another restaurant where we ate. I don’t remember all the topics we covered that evening but I do remember there was lots of discussion of Time and Space – more favorite subjects of mine. All of them spoke excellent English. I remember lots of laughter. They made me feel very comfortable—a nice group of people and I enjoyed myself a lot.

Tuesday, Fabrice had to work so it was Miguel and I. He was a very considerate tour guide and asked me what I wanted to see. First on the agenda was Sacré Coeur Basilica on Montmartre which turned out to be my favorite location in Paris. Miguel was very patient while I explored it thoroughly reassuring me he didn’t mind. Miguel’s father, Vasco Martins, joined us for lunch and we wandered around looking at the artists as they created their beautiful and very expensive masterpieces. I still have the little painting of the Eiffel Tower that I bought. It will always remind me of that wonderful day on Montmartre. The three of us had a good time and I remember a lot of lively conversations. Miguel and his dad dropped me off at my hotel for a couple of hours and then Miguel picked me up again and we had dinner with Patrice near his home. He took us up to his place to see his REH collection and I held A Gent From Bear Creek in my hands. Another special REH moment in my life. It was my last night in Paris and again we all talked REH. Patrice was working under a heavy deadline so we didn’t stay long. Plus the airport shuttle was picking me up at 7:00 a.m. Lots of Parisian kisses and California hugs and it was time to return to the USA.

Miguel at the Howard HouseWhile they were showing me Paris, I invited both Fabrice and Miguel to stay with me if they ever came to California. So in June 2011 we met at the DFW Airport and drove to Cross Plains. On the way we stopped in Peaster and Mineral Wells. We got to the 36 West Motel late and the next morning, got up and went to see the Enchanted Rock, stopping by in Fredericksburg on the way back for some great German food. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday were taken up with HDs. On Sunday, Miguel, Fabrice and I flew to Sacramento. We spent the next five days touring Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and Monterey. Each place we visited was unique in its own way. Both Miguel and Fabrice took lots of photos from the top of the mountains and in the deep valleys we crossed to get to Tahoe. On Tuesday we drove to Yosemite. The rains had filled all the creeks and all the Yosemite falls, filled to capacity, were spectacular. Next was Carmel. We spent the night there and the next day visited Point Lobos State Natural Preserve which is located right on the cliffs next to the Pacific Ocean. Later we went to Monterey Pier for dinner and searched for Clark Ashton Smith’s house. The woman who owns it was outside in the yard and invited us in to see his home. Fabrice is a big CAS fan so it was a special time for him. We drove back to my place on Friday and on Saturday there was a WeirdCon party. It started about 11:00 am and went until about 11:00 that night so I guess we do know how to party here. On Monday the three of us went to San Francisco.

All in all we spent sixteen days together. What did we talk about? Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, California, Paris, and everything under the sun. Both Miguel and Fabrice were interesting to talk to. In Paris, I learned a lot about the work Miguel was doing. He told me he worked nights at a shelter for battered women. Fabrice also shared his extensive traveling experiences with us. I hadn’t been to Tahoe or Monterey in quite a few years and there were things we did that were totally new to me such as visiting Point Lobos and CAS’s home. But t was also a bittersweet time for me. My Mom had died a couple months before so there was also a great sadness in me.

Miguel in front of Clark Ashton Smith's home

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Hearing about Miguel’s passing hit me hard, especially for someone I had only met in person one time. But when I first got involved in REH fandom five or six years ago, Miguel was one of the people that was right there with me. Along with Al, Deuce, and Barbara, Miguel and I moved from posting on the REH Forums to blogging together on The Cimmerian for its final year. Joined by Keith Taylor, Jim Cornelius, William Patrick Maynard, and Brian Murphy, we all did our best to live up to standards that had been set by those who had come before us and Miguel’s contributions were a huge part of that. You can read read Miguel’s Cimmerian blog posts here.

Miguel, Al and JeffMiguel was a brilliant person and had so many insights to offer. He was also a genuinely nice guy and very modest and humble. In 2011 when he came over for Howard Days I was so thrilled to finally get to hang out with him in person. We spent quite a bit of time together and with Al and Barbara it was like a TC reunion. It was not long after that that Miguel began to move away from Howard fandom. Over the next couple of years he went through some trying times and I don’t know if he ever fully recovered. I had hoped that he just needed some time to deal with what he needed to deal with and that he would return, renewed and ready to pick up where he left off. But that wasn’t to be.

I hate it, because I know that we are doing things now that he would have loved to be a part of. Maybe I’m wrong, but I have to think that had he gotten back into Howard fandom and scholarship — something he was so passionate about — that it might have given him a drive and a reason to move past that things that were plaguing him. I wish he had reached out to us — or allowed us to reach out to him. I wish he had come back to us. But he didn’t and he’s gone. I’ll miss him greatly and I’ll never forget that his encouragement was one of my main motivations for my doing the things I’m doing. Thank you Miguel and Godspeed, my friend.

This entry filed under Howard Days, Howard Fandom, Howard Scholarship, News.

XXX_025L_Stephen_Fabian_Spears_of_Clontarf_Plate_IIIAfter a one year hiatus, The Definitive Robert E. Howard Journal is returning this summer with a new issue. TGR #17 is shaping up to be one of the best issues ever, with a cover that will knock your sandals off.

In addition to a rare piece of Howard fiction, issue 17 features essays and articles by Barbara Barrett, Dave Hardy, Don Herron, Morgan Holmes, Brian Leno, Rob Roehm, Jeff Shanks and others.

And as always, lots of great artwork will appear in the new issue by the likes of Bob Covington, Stephen Fabian, Nathan Furman, Clayton Hinkle, Terry Pavlet, Michael L. Peters and others.

So set aside some pazoors and keep a lookout on this blog for further updates and ordering information.

This is one issue you won’t want to miss!

This is the first post for 2014 of the online version of Nemedian Dispatches. This feature previously appeared in the print journal and is now on the blog. On roughly a quarterly basis, Nemedian Dispatches will highlight new and upcoming appearances of Howard’s fiction in print, as well as Howard in other types of media.

In Print:

00-Web“Spears of Clontarf” Draft
With the 1,000-year anniversary of the historic Battle of Clontarf coming next month, and Howard’s interest in it, the REH Foundation Press is publishing a facsimile version of an early draft of “Spears of Clontarf.” In addition to the typescript, this slim volume includes Howard’s letter to publisher Harry Bates and an introduction by Rusty Burke. Cover art by John Watkiss. Order details can be found here.

Strange Detective Stories, Volume 5 Number 3
Adventure House’s latest pulp replica has not one, but two Howard stories in it: “The Tomb’s Secret” and “Fangs of Gold.” You can order your copy here.  Adventure House also recently published an issue of Fight Stories (December 1931), featuring Robert E. Howard’s Sailor Steve Costigan in “Circus Fists.”

rehf-collectedboxingstories2-fistsofiron

Fists of Iron, Round 2
This is the second volume of a four-volume series from the REH Foundation Press that presents the Collected Boxing Fiction of Robert E. Howard. This book features the first half of the collected Sailor Steve Costigan yarns and clocks in at 330 pages (plus introductory material). The volume is printed in hardback with dust jacket; the first printing is limited to 200 numbered copies. Cover art is by Tom Gianni. with an introduction by Mark Finn.  Other volumes will follow as their covers are completed. Be sure and order soon — this volume is going fast.

Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #7
This current issue is overflowing with action and swordplay, featuring the conclusion of the origin story of swordswoman Dark Agnes, Pictish king Bran Mak Morn clashing with an ancient sorcerer in “Men of the Shadows” Part 3, Breck Elkins takes on civilization with much blood an mayhem and Valeria the swashbuckling lady pirate star in a solo adventure drawn by the late, great John Buscema. Available from Things from Another World.

Cover SmallZombies from the Pulps!
TGR contributor and guest blogger Jeff Shank’s zombie anthology is available for Kindle, as well as being available in paperback. The volume is chock full of zombie stories from the pulps, including Robert E. Howard’s “Pigeons from Hell.” Other authors featured include H.P. Lovecraft, Henry S. Whitehead, Clark Ashton Smith, Seabury Quinn, August Derleth, E. Hoffmann Price and others.

Weird Tales, March 1935
Girasol has recently published a pulp replica of the March 1935 issue of Weird Tales featuring Conan in “Jewels of Gwahlur.” Conan is not on the cover, but it sports a really nice Brundage painting for “Clutching Hands of Death” by Harold Boyd. Order it directly from Girasol.

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With less than three months before this year’s Howard Days (June 13 – June 14), the schedule has just been posted over at the REHupa website. This year’s theme will be “Howard and History.” Being the prolific author that he was, Howard wrote in all arenas of history, including history woven from his own imagination. So it is only fitting that world renowned Howard editor and scholar Patrice Louinet, a man who has been so instrumental in bringing all this history to us, is the Guest of Honor for this year’s Howard Days.

So if you have not made plans to attend, it is not too late. Check out the link above for full details — meanwhile here is the summary schedule of events:

Howard Days 2014 Schedule Summay Version

Friday June 13th

8:30 am – 9:00 am: Coffee and donuts at the Pavilion, compliments of Project Pride

9:00 am – 4:00 pm: Robert E. Howard House Museum open to the public.

9:00 am – 4:00 pm: REH Postal Cancellation at Cross Plains Post Office

9:00 am – 11:00 am: Bus Tour of Cross Plains & Surrounding Areas

10:00 am – 5:00 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open

11:00 am: PANEL “In the Guise of Fiction”

Noon: Lunch hosted by Project Pride. Donations welcome.

10:00 am to 4:00 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap Meet

1:30 pm: PANEL Patrice Louinet, Guest of Honor

2:30 pm: PANEL Presentation of the REH Foundation 2013 Awards

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Silent Auction items available for viewing & bidding at Banquet site

6:30 pm: Robert E. Howard Celebration Banquet & Silent Auction at the Cross Plains Community Center.

9:00 pm: PANEL “Fists at the Ice House” (behind the Texas Taxidermy building on Main St.)

Afterward there will be some extemporaneous REH Poetry Reading at the Pavilion.

Saturday June 14th

9:00 am – 4:00 pm: Robert E. Howard House Museum open to the public.

9:00 am – 4:00 pm: BARBARIAN FESTIVAL at Treadway Park, 3 blocks west of REH House

10:00 am – 3:00 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open

10:30 am: PANEL “The Legend Continues:

10:00 am to 4:00 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap Meet

Lunch & Festival Activities at your leisure during the day.

2:00 pm: PANEL “Fists of Iron”

3:30 pm: PANEL “What’s Up with REH?” (at the Pavilion)

5:00 pm: Sunset BBQ at the Caddo Peak Ranch

NOTE: All panels at REH Days last about one hour and are held at the Library unless otherwise noted.

(The Robert E. Howard House Museum will be open again this year on Thursday June 12th from 2-4 pm. No docents on duty, but the Gift Shop is open.)

Howard Days Pre Registration: 

You do not have to pre-register to partake of the weekend’s festivities. All are welcome to attend, visit the House and enjoy all of the activities free of charge. Project Pride likes to pre-register folks primarily to get a head count of how many will be attending the Banquet on Friday night and the BBQ on Saturday night. All the panels, tours, Swap Meet, Pavilion activities etc. are presented at no cost. Your registration fee covers coffee & donuts Friday morning, lunch at the Pavilion Friday noon, the Friday Banquet and the Saturday BBQ.

The cost for pre-registration this year is only $15 per person. Please send your name(s) & address with a check or money order or register via PayPal: ProjPride@yahoo.com

Project Pride
Attn: REH Days 2013 Pre-registration
PO Box 534
Cross Plains, TX 76443

Please pre-register before June 6, 2014.

Update 3/24/2014:

There is a new blog devoted exclusively to Robert E. Howard Days. Keep up-to-date here.

PulpFest 2014

Howard Days 2014 is fast approaching, but there is another big summer event to look forward to— PulpFest 2014. The convention will happen August 7th through August 10th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio. This year’s themes include celebrating science fiction’s golden year of 1939 and 75 years of fantastic fiction. And right now you can cash in on an early bird special:

The Early Bird Catches the Pulp

Early-bird shopping will be returning to the PulpFest dealers’ room on Thursday, August 7th, from 6 PM until 10 PM.

For an additional $30 over your regular membership fee, you’ll be able to purchase early-bird privileges for an extra four hours of shopping.

But wait! There’s an even better deal!

To reward loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s substantial costs by staying three nights at our host hotel,

PulpFest is pleased to offer free early-bird privileges. That’s a very significant savings of $30!

Only staff, dealers, and early-bird shoppers will be allowed into the dealers’ room during Thursday evening, August 7th, to reward them for their terrific support.

So what are you waiting for?

Book your room at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, save thirty bucks, and get in on the action!

Go to this link and we’ll be waiting for you.

Every year PulpFest gets bigger and better. Here are just a few highlights of events scheduled for the pulp con to end all pulp cons:

PulpFest 2014 Programming

PulpFest is known for its great programming and the line-up that we’re planning for our 2014 convention is shaping up to be one of our best. As mentioned previously, we’ll be celebrating science fiction’s golden year of 1939 and seventy-five years of fantastic fiction, as well as eighty years of the shudder pulps, zeroing in on the weird-menace magazines of 1934.

As always, we’ll have a wide variety of panels and presentations, including a discussion of Famous Fantastic Mysteries  featuring Blood ‘N’ Thunder editor Ed Hulse and author Nathan Madison; Meteor House publisher Mike Croteau’s review of Philip José Farmer’s early science fiction stories for the pulps and digests; art historian David Saunders‘ presentation on John Newton Howitt, one of the leading cover artists for the weird-menace pulps; and preeminent pulp authority and author of The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage, Will Murray’s celebration of the diamond jubilee of The Avenger, the last of Street & Smith’s major pulp heroes to get his own magazine.

Of course, every year there is a large contingent of Howard fans to hang out with and there may even be a REH Foundation luncheon for everyone to gather and talk Howard.

More information and a preliminary schedule can be found here.

This entry filed under Collecting Howard, News.

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These days it seems like every time you turn around there is a damned zombie glaring at you, just itching to eat your brain. A whole sub-culture has sprung up around these lumbering, drooling denizens from beyond the grave. Since the early 2000′s zombies have been gaining ground in popular culture. With movies, television shows, video games, books, graphic novels, blogs, fan fiction, flash mobs, social media and just about another type of media you can think of and zombies have a rotted foothold on it.

But despite this resurgence in popularity, zombies have been for a very long time. Supposedly originating in West Africa hundreds of years ago. Those zombies were corpses reanimated by vodu magic, while Haitian zombies were believed to have been created from living persons given a psychoactive drug that put them a zombie-like state. But no matter how they are created, they sure as Hell are scary.

Jeffrey Shanks is the editor of this collection of vintage zombie yarns. It is so good the smell of rotting flesh permeates through the 412 pages of the book. Of course, Jeff is well known as a rising star in Howard fandom; indeed he is running circles around us old geezer Howard fans and scholars. The past weekend he was a guest at Pensacon and in April he will be presenting a paper at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association in Chicago. Of course he is a guest blogger here and contributor to the TGR print journal as well. Jeff does a fine job with the introduction, which reads more like an essay than a typical introduction. Here is the section of the introduction that relates to Howard’s contribution to the anthology:

The creator of such legendary characters as Conan the Cimmerian, Solomon Kane, and Kull of Atlantis, Texas writer Robert E. Howard was one of the giants of the pulp magazines. Though best known as the father of sword and sorcery, Howard wrote stories in many different genres including horror, westerns, boxing, historical adventure, and hardboiled detective stories. He also wrote a number of Southern Gothic horror stories, among which was the zombie story “Pigeons from Hell” published in the May 1938 issue of Weird Tales—a story Stephen King once claimed was one of his favorites. Based on stories told to him as a child by his African American housekeeper, “Pigeons from Hell” features a new type of creature, the zuvembie—a female zombie that has the power to create new zombies. The story was adapted for the television show Thriller (hosted by Boris Karloff) in 1961 and is one of the series’ most famous episodes.

The book is profusely illustrated with drawings from the pulps and most of these stories were written by Howard’s cotemporaries and many of those writers he knew and corresponded with.

Contents of Zombies from the Pulps!

Introduction: “Dawn of the Zombie Genre” by Jeffrey Shanks

“Herbert West—Reanimator” by H. P. Lovecraft

“Jumbee” by Henry S. Whitehead

“The Corpse-Master” by Seabury Quinn

“Dead Girl Finotte” by H. De Vere Stacpoole

“Salt is Not for Slaves” by G. W. Hutter

“The Dead Who Walk” by Ray Cummings

“The House in the Magnolias” by August Derleth and Mark Schorer

“The Empire of the Necromancers” by Clark Ashton Smith

“The Devil’s Dowry” by Ben Judson

“The Walking Dead” by E. Hoffmann Price

“The Graveyard Rats” by Henry Kuttner

“The Grave Gives Up” by Jack D’Arcy

“Zombie” by Carl Moore

“Revels for the Lusting Dead” by Arthur Leo Zagat

“Corpses on Parade” by Edith and Ejler Jacobson

“Pigeons from Hell” by Robert E. Howard

“The Man Who Loved a Zombie” by Russell Gray

“While Zombies Walked” by Thorp McCluskey

“The Song of the Slaves” by Manly Wade Wellman

“The Forbidden Trail” by Jane Rice

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Zombies from the Pulps! is now available over at Amazon.com.

So if you find yourself standing next to an evil looking little old lady in the supermarket checkout line, give her wide berth — she might be a zuvembie, capable of turning you into a zombie. Yikes!

imageThe Robert E. Howard house and museum in Cross Plains, Texas is the single most important physical symbol of the man and his legacy that remains today — and it needs your help. This century-old structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is truly a place of great significance for American and indeed global cultural history. It was here, on an Underwood No. 5 manual typewriter, that worlds were born. It was here that new genres like sword and sorcery and the weird western came in to being. It was here that Solomon Kane first set out on a quest for retribution and vengance. It was here that Kull first sat brooding on his antediluvian throne and where Bran Mak Morn first gazed out over fields of heather contemplating the doom of his people. And it was here that Conan the Cimmerian first strode forth to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.

Few fandom communities are fortunate enough to have an existing physical location, a physical structure, associated directly with the creation of the objects that fuel their passion. Fewer still have a location that they can actually visit and see first hand — a building that they can walk through and experience the way that their icon did so long ago. We as Howard fans are truly blessed and fortunate to have this house still standing, still available as a mecca for us to visit, preserved like a shapsot of Bob Howard’s 1930s Texas.

imageBut none of this is by accident. This house and museum only exist because of the hard work and efforts of the good people of Project Pride in Cross Plains. It was Project Pride who, in 1989, first bought the house and restored it to its original condition. It is Project Pride and its volunteers that have continued to maintain the house over the years, that provide docents to give tours, that arrange to have someone there to greet visitors throughout the year, and whose members go to great lengths to welcome hundreds of fans to their tiny community every year for Howard Days in June.

But Project Pride has very limited resources. They depend on us — the fans — to help them out when funds are needed for more than routine maintainance for the house. This is one of those times. The house is overdue for repair work to replace areas of wood rot. The rot was so bad that the window to Howard’s bedroom recently fell out and needs to be replaced. The entire house is in need of painting. These and other needed repairs are expenses that Project Pride cannot bear alone — so they need your help to preserve this historic treasure that means so much to all of us.

imageRusty Burke once said that if every fan who ever enjoyed a Robert E. Howard story would just give one dollar, then there would never be a need to ask for money again. But as it is, we do have to ask. Every little bit helps. So please send a few dollars or whatever you can spare to Project Pride. They can be PayPaled directly at projpride@yahoo.com or you can send a check or money order to:

Project Pride
P.O. Box 534
Cross Plains, TX 76443

Thank you so much to everyone who does their part to preserve this important monument to Robert E. Howard’s legacy.

Weird Tales Covers

Seems like Chicago is the place to be in April. In addition to the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention, the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association is holding its national conference April 16th through 19th at the Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel. For those of you not familiar with PCA/ACA, here is their mission statement:

The mission of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association is to promote the study of popular culture throughout the world through the establishment and promotion of conferences, publications, and discussion. Aiding the PCA/ACA in this goal is the PCA/ACA Endowment which offers support for scholars and scholarship.

The PCA/ACA actively tries to identify and recruit new areas of scholarly exploration and to be open to new and innovative ideas. PCA/ACA is both inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary. Finally, the PCA/ACA believes all scholars should be treated with dignity and respect.

You can find the complete details pertaining to the conference here.  Below is a list of topics of interest to Howard and fantasy fans, courtesy of Jeffrey Shanks:

Pulp Studies I: Weird Tales: The Unique Magazine

Weird Modernism: Literary Modernism in the First Decade of Weird Tales – Jonas Prida (College of St. Joseph)

The Occult Truth of History: Lovecraft, Howard, Smith, and the Headless Sublime – Jason Carney (Case Western Reserve University)

“What Subtle Torment the Black God’s Kiss Had Wrought Upon Him”: Gender Performance as Strategic Advantage in American Sword and Sorcery – Nicole Emmelahinz (Case Western Reserve University)

Pulp Studies II: History, Horror, and the Heroic Fantasy of Robert E. Howard

Cthulos/Kathulhu: Intertextuality in the Pulp Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard – Nicole Rehnberg (California State University, Fullerton)

Through a Glass Too Darkly: Conan Revealed as “The Bright Barbarian” – Frank Coffman (Rock Valley College)

Night Falls on Asgard: Robert E. Howard’s Weltgeschichte – Rusty Burke (Independent Scholar)

Pulp Studies III: Imperial Pulp – Nationialism and Colonialism in Pulp Fiction

From Jungle Lords to Planetary Pioneers: Ideologies and Anxieties of Colonialism in the Pulps – Jeffrey Shanks (National Park Service)

“Thou, Africa!”: An Analysis of Robert E. Howard’s Conflicting Views on Race in His Unpublished Poetry – Barbara Barrett (Independent Scholar)

“Too bad it’s in the Soviet Zone now”: Divided Germany and Pro-American Discourses in James McGovern’s Romance Novel Fräulein (1956) – Elisa Edwards (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria)

Pulp Studies IV: Weird Menaces and Hard-Boiled Heroes

Erle Stanley Gardner’s Pulp Legacy – Jeffrey Marks (Independent Scholar)

Pulpy Rhetoric: The Modern Sophism of Black Mask – Rachel Tanner (University of Oregon)

Spicy Horror: Sex and Magical Reversal in Weird Menace Pulp Fictions – Meta Regis (Stella Maris College)

Pulp Studies V: Pulp Pedagogy – Pulp Fiction in Education

Teaching the Pulps: A Heuristic for Rhetorical Reading of Popular Fiction – Justin Everett (University of the Sciences)

Orange Pulp: Collecting & Interpreting Pulp Magazines at Syracuse University – Sean Quimby (Syracuse University)

The Cosmic Angle of Regarding: Mathematics and the Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft – Daniel Look (St. Lawrence University)

As you can see, the various areas of study cover a lot of ground and include presentations by guest bloggers and TGR contributors Barbara Barrett, Rusty Burke, Frank Coffman and Jeffrey Shanks. If you can make it, you’d be helping show support for the topics and presenters. That support would be a big part of bringing Robert E. Howard studies to the forefront of academia.