The Conan and Robert E. Howard Website


Who Am I?

Personal Info

Who am I, you ask? Or do you? Anyway, you're here...

Well, it's a long story... at least it sometimes seems that way to me! I've tried before to briefly explain who I am and what I do. I've found it's hard to give any adequate short explanation. But, try, try again. Here are a few basic facts:

My name is Edward A. Waterman. I was raised in Southern California, but as a very young child lived in Illinois and New York. My family later moved out here to the land of golden sun. The earliest memories are images of snow, woods, caves, iced over lakes, ice forts, rabbits, chipmunks, and puppies. Then comes the invasion of the Palm Trees and the beaches. They were all good times, the earliest of many, with many more yet to come, I hope.

My idea of fun as a kid, even a high school kid, was listening to old 1930's and 1940's radio shows, reading science fiction stories and fantasy novels, enjoying comic books, participating in role-playing games, just plain reading, singing in the choir, acting in plays, film making, training for olympic wrestling, and exploring "the wilderness" with my black lab retriever by hiking and camping together.

After high school things changed a lot, and also didn't change at all (cryptic, eh?). My major activities changed while putting myself through college but my general concerns remained. My interests were making a living, experiencing politics, working in government, learning economics, learning astrophysics, writing poetry, computer gaming, trying script writing, writing songs, acting on stage, conquering the martial arts, and reading philosophy (especially social and political philosophy). I wanted to change the world, even if all I had was a shoe string budget. One man against the universe! Well, what can I say? Naive, but active and well intentioned.

College was a busy time. I did some things I'm proud of: re-establishing the college newspaper, and then becoming the lead news writer; winning an internship at a local cable company and becoming a television production assistant; serving as Student Senator for a while, and then being elected student body Vice President. Later, I stepped up to President. After that I won another scholarship and became a legislative intern at my state capital for six months. I count myself lucky and was grateful for these opportunities. I think the thing I'm most proud of, though, is that I did all this without any help from anyone. It was a tough job to work full time and go to college full time, but as a result it was a full time, and very enjoyable.

My biggest disappointment was my disillusionment with government. When I got back from the state capital, Sacramento, I was sick and tired of politics, and of the conflict and b.s. that goes along with it. Perhaps if I had enjoyed "playing the game" or enjoyed the empty prestige of holding a political office, I would still be there, in Sacramento or in Washington DC. But, that's not why I was interested in politics. So, I decided to leave that arena to others.

Looking back, my major life preoccupations were generally The Arts and philosophy, as well as trying to make the world a better place. As to how I acquired the interests that led to the BARBARIAN KEEP, after I graduated from college, I thought that I needed a new hobby. I remembered way back to the 10th grade when a friend lent me a book called CONAN, written by Robert E. Howard. I remembered my intense passion for this book and the other books in the Ace Conan series. These stories had a level of emotion I could get into. They were dark and bleak, violent and passionate, filled with love, hate, adventure, and -- little did I know it then -- social commentary and criticism. They spoke to me then, and as I re-read them as an adult, they spoke to me again.

I decided I'd like to learn a little more about these stories and their author, and started looking around for what I was sure must exist, a Conan fan club. To my utter astonishment, there was no such organization. However, after an extensive amount of detective work and searching, I finally discovered that there was an organization dedicated to the discussion and study of Robert E. Howard named The Robert E. Howard United Press Association (REHupa). They wrote (and write) about Howard and his fiction in a self published magazine. I had had some experience with journalism and other forms of writing, and I figured it couldn't hurt to join. It has been one of the more rewarding decisions I've made. REHupa was changing a lot when I first joined up. Now it's less fannish, and more scholarly -- which suits me well. It's a good mix.

At that time, I was dismayed at the almost total lack of information about Robert E. Howard on the internet (the internet itself was relatively new then). Few people on or off the net knew of Robert E. Howard. On the net, If I remember correctly, there were then only three web sites in the world that had any content relating to Robert E. Howard. One was Mike Kane's Conan web site; the second was the terrific Savage Web site of Conan (including the first Howard/Conan related message board entitled "Hyborian Thoughts") by Ståle Gismervik in Norway; and the third was the superb Robert E. Howard Archive by Steve Hogan.

Although these web sites were excellent for what they were meant to do, there was still hardly any internet information regarding Robert E. Howard himself: little about his life, his work, or the important personal and professional issues surrounding the author. Worse, there was abosolutely no information on the net that would tell someone where to start if they wanted to learn more about Howard. I decided to do something about that. My first accomplishment was to create this web site, THE BARBARIAN KEEP, in an effort to reach both the fan and the scholar, and to get important, necessary, and virtually impossible to find information about Howard's life and his writing out to the public in the most easily accessible form.

My second accomplishment was the creation of the REHupa web site, which I initially designed as an outlet for the more scholarly work done by the Howard enthusiasts in REHupa, and also to give REHupa an easy-to-find presence on the internet, so that other would-be Howard fans could readily reach the organization, or at least find it more easily than I did. Creating and coding web sites was a time consuming job in those days, with everything done by hand without any help from packaged web page design software, and that was an accomplishment in itself. A few years later I turned the management of the REHupa web site over to fellow REHupan Leo Grin, who is currently doing a great job with it.

My third accomplishment was the design and creation, on a professional basis, of the Wandering Star Book Publisher's web site. Wandering Star put out the most scholarly, definitive, and beautiful Howard books to date. I was very proud to be associated with this fine organization, which is trying to do everything possible for Howard's literary reputation, not to mention designing the best books yet for die-hard Howard collectors and fans.

An internet search today will produce a multitude of web pages related to Robert E. Howard and his work. There are hundreds. Although I can't take real credit for this new situation, I still feel that I have had something to do with this promising and pleasing improvement, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment to see it. I am grateful that I could play a part in making more and better information about Robert E. Howard's life and his works available to the public in general and for fans in particular.

My own Howard studies brought new accomplishments and personal discoveries. To date, aside from the numerous articles, essays, and interviews that appeared in the pages of REHupa and on the internet over the years, I've had four articles about Howard's work published in The Dark Man: The Journal of Robert E. Howard Studies, and an essay on Howard's philosophy in The Barbaric Triumph edited by Don Herron, a critical anthology on the life and work of Robert E. Howard.

After reviewing the above, it seems fairly obvious what my first choice of vocation should have been. In a way I was always doing it. Just the same, it took me a long while to discover that the occupation I am best suited for is what I am doing now, teaching. I am very happy and very busy being a teacher, and it truly is as rewarding as it is hugely time consuming. In the near future, I plan to further my professional career by pursuing an advanced degree. However, what I thought would be a life-long pursuit, my interest in Robert E. Howard fandom, is now no where near what it once was. Although I am now pursuing other interests, I will continue to maintain THE BARBARIAN KEEP web site for as long as it serves a purpose. I am most apreciative of those very few have have supported me over the years; and give my sincerest thanks to you, the readers of THE BARBARIAN KEEP, for whom this web site was created and without whom this web site would fade away into oblivion.

Sincerest regards,

Edward Waterman

Miscellaneous Fun Stuff

FAVORITE FILMS (in no particular order like real life): Ten Little Indians, Hound of the Baskervills, North by Northwest, Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Arsenic and Old Lace, It's a Wonderful Life, Born Free, The Quiet Man, Conan the Barbarian, The Mission, Princess Bride, Preditor, Running Man, Total Recall, Start Trek II: Wrath of Kahn, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, Red Dawn, Hunt for Red October, Joe Vs. the Volcano, Empire Strikes Back, Don Juan Demarco, Whole Wide World, Hero At Large, Excalibur, Death Trap, The Edge, The Right Stuff, Dead Poet's Society, Babe, Animal House, Blues Brothers, Money Python and the Holy Grail, The Policeman's Other Ball, Kentucky Fried Movie, Batman Returns, History of the World Part I, The Great Escape, L.A. Story, Young Frankenstien, Buckaroo Bonzai, The Lost Boys, Enemy Mine, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Big Trouble in Little China, Evil Dead 2, Blade Runner, No Way Out, Rocketeer, Robocop, Darkman, They Live, Young Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Voyage, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, It takes a Thief, the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby Road movies, and The Pink Panther, Stargate, The Matrix.

FAVORITE TV SHOWS (of years long past): Little Rascals, Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, My Favorite Martian, Get Smart, The Green Hornet, Batman, Lone Ranger, Superman, Taxi, Battlestar Gallactica, M.A.S.H., Cheers, Bewitched, I Dream of Genie, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Wild wild West, I Spy, Space 1999, Star Trek, Greatest American Hero, Kung Fu, Batman: The Animated Series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, SG-1, The Power of Myth, and your basic PBS programming.

FAVORITE MUSIC: Hmmmm. A tough one! It really changes from time to time depending on my mood, but I suppose Classical and Soundtrack music is a constant. Other music and musicians rotate in and out. Sometimes jazz, rock, hard rock, classic rock, new age, country (gaspt!), international, Irish/Celtic folk, and oldies. Just about anything, really.

FAVORITE MUSICIANS/COMPOSERS: Sting, The Chieftains, The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Indigo Girls, REM, Huey Lewis and the News, Jim Croche, The Cranberries, Nirvana, Dvorak, Wagner, Mozzart, and Basil Poledouris.

FAVORITE FICTION BOOKS: Howard's Conan stories (Oh, who am I kidding?! All of Howard's work!), Fafhard and Grey Mouser, Thieves' World, The Hobbit, The Sea Wolf, Elric of Melnibone series, just about any Robert Heinlein book, RAMA, Neuromancer, the Foundation series, Life is a Dog from Hell (poetry).

FAVORITE WRITERS/POETS: Robert E. Howard, Charles Bukowski, JRR Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, Michael Moorcock, Charles Ginsberg, Robert Frost, Jack London.

FAVORITE PHILOSOPHERS (in no particular order): Michel Foucault, Thomas Jefferson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, R. Buckminster Fuller, Immanuel Kant, James Madison, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Jaques Barzun, and Jay Kaplan (a college professor).

MISCELLANEOUS FAVORITE THINGS: Chocolate chip cookies, crashing waves, mountain forests, labradores and German shepards, the Synonym Finder, teas, good converstation, hiking, Kung Pao Chicken, and speeding (though this one gets me in trouble).

MISCELLANEOUS THINGS I HATE: Insincerity, pushy salesmen, fleas (there is no reason for this life form to exist), mosquitoes, personal politics, agumentative banter, inconsiderate people, wanton cruelty, and... greed.

Go Back To Main Page
and Issues
and Helpful Info
and Comics
Film and
and Groups

and Sounds
The Lord of
this Keep
Other Conan &
REH Web Sites
Page created by The KeepMaster