Today marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Howard, father of sword and sorcery. Howard is most famous, of course, for creating the character of Conan, most often called the Barbarian. If you only know Conan through movies, comics, and pastiches, well, pardner, you don’t know Conan. And if Conan is the only way you know Robert E. Howard, well, you don’t know Howard very well, either.
There are a number of tributes on the web today, and if you’re in the vicinity of Cross Plains (I wish), there’s a party. If you happen to be among the Howard impaired, and only know him by reputation or through Conan, let me recommend you check out the posts by Howard Andrew Jones and Barbara Barrett over on the Black Gate website. Jones’s is a more general tribute discussing the breadth of Howard’s fiction, while Barbara examines the poetry. Both are good
gateway drugs introductions to Howard’s work. It’s an addiction worth having.