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Your Least Favorite REH Conan Story


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#61 guilalah

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:56 PM

I suppose my least favorite completed 'Conan Story' is 'The Scarlet Citadel'; I just find the dungeon episode a bit tedious, and I'm not feeling the danger the way I felt it after Akivasha left Conan in the dark in HotD.

#62 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:44 AM

For me the worst Conan related tale are the Wolves Beyond the Border drafts, granted they are unfinished and along with the untitled notes on the Westermarck they make up the Wolves Beyond the Border Typescripts.

Conan is barely mentioned, although it is cool that he is a mercenary general trying to topple the King of Aquilonia in a civil war. The rest is so-and-so son of so-and-so did you hear this? Yeah. I'm going to the Fort to tell them, oh and whose side are you on? There is a smattering of story of a guy witnessing a Pictish sacrificial rite and the intrigue of a turn-coat Aquilonian Lord. Pretty boring overall. Not nearly as exciting as Beyond the Black River dealing with frontiersmen on the edge of civilization struggling with raw barbarism. It would have been interesting to see how Howard would have fleshed out the story if the draft had been finished.

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#63 Fierro

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 04:18 PM

I suppose my least favorite completed 'Conan Story' is 'The Scarlet Citadel'; I just find the dungeon episode a bit tedious, and I'm not feeling the danger the way I felt it after Akivasha left Conan in the dark in HotD.

That's true for me, too. Maybe because I read The Hour of the Dragon first, The Scarlet Citadel seemed thin, weak and derivative (believe it was written earlier though). Dragon covers the same ground with MUCH greater power.

#64 Reaver

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 04:28 PM


I suppose my least favorite completed 'Conan Story' is 'The Scarlet Citadel'; I just find the dungeon episode a bit tedious, and I'm not feeling the danger the way I felt it after Akivasha left Conan in the dark in HotD.

That's true for me, too. Maybe because I read The Hour of the Dragon first, The Scarlet Citadel seemed thin, weak and derivative (believe it was written earlier though). Dragon covers the same ground with MUCH greater power.

I've always felt the same way, actually.

#65 Kortoso

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 05:33 PM

For me the worst Conan related tale are the Wolves Beyond the Border drafts, granted they are unfinished and along with the untitled notes on the Westermarck they make up the Wolves Beyond the Border Typescripts.

Conan is barely mentioned, although it is cool that he is a mercenary general trying to topple the King of Aquilonia in a civil war. The rest is so-and-so son of so-and-so did you hear this? Yeah. I'm going to the Fort to tell them, oh and whose side are you on? There is a smattering of story of a guy witnessing a Pictish sacrificial rite and the intrigue of a turn-coat Aquilonian Lord. Pretty boring overall. Not nearly as exciting as Beyond the Black River dealing with frontiersmen on the edge of civilization struggling with raw barbarism. It would have been interesting to see how Howard would have fleshed out the story if the draft had been finished.


I guess that it's so bad that we seldom consider it a Conan story. :D

#66 Libaax

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 09:58 PM

El Borak's Li'l Brother

Its not about overanalyzing, its about seeing which stories are top quality and which are weaker ones.

Fans who say "I Love everything !" i think disrespect the hard work of a writer like REH.
You have to see the weaker stories to admire the greatest stories. For every Worms of the Earth,People of the Black Circle other amazing Howard stories there are weak ones he was not proud im sure.

I find even the weakest stories interesting because i know he can do much better. Like recently when i read Western collection i couldnt believe the first stories was so so and i saw they were written by 15 year old Howard ;)

Edited by Libaax, 16 September 2011 - 10:02 PM.


#67 El Borak's Li'l Brother

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 10:39 PM


When I started reading Robert E. Howard's Conan (touched by the "superior" hand of L. Sprague De Camp) there wasn't one I didn't enjoy.

When I finally got my mits on Karl Edward Wagner's Robert E. Howard's Conan straight from Weird Tales book trio there wasn't one I didn't enjoy.

When I picked up The Weird Works of Robert E. Howard set there wasn't one I didn't enjoy

When I picked up the Del Rey Robert E. Howard's Conan as Robert E. Howard wrote them there wasn't one I didn't enjoy.

My point being that when I'm in the mood for a Conan adventure I'm lost in the adventure no matter which it is. I have no time for analyzing every word -- phrase -- line of dialogue looking for any hidden meaning, comparing one to another, etc. I take each story for what it is in the period it was written and get swept up in the thrill...

I guess I'm weird that way.

nah you're not weird you just love your REH.But this thread,its not really about analyzing every word or meaning or not enjoying them at all,even the weakest are fun to read ( crom, i love the vale of lost women,but it does not compare to people of the black circle imo),but surely there are some tales you prefer over others though.Theyre all good short stories/novelettes, but theyre not all equally good.They can't be or else no one would have their personal favorites.


When it comes to Conan, being in the mood for reading Conan, I simply pick up a book and read Conan. And when I read, say, The Phoenix on the Sword I am absorbed in that story, and when I reach its end I am satisfied. Then when I begin the next, The Frost Giant's Daughter, The Phoenix on the Sword is behind me and I am absorbed by the new adventure. I have never seen the point in comparing one to another as you do with Vale of Lost Women and The People of the Black Circle. I am simply enjoying each story as it comes and none have every let me down.

Oh, there are Conan stories that rang my bell as very enjoyable, but never has that fact deminished my enjoyment of any of the others.

Like I said: I'm weird that way.

Trust me, with all the Howard books I have ranging up and down his vast reams of penmenship I've read some rough works by him, especially his teen stuff. But no matter how rough -- weak, if you will, I find it very interesting reading. No matter how primitive, you might say, his writing was the fact he was a born storyteller shines through. That's what I'm looking for when I read anything.
Crom!

#68 El Borak's Li'l Brother

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 10:50 PM

El Borak's Li'l Brother

Its not about overanalyzing, its about seeing which stories are top quality and which are weaker ones.

Fans who say "I Love everything !" i think disrespect the hard work of a writer like REH.
You have to see the weaker stories to admire the greatest stories. For every Worms of the Earth,People of the Black Circle other amazing Howard stories there are weak ones he was not proud im sure.

I find even the weakest stories interesting because i know he can do much better. Like recently when i read Western collection i couldnt believe the first stories was so so and i saw they were written by 15 year old Howard ;)


I didn't say, "I love everything!" I said I enjoy everything. And I find it hard...nay, impossible to say with Conan, in this case, any story is my least favorite. Each and every one has given me hours of enjoyment. And there are none that make me say no to.
Crom!

#69 mario

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 11:38 AM


El Borak's Li'l Brother

Its not about overanalyzing, its about seeing which stories are top quality and which are weaker ones.

Fans who say "I Love everything !" i think disrespect the hard work of a writer like REH.
You have to see the weaker stories to admire the greatest stories. For every Worms of the Earth,People of the Black Circle other amazing Howard stories there are weak ones he was not proud im sure.

I find even the weakest stories interesting because i know he can do much better. Like recently when i read Western collection i couldnt believe the first stories was so so and i saw they were written by 15 year old Howard ;)


I didn't say, "I love everything!" I said I enjoy everything. And I find it hard...nay, impossible to say with Conan, in this case, any story is my least favorite. Each and every one has given me hours of enjoyment. And there are none that make me say no to.

hey if thats the case, all the power to ya !:)

#70 MisfitPanda

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 02:39 PM

For me it was; "The Phoenix on the Sword"! I just feel its alittle clumsy as a Conan story! I mean i really like it as a Kull story, but in the translation i think it loses something!
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#71 Libaax

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 06:05 PM


El Borak's Li'l Brother

Its not about overanalyzing, its about seeing which stories are top quality and which are weaker ones.

Fans who say "I Love everything !" i think disrespect the hard work of a writer like REH.
You have to see the weaker stories to admire the greatest stories. For every Worms of the Earth,People of the Black Circle other amazing Howard stories there are weak ones he was not proud im sure.

I find even the weakest stories interesting because i know he can do much better. Like recently when i read Western collection i couldnt believe the first stories was so so and i saw they were written by 15 year old Howard ;)


I didn't say, "I love everything!" I said I enjoy everything. And I find it hard...nay, impossible to say with Conan, in this case, any story is my least favorite. Each and every one has given me hours of enjoyment. And there are none that make me say no to.


Your first post was not about enjoying every story, finding even his weakest stuff interesting like most fans do. I mean there is a reason we read even his earliest works to read more of him.

Your first post was there is no weak Conan, they are all perfect because we shouldnt analyze.....

Its S&S stories of you read them for fun but also there is stories that are weak copies of others. I dont like Devil Iron as much as the best stories. Doesnt mean i hate it, didnt enjoy Conan himself, his wonderul world even in a minor story.

#72 guilalah

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 06:56 PM

For me it was; "The Phoenix on the Sword"! I just feel its alittle clumsy as a Conan story! I mean i really like it as a Kull story, but in the translation i think it loses something!


I've slowly come to appreciate TPotS; I do think Howard was still getting a grip on Conan. I like 'By this Axe I Rule!' better.

------

I used to definitely prefer 'Iron Shadows in the Moon' to 'The Devil in Iron'; over time they've switched places in my preference, thought here are passages in 'Iron Shadows ...' I still love.

#73 Duar2009

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 05:02 AM

After a few minutes of contemplation I would have to base my least favorite of the original Conan stories completed by REH would be Beyond The Black River,The Queen of the Black Coast, Pool of the Black Ones, and The Frost Giant's Daughter. There are certain settings and periods of Conan career that I find more interesting than others. His days on the black coast perhaps are my least favorite although he has great adventures as he is chased out of those areas. The longer stories lag just a bit. People of the Black Circle is a quite a bit more than a short story so some moments in the story might seem to me to be unnecessary. I consider Hour of the Dragon to be a great book but the deja vu factor comes to mind as he used elements from his other stories to make a riveting novel in a short amount of time.

#74 deuce

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:07 AM

Considering that they were written when REH was at the height of his auctorial powers, either "Servants" or "Man-Eaters". Plenty of things to be said against both, IMO.

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#75 princesszula

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 09:53 PM

I read my Conan stories so far, but here's my favorite piece of REH's tale:




And survivors of butchered Stygian ships named Bêlit with curses, and a white warrior with fierce blue eyes; so the Stygian princes remembered this man long and long, and their memory was a bitter tree which bore crimson fruit in the years to come.
--Robert E. Howard, "Queen of the Black Coast"--

By Crom! Conan's looking cool.

Here's another one:





With a gusty laugh he lifted her to his fierce lips.
"I'll make you Queen of the Blue Sea! Cast off there, dogs! We'll scorch King Yildiz's pantaloons yet, by Crom!"





--Robert E. Howard, "Iron Shadows in the Moon"--

And here's my great excerpt:




Above him the skies glowed and crackled with strange lights and gleams. The snow shone weirdly, now frosty blue, now icy crimson, now cold silver. Through a shimmering icy realm of enchantment Conan plunged doggedly onward, in a crystalline maze where the only reality was the white body dancing across the glittering snow beyond his reach--ever beyond his reach.
--Robert E. Howard, "The Frost-Giant's Daughter"--

I will like to share my tales with you!


#76 duaneshadow

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:08 PM

I can't remember if what was cobbled together to become 'Tombalku' had a different name, but the half by howard is stunning, and I'd love to see how he finished it off. The De camp section is weak.

'Xuthal of the Dusk' is a less dramatic version of the same theme I thought.

Pool of the black one is not the best, but the end is exhilirating, and the last few paragraphs where he's had his lug half pulled off and his sword stuck in the deck beside him redeems it for me.
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#77 deuce

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:10 AM

Two absolutely identical topics are now merged. :)

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#78 deuce

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:18 AM



Okay, everybody, get your rotten fruit ready to throw at me...My least favorite Conan yarn is Beyond the Black River. It's not that I don't think it is a good story, it's just that I can't get the American west frontier out of my mind when I read it.


You're not supposed to. That was REH's intent. :)

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#79 RJMooreII

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:22 AM

Conan kills plenty of soft men, why should soft women be exempt from his ire? We don't see Conan kill any women, true, but that doesn't mean he doesn't kill them.

I really think this is just circumstance; women are probably less likely to attack an armed giant than men are. Conan is less often in a position where a sword-thrust is necessary, as most ladies aren't too keen to engage him in combat. Especially since most of the ones he meets are bar-girls, thieves, princesses and such. The few violent and armed gals he encounters end up allying with him, IIRC. His female companions do put a few people to death, even if Conan himself isn't fighting them, so there doesn't seem to be much of a social convention at all against fighting women, even if there is one against fighting-women..

Edited by RJMooreII, 18 April 2012 - 12:24 AM.

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#80 RJMooreII

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:41 AM

More on topic, my least favorite Conan story is The Slithering Shadow. It's a cool setting, but it reads to me as a plotless Red Nails. Not that it's bad, it has several cool scenes, but Conan's enemies are drugged out cretins and some thing that falls down a pit. The Stygian girl is pretty cool.
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