Pulp fiction was an incredibly popular form of literature throughout the first half of the last century. The format gave the public low cost, regular magazines offering an opportunity for harmless escapism. The quality of stories varied; with the majority being exploitative and lurid tales. However the format did give some distinguished writers the opportunity to share their talents. Robert E. Howard was one of those who really stood out from the crowd.
His creation of Conan the Barbarian, for Weird Tales magazine,gave the world a whole new genre of fantasy fiction. Howard's sword wielding hero is seen as the precursor to writers such as Michael Moorcock and Paul Kearney. Indeed Howard is widely cited as the grandfather of all Sword and Sorcery fiction.
None of his works were published in book format during his lifetime; he focussed almost exclusively on writing for magazines. However several books collecting his short stories were published after his death in 1936. Unusually, Howard can claim to have had two significant posthumous booms in sales. The first was in the 1970s when his revised collections were released to a new audience; the second was early this century when fans of the original Howard stories released them completely restored and unaltered.
At auction, a limited first edition of, Always Come Evening, a collection of his unpublished works from 1957 can fetch $800. Skull Face and Others, from 1946 can reach $400. But the various first editions of Conan are invariably more frequent items to appear at auction; often being offered in small collections and costing up to $200 per book.
For those people buying Howard's work they are collecting something that has inspired authors across the genre - perhaps only Tolkien has influenced this group of writers more. Conan has become a pop-culture icon who developed into a franchise in his own right. Howard has created a character who stood the test of time; and left us with works which belie their humble origins in pulp fiction.
Howard, Robert E. (Contributor). Weird Tales August 1928. Popular Fiction, Chicago (1928). first appearance of Solomon Kane novelette Red Shadows; first published story by Tennessee Williams; Other stories by Robert E. Howard, Frank Belknap Long, Edmond Hamilton and others
Howard, Robert E. (Contributor). Weird Tales June 1929. Popular Fiction, Chicago (1929). Contributers include: Seabury Quinn, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, Edmund Hamilton, Frank Owen, et al.
Howard, Robert E. (Contributor). Weird Tales November 1934. Popular Fiction, Chicago (1934). People of the Black Circle – Conan; Includes The Music of Erich Zann by H.P.Lovecraft
Howard, Robert E. (Contributor). Weird Tales December 1934. Popular Fiction, Chicago (1934). Contains: A Witch Shall be Born – by Rober E. Howard
Howard, Robert E. (Contributor). Weird Tales November 1935. Popular Fiction, Chicago (1935). Shadows in Zamboula - Conan.
Howard, Robert E. (Contributor). Weird Tales June 1935.. Popular Fiction, Chicago (1935). Includes conclusion of Howard's novelette Beyond the Black River, Also Robert Blochs storyThe Suicide In The Study and Clark Ashton SmithsThe Destroying Horde.
Howard, Robert E. Skull-Face And Others. Arkham House, Sauk City, Wisconsin (1946). 3000 copies of first edition; Illustrated by Hannes Bok; Foreword by August Derleth; A Memorium by H.P. Lovecraft; A Memory of R.E. Howard by E. Hoffmann Price; 23 stories, 1 poem
Howard, Robert E. Conan the Conqueror. Gnome Press, New York (1950). The Hyborean Age; First book in the Conan series
Howard, Robert E. The Conan Series. Gnome Press (1950). 7 volumes; Conan The Conqueror, The Sword Of Conan, King Conan, The Coming Of Conan, Conan The Barbarian, Tales Of Conan, The Return Of Conan
Howard, Elizabeth Jane. We Are For the Dark. Jonathan Cape, London (1951). and Robert Aickman; Six Ghost Stories
Howard, Robert E. The Sword of Conan. Gnome Press, New York (1952). Second book in Conan series
Howard , Robert E. King Conan. Gnome Press, New York (1953). 3rd book in Conan series; collection of 5 stories, 4 previously published in Weird Tales magazine
Howard, Robert E. The Coming of Conan. Gnome Press, New York (1953). 4th book in Conan series; collection of 7 stories, 5 previously published in Weird Tales
Howard, Robert E.,. Conan the Conqueror. T V Boardman, London (1954). Prehistoric Fantasy of the Hyborean Age/The Hour of the Dragon; First UK Edition
Howard, Robert E. Tales of Conan. Gnome Press, New York (1955). Series completed by L. Sprague De Camp; Illustrated by Ed Emshwiller; Includes: The Blood-Stained God, Hawks over Shem, The Road of the Eagles, and The Flame-Knife
Howard, Robert E. Always Comes Evening. Arkham House: Sauk City, WI (1957). The Collected Poems; compiled by Glenn Lord; 636 copies
Howard, Robert E. The Return of Conan. Gnome Press, New York (1957). Series completed by L. Sprague De Camp
Howard, Robert E. The Dark Man and Others. Arkham House, Sauk City, Wisconsin (1963). Collection of 15 stories; 2029 copies
Lovecraft, H.P. Tales of The Cthulhu Mythos.. Arkham House, Sauk City, Wisconsin (1969). Contributions of Lovecraftian stories by: Brian Lumley, Frank Belknap Long, H. P.Lovecraft, Ramsey Campbell, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner, Colin Wilson, et.al.
Howard, Robert E. The Road of Azrael. Donald M. Grant, Rhode Island (1979). Full-page color and jacket illustrations by Roy G. Krenkel; Limited Edition of 310 copies signed by the illustrator, 30 copies signed by the publisher; 5 stories include: The Road of Azrael, The Track of Bohemund, The Way of the Swords, Hawks of Egypt, and Gates of Empire
Howard, Robert E. Kull. Donald M. Grant Publisher Inc, Rhode Island (1985). Jacket and Illustrations by Ned Dameron; Limited Edition of 400 numbered copies signed by illustrator
Howard, Robert E. Writer of the Dark. Dark Carneval Press, Zurich (1986). Introduction by Glenn Lord; Illustrated by Bodo Schaefer; Limited Edition of 500 numbered copies
Howard, Robert E. Post Oaks and Sand Roughs. Donald m Grant, Hampton Falls, New Hampshire (1990). Limited Edition of 850 copies
Anthology. Obsession. Quill and Brush, Rockville, Maryland (1994). 26 lettered copies signed by each contributor; Original signed silkscreen print by Lou Stovall; contributors: Louis Begley, David Bradley, Robert Olen Butler, Thomas Flanagan, Ernest Gaines, Barry Hannah, Maureen Howard, Jayne Anne Phillips, George Plimpton, Francine Prose, Vikram Seth, Mary Lee Settle, Ntozake Shange, Elizabeth Spencer, and Scott Spencer
Howard, Robert E. The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane. Wandering Star, London (1998). 6 color plates and 200+ drawings by Gary Gianni; edition includes Deluxe edition of 100 copies for personal distribution by the publisher and signed by the artist; 1050 numbered copies signed by artist
Gianni, Gary. A Portfolio of Illustrations from 'The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane'. Wandering Star, London (1999). Portfolio of the illustrations in The Savage Tales of Solomon by Robert E. Howard; limited hardcover of 100 copies, 8 color plates signed by artist; contains an original pen and ink drawing
Howard, Robert E. The Ultimate Triumph. Wandering Star, London (1999). The Heroic Fantasy of Robert E Howard; 120 line illustrations by Frank Frazetta; Limited Leatherbound Edition of 100 copies; Limited numbered Edition of 1500 copies – which contains 4 additional drawings; Contains stories: Beyond the Black River, The House of Arabu, Spears of Clontarf, The Night of the Wolf, Spear and Fang, The Valley of the Worm and Lord of Samarcand, plus poems and letters.
Howard, Robert E. Bran Mak Morn. Wandering Star, London (2001). The Last Kind; Illustrated by Gary Gianni with 12 color plates and 45+ drawings; Collection of Bran Mak Morn stories; 850 numbered copies signed by Illustrator
Howard, Robert E. Complete Conan of Cimmeria. Wandering Star, London (2002). Volume One (1932-1933).;Illustrated by Mark Schultz; 1950 numbered copies signed by illustrator; Contains: The Phoenix and the Sword, The Frost Giant's Daughter, The God in the Bowl, The Tower of the Elephant, The Scarlet Citadel, Black Colossus, Xuthal of the Dusk, The Pool of the Black One, Rogues in the House, The Vale of Lost Women, Iron Shadows of the Moon, Queen of the Black Coast, and The Devil in Iron
Howard , Robert E. Conan of Cimmeria. Wandering Star, London, England: (2002). Volume One (1932-1933).;Illustrated by Mark Schultz; Artist Edition with 8 additional sketches, 100 numbered copies, signed by Schultz; Contains: The Phoenix and the Sword, The Frost Giant's Daughter, The God in the Bowl, The Tower of the Elephant, The Scarlet Citadel, Black Colossus, Xuthal of the Dusk, The Pool of the Black One, Rogues in the House, The Vale of Lost Women, Iron Shadows of the Moon, Queen of the Black Coast, and The Devil in Iron
Howard,Robert E. Coman of Cimmeria. Wandering Star , London (2003). Illustrated by Gary Gianni; 6 full colour paintings, 85 black and white drawings; Limited Edition of 1950 numbered and signed copies; Leatherbound Edition of 100 copies
Howard, Robert E. The Exotic Writings of Robert E. Howard. Girasol Collectables, Ontario (2006). Introduction by Neil and Leigh Mechem; illustrated by Neil Mechem; Contains the stories: The Voice of El-Lil; Red Blades of Black Cathay; Hawks of Outremer; The Blood of Belshazzar; The Sowers of the Thunder; Lord of Samarcand; The Lion of Tiberias; Alleys of Darkness; The Shadow of the Vulture
Howard, Robert E. The Weird Writings of Robert E. Howard. Girasol Collectables, Ontario (2006). 2 volumes; illustrated by Rudy Nebres
Lovecraft, H. P. The Shunned House. Arkham House Publishers, [Sauk City] (2008). Preface by Frank Belnap Long Jr; The Trust About the Shunned House Hardcover essay by Robert Weinburg; compiled by Dan Boulden; 50 numbered copies (67 total edition); facsimile of the 1928 edition
Howard, Robert E. Conan of Cimmeria. Wandering Star, London (2009). Illustrated by Gregory Manchess;13 color paintins, 52 tonal paintined; Limited Edition of 1000 numbered and signed copies; artist edition of 100 numbered and signed copies – extra portfolio of 10 plates; Leatherbond Limited Edition of 50 copies – 14 extra plates; Contains: The Servants of Bit-Yakin, Beyond the Black River, The Black Stranger, The Man-Eaters of Zamboula and Red Nails