For posterity, in case it gets taken down, here's the post:
In a nutshell...
Gory, gothic, epic, manly, marauding.
What's it all about?
An anthology of some of the best short stories of celebrated pulp novelist Robert E Howard. It includes four tales of his most famous creation, Conan the Cimmerian (aka Barbarian) and stories of other lesser known heroes including Kull the Atlantean and Bran Mak Morn, king of the Picts, and their respective struggles and wars. These fantasy tales are set in pseudo-historical pre-Roman Britain and Howard's own imagined continent of Hyboria.
Who's it by?
1930s writer Robert E Howard is hailed as being to the 'Swords and Sorcery' genre what Tolkien is to 'Epic Fantasy'.
As an example.
"'Let us go and sack that city!'
Conan agreed. He generally agreed to her plans. Hers was a mind that directed their raids, his the arm that carried out her idea. It mattered little to him where they sailed or whom they fought, so long as they sailed and fought."
Likelihood of becoming a Hollywood blockbuster
Plenty of potential, with four Howard adaptations already having been made and a rumoured Conan movie (2011) in the pipeline.
So is it any good?
This is writing for men, with muscular prose and all the requisite clichés you would expect from the genre except; Howard transcends the limitations of the much maligned 'pulp' genre, investing tremendous energy into a vivid and incredibly richly realised world. The quality of his often poetic writing is far superior to the easily attained satisfaction that can be found in more modern Gemmellesque fantasy writing.
So while you get talk of enormous muscles, scantily clad maidens, evil wizards, assorted demons and more loot than you can shake a bejewelled broadsword at, it is evident that Howard is a master who can write the viscera and dynamic violence while also retaining a reverent lyricism in his stories.
Heroes in the Wind is a thoroughly entertaining fantasy collection written by a pioneer of the genre and a recommended introduction to all newcomers to Howard's writing.
Obviously there's the horrible Hyboria rearing its ugly head. How can Bran Mak Morn be set in "quasi-historical pre-Roman Britain" if Bran fights the Romans in two of the stories he appears in? Gibbs also completely ignores the stories that don't feature barbarian heroes: almost an entire third of the book. Hes also not very descriptive of the barbarian stories either: "The Shadow Kingdom," "The Mirrors of Tuzune Thune," "Kings of the Night," and "Worms of the Earth" don't feature any of the nonsense about girls & loot (only three stories out of thirteen feature scantily-clad women, which will no doubt disappoint those looking for literary titillation). Perhaps most bizarrely, that quote in "as an example" is from "Queen of the Black Coast" - a story that is not in Heroes in the Wind.
Anyway, here's my response, though in retrospect I could've added some more of the above points:
What, no mention of the three fine horror tales "The Footfalls Within," "Pigeons From Hell" and "Graveyard Rats, and the western "Vultures of Wahpeton"? Nary a scantily-clad heroine or loot in sight in those stories.
It seems the review has concentrated entirely on Conan and the popular conception of the character, unfairly in my opinion. Of the thirteen stories, only three have scantily-clad maidens, for instance.
There's more to Howard than his barbarians, and this volume took measures to address this: it's unfortunate this review didn't.
Indeed, I have to wonder if Mr Gibbs has even read the book in question, seeing as the passage he cites is from "Queen of the Black Coast", which does not appear in this collection.
Also gotta love how he calls the four Howard pastiches "adaptations."