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Achive > June 2013: Sword & Sorcery - Conan - An overall Synopsis

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message 1: by Chris (last edited Jun 03, 2013 07:26PM) (new)

Chris  (haughtc) I've been doing research on wikipedia and Goodreads and other places to see what the best way to tackle these stories is.

What I've come to, is that Howard had 17 stories published in Weird Tales, and those where the order that they "occurred" to him. This is from the introduction of The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian.

This 3 book series seems to be a complete (and recent) set of the original Howard stories. There are lots of fragments and other things between the stories, but they all seem to be here, and in the order Howard might have liked us to read them in.

I think I'll focus threads on these stories for this group effort. There are additional stories that were found and published after Howard's death, as well as the fragments. If anyone reads those, we can certainly talk about those too.

There are also a multitude of other Conan books by other authors, notably the Lancer/Ace series. That series had the original stories blended in with tales written by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. They actually finished some of the fragments, and called them collaborations. I read some of those as a kid, and I remember enjoying them. But I was too young to care about the origins of the source material.

message 2: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) So here is the list of the 17 stories, from wikipedia:

Conan stories published in Weird Tales

"The Phoenix on the Sword" (novelette; vol. 20, #6, December 1932)
"The Scarlet Citadel" (novelette; vol. 21, #1, January 1, 1933)
"The Tower of the Elephant" (novelette; vol. 21, #3, March 1933)
"Black Colossus" (novelette; vol. 21, #6, June 1933)
"Xuthal of the Dusk" (novelette; vol. 22, #3, September 1933, as "The Slithering Shadow")
"The Pool of the Black One" (novelette; vol. 22, #4, October 1933)
"Rogues in the House" (novelette; vol. 23, #1, January 1934)
"Iron Shadows in the Moon" (novelette; vol. 23, #4, April 1934, as "Shadows in the Moonlight")
"Queen of the Black Coast" (novelette; vol. 23, #5, May 1934)
"The Devil in Iron" (novelette; vol. 24, #2, August 1934)
"The People of the Black Circle" (novella; vol. 24, #3–5, September–November 1934)
"A Witch Shall be Born" (novelette; vol. 24, #6, December 1934)
"Jewels of Gwahlur" (novelette; vol. 25, #3, March 1935)
"Beyond the Black River" (novella; vol. 25, #5–6, May–June 1935)
"Man-Eaters of Zamboula" (novelette; vol. 26, #5, November 1935, as "Shadows in Zamboula")
The Hour of the Dragon (novel; vol. 26, #6 & vol. 27, #1–4, December 1935, January–April 1936)
"Red Nails" (novella; vol. 28, #1–3, July, September, October 1936)

message 3: by carol. , Senor Crabbypants (new)

carol.  | 2616 comments Chris, thank you so much for your very organized explanation and list. I didn't quite know where to start.

message 4: by jaw (new)

jaw | 85 comments I recently finished Phoenix on the Sword. Reading Conan is like putting on an old, favorite shirt.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of them. I thought I'd read Howard before but it may be I've only read his unfinished work finished by Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp.

It's been such a long time since I read Conan that I've forgotten all the details but not the characters. Prospero, Thoth-Amon, Belit and Conan. If memory serves, Queen of the Black Coast should be about Belit.

message 5: by Scott (new)

Scott Marlowe (scottmarlowe) | 39 comments jaw wrote: "I'm looking forward to reading the rest of them. I thought I'd read Howard before but it may be I've only read his unfinished work finished by Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp. "

There really is a huge difference between "pure Howard" and the works completed by Carter and de Camp. I didn't notice it the first time I read through the series when I was much younger (14-15 maybe), but it really became apparent during subsequent reads.

I don't dislike Carter and de Camp's work as some do, but no one quite captures the essence of Conan like his creator did.

message 6: by Evgeny (new)

Evgeny According to Wikipedia there are 4 Conan stories published after Howard's death and 4 unfinished stories. These are not included in the book. Does anybody know of any recent book which contains them?

message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) Here's a list of those stories, Evgeny:

"The God in the Bowl" — Published in Space Science Fiction, Sep. 1952.
"The Black Stranger" — Published in Fantasy Magazine, Feb. 1953.
"The Frost Giant's Daughter" — Published in The Coming of Conan, 1953.
"The Vale of Lost Women" — Published in The Magazine of Horror, Spring 1967

All of those except "The Black Stranger" are in the book I'm reading the stories from: The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, which is a fairly recent book (2002).

"The Black Stranger" appears to be in book 3 of that series, The Conquering Sword of Conan.

message 8: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) Here's the Wiki page I'm getting all of this stuff from:

The unfinished stories are:

"Drums of Tombalku" — Fragment. Published in Conan the Adventurer, 1966.
"The Hall of the Dead" — Synopsis. Published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1967.
"The Hand of Nergal" — Fragment. Published in Conan, 1967.
"The Snout in the Dark" — Fragment. Published in Conan of Cimmeria, 1969.

It looks like they're all in this series too.

message 9: by Evgeny (new)

Evgeny Thanks Chris! Now I have to find these books.

Rachel the Book Harlot | 19 comments Chris, is it too late to join this group read?

message 11: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) Of course not...jump right in. I've actually been too busy at work to add more story threads.

Rachel the Book Harlot | 19 comments Okay, great! Do you want me to start the next thread? Are we reading The Citadel next or are you further along?

message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) I made a general thread for the rest of the stories. Different collections have them in different orders.

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