2018 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards Shortlist

The Robert E. Howard Foundation’s Legacy Circle members have selected the nominees for this year’s REH Foundation Awards, honoring the top contributions in Howard scholarship and in the promotion of Howard’s life and works from the past year.

Foundation members have until April 30 to vote on the winners, which will be announced at Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains on June 8.

The Atlantean — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)

(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • FRED BLOSSER — AR-I-E’CH and the Spell of Cthulhu: An Informal Guide to R. E. Howard’s Lovecraftian Fiction (Black Stone Press)
  • FRED BLOSSER – Savage Scrolls: Scholarship from the Hyborian Age (Volume 1) (Pulp Hero Press)
  • BOBBY DERIE – The Robert E. Howard Bar Guide (Self Published)

The Valusian — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)

(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

[No eligible candidates]

The Hyrkanian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)

(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short pieces, interviews, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • BILL CAVALIER – “Robert E. Howard and his Influence on Dungeons and Dragons” – Knights of the Dinner Table 236
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Robert E. Howard’s Weird Detectives” – Occult Detective Quarterly 3
  • DIERK GUENTHER – “Local Color and Its Underlying Meaning in Robert E. Howard’s Weird Western, Southern Gothic Horror, and Detective Stories” – The Dark Man 8.2
  • CHARLES HOFFMAN – “’The Shadow Kingdom’ and the Origins of Gothic Horror in Robert E. Howard’s Heroic Fantasy” – Skelos 2

The Cimmerian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)

(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short blog posts, speeches, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • LEE BREAKIRON – “The Rise of the New Hyborian Legion (2 parts)” – REHEAPA
  • BOB BYRNE – “Robert E. Howard Wrote a Police Procedural? With Conan?? Crom!!!” – Black Gate
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Conan and the OAK (5 Parts)” – On An Underwood No. 5
  • KAREN JOAN KOHOUTEK – “Queen by Fire and Steel and Slaughter: Bêlit’s Hymn” – On An Underwood No. 5

The Venarium — Emerging Scholar

(The following candidates have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years. Previous winners are not eligible)

  • JASON RAY CARNEY – Contributed essay to On an Underwood No. 5; presented papers at ICFA and Glenn Lord Symposium
  • NICOLE EMMELHAINZ – Presented paper at ICFA.
  • DIERK GUENTHER – Contributed article to The Dark Man; presented papers at ICFA and Glenn Lord Symposium

The Stygian—Outstanding Achievement, Website or Periodical

(Eligible candidates are limited to print or digital magazines, journals, blogs, or internet sites with substantive material that is primarily devoted to scholarship on the life and works of Robert E. Howard. Websites must have been updated with new content at least once in the previous calendar year. Print periodicals must have had an issue published in the previous calendar year. Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible.)

  • HOWARD WORKS (Bill Thom)
  • ON AN UNDERWOOD NO. 5 (Todd Vick)
  • REH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER (Lee Breakiron)

The Black Lotus – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia

(Eligible candidates have produced a multimedia or audio/visual work or series of works, such as videos, documentaries, podcasts, animation, etc. related to the life and work of REH)

  • THE CROMCAST (audio podcast) – Josh Adkins, Luke Dodd, and Jon Larson
  • HOWARD DAYS 2017 (videos)– Ben Friberg
  • WEIRD FICTION ROBERT E. HOWARD (video) – Michael Moir

The Black River—Special Achievement

(The following eligible candidates have produced or contributed something special that doesn’t fit into any other category: scholarly presentations, biographical discoveries, etc.)

  • SCOTT CONNORS, KAREN JOAN KOHOUTEK, JONAS PRIDA, RICK LAI, and JEFFREY SHANKS – For participating in an REH panel at NecronomiCon Providence.
  • DERRICK HUSSEY – For establishing the Robert E. Howard Fellowship Endowment at the University of Texas.
  • PATRICE LOUINET and JEFFREY SHANKS – For serving as advisors on the Conan Role Playing Game from Modiphius.

The Rankin — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work

(Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.)

  • SIMON BISLEY  – Cover art for Conan the Thief RPG book (Modiphius) depicting “Rogues in the House”
  • GERALD BROM– Cover art for Conan RPG Core Book (Modiphius) depicting “Xuthal of the Dusk”
  • TIM TRUMAN – Interior art for Vampire Classics (Graphic Classics) depicting “Horror from the Mound”

Black Circle Award – Lifetime Achievement

(Individuals who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to REH scholarship, publishing, or the promotion of Howard’s life and works. Eligible candidates must have been publicly involved in Howard-related activities for a minimum of two decades. Sixty percent of the vote is required for induction into the Black Circle)

  • FRED BLOSSER

Fred Blosser is a longtime critic and commentator on the works of Robert E. Howard, beginning in 1970 with an essay in Glenn Lord’s The Howard Collector. For many fans, his essays in the back of Marvel’s Savage Sword of Conan were their introduction to non-fiction about Howard and his stories. He has authored numerous articles, reviews, and introductions over the years, including contributions to The Howard Collector, Barbarian Scroll, The Howard Review, The Dark Man, The Man from Cross Plains, Two-Gun Bob, and Anniversary: A Tribute to Glenn Lord. Last year he released two books, Ar-I-E’ch and the Spell of Cthulhu: An Informal Guide to Howard’s Lovecraftian Fiction and Savage Scrolls: Scholarship from the Hyborian Age.

  • CHARLES HOFFMAN

For over four decades Charles Hoffman has been one of the leading figures in Howard scholarship, since the publication of his seminal essay “Conan the Existentialist” in 1974 — widely regarded as the first true literary criticism of Howard’s work. With Marc Cerasini, he co-authored Robert E. Howard: Starmont Reader’s Guide and co-edited the initial two issues of Cromlech, the first scholarly journal dedicated to Howard. He has written a number of acclaimed essays on Howard’s work for The Dark Man, Crypt of Cthulhu, The Cimmerian, Skelos, and Spectrum, as well as for for the collections Two-Gun Bob: A Centennial Study of Robert E. Howard, The Barbaric Triumph, and The Robert E. Howard Reader.

  • BILLIE RUTH LOVING  (posthumous)

For many years Billie Ruth Loving was the head librarian at the Cross Plains Public Library. She was one of the founding members of Project Pride and in 1986 helped welcome fans to the very first Robert E. Howard Days. With the Cross Plains Library she assisted in purchasing the Howard House, then donated it to Project Pride in order to have a museum for fans visiting Cross Plains. Over the years she served as the unofficial caretaker of the house and museum and was the primary local historian on Howard and his life.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 3/22/18 And The Pixels Were All Kept Equal By Hatchet, Ax And Saw

(1) TECH IMPROVED, ETHICS STAYED THE SAME. The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne Jr., in “Yes, we should be outraged about Facebook” analyzes The 480, a 1964 near-future sf novel by Eugene Burdick (co-author of Fail-Safe) in which “people who work with slide rules and calculating machines which can remember an almost infinite bits of information” have divided the U.S. into 480 demographic groups in order to manipulate them into supporting a dark-horse Republican presidential candidate.  Dionne brings up this novel in the context of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal and notes that Burdick based his novel on efforts by Simulatrics Corp. to support the Kennedy campaign in 1960.

(2) INVOLUNTARY EXPERIMENT. The Guardian says Kim Stanley Robinson told them — “Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet”.

Cities are part of the system we’ve invented to keep people alive on Earth. People tend to like cities, and have been congregating in them ever since the invention of agriculture, 10,000 or so years ago. That’s why we call it civilisation. This origin story underlines how agriculture made cities possible, by providing enough food to feed a settled crowd on a regular basis. Cities can’t work without farms, nor without watersheds that provide their water. So as central as cities are to modern civilisation, they are only one aspect of a system.

There are nearly eight billion humans alive on the planet now, and that’s a big number: more than twice as many as were alive 50 years ago. It’s an accidental experiment with enormous stakes, as it isn’t clear that the Earth’s biosphere can supply that many people’s needs – or absorb that many wastes and poisons – on a renewable and sustainable basis over the long haul. We’ll only find out by trying it.

Right now we are not succeeding. The Global Footprint Network estimates that we use up our annual supply of renewable resources by August every year, after which we are cutting into non-renewable supplies – in effect stealing from future generations. Eating the seed corn, they used to call it. At the same time we’re pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate that is changing the climate in dangerous ways and will certainly damage agriculture.

(3) TOLKIEN AND LEWIS AT WAR. As reported here in December, a five-part documentary film series A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War about “the transformative friendship between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien forged amid the trauma of war,” is in production. A new trailer has been posted. The film’s release date is set for November 11, 2018, to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I.

The documentary film series, “A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War,” explores how the experience of two world wars shaped the lives and literary imagination of two internationally famous authors and friends, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Based on Joseph Loconte’s New York Times bestseller, the film examines how Tolkien’s combat experience during the First World War—at the Battle of the Somme—launched him on his literary quest. The film reveals how the conflict reinforced Lewis’s youthful atheism—he was injured in combat—but also stirred his spiritual longings. The film traces the careers of both men at Oxford University, and their deepening friendship as they discover a mutual love of medieval, romantic literature. Facing the threat of another world war, Tolkien and Lewis reach back into their earlier experience of war as they compose their epic works of fantasy, The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.

 

(4) HOWARD AWARD. The eligibility list for the 2018 Robert E, Howard Foundation Awards has been posted.

This is full list of eligible candidates for the 2018 REH Foundation Awards. Legacy Circle Members will select the top three nominees in each category from this preliminary ballot. From those final nominees all Premium REHF members will vote for the winners. The awards will be given out at a special ceremony at Howard Days in Cross Plains on June 8.

(5) APOLLO STILLS PUT IN MOTION. Mark Hepworth sent a link to these “Very cool Apollo gifs” at Medium “I looked through all 14,227 Apollo photos… and made GIFs.”

A few days ago Jared Kinsler compiled an excellent selection of the photos of the Apollo missions, which you should check out here…

(6) DINO LUST. They look like horns, but in reality they were babe magnets: “Triceratops may have had horns to attract mates”.

Dinosaurs like the Triceratops may have had horns and frills to attract a mate, a new study suggests.

Ceratopsian, or horned dinosaurs, were previously thought to have developed this ornamentation to distinguish between different species.

This has now been ruled out in a study published in a Royal Society journal.

Instead, the aggressive-looking armour may actually have evolved to signal an animal’s suitability as a partner, known as socio-sexual selection.

“Individuals are advertising their quality or genetic make-up,” explained Andrew Knapp, lead author of the research reported in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“We see that in peacocks too, with their tail feathers.”

(7) SF OBSCURE. Echo Ishii’s search through TV history leads to “Hard Time on Planet Earth”.

Hard Time on Planet Earth was an American series broadcast for 13 episodes in 1989 starring Martin Kove. An elite alien military officer is sentenced to earth as his penalty for rebellion. He is given human form-much weaker than his older form-and sent to Earth to improve his violent behavior. (Or maybe curb his violent instincts or learn about goodness, it all gets a bit murky.) Anyway, he’s banished to Earth with an AI system called Control to monitor him. He’s given the name Jesse. Control  is a giant, floating mechanical eye. Jesse has to help people in need to get back into the Ruling Council’s favor.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY CAPTAIN

  • Born March 22, 1931 – William Shatner

(9) HE’S FEELING BETTER. An ad was gaining clicks by falsely reporting Shatner’s death, and the actor teed off on Facebook: “William Shatner Rails at Facebook After Being Told That He’s Dead”.

“Hey @facebook isn’t this your messenger app? What’s up with you allowing this Acocet Retail Sales ad to pass your muster? Thought you were doing something about this?” Shatner wrote.

A Facebook employee later responded with the assurance that the ad and the page had been removed from Facebook. Still, news of Shatner’s demise couldn’t come at a worse time for the actor, as he is expected to turn 87 on Thursday.

It also couldn’t come at a worse time for Facebook, which has been reeling recently over news that 50 million Facebook users unknowingly had their information lifted by data firm Cambridge Analytica.

(10) MEMEWHILE. Elsewhere on the internet, #AddShatnerToAnything was the order of the day. For example…

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • John King Tarpinian tuned into Broomhilda just as she was about to take gas.

(12) CONS AS PUBLIC UTILITY. Will Shetterly considered himself to have nothing in common with Jon Del Arroz apart from also having been banned from a convention. Well, now that Shetterly has cast shade on Jim C. Hines’ post about JDA’s track record of harassment, in “Two privileges of attending science fiction conventions, and a little about Jon Del Arroz’s law suit”, they have that in common, too. However, this passage struck me as the most interesting part of the post:

Before conventions began banning people, the fundamental privilege of attending science conventions wasn’t discussed because, by capitalist standards, the privilege was fair: anyone who had money could go, and anyone who didn’t, well, capitalist fairness is never about people who don’t have money.

But now that conventions have begun banning people, it’s time to acknowledge the second privilege. Though the genre has grown enormously, it’s still a small community at the top. If you hope to become a professional, it can be enormously helpful to attend WorldCon, the World Fantasy Convention, and literary conventions like ReaderCon, WisCon, and Fourth Street Fantasy. Once your career has begun, you need to be able to attend the Nebulas Awards too. Obviously, only the very privileged can go to most of those conventions regularly, but anyone who wants to make a career in this field should, every year, pick one from from Column A (WorldCon, World Fantasy, Nebula Awards), one from Column B (ReaderCon, WisCon, Fourth Street Fantasy), and one from Column C (local convention, regional convention, major commercial convention like DragonCon).

Being banned from any convention is an enormous blow to a writer’s ability to be a writer, and especially to a new writer’s ability to last in the field. It keeps you from meeting fellow professionals and getting useful tips, and it keeps you from making new fans.

(13) HIMTOO. Shetterly’s post prompted this recollection from Bruce Arthurs:

(14) BRANDED. The logical companion volume to Gene Wolfe’s The Death of Doctor Island and Other Stories and Other Stories, eh John?

(15) NEVER TOO LATE. Kim Wilde is making a comeback, with added science fiction: “Kim Wilde says aliens inspired her pop comeback”.

As a keen sci-fi fan (Arrival and ET are her favourite films), Wilde is fully embracing the theme of her new album – from the sleeve’s terrific B-movie artwork, to the stage show for her upcoming tour.

“I’ve got this little wardrobe set up, of fantastic capes and cloaks,” says the singer, who previously bought her outfits at jumble sales.

“We’re going to go a bit sci-fi and we’re going to a bit glam rock. It’ll be sexy and fun and something to put a big smile on people’s faces. I’m really excited about it.”

(16) A CLOCKWORK COD. Do Asimov’s Laws apply here? “Researchers create robotic fish that can swim underwater on its own”.

Observing fish in their natural ocean habitats goes a long way toward understanding their behaviors and interactions with the surrounding environment. But doing so isn’t easy. Using underwater vehicles to get a look at these species is one option, but they often come with a slew of limitations. Some are loud and use propellers or jet-propulsion that disturb fish and their surroundings. And many are designed in a way that doesn’t allow them to blend in with the marine environment. Controlling such vehicles is also a challenge and in many cases, they have to be tethered to a boat. But researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have come up with a potential solution — a soft robot that can swim on its own underwater.

(17) SEE FOOD. Apparently no fish were harmed in the making of this food? “3D-printed sushi looks like the perfect 8-bit meal” at Cnet.

At this year’s SXSW, Japanese technology company Open Meals revealed its Pixel Food Printer, which 3D-prints edible sushi, and other food, that looks like it was meant for a retro video game.

The pixelated food, including sushi and burgers, is printed first by using the Food Base digital platform that stores data on the exact flavor, shape, texture, color and nutrients of foods.

Then the actual Pixel Food Printer uses a robotic arm that prints out small pixel cubes made of edible gel with the corresponding flavors, colors and nutrients of the type of food being printed out.

(17) SEA PLASTIC. Printing seafood may be necessary at this rate: “Plastic patch in Pacific Ocean growing rapidly, study shows”.

Predictions suggest a build-up of about 80,000 tonnes of plastic in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” between California and Hawaii.

This figure is up to sixteen times higher than previously reported, say international researchers.

One trawl in the centre of the patch had the highest concentration of plastic ever recorded.

“Plastic concentration is increasing – I think the situation is getting worse,” said Laurent Lebreton of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation in Delft, Netherlands, which led the study.

“This really highlights the urgency to take action in stopping the in-flow of plastic into the ocean and also taking measures to clean up the existing mess.”

Waste accumulates in five ocean areas, the largest being the patch located between Hawaii and California.

(18) KGB. Ellen Datlow shared her photos taken at Fantastic Fiction at KGB on March 21.

Despite our blizzard, people did indeed show up for our reading. They were rewarded by hearing wonderful work by Kelly Robson and Chandler Klang Smith.

(19) SCI-FI SAVES DOG. David Gerrold’s “Jasmine and Friends Book Sale” at GoFundMe is raising money to pay a vet bill and assist a couple of friends. Donate to it and you get some of David’s books.

Our little Jasmine is sixteen years old. She specializes in naps and laps. A few weeks ago, she stopped eating and appeared to be in serious decline.

The vet determined that she had developed a serious abscess in her mouth and needed immediate surgery before she weakened further. She ended up having seven teeth extracted as well.

The good news is that she survived the operation, her mouth is healing, and she’s eating again. She’s out of pain and she’s acting like her old self.

The bad news is that the vet bill was high. Very high. We thought we’d be able to cover it, but despite the vet helping us with a payment plan, we’re still falling short.

Add to that, we have a couple friends who could use a serious financial infusion. Several people on Facebook asked if they could help, so we decided to do it this way.

We’re holding a book sale.

Any donation at all will get you a link to download a set of three stories: “The Bag Lady,” “The Great Milo,” and “Chester” (which was inspired by Jasmine’s best buddy of fifteen years.)

Any donation of $20 or more gets you a link to download a copy of “Jacob”, my vampire novel, plus all the previous.

Any donation of $40 or more gets you a link to download a copy of “thirteen, fourteen, fifteen o’clock” plus all the previous.

Any donation of $60 or more gets you a link to download a copy of “Entanglements and Terrors” (my short story collection) plus all the previous.

Any donation of $80 or more gets you a link to download a copy of “A Promise O f Stars” (another short story collection) plus all the previous.

Any donation of $100 or more gets you all of the above, plus a copy of the Megapack, a flash drive with a half million words of stories, scripts, and stuff. (You’ll have to include a shipping address.)

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Meredith, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Dann.]

2017 Robert E. Howard Foundation Award Winners

The winners of the 2017 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards were announced June 10 at Howard Days.

The awards honor the top contributions in Howard scholarship and in the promotion of Howard’s life and works from the past year. The winners were determined by vote of the REH Foundation members.

The Atlantean — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)

  • PATRICK BURGER – On the Precipice of Fascism: The Mythic and the Political in the Works of Robert E. Howard and Ernst Junger (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Publishing)

The Valusian — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)

[No eligible candidates]

The Hyrkanian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)

  • JEFFREY SHANKS – “Nameless Tribes and Races of Men: Anthropological World-Building in ‘Men of the Shadows’” – Skelos #1

The Cimmerian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)

  • PATRICE LOUINET – “’The Wright Hook’ (or, the origin of ‘Spear and Fang’)” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog

The Venarium — Emerging Scholar

  • TODD VICK – Contributed essays to On an Underwood No. 5; Editor of On an Underwood No. 5 blog; presented paper at PCA and Glenn Lord Symposium

The Stygian—Outstanding Achievement, Website

  • ON AN UNDERWOOD NO. 5 (Todd Vick)

The Aquilonian — Outstanding Achievement, Periodical

  • REH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER (Damon Sasser)

The Black Lotus – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia

  • JOSH ADKINS, LUKE DODD, and JON LARSON – The Cromcast (audio podcast)

The Black River—Special Achievement

  • PATRICE LOUINET – For serving as adviser on the Conan board game from Monolith.

The Rankin — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work

  • ADRIAN SMITH – Artwork for Conan boardgame by Monolith (depicting various REH characters)

Black Circle Award – Lifetime Achievement

[None of the nominees achieved the minimum percentage of votes.]

2017 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards Shortlist

The Robert E. Howard Foundation’s Legacy Circle members have selected the nominees for this year’s REH Foundation Awards, honoring the top contributions in Howard scholarship and in the promotion of Howard’s life and works from the past year.

Foundation members have until May 10 to vote on the winners, which will be announced at Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains on June 9.

The Atlantean — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)

  • PATRICK BURGER – On the Precipice of Fascism: The Mythic and the Political in the Works of Robert E. Howard and Ernst Junger (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Publishing) – Link

The Valusian — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)

[No eligible candidates]

The Hyrkanian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)

  • MORGAN HOLMES —“The Wild Wild West of Robert E. Howard” – Blood ‘n’ Thunder #48 – Link
  • KAREN JOAN KOHOUTEK – “The Outsider Scholar: Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and Scholarly Identity” – The Dark Man 8.1 – Link
  • RICK LAI —“The Sinister Skelos: Robert E. Howard’s Demonic Wizard” – Blood ‘n’ Thunder #49-50 – Link
  • JEFFREY SHANKS – “Nameless Tribes and Races of Men: Anthropological World-Building in ‘Men of the Shadows’” – Skelos #1 – Link

The Cimmerian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)

  • BOBBY DERIE – “Robert E. Howard and the Amateur Press (5 Parts)” – On an Underwood No. 5Link
  • DIERK GUENTHER – “Gumshoes, Gats and Gals: Robert E. Howard’s Detective and Crime Stories” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog Link
  • PATRICE LOUINET – “’The Wright Hook’ (or, the origin of ‘Spear and Fang’)” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link

The Venarium — Emerging Scholar

  • GUENTHER, DIERK – Contributed to TGR blog; presented papers at PCA, ICFA, American Literature Society of Japan National Conference, and Glenn Lord Symposium
  • DANIEL LOOK – Contributed to TGR blog; presented papers at PCA, ICFA, and Glenn Lord Symposium
  • TODD VICK – Contributed essays to On an Underwood No. 5; Editor of On an Underwood No. 5 blog; presented paper at PCA and Glenn Lord Symposium

The Stygian—Outstanding Achievement, Website

  • HOWARD WORKS (Bill Thom) – Link
  • ON AN UNDERWOOD NO. 5 (Todd Vick) – Link
  • REH: TWO-GUN RACONTEUR BLOG (Damon Sasser) – Link

The Aquilonian — Outstanding Achievement, Periodical

  • THE DARK MAN (Mark Hall) – Link
  • REH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER (Damon Sasser) – Link

The Black Lotus – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia

  • JOSH ADKINS, LUKE DODD, and JON LARSON – The Cromcast (audio podcast) – Link
  • BEN FRIBERG – Howard Days Panels (videos) – Link
  • RANDALL LOBB, MARK HUSSEY, and ISAAC ELLIOT-FISHER – Chasing Conan (video interviews from the Riddle of Steel documentary) Link

The Black River—Special Achievement

  • FRANK COFFMAN, DIERK GUENTHER, DANIEL LOOK, JONAS PRIDA, and JEFFREY SHANKS – For participating in an REH paper session and panel at ICFA 2016.
  • DIERK GUENTHER – For giving a presentation on REH at the Annual National Conference 2016 of the American Literature Society of Japan in Okayama.
  • PATRICE LOUINET – For serving as adviser on the Conan board game from Monolith.

The Rankin — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work

  • RICHARD BERNAL – Cover art for The Adventures of Breckinridge Elkins, Volume 1Link
  • JIM & RUTH KEEGAN – Artwork for “The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob,” [Various titles] – Link
  • ADRIAN SMITH – Artwork for Conan boardgame by Monolith (depicting various REH characters) – Link

Black Circle Award – Lifetime Achievement

(Individuals who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to REH scholarship, publishing, or the promotion of Howard’s life and works. Eligible candidates must have been publicly involved in Howard-related activities for a minimum of two decades.)

  • FRED BLOSSER
  • BILLIE RUTH LOVING  (posthumous)
  • DONALD A. WOLLHEIM (posthumous)

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

2017 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards Preliminary Ballot

The longlist for the 2017 REH Foundation Awards has been announced. The awards honor achievement in Howard scholarship and in the promotion of Howard’s life and works. The Foundation’s Legacy Circle members will select the finalists, and the shortlist will be voted on by the full REHF membership. The winners will be announced at Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains, TX on June 10.

The Atlantean — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)

(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • BURGER, PATRICK – On the Precipice of Fascism: The Mythic and the Political in the Works of Robert E. Howard and Ernst Junger (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Publishing) Link

The Valusian — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)

(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

[No eligible candidates]

The Hyrkanian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)

(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short pieces, interviews, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • BUTLER, JOHN – “Howardlandia, Inc.” Weird Fiction Review #6 – Link
  • CARNEY, JASON RAY—“Disintegrating Verse: The Poetry of the Shadow Modernists and the Ephemerality of the Ordinary” – The Dark Man 8.1 – Link
  • CIRILLI, MATTHEW—“Literary Gothicism in Robert E. Howard’s ‘Red Nails’” – The Dark Man 8.1 – Link
  • COFFMAN, FRANK – “The Poets of Weird Tales” – Spectral Realms 4 & 5 – Link
  • DOWD, CHRISTOPHER —“The Irish-American Identities of Robert E. Howard and Conan the Barbarian” – New Hibernia Review 20.2 (Summer 2016) – Link
  • EMERY, PHILIP—“Bersker Synecdoche: Howard’s Aesthetic of Violence” – The Dark Man 8.1 – Link
  • GARSTAD, BENJAMIN—“Robert E. Howard’s Critics and the Question of Racism” – Weird Fiction Review #7 – Link
  • GRAMLICH, CHARLES—“The Beautiful and the Repellent: The Erotic Allure of Death and the Other in the Writers of Weird Tales” – Weird Fiction Review #7 – Link
  • HOLMES, MORGAN—“Robert E. Howard and the Clayton Magazines” – Blood ‘n’ Thunder #46-47 – Link
  • HOLMES, MORGAN—“The Wild Wild West of Robert E. Howard” – Blood ‘n’ Thunder #48 – Link
  • KOHOUTEK, KAREN JOAN – “The Outsider Scholar: Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and Scholarly Identity” – The Dark Man 8.1 – Link
  • LAI, RICK—“The Sinister Skelos: Robert E. Howard’s Demonic Wizard” – Blood ‘n’ Thunder #49-50 – Link
  • McILVAINE, ROBERT—“The Influence of Joseph A. Altsheler’s Apache Gold on Howard’s ‘The Haunted Mountain’” – The Dark Man 8.1 – Link
  • SHANKS, JEFFREY – “Nameless Tribes and Races of Men: Anthropological World-Building in ‘Men of the Shadows’” – Skelos #1 – Link
  • SPURLOCK, J. DAVID – “Conan & Frazetta: Celebrating 50 Years of Sword & Sorcery” – San Diego Comic-Con International 2016 Souvenir BookLink

The Cimmerian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)

(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short blog posts, speeches, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • ADAMS, FRED – “Esau Cairn – A Man Outside His Epoch” – Black Gate Link
  • BREAKIRON, LEE – “An American Barbarian Storms France” – REHEAPALink
  • BREAKIRON, LEE – “Let There Be Updates” – REHEAPALink
  • BYRNE, BOB – “Steve Harrison: REH’s Private Detective” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • COFFMAN, FRANK – “The Poem “Cimmeria” and Howard’s Use of Blank Verse” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • CORNELIUS, JIM – “Charlie Siringo — A Cowboy Detective” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • CORNELIUS, JIM – “Her Wild Old Past” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • CUPP, SCOTT A. – “The OCD of Collecting Howard” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “The Satanic Robert E. Howard (3 Parts)” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “Conan and Canevin” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “The Swords of Robert E. Howard (3 Parts)” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “Robert E. Howard’s Arkham” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “That Fool Olsen” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “Ebony and Crystal: REH, CAS, and Fraternal Good Wishes” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “Robert E. Howard and the Amateur Press (5 Parts)” – On an Underwood No. 5Link
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “Dr. Isaac M. Howard, Pellagra, and Homeopathy” – On an Underwood No. 5  – Link
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “Conan and the Dweller (4 Parts)” – On an Underwood No. 5  – Link
  • DERIE, BOBBY – “Howard, Lovecraft, & ‘The Sin-Eater’” – On an Underwood No. 5Link
  • GUENTHER, DIERK – “Gumshoes, Gats and Gals: Robert E. Howard’s Detective and Crime Stories” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog Link
  • HARDY, DAVE – “Henry Plummer: The Innocents and The Vultures” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • HOLMES, MORGAN – “Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft on Immigration” – Castalia House Blog – Link
  • JONES, HOWARD ANDREW – “The Ne’re-do-well Hero of “Gates of Empire” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • KOHOUTEK, KAREN JOAN – “Ishtar and Salome in the Hall of Mirrors” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • KOHOUTEK, KAREN JOAN – “When Ishtar Met the AEsir” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur BlogLink
  • KOHOUTEK, KAREN JOAN – “Others and Skull-Face” – On an Underwood No. 5Link
  • LAI, RICK—“Pools of the Black Mass” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • LOOK, DANIEL M. – “A Nontraditional Approach to the Posthumous Collaborations of de Camp and Howard” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog  – Link
  • LOUINET, PATRICE – “’The Wright Hook’ (or, the origin of ‘Spear and Fang’)” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • MAYNARD, WILLIAM PATRICK – “Steve Harrison Reconsidered” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • MAZAK, KAROLY – “REH and Weird Tales” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • PRASIL, TIM – “A New Theory on Robert E. Howard’s Conrad and Kirowan Tales” – The Merry Ghost Hunter – Link
  • ROEHM, ROB – “’The Howards are a moving people.’” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • ROMEO, GARY – “Those Were Books! (2 Parts)” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • TAYLOR, KEITH – “Burning Sappho” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • TAYLOR, KEITH – “The Flappers of REH’s Day” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • TAYLOR, KEITH – “Who Are Those Guys?” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • TAYLOR, KEITH – “Worship the Golden Calf” – REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog – Link
  • VICK, TODD – “An Escape from The Depression: The Fantasy Fan, Marvel Tales & The Pulps” – On an Underwood No. 5Link
  • VICK, TODD – “The Thing About Conan Is . . .” – On an Underwood No. 5Link
  • VICK, TODD – “On the Trail of Grotz: A Lone Scout, A Picture, and a Road Trip” – On an Underwood No. 5Link
  • VICK, TODD – “Cannonballs, Boxers, and Music Halls: Robert E. Howard’s Stay in San Antonio” – On an Underwood No. 5Link

The Venarium — Emerging Scholar

(The following candidates have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years. Previous winners are not eligible)

  • BYRNE, BOB – Contributed to TGR Blog and organized “Discovering REH” series for Black Gate
  • CARNEY, JASON RAY – Contributed article to The Dark Man; presented paper at PCA
  • CIRILLI, MATTHEW – Contributed article to The Dark Man
  • EMERY, PHILIP – Contributed article to The Dark Man
  • GUENTHER, DIERK – Contributed to TGR blog; presented papers at PCA, ICFA, American Literature Society of Japan National Conference, and Glenn Lord Symposium
  • LOOK, DANIEL – Contributed to TGR blog; presented papers at PCA, ICFA, and Glenn Lord Symposium;
  • MAZAK, KAROLY – Contributed to TGR blog.
  • McILVAINE, ROBERT – Contributed article to The Dark Man
  • VICK, TODD – Contributed essays to On an Underwood No. 5; Editor of On an Underwood No. 5 blog; presented paper at PCA and Glenn Lord Symposium

The Stygian—Outstanding Achievement, Website

(Eligible candidates are limited to internet sites with substantive static content and material that is primarily devoted to scholarship on the life and works of Robert E. Howard. Websites must have been updated with new content at least once in the previous calendar year. Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible.)

  • BLACK GATE (John O’Neill) Link
  • HOWARD ANDREW JONES BLOG (Howard Andrew Jones) Link
  • HOWARD WORKS (Bill Thom) Link
  • ON AN UNDERWOOD NO. 5 (Todd Vick) Link
  • THE SWORDS OF REH FORUM (Jason Aiken, et al.) Link
  • REH: TWO-GUN RACONTEUR BLOG (Damon Sasser) Link
  • ROBERT-E-HOWARD.FR (Claude Ghedir and Patrice Louinet) Link
  • ROBERT E. HOWARD GOODREADS GROUP (Vincent Darlage and Jim MacLachlan) Link
  • REH ELECTRONIC AMATEUR PRESS ASSOCIATION (Frank Coffman, et al.) Link

The Aquilonian — Outstanding Achievement, Periodical

  • THE DARK MAN (Mark Hall) Link
  • REH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER (Damon Sasser) Link

The Black Lotus – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia

(Eligible candidates have produced a multimedia or audio/visual work or series of works, such as videos, documentaries, podcasts, animation, etc. related to the life and work of REH)

  • ADKINS, JOSH, LUKE DODD, AND JON LARSON – The Cromcast (audio podcast) – Link
  • AIKEN, JASON – Pulp Crazy (video podcast) – Link
  • FRIBERG, BEN – Howard Days Panels (videos) – Link
  • RANDALL LOBB and MARK HUSSEY – Chasing Conan (video interviews from the Riddle of Steel documentary) Link
  • SHANKS, JEFFREY – REH Panel at International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts (video) – Link

The Black River—Special Achievement

(The following eligible candidates have produced or contributed something special that doesn’t fit into any other category: scholarly presentations, biographical discoveries, etc.)

  • FRANK COFFMAN, DIERK GUENTHER, DANIEL LOOK, JONAS PRIDA, and JEFFREY SHANKS – For participating in an REH paper session and panel at ICFA 2016.
  • JASON RAY CARNEY, DIERK GUENTHER, DANIEL LOOK, and TODD VICK – For presenting papers on REH at PCA/ACA 2016
  • CAVALIER, BILL “INDY” – For representing the REHF at Windy City Pulp and Paper Con
  • GUENTHER, DIERK – For giving a presentation on REH at the Annual National Conference 2016 of the American Literature Society of Japan in Okayama.
  • JONES, HOWARD ANDREW and BILL WARD – For their “Re-Reading Conan” series at www.howardandrewjones.com/
  • KING, ROB – For creating the Cross Plains Review digital archive of back issues for the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech.
  • LOUINET, PATRICE – For serving as advisor on the Conan boardgame from Monolith.
  • SPURLOCK, J. DAVID – For organizing the REH and Frazetta 50th Anniversary panel at SDCC.
  • TAYLOR, KEITH – For his fictional biography of Helen Taveral at the REH: Two-Gun Raconteur Blog

The Rankin — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work

(Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.)

  • BERNAL, RICHARD – Cover art for The Adventures of Breckinridge Elkins, Volume 1Link
  • BISLEY, SIMON – Cover art for Conan the Avenger #25 depicting “A Witch Shall Be Born” – Link
  • CRITCHLOW, CARL – Cover art for Conan RPG Quickstart Rules by Modiphius depicting “Beyond the Black River” – Link
  • CHING, BRIAN and MICHAEL ATIYEH – Interior art for Conan the Avenger #22–25  depicting “A Witch Shall Be Born” – Link
  • KEEGAN, JIM & RUTH: Artwork for “The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob,” [Various titles] – Link
  • RENAUD, PAUL – Cover art for Conan the Avenger #22–24 depicting “A Witch Shall Be Born” – Link
  • SMITH, ADRIAN – Artwork for Conan boardgame by Monolith (depicting various REH characters) – Link

Black Circle Award – Lifetime Achievement

(Individuals who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to REH scholarship, publishing, or the promotion of Howard’s life and works. Eligible candidates must have been publicly involved in Howard-related activities for a minimum of two decades.)

  • BLOSSER, FRED
  • LIN CARTER (posthumous)
  • CERASINI, MARC
  • De CAMP, LYON SPRAGUE (posthumous)
  • HOFFMAN, CHARLES
  • LOVING, BILLIE RUTH (posthumous)
  • SCITHERS, GEORGE (posthumous)
  • VAN HISE, JAMES
  • WOLLHEIM, DONALD (posthumous)

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 7/1/16 I Have No Mouse And I Must Fafhrd

(1) A BOOK OWNER’S LIFE. Locus Online’s Mark R. Kelly writes a personal blog, and his newest post is a memoir, “15 Ways of Buying a Book, Part 1”.

Way #1:

The first books of my own, that I bought with my own money and at my own selection, were purchased through a classroom Scholastic Books catalog, in the 6th grade, that is, in 1966-1967. My family lived in Reseda, California, and I attended Vanalden Elementary School, a few blocks from our home. The school was a set of bungalows, separate structures holding two classrooms each, raised off the ground with a crawl-space below and a short set of steps up to the classroom door. A few times a year, pamphlet catalogs were passed out to all the students, listing a selection of titles and prices. We would take the catalogs home, consult with our parents, then return order forms to class with appropriate payment. The books cost 35 or 50 cents each. They were typically special Scholastic editions, short little paperbacks the size of old Ace Doubles, or larger thinner paperbacks for nonfiction. Everyone’s orders would be consolidated into a single order for the classroom, mailed in, and three or four weeks later, a big box would arrive in class and the selections eagerly distributed. (You can imagine: the box would have three copies of this book; five of these; one of this…)

Always being rather obsessive about keeping lists, I have maintained detailed purchase (and reading) records since I was 15 years old (on sheets of paper, later copied to logbooks, later copied to databases), and at some point reconstructed such lists from before that age. So I know exactly which books I bought when.

The three I remember from this 6th grade classroom source, and still have, are Martin Gardner’s Science Puzzlers, Isaac Asimov’s Environments Out There, and Howard Pease’ Mystery at Thunderbolt House. The Gardner likely reflected my interest in puzzles from that Things to Make and Things to Do volume I’ve described in that earlier post; the Asimov, a thin book about the solar system, from my recently discovered interest in astronomy. (My first interest in astronomy was seeing a stack of textbooks, called A Dipper Full of Stars, in a cabinet in my 6th grade classroom, and asking to borrow one. I’ve alluded to this in previous posts.)

(2) FINDING WAYS TO DONATE. Here’s a signal boost for JJ’s answer in comments to Tasha Turner’s wish for “a nationwide and worldwide Internet place to go and see places in need.”

One of the commenters on Greta’s blog linked to this:

DonorsChoose.org. Support a classroom. Build a future. Teachers all over the U.S. need your help to bring their classroom dreams to life. Choose a project that inspires you and give any amount.

search by science fiction

You can also search for projects in the highest poverty areas, nearest to being completed, closest to the deadline date, a specific age/grade range, or projects in or near your current location or your hometown.

(3) UNKNOWN CHRISTMAS COMPANION. ScreenRant says who is a mystery: “Doctor Who 2016 Christmas Special Features ‘Different Guest Companion’”.

Though his newest companion, Bill (played by newcomer Pearl Mackie) has already been introduced, speaking to Doctor Who Magazine, Moffatt has confirmed that her debut will be at the start of Season 10 in 2017, and the Doctor will have a different guest companion for the Christmas Special:

“We’ll introduce [Bill] in the first episode of 2017, and she’ll run through that series. She’ll not be in Christmas [2016], because that would blow the series launch … So there’ll be somebody else – a different, guest companion – this Christmas, like how River Song played the companion role in last year’s Special.”

Of course, this now leads everyone to wonder who might join Capaldi in the TARDIS.

(4) EXEC COMMENTS ON TREK FAN FILM GUIDELINES. Axamonitor has a thorough article covering what a CBS representative has said about interpreting the new guidelines.

John Van Citters, CBS vice president of product development for CBS Consumer Products appeared on the hour-long program, Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast, which was released June 28, to explain the studios’ intent behind the guidelines, why they’re guidelines instead of rules and to clarify some of the guidelines’ specific restrictions regarding run-times, audio dramas, props and costumes…..

An Arms Race

AXANAR MEETING Van Citters was one of two CBS officials who met with Axanar producer Alec Peters in August 2015, followed by a warning of possible legal action.

Van Citters observed that fan productions had spiraled into something “larger and larger,” that had become “something of an arms race about how many Hollywood names could be attached. … That’s not really in the spirit of fan fiction.”

The guidelines, by prohibiting that kind of competition for involving industry professionals, level the playing field for newer and smaller fan productions, he added.

Not the End of Fan Films

Van Citters disputed some characterizations of the guidelines as a means to end fan films. Instead, he said they mark the first time a major copyright holder has ever given any guidelines for unfettered use of a major piece of its intellectual property with just guidelines.

He noted that while the guidelines’ restrictions may seem counterintuitive, they are meant to protect fan films for the long term, and to “cure some abuses that have been out there, and to refocus this around the fan experience … and around creating more stories rather than this kind of arms race about talent and fundraising.”

(5) PACKING IRON. Richard Foss is quoted in KCET’s story about “The Culinary Historians of Southern California”.

With the Cook Bear as their mascot–the only other place he has appeared is in the Pan-Pacific Cookbook published in 1915–CHSC keeps to their mission statement, “Dedicated to pursuing food history and supporting culinary collections at the Los Angeles Public Library”, by taking the money raised from membership dues ($30 a year), fundraising dinners and regular cookbook sales (typically after the events) and giving it to the library. To date the group has donated over $100,000…..

Special Events Chair Richard Foss, who also lectures regularly on a variety of food history topics, sees interest in the subject growing. “The Culinary Historians of Southern California is a club for anyone with any level of interest in food and food history,” said Foss, a journalist, food historian, and author of two books, “Rum: A Global History” and “Food in The Air and Space: The Surprising History of Food and Drink in the Skies”. “It’s as much about anthropology as it is about history and it’s really about food as a transmittor of cultural values.”

 

Richard Foss, a CHSC Board Member, demonstrates how to use an antique waffle iron during a talk on dining in California during the Victorian era at the Workman-Temple Homestead Museum in the City of Industry earlier this year. || Image provided by Richard Foss

Richard Foss, a CHSC Board Member, demonstrates how to use an antique waffle iron during a talk on dining in California during the Victorian era at the Workman-Temple Homestead Museum in the City of Industry earlier this year. || Image provided by Richard Foss

(6) HOWARD AWARDS. Black Gate has the winners of the 2016 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards, announced in June at the REH Days celebration in Cross Plains, Texas.

(7) COSTUMERS AHOY! Costume-Con 36 (2018) in San Diego has picked its hotel and set a date. The con will take place May 11-14, 2018 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Mission Valley. The hotel is adjacent to the Hazard Center Mall (which offers several restaurant options) and it is across the street from the San Diego Trolley.

(8) TOLKIEN AT WAR. On the anniversary of the first day of the Somme, Joseph Loconte muses about “How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front”. Loconte’s book A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918 was released a year ago.

IN the summer of 1916, a young Oxford academic embarked for France as a second lieutenant in the British Expeditionary Force. The Great War, as World War I was known, was only half-done, but already its industrial carnage had no parallel in European history.

“Junior officers were being killed off, a dozen a minute,” recalled J. R. R. Tolkien. “Parting from my wife,” he wrote, doubting that he would survive the trenches, “was like a death.”

The 24-year-old Tolkien arrived in time to take part in the Battle of the Somme, a campaign intended to break the stalemate between the Allies and Central Powers. It did not.

The first day of the battle, July 1, produced a frenzy of bloodletting. Unaware that its artillery had failed to obliterate the German dugouts, the British Army rushed to slaughter.

Before nightfall, 19,240 British soldiers — Prime Minister David Lloyd George called them “the choicest and best of our young manhood” — lay dead. That day, 100 years ago, remains the most lethal in Britain’s military history.

Though the debt is largely overlooked, Tolkien’s supreme literary achievement, “The Lord of the Rings,” owes a great deal to his experience at the Somme. Reaching the front shortly after the offensive began, Tolkien served for four months as a battalion signals officer with the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers in the Picardy region of France.

(9) TRACKING MALZBERG’S COLUMN. Mike Resnick wanted to be sure I understood what really happened:

I’m told that File 770 ran a piece saying that Galaxy’s Edge, the magazine I edit, had pulled Malzberg’s column on Judy Merril due to protests. Nope. We pulled the entire May-June issue in which it appeared at the end of June 30, so we could post the July-August issue on our web page on July 1 (today). This has been our practice since the first issue, 4 years ago. Anyone who wants to read the May-June 2016 issue (#20) is welcome to buy it in epub, .mobi, or paper. Honest.

Thanks to a commenter here, I had already posted the correction by the time Mike reached out to me on Facebook. However, I’m happy to repeat the explanation and clear up the impression created by yesterday’s report.

(10) MALZBERG READERS. Today there were more reactions what Barry Malzberg said about Judith Merril in Galaxy’s Edge.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • July 1, 1899 – Charles Laughton. When Ray Bradbury went to Disneyland for the first time it was with Captain Bligh and the Hunchback and Doctor Moreau. Bradbury also originally wrote the play “Merry Christmas 2116” as a vehicle for Laughton and Elsa Lanchester.

(12) SEARCHING FOR FANNISH MUSICAL LYRICS. Rob Chilson left a comment in the About area asking for help.

I wonder if you or your readers can help me.

40 years less 2 months ago, at MidAmeriCon, I sat in on a reading of a musical version of “The Enchanted Duplicator” — my intro to the classic. It was MCed by Filthy Pierre (Erwin Strauss) who if I recall correctly adapted it to the stage. The others sang the songs and I mumbled along low enough not to disturb them. I’ve now spent a couple of hours on the net looking for one song that started: “Roscoe gave fan an arm of iron to help him pub his zine” and had the chorus, “But for a quarter or a loc, somebody else cranks the damn machine. For a quarter or a loc, a quarter or a loc. A quarter or a three-line ell-oh-cee.” Or words to that effect.

Can anyone point me at the lyrics?

One thought — is there anything like this in “The Mimeo Man”, which dates to that era?

(13) AT LIS CAREY’S LIBRARY. Posted the other day, Lis Carey’s review of an audio version of the Hugo-nominated novella: “Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor (author), Robin Miles (narrator)”.

….Except that Binti has won a scholarship to Oomza University, a very distinguished school–and on another planet. Her family is shocked at the very idea that Binti would actually accept it and go–but their dreams are not her dreams, and she does. And on her way there, the ship she’s on is attacked and boarded by the Meduze, an alien species that has a very real and serious grievance against Oomza University…..

(14) ANTICIPATION? A writer for the Huffington Post contends “A Dystopian Novelist Predicted Trump’s Campaign Slogan in the ‘90s”.

….Whatever the case, it seems sci-fi writer and unofficial Queen of the Galaxy Octavia Butler predicted the slogan a couple of decades ago. Nearly 20 years before Trump trademarked the term, she wrote about a character named Senator Andrew Steele Jarret, a harbinger for violence in her 1998 book Parable of the Talents.

You can see an excerpt outlining Jarret’s use of the phrase “make American great again” below:

(15) ILVERMORNY INK. It wasn’t only Elizabeth Warren having fun, says Entertainment Weekly — “J. K. Rowling’s Ilvermorny inspires excellent jokes from Massachusetts’ government officials”

Later, Governor Charlie Baker’s office even gave a good-natured statement to The Boston Globe about Ilvermorny, which has supposedly resided on Mount Greylock for hundreds of years without detection.

“The governor believes that small businesses are the backbone of the economy whether they are owned by witches or mortals, and because the institution has operated for nearly 400 years without incident, the administration plans to revisit the matter sometime in the next century or two,” Baker’s office told the paper in a statement. “The Department of Revenue’s spell-detecting technology procurement will be in its final stages at that time.”

The Boston Globe also talked to John Dudek, manager of Mount Greylock State Reservation’s Bascom Lodge, who said that the mountain’s weather does sometimes create a supernatural effect.

“It’s a little bit like The Shining here when you’re alone at night,” Dudek said. “There are days when we’re just locked in clouds and you can’t see anything.”

(16) WHAT IT MEANS TO GROW. Bishop O’Connell writes about “Growing as a Writer, and as a Person” at A Quiet Pint.

Yes, I’ve improved as a writer, but for me, being a better writer is inextricably tied to being a better person. Unfortunately, growth and improvement is never a singular, instantaneous event. It happens over a long period of time, sometimes so slow that, like the proverbial frog in the pot of slowly warming water, it goes entirely unnoticed until you have some context. When it happens, it can be embarrassing (see above, and we’re still not talking about it) but mostly it’s wonderful to see, clearly and starkly, just how much progress has been made. In this post I talked about how much I learned about the tropes and stereotypes I’d blindly fallen into and how I work to rise above them. I say work not achieved, because I still have a long way to go. This fact was brought into harsh relief as I was editing The Returned.

(17) 48 HOURS. Here’s a bulletin of interest from The Onion that should keep parents everywhere concerned: “Investigators: First 48 Hours Most Critical In Locating Missing Children Who Entered Portal To Fantastical World”.

“As soon as we learn a child has disappeared down a pool of light underneath their staircase or through a strangely shaped attic door they had never before noticed, we must act fast to assemble search parties and cover as much enchanted territory as possible,” said investigator Joe Phillippe, who urged parents to contact authorities immediately if they believed their child had passed into a gleaming world of crystal palaces or been transported back in time to the age of King Arthur. “If they’re not found within that critical 48-hour window, children typically become disoriented in the thick fog and dense forest of a land where it’s always night, or they’re led astray by a well-dressed fox who promises to take them to a place where kids can play all varieties of games. At that point, they become almost impossible to locate.”

[Thanks to Rose Embolism, Cat Rambo, Steve Davidson, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

2016 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards Nominees

The 2016 REH Foundation Awards Nominees have been announced. The awards honor achievement in Howard scholarship and in the promotion of Howard’s life and works. The winners will be announced at Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains, TX on June 10.

The Atlantean — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)

  • Bobby Derie – The Collected Letters of REH: Index and Addenda (REH Foundation Press)
  • James Lafond – Dark Art of an Aryan Mystic: The Racially Charged Fiction of Robert E. Howard (Punch Buggy Books)
  • Patrice Louinet – Le Guide Howard (ActuSF)

The Valusian — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)

[No eligible candidates this year]

The Hyrkanian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)

  • Dierk Guenther – “A Farewell to the Old West – The End of the “Old Frontier”—Robert E. Howard’s ‘Old Garfield’s Heart’” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur #18
  • James Reasoner – “Not Your Ordinary Gun-Dummy: The Western Heroes of Robert E. Howard” REH: Two-Gun Raconteur #18
  • Jeffrey Shanks – “Evolutionary Otherness: Anthropological Anxiety in Robert E. Howard’s ‘Worms of the Earth’” The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales

The Cimmerian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)

  • Barbara Barrett – “Hester Jane Ervin Howard and Tuberculosis (3 parts)”  REH: Two Gun Raconteur Blog Part 1: Link  Part 2: Link Part 3: Link
  • Bobby Derie – “The Mirror of E’ch-Pi-El: Robert E. Howard in the Letters of H.P. Lovecraft (3 parts)” On An Underwood No. 5 Part 1: Link Part 2: Link  Part 3: Link
  • David Piske – “Barbarism and Civilization in the Letters of Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft: A Summary with Commentary (6 parts)” On An Underwood No. 5 Part 1: Link Part 2: Link Part 3: Link Part 4: Link Part 5: Link Part 6: Link

The Venarium — Emerging Scholar

  • Bobby Derie – Contributed essays to TGR blog, On An Underwood No. 5, and compiled the The Collected Letters of REH: Index and Addenda
  • Dierk Guenther – Contributed an essay to TGR #18; presented paper at PCA; participated in panel at HDs
  • Todd Vick – Contributed essays to TGR and On An Underwood No. 5; Editor of On An Underwood No. 5 blog

The Stygian—Outstanding Achievement, Website

Eligible candidates are limited to internet sites with substantive static content and material that is primarily devoted to scholarship on the life and works of Robert E. Howard. Websites must have been updated with new content at least once in the previous calendar year. Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible.

The Aquilonian — Outstanding Achievement, Periodical

  • The Hyborian Gazette (Steve Dilks)
  • REH: Two Gun Raconteur (Damon Sasser)
  • REH Foundation Newsletter (Damon Sasser)

The Black Lotus – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia

Eligible candidates have produced a multimedia or audio/visual work or series of works, such as videos, documentaries, podcasts, animation, etc. related to the life and work of REH

The Black River—Special Achievement

  • Bob Byrne – For organizing the “Discovering REH” blog post series at the Black Gate Website
  • Howard Andrew Jones and Bill Ward – For their “Re-Reading Conan” series at www.howardandrewjones.com/
  • Bob Roehm – For his biographical research published at the REH: Two-Gun Raconteur Blog, On an Underwood No. 5, and the Black Gate website.

The Rankin — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work

  • Thomas Gianni – For Fists of Iron Volume 4 cover (Link)
  • Tomas Giorello and Jose Villarrubia — Cover and interior artwork for adaptation of “Wolves Beyond the Border” King Conan: Wolves Beyond the Border issue 1 (Dark Horse). (LinkLink)
  • Jim & Ruth Keegan — Artwork for “The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob,” [Various titles] (Link)

Black Circle Award – Lifetime Achievement

Individuals who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to REH scholarship, publishing, or the promotion of Howard’s life and works. Eligible candidates must have been publicly involved in Howard-related activities for a minimum of two decades.

  • Roy Thomas (Approve or Disapprove – 60% approval required)

Roy Thomas was the main impetus behind the Marvel comic series Conan the Barbarian for which he wrote for many years. That best-selling series and its sister titles, King Conan and Savage Sword of Conan introduced many thousands of readers to the character, and through Roy’s efforts in promoting Robert E. Howard, to the original stories as well. In 2006 he authored Conan: The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Savage Barbarian and was guest of honor at Howard Days.

[Via SF Site News.]