Essay Samples

REH Word of the Week: flanks Essay

noun 1. the fleshy part of the side between the ribs and the hip; side [origin: before 12th century; Middle English, from Old French flanc, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hlanca loin] HOWARD’S USAGE: They set me on high, a marble saint, As if to guard the virtue of the park. My …

REH Word of the Week: bindlestiff Essay

(artist unknown) noun 1. hobo, especially one who carries his clothes or bedding in a bundle. [origin: ca. 1897; origin unknown] HOWARD’S USAGE: Some day I’m going out on the Road— I’ll pound the pavements, grab the blind baggage And ride the brake beams. I’ll sit in the jungles and talk with ‘boes and their …

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REH Word of the Week 2013 Revisited: lay Essay

noun 1. a narrative song with a recurrent refrain; ballad [origin: 13th century; Middle English, from Anglo-French lai] HOWARD’S USAGE: At birth a witch laid on me monstrous spells, And I have trod strange highroads all my days, Turning my feet to gray, unholy ways. I grope for stems of broken asphodels; High on the rims …

REH Splashes the “Spicys” — Part V Essay

After Howard’s death, the “spicy” pulps continued on, but change was on the horizon. Hoping to quell some of the criticism coming from moral squads and local governments that were on the warpath to clean-up the sexual titillation prevalent in the spicys, other pulp titles and comic books, Donenfeld and his editors embarked in 1936 …

REH Splashes the “Spicys” — Part IV Essay

Writing to Novalyne Price on February 14, 1936, Howard informs her of his venture into the “spicy” market: The tales of Sam Walser (a rugged, upright, forthright, typical American name, even if the original was a Dane from Skaggerack) appear — or will appear when they start publishing them — in a magazine called Spicy …

REH Splashes the “Spicys” — Part III Essay

Writing to his agent, Otis Adelbert Kline, on January 8, 1936, Howard mentions the status of three spicy yarns: Hope “Guns of Khartum” clicks. I’m enclosing another Spicy Adventure herewith. I’d intended also enclosing a Breck Elkins yarn, but after writing it I was dissatisfied with it, deciding that it didn’t have enough action and …

REH Splashes the “Spicys” — Part II Essay

Encouraged by his first sale to Spicy-Adventure Stories, Howard was soon at work on another spicy adventure. Like “She Devil” (aka “The Girl on the Hell Ship”), “Ship in Mutiny,” Howard’s second spicy effort was set in the South Pacific and featured Clanton’s love interest, Raquel O’Shane from the first yarn. However, “Mutiny,” written as a sequel to “She …

REH Splashes the “Spicys” — Part I Essay

In the last year of his life, money was a big issue in Howard’s life – his mother’s health was declining rapidly and the medical bills were piling up. Also, Weird Tales owned him over $1,000 and Editor Farnsworth Wright was not giving in to Howard’s urgent pleas for at least some money to be …

REH and Weird Tales Essay

Robert E. Howard was an avid reader of Weird Tales, the famous fantasy pulp magazine that was launched in the spring of 1923. He may have seen the first issue of the magazine while studying in Brownwood. The issues of Weird Tales usually appeared a month earlier than their cover date would suggest. Howard’s first known mention …

REH and Ethan Nahte vs. The Yumbies Essay

The multi-talented and perpetually busy Friend of TGR, Ethan Nahte, has just had a short story titled “Bubbas, Barbarians & Yumbies, Oh My!” published in A Bubba in Time Saves None, a collection of humorous zombie short stories from Yard Dog Press.  Yumbies are actually yuppie zombies, as Ethan explains in his Press Release on the anthology, which is …

Pulp Fiction Essay

Here is an update on this great Summer convention: Edgar Award-winning writer, editor, and publisher Otto Penzler has been chosen to be the Guest of Honor at this year’s PulpFest, a convention for collectors and devotees of vintage pulp fiction, which will be held July 31 through August 2 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and …

Pre-Order The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard from The REH Foundation Press Essay

The Robert E. Howard Foundation is pleased to present The Collected Poetry of  Robert E. Howard. This volume collects all of Howard’s known verse (more than 700 poems), excluding only certain draft and/or variant versions of his poems which are not significantly different from published versions. It also includes the prose poems published in Etchings …

Pre-order REH: Two-Gun Raconteur No. 18 Today! Essay

Pre-orders are now being accepted for issue number 18 of The Definitive Robert E. Howard Journal. This is an extremely limited edition of 150 copies, so don’t procrastinate if you want a copy. The new issue will make its debut at Howard Days on June 12th. If you can’t make it to Cross Plains, you …

Pools of the Black Mass Essay

Robert E, Howard’s “The Pool of the Black One” (Weird Tales, October 1933) features a magical pool that kills humans by transforming them into miniature statues.  There is firm evidence that the concept was borrowed from the works of Sax Rohmer and Robert W. Chambers, two authors whom Howard frequently listed among his favorite writers. “Robert …

Peruse the New Skelos Magazine Website Essay

As a reader and amateur historian of the field of the fantastic, this is the type of publication I want to read. -Keith Taylor If you have some time this weekend, you might want to take a look at the Skelos Magazine website, which is up and running.  All sorts of information is located there, …

Personal Items Essay

As we celebrate Robert E. Howard’s birthday, I thought a few nuggets of his life would be appropriate. These were all found during my slow crawl through the Brownwood Bulletin for 1922-23. Most are from the “Personal Items” column. Tuesday, November 21, 1922: Personal Items: Mrs. I. M. Howard has returned from a week’s visit …

Out in the West Texas Town of El Paso . . . Essay

Back in February of 2010, I wrote about my search for the Aztec Bar in El Paso, a bar Howard and Truett Vinson stopped at during one of their trips out west. It seems I’m not the only one interested in the place. Last Saturday I received a letter in the mail from a gentleman …

On the Banks of Turkey Creek Essay

Ever wondered what it was like to be in Cross Plains during Robert E. Howard’s time? There are a few glimpses in his fiction and letters, but for the most part Howard is pretty quite about life in that Central Texas town. When he does comment, we only see what he wants us to see, …

Still Available to Order: REH: Two-Gun Raconteur No. 16 Essay

Orders are being accepted for this issue of The Definitive Robert E. Howard Journal. This issue features a stellar line-up of rare Howard fiction, essays, articles, reviews and artwork: Full Color Cormac Mac Art Cover by Terry Pavlet Inside Front and Back Covers: Scenes from “The Footfalls Within” by Bob Covington Back Cover: The Sonora …

Now Available: The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales Essay

Co-editor Jeffrey Shanks holds up a copy of the just released volume on the heyday of Weird Tales, The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales. Jeff and his co-editor Justin Everett complied an amazing line-up of authors, covering a wide range of topics for this in-depth look at The Unique Magazine. For some insight and background on this must-have volume, …

Novalyne and Daniel Baker Essay

Just a few raw factoids this time: According to Novalyne Price Ellis’s introduction to Report on a Writing Man, she moved to Brownwood when she was in the 7th grade. By the time she was a freshman in high school (which was the 8th grade back then, high schools only running to the 11th, or “senior” year), she …

Not-So-Happy Birthdays for Sam Bass and Belle Starr — Part Two Essay

Belle Starr was born Myra Belle Shirley on February 5, 1848 on a little farm near Carthage, Missouri. She received a classical education and was a competent pianist. Starr was on track to lead an ordinary and respectable middle-class life. But fate stepped in when the Civil War started and forever changed her life. The …

Not-So-Happy Birthdays for Sam Bass and Belle Starr — Part One Essay

Wanted posters back in the days of the Old West could get downright personal.  In addition to being branded a “notorious badman,” it appears Sam Bass was also labeled “a poor dresser” and would not be a likely candidate for Project Runway. In a letter to H.P. Lovecraft, ca. January 1931, Howard gives HPL a taste of an old campfire …

Nineveh, The Bloody City – Part Two Essay

Various racial distinctions were evident in the human figures — the hooked noses and curled black beards of the dominant race wore plainly distinguishable. Their opponents were sometimes black men, sometimes men like themselves, and occasionally tall, rangy men with unmistakable Arab features … And suddenly Kane remembered where he had seen similar carvings, wherein …

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