Update: The Collector’s Edition is SOLD OUT. A paperback print-on-demand version is now available.
Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) is credited with the creation of heroic fantasy or “sword and sorcery” fiction. His characters strode, larger than life, through the wood pulp pages of Weird Tales and other legendary magazines, where he was widely considered to be one of the modern masters of the genre. The author of over 600 stories, ranging from the humorous to the horrific, and over 700 poems, his brief but spectacular career was cut short when he took his own life at the age of 30.
And yet, in the decades that followed Howard’s death, his character Conan the Cimmerian gained popularity beyond the wildest scope of its creator, overshadowing all of his other works. Alongside the success of “Conan the Barbarian” was a neatly packaged, sound byte biography of a tortured young man, full of volcanic rages, playing at war inside his head, while the citizens in the small town of Cross Plains laughed at him behind his back—a man so undone by his circumstances and so strangely devoted to his mother that, on her deathbed, he pre-empted seeing her die by committing suicide.
In Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, author Mark Finn dispels many of those old, outdated myths that have grown up around Howard and his fictional creations. Armed with twenty-five years of research and a wealth of historical documents, Finn paints a very different picture from the one that millions of fans of Conan have been sold throughout the years.
Using quotes from Howard’s own letters, first-hand accounts, interviews, and meticulous research, Finn shows that Howard was, in fact, a product of his time and place in rural Texas, and that his legendary fiction was shaped by Texas history, folklore, and Howard’s incomparable imagination.
Now in this updated and expanded second edition, Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard is more complete and up-to-date with new information discovered since the book was initially published in 2006, as well as more detailed examinations of some of Howard’s most famous and important characters and stories.