By Carlos Scolari;Paolo Bertetti;Matthew Freeman
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The second is particularly interesting because we learn for the first time how Conan conquered the throne of Aquilonia. In the wake of the film’s success, Tor Books published a long series of 42 novels between 1982 and 1997. It was written by various authors, the best known of which being Robert Jordan and Harry Turtledove, and included a novelisation of the second movie, Conan the Destroyer. The novels are generally quite faithful to de Camp’s Conan Saga if not to the spirit of Howard’s stories.
Originally they had been tales of oriental adventure with medieval and modern settings. Now de Camp turned them into Conan stories, freely rewriting settings and names and adding supernatural elements. The second, The Return of Conan, is a good example of the thin line that separates bottom-up from top-down creativity. This is, in fact, an apocryphal novel written by a Swedish fan, Björn Nyberg, who sent the manuscript to de Camp, who revised and published it as book six of the series, coming to be part of the canon of the character.
They included the only three stories of King Kull then known (originally published in Weird Tales in the 1920s) and three unpublished Conan stories. The success of the five books prompted de Camp and Gnome Press to publish two more volumes of Conan adventures: the first, Tales of Conan was a collection of four previously unpublished stories by Howard. Originally they had been tales of oriental adventure with medieval and modern settings. Now de Camp turned them into Conan stories, freely rewriting settings and names and adding supernatural elements.