Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Echoes Of Valor!

Ken Kelly

Here's a late 80's and early 90's series which I only recently learned about. While we have an avalanche of Robert E. Howard material today, once it was much harder to get, especially raw Howard untouched by his later editors and modifiers.

Karl Edward Wagner was an editor dedicated to getting that material out. He did it first in the trio of volumes for Berkley books back in the later 70's and here he attempted it again by offering up in this debut volume the first publication of "The Black Stranger", at least as originally written by REH.

The full contents can be found here.

Sam Rakeland

Later volumes in the series focus on other great fantasy authors, especially C.L.Moore and Wade Manly Wellman.

Sam Rakeland

Doubtless if I did see these, I passed them by because of the cover art which seems a bit "punkish" for classic fantasy. There might've been a miscue here for the target audience.

The contents for volume two can be found and here and for volume three here.

Solid volumes, ones I might need to search for.

Rip Off


  1. I'm a big fan of Robert E. Howard's writings... especially his non-Conan work. and if you're looking for Robert E. Howard stories (instead of those anthologies), I've been collecting some and putting them out through NUELOW Games. Personally, I think the stories presented in my little anthologies are more interesting than the Conan ones, primarily because I get the sense that Howard wrote those more out of personal interest than the Conan work which was strictly commercial I believe. In fact, some of his best work was done in the "Steve Costigan" series.

    I'll be putting out "Shadows of Texas" this week (to coincide with Texas' anniversary of statehood, and previous collections have been:

    The Deadly Sword of Cormac: All the stories Howard wrote about Cormac FitzGeoffrey, a Knight during the Third Crusade.

    Names in the Black Book: Three horror-tinged hardboiled detective stories about Steve Harrison.

    Fists of Foolishness and Shanghaied Mitts: All of Howard's comedic boxing adventures of Steve Costigan. These books also feature roleplaying material, with a complete game featured in the back of the first one.

    White Fell and Other Stories: A collection of werewolf stories featuring three by Howard.

    From Dark Corners: Features three stories by Howard.

    (I hope this post isn't too sleazy... but I like to call attention to the fact that Howard was about far, far more than just Conan, and these little e-books are part of that effort.)

  2. Thanks for the info. No doubt that REH was more than just a sword and sorcery guy. One source I've read suggests that REH is actually a boxing story writer who flirted with other genres from time to time.

    Those Steve Harrison stories interest me, as I've been dabbling in other sides of REH recently.

    Before that, the most of this stuff I had were some of those Zebra books from the 70's which packaged a bunch of this stuff obscurely under handsome Jeff Jones covers.

    Rip Off

  3. There is some truth to the statement that Howard was a boxing writing who dabbled in other genres. As far as I know, boxer Steve Costigan was the only character he stopped writing about only to come back to him again later.

    Aside from the Steve Costigan stories, I am fondest of Howard as a horror writer. I don't think any other writer of his day merged action and horror so effectively. (The one complaint I have about most of his horror tales--including great ones like "Black Wind Blowing" and "The Cairn on the Headlands"--is that his endings ever quite pay off as effectively as they should considering what led up to them.)


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