Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) and Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) are two pillars in the New World Gothic castle of fantastic fiction. They are especially interesting in their surprising aspects. They both died young, they both lived sheltered and geographically-constricted lives, they both absorbed influences from wide and deep sources which they then used to create wonderfully complex and vast universes that they have shared with writers long after their passing, and they both lived for sharing their creative energies with other writers through letters and encouraging words, including each other. Lovecraft the New Englander drew from Poe, Machen, and Dunsany to fashion the crucible from which his Cthulhu Mythos emerged, the indifferent and destructive universe of what humans would call monsters from beyond space and time. He was a master at delineating the gulf between what terrible fate was suggested and why it could not be described in all its horror. Robert E. Howard the Texan connected to semi-mythic history and the existential journey of one determined man through all the dangers of men and beasts. He is the father of an American sword and sorcery, a juxtaposition of power that seems illogical but also somehow inevitable, almost an allegory of the wars of the 20th Century -- what you cannot see may kill you from afar, and what you can see may kill you up close. The survivor must be ready and skilled and wary at all times.
The legacies of these two writers lasts and grows to this day in literature, art, and film, even language. We stock their writings and associated contemporary writers as well as some of the more interesting and provocative writers working with the generous heritage that Lovecraft and Howard bequeathed to an increasingly uneasy world.