A new Hyborian/Conan essay collection.


Anyone who has read some of Dale Rippke's essay on the history of the Hyborian world and insights into the life of Conan may want to check out the following;

Description: THE HYBORIAN HERESIES: A Scholarly Excavation into the World of Robert E. Howard by Dale E. Rippke... This noted Sword-and-Sorcery historian has collected together his essays into Robert E. Howard's worlds of the Hyborian Age! Includes articles on Conan the Cimmerian, the Age of Acheron, the Great Cataclysm, the mystery of Belit, and many others! Edited by Benjamin Szumskyj with Cover Art by David Burton... A portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to Project Pride, the civic group that preserves and maintains the Howard museum in Cross Plains, Texas... This is a must-have for all fans and scholars of Robert E. Howard, one of pulp fiction's finest writers that ever lived... and whose life ended too soon... 6"x9" Trade Paperback with color covers by David Burton...103 pages... $14.99

Both titles are available from the Wild Cat bookstore at http://my.lulu.com/wildcatbooks
Mythos said:
Both titles are available from the Wild Cat bookstore at http://my.lulu.com/wildcatbooks

Er, both titles? BTW, Dale has stopped by this site before (no mention of this though).
There is just the one book.

I didn't mention it before because it wasn't a "done deal". It became a reality about ten days ago. It kinda took me by surprise since I was told that it wasn't going to be released until June.

Unfortunately, because of the book I've had to remove the essays from my website. The only essay in THE HYBORIAN HERESIES that remains on my website is the Darkstorm Conan Chronology. Since there are a couple of other online Conan sites that have it available, I didn't see much of a need to remove it from mine.

This book doesn't mean that I'm finished deconstructing the Hyborian Age. I'm currently working on an article that shows in great detail why the maps of the Hyborian world south of Shem are wrong. It'll be published in the REHupa mailing in a couple of months and go online on my musings page a month later.

Peace Out,
Darkstorm Dale
Glad to see you chimed in Dale, and I look forward to getting your book.

I'm guessing your map argument for lands south of Shem might be similar to real history's past "shrinkage" of Africa in its maps?
In part. I noticed while researching REH's actual maps that Stygia (on his first-drawn map) is actually shaped different than the Miller/Clark LANY map (on which all subsequent maps were based). This was due to Howard sending the pair a map that didn't show Stygia (and points south) in any detail.

This makes the tier of Black Kingdoms beneath Stygia a Miller/Clark invention. Kush and Darfar border Stygia, but Keshan, Punt and Zembabwei don't and are in fact located a lot farther south and east.

Combine that with Howard's HYBORIAN AGE essay were he implies that the four largest kingdoms south of Stygia are Amazon, Kush, Atlaia, and Zembabwei. The essay also reveals that Amazon lies very close to Stygia's southern frontier, not way to the south on the west coast, like DeCamp and Carter placed it.

So, I'm going to overhaul the whole thing to get a clearer picture as to how Howard viewed the area. Should make for a lively discussion...
Is the book going to available in (non-online) book stores? If so, which book store chains?

Dale, your theory about the map configuration is interesting. However, I was under the impression that Howard at least liked the Clark/Miller version. How do you reconcile that with your theory?
I was told that Print on demand books get an ISBN number and should eventually be available on Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com.

Well, here is what Howard wrote to PS Miller concerning their map:
"I feel indeed honored that you and Dr. Clark should be so interested in Conan as to work out an outline of his career and a map of his environs. Both are surprisingly accurate, considering the vagueness of the data you had to work with. I have the original map - that is the one I drew up when I first started writing about Conan-- around here somewhere and I'll see if I can't find it and let you have a look at it. It includes only the countries west of Vilayet and north of Kush. I've never attempted to map the southern and eastern kingdoms, though I have a fairly clear outline of their geography in my mind. However, in writing about them I feel a certain amount of license, since the inhabitants of the western Hyborian nations were about as ignorant concerning the peoples and countries of the south and east as the people of medieval Europe were ignorant of Africa and Asia. In writing about the western Hyborian nations I feel confined within the limits of known and inflexible boundaries and territories, but in fictionizing the rest of the world, I feel able to give my imagination freer play. That is, having adopted a certain conception of geography and ethnology, I feel compelled to abide by it, in the interests of consistency. My conception of the east and south is not so definite or so arbitrary.
Concerning Kush, however, it is one of the black kingdoms south of Stygia, the northern-most, in fact, and has given its name to the whole southern coast. Thus, when an Hyborian speaks of Kush, he is generally speaking of not the kingdom itself, one of many such kingdoms, but of the Black Coast in general. And he is likely to speak of any black man as a Kushite, whether he happens to be a Keshani, Darfari, Puntan, or Kushite proper. This is natural, since the Kushites were the first black men with whom the Hyborians came in contact - Barachan pirates trafficking with and raiding them."

That the Miller/Clarke map is surprisingly accurate is a reflection on how clearly Howard presented his world. As to whether Miller's version of the lands south of Stygia were accurate is anybody's guess, although it seems to me that Howard is correcting some mistake on Miller's map with his comments on Kush. Howard states that Kush is the northernmost black nation south of Stygia. How does that reconcile with the Miller/Clark map showing all of the black nations in a tier beneath Stygia? Kush is hardly northernmost in that configuration.

Personally, I plan to let Howard's stories draw the geography.