“Black Canaan” is a short story originally published in the June 1936 issue of Weird Tales. It is a regional horror story in the Southern Gothic mode, one of several such tales by Howard set in the piney woods of the ArkLaTex region of the Southern United States. The related stories include “The Shadow of the Beast”, “Black Hound of Death”, “Moon of Zambebwei” and “Pigeons from Hell”.

Most likely the original form of the story “Black Canaan” before changes made in response to editorial requirements. The original script was sent to Otis Adelbert Kline in Chicago who forwarded it to Jessica Miller in New York. No records survive to indicate what magazines the story was submitted to or what editorial requirements, if any, were made on the story. REH withdrew the script, rewrote it, and resubmitted it to Kline. Kline sent it to WEIRD TALES and it was accepted.

After publication of the first printing of PICTURES IN THE FIRE, it was discovered that the typescript used for “Black Canaan” was Howard’s final version, rather than the earlier version that was intended. To correct the error, the REH Foundation Press issued this chapbook and included it with copies of the first print run.

Future print runs of PICTURES IN THE FIRE will have the early version of “Black Canaan” included in the book. The text for this alternate version of “Black Canaan” came from copies of REH’s original typescript that were provided by the Glenn Lord Collection.

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