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Howards Last Story: "nekht Semerkeht"


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#1 Aaront596

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 05:11 PM

Does anyone know what Howard?s last story was? Was it published? and if not what was his last written story that was published? Just to clarify I don't want to know what his last published story was, but rather what his last written story that was published was. Thanx guys.
-Aaron

#2 Rusty Burke

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 05:57 PM

Does anyone know what Howard?s last story was? Was it published? and if not what was his last written story that was published? Just to clarify I don't want to know what his last published story was, but rather what his last written story that was published was. Thanx guys.
-Aaron


Because Howard did not keep detailed records of submissions and sales, much less of when he completed stories (HP Lovecraft, for instance, kept a journal in which he recorded when he began and when he completed stories, etc), there is no really definitive answer to this question. The REH Fiction and Verse Timeline -- http://www.rehupa.co...on_timeline.htm -- has much of what is actually known (though it needs to be updated to add information acquired since the last time I worked on it). I'll have to check the copies of the Kline agency logs that I have at home to be sure, but it appears from the Timeline that the last story that the Kline agency (Howard's agent) received from him before his death was "Fists of the Revolution," received on May 11, 1936. Based on his comment to August Derleth in a May 9, 1936 letter, most of us who've pondered this think that "Nekht Semerkeht" was the last story Howard worked on before his death (it was untitled and unfinished, the title was given it by Glenn Lord).

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#3 Aaront596

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 09:44 PM

as always rusty thanx a million. can you tell me where i can find a copy of "Fists of the Revolution"

#4 godzilladude

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 02:26 PM

Does anyone know what Howard?s last story was? Was it published? and if not what was his last written story that was published? Just to clarify I don't want to know what his last published story was, but rather what his last written story that was published was. Thanx guys.
-Aaron


In addition to Rusty's comments, I'd add that Patrice is the great scholar who actually looks at the actual typescripts, and has gotten to the point that he can line them up, which came before which, by looking at a number of indicia, including:

Clues in letters
Certain key words that REH changed his spelling of over time
Certain policies REH followed at various times, including spacing, layout, etc.
The color of the paper
How faded his ribbon is (!)

Patrice only recently was able to lay hands upon a lot more of the typescripts, though likely still not all of them. So I'd think in a year or two or three, he'll be able to give a much more definitive answer.

HowardWorks, at www.howardworks.com, can always tell you where you can find a story.

Edited by godzilladude, 01 June 2007 - 02:28 PM.


#5 Mikey_C

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:18 PM

Can anyone say how much of Nekht Semerkeht was written by Andrew J. Offutt? It starts off on a real gloomy dark tone. At one point the protagonist actually thinks about pushing the muzzle of a pistol to his head. I assume this bit is pure REH. If it really is his last story, this is a disturbing indicator of what was going through his head. Struggling for a reason to carry on living.
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#6 Sermon Bath

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:38 PM

JUST FROM reading I would have to agree that the tale seemed to come from the pen of someone contemplating the ultimate way to find peace
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#7 Rusty Burke

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 04:59 AM

Can anyone say how much of Nekht Semerkeht was written by Andrew J. Offutt? It starts off on a real gloomy dark tone. At one point the protagonist actually thinks about pushing the muzzle of a pistol to his head. I assume this bit is pure REH. If it really is his last story, this is a disturbing indicator of what was going through his head. Struggling for a reason to carry on living.


REH started off with several pages of narrative, dwindling finally to a synopsis of the rest of the story -- this was a frequent practice of his. Offutt did quite a bit of rewrite on the first part, and of course considerably expanded the synopsis part. Because of the rewriting, it's hard to say where REH leaves off and Offutt begins, it's more of a gradual transition from almost pure Howard (except that Offutt broke up the paragraphs) to almost pure Offutt (from Howard's outline). But the stuff about de Guzman wondering why he shouldn't "quit an existence whose savor had long ago become less than its pain" is REH.

REH's original can be found in the Bison BLACK STRANGER volume.

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#8 Mark Finn

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 12:53 PM

as always rusty thanx a million. can you tell me where i can find a copy of "Fists of the Revolution"


Perfect timing on your part! It was just reprinted here: Two-Gun Raconteur #12

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Second Edition now available from the Robert E. Howard Foundation Press

Finn's Home Away From Home, REDUX!

#9 Mikey_C

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:21 PM

Cheers, Rusty! It's interesting to know that REH mapped out the whole tale. I'll have to chase up the Bison volume some time.
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#10 Azathoth

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 08:42 PM

I just read this one today.

Must say I really enjoyed the first part, it's a real pity it was never fleshed out and completed properly by REH. I think it had some real potential. Made me wonder what was going on in the city, what was that thing that led him inside the city? It remined me very much of The Gods of Bal Sagoth, only with one lead character. Similar idea I guess, lost city populated by creepy beings and governed by a nasty piece of work in the shape of a necromancer/sorcerer.

#11 keny from prague

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:35 PM

thats interesting. ill have to look for nhek smerket. I remember a late issue of SSOC doing a conanization of it.

#12 Ningauble

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:52 PM

(HP Lovecraft, for instance, kept a journal in which he recorded when he began and when he completed stories, etc)


You must be thinking of Clark Ashton Smith, who kept such a journal. Much of the chronology of Lovecraft's fiction is guesswork, and some stories, such as "Sweet Ermengarde", can't be placed with any certainty at all.

#13 deuce

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:00 PM


(HP Lovecraft, for instance, kept a journal in which he recorded when he began and when he completed stories, etc)


You must be thinking of Clark Ashton Smith, who kept such a journal. Much of the chronology of Lovecraft's fiction is guesswork, and some stories, such as "Sweet Ermengarde", can't be placed with any certainty at all.


Quite true. HPL had his "Commonplace Book", but it had no dates. Clark Ashton Smith's journal DID:

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