Monday, July 07, 2014

Authentic Howard

All of the quotes below feature the character of Conan, but only one was actually written by Robert E. Howard. Any guesses as to which? Any idea who the other authors might be? I'll post the answers in a couple of days by just adding them to this post.

1.  "Before them all came the giant form of Conan.  Arrows had ripped his white khalat, exposing the glittering black mail that clad his lion-thewed torso."

2.  "There was blood on the Cimmerian's mail, dried blood on the sword in his right hand; he loomed dim and gigantic in the shadowy light."

3.  "Both Conan's knees bent to drop him straight down into a squat below the mighty cut.  He heard the wind-noise of the rushing blade, too close above his head."

4.  "The Cimmerian strode forward through the dull light and dust of the battlefield.  His sword was red, his knuckles white from the harsh grip of his hand on the hilt.

5.  "Conan pivoted on his buttocks, his foot rising to meet a hurtling nomad in the stomach.  With a gagging gasp the man stopped dead, black eyes goggling as he bent double."

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24 comments:

Seth Lindberg said...

At risk of embarrassing myself, I respond without researching this.. #4 seemed closest to REH to me.

Chris said...

Curse you, Gramlich! *shakes fist*

I'm guessing #1 is Howard. If it isn't, someone is doing a good job copying him. The "giant form of Conan" bit sounds like REH, as does the "lion-thewed" part.

#4 could be as well.

As for the others, I don't know. I haven't read enough of the other authors recently to know. Jordan is probably one of them, I'm guessing.

Brian Miller said...

hmmm i was thinking #4
i got not idea on who the other writers might be....

Tom Doolan said...

Number 4 for sure. No idea who the rest could be.

Ty Johnston said...

1.) de Camp, I'm pretty sure. Maybe. Possibly with Lin Carter.

2.)Bob Howard.

3.)Andrew Offutt. Maybe.

4.)I'm thinking Wagner, but not sure. Definitely has a Wagner feel to it.

5.)Robert Jordan.

Cloudia said...

Not my wheelhouse. So I'll just offer a friendly ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= <3

Randy Johnson said...

I like # 4 for Howard. As for the rest, been too many years since I read Conan. de Camp and Jordan probably.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Not sure, Charles. I haven't read much of REH, so I'll wait for your answers.

Lisa said...

I didn't know Conan was from a book

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Interesting. I'll be a rebel and say the second one.

sage said...

No earthly idea, but some of the software that helps identify authors based on style and word usage would be fun to test here.

Charles Gramlich said...

Seth, Answers up soon.

Chris, you may or may not be correct.

Brian, I have all the answers.

Tom, soon

Ty, humm.

CLoudia, tis ok.

Randy, been a while for me too.

Prashant, soon

Lisa, yes, Howard wrote short stories about Conan back in the early 1930s.

Alex, an interesting choice.

Sage, the selections are probably too short.

ivan said...

Love it, except that Cimmerians were antique Ukrainians. :)

Jason E. Thummel said...

This is harder than I thought, and I can't pick a winner. I'm guessing 1 or 2 for Howard, 4 Wagner, maybe, 5 Jordan and 3 Offutt (for no other reason that the wording sounding similar to a passage at the beginning of Sword of Skelos).

Jason E. Thummel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Scheer said...

Thewed is such an old-fashioned, antique word. I find it in the early frontier fiction I read and review on my blog. But it could be a word that the Conan genre itself has kept alive.

Ty Johnston said...

Just to add to the fun: The reasonings behind my choices ...

1.) "lion-thewed" sounds to me like someone trying to sound like Howard, but not Howard himself. Thus I picked de Camp, because nobody wanted it more.

2.) "loomed dim and gigantic in the shadowy light" ... come on, that's got Howard written all over it.

3.) This is the most clumsy of the bunch, which led me to Offutt. While I loved Andy's writing, it was definitely quirky and took some getting used to.

4.) I don't know what to say other than this sounds like Wagner to me. I could imagine similar lines in a number of Kane tales. There's almost a horror feel here.

5.) To me, this had a modern ring to it, which made me think of Jordan. Sure, technically Offutt and Wagner (and others) were early contemporaries of Jordan, but those other writers tended to have a more archaic style when it came to their own Conan stories.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Wow, Ty gets extra credit for sure!

I think I know which one is Howard, but I didn't look more deeply beyond that.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Number four. If it's not number four, that author writes REH impressively well. :)

James Robert Smith said...

I'm not even going to try. I will say that "thews" and any form of it is archaic and tended to be used in the days when Howard was writing. Of course it was also used by those trying to imitate him.

Charles Gramlich said...

Paul, Ty did his homework.:)

Bernard, cool.

James, yeah, the imitators used some of Howard's words but usually did not have his cumulative vocabulary.

Riot Kitty said...

I have no idea. Did he really pivot buttocks? :)

Charles Gramlich said...

riot kitty. apparently he did

jodi said...

Charles-Lord, do I need a writing class!