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.