If any had been near or awake, they would have witnessed the bizarre sight of a man moving carefully along the ledge, carrying a kicking, half-naked wench under his arm. They would have been no more puzzled than the girl.
Reaching the spot he sought, Conan halted, gripping the wall with his free hand. Inside the building rose a sudden clamor, showing that the body had at last been discovered.
Was Fantasy Masterworks 43
His captive whimpered and twisted, renewing her importunities. Conan glanced down into the muck and slime of the alleys below; he listened briefly to the clamor inside and the pleas of the wench; then he dropped her with great accuracy into a cesspool.
He enjoyed her kickings and flounderings and the concentrated venom of her profanity for a few seconds, and even alloed himself a low rumble of laughter. Then he lifted his head, listened to the growing tumult within the building and decided it was time for him to kill Nabonidus. Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, 21 tales written between and Howard's death by suicide in , stand like a Colossus in the subgenre of sword and sorcery fantasy that followed.
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For his supporters, Howard's imagination burned like a meteor through the night sky, brilliant, dazzling, lasting all too brief of a time. Howard's detractors, however, deplore his seeming chauvinistic, capricious attitude toward women, and they would point to scenes such as the one quoted above as an example of how degrading this form of fantasy literature could be, not just toward women, but also toward the numerous real-world ethnic groups that Howard depicts in very slightly-altered form in his Conan the Cimmerian tales.
When I began reading this first volume of two, I had quite a few reservations. Oh, I had heard much about how vivid and "alive" Howard's tales were and that if read as simple adventure pieces, much enjoyment could be gained from them.
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But I was uneasy about learning of his casual references to "wenches" and his use of racial stereotypes. I feared that I might be in for a reading of a series of stories that, while certainly better-written than the imitative work, would possess the depth and meaning of a The Eye of Argon. Cover Art! My 'Masterworks' Shelf One for ? The 'need to catch up with myself' Competition Win The post where I talk about my work experience wit A few more books in the post One for ?
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Complementary genres — fantasy and hea Pan Macmillan acquires two new horror novels by Br By: T. Araminta Spook 2: The Sword in the Grotto. By: Angie Sage.
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