Saturday, November 18, 2017

Here's a treat for fans of sword-and-sorcery fantasy

I was pleasantly surprised to find the compete stories about Conan the Barbarian, written by Robert E. Howard, are now out of copyright.  They've been compiled as an e-book - for just 99 cents!

The stories inspired two well-known movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Conan the Barbarian" and "Conan the Destroyer", which have attracted a cult following.  For the benefit of those who may not have seen them, here are two of the theatrical trailers for the first movie.

Conan was a literary phenomenon.  The stories inspired countless successors, and most modern sword-and-sorcery fantasy owes Robert E. Howard a debt of gratitude (not to mention acknowledgement for all the details borrowed from his work!).  Personally, I find his Conan stories somewhat repetitive and "same old, same old":  but I doff my hat to him for having, in a very real sense, founded the sword-and-sorcery genre with the character and his adventures.

If you're at all interested in modern sword-and-sorcery fantasy, whether as a reader or as a writer, this is an essential collection;  and, at just under a dollar, it's unbeatable value.  Highly recommended for its historical value (and for some good stories in the collection).

(A final note:  some of the early reviews on complain about missing chapters in some stories.  That problem appears to have been fixed - at least, the copy I've bought has no missing chapters.)



paladin3001 said...

I picked up a complete edition about a year ago for free from Amazon. Don't know if it was a one time thing, grabbed it just for memories. I think I read all the books in my youth tracking them down one by one in libraries and used book stores. Memories of a well spent youth. :)

BadFrog said...

Anyone who enjoys Robert E Howards works should check out the Kane series by the late Karl Edward Wagner. Somewhat darker at times but as enthralling.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Peter;

"All I ask is for a sword in my hand and enemies to slay...May Crom count the dead.." Thank you for the link, I just downloaded it.

Also look for "Solomon Kane", I believe that he wrote those also. He was quite prolific.

Philip Morris said...

Howard's work, and a lot of other stuff has been public domain in Australia for quite some time. The Gutenberg site is here: And a chap called Roy Glashan has compiled a lot of stuff from Gutenberg to "Roy Glashan's Library here: The latter contains most, if not all of REH's work in multiple formats.

Rolf said...

I picked up the two volume complete collection a while back. Well over a thousand pages between the two trade paperbacks.

Includes a lot of back-story/history, and partial works. The one you linked to says it's only 844 page-equivelent, and my recent novel claims to be about the same. Not sure how that squares up. But, if it really is complete, and reasonably formatted, that's a good price.

c-90 said...

You forgot the obligatory parodies:
Ex Conan, The Librarian. Conan the Libertarian...