The desert shimmered in the heat waves. Conan the Cimmerian stared out over the aching desolation and involuntarily drew the back of his powerful hand over his blackened lips. He stood like a bronze image in the sand, apparently impervious to the murderous sun, though his only garment was a silk loin-cloth, girdled by a wide gold-buckled belt from which hung a saber and a broad-bladed poniard. On his clean-cut limbs were evidences of scarcely healed wounds.
Wings in the Night collects Robert E. Howard’s fiction and prose published in Weird Tales Magazine from July 1932 to May 1933. These works represent literary stepping-stones to Howard’s infamous Cthulhu mythos stories and his most famous character of all -- Conan the Cimmerian -- and ably demonstrate that each of Howard’s stories improved and added to his formidable skills as a master of fantasy and adventure.
From the unsurpassed imagination of the creator of Conan, Robert E. Howard, here are three tales of boxing, suspense and high adventure. „Three Tales of the Ring” is an excellent sampler of his non-sword and sorcery output, with a very strong emphasis on the gothic and the macabre. The collection includes such Howard’s masterpieces as „The Apparition in the Prize Ring”, „Alleys of Darkness”, „Cupid vs Pollux”. „The Apparition In the Prize Ring” is a ghostly little boxing st...
The speaker wrapped his purple cloak closer about his powerful frame and settled back into his official chair, much as he might have settled back in his seat at the Circus Maximus to enjoy the clash of gladiatorial swords. Realization of power colored his every move. Whetted pride was necessary to Roman satisfaction, and Titus Sulla was justly proud; for he was military governor of Eboracum and answerable only to the emperor of Rome.
Torches flared murkily on the revels in the Maul, where the thieves of the east held carnival by night. In the Maul they could carouse and roar as they liked, for honest people shunned the quarters, and watchmen, well paid with stained coins, did not interfere with their sport. Along the crooked, unpaved streets with their heaps of refuse and sloppy puddles, drunken roisterers staggered, roaring. Steel glinted in the shadows where wolf preyed on wolf, and from the darkness ...
This is a good book of four Western stories. The title story, however, is the longest. „The Vultures of Whapeton” suffers from a protagonist who is just a bit too manly and effective to be believed. Everyone who meets Steve Corcoran seems to instantly know he’ll just prevail in any kind of gunfight, no matter how outnumbered he is -- and then, of course, Corcoran goes on to do use that.
An Irish-American warrior passes himself of as a Kurd and sets out to steal the treasure of Tartary. This is one of Robert E, Howard’s fast-paced short stories, featuring lots of fights and sliced entrails. Not one of his best works, in my opinion, as it somehow lacks substance. It seemed all hell and no notion.
The tales of James Allison take place both in modern times and in the far past, in that time after the Hyborian kingdoms of Conan. Allison is a crippled Texan who lost a leg when his horse fell on him. To escape boredom and sadness he ventures into the past, exploring his previous lives as mighty warriors. All these ancestors were members of a migration of Aryans as they traveled the world in search of a homeland.
The battle in the meadowlands of the Euphrates was over, but not the slaughter. On that bloody field where the Caliph of Bagdad and his Turkish allies had broken the onrushing power of Doubeys ibn Sadaka of Hilla and the desert, the steel-clad bodies lay strewn like the drift of a storm. The great canal men called the Nile, which connected the Euphrates with the distant Tigris, was choked with the bodies of the tribesmen, and survivors were panting in flight toward the whit...
Over shadowy spires and gleaming towers lay the ghostly darkness and silence that runs before dawn. Into a dim alley, one of a veritable labyrinth of mysterious winding ways, four masked figures came hurriedly from a door which a dusky hand furtively opened. They spoke not but went swiftly into the gloom, cloaks wrapped closely about them; as silently as the ghosts of murdered men they disappeared in the darkness.
So thay brought the envoys, pallid from months of imprisonment, before the canopied throne of Suleyman the Magnificent, Sultan of Turkey, and the mightiest monarch in an age of mighty monarchs. Under the great purple dome of the royal chamber gleamed the throne before which the world trembled– gold-paneled, pearl-inlaid. An emperor’s wealth in gems was sewn into the silken canopy from which depended a shimmering string of pearls ending a frieze of emeralds which hung like a...
The roar of battle had died away; the shout of victory mingled with the cries of the dying. Like gay-hued leaves after an autumn storm, the fallen littered the plain; the sinking sun shimmered on burnished helmets, gilt-worked mail, silver breastplates, broken swords and the heavy regal folds of silken standards, overthrown in pools of curdling crimson. In silent heaps lay war- horses and their steel-clad riders, flowing manes and blowing plumes stained alike in the red tid...
The king of vendhya was dying. Through the hot, stifling night the temple gongs boomed and the conchs roared. Their clamor was a faint echo in the gold- domed chamber where Bhunda Chand struggled on the velvet-cushioned dais. Beads of sweat glistened on his dark skin; his fingers twisted the gold-worked fabric beneath him. He was young; no spear had touched him, no poison lurked in his wine.
The blare of the trumpets grew louder, like a deep golden tide surge, like the soft booming of the evening tides against the silver beaches of Valusia. The throng shouted, women flung roses from the roofs as the rhythmic chiming of silver hosts came clearer and the first of the mighty array swung into view in the broad, white street that curved round the golden-spired Tower of Splendor.
Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. In a meteoric career that spanned a mere twelve years, Robert E. Howard single-handedly invented the sword and sorcery genre. From his fertile imagination sprang some of fiction’s most enduring heroes. Yet while Conan is indisputably Howard’s greatest creation, it was in his earlier sequence of tales featuring Kull, a fearless warrior with the b...
The Pool of the Black One is one of the original short stories starring the sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan becoming the captain of a pirate vessel and encountering a remote island with a mysterious pool that has powers of transmutation.
Robert E. Howard turned to writing comic and dialect Western tales only late in his career, but he found an immediate and continuously successful market for them, and they are in many respects his most accomplished and polished works. „The Pike Bearfield Stories” is a collection of stories in the western genre, featuring Pike Bearfield – the character who lead well-intentioned lives of perpetual confusion, mischance, and outright catastrophe. It includes: „While the Smoke R...
In a world ruled by piracy, stalked by vampires, peopled by cities of the inhuman, he stood tall amid the terrors of the Dark Continent. Kane, a man of savage and unconquerable courage, strode deep into the jungles, forever slashing his diamond-edged rapier as evil guided the creatures of the night toward him. Wicked whispers of death touched him. Haunted horrors of the world beyond life reached for him. But Kane never halted his march, for he would never rest until the fin...
The Iron Man has fought since time immemorial -- with but one thought in mind -- to get to his foe and crush him. The centuries, the costumes, the weapons are different. The object is the same. The gore and savagery of Howard’s tales of the ring is little removed from those exploits of Conan and Kull and Bran Mak Morn.It is common knowledge that Robert E. Howard was a boxing enthusiast, and his fellow author H. P. Lovecraft tied Howard’s interest in sports directly to his „...
The Sowers of the Thunder is a short story by Robert E. Howard (published in Oriental Stories, Winter 1932) that takes place in Outremer (the Crusader states) in the time of General Baibars and deals with the General’s friendly/adversarial relationship with Cahal Ruadh O’Donnell, an Irish Crusader with a troubled past cut in the Howardian mold. Both the Siege of Jerusalem (1244) and the Battle of La Forbie feature in the plot.
The tall Englishman, Pembroke, was scratching lines on the earth with his hunting knife, talking in a jerky tone that indicated suppressed excitement: „I tell you, Ormond, that peak to the west is the one we were to look for. Here, I’ve marked a map in the dirt. This mark here represents our camp, and this one is the peak. We’ve marched north far enough.
The silence of the pine woods lay like a brooding cloak about the soul of Bristol McGrath. The black shadows seemed fixed, immovable as the weight of superstition that overhung this forgotten back-country. Vague ancestral dreads stirred at the back of McGrath’s mind; for he was born in the pine woods, and sixteen years of roaming about the world had not erased their shadows.
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