PseudoPod 569: The Black Stone

Show Notes

Andrew is one of the founders and proprietors of the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and has produced and appeared in films, radio dramas, games, music and audiobook projects based on or inspired by Lovecraft’s work, most notably the motion picture of “The Call of Cthulhu” and the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre series.

An audiobook of the Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft has been released and is available through the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society website. If you’ve listened to any of Andrew’s narrations over on the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, you owe it to yourself to grab this collection. The newest episode of the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre — “The Rats in the Walls” — should be released by Thanksgiving in time for some wholesome family dining experiences.

Also, check out the Cromcast, which is working through Howard’s impressive catalog of fiction.


The Black Stone

by Robert E. Howard


“They say foul things of Old Times still lurk In dark forgotten corners of the world. And Gates still gape to loose, on certain nights. Shapes pent in Hell.” –Justin Geoffrey

I read of it first in the strange book of Von Junzt, the German eccentric who lived so curiously and died in such grisly and mysterious fashion. It was my fortune to have access to his Nameless Cults in the original edition, the so-called Black Book, published in Dusseldorf in 1839, shortly before a hounding doom overtook the author. Collectors of rare literature were familiar with Nameless Cults mainly through the cheap and faulty translation which was pirated in London by Bridewall in 1845, and the carefully expurgated edition put out by the Golden Goblin Press of New York, 1909. But the volume I stumbled upon was one of the unexpurgated German copies, with heavy black leather covers and rusty iron hasps. I doubt if there are more than half a dozen such volumes in the entire world today, for the quantity issued was not great, and when the manner of the author’s demise was bruited about, many possessors of the book burned their volumes in panic.

About the Author

Robert E. Howard

Most famous for inventing the modern sword & sorcery tale with his Conan stories, Howard often introduced horror elements as the threat but the evocation of supernatural dread is only incidental in most of his tales; the chronicling of titanic adventure is the primary purpose. When he later switched from fantasy to westerns, Howard made the transition with the tale presented here. Howard’s major horror genre reputation rests with three stories (sadly, all of which are a bit too long for the podcast): “Black Canaan” (Weird Tales, 1936) was praised by Lovecraft for its “genuine, regional background and its compelling picture of the horror that stalks through the moss-hung, shadow-cursed, serpent-ridden swamps of the American far south”; “Pigeons from Hell” (Weird Tales, 1938) was praised by Stephen King as “one of the finest horror stories of our century” and “Worms of the Earth” (Weird Tales, 1932) is thought by many Howard fans to be his best story.

To dive into more of Howard’s impressive oeuvre, consider the Del Rey series of Howard books, which includes Horror, Historical Adventures and Desert Adventures collections, in addition to the “standard” Conan, Kull and Solomon Kane ones.

If you want to know more about Howard, visit the REH Foundation as well as Project Pride, who are the caretakers of the REH House and Museum in Cross Plains, TX.

 

Find more by Robert E. Howard

Elsewhere

About the Narrator

Andrew Leman

Andrew is one of the founders and proprietors of the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and has produced and appeared in films, radio dramas, games, music and audiobook projects based on or inspired by Lovecraft’s work, most notably the motion picture of “The Call of Cthulhu” and the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre series.

 

Find more by Andrew Leman

Elsewhere