Thursday, June 30, 2011

Almuric and the "Posthumous Collaborator"

In my last post, I mentioned Almuric, Robert E. Howard's only foray into the sword-and-planet genre. I have a feeling that we may see a resurgence in sword-and-planet stories with the impending release of the John Carter of Mars movie from Pixar next year.

I wanted to point out Al Harron's great introduction and overview of Almuric's publishing history and Keith Taylor's overview of Almuric and the sword-and-planet genre. The story of how it was published is almost as interesting as the story itself. Most of its published instances make no mention that the original first draft manuscript is lost and what we have of the story, as published in Weird Tales over three months in 1937, is likely to have been completed by another author. The last chapter doesn't read as if it were written by Howard. Many of the words and phrases used do not appear in any of his other stories. Harron writes about the work done by another Howard scholar, Morgan Holmes, who discovered evidence that points to Otto Binder--another author managed by Howard's agent Otis Kline--as the person who completed the story.

These details shouldn't diminish anyone's enjoyment of the book by any means. It's a fun ripping yarn and a great read. Anyone who loves "planetary romances" and other fantastic planet stories would like Almuric.

4 comments:

Derek said...

I recently saw at my local BN that they are re-releasing the Mars series.

Lori said...

It seemed like a fast read. You finished the book quickly. Good post! ;)

Theodric the Obscure said...

I hope you've gotten an eyeful of Paizo's Planet Stories! So.Much. Goodness...
http://paizo.com/planetStories

Kaiju said...

Yes, I've been very pleased with Paizo for bringing all of these great stories back into print.