22 January 2010

Robert E. Howard birthday essay! “The Fire of Asshurbanipal”

Bob, I want that hat.

Today is the birthday of Robert E. Howard, the most influential author of American fantasy. Anyone who reads or writes heroic adventure stories owes the man an enormous debt, and for those of us who are sword-and-sorcery fans, the man is practically Odin in our eyes. (If only he were as immortal—he took his own life in 1936 at the tragically young age of thirty.)

To commemorate Bob’s b-day, Black Gate is having a symposium of sorts, with the regular bloggers chipping in a post about the Great Man. This means you get an extra Black Gate post from me this week.

My contribution: A look at the first story of Howard’s that I ever read, “The Fire of Asshurbanipal.”

The other contributors (I’ll update this during the day as more are added):

John R. Fultz, “Bloody Brilliance: Why I love Robert E. Howard”
Howard Andrew Jones, “Robert E. Howard Birthday Celebration”
Bill Ward, “Encountering Howard”
Charles Saunders, “Robert E. Howard’s Thriller”
E. E. Knight, “Howard and His Truths”
James Enge, “Sword and Solomon: The Beginning of Sword and Sorcery”