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Conan The Rebel by Poul Anderson


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#1 DeathAdder

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 07:54 PM

Anyone happen to pick up this little doozie by the late Poul Anderson? Conan the something or other. Belit is in it... I always wanted some more insight into Conan and Belit's time period together. :ph34r:

#2 Kane

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 08:14 PM

Placed an order with my local bookstore yesterday. Hope to get by Tuesday of next week. Depending on how long it takes me to read it, I will try to post a general reveiw by the end of next weekend.
"I vanquished Law once, I'll conquer yet again--
And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#3 Bri

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 08:20 PM

Anyone happen to pick up this little doozie by the late Poul Anderson? Conan the something or other.

I think that's Conan the Rebel. I've had my eye out for it in used book stores for about two years now, but it seems to be the one pastiche that never pops up. I'm mildly interested to see how Anderson treats Conan.

-Bri

#4 DeathAdder

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:14 PM

I think that's Conan the Rebel.  I've had my eye out for it in used book stores for about two years now, but it seems to be the one pastiche that never pops up.  I'm mildly interested to see how Anderson treats Conan.

That's because it just came out. Check the home page of this website and it has a blurb about it just being released by Tor books.

#5 Ironhand

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 01:38 AM

If it's Conan the Rebel, I think I read it about 10 years ago and thought it was pretty good. But I've read some reviews by people who didn't like it very much. Tor is re-releasing it in hardcover form.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#6 DeathAdder

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 03:47 AM

So it's not new then... great.

So is this book paying homage to Anderson's passing or Conan's rebirth?

#7 Kane

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 11:33 AM

So is this book paying homage to Anderson's passing or Conan's rebirth?

Yes.
"I vanquished Law once, I'll conquer yet again--
And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#8 emerald

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 11:11 PM

This one was first published back in 1979.
Anderson won something like six Hugo Awards and three or four Nebulas, so the guy could string sentences together with some skill.
I've always kinda liked it.
The book isn't non-stop excitement, but it offers a good picture of Stygia, a couple nastier-than-usual villians, a trip to the horrific (and oft referenced) City of Pteion, as well as a nifty way to travel down the Styx in style.
And I have to admire the author's courage in daring to write about Conan's year with Belit. That took stones.

#9 Kane

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 11:18 PM

Was talking to the customer service rep. at my local bookstore today and got some intresting news. Apparently Tor is going to be releasing all the Anderson Conan's in a new hardback format. Conan the Rebel is just the first.
"I vanquished Law once, I'll conquer yet again--
And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#10 emerald

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 11:32 PM

Apparently Tor is going to be releasing all the Anderson Conan's in a new hardback format


Say what?
He only wrote one.
'Conan the Rebel' was one of the set of Conan pastiches first published by Bantam back in the late 70's.
These included Wagner's 'Conan: The Road of Kings', Offut's 'Conan: The Sword of Skelos', de Camp's 'Conan & the Spider God', and 'Conan the Liberator' and the collection 'Conan the Swordsman'.
TOR has re-released the lot of them over the past two years.
The next thing we see from TOR should be Turtledove's 'Conan of Venarium' in July.

#11 DeathAdder

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 04:10 AM

Who the dickens is Turtledove???

#12 Kane

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 11:04 AM

Apparently Tor is going to be releasing all the Anderson Conan's in a new hardback format


Say what?
He only wrote one.
'Conan the Rebel' was one of the set of Conan pastiches first published by Bantam back in the late 70's.
These included Wagner's 'Conan: The Road of Kings', Offut's 'Conan: The Sword of Skelos', de Camp's 'Conan & the Spider God', and 'Conan the Liberator' and the collection 'Conan the Swordsman'.
TOR has re-released the lot of them over the past two years.
The next thing we see from TOR should be Turtledove's 'Conan of Venarium' in July.

My error. It should have read that, Tor was going to publish another three of Anderson's works.
"I vanquished Law once, I'll conquer yet again--
And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#13 alex

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 11:12 AM

This should really be in the other authors forum.

I enjoyed it the first time. After countless rereads Conan The Rebel is just too contemporary fantasy for my tastes.

The parts with Belit are wonderful but few. The villains are delicious. There's a Stygian galley that flies on the water faster then the oarless machine in Conan Of The Isles. Conan and Belit's brother do make a pretty good team though. And I like their stand together.

The parts I don't care for are the whole religious Mitra vs Set plotline. With Conan as the savior of the Hyborian world. I really prefer my Conan stories to be more claws dug in the dirt.
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king.

- "The Road of Kings"

#14 emerald

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 03:02 PM

After countless rereads Conan The Rebel is just too contemporary fantasy for my tastes.


Yow!
I've read 'Conan the Rebel' twice, which is one time more than I usually read a pastiche.
You have a point. Anderson's "Epic Fantasy Hero" take on the barbarian didn't really fit.
But I still feel that it's an honorable pastiche; a serious attempt to write Conan by an author with skill and prestige.
Few of the other pastiches can claim the same.

#15 alex

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 07:05 PM

But I still feel that it's an honorable pastiche; a serious attempt to write Conan by an author with skill and prestige.
Few of the other pastiches can claim the same.

You're right. Rather read Anderson's and the any of the others from the Bantam lineup then a TOR. Most would agree on this. Got a box of TORs and many are unfinished. The Bantam Rebel also had nice little illustrations. I'm glad to see them re-issued. Could you ever see a TOR paperback (besides Jordan) being redone? nah, neither can I.
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king.

- "The Road of Kings"

#16 alex

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Posted 03 May 2003 - 06:56 AM

After rereading my last post, it looks like someone needed to lay off the coffee grounds.

Wait, I'll just blame it on the women. :rolleyes:
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king.

- "The Road of Kings"

#17 Alnilam

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Posted 04 May 2003 - 03:37 AM

I've tried looking for this book at the local bookstores but haven't seen it. I didn't know that it was a hardback. Tomorrow I'm off on Quest... :D

#18 Amra31

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 06:58 AM

The Tor serieswasn't thattt bad. I see alot of this on this board. whats the gripe against the tor line? No it is not REH but he is dead so kind of tough to get the same "quality" alot of them were good conan adventure i don't understand all of the pain. :blink:
Honor above all

#19 amster

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 05:51 AM

I would first like to qualify my review by saying that Poul Anderson was an excellent writer. "The Broken Sword" is a fantasy classic, and "The High Crusade" while implausible, is still a very enjoyable read. Having said that, Poul Anderson's stab at a Conan novel falls flat in my opinion.

While billing itself as the further adventures of Conan and the she-pirate Belit (taking place between chapters 1 and 2 of Queen of the Black Coast), she is entirely absent except for at the very beginning and the conclusion. While Mr. Anderson was a more brilliant and more talented writer than I will ever live to be, I daresay that he really didn't understand the themes of "Queen of the Black Coast", or he choose to merely ignore them outright, because I find this novel to be incompatable with it.

I don't buy the whole origin story of Belit. In QOTBC, Belit states that she is descended from royalty ("Kings in Askolon"). While REH gives scant details regarding her origins other than this, I interpreted it to mean that she came from noble birth, and was just too wild and bloodthirsty to lead a pampered and civilized existence. She willingly left it all behind to live the life of a barbarian. In this way, she's Conan's polar opposite. He's a barbarian who choose to leave the wilderness and seek adventure in the civilized world. She's a daughter of civilization who choose to live the life of a barbarian. Conan was never softened by "life amid city walls". You could take the barbarian out of the wilderness, but you could never take the wilderness out of the barbarian. Belit, on the other hand, was born civilized, and no amount of time away from civilization would change her essential nature. And I think that that's what ultimately doomed her in QOTBC. She should have been content with life as Conan was, but she could not rid herself of her greed for material wealth, which ultimately clouded her judgement and led to her death.

Anderson ignores this aspect of her character entirely. In his origin story, Belit and her family are in sort of the Shemitish peace corp, bringing civilization to the Black Coast, when the tribe they are living with gets slaughtered and captured by Stygian slavers. I didn't buy it. When we first here whispers of Belit in QOTBC, its at the ruins of a costal tribe the Black Corsairs had wiped out just hours before. So we're supposed to believe that Belit is actually the victim of the kind of wanton violence she routinely perpetuates on others? She's a pirate. She's not a nice person deep down who seeks justice against those who wronged her. In QOTBC, REH makes clear what Conan is agreeing to when he chooses to join her: to fight, pillage, and f@#k like rabbits. Now she gives Conan this big sob story about how she lost her parents and her child and her husband and how she needs to get her brother out of a Stygian prison. It made me think of this girl I went on a couple of dates with. I'm sure other guys can relate. They're called drama queens, or worse yet, succubi. There is instant chemistry. Everything seems to be going great, and then she starts TALKING, unloading all this crazy drama on you, and you're like, "get me the f@#k outta here". That's how I imagine REH's Conan would have reacted.

But no. This is when the novel becomes "Conan the Whipped". He willingly volunteers to go solo to rescue her brother, and that's the adventure that takes up about 90% of the novel. I won't go into the details other than it involves a dastardly Stygian sorceror, a fem fatale, and a magical ax of Mitra that only Conan can weild. Anyway, another thing that really annoyed me was the subject of divine intervention. The gods Set and Mitra actually take active rolls in the story. REH always left the question of divine intervention to be ambiguous at best. With the exception of "The Frost Giants Daughter", it is questionable whether the gods even exist. Conan states in QOTBC that one best NOT call to Crom for aid, for he will bring you only dooms.

When you compare origin stories (which REH apparently had little use for), I think that Roy Thomas did a far better job of fleshing out Belit's character than Mr. Anderson. If your a fan of Belit, you'll be disappointed whether or not you buy the origin story, because she's absent for most of the novel anyway. Skip this one.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#20 Primeval

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 07:37 AM

Good review - you have some nice insights into the character of Belit. I also thought that Conan was out of character in places, especially when he rescues Belits brother - then hugs him to calm him :blink:

I actually still found it a decent read, but not on a list of my favorite pastiches. Best thing about it was the cover for the Tor version!

"Roll on me like a flood, now, if ye dare! Before your viper fangs drink my life I will reap your multitudes like ripened barley - of your severed heads will I build a tower and of your mangled corpses will I rear up a wall!" - Bran Mak Morn in "Worms of the Earth"