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Today is the 15th anniversary of the death of Karl Edward Wagner. Karl was a master of fantasy and horror who has yet to be fully recognized for the genius he was. I corresponded with Karl back in the heyday of his success and found him to be a sensitive, giving person. He was indeed a gentle giant and helped this publisher with advice and support. Karl was the first person to take on the de Camp Conan machine. He gave Howard fandom its first true editions of Conan stories with three wonderful volumes before his effort was cut short by the machinations of de Camp and his allies.
There a number of websites devoted to KEW, but one of my favorites is East of Eden. A group of his fans are working to organize an annual celebration, much like Howard Days, in his home town of Knoxville, Tennessee, with his good friend and artist John Mayer spearheading the effort. Like Howard, few folks today in KEW’s hometown know who he is. Let’s cross our fingers and hope something will come about, even it is just a small start, it would be at least something to have in his honor.
We should all do our part to keep his lamp burning, so hoist high your flagons today in his honor and read your favorite Kane story and remember a true giant among fantasy writers..