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By Crom! New Robert E. Howard Pastiches Coming in 2018!

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 | Posted by Bob Byrne

Conan_FrazettaFrostgiantsOf course, you saw yesterday’s Black Gate post on Heroic Signatures, the new digital/gaming partnership, which includes the rights to about two dozen Robert E. Howard characters and stories. With the recent releases of Modiphius’ Robert E Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of RPG, Monolith’s Conan board game and Funcom’s in-beta Conan: Exiles video game, Conan is a very viable gaming brand these days. And Funcom’s Age of Conan MMO (which I play) is still going strong as it approaches the decade mark.

But fans of Conan’s creator, such as the contributors and readers of our recent Discovering Robert E. Howard series, are yearning for new pastiches featuring Howard’s characters. And not just Conan, but Solomon Kane, El Borak, Breckenridge Elkins and Steve Harrison, to name a few. Aside from some Age of Conan tie-in novels, the Conan pastiche market dried up when Tor finished its series in 2003 with Harry Turtledove’s Conan of Venarium.

The Tor novels were a mix of varying quality, as I wrote about here. I quite enjoyed some, such as John Maddox Roberts’ Conan the Rogue (an homage to Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest), Chris Hocking’s The Emerald Lotus and Leonard Carpenter’s Conan the Raider. But unfortunately, some were just simply bad fantasy books.

So, while we have been treated to quality reprints of Howards’ works from Del Rey and the Robert E. Howard Foundation Press, new tales have not been forthcoming. Behold: that is about to change!

In 2018, new pastiches featuring Robert E. Howard characters will be forthcoming!!!!  

Cabinet Group LLC, the REH rights holders and 50% of Heroic Signatures (with Funcom) “have decided to curate a line of carefully picked novels and start a publishing program next year.” This will not just be Conan but other Howard works as well.

Black Gate will have a Q&A post with Cabinet Group head Fredrik Malmberg shortly. Updates coming from Cabinet Group with more information.

But to the many fans of Robert E. Howard, this is exciting news. Could we even see a new Steve Harrison tale? Asks the in-house mystery guy who writes Sherlock Holmes stories? (Hint, hint, hint, Cabinet…)

Bob Byrne’s ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate  from March 10, 2014 through March 20, 2017 (making an occasional return appearance!). He also organized Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series.

He is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.

He has contributed stories to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Parts III, IVV and VI and will be in IX if he quits having fun writing Black Gate posts and works on a story!



  1. If they need a novel about Shevatas (or a short story), I’m available :)

    Hell, I’m down for almost anything . . .

    Comment by ScottOden - December 19, 2017 3:28 pm

  2. Well, this is something I’ve been waiting years to hear! I know there are some talented writers out there who ‘get ‘ REH, and would love to take a crack at writing a quality pastiche. Scott Oden is an excellent example. As a matter of fact, I’m willing to bet there are a few stories out there already written, just waiting to be submitted (hopefully we will at last see Hocking’s second Conan tale…) I cannot wait to find more concerning Cabinet’s plans and direction concerning future publications; I’m pretty excited about this!

    Comment by thedarkman - December 19, 2017 4:26 pm

  3. Hopefully the Q&A will provide some info, though I don’t know what they’ll be willing to say at this point.

    I’m very excited myself!

    Comment by Bob Byrne - December 19, 2017 4:43 pm

  4. My interest is in Solomon Kane so I’ll be keeping an eye out for more news.

    Comment by Allard - December 19, 2017 11:43 pm

  5. This great news!!!
    Bran Mak Morn is my favorite non-Conan Howard creation.

    Comment by kid_greg - December 20, 2017 12:09 pm

  6. […] read me at Black Gate. He provided a bit more info and said I could let the cat out of the bag. Another rushed post made the announcement at lunchtime on Tuesday and the REH Facebook world was agog. Apparently this […]

    Pingback by My Thoughts on New Robert E. Howard Pastiches | Almost Holmes - December 21, 2017 12:33 am

  7. […] (Black Gate): Of course, you saw yesterday’s Black Gate post on Heroic Signatures, the new digital/gaming […]

    Pingback by Sensor Sweep: Conan pastiches, Crashing Suns, and lots of Star Wars – - December 25, 2017 1:31 am

  8. Just wondering if there’s an update on a publication date for these new pastiches? It’s now 2019 and people keep mentioning John C Hocking’s 2nd Conan novel, but so far I can’t see any sign of a release date.

    Comment by bunduki - January 5, 2019 4:11 am

  9. Hi bunduki – Things are proceeding.

    I don’t have dates, but I know John Hocking and Michael Stackpole have Conan titles that appear on the Perilous Worlds website.

    And there will be Conan graphic novels with stories written by John and Scott Oden, among others.

    With the other graphic novels coming out now, and the amazon tv series in the works, the property holders are pretty busy getting stuff going.

    Comment by Bob Byrne - January 5, 2019 7:44 am

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