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The 16th issue of The Definitive Robert E. Howard Journal is currently in the works. I had planned to have the issue ready in time for Howard Days, however five weeks ago I suffered a serious injury from which I am still recovering. (This is why I have been mostly absent from this blog in recent weeks.) While it is doubtful the issue will be ready in time for a Howard Days debut, it will appear later in the summer.
Issue #16 features a stellar line-up of rare Howard fiction, articles and essays by leading Howard scholars and fantastic artwork by a group of talented artists who are also die hard Howard fans. Contents include: two pieces of hard-to-find fiction by Robert E. Howard, articles and essays by Dave Hardy, Brian Leno, Patrice Louinet, Rob Roehm and Jeff Shanks, with artwork by David Burton, Bill Cavalier, Bob Covington, Nathan Furman, Clayton Hinkle, Jim Ordolis, Richard Pace, Terry Plavet and Michael L. Peters.
Among the contributors listed is Dave Hardy, who has been having success recently with his fiction writing efforts. One of his novels, Crazy Greta, was just published as a digital book and several other stories are in the pipeline. For news on Dave’s upcoming fiction works, visit his Fire and Sword blog. As for Dave’s contribution to the new issue, he has written an in-depth analysis of Howard’s “Wild Water” titled “When the Dam Breaks: Violence and Wild Water.” Here are the opening paragraphs:
The entirety of Robert E. Howard’s fiction could perhaps be seen as an extended meditation on violence. The protagonists of Howard’s stories were gunslingers, boxers, and swordsmen. Conan is practically a synonym for violence. Violence is encoded in the name of the genre that Howard did so much to create: Sword and Sorcery. Note the sword comes first. Even Howard’s comedic characters are prone to slapstick brawling that would give pause to those other Howards, Moe and Curly.
Perhaps one might consider the corpus of Howard’s work an endorsement of violence. If that is the point of view one brings to Howard’s stories, then such a conclusion is understandable. A willingness to question the text of Howard’s tales yields a different conclusion. Resolving a plot with violence is not the same as resolving a problem with violence.
The essay is illustrated by Nathan Furman.
Check this blog during the coming weeks for more details, pricing, publication date and pre-ordering information.