This is one of Robert E Howard’s contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos, and a personal favorite of mine. It was published posthumously in 1936.
A Lovercraftian tone started to settle over the story as the heroes entered a lost desert city, but then switched to an exciting brawl described in bone-crunching detail as the heroes confronted human foes in the form of Clarney’s old enemy Nureddin el Mekru and his band of Bedouins. The finale switched back to Weird Tales horror with yet another “indescribable” horror out of the Cthulhu playbook, but at the end, instead of mythos dread, I was left with a sense of exhausting exhilaration, the thrill of seeing tough characters skirt the edge of danger and madness and emerge—changed, but still holding onto the vitality of survival, which is ultimately all that seems to matter to them.
A Reminiscence of my first encounter with Robert E. Howard
The full text of this story can be read here.
Original J Allen St. John painting via Finished cover via
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Paul Wright was a silent movie actor who was on trial for murdering his wife and her lover. He claimed in court to have found her fellating his best friend at his piano. According to his defense team, he was tormented by demons of WWI, the aftermath of tuberculosis, and a vasectomy. He was eventually found guilty but not culpable by reason of temporary insanity and never served time in prison.
The cover story is the sad and (mostly) true story of the murder of 20 year old model Veronica Gedeon, who posed for several lurid and sensational pictorials for “true crime” magazines. In stories such as Party Girl, Pretty But Cheap, and I Am A White Slave she was photographed flimsily clad, beaten, smothered, and tied up. She also appeared at an Illustrators Society show for models which was raided by the New York Police Department in 1935.
The killer was eventually captured after a hotel employee recognized his photo in an issue of True Detective Mysteries.
Not related to this more lesbian-themed book of the same name.
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