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The Complete Chronicles of Conan
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Achive > June 2013: Sword & Sorcery - Conan - The Other Stories

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) At first I thought I'd set up a topic for each of the stories, but that might be too bulky an idea for the thread.

We have one for "The Phoenix in the Sword", which is the first of the published Conan stories. We should probably do topics for "Red Nails" and "The Hour of the Dragon" too, as they're pretty big stories.

But for the rest, feel free to post here which ones you liked/disliked, and some thoughts on them in general. Please be mindful of spoilers, marking stuff you think a potential reader might want to discover for themselves....


message 2: by Chris (last edited Jun 11, 2013 12:04PM) (new)

Chris  (haughtc) I have an intensely busy week at work, so I've slowed down considerably on my reading. But so far, I've read the following stories:

"The Phoenix on the Sword"
"The Scarlet Citadel"
"The Tower of the Elephant"
"The Frost Giant's Daughter"
"The God in the Bowl"

I've found them all interesting, but it's hard to pin down a favorite at this point.

"The Tower of the Elephant" was the most surprising, I think, what with (view spoiler)and all. I really enjoyed the early part of the story, where Conan is in the tavern.


Evgeny The Tower of the Elephant is chronologically the first Conan story. He is still a young rogue who recently arrived to civilized lands.


message 4: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Preiman | 50 comments I really liked that one. Everyone tends to forget that he was also an exemplary thief, but The Tower of the Elephant highlights that aspect of his character rather nicely. If more people read it they might understand how bad Arnold's Conan really was.


message 5: by Rachel the Book Harlot (last edited Jun 11, 2013 08:24PM) (new) - added it

Rachel the Book Harlot | 19 comments Christopher wrote: "If more people read it they might understand how bad Arnold's Conan really was."

I must admit, and no one throw stones at me for saying this, I actually love those old Conan movies. Hey, I like cheesy barbarian films--Chris will now officially unfriend me. Heh.

The movies are my only frame of reference so I'm looking forward to reading the original stories. Not sure why it took me so long to do so.


message 6: by jaw (new)

jaw | 85 comments I can't say that I loved the Conan movies - they were all right but I do have thing for b-movies. And there is a special place in my heart for The Beast Master. That was a cheesy barbarian movie but I console myself with the fact that it had Rip Torn in it. And he's awesome no matter what. Plus talking to animals is awesome!

Anyway, you might change your mind about those Conan movies once you read Howard. :)


message 7: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Preiman | 50 comments Oh Arnold was a great barbarian, he just wasn't a good Conan.


message 8: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 33 comments One of my all-time favourite Conan stories is A Witch Shall Be Born. It's somewhat unconventional in that the story is told from the point of view of secondary characters, and it also contains perhaps the most classic of all Conan scenes - don't want to spoil it, but everyone who's read the story will probably know which scene I'm refering to.


Evgeny I actually like Conan movies: they were good in a cheesy way - like most of Arnold's movies. The problem with them is that like Christopher said they are not good Conan movies. They would work much better as generic barbarian flicks.


message 10: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments jaw wrote: "I can't say that I loved the Conan movies - they were all right but I do have thing for b-movies. And there is a special place in my heart for The Beast Master. That was a cheesy barbarian movie bu..."

I keep meaning to read the beastmaster but never grab a copy. The ones I can find in a decent condition are a little expensive, lol.


Rachel the Book Harlot | 19 comments @MrsJoseph, that's too bad. You probably already tried this, but maybe you can find a copy at your local library?

jaw wrote: "And there is a special place in my heart for The Beast Master..."

Oh, I loved the Beast Master! And of course, I also loved Red Sonja. See? It's like a sickness. :)

Evgeny wrote: "The problem with them is that like Christopher said they are not good Conan movies. They would work much better as generic barbarian flicks."

Ah, gotcha. It's too bad no one has stepped up to the plate to make a movie that does the stories justice. The remake certainly failed on all levels. I thought that film was absolutely terrible.


message 12: by jaw (new)

jaw | 85 comments @MrsJoseph- I think we're talking about two different things. I know Andre Norton has a book called Beast Master and I'm going to guess that is what you're talking about. I'm talking about a movie called beast master with Marc Singer, Rip Torn, Tawny Catain(?) and the guy who owned McDowell's from Coming to America (Eddie Murphy movie). Anyway, I've heard Andre Norton's beast master billed as a space western which the movie most certainly was not.

@Rachel - hehe. I, too, love Red Sonja. Weird. These movies are like twinkies. As a kid, twinkies are delicious but they are very bad for you. As an adult you remember how much you loved twinkies so you have one. And you think, this is terrible - why did I actually like these? Then, nostalgia kicks in and you're thinking, these aren't THAT bad...


message 13: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments jaw wrote: "@MrsJoseph- I think we're talking about two different things. I know Andre Norton has a book called Beast Master and I'm going to guess that is what you're talking about. I'm talking about a movie ..."

You're talking about this movie, right? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083630/?...

It is "loosely based" on Andre Norton's book. So is the TV show.


message 14: by jaw (new)

jaw | 85 comments Haha! That's hilarious - it must be very loosely based on the book. Here's the book's description:

Left homeless by the war that reduced Terra to a radioactive cinder, Hosteen Storm Navaho commando and master of beasts is drawn to the planet Arzor, to kill a man he has never met.

On that dangerous frontier world, aliens and human colonists share the land in an uneasy truce. But something is upsetting the balance, and Storm is caught in the middle. He had thought the war was over but was it?


I'd say the movie is pretty far removed from that. I wonder what Andre Norton thought about that?

It's Tanya Roberts not Tawny Catain. Stupid memory!


message 15: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments jaw wrote: "I'd say the movie is pretty far removed from that. I wonder what Andre Norton thought about that?"

I'd be more surprised if I hadn't read Starship Troopers and seen the movie.

But with starship at least it is all set in the future in space.


message 16: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) Rachel wrote: The remake certainly failed on all levels. I thought that film was absolutely terrible..."

I was severely disappointed. While I didn't expect much out of the idea of a Conan remake, I thought Jason Momoa would be great. I mean, he was such an awesome Khal Drogo....


message 17: by Rachel the Book Harlot (last edited Jun 13, 2013 07:32PM) (new) - added it

Rachel the Book Harlot | 19 comments Jaw wrote: "These movies are like twinkies."

Ha! Great analogy. :)

Chris wrote: "I was severely disappointed. While I didn't expect much out of the idea of a Conan remake, I thought Jason Momoa would be great. I mean, he was such an awesome Khal Drogo...."

Yeah, he really was a great Drogo. Poor Jason Momoa. I actually didn't think he was all that bad as Conan. I felt like he did the best he could with what he was given. The writing was terrible, and the story was disjointed. The whole thing was just bad overall. I think with a better script, etc., he probably would have done well.


message 18: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) I think you're right, Rachel. A good cast can't save bad writing.


message 19: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) So, updating this thread. I've read:

"The Phoenix on the Sword"
"The Scarlet Citadel"
"The Tower of the Elephant"
"The Frost Giant's Daughter"
"The God in the Bowl"

and since posting those, I've also read:

"Queen of the Black Coast"
"Black Colossus"
"Iron Shadows on the Moon" (aka "Shadows in the Moonlight")
"Xuthal of the Dusk" (aka "The Slithering Shadow")

I think Xuthal was my fave of that bunch.

I'm honestly not sure how many more I'll read at this point. I enjoy them, but they're better taken in small doses. It seems like the short format really works for Howard.

I might finish off this book I got at the library, which has 4 more short stories. It's due back in a week, so we'll see.

I am curious about trying "The Hour of the Dragon", to see how Conan works in a novel setting.


Evgeny The Hour of the Dragon works really good as the longest Conan story. It is never boring, and I feel pity that Howard did not write another Conan novel.


message 21: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) Might be worth a try, then. I did read "Red Nails" as a kid and remember liking it. It's novela length.


Evgeny The Hour of the Dragon is a couple of hundred pages long - not that much by today's fantasy standards, but really big for Conan.


message 23: by jaw (new)

jaw | 85 comments Chris wrote ...I'm honestly not sure how many more I'll read at this point. I enjoy them, but they're better taken in small doses. It seems like the short format really works for Howard...

I agree. I'm finding it difficult to read them back to back even though they're easy reads. And it does seem like the short format really suits Howard.

I've read up to "The People of the Black Circle" in published order. My favorite has been "Queen of the Black Coast" but, then, I've always had soft spot for Belit. I did like the Xuthal story, too. But I liked it because I think it gives slight credence to Conan's unbeatable qualities. I guess it depends on when in the timeline the story occurs. He drinks the amber wine twice which is magical in nature and which "heals wounds, prolongs life, and invigorates the most sated debauchee". It's a small thing and I may be reading too much into it but it seems like it isn't a far leap to think that the wine has given Conan an edge for the rest of his life.


message 24: by Lovern (new)

Lovern Kindzierski | 14 comments Chris, you should really try his Sowers of Thunder or the Road of Azrael or Swords of Shahrazar.


message 25: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 33 comments The Hour Of The Dragon is definitely worth a read, but you'll recognize elements of other Conan stories in it - especially The Scarlet Citadel. It's a mash-up, but it's still good.


message 26: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) ok, now I've read

"The Pool of the Black One"
"Rogues in the House"
"The Vale of Lost Women"
"The Devil in Iron"

which finishes off the stories in the book I had from the library (The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian). Yes, there are a couple of essays, but I'm skipping those.

I'm taking a break from Conan for a bit. I really enjoyed these, but I need to explore other worlds. I'll get back to some Conan stuff again later though. I was impressed with Howard's writing style.


message 27: by carol. , Senor Crabbypants (new)

carol.  | 2616 comments Thank you so much for your efforts leading the discussion, Chris!


message 28: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) No prob...I've been meaning to read some of this stuff for awhile.


message 29: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I want to chime in with Carol.

Thank you for leading this discussion, Chris!


Evgeny Thanks from me as well!


message 31: by carol. , Senor Crabbypants (new)

carol.  | 2616 comments And thanks for keeping the thread going Evgeny!


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