Taking a brief break from work on my various projects to do a wee post. What about, what about...
Pict (or Caledonian), who lived in northeastern Scotland in Late Iron Age / Early Mediaeval times;William Howitt, John Cassell, John Cassell's Illustrated History of England: From the earliest period to the reign of Edward the Fourth., Editor: John Frederick Smith, Publisher W. Kent and Co., 1857. Page 6
New York City.
Dear Mr. Bates:
You may, or you may not have noticed my work in Weird Tales, Oriental Stories, Ghost Stories, Fight Stories, Action Stories, and Argosy; but that doesnt matter so much. The point is, I’m deeply interested in the intention of your company to bring out a new magazine devoted entirely to historical tales. I want very much to do business with this magazine, and would appreciate any pointers you might give me as to how to make the market [in case this story is not acceptable]._ I realize that editors do not have time to give detailed criticisms; but just a line or a few words scrawled on a rejection slip would help me wonderfully.
I’m hoping you can use this tale – “Spears of Clontarf” which I am enclosing. It deals with a phase in history too much neglected by writers – that of the Dano-Irish wars which culminated in the final shattering of the Viking power at the battle of Clontarf. Those days of war and rapine represent an age crammed with vital drama, enough to supply a hundred thrilling volumes.
Before his death in 2009 Steve Tompkins was probably the most erudite of the Howard scholars on the scene. Now, Leo Grin has received the blessing of Steve’s family and put out a call for material by the late, great critic. Here’s what he’s looking for:
• As complete a bibliography as possible of what Steve published in various fanzines, websites, and comic book letter columns.
• e-texts of these items, either from the original Word docs, or from OCR.
• scans of the actual printed pages, to compare to the e-texts as necessary when editing.
• any email correspondence or paper letters anyone cares to share. Where personal confidences must be retained, strip out the offending passages and replace them with a “***REDACTED***” placeholder.
• Any remembrances of things Steve said to you in person or over the phone, no matter how fleeting or seemingly trivial. Just tell the story and context as best you can. Doesn’t have to be composed for deathless publication, just the facts for now.
If anyone would like to help in this endeavor, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you in touch with Mr. Grin.
“Crom!” It was an explosive imprecation from Conan’s lips as he started up, his great fists clenched into hammers, his veins on his temples knotting, his features convulsed...
In the last analysis, I reckon, I have but a single conviction or ideal, or whateverthehell it might be called: individual liberty. It’s the only thing that matters a damn. I’d rather be a naked savage, shivering, starving, freezing, hunted by wild beasts and enemies, but free to go and come, with the range of the earth to roam, than the fattest, richest, most bedecked slave in a golden palace with the crystal fountains, silken divans, and ivory-bosomed dancing girls of Haroun al Raschid. With that nameless black man I could say:
Freedom over me! —
And before I’d be a slave,
I’d lie down in my grave
And go up to my God and be free!”
That’s why I yearn for the days of the early frontier, where men were more truly free than at any other time or place in the history of the world, since man first began to draw unto himself the self-forged chains of civilization. This is merely a personal feeling. I make no attempt to advocate a single ideal of personal liberty as the one goal of progress and culture. But by God, I demand freedom for myself. And if I can’t have it, I’d rather be dead.
- Robert E. Howard, Letter to H.P. Lovecraft, ca December 1932