Of Conan and Thieves
I don’t think I’ll ever get more than 48 pages in to Poul Anderson’s Conan the Rebel. Notwithstanding the fact I respect Anderson and have enjoyed a number of his other books, I have no intention of reading further. In those 48 pages of rather small type Conan has only appeared a handful of times, and he’s never actually done anything apart from listening to people talk. There’s been a lot of action, but always with characters to whom the reader has just been introduced. It’s pretty much been a reminder of things NOT to do while trying to tell a dramatic tale. Narratively I’m bored. Because I have a stack of other books, and less time and patience than I used to have, I am sad to say that this one’s being set aside.
But speaking of Robert E. Howard, I recently discovered that another collection of his fiction has been put together. Normally I have about as much interest in boxing stories as, I dunno, watching paint dry, but REH was such a stylist that I’ve enjoyed nearly everything he wrote. (Well, apart from his weird menace stories.) I’ll be looking forward to reading Fists of Iron: Round 1.
And speaking of talented authors, probably the whole world knows that Scott Lynch’s Republic of Thieves is out, but in case you did not, now you do. If you are a lover of swashbuckling fantasy heists with great character arcs, twists, and witty banter, get thee to a bookstore (it’s always better for an author to buy from a bookstore due to the arcane way these things are monitored) and buy a copy!
Now I need to go write something. Possibly a grocery list.