Here’s the description, from Robert E. Howard himself, of what the time of King Kull looked like, and the map derived from it.
The Pre-Cataclysmic Age (circa 20,000 BC) by Robert E. Howard
Of that epoch known by the Nemedian Chronicles as the Pre-Cataclysmic Age, little is known except the latter part, and that is veiled in the mists of legend.
Valusia was the westernmost kingdom of the Thurian continent: her capital, the City of Wonders, was the marvel of her age.
Known history begins with the waning of the civilization of the main, or Thurian continent… a civilization dominated by the kingdoms of Ramelia, Valusia, Verulia, Grondar, Thule and Commoria. These people spoke a similar language, suggesting a common origin. Though they don’t seem to be in agreement. The barbarians of the age were the Picts, who lived on islands far out on the Western Ocean, the Atlanteans, who dwelt on a small continent between the Pictish islands and the Thurian continent, and the Lemurians, who inhabited a chain of large islands in the Eastern Hemisphere. There were vast regions of unexplored land, the civilized kingdoms, though enormous, occupied a relatively small portion of the whole planet. Valusia was the westernmost kingdom of the Thurian continent: her capital, the City of Wonders, was the marvel of her age. Grondar, whose people were less highly cultured than those of the other kingdoms, was the easternmost land. Among the less arid stretches of desert East of Grondar, in the serpent-infested jungles and among the snow-perched mountains, there lived scattered clans and tribes of primitive savages.
On the Far Eastern shores of the Thurian continent lived another race… human, but mysterious and non-Thurian, with which the Lemurians from time to time came in contact. They apparently came from a shadowy and nameless continent lying somewhere east of the Lemurian islands. Far to the South, there was a second mysterious civilization, unconnected with the Thurian culture and apparently pre-human in its nature.
The Thurian civilization was crumbling, their armies were composed largely of barbarian mercenaries. Picts, Atlanteans and Lemurians were their generals, their statesmen and often, their kings. Of the bickering of the kingdoms and wars between Valusia and Commoria, as well as the conquests by which the Atlanteans founded a kingdom on the mainland… there are more legends than accurate history.
Posted by Jesse Willis
The SFFaudio Podcast #202 –The Shadow Kingdom by Robert E. Howard, narrated by Todd McLaren (from Tantor Media’s Kull: Exile Of Atlantis). This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novelette (1 hour 25 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Tamahome, Jim Moon.
Talked about on today’s show:
Hypnogoria and Hypnobobs, King Kull, Kaa Nama Ka Lajerma, the magic phrase, snake men, shibboleth, the Book Of Judges, the letter after “G” in the alphabet, Z, Jay-Zed, Isaac Asimov’s test unionized, a gloomier and more brooding hero, a more philosophical CONAN, a more fantastical Howard story, wolf-men, a talking cat, animal people, Picts, Atlanteans, the Thurian Age, Mu, Lemuria, Atlantis, the final cataclysm, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Plato, Man from Atlantis, sea-barbarians, Brule the Spear-Slayer, “What, you would have me come alone?”, the Tower of Splendor, kingdom vs. empire, the Empire of The Seven Kingdoms, “squatting and living in the remnants of an older civilization”, secret passages and secret chambers, it’s like a mall, “I am Kull!”, in light of later events, King Kull’s identity crisis, I’m King, stop trying to depose me, Mel Brooks, Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday, barbarians vs. traditional societies, constant talking, “a more purple depth of language”, the Shakespearean soliloquy, manly men, Hulk will smash, Weird Tales, By This Axe I Rule, King Conan vs. regular CONAN, Kull as a practice run for CONAN, Exile Of Atlantis, a sort of Science Fiction idea, Philip K. Dick, Robert Sheckley, The Thing (aka Who Goes There?), Eight O’clock In The Morning by Ray Nelson, They Live, waking to the full reality of the world, “the owners of the Earth”, a human mask over an alien face, “are you a snake man?”, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney, alien replicants, The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick, identity, Howard isn’t only a purple prose action man, Kull’s philosophical bent, the speaking of the hooves, ruling an alien land, deep time, geologic time, reptoid conspiracy phenomenon, Congress as aliens, V, David Icke, Howard as a message man, there’s something metaphorical happening, a paranoia of trust, the old regime vs. the new regime, a Yes, Minister situation, new broom vs. old guard, a superhero story, the nameless serpent god, Set, Yig, Worms Of The Earth by Robert E. Howard, Thulsa Doom, Conan The Barbarian (1982), the Kull movie (Kull the Conqueror) with Kevin Sorbo, there’s no Brule, big hair and heavy metal guitar, a good farce, Valka’s face, it’s not god-awful.
Posted by Jesse Willis