Birth of Modern Fantasy

If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, Conan, or Superman, and enjoy reading about the historical aspects of the fantasy genre, then McFarland Books might have just what you are looking for.


J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy by Deke Parsons is number 47 in McFarland’s Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy series. This volume provides a fascinating look into these fictional worlds of fantasy, giving us background on not just the stories and the writers, but the motivations for these worlds that, interestingly enough, were all started in the 1930s.


If you’ve only been exposed to Conan the Barbarian via film, Parsons paints a much different Conan that Howard created. Whereas I’ve read the books and seen the movies of Tolkien, and have read many Superman comics and seen most of what Hollywood has produced for the screen, both movies and TV shows, Howard’s works are something I’ve never read. And this book will definitely leave you wanting to read about the “real” Conan.

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About Ed Gosney

Ed Gosney grew up in the small river town of Martins Ferry, Ohio, near Wheeling, West Virginia. He claims it was a magical place that helped mold his imagination, as he spent countless hours roaming the hills, playing in a cave, and hanging out at the Ohio River with his childhood friends. Ed is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in English Education, and served in the Army, becoming a Journalist and the editor of the Army post newspaper. After being honorably discharged, he entered the corporate world to write business proposals, working for several different banks and at times managing proposal teams. Currently living in Copley, Ohio, Ed has been married to Melissa since 1987 and has three children, Renee, Ed, and Brynn.

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