Monday, March 9, 2015
The Fires Of Asshurbanipal!
"The Fire of Asshrbanipal" by Robert E. Howard appeared in Weird Tales. It's the story of American Steve Clarney and his giant companion Yar Ali. Unlike many of Howard's heroes, Clarney is described as "lean and wiry", but he's no less bold for that.
The story is significant for a couple of reasons. First it's an outstanding blend of vintage Howardian blood and thunder action alongside some very effective horror in the Lovecraftian mode. The Necronomicon gets name-checked and the ultimate threat is a monster mindful of C'Thulhu.
The story which you can read in all its creepy splender here, is one of those well worth the time and energy.
The story has two distinct versions. The supernatural version is collected in Ballantine's The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard.
Another version, minus the other-worldly elements is found in the back of El Borak and Other Desert Adventures. This one was the original and the monsters were added later. Reading both versions back to back, the supernatural one is the most effective, though both are rip-snorting adventure yarns.