Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Conan The Destroyer Conan The Destroyer
by Robert E. Howard

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Alan Robson

Conan The Destroyer is the first of three volumes that together will collect all the stories that Robert E. Howard wrote about his famous barbarian hero. There have been several such collections in the past, but this one's claim to fame is that it gives us the stories as Robert E. Howard wrote them rather than the stories that have been filtered through the censorship of L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter; his earlier editors. It quickly becomes clear that Howard's prose was much more robust than the previous collections had indicated -- his earlier editors had definitely removed a lot of Howard's fire and brimstone from the mix.

The collection opens with Howard's essay on the Hyborian Age, a cod-historical article which places the life and times of Conan within a superficially convincing historical framework. In many ways it is the cleverest thing that Howard ever wrote, combining as it does mythological and historical threads into a titghtly woven tapestry of very convincing historiography. This is the longest version of the essay that I've ever seen and it comes complete with an introduction that I've never seen before. Truly this is a very complete collection.

If you love Conan (and who doesn't?) this definitive collection is compulsory reading.

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