Here’s a cool thing. DMR books has published the fourth volume in its collection of pulp stories of Swain the Viking by Arthur D. Howden Smith. Smith was a prolific writer for the flagship pulp magazine Adventure. He was certainly an influence on Robert E. Howard. This fourth volume features an introduction by our own Frontier Partisan correspondent Deuce Richardson.
Deuce writes :
“Howden Smith based his tales directly upon what is known as the Orkneyinga Saga, the Norse account of the jarls (earls) of the Orkney isles north of Scotland. From all accounts, Swain was an uncommonly adept viking and he exerted outsized political sway in the Orkneys and Norway. The pulp version of Swain is all that viking adventure fans could ask for. Raise an ale-horn in honor of one of the great pulp fiction heroes, sword-brothers. Skoal!”
Well, hell yes!
Howden Smith was an interesting fellow. As the New York history site Brownstoner.com recounts:
In 1908, Arthur Howden Smith was a copy boy at the New York Evening Post. On a whim, at the age of 19 or 20, he took off to Eastern Europe to the Balkans to join the insurgents of Macedonia in their war with the Turks.
Like foreign journalists before and after him, Howden Smith wanted to experience war and adventure firsthand as a newspaper correspondent. He traveled across the Balkans and embedded himself with a group of expat Bulgarians who called themselves “Chetniks.”
This skinny, bespectacled Brooklyn kid ended up doing some real-deal fighting, and when he returned to America he published a memoir, Fighting the Turk in the Balkans, which I am damn sure going to have to run down. It was a hit, and it launched a highly successful writing career that is now almost entirely forgotten. The pinnacle of that career was his homage to Robert Louis Stevenson, Porto Bello Gold (1924) which is regarded to this day as a worthy sequel to Treasure Island.
Got in the first serious ruck-and-ramble of the season on Saturday. I’m usually on the trail a lot at this time of year, but other things like concerts and music festivals, helping with a move, and a trip to the Coast have delayed hiking season. As I told the Frontier Partisans Patreon Brigade (you can sign on here), a good ramble really helps me sort out creative matters. Some cool stuff is coming…
I sure do like that 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 pack. I’m rucking fairly heavy — using it as my “go bag,” and I’m not lightening it for my rambles. Treat the weight as training.
I like the morale patch I picked up at the last visit to the 5.11 Trading Post:
I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT BOOKS
I feel seen…
I picked up a modest-sized 5.11 Tactical Moab Sling Pack for more casual jaunts, which is also set up for pistol carry. Like it, too.
Reminder: Dark Winds Season 2 drops tomorrow.