After getting back to the lair after rolling up to catch Peter Field’s talk in the Tenderloin Museum last night (also grabbed a copy of his new history of The TL — you’ll like it, lots of pictures), I opened the day’s episode of Jeopardy! on the VCR.
The clews ambled merrily along, nothing about Hammett among them, but suddenly in the Double Jeopardy round:
Category: Classic Adventure Novels.
The $800 clew:
Robert E. Howard’s only novel-length tale about this Cimmerian sometimes titled him “The Conqueror”
No one rung in for a guess.
Obviously the big hint is “this Cimmerian” — I’m thinking they might have had a better chance if the wording was “this barbarian,” but that wouldn’t have worked in this specific clew. The novel The Hour of the Dragon — serialized in Weird Tales (after the British publisher Howard actually wrote it for went bankrupt) — was first titled Conan the Conqueror when it went into separate boards. (Lately the original title has come back around.)
Of course, “Robert E. Howard” isn’t a bad clew, either, for lots of people. Obviously the clew writers think a good chunk of the populace has a chance at recognizing the name. I didn’t note it at the time, but awhile back they had a category called something like Famous Bobs and a clew reading something like He created Conan the barbarian. As I recall, a guy got that one:
Who is Robert E. Howard?
Indeed. Muscling his way into the cultural mind.