REH: Two-Gun Raconteur #4

The third issue of REH: Two-Gun Raconteur, from 1976. Contains ‘Conan vs. Conantics’ by Don Herron and ‘The Devil’s Joker’ by Howard. Also several articles and an art portfolio by Gene Day.

In the mid-1970s, when the Robert E. Howard Boom was just beginning, REH: Two-Gun Raconteur was on the cutting edge of Howard Fandom. During those heady days there was a continuous stream of hardback books, paperbacks, magazines, comics, chapbooks, fanzines, art portfolios and one-shot publications all devoted to the gifted author and poet from Cross Plains, Texas. When the Boom eventually faded out in the late eighties, the fans and admirers of Robert E. Howard still carried the torch, waiting for a time when Howard would return and that time has come. While not on as grand a scale as the earlier boom, it is nonetheless a great time to be a Howard fan.

Fantasy Crossroads #6

A fanzine or periodical edited by Jonathan Bacon from 1975. Issue 6 contains ‘The Gondarian Man’ by Howard. The poem ‘Hope Empty of Meaning’ and a letter to Harold Preece, circa February 1930 is also included along with articles and poems by other writers.

The Coming of Conan

King Conan is the fourth published and contains several Howard stories (see notes and contents).

The Gnome Press edition of Conan was the first hardcover collection of Howard’s Conan stories, including all the original Howard material known to exist at the time, some left unpublished in his lifetime. Not published in order of previous publication, Gnome’s volumes were organized to present the stories in order of their internal chronology, the sole exception being Tales of Conan, which skipped around to present random episodes from various points in the protagonist’s career. Some stories in two of the later volumes (The Coming of Conan and King Conan) were completed or revised by L. Sprague de Camp; another (Tales of Conan) consisted of non-Conan Howard stories that de Camp rewrote as Conan yarns. The last published volume of the Gnome edition was the first Conan story by an author other than Howard, namely Björn Nyberg, and was revised by de Camp.

King Conan

King Conan is the THIRD published and contains five Howard stories.

The Gnome Press edition of Conan was the first hardcover collection of Howard’s Conan stories, including all the original Howard material known to exist at the time, some left unpublished in his lifetime. Not published in order of previous publication, Gnome’s volumes were organized to present the stories in order of their internal chronology, the sole exception being Tales of Conan, which skipped around to present random episodes from various points in the protagonist’s career. Some stories in two of the later volumes (The Coming of Conan and King Conan) were completed or revised by L. Sprague de Camp; another (Tales of Conan) consisted of non-Conan Howard stories that de Camp rewrote as Conan yarns. The last published volume of the Gnome edition was the first Conan story by an author other than Howard, namely Björn Nyberg, and was revised by de Camp.

Tales of Conan

The Return of Conan is the sixth book published by Gnome, but for some reason considered the last in the series. It contains four stories originally written by Howard, but changed into Conan stories by L. Spraque de Camp. Since de Camp was interested in placing the stories chronologically, the four short stories collected as Tales of Conan represent an add-on to Gnome’s Conan series, coming between stories published in the remaining volumes. The first “tale” would fall within the collection The Coming of Conan, the second between that volume and the collection Conan the Barbarian, the third within Conan the Barbarian, and the fourth between that volume and the collection The Sword of Conan.

The Return of Conan

The Return of Conan is the seventh and last published and contains NO Howard stories (see notes and contents).

The Gnome Press edition of Conan was the first hardcover collection of Howard’s Conan stories, including all the original Howard material known to exist at the time, some left unpublished in his lifetime. Not published in order of previous publication, Gnome’s volumes were organized to present the stories in order of their internal chronology, the sole exception being Tales of Conan, which skipped around to present random episodes from various points in the protagonist’s career. Some stories in two of the later volumes (The Coming of Conan and King Conan) were completed or revised by L. Sprague de Camp; another (Tales of Conan) consisted of non-Conan Howard stories that de Camp rewrote as Conan yarns. The last published volume of the Gnome edition was the first Conan story by an author other than Howard, namely Björn Nyberg, and was revised by de Camp.

Dark Valley Destiny – The Life of Robert E. Howard

This is L. Sprague de Camp and his wife Catherines biography of Robert E. Howard. Considered by many to be full of gossip, psychoanalysis, rumors and tall-tales about Howard. There is a lot of Howard’s family history and upbringing including a family tree and all the places that Bob and his parents have lived over the years of his life before settling in Cross Plains, TX.

If you read this, be sure to read many of the more serious and great biographies that have since been written.

The Conan Grimoire

The Conan Grimoire is a 1972 collection of essays, poetry and fiction edited by L. Sprague de Camp and George H. Scithers, published in hardcover by Mirage Press. The essays were originally published as articles in Scithers’ fanzine Amra. The book is a companion to Mirage’s previous two volumes of material from Amra, The Conan Reader (1968) and The Conan Swordbook (1969). Most of the material in the three volumes, together with some additional material, was later reprinted in two de Camp-edited paperback anthologies from Ace Books; The Blade of Conan (1979) and The Spell of Conan (1980).

The Conan Swordbook

The Conan Swordbook is a 1969 collection of essays edited by L. Sprague de Camp and George H. Scithers, published in hardcover by Mirage Press. The essays were originally published as articles in Scithers’ fanzine Amra. The book is a companion to Mirage’s other two volumes of material from Amra, The Conan Reader (1968) and The Conan Grimoire (1972). Most of the material in the three volumes, together with some additional material, was later reprinted in two de Camp-edited paperback anthologies from Ace Books; The Blade of Conan (1979) and The Spell of Conan (1980).