Monday, July 2, 2007

By Crom!

Conan the Barbarian has always been given a hard time in the fantasy world. Viewed as a misogynist male power fantasy, critics have been quick to overlook what is a pacy series of stories. I want to discuss the actual stories written by Robert E Howard the creator of Conan in this post.
Robert E Howard was a very troubled man, living with his mother all his life, when she passed away he committed suicide age 30. In his brief life he wrote thousands of pieces that appeared in pulp magazines in the twenties and thirties, but his most famous creation is Conan.
Howard's Conan stories are pacy reads that don't take much time to finish, but leave an impression, and keep you turning the page. Sure there are scantily clad women in need of rescue, but there are also strong women characters who stand up to Conan and match him sword stroke for sword stroke.
Many other writers have picked up where Howard ended and these include Robert Jordan, L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter, Roy Thomas, and many others.
If you like 'sword and sorcery' stories then give Conan a try and you may be surprised that he is not as bad as he is made out to be.


  1. Hmmm, mention the name "Conan" and I have an image of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sorry, makes it hard to take the character seriously.

  2. Hey you're right Arnie does make it hard to take Conan seriously.
    Still the short stories are a good read, the movies are awful.