Robert E. Howard Readers discussion

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Please add any books that you might think a Howard fan would enjoy!

To kick things off I would suggest Legend by David Gemmell, or any other books by him! It is definitely a late 20th century book, but has some of the raw power and Gemmell was clearly influenced by REH.

I would also suggest that some of you can blow your own trumpets on this list! Mark Finn, you can give us some details of Blood and Thunder. Charles Gramlich, give us the details of your Talera books (not for my benefit, I've already reviewed the first one on my podcast).

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 455 comments Karl Edward Wagner gets my vote, but his books can be hard to come by. I like Kane as much as Conan or Kull, better than Bran, Solomon Kane or Cormach.

Edgar Rice Burroughs also. I haven't read a Barsoom or Tarzan story in ages.

message 3: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akaGunslinger) Kane combines the best aspects of Conan and Michael Moorcock's Elric. You can definitely see the Howard influence in KEW's writing.

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I have most of KEW's Kane books, I really must dig them out and read them!

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 455 comments I don't think I've ever read all of Michael Moorcock's Elric books in order. I've read more than a few, but never as a collected set. Considering how often he & Moonglum took off into other stories & universes, it's tough to do anyway. Is there any omnibus out there that packs them all together well? I have read all the The Chronicles of Corum & the Runestaff books.

My stepfather & I never got along well, but we had to take a couple of long trips when I was about 13. To shut me up, he bought me a few books at the local newsstand each time; The Jewel in the Skull, The Valley of Creation (a bad release with a couple of pages reversed), Chinese Puzzle & one of the early Mac Bolan, The Executioner books by Don Pendleton.

While I soured on The Executioner fairly quickly, I read the rest with a lot of interest. I have over 100 of the Destroyer series. If I never remember him for anything else, I'll remember him for picking out excellent reads, even though he didn't himself. I guess it was the cover art.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I read quite a few of the Moorcock books, back in the 80s.
The Hawkmoon series, then Corum and finally Elric. I really enjoyed them at the time, but I have found the later Elric books a little trickier to get into.

I also read the Oswald Bastable trilogy a few years ago, very interesting if you have any leanings towards steampunk!

message 7: by Charles (new)

Charles (Kainja) | 108 comments Another pretty good sword and sorcery series is the ORON series by David C. Smith. There are four books in that series. The first two are really good. although the best sword and sorcery work by Smith was "The Sorcerer's Shadow." I also liked the "Death Dealer" books by James Silke, another four book series. These all had covers by Frazetta and featured a character based on Frazetta's Death Dealer painting.

For Moorcock, my favorite works by him are the Count Brass and Dorian Hawkmoon books.

And David, thanks for asking about my Talera books, and thanks so much for your review of "Swords of Talera" on your podcast. I much appreciated that. The first of the trilogy, "Swords," was most strongly influenced by ERB's Barsoom series and by Howard's "Almuric." I think the next two books, "Wings over Talera" and "Witch of Talera," became as much sword and sorcery as they were sword and planet. I like a lot of action in what I read, so the Talera series too has a lot of action. I also like the "exotic" quality of fantasy civilizations, though, so I tried to work quite a bit of that into the books. I hope folks like them.

The books are available online, of course, at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon. If anyone should ever want signed copies, I have some available.

message 8: by Werner (new)

Werner Charles de Lint is best known for urban fantasy, but he wrote a lot of excellent swords-and-sorcery stories early in his career, which are collected in A Handful of Coppers. One of his series protagonists is a female, the bounty huntress Aynber.

Especially if you like the distaff side of the genre, the Jirel stories by Howard's contemporary, C. L. Moore, collected in Jirel of Joiry, are worth a read. And don't overlook the Sword and Sorceress and Chicks in Chainmail anthologies. I've read the first volumes of each of these, and would recommend them.

message 9: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akaGunslinger) The Science Fiction Book Club collected the essential Elric stories in two volumes. They also put out two more volumes later collected the later Elric stories Moorock wrote in the 90's and beyond.

message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael (Dolphy76) | 346 comments Ditto on Moorcock (Elric and Hawkmoon especially). ERB's Tarzan and John Carter, CL Moore, Clark Ashton Smith, H P Lovecraft, Leigh Brackett, Roger Zelazny's Amber series, Fred Saberhagen's "Empire of the East".

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Michael wrote: "Ditto on Moorcock (Elric and Hawkmoon especially). ERB's Tarzan and John Carter, CL Moore, Clark Ashton Smith, H P Lovecraft, Leigh Brackett, Roger Zelazny's Amber series, Fred Saberhagen's "Empire..."

I read most of Empire of the East about 18 years ago, unfortunately the book was in a guest house I stayed in and I had to leave before finishing it! I have always meant to get hold of it and finish it off!

message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael (Dolphy76) | 346 comments David wrote: "Michael wrote: "Ditto on Moorcock (Elric and Hawkmoon especially). ERB's Tarzan and John Carter, CL Moore, Clark Ashton Smith, H P Lovecraft, Leigh Brackett, Roger Zelazny's Amber series, Fred Sabe..."

I highly recommend it. Fred Saberhagen's books are so well written. He is also a real gentleman. I met him two years in a row at a comic convention back in the late 80's. The second year he appeared with Roger Zelazny. I was in heaven speaking to them.

message 13: by Charles (new)

Charles (Kainja) | 108 comments Stirlings "In the courts of the Crimson Kings" was very good, modern day Sword & Planet fiction. My favorite Gemmell is "the Swords of Night and Day." I just had a collection of my Sword & Sorcery stuff published under the title Bitter Steel.

message 14: by Mohammed (last edited Jun 04, 2010 06:05AM) (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 257 comments Charles.R Saunders Imaro series is a seiminal work in S&S in how different,original it is in the world of fantasy literature.

message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael | 300 comments I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned Fritz Leiber and his Swords series. I really like his comic/serious stories of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.

Leiber coined the term Sword and Sorcery for the genre and was an admirer of REH. Although his stories are, to some degree, parodies, they are written with affection and an intelligent humour.

I read Karl Edward Wagner's Kane stories in the '80s and really enjoyed them and should re-read them sometime soon.

I have a huge stack of Moorcock and re-read Elric of Melniboné last year with a view to revisting the whole series, but haven't got around to any others yet.

I keep promising to re-read so many books that I'm going to have to clone myself to do it!

message 16: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 257 comments Leiber is a given he is old news to most fans. I have read part of his series and its a fun take on S&S.

I prefer Charles.R Saunders after REH. He has created a fantasic alternate Africa for his hero like REH created Hyborian Age.

I like Moorock but not big fan of Elric. He is not very interesting hero to me, just anti-Conan too much. I prefer Corum.

message 17: by Dave (last edited May 11, 2011 11:26AM) (new)

Dave | 18 comments Another fan of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series. I've read the two Masterworks volumes of those stories a couple of times now.

I've only read one KEW Kane book so far, as they're hard to come by, but thought Bloodstone was really good.

David Gemmell is firm favourite of mine as well, his Drenai and Rigante series are all entertaining.

Of course H.P. Lovecraft is worth checking out and easy to collect, if you want to see who influenced much of Howard's horror writing.

message 18: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 257 comments David Gemmell was the contemporary version of REH, he was keeping S&S/Heroic fantasy on his shoulders alot in the last decade or two.

Not the best prose writer but character,storywise he was amazing.

message 19: by Michael (new)

Michael (Dolphy76) | 346 comments Have to agree with the Leiber series. After Howard I think he is the best!

message 20: by Ron (new)

Ron | 10 comments Well, if you're gonna have Howard, Lovecraft, Moorcock (who is one hell of a nice guy!), and Leiber....don't forget Clark Ashton Smith. John Maddox Roberts is probably the only person who can write Conan besides Howard. His 'Conan the Rogue' (IIRC) is a title to watch out for.

message 21: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 455 comments Werner talked up Les Savage Jr. & his westerns so I ignored my tottering TBR pile & got one of his books to read, Six-Gun Bride of the Teton Bunch, and Seven Other Action-Packed Stories of the Wild West, 8 short stories. Wow! Not just the typical west for him, from fur trappers to a Mountie, he covers the west both in time & characters.

He reminds me of REH in a lot of ways; the great action, spare prose, & a regretfully short career. He started at 17, but died at 35 from diabetes. There's a link in my review to a bit of biography & overview of his work.

My 4 star review is here:

message 22: by Werner (new)

Werner Regretably, I couldn't talk up Savage's work from personal experience; I haven't read any of it yet, though I want to. (Ditto for REH's Westerns!) But I'd run into some secondhand material about him, which praised his pioneering portrayal of women and minorities in positive roles that weren't typical for the pulp era. In particular, he was the creator of a female outlaw series character, Senorita Scorpion (she was an outlaw more in the mold of Robin Hood than of the black-hatted types you usually see and read about!), who was apparently a worthy soul sister of REH's action heroines, though in a different milieu.

Pro Se Press has now reprinted all of the original Senorota Scorpion stories in two volumes (Complete Adventures of Senorita Scorpion, Volume 2 and The Complete Adventures Of Senorita Scorpion Volume 1. Hopefully, more of his work will be rescued from obscurity as time goes on!

message 23: by Michael (new)

Michael (Dolphy76) | 346 comments I recently read "Out of the Garden" by Angelique Hawkes and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is in the vein of Conan, (she and her husband are writers who are fans of REH). Her hero is Kabar of El Shazzar and he lives in ancient Mesopotamia although many of the places are fictional or mythological in nature. His mother is a sorceress in Ur, which was a Chaldean city that Abraham of the Bible departed from on his journey to Canaan. The book consists of short stories with a Conan type hero who rights wrongs and assists those in need. The monsters and villains come from many mythologies and in one story, "Out of the Garden", he even enters The Garden of Eden. It took me a couple of stories to get into it but found the stories entertaining and original. There were also a story which has his brother as an protagonist and another his warrior wife.

message 24: by Michael (new)

Michael (Dolphy76) | 346 comments I've also been reading Charles Gramlich's Talera Series and it was great escapist fiction in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian Stories. 5 Stars for the first book of the series. I have Book 2 and 3 and will be reading them this year. Also, his book "Cold in the Light" is an amazing original Sci-Fi/Horror story that will keep you riveted to the last page!

message 25: by Charles (new)

Charles (Kainja) | 108 comments I've read quite a bit of their stuff and always enjoyed it.

message 26: by Charles (new)

Charles (Kainja) | 108 comments Michael wrote: "I've also been reading Charles Gramlich's Talera Series and it was great escapist fiction in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian Stories. 5 Stars for the first book of the series. I have Book ..."

Thanks, man!

message 27: by Michael (new)

Michael (Dolphy76) | 346 comments Charles wrote: "Michael wrote: "I've also been reading Charles Gramlich's Talera Series and it was great escapist fiction in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian Stories. 5 Stars for the first book of the seri..."

No problem. I thoroughly enjoy your yarns!

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Books mentioned in this topic

Chinese Puzzle (other topics)
The Valley of Creation (other topics)
The Jewel in the Skull (other topics)
The Chronicles of Corum (other topics)
Elric of Melniboné (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Karl Edward Wagner (other topics)
Edgar Rice Burroughs (other topics)
Michael Moorcock (other topics)
Don Pendleton (other topics)
Fritz Leiber (other topics)