Written in Mission, Texas, February 1932; suggested by the memory of the hill-country above Fredericksburg seen in a mist of winter rain.
-Robert E. Howard on his inspiration for Cimmeria, home of Conan
It is on an appropriately gloomy day that I write about the sullen barbarian hero Conan, and the other creations of his equally sullen creator Robert E. Howard. With The Hobbit still somewhat fresh in my mind and a new season of Game of Thrones around the corner, it’s easy to forget about one of the first examples of the modern sword and sorcery genre. Unlike the professorial majesty of many of Tolkien’s stories (or quaint Hobbit whimsy), Howard wrote in a pulpy manner, freely imbuing horror, graphic violence, swordplay, nudity, magic, epic battles and humor into his tales. (more…)