Monthly Archives: September 2015

Catching Up

beyondpoolstarsI’m gearing up for a big promotional push for my next book, Beyond the Pool of Stars. That means I’ll be spending a lot of spare time writing blog posts that will be appearing in other places, doing my best to convince those unfamiliar with me or my work that it’s interesting and that they need to buy it. I DO need money to buy food and pay the mortgage and college tuition for the first born, etc.

Anyway, I’ll be so busy with that I probably won’t have too many in-depth articles going live on my own site for a while. The last half of this year has been even busier than usual!

The Coming of Conan Re-Read: “Iron Shadows in the Moon”

comingofconanBill Ward and I are reading our way through the Del Rey Robert E. Howard collection The Coming of Conan. This week we’re discussing “Iron Shadows in the Moon.” We hope you’ll join in!

Bill: “Iron Shadows in the Moon” (retitled “Shadows in the Moonlight” for its Weird Tales and some subsequent appearances) contains everything most readers associate with a classic Conan tale: a beautiful female sidekick, the mysterious ruins of a forgotten race, supernatural peril, the clash of civilization and barbarism, subhuman monsters, and, above all, Conan being Conan. REH is firing on all cylinders at this point in his work on Conan and, if a few subsequent stories sometimes seem a bit like formulaic echoes of this story, it’s for good reason, as these elements all come together to tell a really terrific adventure.

Two Cool Things

horror 1I’ve mentioned before that I really enjoy the Savage Worlds game system. I’ve loved every official release, although the only setting I’ve yet played for any length of time is the Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane. I talk about the game herehere, and here.

I ended up liking what Savage Worlds had done so much that I threw my hat in the ring to write some adventures for them. The first will be available in only a few months as part of a trilogy of new horror adventure books.

Volume 1 is out already, and features another Solomon Kane tale, as well as a bevy of terrifying adventures. Check it out here.

The Coming of Conan Re-Read: “Black Colossus”

comingofconanBill Ward and I are reading our way through the Del Rey Robert E. Howard collection The Coming of Conan. This week we’re discussing “Black Colossus.” We hope you’ll join in!

Howard: Maybe it’s not as deep, or as soulful, as some that are more routinely mentioned by Howard scholars, but this is one of my favorite Conan stories.  This is the work of a master who knows exactly how far to push every moment, and understands exactly what his audience wants. Robert E. Howard is in complete control of this narrative from beginning to end.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice-League-Gods-and-MonstersI don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned it on this blog, but I’m a huge fan of Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League: Unlimited, and, to a lesser extent, Superman: The Animated Series, and Batman Beyond. I loved the animation style and (for the most part) the character designs, but most importantly — because a cool look matters not at all if the tales are poor — the storytelling. It was usually top-notch, head and shoulders above cartoons of the time and at least equal if not superior to the best modern cartoons as well.

That’s why, when I learned there was a new Justice League movie being released with one of the most important of the original crew overseeing it (i.e. Bruce Timm) I immediately put the movie in the Netflix queue. I didn’t know anything much about it, except that it was with some kind of alternate Justice League.

Hyborian Map

Robert E. Howard scholar Barbara Barrett sent Bill and me copies of a nifty Hyborian Age map. She had some extra copies from Howard Days 2014 and sent some to the two of us via John O’Neill.

Barb's MapNote the figure in the upper left, likely searching for some jeweled thrones to trod under his sandaled feet. I’m probably going to get this map framed — it’s just danged cool. Thanks, Barb!