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The Riot at Bucksnort
Robert E. Howard
Bison Books/University of Nebraska Press, 255 pages

The Riot at Bucksnort
Robert E. Howard
Robert Ervin Howard (1906-1936) is best remembered for his classic sword and sorcery tales of the brawny Cimmerian swordsman Conan, though he wrote stories in a number of genres: horror (Pigeons from Hell, Worms of the Earth), oriental adventure (The Lost Valley of Iskander, Swords of Shahrazar), westerns both humorous (A Gent from Bear Creek) and conventional (The Last Ride, The Vultures of Whapeton), boxing (The Iron Man), and others. Howard's tales of Conan, Kull, Bran Mak Morn, Turlogh O'Brien and Solomon Kane created and defined the sword and sorcery genre, leading to innumerable pastiches and outright ripoffs of Howard's characters.

ISFDB Bibliography
R.E. Howard Site: 1, 2, 3 (in French)
Robert E. Howard Museum, Cross Plains, TX
Conan the Barbarian movie fan site: 1, 2, 3
Conan fan site: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
SWORD a Conan fan magazine
Red Sonja fan site
Books available: 1, 2
The Whole Wide World biographical movie on R.E.H.
Review of The Whole Wide World

A review by Georges T. Dodds

[Editor's Note: Here you will find the other collections of Robert E. Howard stories].

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Along with historical tales of the East, American Western tall tales were the other form that Robert E. Howard was increasingly exploring. Such are the tales collected in The Riot at Bucksnort In particular his humourous adventures of Breckenridge Elkins the big, two-fisted, gun-slinging, good-hearted but naive galoot from Bear Creek, which appeared in Action Stories, and similar tales of Pike Bearfield and Buckner J. Grimes, in Argosy and Cowboy Stories, respectively, were the complete antithesis of the sort of dark tales collected in Lord of Samarcand. Besides the fact that these tall tales are informed with Howard's intimate knowledge of the region of which he writes, they are genuinely funny, with Breckenridge Elkins, swatting away buckshot like mosquitoes, redecorating saloons with unfriendly patrons, and falling prey to the schemes of men and the wiles of women -- not to mention his barely tamed horse Cap'n Kidd, who when provoked lays waste to almost as much real estate as his master. Like Howard's best work, these stories are full of action, albeit with six-guns and fists, rather than swords, and they are varied enough, at least in this selection that one would have hoped the volume were twice as long.

The folks at the University of Nebraska Press should be commended for their selection of editors and material for this and the other collections of Howard's work. These editors, through their introductions and selections are all clearly scholars of Howard's work, but perhaps more importantly great aficionados of Howard's work. Beyond the fact that they are reprinting material which in many cases has not been available for decades, they are basing the texts, wherever possible on Howard's typescripts, something the many previous editions have rarely if ever done. In many cases these books should become the standard edition of these works. Along with Boxing Stories, and The End of the Trail: Western Stories (not yet reviewed), these editions present important subgenres within Howard's writing career, often ignored by those who know him only for Conan, Kull and Solomon Kane — showing that, like Cap'n Kidd, Howard was more than just a one trick pony.

The Riot at Bucksnort
Title Some Other Appearances
Introduction (David Gentzel)  
Mountain Man Action Stories, Mar.-Apr. 1934
Meet Cap'n Kidd in A Gent from Bear Creek West Kingston, RI: Donald M Grant, 1965
The Peaceful Pilgrim in Mayhem on Bear Creek, West Kingston, RI: Donald M Grant, 1979
War on Bear Creek Action Stories, Apr. 1935
The Haunted Mountain Action Stories, Feb. 1935
The Feud Buster Action Stories, June 1935
The Riot at Cougar Paw Action Stories, Oct. 1935
Pistol Politics Action Stories, Apr. 1936
No Cowherders Welcome in Mayhem on Bear Creek, West Kingston, RI: Donald M Grant, 1979
The Conquerin' Hero of the Humbolts Action Stories, Oct. 1936
A Gent from the Pecos Argosy, Oct. 3, 1936
Gents on the Lynch Argosy, Oct. 17, 1936
The Riot at Bucksnort Argosy, Oct. 31, 1936
Knife River Prodigal Cowboy Stories, July 1937
A Man-Eating Jeopard Cowboy Stories, June 1936

Copyright © 2005 Georges T. Dodds

Georges Dodds is a research scientist in vegetable crop physiology, who for close to 25 years has read and collected close to 2000 titles of predominantly pre-1950 science-fiction and fantasy, both in English and French. He writes columns on early imaginative literature for WARP, the newsletter/fanzine of the Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association and maintains a site reflecting his tastes in imaginative literature.


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