Sunday, May 8, 2011

Robert E. Howard Days

REH Bedroom
I’m going to break ranks a little with the old guard and admit that, although I respect his work and creations, Robert E. Howard is not my “go to” literary figure for swords & sorcery and high adventure (Leiber likely holds that title for me). Nevertheless, when I come across something such as this, I cannot help but wish that I was not roughly two thousand miles away from Cross Plains, Texas.

Robert E. Howard Days is a wonderful yearly get-together of fans, scholars and friends, all gathered to celebrate the life and work of Ol’ Two-Gun Bob Howard, a true Texas and American original. It’s an open-air-under-the-Texas-sun informal meeting of folks from all over honoring the Legacy of Robert E. Howard with fellowship and friendly conversation, and you can do so on the very ground where he walked and wrote his wonderful works.

[from the website]

Between the North Texas RPG Convention on June 2nd-5th and then Robert E. Howard Days on June 10th and 11th, Texas is the state (of both geography and mind) to be in for June. Anyone care to subsidize a Yankee blogger looking to head for the wide-open plains this summer?

6 comments:

jaerdaph said...

I'm in the Fritz Leiber camp as well.

Bree Yark! said...

For me, there is Robert E. Howard, and then there's everybody else. =)

I'm flying to Texas in June, and I'm really looking forward to attending NTRPGCon. I'll still be there during the Howard Days, but unfortunately no where near Cross Plains. Texas is a HUGE state.

Badmike said...

What is sad is that I'm a huge Howard fan, lifelong Texan and live three hours away and I've never been to either Howard Days or REH's house (which was almost destroyed in wild fires that consumed parts of Crossplains several years ago). This is really a long overdue trip for me.

ckutalik said...

When I was in college I had a good friend whose family owned a cattle ranch right between Cross Plains and Brownwood (where REH is buried). We spent a lot of time there in those days and you can't help but feel how the land infused his writings, it has a raw feel to this day.

JasonZavoda said...

That's his bedroom I take it. Spartan is definitely the word. Those old manual typewriters were a pain in the ass but they made a satisfying click-clack when they where working right and the little bell when you hit the end of the line, the zip when you pulled them back and when you pulled the sheet free. You also had a page of manuscript when you were done, typos, misspellings and awful prose ready to be pen or penciled out or noted. All in all a much more rewarding experience then typing on a keyboard with spell check and random thoughts consigned to the internet void.

Howard and Leiber are two very different fish. Howard was young enough that his stories were improving, and Leiber's work appealed to me less and less toward the end.

Howard wrote a huge amount of material and had most of his fragments expanded by other authors. You may want to check a Howard chronology and sample some of his last writings. It is also possible that what you might think of as a Howard story is really a Howard fragment. I mention this because I was guilty of that at first when reading the De Camp/ Carter expansions of Howard fragments.

Northtex and a Howard convetion, sounds like a hell of a combination.

Taranaich said...

Nothing wrong with favouring Leiber over Howard, plenty do. I'm not one of them, but eh, at least we can recognize that they're both awesome. Hopefully you'll get to Cross Plains someday.