The Fantasy Guide to Conan
Writing a guide to Conan is kind of like writing a guide to Disney Land! There is a whole lot of stuff. There is the original conan novels and stories that were written by Howard, and there is the horde of authorized conan books written by other writers. Then there are the comic books and the movies. Well, that is a lot of stuff and I won't cover it all. What I will do is give you a good look at the major Conan books in a few different ways.
There are books of short stories written by him and books that were completed by other famous authors. Even books of Conan totally written by other authors like Robert Jordan. Finally I also show you some books called "The Age of Conan" These take place in Aquilonia during the time of Coan. This will get you off to a good start in your adventure of following the greatest sword wielding barbarian of all time.
The picture above is of my Conan books, well technically the book "Wolfshead" is not Conan but it is Robert E. Howard.
The Robert E. Howard Stuff
If you don't already know it Conan was created by the author Robert E. Howard. He wrote a lot of short stories in particular and many of them were either unfinished or unpublished. In this list I will note which were finished by another author when possible.
Most of his early Conan stories were published in a pulp magazine called Weird Tales. And the very first Conan story (The Phoenix on the Sword) was published in the December 1932 Weird Tales issue. You can see the cover of that issue to the left.
His first thirteen Conan stories are available in a single paperback book. This is a great introduction to the character of Conan.
- Available on Amazon.com: The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: The Original Adventures of the Greatest Sword and Sorcery Hero of All Time!
"Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities . . . there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars. . . . Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand . . . to tread
the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."
Conan is one of the greatest fictional heroes ever created-a swordsman who cuts a swath across the lands of the Hyborian Age, facing powerful sorcerers, deadly creatures, and ruthless armies of thieves and reavers.
In a meteoric career that spanned a mere twelve years before his tragic suicide, Robert E. Howard single-handedly invented the genre that came to be called sword and sorcery. Collected in this volume, profusely illustrated by artist Mark Schultz, are Howard's first thirteen Conan stories, appearing in their original versions-in some cases for the first time in more than seventy years-and in the order Howard wrote them. Along with classics of dark fantasy like "The Tower of the Elephant" and swashbuckling adventure like "Queen of the Black Coast," The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian contains a wealth of material never before published in the United States, including the first submitted draft of Conan's debut, "Phoenix on the Sword," Howard's synopses for "The Scarlet Citadel" and "Black Colossus," and a map of Conan's world drawn by the author himself.
Here are timeless tales featuring Conan the raw and dangerous youth, Conan the daring thief, Conan the swashbuckling pirate, and Conan the commander of armies. Here, too, is an unparalleled glimpse into the mind of a genius whose bold storytelling style has been imitated by many, yet equaled by none.
1. The Phoenix on the Sword - Published in 1932 in the December issue of Weird Tales
2. The Frost-Giant's Daughter
3. The God in the Bowl
4. The Tower of the Elephant
5. The Scarlet Citadel
6. Queen of the Black Coast
7. Black Colossus
8. Iron Shadows in the Moon (aka Shadows in the Moonlight)
9. Xuthal of the Dusk (aka The Slithering Shadow)
10. The Pool of the Black One
11. The Vale of Lost Women
12. The Devil in Iron
13. The Phoenix on the Sword (first submitted draft)
A lot of his stuff was not completed and later completed by other authors. These works were either edited, re-written or finished by other authors. Good ones at that!
From 1966-1973 Lancer books put out a series of Conan Books: Conan Books Published by Lancer These were either works that were completed by Howard or completed L.Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. I don't list all of them here, just some.
From 1982 - 1997 Tor put out a series of Conan books that were written by other authors, most notably of which was Robert Jordan. The Conan Tor Books on amazon.com: Conan Books Published by Tor These books are Conan books but only based on the character and the world of Hyboria.
In 2005 and 2006 Ace published an interesting series of books that are based in Hyboria during the time of Conan. Most of these were prefaced "Age of Conan".
- Age of Conan: Blood of Wolves: Legends of Kern, Volume 1 (Age of Conan Hyborian Adventures: Legends of Kern)
- Age of Conan: Cimmerian Rage: Legends of Kern, Volume 2
- Heretic of Set: Anok, Heretic of Stygia Volume II
- Age of Conan: The God In The Moon
RESOURCES AND MORE
ON AMAZON - If you have the courage of Conan you might want to take a look through what amazon.com has. But I have to warn you there are a lot of them: The Courage of Conan?
This is a book that combines the writing of Howard with the artwork of Frazetta. This could possibly be the epic hero of epic hero books.
For more than 70 years, fantasy fans have followed the exploits of Conan through novels, comic books, and movies. This book, the first-ever illustrated guide to Robert E. Howard's most beloved character, is a genuine treasure chest of Conan lore, following Conan through the ages, through his different careers, as he meets friends and foes and travels across the Hyborian continent. Includes a foreword by Todd McFarlane. Created in full cooperation with Conan Properties International, LLC. Features character profiles, maps, art from original paperbacks, comic books, video games, and more