'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

January 22. Happy Birthday Mr. Howard.

One hundred and fourteen years ago a man was born who would have a profound effect on the world.

On January 22, 1906, Robert E. Howard was born, and although his life ended tragically and at a young age he gave a plethora of stories and characters to the world. As a writer he was influential in fantasy literature and is credited as being the grandfather of Sword & Sorcery. His works are among those that influenced and inspired the creation of D&D, being included in that famous Appendix N.

We was more than a writer of fantasy though and ran the entire gambit of adventure tales: western, boxing, ghost, desert adventures and maybe even a spicy story or two.

He was regularly published during the 1930s in pulp magazines including Weird Tales.

More than a 100 years later his characters thrill, entertain and influence.

If you are interested in learning more about Robert E. Howard, I would encourage you to check out the REH Foundation as well as the CromCast. I would also recommend checking out the novel by Novalyne Price Ellis, "One Who Walked Alone", it is about her friendship with Howard near the end of his life. Finally don't forget to grab copies of the collected letters between Howard and Lovecraft.

"He was a man," said Conan. "I drink to his shade, and to the shade of the dog, who knew no fear." He quaffed part of the wine, then emptied the rest upon the floor, with a curious heathen gesture, and smashed the goblet. "The heads of ten Picts shall pay for his, and seven heads for the dog, who was a better warrior than many a man."

Beyond the Black River.
-Robert E Howard.

Raise your glass tonight and toast one of the greats.

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