Happy Thor’s Day, everybody!
I haven’t posted on Thor’s Day since August, and while I normally reserve Thor’s Day posts for things strictly Norse today I’m making an exception. Why? Because yesterday the world lost another Robert Howard.
This is an important name. If you’ve followed this blog and/or my involvement with the ezine Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, then you doubtless know of my great respect for (and influence by) a writer named Robert E. Howard. You know, the guy who gave us Conan the Barbarian. (Among other things.)
Until yesterday, I thought this Robert Howard (REH) was the greatest of all Robert Howards who ever lived.
But then a US Soldier named Robert L. Howard died.
And if you’ve read any portion of my novel excerpt, you probably understand the tremendous respect I have for honorable warriors. Which is why Robert L. Howard trumps Robert E. Howard for the title of Top Bob at Storm of the North blog.
If you’re not familiar with the soldier and great American named Robert L. Howard, do yourself a favor and check out his page at Wikipedia. If you don’t feel like reading further, then just hit RLH’s Wiki and scroll down to see the images of his many, many medals and bars — word has it he’s the most decorated US soldier of the 20th century. (Eight Purple Hearts. Eight? Seriously — did this guy ever get tired of being wounded? Had he no fear at all — not even of military hospitals? Did I mention his winning of The Congressional Medal of Honor — America’s highest military award — alongside two other recommendations for the same award within barely more than a year. I’m guessing 99% of soldiers never receive a single recommendation in an entire career.)
Truly, truth is stranger than fiction; no mere writer could’ve dreamed up this man’s exploits and made them believable. Thus in the case of Robert L. Howard the warrior vs. Robert E. Howard the writer, actions speak way louder than words.
So Robert L. Howard you deserve the best of all toasts, offered here for a true warrior as written in the Havamal and translated by the incomparable H. R. Ellis Davidson:
Cattle die, kinsfolk die,
oneself dies the same.
I know one thing only which never dies —
the renown of the noble dead.
Hey! (For the uninitiated — drink!)
For more information on Robert L. Howard, visit the RLH Tribute website.