Swordpoint (LOC's): [Letter that praises Ann Chamberlain's cat illustrations in Hoom #2, and then goes on to discuss the state of the Conan novels]

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25-26

[page 25] LEO DOROSCHENKO 410 Springfield Ave., Newark, J.J. 07103 Ann Chamherlain's cat on 2:30 was the nicest thing I've seen in felines since Edd Cartier's illo for FEAR, pg. 22, UNKNOWN July 1940. To say the least, reproduction is excellent. Same for the articles.[page 25] However, I must devote myself to the ways of Conans which now flood the bookstores. The first Conans I read were back in the days Gnome Press. These I enjoyed, but after a while the suspense vanished. I just knew that the wanderer would wretch free and cleve everything in his path with his deep drinking sword. I knew he would win the girl and save her from the worse than death, soon to lose her. In short, I grew old. . . But ever @every@ now and then I can still enjoy a story if not taken in too massive a dose. Of late, L. Sprague deCamp has collaborated on Howard's unfinished pieces, and to me the result isn't par to his pieces of the 40's, the two just don't click like he and Pratt. With Harold Shea, or the Land of Unreason, deCamp and Pratt moved in a mileu familiar to all-- the Fairyland, or pre- Ragnorak, or the Spain of Roland-- and there, he was able to give us a different glimpse, with side splitting results, of a familiar situation: the drunken gnome stealing a man in lieu of a changeling, or the gangster slang of the Frost Giants. And all the while we knew it to be tongue in cheek. The results were rewarding, thanks to deCamps's refusal to believe in anything. However, Howard believed in his world, and the effects of this collaboration cancels itself out-- the demons just make faces and say, "Boo!" The hero is larger than life and that just doesn't jive with the too human characters in deCamp. I wish some publisher would get around to reprinting his UKNOWN pieces-- aside of THE INCOMPLETE ENCHANTER and LEST DARKNESS FALL. They're fun. Likewise, C.L. Moore's Jirel and Northwest Smith have eluded pb publication for too long. And they easily rank with the best. Sincerely, Leo

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