Though trained in the sciences and a hard-nosed realist, Karl lived in a magic world, spinning uncanny tales about the most commonplace things and places as he and his friends encountered them.


Karl began writing fantasy tales at Central High, influenced by myth and by Melmoth the Wanderer, The Worm Ourobouros and other Gothic novels long before he or most Americans, had rediscovered Conan. Certainly, though, his reading of Howard's tales infuenced him thereafter, and, when he was chosen by Howard executor Glenn Lord to restore the Bowdlerized Conan stories and to add his own, he was careful to remain true to Howard's voice, while adding his own distinctive inflections, and to avoid, as previous editors had done, forcing the stories into some contrived chronology that served only to advance their own fortunes far more than the Conan saga.

“Walking in the Air” by Nightwish

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