“Conan vs. Conantics” was the first shot fired in the epic battle between Don Herron and L. Sprague de Camp, and sparked a war that Howard purists ultimately won.
Don’s seminal essay first appeared in his Hyperborian Age APA, and then quickly reprinted in REH: Two-Gun Raconteur #3; De Camp commented on the essay in issue #4’s letter column, with a reply in the same issue from Don. In his rebuttal to Don, de Camp made an analogy in which he stated he was able to outrun a hippopotamus while in Africa; Don’s reply to that remark his response letter’s sign-off.
Unfortunately, I left off Don’s sign-off to his letter to save space (I only published the body of the letter). So “Yours for faster Hippos,” finally get its due as the title the latest chapbook from The Cimmerian Library. Here are the details from Leo Grin:
Not only does this booklet reprint one of the classic Howard essays, but it offers a number of other articles written by Herron that expand on the themes begun in the original “Conan vs. Conantics.” Karl Edward Wagner comes under some scrutiny, as does Richard Tierney and his fellow pasticher David C. Smith. And of course, L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter are analyzed in that way that only Don Herron can pull off. Everyone who has seen the cover thinks this is one of the all-time great cover images, based on pure entertainment value as well as the subtext present, and I’m inclined to agree. Says It All.
Given Don’s popularity, I have doubt “Yours for faster Hippos,” will sell like proverbial hotcakes