The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian Conan the Cimmerian 1

Poem and first 13 tales in order written plus Miscellanea drafts notes maps by author Cimmeria poem1 The Phoenix on the Sword 19322 The Frost Giant's Daughter 19763 The God in the Bowl 19524 The Tower of the Elephant 19335 The Scarlet Citadel 19336 Queen of the Black Coast 19347 Black Colossus 19338 Iron Shadows in the Moon 19349 Xuthal of the Dusk 193310 The Pool of the Black One 193311 Rogues in the House 193412 The Vale of Lost Women 196713 The Devil in Iron 1934


10 thoughts on “The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian Conan the Cimmerian 1

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    Having finally decided to read Robert E Howard's Conan stories I am glad I had the good fortune to purchase the three volume fully illustrated Del Rey collection Unlike the numerous LancerAce paperbacks available to me in the '60's and '70's—the ones with the really cool Frank Frazetta illustrations this edition does things rightOne of the reasons I never explored Conan's world is that every LancerAce volume I examined in the bookstore sported the name of at least two authors sometimes three Howard who I knew created Conan—was of course always there but inevitably his name was accompanied by L Sprague de Camp or Lin Carter or both I've always distrusted collaborations and posthumous continuations and I could never tell from the LancerAce presentations which was which In addition I was further baffled by the fact that each volume was placed in the context of an extensive and complicated chronology of Conan's life and adventures which—given the multiplicity of authors—I also instinctively distrusted Even the first volume in the chronology contained works of all three All I wanted was the original Howard stories and not knowing a simple way to get them all together in one place I gave upThe Del Ray edition—which has really cool illustrations by Mark Schultz of “Xenozoic Tales—is also governed by chronology but it is the chronology of Robert Howard's literary efforts not Conan's heroic deeds The tales in this first volume are presented in the order of their composition and it is interesting to note that as these adventures arose in the imagination of Howard they bear no relationship to any chronology Conan is a middle aged king in the first story a mercenary in his early manhood in the the second story and a very young thief in the third As I continued to read I began to sense that this lack of chronology was appropriate Conan's great barbarian virtue is that he is totally alive in the moment whether stealing a magic gem commanding a pirate ship or threading his way through a dungeon filled with terrors His fierce bright intelligence is not reflective and so he is free to make his decisions unaffected by any theory of the past By contrast it is the sorcerers—usually Conan's adversaries—who are bound by tradition and history asleep and ensared in ancient mazes which like editor's chronologies are often prisons of their own devising Howard is a powerful writer His diction is than occasionally trite but his style is muscular and forthright his prose musical and clear All thirteen stories here are worth reading but “The God in the Bowl” “The Tower of the Elephant” “The Queen of the Black Coast” “Xuthal of the Dusk” Rogues in the House The Vale of Lost Women” and The Devil in Iron” gave me particular delight