The People of the Black Circle is a 1977 collection of four Conan short stories. This is the second of the three volumes comprising “The Authorized Edition”. Edited by Karl Edward Wagner. The illustrations by Hugh Rankin are from the original pulp publications. There was also a 1977 Science Fiction Book Club edition, which was retypeset and introduced numerous errors.
The pieces in The People of the Black Circle, in common with those in the other Conan volumes produced by Karl Edward Wagner for Berkley, are virtual reproductions (other than typo correction) of the originally published form of the texts as they appeared in Weird Tales, in contrast to the edited versions appearing in the earlier Gnome Press and Lancer editions of the Conan stories. In contrast to the earlier editions, which included Conan tales by authors other than Howard, Wagner took a purist approach, including only stories by Howard, and only those thought to be in the public domain. His prefaces and afterwords dismiss editorial revisions made in the earlier editions.