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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: Book One:…
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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: Book One: 1 (Conan the Barbarian) (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Robert E. Howard (Author)

Series: Conan of Cimmeria (1)

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1,3212510,410 (4.14)34
"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 are Howard's first thirteen Conan stories in their original versions and in the order Howard wrote them. Included are classics of dark fantasy like "The Tower of the Elephant" and swashbuckling adventure like "Queen of the Black Coast."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.The tales contained in The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian are "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," and "The Devil in Iron."… (more)
Member:Salamandyr
Title:The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: Book One: 1 (Conan the Barbarian)
Authors:Robert E. Howard (Author)
Info:Del Rey Books (2004), Edition: Illustrated, 496 pages
Collections:Roleplaying Games
Rating:*****
Tags:Conan, Pulp, Sword and Sorcery, Collection, Illustrated, Fantasy, Trade Paperback

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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard (2003)

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» See also 34 mentions

English (24)  Swedish (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
By Crom!! ( )
  thePatWalker | Feb 10, 2020 |
This collection of stories was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. I originally picked it up for historical reasons--to learn more about the history of genre fiction. However, aesthetically, I expected the content to be pretty weak: a sexist, racist male-power fantasy. And there was quite a bit of that stuff. For example, Conan fights a giant snake in order to get the girl a number of times. I figure either Howard had a hilariously overt Oedipal complex, or a very Freudian sense of humor. Neither would surprise me.

But I was surprised how often Howard moves beyond these sorts of limitations. For example, he's obsessed with describing the 'race' of all the characters, but I couldn't find any reference to one race being superior to another. The 'darker' races are more often than not Conan's allies, not enemies. Maybe there is some more pronounced racism in his correspondence or other works, but for the most part he escapes from it in these stories.

It was the same with the sexism. Very often, women are reduced to objects, 'princessess' in need of rescue, sometimes even literally Conan's 'prize' for defeating a villain or monster. But one story in particular stuck in my mind: "The Vale of Lost Women". At first glance, it was one of the worst stories in the anthology, in terms of the 'princess' problem. But then I noticed that, while that is certainly the plot, the story is in fact told from the princess's point of view. (In this particular story, Conan is a minor, inessential background character.) While we all know countless stories involving princesses in need of rescue, this is the first time I ever noticed that the princess (not the rescuing hero) was the voice of the story. What would have been nice to see in some 1970s fantasy novels seems remarkable for a story written in 1932.

Howard's style is as interesting as the content, in the same sense, i.e. when he's transcending his limitations. For the most part, I thought the prose was overwrought, but the plot's were well-paced. Howard tended to repeat certain descriptions, but sometimes he manages passages that are quite evocative. For example, I'm not particularly frightened of snakes, but reading some of Howard's stories, I definitely had the feeling for what that might be like. He handles the exposition problem deftly. By the end, and with seemingly minimal effort, we have a sense of Conan's (and Howard's) world.

It's easy enough to make fun of Conan stories. But when I thought about the circumstances under which they were written (i.e. very quickly, during the Depression, for money), their relative quality is striking. Basically: yes, they're silly, but they're not only silly. If Howard had written at this level under those circumstances, I wonder what might have been had he had lived past 30. ( )
1 vote ralphpalm | Nov 11, 2019 |
The Del Rey series is the best of Howard. These are the best and most well put together collection of The Sullen Northerners stories. Lots of overpriced, butchered volumes are available but these are well done. The artwork is very nice. Howard's voice is unapologetic-ally politically incorrect, the way the stories were meant to be. ( )
  Joe73 | Oct 22, 2019 |
Probably the author who has influenced me the most. ( )
  CWintertide | Nov 14, 2018 |
This magnificent trade paperback, originally published in 2002 as limited edition hardcover by Wandering Star, contains lavish illustrations by Mark Schultz, informative story notes, an insightful introduction by Robert E. Howard scholar Patrice Louinet, an original map of the world of Conan drawn by the author, and the unadulterated stories pretty much as they first appeared. This book is not just a collection of tales. It's an experience. ( )
  rickklaw | Oct 13, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert E. Howardprimary authorall editionscalculated
McLaren, ToddNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schultz, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The original hardcover edition by Wandering Star is titled "Conan of Cimmeria : volume one (1932-1933)". It was published in paperback format by Random House under a different title, "The coming of Conan the Cimmerian". The publications contain the same text.
The Gnome Press edition "The Coming of Conan (1953)" is also different from the Wandering Star/Random House editions.
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"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 are Howard's first thirteen Conan stories in their original versions and in the order Howard wrote them. Included are classics of dark fantasy like "The Tower of the Elephant" and swashbuckling adventure like "Queen of the Black Coast."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.The tales contained in The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian are "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," and "The Devil in Iron."

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Book description
Collection of the Conan stories in original publication order. Foreword by the edition's illustrator, Mark Shulz. Introduction by editor Patrice Louinet sets the stage for the original stories presented as the author created them, without embellishments or rewrites from other editions.
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