Wednesday 14 July 2010

Alan Dean Foster: Friend of the Shieldwall

When I was at Howard Days this year, one of the coolest stories was that Alan Dean Foster (who's one of those guys that I know a lot about, but I really don't know his work as well as I should) swung by.  Jim & Ruth Keegan were massive Foster fans, and had a little geek-out of their own, making me feel better at my own star-struckness at all the Howard legends around. 

What's very cool is that not only is Foster an REH fan, but he has a very special piece of Howardiana, as revealed by Paul Herman on the REH Forums:

By coincidence we happened to be in the area when Barbarian Days, honoring Robert E. Howard of Cross Plains, Texas, were being held. So I took myself down thataway, to the small town where my wife's father used to trade cattle, and had a look around. The Howard House is a museum superbly maintained and operated by the local folks. It's filled with Howardania, from period furniture to actual Howard relics, including manuscripts, books, and artwork, and is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the neighborhood. I own a postcard from H.P. Lovecraft to Howard, written and sent when Lovecraft was visiting Quebec. It reads: ""This place surpasses all my expectations in a veritable dream of archaic city walls, crennelated cliffs, silent(?) spirits, narrow, zig-zag, precipitous streets, and the leisurely civilization of an elder world!" (signed) HP Lovecraft. Written in Lovecraft's hand in fading brown ink and sent with a Canadian two-cent airmail stamp. It looks nice in my study, but it belongs in a place like the Howard museum, if they'll have it.

Me being the shy and retirin' type that I am, I immediately sent him a note letting him know that Project Pride would be pleased as punch to have that postcard framed and prominently displayed in the Howard House. He replied to me, saying that it was on its way this morning! Now THAT is a generous donation. Feel free to stop by his website and let him know it is appreciated. 

This is so cool.  It's always cool for an established author to link himself to Howard without any sense of guilt or tongue-in-cheek "irony," but it's even cooler that they contribute to Howard's legacy.  The fact that it's a postcard from Lovecraft - one that practically screams allusions to "At the Mountains of Madness" - just sweetens the deal.

Alan Dean Foster, Project Pride Contributor, and Ally of the Shieldwall.  I hereby award you:


  1. Now that is one immensely cool guy for that. What a fantastic gift to the Howard museum and to Howard fans..

    he even managed to make Bayformers palatable (in book form)...

  2. By all accounts, Alan Dean Foster is a great guy. This just proves it.

  3. hope excuse my ignorance, but, what writes Alan Dean Foster? his name sounds a lot to me but I don't remember about his works...

  4. Very cool. Foster's novelizations of ALIEN and the STAR TREK animated series were amongst the first (prose) books I that read that weren't assigned at school, so he will always have a special place in my heart.

  5. Got to agree guys, he's a cool dude.

    Francisco, in addition to the many film novelizations Foster did, he's also quite famous for the Humanx Commonwealth series, which is a bit like what Star Trek would be if the show had a massive budget:

    The main characters of many of the books are Flinx & Pip: Flinx being a human, and Pip being a "minidrag" (miniature dragon thing). Already I'm interested.