Tag Archives: James Allison

Pulp Crazy – The Valley of the Worm by Robert E. Howard

 

http://pulpcrazy.com/podcast.119.mp3

In this weeks episode I’m going to be discussing The Valley of the Worm by Robert E. Howard. The Valley of the Worm first appeared in the February 1934 issue of Weird Tales. I read it in The Best of Robert E. Howard Volume 1: Red Shadows published by Del Rey books.

The Best of Robert E. Howard Volume 1 Crimson Shadows is fully illustrated by Jim and Ruth Keegan. I first discovered their work in the Dark Horse Conan comics, they’re strip, The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob appears in every issue of the Robert E. Howard comics, usually at the bottom of the letters column.

Jim and Ruth were kind enough to allow me to use their unpublished painting of Niord and the Worm on the episode title card. As usual, I think the two completely nailed it. You can see more of their work on their Two-Gun Blog.

The Valley of the Worm is one of Howard’s James Allison reincarnation tales. I previously discussed “Marchers of Valhalla”, another James Allison story in a previous Pulp Crazy episode. The Valley of the Worm has a dying and depressed James Allison recalling his past life as a warrior. In this tale, he is Niorm, later referred to as Niorm Worm-bane, an Aesir warrior. It seems like The Valley of the Worm may take place during the Hyborian Age or possible following it.

The tale begins with Niord and his tribe traveling south into Africa. In Africa they come across a clan of Picts who have migrated there as well. The two groups do battle, with the Aesir being victorious. In a rare moment of mercy, Niord spares a Pict named Grom. Grom recuperates with the Aesir, but eventually leaves to return to his tribe.

 

Links:

Purchase The Best of Robert E. Howard Volume 1: Crimson Shadows: http://tinyurl.com/pbo6una

 

Read “The Valley of the Worm” at Project Gutenberg Australia: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601791.txt

 

Jim & Ruth Keegan’s Two-Gun Blog: http://twogunblog.blogspot.com/

 

Read the Valley of the Worm comic book adaptation: http://swords-and-veeblefetzers.blogspot.com/2011/06/supernatural-thrillers-3-robert-e.html

 

Bloodstar at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodstar

 

The Valley of the Worm thread on the REH Forums: http://www.conan.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=5283

 

Pulp Crazy – Marchers of Valhalla by Robert E. Howard

http://pulpcrazy.com/podcast/097.mp3

In this weeks episode Pulp Crazy is continuing the celebration of Robert E. Howard’s birth month with a short story not published in Howard’s lifetime. The story is titled, “Marchers of Valhalla” and is a part of his James Allison series, which are reincarnation tales.

This story was first published in 1972 by Donald M. Grant. I had the pleasure of reading it in the newest publication from the Robert E. Howard Foundation, titled “Swords of the North”, which collects Howard’s Viking and Celtic stories, drafts and fragments.

Marchers of Valhalla was able to be completed thanks to combining multiple drafts by Howard together, into one coherent story. I have to say, I’ve read a decent amount of Robert E. Howard, including all of his Solomon Kane tales, Kull stories, his Dark Agnes tales, all but the final two Conan stories, and a fair amount of his stand alone Weird Fiction. I would rank Marchers of Valhalla as one of my favorites.

Links:

Swords of the North at the Robert E. Howard Foundation: http://www.rehfoundation.org/2014/11/05/swords-of-the-north/

Marchers of Valhalla Discussion at the Robert E. Howard Forums: http://www.conan.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=5423

Hyborian Age America Discussion at the Robert E. Howard Forums: http://www.conan.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=8902&page=1

Swords of the North Discussion Thread: http://www.conan.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=10938

Hyborian Age Map: http://www.oocities.org/gmredux/hyboria/images/hyboria_bw.gif

Marchers of Valhalla at ISFDB: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?63590