Today marks fifty years since the original publication of Conan the Adventurer by Lancer Books.
The collection, edited by Lyon Sprague de Camp, was the first in a series of paperbacks that revived the interest of the fantasy-reading public for Howard’s character.
The book featured an iconic cover by Frank Frazetta.
The Italian version of this volume – Conan l’Avventuriero, from 1974 – was the first Conan I ever read, and it remains my favorite selection of Conan stories.
It features the marvelous People of the Black Circle, and I’m pretty sure that, had I not first discovered Howard and Conan through that story, I would not have become a fan.
The story, which was praised by Fritz Leiber as “an Elizabethan drama”, is still my favorite Conan tale.
Also, the cover of the Italian edition of “Adventurer”, by the great, late Karel Thole, gave me no end of problems (I used to read during lunch break at school)… but it’s still gorgeous after forty years years.