A Thunder of Trumpets

by Robert E. Howard
Release date: July 2010
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, short stories

A collection of stories.

Contents:
  • Introduction, by Mark Finn
  • Pigeons from Hell
  • The Last Hour
  • Ships
  • Lines Written in the Realization That I Must Die
  • A Thunder of Trumpets
  • Recompense
  • The Ghost Kings
  • The King and the Oak
  • Desert Dawn
  • Almuric
  • The Hills of Kandahar
  • Song at Midnight
  • Witch from Hell's Kitchen
  • But the Hills Were Ancient Then
  • The One Black Stain
The final volume of the Weird Works of Robert E. Howard contains the last of Howard’s stories and poems published in Weird Tales and elsewhere, many placed after his death. While these works seem disparate by virtue of the fact that they are not part of a greater “cycle” of tales, they are in no way inferior to the Conan or Cthulhu Mythos tales. In fact, two of the best stories Howard ever wrote are contained in this final volume.

“Pigeons from Hell” is a dark southern gothic horror story that grabs the reader right away and refuses to let go until the genuinely creepy ending. The two protagonists in the story may be thinly disguised versions of Howard himself and pen pal H.P. Lovecraft, who scoffed at the Southern part of the country’s ability to summon any ghostly folklore that could rival New England’s. Readers may consider this to be Howard’s final word on that particular subject.

In the annals of Howard fans, his lone sword-and-planet novel, Almuric, is something of a cult classic. Originally conceived as a novel for a British publisher, Otto Binder may have completed it to make it sellable.
 
“The Witch From Hell’s Kitchen” is another odd tale. Not one of the “historical Oriental adventures” that Howard wrote (although there is some intrigue and derring-do involved), nor a straightforward horror story either, it bends genres.  You don’t really know where this is one is going until you get to the end.

A fine selection of Howard’s verse, including “The Ghost Kings,” “A Thunder of Trumpets,” and “The King and the Oak,” rounds out the volume.
updated 2010-11-07

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