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Placement of Conan Books In Chronology (All Authors)


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#1 Skandrannon

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:21 PM

I've gone through all my Conan novels and have ordered them accoring to this website and there are a few that have yet to be placed. Here's a list:

Conan - Robert E. Howard, Sprauge de Camp, and Lin Carter
Conan of Cimmeria - Robert E. Howard, Sprauge de Camp, and Lin Carter
Conan the Freebooter - Robert E. Howard and Sprauge de Camp
Conan the Wanderer - Robert E. Howard, Sprauge de Camp, and Lin Carter
Conan of Aquilonia - Sprauge de Camp, and Lin Carter
Conan: The Flame Knife - Robert E. Howard and Sprauge de Camp
Conan: The Treasure of Tranicos - Robert E. Howard
Conan the Adventurer - Robert E. Howard and Sprauge de Camp
Conan the Warrior - Robert E. Howard and Sprauge de Camp
Conan the Ursuper - Robert E. Howard and Sprauge de Camp
Conan the Swordsman - Robert E. Howard, Sprauge de Camp, and Bjorn Nyberg
The Spell of Conan - Sprauge de Camp
The Blade of Conan - Sprauge de Camp

#2 terryallenuk

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 05:28 PM

Dale's site lists the stories that are contained in the books you list so you need to break down the stories in them to get a full chronology.

Spell and Blade feature articles from the old Amra fan magazine so they don't really count in a chronolgy.

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#3 korak

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 06:33 PM

Conan of Aquilonia goes after Usurper; I believe that Treasure of Tranicos is contained, in its proper sequence, in Usurper; and Conan the Conqueror is not listed, it goes between Usurper and Aquilonia. Conan the Adventurer goes where Aquilonia now is. Conan of the Isles goes after Aquilonia.

#4 bjmorga

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:28 AM

Here's what my Sagas of Conan novel has as the chronological order;
Conan of Venarium
Conan
Conan of Cimmeria
Conan the Freebooter
Conan the Wanderer
Conan the Adventurer
Conan the Buccaneer
Conan the Warrior
Conan the Usurper
Conan the Conqueror
Conan the Avenger
Conan of Aquilonia
Conan of the Isles
Conan the Swordsman
Conan the Liberator
Conan: The Sword of Skelos
Conan: The Road of Kings
Conan the Rebel
Conan and the Spider God

#5 korak

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 02:38 AM

Those last five titles listed are not in chronological order-- they have placed them last because they were published later in the late seventies. They are not placed chronologically. For instance, Liberator goes between Usurper and Conqueror, etc. And this list only has one original Tor novel, Venarium.

#6 Skandrannon

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:55 AM

Er-, maybe I should have made myself more clear. I want to know where these books fit in with the rest of the novels. Which book do they come after, or are they alternate timeline, such as Conan the Bold or Conan the Destroyer.

#7 korak

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 04:20 AM

Ok, sorry, I see what you are saying now. :) First, the Flame Knife and Treasure of Tranicos are listed on Galen's list, you must have overlooked them. As for the others (except for the last two, which Terry explained are compilations of non-fiction articles) are collections of short stories, and on Galen's list they are listed as individual short stories.


Here are the stories in each:


Conan - contains
Thing in the Crypt
Tower of the Elephant
Hall of the Dead
God in the Bowl
Rogues in the House
Hand of Nergal
City of Skulls



Conan of Cimmeria - contains
Curse of the Monolith
Bloodstained God
Frost Giant's Daughter
Lair of the Ice Worm
Queen of the Black Coast
Vale of Lost Women
Castle of Terror
Snout in the Dark

Conan the Freebooter - contains
Hawks over Shem
Black Colossus
Shadows in the Moonlight
Road of the Eagles
A Witch Shall Be Born

Conan the Wanderer - contains
Black Tears
Shadows in Zamboula
Devil in Iron
The Flame Knife

Conan of Aquilonia - contains
Witch of the Mists
Black Sphinx of Nebthu
Red Moon of Zembabwei
Shadows in the Skull

Conan the Adventurer - contains
People of the Black Circle
Slithering Shadow
DRums of Tombalku
Pool of the Black One

Conan the Warrior - contains
Red Nails
Jewels of Gwahlur
Beyond the Black River

Conan the Ursuper -contains
Treasure of Tranicos
Phoenix on the Sword
Scarlet Citadel

Conan the Swordsman - contains
Legions of the Dead
People of the Summit
Shadows in the Dark
Star of Korala
Gem in the Tower
Ivory Goddess
Moon of Blood

There they are, I hope this is helpful. Crom, I can't believe I just let you con me into typing all this! :lol:

#8 Darius The Priest

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:47 AM

Hey Guy's,

In May 1984 L. Sprague de Camp wrote a brief chronological account on Conan's career in which he makes numerous references to supposed artifacts and people that suggest Conan was a real historical figure.

[QUOTE] (After the events in 'Rogues in the House').

Conan wandered back to Arenjun and began to earn a semi-honest living by stealing back for their owners valuable objects that others had filched from them. He undertook to recover a magical gem, the Eye of Erlik, from the wizard Hissar Zul and return it to its owner, the Kahn of Zamboula.

There is some question about the chronology of conan's life at this point. A recently-translated tablet from Asshurbanipal's library states that Conan was about 17 at the time. This would place the episode right after that of 'The Tower of the Elephant,' which indeed is mentioned in the cuniform. But from internal evidence, this event seems to have taken place several years later. For one thing, Conan appears too clever, mature and sophisticated; for another, the fragmentary medieval Arabic manuscript Kitab al-Qunn implies that Conan was well into his twenties by then.

The first translator of the Asshurbanipal tablet, Prof. Dr. Andreas von Fuss of the Munchner Staatsmuseum, read Conan's age as '17.' In Babylonian cuniform, '17' is expressed by two circles followed by three vertical wedges, with a horizontal wedge above the three for 'minus' - hence 'twenty minus three.' But Academican Leonid Skram of the Moscow Archaeological Institute asserts that the depression over the vertical wedges is merely a dent made by the pick of a careless excavator, and the numeral properly reads '23.' [END QUOTE]

There are a number of other example's, and each time L. Sprague de Camp makes such a reference it is to explain a discrepancy in Conan's career.

Question: Can we ever really be sure of the chronology? And is it that necessary?
Arus saw a tall powerfully built youth, naked but for a loin-cloth, and sandals strapped high about his ankles. His skin was burned brown as by the suns of the wastelands and Arus glanced nervously at his broad shoulders, massive chest and heavy arms, A single look at the moody, broad-browed features told the watchman the man was no Nemedian. From under a mop of unruly black hair smoldered a pair of dangerous blue eyes. A long sword hung in a leather scabbard at his girdle. (The God in the Bowl)

#9 Kortoso

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 05:05 PM

I believe that de Camp invented that account.

#10 korak

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 06:35 PM

Yeah, he was just having some literary fun with it. ALWAYS read DeCamp with a sparkle in his eye and his tongue just a bit in cheek. I thought the passage where he accounted for the CTB/ normal continuity disparity was amusing-- the Milius version is less reliable since it was found on a badly broken clay prism from Nippur! :lol:

That kind of thing is common in the Weird Tales/Lovecraft tradition, with the Necronomicon and all that stuff.

IN this particular instance, however, I would tend to disagree with his opinion, because Offutt states in his Conan trilogy that it occurs right after Tower of the Elephant. I do, however, agree with DeCamp's remarks about the continuity of Wagner's Road of Kings. It is a real stretch to imagine Conan turning down the throne of a kingdom like Argos at the end of the book.

Edited by korak_the_killer, 18 April 2006 - 07:42 PM.


#11 blanor

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 06:36 AM

There is still some debate about the chronological order of the original 21 Howard stories. It's my understanding that LSdC developed an "official" chronology that covered Howard Conan, his own stories, and scores of others (somehow even cramming in "alternate" timelines, such as movie points that deviate from print stories), but I don't know much about that.

#12 korak

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 07:14 AM

Well, easy to explain. Basically when the Gnome Press books came out in the fifties, they arranged the stories in the order of the MIller Clarke chronology. Decamp found the four new Howard tales and placed them into that chronology; and it just built from there. It all goes back to the letter that Miller and Clarke sent to Howard, and which he wrote extensive comments upon. So DeCamp's final version, Conan the Indestructible, which was in the back of some Tor books, is just a gigantic expansion of the original Miller Clark Probable Outline of Conan's Career, with all the then published practiche stories added in.

Some dispute Decamp's placement of the four undiscovered REH stories, especially, as we have seen in the dark horse series, Frost-Giant's Daughter and God in the Bowl. But basically DeCamp built his chronology on the Miller Clark; the new chronology that I have seen online, I forget the name, deviates significantly from the Miller Clark, and therefore falls into a very controversial category in my estimate.

#13 blanor

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 07:58 AM

Too much has been made of Miller-Clark, undoubtedly because it is the only primary source that addresses the subject. In mid-March 1936, Howard replied to their chronology with a polite "thanks for writing" note, but he did not say "Wow, you nailed it!" but instead said that their outline "pretty closely" followed his own, without going into further details. The perfunctory nature of this reply to fans is supported by the date, exactly three months before he killed himself; Howard had other things on his mind besides details regarding a character he wasn't working on anymore.

#14 korak

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 05:50 PM

Yeah, but I don't think there was anything perfunctory about his reply... it was a long in depth commentary that is reprinted in the new Conan books. He seemed to be in a good mood and gave no evidence of his black mood. He had a lot to say about it, but nothing much to say about correcting the sequencing. So that is why the Miller Clark sequencing will always have an edge over any other theories.

#15 johnnypt

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 02:58 AM

>>Yeah, but I don't think there was anything perfunctory about his reply... it was a long in depth commentary that is reprinted in the new Conan books. He seemed to be in a good mood and gave no evidence of his black mood. He had a lot to say about it, but nothing much to say about correcting the sequencing. So that is why the Miller Clark sequencing will always have an edge over any other theories.<<

You do have to lend it a good bit of credibility. The main reason for rethinking things was the printing of material REH never expected anyone except himself would end up seeing. You get a Gunderman out of a synopsis, a cloak in an unfinished story, a new ship after one's already crashed. If you go back to the original 16 stories Miller and Clark placed (remember Red Nails wasn't out yet), they got the basic groupings right. The only one way out of whack is Slithering Shadow. You reverse Iron Shadows, Colossus and Queen, pop Slithering after them and bang, there you go, you've got Dale's (OK there's also that Jewels question I mentioned in another thread). It's once you start placing the other stories that things got more difficult than they had to be.

#16 korak

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 03:49 AM

I personally don't think that there is any way to really iron out a chronology like Rippke tries to do. He has a lot of things to say, but in my opinion most of it is just rationalizations, and heck, you can rationalize most anything. If Howard himself did not immediately see to point out that the placement was erroneous, then there is no real reason to think that if Miller Clark were wrong, that Howard even had a strict chronology worked out in his own head. That is a distinct possibility, that REH himself did not have a strict sequence to put them in in his mind. He certainly left no written record of their chronology, which in itself seems a bit odd. He may simply have written the tales deliberately open enough so that no one could accuse him of contradicting himself. Does that make any sense?

And so if Howard himself did not have a certain exact sequence to put them in, it is kind of ridiculous for Rippke to assume that such can be worked out precisely. Because if REH did not go to the trouble to work out that in detail then there is NO WAY. To make it work out would just be an accident.

#17 johnnypt

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 04:10 AM

>>And so if Howard himself did not have a certain exact sequence to put them in, it is kind of ridiculous for Rippke to assume that such can be worked out precisely. Because if REH did not go to the trouble to work out that in detail then there is NO WAY. To make it work out would just be an accident.<<

He said he wrote them randomly, so as you said he never had anything concrete written down. Therefore, there isn't anything exactly correct. Making it work out is indeed a happy accident. I wouldn't go as far as Dale in saying things like the Gunderman from the Hall of the Dead synopsis Howard meant to be the same one hung at the beginning of Rogues and a few other suppositions like that, but it sure works out well enough, and nothing needs to be rewritten. And when I reread them (first in written order, then in "published" order and finally in the Rippke chronology), I found he does leave enough of the clues that Miller and Clark first picked up on to make the probable outline. So if you put more information in from drafts, outlines and synopses, your outline changes. Like I said, I'm going to be interested to see what the guys at Dark Horse came up with for their outline.

#18 korak

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 04:16 AM

Yes, it will, and we should know soon, because in the latest issue of Conan that came out yesterday, it says there is going to be a complete outline of his career in the Tower of the Elephant collection.

#19 blanor

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 04:48 AM

And so if Howard himself did not have a certain exact sequence to put them in, it is kind of ridiculous for Rippke to assume that such can be worked out precisely. Because if REH did not go to the trouble to work out that in detail then there is NO WAY. To make it work out would just be an accident.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I think you have it right, Korak. I think this is a problem that will never be solved, that probably in fact has no infallible solution. Sure, there are many stories that can be absolutely determined to come before or after some others, but to come up with a undisputable chronology of all 21 tales is something Howard himself almost certainly never did, which leaves everyone else speculating. I think speculation is fine, though, as long as solutions are couched in terms like "This is good," or "The best yet developed," and not "This is absolutely it!"

#20 Darius The Priest

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 02:35 PM

Question: Can we ever really be sure of the chronology? And is it that necessary?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



So when all's said and done, No, we can't be sure and whats more it really doesn't matter.
Were just glad R.E.H did what he did.
-D-
Arus saw a tall powerfully built youth, naked but for a loin-cloth, and sandals strapped high about his ankles. His skin was burned brown as by the suns of the wastelands and Arus glanced nervously at his broad shoulders, massive chest and heavy arms, A single look at the moody, broad-browed features told the watchman the man was no Nemedian. From under a mop of unruly black hair smoldered a pair of dangerous blue eyes. A long sword hung in a leather scabbard at his girdle. (The God in the Bowl)