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The Cthulhu Stories of Robert E. Howard

By Robert Howard & Paul Di Filippo
The Cthulhu Stories of Robert E. Howard by Robert Howard & Paul Di Filippo digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A collection of short fiction set in the Lovecraftian cosmic horror universe from “a masterful storyteller” (Publishers Weekly).
 
In the early twentieth-century, in the pages of Weird Tales and other pulp magazines, H. P. Lovecraft created the Cthulhu Mythos and offered it to his friends, creating a shared mythology for much of their weird fiction. Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian, was one of those good friends. Fresh from dusty libraries dark with forbidden knowledge, these twelve Howard tales, bring Kull of Atlantis, Bran Mak Morn, and a steady band of warriors, adventurers, and scholars into the dark to face the Nameless and that which they left behind: Elder gods, nameless cosmic horrors greater and older than the gods themselves, ancient forms of life and worship from before the dawn of humanity. These are the Cthulhu Stories of Robert. E. Howard.

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About Robert Howard

Robert E. (Ervin) Howard was born on January 22, 1906. He was interested in writing from an early age, and witnesses report seeing his first stories written as early as 9 years old. He mailed off his first submission to a publisher at 15 years of age. His first professional sale came three years later when “Spear and Fang,” a cave man story, was accepted by Weird Tales, the pulp magazine with which all his greatest successes would be associated. Howard is best known as the “father of sword & sorcery,” with his most famous creations—Conan, Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, and Kull the Conqueror—sliding (some more easily than others) into that genre. However, in addition to the sterling success of these fantasy adventure tales, Howard’s versatility allowed him to support himself as a professional writer. He would write more than 100 stories between 1924 and his death in 1936 at age 30. He published regularly and wrote in genres as varied as westerns, weird westerns, horror, modern adventure stories, boxing stories, sailing adventures, and even “spicy” romance stories. Of special interest to this volume is Howard’s relationship to H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft, an elder statesman of the “weird fiction” genre, was an early contributor to Weird Tales, where Howard first encountered his fiction. Howard wrote an admiring letter to Lovecraft after reading “The Rats in the Walls,” and eventually through their extended correspondence became part of the “Lovecraft Circle,” a group of pulp writers joined primarily through H.P. Lovecraft’s efforts, with Lovecraft as the hub. Howard and Lovecraft corresponded for years, debating the merits of the human conditions of barbarism and civilization. Lovecraft is best known for his stories of “the Great Old Ones,” especially Cthulhu. This shared corpus of story ideas and ancient, pre-human history of Earth, became a shared mythic backdrop for many writers published in Weird Tales. Howard’s contributions to this mythos are the focus of the current volume.

Paul Di Filippo

Paul Di Filippo is a prolific science fiction, fantasy, and horror short story writer with multiple collections to his credit, among them The Emperor of Gondwanaland and Other Stories, Fractal Paisleys, The Steampunk Trilogy, and many more. He has written a number of novels as well, including Joe’s Liver and Spondulix: A Romance of Hoboken

Di Filippo is also a highly regarded critic and reviewer, appearing regularly in Asimov’s Science Fiction and the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. A recent publication, coedited with Damien Broderick, is Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985–2010.

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