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& Sword Fiction, The Writing of Robert E Howard

Started by Trevis Martin, December 31, 2004, 11:51:11 PM

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Trevis Martin

Del Rey has been releasing trade paperbacks of Wandering Star's collection of the Robert E Howard's conan fiction.  (A good thing as the Wandering Star hardcover limited editions are very, very pricy.)  I just picked up the second Del Ray softcover called The Bloody Crown of Conan.  I already have The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian and The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, both of which were excellent.  According to Del Ray they are planning to publish a book of Howard's Bran Mak Morn stories in May of 2005 and the last Conan book The Conquering Sword of Conan which will contain the remainder of the original Conan storeis is due out in November 2005 or early 2006 (sources differ).  They are also supposed to reissue The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian in Hardcover about the same time.

For bibliography nuts referencing Howards stories mentioned in & Sword The stories are in the three books like this

Conan of Cimmeria, Volume 1 (1932-1933) [Wandering Star]
The Coming of Conan of Cimmeria [Del Rey]

The Phoenix on the Sword
The Frost-Giant's Daughter
The God in the Bowl
The Tower of the Elephant
The Scarlet Citadel
Queen of the Black Coast
Black Colossus
Iron Shadows in the Moon
Xuthal of the Dusk
The Pool of the Black One
Rogues in the House
The Vale of Lost Women
The Devil in Iron

The Phoenix On the Sword [first submitted draft]
Notes on Various People of the Hyborian Age, page one
The Hyborian Age
Untitled Synopsis [The Hall of the Dead]
Untitled Synopsis [The Scarlet Citadel]
Untitled Synopsis [Black Colossus]
Untitled Fragment [The Hand of Nergal]
Untitled Synopsis [The Snout in the Dark]
Untitled Draft [The Snout in the Dark]
Hyborian Names and Countries
Hyborian Age Maps

Conan of Cimmeria, Volume 2 (1934) [Wandering Star]
The Bloody Crown of Conan [Del Rey]

People of the Black Circle
The Hour of the Dragon
A Witch Shall be Born

Synopsis [The People of the Black Circle]
Notes [The People of the Black Circle]
Untitled Synopsis [The Drums of Tombalku]
Untitled Draft [The Drums of Tombalku]
Synopsis [The Hour of the Dragon]
Notes [The Hour of the Dragon]
Synopsis [A Witch Shall Be Born]

Conan of Cimmeria, Volume 3 (1934-1935) [Wandering Star]
The Conquering Sword of Conan [Del Rey]

Teeth of Gwahlur
Beyond the Black River
The Black Stranger
The Man-Eaters of Zamboula
Red Nails

Notes on Various People of the Hyborian Age, page two
First Draft [Wolves Beyond the Border]
Second Draft [Wolves Beyond the Border]

I'm in the midst of People of the Black Circle now and I just felt the need to make all this info available to those who don't already know about it and to thank Ron for turning me on to this stuff because it beats the tar out of most fantasy I've ever read.



Bill Cook

You aren't kidding. I picked up Coming and Crown last month, and I've been boring the shit out of anyone that sits down at the same table, singing the praises of those blistering pages.

I'm two-thirds of the way through Coming. My favorite highlights so far are: the furious melee in the second-to-last chapter of The Scarlet Citadel and the lotus dream in The Queen of the Black Coast.

I never realized Conan was so non-Medieval, so ancient world. And I love how the fight scenes are just >POOF!< over.

joshua neff

I'm thrilled to the marrow that these books are being printed, and I've posted about this before here. Don't forget, there's also The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane out now and Bran Mak Morn: The Last King coming out in May, 2005.

EDIT: Oh, you did mention Solomon Kane. Cool.

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes


I'd like to point out that volumes 8 and 16 of the Fantasy Masterworks library contain everything that Howard ever wrote about Conan, including incomplete stories, synopsies, and the like. These books are (at least, they were when I bought them a year or so ago) available from, which will ship to the US for very reasonable prices. I believe I paid under $35 total for both books, including shipping.

Volume one is called The People of the Black Circle, volume two is called The Hour of the Dragon.

Edit - here are the links where these books may be found:">Vol. 1">Vol. 2


By coincidence I happen to be reading "The Coming of Conan" this week!  I haven't read fantasy novels in ages; if it's a big departure from modern styles, I wouldn't know.  Frankly, Conan just seems like this Teutonic superman who smacks those shifty lesser races around*, but I have to admit he does it with gusto.

But back to roleplaying: let's pretend all I know about Sorcerer, I gleaned from the "Apprentice" PDF.  How would one create a Conan-type character?  Some kind of parasitic demon that sends him into a rampaging bloodlust?

Certainly "The Tower of the Elephant" revolves around a banishment ala Sorcerer.  

* Ironic distance should go without saying.


Hi James,

For a full treatment of the Sword and Sorcery genre, buy Sorcerer and Swor suppliment.  Bound demons are optional for characters in this suppliment, and in fact, bound demons are not central to S&S play at all.  There are many new categories including Pagan Things, Undead, etc. and a variation on Bind called Pact, which is task by task.

Under those rules, Conan has no bound demon.  He has banished a few and communicated with a few in the literature.  He only has a Lore of 1 or 2.  

Apprentice is very incomplete.  You'd do better to invest in Sorcerer and S&S.
- Alan

A Writer's Blog:

Ron Edwards


Minor clarification: in the early stages of Conan's career (in-fiction chronology), Lore of 1 or 2 is about right. In the later-set stories, most notably The People of the Black Circle, Beyond the Black River, and Hour of the Dragon, he's way up there - 4 at least.

One doesn't actually have to have a Bound demon in order to be a sorcerer.

Also, James, I suggest that modern readers are so off-kilter regarding pulp fantasy that they often don't understand what they are reading. Your impression of Conan is a bit superficial at this point. I'm not claiming there's any great philosophical treatise hidden in those pages, but as you continue, you'll gain a lot from being open to more content than you're currently seeing.