Amph The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by RolandofGilead, Jan 3, 2006.

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  1. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

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    Jan 17, 2001
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    Awesome find. I would prefer to avoid any Conan that was not writeen by Robert E Howard, but it looks like the author of that site tried to remain true to the source.
  2. severian28 Force Ghost

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    Apr 1, 2004
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    Howard is the greatest writer in American history. His character Conan is a much truer embodiment of the American spirit then Twains' Huckleberry Finn or Lees' Atticus Finch - and obviously he does in a very, very different manner, having the story set in Hyperborea, which is Howards' version of prehistoric earth. These recent publications show very clearly that Howard very much intended to present Conan in a fractured chronology with the various different entries placing Conan at different stages of his life ( The first Conan story written would actually, and has actually, be one the last stories in his saga ). Howard has very unfairly been lumped into the pulp crowd for almost 70 years now. These publications are evidence of his genius to even the most discerning scholars and literary historians that may have previously chalked up Howard as a hack. They also lend evidence of how WAY ahead of his time he was from a human social/behavorial stand point. Please dont get me started - I can literally talk about Robert Howard and Conan for the rest of my life. Im border line verbatim with his stuff, written tons of A papers centering on Conan in college, and in a myriad of different classes, too - psychology, sociology, philosophy on top of writing classes. Believe me this guy was the real deal and deserves to have his named mentioned in the same breath with ANY of what are generally considered the " greats " of American writing - Twain, Poe, Capote, Hemingway, any of them.
  3. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Maybe you can help me with something I'm curious about. Were there any major fantasy stories before Howard's time besides Arthur, Beowolf, Greek mythologies and so forth? It seems to me that the 19th century spawned western tales. I know there was Bram Stoker's Dracula and Frankenstein and various other horror works, but what about fanatsy?
  4. severian28 Force Ghost

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    Apr 1, 2004
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    There was a ton of Celtic and Welsh myths and fairy tales well before the 20th century , which we in here would consider " sword and sorcery " type of fantasy, that have deep roots in the works you have listed. All of this kind of stuff is heavily influenced by Greek Mythology ( as all fictional literature is ) and later Beowulf.
  5. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

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    Howard wasn't the first to introduce Fantasy, but he is one of the first to take take horror and other-wordly influences of Poe and Lovecraft and twist them into the Fantasy genre.
  6. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    I know Howard did not introduce fantasy, but aside from Conan and LOTR I'm not aware of any fantasy that came from that time period or immediately before, it seems to have been dominated by western and superheor mythology.
  7. Stained-Blade Jedi Knight

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    Nov 16, 2005
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    Don't forget Edgar Rice Burroughs. There's an echo of his work in the Conan stories, for sure.

    People use "pulp" as (they think) a pejorative, which in fact Dickens' Great Expectations was released as a serial in the London Times, I believe. By that reasoning, Dickens is also a "pulp" author, therefore... Therefore, nothing.

    REH is a great American writer. :)
  8. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Ah, Burroughs. I have the first two Tarzan books, for whatever reason I never even started the second but I loved the first.

    Just for fun, anyone, list your favorite REH Conan stories; Top Three, Top Five, Top Ten, whatever you choose.
    For me:

    The Tower of the Elephant
    The People of the Black Circle
    Red Nails
  9. severian28 Force Ghost

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    Apr 1, 2004
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    Those three, along with the only Conan novel " The Hour of the Dragon " are generally considered Howards' masterpieces. And as I have already stated, that would make them out and out masterpieces of American literature. His Solomon Kane works are wonderful, too.
  10. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

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    I loved Hour of the Dragon. I know it was repetative of Howard's other works, but it had to be. Howard wanted to sell to England and was told that short stories wouldn't work. Instead he weaved one long fantastic novel "inspired" by some of his previous works.

    If Arnold were to come back for a new Conan film, this would be the one I'd want them to use. Just the imagery of King Conan as the lone survivor battling an entire army would be awesome.
  11. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
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    As I understand Arnold's condition, he still maintains a body weight of 210 lbs while during Conan he was 220 lbs. Not a huge difference, but though Arnold is in far better condition than an average man halh his age, he is still far from his best and his heart condition may prevent him from putting a body together for the role. There could be ways around it by keeping him mostly covered up, but I think his Conan days are behind him.
    He opted for a tissue treatment instead of a mechanical treatment so he could keep in shape. A mechanical part in his heart would have been a permanent fix but he workoouts would have been greatly reduced. His tissue treatment may require another operation in the future.
  12. severian28 Force Ghost

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    Apr 1, 2004
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    At this point, considering Arnolds career and where he sits now, it would be fittingly ironic and correct to cast him as the older, wiser Conan. Now more than ever that casting would be perfect - in case anyone thought that his intial casting was bad.
  13. RevantheJediMaster Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2005
    star 4
    There was The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison in 1922 and is possibly the first work of High Epic Fantasy. There are also the works of Robert Moriss, George MacDonald, James Branch Cabell, Hope Mirrlees, Lewis Carrol, and Lord Dunsany. On Amazon.com it says that Lord Dunsany created the Sword and Sorcery genre in his early short stories.
  14. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

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    Jan 17, 2001
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    That's probably true. Funny that they credit Howard with the same thing.
  15. Stained-Blade Jedi Knight

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    Nov 16, 2005
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    Not sure who "they" is ;) but usually I see "heroic fantasy" attached to REH's work, as a subgenus. And he's definitely the creator of that style.

    I liked Rogues in the House, mostly because of the interesting characters and plot twists. Hour of the Dragon would be ideal film-fodder though, especially seeing Conan going on a basic tour of the Hyborian World.

    Not sure if this has been mentioned, but check out http://www.conan.com one of these days. :)
  16. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
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    I've been the the Conan web page a few times. Has anyone read the Age Of Conan books? Review?
  17. RevantheJediMaster Jedi Master

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    Jun 12, 2005
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    By "they" he means Amazon.com since they said Lord Dunsany created the Sword and Sorcery genre in his early short stories and that they also said that REH created the S&S genre.
  18. severian28 Force Ghost

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    Apr 1, 2004
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    You have to put into perspective that as far as landscapes, backgrounds, and even themes you'd find very little that would be " original " in sword and sorcery type stories even circa 1930. Where Howard sets himself apart ( as any great writer does ) is the actual character of Conan - from the unbridled rage of his youth to the tempered wisdom of the aging usurper king ( where the rageful barbarian lays dormant but still very much there ), from the way Conan shows disdain to " civilization " and " order " as prefabricated ideas of weaker men to the realization that his survival very much depends on the control he has over himself in the world he walks. Its really, really progressive and controversial stuff - possibly moreso now than then. Howard, like Siegal and Shuster at about the same time and ( unfortunately ) Adolph Hitler, felt a deep personel connection to the philosophies of Nietzche, and the character of Conan falls directly in the middle interpretively from Siegal and Shusters Superman and Hitlers " master race ". Howard was a tortured soul also, who ultimately didnt heed the actions of his greatest creation by letting the barbarian in himslf loose beyond his writings.
  19. Stained-Blade Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2005
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    Also, Howard's style of prose manages, with a few words, to suggest an entire exotic world and headlong action. He uses words at the periphery of our vocabulary that force our own imagination to fill in the details, making it that much more vivid and personal.
  20. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9


    The cliffs rose sheer from the jungle, towering ramparts of stone that glinted jade-blue and dull crimson in the rising sun, and curved away and away to east and west above the waving emerald ocean of fronds and leaves. It looked insurmountable, the giant palisades with its sheer curtains of solid rock in which bits of quartz winked dazzingly in the sunlight. But the man who was working his tedious way upward was already halfway to the top.

    You mean like that? :)
  21. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

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    Jan 17, 2001
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    "The Servants of Bit-Yakin" I just read that story. :)
  22. Stained-Blade Jedi Knight

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    Nov 16, 2005
    star 1
    Nice sigline. Respect to the Fallen Scribe! :)
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