This may be the best treat in the month of June! Check out this wonderful reading of the original 1936 CONAN novella, Red Nails, by my friend Gregg Margarite! Read what Robert E. Howard wrote about it, as he was writing it:
“‘You see, girl [Howard was writing to Novalyne Price], when a civilization begins to decay and die, the only thing men or women think about is the gratification of their body’s desires. They become preoccupied with sex. It colors their laws, their religion — every aspect of their lives.[…]’Girl, I’m working on a yarn like that now –a Conan yarn. Listen to me. When you have a dying civilization, the normal, accepted life style ain’t strong enough to satisfy the damned insatiable appetites of the courtesans and, finally, of all the people. They turn to Lesbianism and things like that to satisfy their desires…I am going to call it The Red Flame of Passion.'”
We call it Red Nails!
I broke out my copies of Savage Tales #2 and Conan Saga #9 in order to illustrate some of the terrific art that Robert E. Howard’s last Conan story has generated. Here are some of additional materials from the original publication too. First up, it’s desribed as:”One of the strangest stories ever written—the tale of a barbarian adventurer, a woman pirate, and a weird roofed city inhabited by the most peculiar race of men ever spawned”Then the editorial staff of Weird Tales had this to say:
“Nearly four years ago, WEIRD TALES published a story called The Phoenix On The Sword, built around a barbarian adventurer named Conan, who had become king of a country by sheer force of valor and brute strength. The author of that story was Robert E. Howard, who was already a favorite with the readers of this magazine for his stories of Solomon Kane, the dour English Puritan and redresser of wrongs. The stories about Conan were speedily acclaimed by our readers, and the barbarian’s weird adventures became immensely popular. The story presented herewith is one of the most powerful and eery weird tales yet written about Conan. We commend this story to you, for we know you will enjoy it through and through.”
And, after you begin listening, be sure to compare the three scenes from the story I’ve matched up.
By Robert E.Howard; Read by Gregg Margarite
5 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 24 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 19, 2010
Text Source: Gutenberg.org |HTML|
Conan the Cimmerian pursues the beautiful and deadly pirate Valeria after she kills a Stygian only to find himself cornered by a dragon. Apparently this dragon doesn’t know who he’s messing with. The pair then encounters the city of Xuchotl with its warring factions and ancient secrets. Swordplay and sorcery ensue. – Red Nails is Howard’s final Conan story. First published in the July, August, September and October 1936 issues of Weird Tales magazine.
Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/rss/4404
iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|
Art from the original 1936 Weird Tales publication:
[Thanks also to Betty M. and David Lawrence]
Posted by Jesse Willis