Wednesday, 16 December 2009

S.H.I.E.L.D.W.A.L.L. Operation Defenestration - SUCCESS!





Outstanding news, gentlemen!

Operation Defenestration is a complete success. Although Ms Van Ostrand's essay has not been removed from Fandomania, it has been effectively neutralized by an Editor's Note detailing the controversy.

Editor’s Note:
This article by Maggie Van Ostrand has become quite controversial, as evidenced by the long and passionate collection of comments below. After receiving numerous e-mails from Robert E. Howard supporters and academics, I have spoken with Maggie and also did some research of my own. I am no REH scholar, and I don’t think Maggie would profess to be either. I know her to be a reputable, friendly, and talented writer who is a valued member of the Fandomania family. She expressed to me her admiration of REH even during and after writing this article. Her admiration of his work is what led her to read about him and research this piece. After the post’s publication, it came to her and my attention that the resources she used are controversial in their own rights, and many readers have attacked her for going to the sources she used. As Maggie’s editor, I can assure you that it was neither Maggie’s nor my intention to lambast REH. She took her sources to be credible reflections of the man’s life, and I trusted her sources based on my confidence in Maggie. Factual errors and misrepresentations never were intended in this article, and I try to make sure that Fandomania as a whole keeps a high standard of credibility and accuracy. If I have failed in this, I most definitely apologize for my negligence.

A lot of people have demanded that I remove this article from the site. While I definitely want to defuse the hostility that has erupted around Maggie’s piece and make things right with our readers, I think it would be dishonest and a disservice to delete the post entirely. A lot of well spoken and thoughtful people have posted their views and scholarly opinions in the comments here, as well as on other websites that have linked here. Removing the article altogether would remove all of those comments that our readers have spent time composing, and it also would break the links and remove the context for the other webmasters who have expressed their thoughts and directed their own readers to this piece.
For those reasons, I decided to include this editor’s note at the top instead of removing the article. In light of this explanation, if you still have problems or concerns you’d like to express, please feel free to contact me through the Contact link above. I sincerely appreciate your visiting Fandomania, and I encourage you to follow up your reading of this article by reading more about Robert E. Howard and his family at these fine sites, as recommended by our readers:
Jason Dorough
Managing Editor,

In addition, the biography of Howard at Texas Escapes has been removed - at Ms Van Ostrand's request. A tilt of the mead to Jason, and to Maggie herself. It's tremendously impressive of her to admit the shortcomings in the research, and I hope she takes the time to research the real Robert E. Howard. Who knows, perhaps she'll become an ally of S.H.I.E.L.D.W.A.L.L. in her own right.

I couldn't have dreamed of a greater success: the article has been neutralized, the perpetrator brought to justice, and rehabilitated. The Cause has been upheld, with no casualties or major diplomatic incidents. A job well done, men.

Shields Up,

Agent Taranaich.


  1. A round of mead for the Shield Wall!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Nice work Al. I was working up my own comments to post to the site tonight, but the men to the left and right of me in the S.H.I.E.L.D.W.A.L.L. were quicker with their swords, spears, and axes.

    To quote Merlin from John Boorman's Excalibur:

    And look upon this moment. Savor it! Rejoice with great gladness! Great gladness! Remember it always, for you are joined by it. You are One, under the stars. Remember it well, then... this night, this great victory ... For it is the doom of men that they forget.

  3. Have a round on me, David!

    Brian, that's a wonderful quote. In my case, I couldn't help but visualize Spartacus. The memory of REH and the Howard dynasty being besmirched and pilloried, with no heirs present to defend themselves. Yet out of the aether stride men unrelated to Howard, whom he's never even met, to defend his honour with the cry "I'm MATTPOP!"