Sunday, December 08, 2013
Friday, December 06, 2013
I was rereading one of my favorite Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, Tarzan the Terrible, and I happened across a scene that I didn't remember but suddenly realized might have been an influence on Robert E. Howard when he was writing the classic Conan yarn, Red Nails.
The scene occurs when Tarzan and a Waz-Don (one of the races of the lost land of Pal-Ul-Don) woman under his protection are attacked by a gryf, a carnivorous form of triceratops. Tarzan and the woman take refuge in huge tree, where the dinosaur can't reach them. Tarzan says that they can wait until the gryf goes away or escape through the treetops, but the Waz-don woman tells him:
"You do not know the gryf," replied Pan-at-lee, gloomily.
"Wherever we go it will follow and always it will be ready at the foot of each tree when we would descend. It will never give us up."
That reminded me of a scene in red Nails where Conan the Cimmerian and Valeria of the Red Brotherhood have been trapped on a rocky outcropping, and a dinosaur they refer to as a dragon waits below. Valeria says the thing has to leave sometime and Conan replies.
"That thing must be a dragon, such as the black people speak of in their legends. If so, it won't leave here until we're both dead."
And later Valeria says:
"Can't we get into the trees and get away, traveling like apes through the branches?"
Conan explains that the trees near the rock won't hold their weight, but I find it interesting that Valeria suggests the same escape plan Tarzan had thought of. Of course in Tarzan's case he probably could have escaped the way, but he had someone else with him and he wouldn't leave her.
I knew Robert E. Howard read a lot of Burroughs but I wasn't sure about Tarzan the Terrible, so I checked the list in the back of the book The Dark Barbarian of books he owned, and sure enough, Tarzan the Terrible was listed.
So anyway, no way of knowing if the scene in the Tarzan novel was the inspiration for the scene in Red Nails, but I think it likely. Of course Howard took it in his own direction as any good writer would.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
The table of contents is up for Carnacki: The New Adventures, featuring brand new stories about William Hope Hodgeson's occult detective, Thomas Carnacki. Check about halfway down the list and you'll see I have a story in this collection. I see the names of several other writers whose work I enjoy too.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Time to start gathering books and comics and such for the Christmas season. I happened across the various Christmas comic book collections the other day when I was looking for something else, so I retrieved them from the box. A couple of the books above are new and others are collections I've had for a while, so new reads and rereads this year.
If you were reading the blog last year you may remember the huge effort I put forth to have a better Christmas than in recent years past. Not sure I can work up the enthusiasm again this year, but what they hey. I'll give it a go.
Friday, November 29, 2013
The signed limited edition of the second collaboration by James A. Moore and me is available as of now.
J.A. Konrath, author, E-book entrepreneur, and marketing genius is at it again. This time he's got what has to be one of the coolest ideas I've seen anyone do in a while He's letting other authors write in his universe, teaming their characters with his. If he likes the story he writes a second draft and publishes the team-up and splits the profits 50/50 with the other author. (He pays all publishing costs.) Why do I think this is a cool idea? Because Konrath sells a lot of books, so authors who are perhaps not as well known can get a boost by teaming up with him, and pick up other sales for their solo books from Konrath's fans. It's a smart way to use the way that Amazon sells E-books. You know, those recommendations and the thing that says 'people who bought this book also bought...'
Anyway, I found this out because I'd ordered one of the books from Amazon and backtracked to Joe's blog. The book I bought was called RACKED and it teamed Konrath's police detective Lt. Jacqueline 'Jack' Daniels with Jude Hardin's P.I. Nicholas Colt. I'd read most of the Jack Daniels books and just picked this new story on a whim. I really enjoyed the story and we know I'm a sucker for a crossover.
So after I read it, did I go and buy one of Jude Hardin's solo books? Yes, I did. And when Jude's novel, LADY 52, also written with Konrath comes out, I'll buy that too.
Intrigued, I decided to try a couple more of these crossover stories, STRAIGHT UP by Konrath and Iain Rob Wright, and JACKED UP by Konrath and Tracy Sharp. Both were fun thrillers and I'd definitely read books by the other author in both cases, plus any further team-ups with Konrath.
There are several more of these crossovers on the way, and I'll be checking them out. It's a good way to find new people to read and also to visit with Konrath's characters who I like. And I'm all for helping out new authors. So the next question is, am I going to write a story and send it to Konrath? The answer for the moment is no, mostly because I don't have a character that I think would fit his universe well, but hey, you never know.
If you want to read more about the Konrath Crossovers, swing by his blog here: