Skullcrusher, Volume One: Selected Weird Fiction

Skullcrusher, Volume One: Selected Weird Fiction

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781902197395
Publisher: Creation Oneiros
Publication date: 09/28/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 - June 11, 1936) was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is probably best known for his character, Conan the Barbarian, he is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre.

Read an Excerpt

Skullcrusher is a two-volume anthology of 20 stories by Robert E Howard, written between the years 1927 and 1935 and, with a few exceptions, first published in Weird Tales magazine between 1929 and 1936, the year of Howard's suicide aged just 30. In presenting the stories I have decided to group them either thematically or according to main character, as opposed to a chronological format which seems less important when dealing with a body of work that appeared in such a relatively condensed time-span - although they do appear chronologically within each sub-group.
The book opens with four stories which feature either King Kull, or Bran Mak Morn, or both - two of Howard's earliest "barbarian” characters. "The Shadow Kingdom”, written in 1927 and first published in Weird Tales in August 1929, was the first story to feature Kull - and, as such, is often cited as the first true story in the genre of "sword and sorcery”. This is followed by "The Mirror Of Tuzun Thune” (first published in Weird Tales in September 1929) perhaps the most enigmatic Kull story of them all, and then by "Kings In The Night” (first published in Weird Tales in November 1930) which, as the title implies, features not only Kull but Howard's Pictish hero, Bran Mak Morn. Bran is also the hero of the next tale, "Worms Of The Earth”, a Lovecraft-flavoured piece which remains one of Howard's very best weird tales, first published in the magazine of that name in November 1932.
The next group of stories feature as protagonist Solomon Kane, the puritan avenger who more often than not finds himself on the "dark continent”, pitted against foes both human and supernatural. Kane debuted in "Red Shadows”, written in 1927 and first published in Weird Tales in August 1928. This is followed by the epic "Moon Of Skulls” (first published in two parts in Weird Tales in June and July 1930) and "Wings In The Night”, which first appeared in Weird Tales of July 1932. These tales are notable for, amongst other things, Howard's racial stereotyping and his portrayal of Africans as little more than sub-human, aspects which would not be tolerated today but which stand as testament to the attitudes of a different era.
Next comes a trilogy of "horror” tales, commencing with Howard's most famous (and most successfully realised) Lovecraftian entry, "The Black Stone” (first published in Weird Tales in November 1931). Here, Howard joins onto Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos cycle.....

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