From a small town in West Central Texas came the stuff of legends—kings, warriors, evil sorcery, and monsters. Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) wrote hundreds of short stories published in the pulp magazines of his era, although he is best known for the sword and sorcery character Conan the Barbarian.
But Howard’s range was not limited to Conan; he created several other epic characters like King Kull of Atlantis and Solomon Kane, a sword-wielding Puritan who fights evil. His writing also included adventures in the horror, western, and boxing genres.
Howard was a deeply troubled writer at odds with his small town and was destined to take his own life in 1936. However, his literary legacy can be found today in everything from Hollywood movies to fantasy role-playing games to Marvel Comics. Every June, hundreds of Howard fans, (including this author), visit the Howard Home in Cross Plains, Texas, which has been preserved as a museum with artifacts of the writer and his family.
If you’re a new Howard reader or a dedicated fan, here’s a must-read and see list of Howard Media in the library catalog: