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Pigeons From Hell: REH's Classic Horror Tale


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#1 Paolo

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 01:34 PM

I've long been mystified as what possibly this Howard story could be about from the title. It's mad!

Bulgash the savage meets a long lost race of winged rats?
Alone in a rainstorm two men recite of an ancient cursed homing pigeon manual?

Could someone enlighten me? :P

#2 alex

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 01:43 PM

Pigeons From Hell gave me the heebee jeebees the first time. It's one scary tale.

Read it.
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king.

- "The Road of Kings"

#3 Paolo

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 11:47 AM

Is it in any recent collections?

#4 terryallenuk

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 12:13 PM

Is it in any recent collections?

List at http://www.howardwor....com/storyp.htm

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#5 Isaacson

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 05:18 PM

Hi Paolo, and all.

... Paolo Wrote:

>I've long been mystified as what possibly this Howard story could be about from the title. It's mad!

>Bulgash the savage meets a long lost race of winged rats?
Alone in a rainstorm two men recite of an ancient cursed homing pigeon manual?
>Could someone enlighten me?


- "Pigeons From Hell" is an REH horror yarn. Set in a deep South (of America) in the early Twentieth-Century, in an apparently deserted old plantation house. It concerns two travellers who decide to spend the night there, the repercussions of their choice, and the history of the building and it's owners. It is numbered amonst the best of REH's horror stories, and is definitely worth locating/reading.

One of the Howard family's cooks "old Aunt Mary Bohannon", apparently as one of her stories, told a young REH of an old plantation house that was the scene of grisley happings. And that when folks approached the house ghostly pigeons would rise from the veranda (from a letter "REH to H P Lovecraft Ca. Sept 1930", Page 59 REH Selected Letters 1923-1930, Necronomicon Press USA, Oct 1989).

There has been an adapted graphic-novel version of the tale (Eclispe books USA 1988), as well as an adapted TV episode for the USA early- 1960's series "Thriller".


Cheers, Danny.

#6 El Borak's Li'l Brother

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 10:34 PM

I just finished reading it (again) and yes, if you can find a copy read it. I have it in two books -- ACE's 1979 collection of Howard stories aptly titled Pigeons of Hell and I believe from the same year a book titled The Howard Reader -- that I'm sure of and probably in a couple more I haven't read yet. Haunt some used book shops and you just might find a Howard book containing it.
Crom!

#7 alex

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 10:56 PM

Probably the easiest way to find it for new readers is in the 95 BAEN Howard collection. Can't recall off the top of my head which volume, but you'll have an easier time finding it in used shops if you look for one of those grey paperbacks.

I love Pigeons From Hell, the scene where the protagonist is walking up the staircase and the creepy prescence....!

That and Horror From The Mound take the cake, Howard was a great horror writer.
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king.

- "The Road of Kings"

#8 Reiver

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 11:32 PM

This was the first Robert E Howard book I picked up many (many) years ago. It contains a lot of stories from Weird Tales like 'People of the Dark', 'The Man on the Ground', 'The Hyena' and 'Dig me no Grave'. I was perhaps only fourteen at the time so must admit to buying it for the title - I mean pigeons from Hell! :blink: However, turned out to be not a bad story and the rest were good too and this led me on to a nice collection of his Conan work amongst others.
Does anyone know if this book or the stories contained in it have been reprinted? My copy is not in the best condition now and I would like to replace it! Tried Ebay and couldn't find another copy!

#9 Winterghost

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:25 AM

You can find that story in a few collections. Not sure of the volume you have, so I don't know all the stories in that book, but one of the latest books is The Black Stranger, published by Bison Books. I'm sure the other guys will pipe in with more details, though.

#10 Rusty Burke

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:20 PM

Does anyone know if this book or the stories contained in it have been reprinted? My copy is not in the best condition now and I would like to replace it! Tried Ebay and couldn't find another copy!


Pigeons From Hell was originally published by Zebra in 1976, then by Ace in 1979. It is basically the same contents as The Dark Man (Arkham House, Lancer, Panther), minus two stories and in a slightly different order. The two stories included in The Dark Man but not in Pigeons From Hell are "The Dark Man" and "The Thing on the Roof." (The Panther edition of The Dark Man, by the way, was split into two volumes and called The Dark Man Omnibus.)

All of the stories in these books have been reprinted in others. Your best source of information on where to find individual Howard stories (and for the contents of book collections, etc.) is HowardWorks.

Rusty

#11 godzilladude

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:26 PM

This was the first Robert E Howard book I picked up many (many) years ago. It contains a lot of stories from Weird Tales like 'People of the Dark', 'The Man on the Ground', 'The Hyena' and 'Dig me no Grave'. I was perhaps only fourteen at the time so must admit to buying it for the title - I mean pigeons from Hell! :blink: However, turned out to be not a bad story and the rest were good too and this led me on to a nice collection of his Conan work amongst others.
Does anyone know if this book or the stories contained in it have been reprinted? My copy is not in the best condition now and I would like to replace it! Tried Ebay and couldn't find another copy!


Whenever looking for a specific older book, check out the specialized search engines, like www.abebooks.com, or www.bookfinder.com, my personal fave. A quick check at Bookfinder turned up 63 copies. There is both a Zebra and Ace edition done in the 1970s. There was also a graphic novel version done by Eclipse in the late 1980s, has the same title, but is just for the one story.

Between Weird Works, Best Of I and II, and the DelRey REH Horror book coming out next year, there are all in there somewhere. And yeah, some are likely in the Bison series as well. You can check www.howardworks.com to see the list of stories from that book, and where else the stories have been published.

Helpful I am.

#12 CGB

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 02:47 AM

Hope this is the correct place for this post. I just recieved a copy of Spookhouse: Book 2 by Scott Hampton that I purchased on Ebay.
It has his adaption of Pigeons From Hell inside, and I really think he did a great job with it. His dark tones really match up well with
Howard's dark story. I hope that if Dark Horse ever adapts Howard's horror tales they consider him or Greg Ruth.

#13 deuce

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 03:22 AM

Hey CGB! Thanks for posting! This is a perfectly good thread to post about REH's classic, Pigeons From Hell (the first Howard story I ever read, BTW). I thought that Hampton's adaptation was excellent. It appears that Dark Horse is going with a new artist for their adaptation. More to love. I hope it lives up to its potential.

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#14 CGB

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 11:19 PM

Thanks deuce. I read it again last night, and even though I knew what was going to happen it still scared the crap out of me!

#15 Hawkbrother

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 06:32 PM

Seem to recall I read this in the Lancer/Ace collection "Wolfshead" around 1970, during the time they were issuing the first Conans and King Kull in pb. And seem to recall it some anthology. Arkham may have included in one of their hb collections, as we all agree its one of Howard's best horror works.
"Wolfshead" also included The Horror From the Mound.
When I saw The Skeleton Key I immediately thought it reminded me of this Howard story.
Good to see Bison Books included in The Black Stranger

#16 godzilladude

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 10:30 PM

***SPOILER ALERT***



The REHF Newsletter #4 had an early draft of Pigeons from Hell that had all the same players, but a significantly different plot line. In this early version, the evil sister is indeed the zuvembie, BUT, the Big Reveal says that its only because she was just messin' around with that voodoo stuff and just got too deep into the evil. REH then rewrote it, to make the evil sister a slave beater, who then has one of the slaves turn her into a zuvembie as revenge. It comes across as a much more powerful story, and keeps you guessing who is actually the zuvembie till the end. Empowering the slave to exact revenge on the evil white woman will no doubt make the race-baiters stratch their heads.

#17 godzilladude

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 08:34 PM

Hey, I'm one of the old'uns, but fer you young'uns:


It will start at 8pm SLT (PDT), Thursday, 30 Oct, at the Steelhead Ballroom. I may read the 2nd part on another date. I will be preceded by another storyteller from 7-8pm & 2 hrs is about all the attention span most people have these days. Pigeons is definitely a 2-hr story if read patiently & well. So the organizer is suggesting I finish it on another day. I need to discuss the options with her.

This is the location : http://slurl.com/sec...lhead/75/160/25

Hope to see you & any of your fellow enthusiasts there!


And, that's not her pitching, I had asked, as I heard about this and offered to spread the word.

Anybody checks in on this, let us here how it goes.

She needs an avatar that looks like a zuvembie, that'd make it cook.

#18 deuce

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 03:48 AM

Hey, I'm one of the old'uns, but fer you young'uns:


It will start at 8pm SLT (PDT), Thursday, 30 Oct, at the Steelhead Ballroom. I may read the 2nd part on another date. I will be preceded by another storyteller from 7-8pm & 2 hrs is about all the attention span most people have these days. Pigeons is definitely a 2-hr story if read patiently & well. So the organizer is suggesting I finish it on another day. I need to discuss the options with her.

This is the location : http://slurl.com/sec...lhead/75/160/25

Hope to see you & any of your fellow enthusiasts there!


And, that's not her pitching, I had asked, as I heard about this and offered to spread the word.

Anybody checks in on this, let us here how it goes.

She needs an avatar that looks like a zuvembie, that'd make it cook.


Hey Paul! So, how did it go? I assume some brand-spankin'-new Howard-heads were born. :D Did y'all end up doing two readings?

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.


#19 Guest_Sermon Bath_*

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:24 AM

Howard has the nod as the father of Sword and Sorcery and is recognized as a very good historical fiction writer. However, I must say he was also one of the very best horror writers ever and its to bad he didn't write a lot more.

#20 rabbits

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:42 AM

Its one of the scariest pieces of Fiction I've ever read..


It was an 8-Cupper for sure.