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About Robert E. Howard
Photo by English: Studio photograph commisioned by Robert E. Howard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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Join Conan the Barbarian on his many adventures from mercenary and thief to conqueror and king as he smites demons, fights wizards, slays monsters, unearths forgotten treasures, battles against all odds, journeys to exotic lands, loves and lusts, uncovers hidden mysteries, and always refuses to yield!
This epic collection contains all 18 of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories published during his lifetime.
These stories were originally published in Weird Tales magazine between 1933 and 1936.
The Conan stories included in the collection are:
1. Gods of the North (The Frost Giant's Daughter) (1934)
2. The Tower of the Elephant (1933)
3. Rogues in the House (1935)
4. Shadows in the Moonlight (Iron Shadows in the Moon) (1934)
5. Black Colossus (1934)
6. Queen of the Black Coast (1934)
7. The Slithering Shadow (Xuthal of the Dusk) (1934)
8. A Witch Shall Be Born (1934)
9. The Devil in Iron (1934)
10. The People of the Black Circle (1934)
11. Shadows in Zamboula (Man-Eaters of Zamboula) (1935)
12. The Pool of the Black One (1934)
13. Beyond the Black River (1935)
14. Red Nails (1936)
15. Jewels of Gwahlur (The Teeth of Gwahlur) (1935)
16. The Phoenix on the Sword (1932)
17. The Scarlet Citadel (1933)
18. The Hour of the Dragon (Conan the Conqueror) (1935)
As an added bonus, also included in the set are:
The Hyborian Age—Conan's World (This is Howard's background essay on the world of Conan) (1936), and
The Shadow Kingdom and The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune (These are two of Howard's early Kull of Atlantis stories that predate and strongly influence his later Conan works.) (1929)
For ease of navigation, the anthology includes an interactive table of contents.
The stories in this collection are ordered roughly in chronological order from Conan's first adventures as a young mercenary adventurer and thief to his final epic clashes as a king and are based on the Rippke chronology.
Conan the Barbarian (also known as Conan the Cimmerian) is a fictional sword and sorcery hero who originated in pulp fiction magazines and has since been adapted to books, comics, several films (including Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer), television programs (cartoon and live-action), video games, role-playing games and other media. The character was created by writer Robert E. Howard in 1932 via a series of fantasy stories published in Weird Tales magazine.
Conan the Character:
Conan is a Cimmerian. From Robert E. Howard's writings (The Hyborian Age among others) it is known that the Cimmerians were based on the Celts or Gaels. He was born on a battlefield and is the son of a village blacksmith. Conan matured quickly as a youth and, by age fifteen, he was already a respected warrior who had participated in the destruction of the Aquilonian outpost of Venarium.
“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.”
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.
“He was . . . a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan. . . . A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things. . . . Wayward and restless as the wind, he was consistent in only one respect—he was true to his ideals of justice and right. Such was Solomon Kane.”
Collected in this volume, lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist Gary Gianni, are all of the stories and poems that make up the thrilling saga of the dour and deadly Puritan, Solomon Kane. Together they constitute a sprawling epic of weird fantasy adventure that stretches from sixteenth-century England to remote African jungles where no white man has set foot. Here are shudder-inducing tales of vengeful ghosts and bloodthirsty demons, of dark sorceries wielded by evil men and women, all opposed by a grim avenger armed with a fanatic’s faith and a warrior’s savage heart.
This edition also features exclusive story fragments, a biography of Howard by scholar Rusty Burke, and “In Memoriam,” H. P. Lovecraft’s moving tribute to his friend and fellow literary genius.
Some of Howard’s best-known characters—Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, and sailor Steve Costigan among them—roam the forbidding locales of the author’s fevered imagination, from the swamps and bayous of the Deep South to the fiend-haunted woods outside Paris to remote jungles in Africa.
The collection includes Howard’s masterpiece “Pigeons from Hell,” which Stephen King calls “one of the finest horror stories of [the twentieth] century,” a tale of two travelers who stumble upon the ruins of a Southern plantation–and into the maw of its fatal secret. In “Black Canaan” even the best warrior has little chance of taking down the evil voodoo man with unholy powers–and none at all against his wily mistress, the diabolical High Priestess of Damballah. In these and other lavishly illustrated classics, such as the revenge nightmare “Worms of the Earth” and “The Cairn on the Headland,” Howard spins tales of unrelenting terror, the legacy of one of the world’s great masters of the macabre.
Conan the Barbarian (also known as Conan the Cimmerian) is a fictional sword and sorcery hero who originated in pulp magazines and has since been adapted to books, comics, several films
The various stories of Conan the Barbarian occur in the pseudo-historical "Hyborian Age", set after the destruction of Atlantis and before the rise of any known ancient civilization.
Cimmeria — A Poem
The Phoenix on the Sword
The Scarlet Citadel
The Tower of the Elephant
The Slithering Shadow/ Xuthal of the Dusk
The Pool of the Black One
Rogues in the House
Gods of the North/The Frost Giant's Daughter/The Frost King's Daughter
Shadows in the Moonlight
Queen of the Black Coast
The Devil in Iron
The People of the Black Circle
A Witch Shall Be Born
Jewels of Gwahlur
Beyond the Black River
The Hour of the Dragon
The Hyborian Age
Robert E. Howard- Biografy and more!
In a meteoric career that covered only a dozen years, Robert E. Howard defined the sword-and-sorcery genre. In doing so, he brought to life the archetypal adventurer known to millions around the world as Conan the barbarian.
Witness, then, Howard at his finest, and Conan at his most savage, in the latest volume featuring the collected works of Robert E. Howard, lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist Greg Manchess. Prepared directly from the earliest known versions—often Howard’s own manuscripts—are such sword-and-sorcery classics as “The Servants of Bit-Yakin” (formerly published as “Jewels of Gwahlur”), “Beyond the Black River,” “The Black Stranger,” “Man-Eaters of Zamboula” (formerly published as “Shadows in Zamboula”), and, perhaps his most famous adventure of all, “Red Nails.”
The Conquering Sword of Conan includes never-before-published outlines, notes, and story drafts, plus a new introduction, personal correspondence, and the revealing essay “Hyborian Genesis”—which chronicles the history of the creation of the Conan series. Truly, this is heroic fantasy at its finest.
Much more than simply the prototype for Conan, Kull is a fascinating character in his own right: an exile from fabled Atlantis who wins the crown of Valusia, only to find it as much a burden as a prize.
This groundbreaking collection, lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist Justin Sweet, gathers together all Howard’s stories featuring Kull, from Kull’ s first published appearance, in “The Shadow Kingdom,” to “Kings of the Night,” Howard’ s last tale featuring the cerebral swordsman. The stories are presented just as Howard wrote them, with all subsequent editorial emendations removed. Also included are previously unpublished stories, drafts, and fragments, plus extensive notes on the texts, an introduction by Howard authority Steve Tompkins, and an essay by noted editor Patrice Louinet.
Praise for Kull
“Robert E. Howard had a gritty, vibrant style–broadsword writing that cut its way to the heart, with heroes who are truly larger than life.”—David Gemmell
“Howard’s writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks.”—Stephen King
“Howard was a true storyteller–one of the first, and certainly among the best, you’ll find in heroic fantasy. If you’ve never read him before, you’ re in for a real treat.”—Charles de Lint
“For stark, living fear . . . what other writer is even in the running with Robert E. Howard?”—H. P. Lovecraft
In ages past, the Picts ruled all of Europe. But the descendants of those proud conquerors have sunk into barbarism . . . all save one, Bran Mak Morn, whose bloodline remains unbroken. Threatened by the Celts and the Romans, the Pictish tribes rally under his banner to fight for their very survival, while Bran fights to restore the glory of his race.
Lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist Gary Gianni, this collection gathers together all of Howard’s published stories and poems featuring Bran Mak Morn–including the eerie masterpiece “Worms of the Earth” and “Kings of the Night,” in which sorcery summons Kull the conqueror from out of the depths of time to stand with Bran against the Roman invaders.
Also included are previously unpublished stories and fragments, reproductions of manuscripts bearing Howard’s handwritten revisions, and much, much more.
Special Bonus: a newly discovered adventure by Howard, presented here for the very first time.
“Stories such as ‘The People of the Black Circle’ glow with the fierce and eldritch light of [Howard’s] frenzied intensity.”—Stephen King
This lavishly illustrated volume gathers together three of Howard’s longest and most famous Conan stories–two of them printed for the first time directly from Howard’ s typescript–along with a collection of the author’s previously unpublished and rarely seen outlines, notes, and drafts. Longtime fans and new readers alike will agree that The Bloody Crown of Conan merits a place of honor on every fantasy lover’s bookshelf.
THE PEOPLE OF THE BLACK CIRCLE
Amid the towering crags of Vendhya, in the shadowy citadel of the Black Circle, Yasmina of the golden throne seeks vengeance against the Black Seers. Her only ally is also her most formidable enemy–Conan, the outlaw chief.
THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON
Toppled from the throne of Aquilonia by the evil machinations of an undead wizard, Conan must find the fabled jewel known as the Heart of Ahriman to reclaim his crown . . . and save his life.
A WITCH SHALL BE BORN
A malevolent witch of evil beauty. An enslaved queen. A kingdom in the iron grip of ruthless mercenaries. And Conan, who plots deadly vengeance against the human wolf who left him in the desert to die.
This 860-page collection contains all of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Cimmerian stories published during his lifetime, contextualized with biographical details of their author. The hardcover, a Multimedia Bundle Edition, includes the e-book and audiobook editions as downloadable bonus content.
Excerpt from Introduction:
"When the first Conan of Cimmeria story appeared in the pages of Weird Tales magazine in December 1932, nothing quite like it had ever before appeared in print.Author Robert E. Howard had been writing stories broadly similar to it for half a decade; but it was with Conan, and the Hyborian Age storyworld in which he was placed, that Howard finally fully doped out the sub-genre that would become known as “sword and sorcery,” of which Howard is today considered the founding father.
"Conan’s origins date back to an experiment in 1926 titled “The Shadow Kingdom,” featuring the character Kull, exile of Atlantis. The idea — Howard’s great innovation — was, at its core, historical fiction set in a pre-historical period. That pre-historical period — being, of course, lost in the mists of time — could contain anything Howard might like to include: evil races of sentient snake-things, sorcerers, undead creatures, demons walking upon the earth, anything.
"In other words, Howard was creating a secular mythology.
"And as with any mythology, secular or no, there would be a hero, a Ulysses or a Theseus, an exceptional man of legend striding through that myth-world, sword in hand, righting wrongs and slaying supernatural monsters and, along the way, providing metaphorical insight onto his world and ours.
"At the same time, he was finding success with another historical-fiction-fusion innovation: The grim, savage English Puritan Solomon Kane. Kane’s world was the skull-strewn chaos of Europe and north Africa during the Thirty Years War, in the early 1600s. Little enough is known about specific events during that dark time that it was possible to take historical liberties with it as a storyworld, so that it could accommodate dark magic, walking skeletons, vampires, magic staffs, and, of course, N’Longa the witch-doctor.
"Howard quickly realized he was onto something with Solomon Kane. The first Solomon Kane story, “Red Shadows,” appeared in August 1928 in Weird Tales, and readers loved it. Here was a dark, brooding world of menace and witchcraft connected pseudo-genealogically to their own. It was easy for readers to “take the ride” — to suspend their disbelief and envision Kane’s adventures as a part of the real world.
"But, perhaps the connection with the real world was too close. The countries of 1630s Europe are well known; the causes of the conflict fully understood. There was only so much Howard could do in Solomon Kane’s world. Moreover, Solomon Kane is just a hard character to root for. Unlike Kull, he is, not to put too fine a point on it, really not a sane man.
"So it makes perfect sense that after the shadowy, prehistoric world of Kull and the dark, necromantic world of Solomon Kane, Howard would combine these two precursors to develop a world that was far enough into the distant past to be free of actual historical constraints — like Kull’s — yet close enough to the present to still exist as echoes and legends in the world’s mythologies.
"And so Howard created The Hyborian Age, circa 10,000 B.C. And to play the role of our avatar as we explore this shadowy, almost-historical world, he gave us Conan the Cimmerian - to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."