I thought I might read R.E. Howard’s six ‘Lovecraft influenced’ stories, for Halloween. As best I can make out from twenty minutes of cursory research, the R.E. Howard Lovecraftian-ish tales are…

* The best two:

  “The Black Stone”

  “The Children of the Night”

* Lesser two:

  “The Cairn on the Headland”

  “The Thing on the Roof”

* Two tangential stories:

  “Worms of the Earth” (Generally said to be the best Bran Mak Morn story, with a few Lovecraftian bits and bobs mentioned?)

  “The Fire of Asshurbanipal” (Reportedly, only the ending is relevant?)

All six are available in the audio book form in the collection The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard [on Amazon USA], read by veteran audio-book reader Robertson Dean. “The Black Stone” is also available for free as a less memorable audio reading.

It’s been quite a long time since I read Howard’s Conan et al, and it’ll be interesting to see what the original Howard experience is like in polished audio-book form. I read Howard as a boy, at about the same time I first read Lovecraft, via the UK Panther paperback collections: Skull-face; The Valley of the Worm; and The Shadow Kingdom. From there I went to the UK Sphere King Kull collection, Tigers of the Sea (Cormac mac Art in the UK paperback), then into the numerous UK Sphere Conan paperbacks (one or two of which were quite rare at that time, and it was difficult to gather a full set) and the Solomon Kane stories (possibly via a tatty import copy of the U.S. Centaur Books paperback). More recently I read one of his werewolf stories, but that’s been it until now.

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