Essays on Conan the Mighty-Thewed Cimmerian

Conan painted by Simon Bisley

An intro of sorts…

I have a post here by Bob Byrne, which he wrote on the Facebook group ‘Robert E. Howard: The Father of Sword & Sorcery.’ Bob Byrne’s ‘A (Black) Gat in the Hand’ was a regular Monday morning hardboiled pulp column on Black Gate in the Fall and Winter of 2018. His ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate from March 2014 through March 2017 (still making an occasional return appearance!). 

He also organized Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series. Bob is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.

Bob edited the Black Gate essay series ‘Hither Came Conan’ which I contributed to here. Due to COVID-19, Howard Days has been cancelled this year, which is sad. As you know, it’s on my bucket list to attend before I am too old. Bob wrote the post below in honour of Howard Days. Please enjoy.

Lead the way Bob.

In honor of what would be Howard Days this weekend:

In 2019, I think Black Gate had a grand slam with ‘Hither Came Conan.’ Each of the original REH Conan stories were randomly assigned to a talented writer, and they were tasked with explaining why ‘that one’ was the best of all Conan stories. Poor Dave Hardy had to pitch ‘Vale of Lost Women.’

The real idea was to pull out what was good about that particular story. And even a bad REH Conan story still had things to admire.

Honestly, it’s the thing I’m most proud of being associated with in my six years of writing for Black Gate. These guys put together an AMAZING collection of essays on the mighty-thewed Cimmerian.

Click on the link to see the last essay in the series. And as usual, it contains links to all the prior posts. If you’re a Conan fan, and you haven’t read all of these, give yourself a treat in lieu of Howard Days, and discover some new things about REH’s most popular creation.

I really thought this series was going to get an REH Foundation Award this year (the Awards were cancelled). There are some fantastic essays.

This way to the essay.

I trust you good folks enjoyed that. My post on Clark Ashton Smith should be ready somewhere next week. Please watch this space.


2 thoughts on “Essays on Conan the Mighty-Thewed Cimmerian

  1. Glad you joined on for this series. I knew we had a lot of excellent writers, but I still can’t believe how great so many of the essays were. I don’t think it could have gone off much better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed it immensely. When you write an essay on a story you delve so much deeper. You look at the mechanics that make the story work and that is awesome. The writers who contributed to this series wrote awesome essays. I don’t think it would be untoward of me to suggest that these stories be compiled and published as a collection with the income going to the REH foundation.


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