Monday, February 20, 2017


I first encountered the work of Fred Blosser in the pages of Marvel's black-and-white magazine THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN when I was reading it regularly back in the Seventies. Blosser wrote a fine series of articles and essays about Robert E. Howard's stories and characters for that magazine. Later I read more of his articles in other journals devoted to Howard scholarship and met Blosser one year in Cross Plains during the annual Robert E. Howard Days get-together. And then I wound up publishing his great historical adventure novel THE SAVAGE PACK as part of my Rough Edges Press line.

AR-I-E'CH AND THE SPELL OF CTHULHU: AN INFORMAL GUIDE TO R.E. HOWARD'S LOVECRAFTIAN FICTION is Blosser's latest publication. This book-length study of all of Howard's stories that are part of, either directly or indirectly, or influenced by H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, is both entertaining and informative reading for Howard fans. In my case, I haven't read a lot of Lovecraft's work and am about as far from a Lovecraft scholar as anybody could get. But Blosser's clear prose, meticulous research, and enthusiasm for his subject made it easy even for me to learn things and get a better grasp on the relationship between Howard and Lovecraft and the connections between their work. Over the years I've already read all the stories Blosser discusses, but this volume makes me want to read them again, this time with a greater understanding of them. One word of warning: Blosser discusses the plots in detail, so anyone who hasn't read the stories might want to do that first.

Blosser has more guides to other areas of Howard's fiction planned, and I'm very much looking forward to reading them. In the meantime, if you're a Howard fan, don't miss this one.


Charles R. Rutledge said...

As a huge fan of REH and HPL, I gotta give this a read. And I always loved Blosser's articles in SSoC as well.

Brad Smalley said...

I will have to check this out! I just started a facebook page dealing with the pulps and Howard is a favorite if mine. Mr Reasoner im thrilled at finding your blog. I just finished reading your Revolutionary War series again!

AndyDecker said...

Thanks for the info. I would have missed this otherwise!