Sunday, 29 May 2011

Don't leave me hanging, bro!

Allow me to jump into Conan week late.
It’s now Saturday morning in the UK and this fits perfectly. I was going to write a post explaining that I have serious problems with Robert E. Howards’ Conan stories and with most subsequent sword and sorcery stories that were inspired by it. I was also going to mention that they’re all a bit crap. 

Whoa-ho-ho-ho-hooo. This oughta be interesting.

*Cracks knuckles, poises fingers on keyboard, prepares to read about these serious problems and allegations of partial craptitude*

Instead you are getting this.

... Aww. Well, alright, what're we getting?

Conan the Adventurer is how I first discovered the character of Conan. It aired on the BBC after school and I was probably eight. Unlike homework it didn’t bore me and unlike Australian children’s TV didn’t agitate my childhood fear of clowns. You can go on about the two Arnold Schwarzenegger films and the riddle of steel and camel punching, but this is better.
Yes this is also terrible. It’s just a better league of terrible.

Dude, come on.  I feel so played.

This chap, Will Ellwood, got my hackles up for nothing.  Here I was, fingers poised on the keyboard, eager for a chance for me to debate.  Debate is good.  If he had honest, understandable problems with the Conan stories that I'd have to work to address, that'd be great: it'd force me to really assess the Conan stories, and maybe discover something I hadn't noticed before.  If he came up with a bunch of garbage about how Conan always got the girl, always beat the wizard, always got the treasure and so on, then I could be further inspired to finish those entires in the Beginner's Guide refuting those silly myths.  But no, Will does the old bait-and-switch and goes for the easy target of Conan the Adventurer.  Oh, you cad, Mr Ellwood.

I don't begrudge people having different tastes. I just don't think you can leave people hanging on proclamations on what you were going to write, make pretty strong statements about "serious problems," and then not follow up on them. Bit of a tease, is all.



    You might find this one interesting, REH gets a mention, and not favorably, in one of the comments. 'Epic Pooh' also gets a glowing recommendation by the author.

    I'd do it.. but you make it look so much more reasonable.

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  3. Of course Epic Pooh gets a glowing review. Le sigh.

    I commented on Howard (and Tolkien) in a way I hope doesn't have me come across as a histrionic fanboy.