This is a test.
There’s a test going on
and this is it.
That was the test.
This is a test.
This is a test.
There’s a test going on
and this is it.
That was the test.
1. a cause of anguish or pain; acute suffering
[origin: ca. 14th century; Middle English, probably from Middle Dutch rec framework; akin to Old English reccan to stretch, Greek oregein]
From the scarlet shadows they come to me,
Shades of the dust-dead past,
Like drifting fogs of the restless sea
From the silent Nameless Vast.
Ghostly and grey in the dying day
Their spectral ranks are massed.
With their lank, dank hair, and their eery stare,
Phantom and fiend and ghost—
Skeletons limned in a haunted sky,
Footfalls light where the dim bats fly,
Stealthy shadows—yet none but I
Am ’ware of the weird host.
Their light tread whispers on every hand
When I walk through the shadows’ rack
And I hear the mumble of fleshless jaws
In the dark behind my back.
[from “A Pirate Remembers”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 230 and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 417]
1. an insubstantial form or semblance; a barely visible gaseous or vaporous column
[origin: unknown; first known usage 1514]
Far in the gloomy Northland,
Where the roaring north wind blows,
Driving the dim, pale fog wraiths
Over the drifting snows,
When the sleet drives fast and furious,
And the winter north wind roars,
And the ocean, dark and sullen,
Beats on the northern shores.
A haggard land and a barren,
Naught to charm or allure,
A white-crested, desolate ocean,
A gloomy, desolate moor.
Gloomy, desolate, barren,
Feared and shunned by men,
For a phantom roams the moor,
A spectre haunts the fen.
[from “Far in the Gloomy Northland”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 236; Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 307 and A Rhyme of Salem Town, p. 121]
1. “Mice with eyes of red ice” (see poem below) are albinos. The redness is due to the lack of the natural dark pigments of the iris. Instead what is seen is the color from their blood vessels. Referred to as tapetum lucidum, it is a reflecting structure that contains crystals. It is especially developed in many nocturnal animals, rodents, birds and it helps their eyes to catch all the available light. The redness is not in the iris (the outer part that gives eyes their color) but at the back of the eye, behind the retina.
When light shines directly into eyes that have a tapetum lucidum, it produces “eyeshine” (it appears to glow). Many fish have white eyeshine, some mammals have yellow or blue eyeshine, and others such as rodents have red eyeshine. Tapetum lucidum is an adaptation to life in environments with little light.
[origin: tapetum lucidem: Latin for “bright tapestry”]
A granite wind sighed from the crimson clay desert.
A witch laid her shoon
On the horn of the moon;
The stars in the east
Were the robes of a priest,
And a granite wind roared from the crimson clay desert.
A king on a sapphire hill brooded forever.
A queen glimmered cold
In opal and gold;
Kissing white mice
With eyes of red ice,
And a king on a sapphire hill brooded forever.
[from “A Far Country”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 281; Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 151; and Shadows of Dreams, p. 73]
Call for Proposals
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Pulp Studies Area
Popular Culture/American Culture Association National Conference
March 27-30 2013
Pulp magazines were a series of mostly English-language, predominantly American, magazines printed on rough pulp paper. They were often illustrated with highly stylized, full-page cover art and numerous line art illustrations of the fictional content. They were sold for modest sums, and were targeted at (sometimes specialized) readerships of popular literature, such as western and adventure, detective, fantastic (including the evolving genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror), romance and sports fiction. The first pulp Argosy, began life as the children’s magazine The Golden Argosy, dated Dec 2, 1882 and the last of the “original” pulps was Ranch Romances and Adventures, Nov. 1971.
The Pulp Studies area exists to support the academic study of pulp writers, editors, readers, and culture. It seeks to invigorate research by bringing together scholars from diverse areas including romance, western, science fiction, fantasy, horror, adventure, detective, and more. Finally, the Pulp Studies area seeks to promote the preservation of the pulps through communication with libraries, museums, and collectors.
With this in mind, we are calling for papers and panels that discuss the pulps and their legacy. Suggested authors and topics:
• Magazines: Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Wonder Stories, Fight Stories, All-Story, Argosy, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Spicy Detective, Ranch Romances and Adventures, Oriental Stories/Magic Carpet Magazine, Love Story, Flying Aces, Black Mask, and Unknown, to name a few.
• Editors and Owners: Street and Smith (Argosy), Farnsworth Wright (Weird Tales), Hugo Gernsback (Amazing Stories), Mencken and Nathan (Black Mask), John Campbell (Astounding).
• Influential Writers: H.P. Lovecraft, A. E. Merritt, Robert E. Howard, C. L. Moore, Fritz Leiber, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Donald Wandrei, Clark Ashton Smith, and Henry Kuttner. Proposals about contemporary writers in the pulp tradition, such as Joe Lansdale and Michael Chabon are also encouraged. New Weird writers and others, such as China Mieville, whose work is influenced by the pulps, are also of interest.
• Influences on Pulp Writers: Robert Bloch, H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jack London, and Edgar Rice Burroughs were all influences, along with literary and philosophical figures such as Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edgar Allen Poe, and Herbert Spencer.
• Popular Characters: Conan of Cimmeria; Doc Savage; Solomon Kane; Buck Rogers; Northwest Smith; The Domino Lady; Jiril of Jiory; Zorro; Kull of Atlantis; El Borak; The Shadow; The Spider; Bran Mak Morn; Nick Carter; The Avenger; and Captain Future, among others. Also character types: the femme fatale, the he-man, the trickster, racism and villainy (such as Charles Middleton’s Ming the Merciless), and more.
• Artists: Popular cover artists including Margaret Brundage (Weird Tales), Frank R. Paul (Amazing Stories), Virgil Finlay (Weird Tales), and Edd Cartier (The Shadow, Astounding).
• Periods: The dime novels; Argosy and the ancestral pulps; Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, and the heyday of the pulps; the decline of the pulps in the 50s and 60s; pulps in the age of the Internet.
• Theme and Styles: Masculinity, femininity, and sex as related to the heroic in the pulps; the savage as hero, the woman as hero, the trickster as hero, etc.
• Film, Television and Graphic Arts: Pulps in film, television, comics, graphic novels and other forms are especially encouraged. Possible topics could include film interpretations such as Conan the Barbarian, comic book incarnations of pulp magazines and series; “new weird” reinventions of the pulps such as the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Watchmen; fan films; and newer productions, including the recently released Solomon Kane and Conan.
• Cyberculture: Cyberpulps such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies and pulp-influenced games such as the Age of Conan MMORPG or the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.
These are but suggestions for potential panels and presentations. Proposals on other topics are welcome.
For general information on the Pulp Studies area, please visit our website:
Final Submission Deadline: November 30, 2012
• When submitting your paper, abstract, proposal, or panel please include your name, affiliation, and email address. For those submitting a panel, include the name, affiliation, and email address for each participant and note who will be the principle contact and panel chair.
• Abstracts should be approximately 250 words in length.
• Indicate if presentation media is required. Projectors will be present in most locations, but presenters must supply their own computers.
• A preliminary version of the schedule will usually be posted on our website in January. Due to the number of panels and participants, we are unable to accommodate individual scheduling requests. We encourage participants to come for the entire conference. The final version of the schedule will be distributed in hard copy at the conference with addendums if needed. For privacy reasons we do not publish email addresses in the online version of the program.
• Only one paper is accepted from the same presenting author. All presenters, including invited panel speakers and session chairs, must register and pay the conference registration fee. If you need an early confirmation for visa or budgetary reasons, please indicate this in your submission.
How to Submit Proposals: Submit proposals by November through the following website: http://ncp.pcaaca.org/
Note: Only papers submitted through the website will appear in the conference program. If you have any questions, please contact the Pulp Studies area coordinator:
University of the Sciences
1. None of the standard dictionary definitions relating to trigonometry were applicable. The best definition comes from Howard Scholar Jeff Shanks:
The Latin “sine” (pronounced SEE-nay) or “without” was the first thing that came to mind. That would be “without” as in “lacking,” not “without” as in “outside” so it doesn’t really make sense. Also, one syllable seems to fit the meter better than two. Another possibility is that it’s a variation of “syne” which is a Scot’s word for “since” (or “since then” according to Merriam-Webster online.)
[origin: Scottish; Middle English (northern), probably contraction of Old English siththan since]
Tum, tum, slam the drum!
I’m a migratory bum!
Sine I look between the bars,
Sine I wander midst the stars.
I’m the bum that roams the earth,
Godlings laughed upon my birth!
Slam slam! Hot damn!
I may be wrong but I’m what I am.
My feet are fast with a world-old rhyme,
I prance my ways to the edge of time.
Beggers and poets, all my friends
The world’s all mine if it gives or lends.
I’m Gypsy blood!
Head in the clouds and feet in the mud!
I’m a giddy bum with a giddy head,
The Universe has known my tread.
[from “My Sentiments Set to Jazz”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 382]
The battlefield stretched silent, crimson pools among the still sprawling figures seeming to reflect the lurid red-streamered sunset sky. Furtive figures slunk from the tall grass; birds of prey dropped down on mangled heaps with a rustle of dusky wings. Like harbingers of Fate a wavering line of herons flapped slowly away toward the reed-grown banks of the river. No rumble of chariot wheel or peal of trumpet disturbed the unseeing stillness. The silence of death followed the thundering of battle.
— The Yaralet Fragment (aka “The Hand of Nergal”)
The long battle to bring Conan back to the big screen is finally over and the dust is beginning to settle. The stakes were huge. A financial success would take the Conan franchise to the next level, cementing the Cimmerian warrior in the popular culture pantheon. Other Howard properties are waiting in the wings for their chance at immortality: Kull of Atlantis, Dark Agnes, Bran Mak Morn, Vultures of Wahpeton. But as the fog of war begins to lift we find the field littered with the corpses of REH fans’ hopes and expectations.
Early reviews were not good at all going into last Friday’s North American opening. Word was quickly making its way through the blogosphere that the film was a stinker. Friday morning, Conan’s fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes was abysmal—hovering in the mid-20’s. That pretty much doomed it right there. Many people that might have been thinking about seeing it, decided to pass. As the box office numbers began to come in over the weekend it quickly became clear that the film was in serious trouble. With production costs in the $70-80 million dollar range (not including marketing costs) Conan needed to gross around $20-25 million domestically for its opening weekend. Right now it’s projected to gross right at $10 million. That is a massive bomb.
1. a waxy substance consisting mainly of cholesterol secreted by the intestinal tract of the sperm whale and often found floating in the sea; used in the manufacture of perfumes
[origin: Middle English, from Old French ambre gris, “gray amber”]
“Lady, hell!” bleated Harrigan. “Do you know what she just did? Threw away my chart! The only dash-blank chart in the world that could show me how to find the island of Aragoa!”
“Was we goin’ there, cap’n?” asked the bos’n.
“Yes, we was!” yelled Harrigan. “And what for? I’ll tell you! Ambergris. A barrel full! At thirty-two dollars an ounce! You bilge-rats been grousin’ to know where we were sailin’ to–all right, I’ll tell you! And then I’m goin’ to tie that wench up and skin her stern with a rope’s end!
“A few months ago a blackbirder bound for Australia went on a reef in a storm, off a desert island, and nobody but the mate got ashore alive. They’d found a mess of the stuff floatin’ on the water, and filled a big barrel with it–and it floated ashore with him. The mate stood the solitude of the island as long as he could, and then took to sea in the ship’s boat he’d patched up. He’d salvaged a chart and marked the island’s position. He’d been weeks at sea when I picked him up, on my last voyage from Honolulu to Brisbane. He was ravin’ and let slip about the ambergris–I mean he was that grateful to me for savin’ him he told me all about it, and gimme the chart for safekeepin’, and right after that he got delirious and fell overboard and drowned–“
[From “The Girl on the Hell Ship,” originally published as “She Devil” in Spicy Adventure April 1936. The complete story can be found in the forthcoming volume Spicy Adventures, which can now be pre-ordered from the REH Foundation.]