The story itself is in part a subversive tribute to Robert E. Howard. It's inspired by the "rescue" of Cynthia Ann Parker (mother of Quanah Parker) from the Comanches by Sul Ross and the Texas Rangers, an event also echoed in Howard's tale "The Vale of Lost Women." Howard's latent racism, which unfortunately mars several of his stories, is in evidence here, and my story explores chauvinism and otherness (and goblin villages and lycopod forests). But I also admire Howard as a small-town Texan who inhabited his locality through speculative fiction; as a writer, he stands head and shoulders above his various imitators and posthumous collaborators.
The character of Zilla, by the bye, is inspired by certain (to me, chilling) passages of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, e.g.:
Meanwhile there grew up in his son that much more dangerous and harder new type of skepticism—who knows how much it owed precisely to the hatred of the father and the icy melancholy of a will condemned to solitude?—the skepticism of audacious manliness which is most closely related to the genius for war and conquest… This skepticism despises and nevertheless seizes; it undermines and takes possession; it does not believe but does not lose itself in the process; it gives the spirit dangerous freedom, but it is severe on the heart…They say that you shouldn't reveal the "bones" that went into making the soup of a story, but I presume that people clicking the link to this blog are interested in such things. Anyway, all of this concerns the matter; the form is something else entirely.