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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:56 pm 
 

I have not read any Howard yet but plan to. Thanks to everyone for the advice on reading order.

Any connection between the Frost Giant in the FG's Daughter and the D&D Frost Giant?

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:21 pm 
 

No direct connection, but I am sure that Howard provided extensive inspiration and influence for D&D.  The "Frost Giant's Daughter" in question is actually the child of the Aesir God, Ymir.  She appears on battlefields and lures men with her beauty.  They follow her and are eventually led to a trap where her two brothers (Frost Giants) await to slay the warrior.

As you might imagine, Conan turns the tables and slays the giant brothers, his endurance outlasts the girl's and he "almost" catches her before she implores her father to save her (she disappears into the heavens in a conflagration of icy fire).

Good stuff.  Ironically, even though I had never before read the Howard books, I grew up on Conan comics and they were the first thing I collected (before becoming involved in all Marvel comics).  Most of these stories were adapted into comic form at some point  and it's pretty cool to read them now and recall the comics that I have always been so familiar with.  8)


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:23 pm 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:No direct connection, but I am sure that Howard provided extensive inspiration and influence for D&D.  The "Frost Giant's Daughter" in question is actually the child of the Aesir God, Ymir.  She appears on battlefields and lures men with her beauty.  They follow her and are eventually led to a trap where her two brothers (Frost Giants) await to slay the warrior.


Didn't know that story, but there's a Dungeon adventure (by Wolfgang Baur, I think.  Early on, #35-65ish) that's obviously very strongly based on that tale.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:26 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:So if I wanted to delve into the mythos of Conan further, what do you recommend?

King, would a day-trip to Cross Plains be do-able? Plano is Dallas-area, right ... so it's not right next door, but it sounds like a possibility (although I should add that I'm one of those folks who doesn't mind driving long distances).

My understanding is that the Robert E. Howard home is worth a visit; it's also a museum that the locals run with the help of outside donations.

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:36 pm 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:No direct connection, but I am sure that Howard provided extensive inspiration and influence for D&D.

I was always pretty much convinced of a direct link, although that is opinion and not fact. Gygax is on record in numerous early issues of gaming magazines as stating how much of an influence that "classic" F/SF literature had on him both personally and professionally. He was also a prototypical Howard fanboy: remember the "Giants in the Earth" article that detailed Conan's stats at four different stages of his life? (I'm pretty sure it was four; I don't have the issue in front of me). Only a real Howard geek could have even attempted to write such an article.

So, to me, it was always pretty cut-and-dried: REH's "Frost Giant's Daughter" --->>> D&D's frost giants.

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:25 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:
Kingofpain89 wrote:So if I wanted to delve into the mythos of Conan further, what do you recommend?

King, would a day-trip to Cross Plains be do-able? Plano is Dallas-area, right ... so it's not right next door, but it sounds like a possibility (although I should add that I'm one of those folks who doesn't mind driving long distances).

My understanding is that the Robert E. Howard home is worth a visit; it's also a museum that the locals run with the help of outside donations.


Actually, I checked out a local map after I read this and Cross Plains is about 2 - 3 hours west of the DFW area.  And it just so happens that the Cross Plains Barbarian Festival is on June, 10th.  And it is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of R.E.H.  A weekend jaunt may be in the works.  :D

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:27 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:
Kingofpain89 wrote:So if I wanted to delve into the mythos of Conan further, what do you recommend?

King, would a day-trip to Cross Plains be do-able? Plano is Dallas-area, right ... so it's not right next door, but it sounds like a possibility (although I should add that I'm one of those folks who doesn't mind driving long distances).

My understanding is that the Robert E. Howard home is worth a visit; it's also a museum that the locals run with the help of outside donations.


      Crossplains is probably two hours SW of Fort Worth.  A fun day trip.  The Howard house is really incredible.  Crossplains suffered greatly in the Texas wild fires; practically the entire town was literally burned to the ground.  Due to the hand of Crom, the Howard house was completely spared, which from photos I've seen is an absolute miracle (houses on all sides were burnt to the ground).  Howard Days, which always is a weekend in June, gathers Howard fans from around the world who stay for comradarie and different symposiums about REH and barbarian literature.  Anyway, just wanted to mention this because several organizations connected with the Howard House are collecting donations for the town of Cross Plains.
    The new Del Rey trade paperbacks of REH's work are superior in look and content to many other versions I've seen.  They plan on publishing all of REH's heroes eventually, the complete Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn and Cormac Mac Art are already out, I believe.  The Conan tales are divided into three volumes: The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, The Bloody Crown of Conan, and The Conquering Sword of Conan.  All the volumes are profusely illustrated by Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz (I don't know who does the third volume), and the texts seem to be very accurate.  As a bonus some really good scholarly content is included.  These are by far the best editions I have seen yet published, and the softcover versions are very affordable ($15).  
  I'm not the absolute purist that a lot of REH fans are, I can enjoy non-REH DeCamp/Carter stuff like Conan the Buccaneer, Conan the Avenger, Conan of Aquilonia (but avoid Conan of the Isles, absolute crap).  Most of the post REH/DeCamp/Carter collaborations are pretty much average cut and dried sword and sorcery fantasy, and not worth reading in lieu of something better.  It's like these writers wrote a generic fantasy novel and substituted Conan's name and places in the Hyborean world for their El Genero stuff (Actually, supposedly Lin Carter's contributions were exactly this).
   After reading "pure" REH Conan and you quickly realize what an incredible talent he was, and how much the world lost when he died as he was just hitting his writing stride (much as his friend Lovecraft would in the next few years).  The problem with a lot of the non-REH Howard is that once you read the real thing, everything else starring the Barbarian absolutely pales in comparison.  When Howard is on, in stories like People of the Black Circle, Queen of the Black Coast, Beyond the Black River (one of my top ten fantasy stories of all time), and the last half of Hour of the Dragon, no one has ever touched him in the genre of heroic sword and sorcery fantasy, no one.  
 And if you like the Conan stuff, by all means get the complete Solomon Kane.  I always liked these as much or more than the Conan stuff.  His Kane story "Wings in the Night" (along with Karl Edward Wagner's short story "Misericorde") is perhaps the best heroic fantasy short story ever written......EVER.  I must have read it over 100 times in my life, and I swear I still get a chill up my spine when I read it, so poweful is the writing of REH.

Mike B.

"Barbarism is the natural state of mankind...Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph."
From "Beyond the Black River"
   
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:16 pm 
 

Others of note are Conan the Rebel, Conan and the Sword of Skelos, The Road of Kings, and the others published around that time frame. Poul Anderson was actually a decent Conan writer. The problem every non-Howard writer has is that they add too much dialogue that is either out of character or inane. Howard's Conan was not very talkative under normal circumstances, and had very little tact. The recent publications have him scamming women out of their breeches with witty remarks and the like.
As an aside, I always found it amusing to read mags like Savage Sword and really analyze frames. I remember one frame where Conan has cleaved a guy in the shoulder and his sword is halfway thru the guy's body. Conan's dialogue bubble has this long, babbling paragraph, something to do with the guy's poor lineage and how his widow will be consoled afterwards, etc. And the guy's bubble is "NGYAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!"
What the hell is Ngyaaaaa? I can't think of any circumstance, including bisection, which would cause a man to scream Ngyaaaaaaa.
I actually have every Conan novel/story published, but they are haphazardly mixed in with all the other sci-fi paperbacks we have (upwards of 1,500). At some point I mean to alphabetize the books. I think as a general rule, for Conan starters, do not read anything with a first printing that is after 1990.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:22 pm 
 

What's the title of the story where he sneaks into a tower and kills a snake on his way to steal a gem or something?  I think he scales a wall and drops down into a garden with another thief, who blows a poisonous powder at the lions waiting in the garden.  Night scene.  It was in one of the first Conan books, maybe the very first one.  It's one of my favorite stories.  I think I preferred Conan as a thief to Conan as a King or warlord.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:34 pm 
 

Tower of the Elephant. He kills a Kothian woman stealer in a tavern just before he heads out to the tower.
He does kill a snake in the tower in the movie.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:25 pm 
 

bombadil wrote:What's the title of the story where he sneaks into a tower and kills a snake on his way to steal a gem or something?  I think he scales a wall and drops down into a garden with another thief, who blows a poisonous powder at the lions waiting in the garden.  Night scene.  It was in one of the first Conan books, maybe the very first one.  It's one of my favorite stories.  I think I preferred Conan as a thief to Conan as a King or warlord.


Dark Horse comics just did an excellent three issue adaptation of Tower of the Elephant a few months back.   They've also done God in the Bowl and Frost Giant's daughter so far in their series, all very faithful to the original REH prose (not the Decamp hybrid stuff).

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:17 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:Tower of the Elephant. He kills a Kothian woman stealer in a tavern just before he heads out to the tower.
He does kill a snake in the tower in the movie.


Ah, yes, now I recall the scene from the film.  I must have mixed the two.  I really liked that film, especially the parts with the blond chick.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:42 am 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:No direct connection, but I am sure that Howard provided extensive inspiration and influence for D&D.  The "Frost Giant's Daughter" in question is actually the child of the Aesir God, Ymir.  She appears on battlefields and lures men with her beauty.  They follow her and are eventually led to a trap where her two brothers (Frost Giants) await to slay the warrior.

As you might imagine, Conan turns the tables and slays the giant brothers, his endurance outlasts the girl's and he "almost" catches her before she implores her father to save her (she disappears into the heavens in a conflagration of icy fire).

Good stuff.  Ironically, even though I had never before read the Howard books, I grew up on Conan comics and they were the first thing I collected (before becoming involved in all Marvel comics).  Most of these stories were adapted into comic form at some point  and it's pretty cool to read them now and recall the comics that I have always been so familiar with.  8)


I also was introduced to the character of Conan through the Roy Thomas/Barry Smith comics series (later ably illustrated by Big John Buscema in his prime).  As a matter of fact, the guy who introduced me to D&D did so by telling me that "It was just like playing Conan the Barbarian's adventures" (knowing my affinity for the Marvel comics series would get me curious enough to try the game).  Only started reading the actual REH prose in the late 70's and was happy to find it was just as good without the illustrations. My first ever D&D character was of course named Conan....

Mike B.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:51 am 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:Others of note are Conan the Rebel, Conan and the Sword of Skelos, The Road of Kings, and the others published around that time frame. Poul Anderson was actually a decent Conan writer. The problem every non-Howard writer has is that they add too much dialogue that is either out of character or inane. Howard's Conan was not very talkative under normal circumstances, and had very little tact. The recent publications have him scamming women out of their breeches with witty remarks and the like.
.


Thanks for the info Frank, I've never read the Poul Anderson Conan's, I'll give them a looksee now.  I read the Offut Conan's but wasn't too impressed, not a lot like the REH Conan almost enough to be an entirely different character.  Karl Wagner's Conan novel (Road of Kings) is typical of Wagner's work, I don't think the man ever wrote a bad novel in his too short life, but interesting to note that after accepting and spending a large advance, Karl essentially sent the publishers a really terrible first draft he turned out in a drunken stupor one week under deadline.....it was actually rejected at first and thought was given to scrapping the entire novel.  It was saved by some rewrites and edtiing, but unfortunately it was Wagner's only foray into Conan, despite his obvious affection for the character (although he has his anti-hero Kane battle and kill a Conan pastiche character in one of his short stories).  I really think had Wagner not essentially drank himself to death at such an early age, perhaps he might have been able to turn out some superb Conan tales, in temprament and skill he was perhaps the fantasy writer most akin to REH in the late 20th century.  BTW, his Bran Mak Morn novel Legion From the Shadows is well worth reading.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:50 am 
 

I have a oversized REH bib book or some such, can't remember what its called.. someone here may remember..

Brette:)

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:40 pm 
 

killjoy32 wrote:the story i enjoyed the most was "Red Nails" - i go back to that one time after time and read it again. to me, it is pure adventure and immensely enjoyable.


Good choice. Gygax picked the same one:

http://p085.ezboard.com/fpiedpiperpubli ... D=58.topic

ColPladoh wrote: Faforite REH Story
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First to post!

Mine is "Red Nails," for the the setting and content. Perhaps the two Swine-posters might enjopy stalking each other in that labyrinthine construction...

Heh,
Gary

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:43 pm 
 

beasterbrook wrote:I have a oversized REH bib book or some such, can't remember what its called.. someone here may remember..

Brette:)

If it's sort of a big, honking, unwieldy-looking thing, I'd guess you've got "The Last Celt" by Glenn Lord. An excellent reference work, and always good for an eBay sale, if you get into desperate straits.

If it's a normal-sized trade paperback, it's probably "Dark Valley Destiny" by DeCamp, DeCamp's wife, and some 200-year-old child psycholgist that they unearthed to help them "prove" that REH had mommy issues. It's always good for kindling, if it gets cold there.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:03 pm 
 

zhowar wrote:
ColPladoh wrote: Faforite REH Story
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First to post!

Mine is "Red Nails," for the the setting and content. Perhaps the two Swine-posters might enjopy stalking each other in that labyrinthine construction...

Heh,
Gary


there you are! what more can i say :) great minds think alike!!! :D

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:24 pm 
 

I always knew I was psionically linked with Einstein!
I just finished reading Conan the Rebel for the 100th time. It finally occurred to me that it has all the elements of a great module or D&D session. Magical items, various NPC's, heroic but realistic quest. And babes!


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 3:13 am 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:I always knew I was psionically linked with Einstein!
I just finished reading Conan the Rebel for the 100th time. It finally occurred to me that it has all the elements of a great module or D&D session. Magical items, various NPC's, heroic but realistic quest. And babes!


oh yeah, the babes - all important ingredient :)



  
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