Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Upcoming books of interest

Actually, this first book is available now. I should have mentioned it earlier. Edited by Otto Penzler, The Big Book of Adventure Stories purports to be the largest and best compilation of adventure stories inside one cover. It certainly contains the top names of pulp and adventure fiction: Jack London, O. Henry, H. Rider Haggard, Alastair MacLean, Harold Lamb, Talbot Mundy, Cornell Woolrich, Baroness Orczy, Rafael Sabatini, Philip Jose Farmer, Sax Rohmer, Louis L’Amour, H.G. Wells, Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber, and Robert E. Howard. Whew!

Check out that table of contents: the story that introduced The Cisco Kid; a Zorro story; the complete Burroughs novel Tarzan the Terrible; "To Serve Man"; and the first appearance of Buck Rogers.

The Conan story selection is intriguing. "The Devil in Iron" is good, but "Iron Shadows in the Moon" is a better, similar story. Penzler is legendary in the field, so I am interested in reading his justification for choosing "Devil".

A second book I'm looking forward to is Conan the Barbarian: The Stories that Inspired the Movie. This is an official publication by Del Rey, publishers of the Howard trade paperback library. It's due for release at the end of July as a mass market paperback listed at 304 pages. I wouldn't expect it to be illustrated except for perhaps a frontispiece and a map. So far, the contents haven't been released. Knowing the page counts of the stories and the expected page count of the book, there's some good guessing of the contents going on at the official forum. If it does turn out to be a true "best of Conan" compilation, it should make a great inexpensive entry for first-time Howard readers.

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