K. E. Wagner's KANE

René

Mongoose
It's not strictly CONAN, but I found at

http://www.dodgenet.com/~moonblossom/heroesof.htm

besides Conan K.E. Wagner's Kane. The books (English or German version) are in Germany not available (at least not at amazon).
Can someone give me a hint? Maybe there is a new edition under a new title? Is an edition planned?

Thanks for your help!
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
There were five Kane novels or short story collections, and all have been collected in two volumes by Night Shade Press. The ombibuses (omnibi?) are titled Gods in Darkness and The Midnight Sun.

Another book, called Exorcisms and Ecstacies, published by Carcosa Press, contains some later Kane stories, which place him in a modern setting.

I see that though Amazon doesn't have them in stock, several merchants who do business through Amazon do have them for sale (though they're pretty expensive).

Both of the Night Shade editions are also being auctioned on ebay right now for under $15 apiece. The E&E volume is there as well, though sort of pricey.

I did a search for KEW's name on abebooks.com (my first choice for used book shopping) and found most of the original paperbacks, sometimes for as low as $1-2 US.

They are worth seeking out, as KEW's writing is as close to Howard as you're going to get, and in some ways, his character of Kane is much more compelling. Aside from some creative awkwardness in the early novels, the Kane stories are the grimmest, best sword and sorcery you're liable to encounter aside from REH.

Night Winds, my favorite of the Kane books, is a near-perfect collection of short stories, each incredible and effective.
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
Also, if you are a member or know someone who is, both of the Night Shade volumes are available from the Science Fiction Book of America for $14.99 (www.sfbc.com), or both for $24.99.
 

terryallenuk

Mongoose
Not really up on the Kane stories but you could try asking over on the KEW Yahoo Group.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/karledwardwagnerdm

Terry
 

bolen

Mongoose
I love kane as well, who else should I read? I think most fantasy is trash but I really like Howard, George RR Martin and now Wagner. Could anyone add to this list.

By the way I have wagner's conan book and the two Kane books from the SFBC. Is that all that is avalibale that he wrote (I gather he died at a young age).
 

René

Mongoose
Thanks, Jason and Terry, for your answers! Since I'm living in Germany, I can't join the sfbc and ebay.com would get extremely expensive because of the shipping costs.

I took my last chance and asked my local university book store, through which I've already ordered other (scientific) books that are in Germany "unavailable".
I now will get Midnight Sun at 30 Euro; if I like it, the next will be the Gods of Darkness omnibus at 40 Euro. It's expensive, but I trust your recommendations :wink:

Again, thanks! I like this forum!
 

René

Mongoose
bolen said:
I love kane as well, who else should I read? I think most fantasy is trash but I really like Howard, George RR Martin and now Wagner. Could anyone add to this list.

By the way I have wagner's conan book and the two Kane books from the SFBC. Is that all that is avalibale that he wrote (I gather he died at a young age).

Look at

http://www.dodgenet.com/~moonblossom/heroesof.htm

Maybe there is something for your tastes.
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
bolen said:
By the way I have wagner's conan book and the two Kane books from the SFBC. Is that all that is avalibale that he wrote (I gather he died at a young age).

Wagner died at 49, essentially drinking himself to death through a prolonged period of self-abuse and depression following a bitter divorce.

He was most commonly known for his horror writing, however, and the story collection In a Lonely Place is extremely creepy and enjoyable. It is a bit of a collector's item, but you can probably find it somewhere like abebooks.com or through another source. The stories in it are not collected elsewhere, to the best of my knowledge. They aren't in Exorcisms & Ecstacies.

He also co-wrote a novel with David Drake called Killer, about an alien loose in Imperial Rome. It reads a lot like a Predator film set in that period might, with the protagonist a Roman beast hunter called to aid a mysterious dignitary who knows of the beast's habits. Drake got first billing on that, so look for it there.

Aside from that, the Conan novel, and the Kane books, KEW wrote a plethora of short stories (collected in E&E), and edited many horror story anthologies such as The Year's Best Horror series, an anthology of medical horror stories (he was trained as a psychiatrist), and three anthologies of heroic fantasy (Echoes of Valor).
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
bolen said:
I love kane as well, who else should I read? I think most fantasy is trash but I really like Howard, George RR Martin and now Wagner. Could anyone add to this list.

Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser series are almost shoulder to shoulder with Howard's Conan

Michael Moorcock's Elric series is a major influence on modern fantasy and most fantasy readers seem to have read these and enjoyed them.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter, Warlord of Mars books are "old school" sword and science fiction. I'm guessing that Howard read ERB's Tarzan novels, as well, as there is a shared love of barbaric heroes, damosels in distress, lost cities, strange ancient technology, etc.

For a complete change of pace, try Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber. The first set is quite wonderful. Also in that boat would be Jack Vance's Dying Earth short stories and novels. Stephen Brust's Vlad Taltos novels are a guilty pleasure, and I also enjoyed the out-of-print Morgaine novels by CJ Cherryh and the Tomoe Gozen novels by Jessica Amanda Salmonson.

As for modern authors, I enjoy some of the books by David Gemmell, and if you like Martin's books, Gregory Keyes' The Briar King and The Charnel Queen are doing some similar things and share some themes.
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
I just remembered that Karl Edward Wagner also wrote a Bran Mak Morn pastiche titled Legion from the Shadows, a sequel to REH's Worms in the Earth.

If you can find them, the novels featuring Cormac mac Art and Wulfhere Skull-Splitter (two characters who appeared in a few REH stories, then were spun off into a series of their own written by Andrew Offutt and co-author Keith Taylor.

The stories concern an exiled Irish warrior who teams up with a Viking crew headed by a fierce Danish reaver. They hobnob across the European world, encountering monsters, magic, and evil. The novels were:

Tigers of the Sea (by REH, where they first appeared)
The Mists of Doom (a prequel to the series, published fourth)
The Tower of Death (with Keith Taylor)
When Death Birds Fly (with Keith Taylor)
Sword of the Gael
The Undying Wizard
The Sign of the Moonbow


Keith Taylor then went and wrote his own novel, Bard, which spun into a series of its own. I think he gave up after Bard IV (not the most original titles), but I was living overseas and would have missed it on the stands.

Taylor's series concerned an exiled Irish bard who teams up with a Viking crew headed by a fierce Danish reaver. They hobnob across the European world, encountering monsters, magic, and evil. The major difference was that the Viking was a woman, and they were lovers.

My guess is that the Bard series was spawned when writing the two Cormac/Wulfhere novels, Taylor thought "This would be much better if the Viking was a hot woman, and they were sleeping together!"

There were some other differences, such as in Howard/Offut's novels, Cormac had black hair and Wulfhere was red-headed, while in Taylor's, the bard Felimid mac Fal was a redhead and his lady was Gudrun Blackhair.

Otherwise, I think they were mostly interchangeable.

Note that these aren't to be confused with David Drake's novel The Dragon Lord, which has an exiled Irish warrior (Mael mac Ronan) and his huge Danish friend (Starkad) encountering King Arthur as they hobnob across Europe and fight a huge monster (a dragon).

Okay, I'm being a bit sarcastic there. Drake's book was, I gather, originally written as a Cormac/Wulfhere novel and had the serial numbers filed off when there was some problem with the publisher or the rights. Not sure which, but I remember reading that it had been Howard's heroes originally, so similarity is to be expected.

Though none of the above-mentioned books is particularly great, they are all a lot of fun, of the category I'd call "rainy Sunday afternoon" reading. I had long since lost these books, but found the whole of the Cormac mac Art series at a used bookstore for under $10.

If someone were to do a proper Dark Ages Europe RPG, I'd run a Cormac/Wulfhere-style campaign in a heartbeat.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
I just picked up the Kane novels Dark Crusade and its sequel, Darkness Weaves on Amazon quite cheaply. Darkness Weaves was uneven at best (and that's being generous), but Dark Crusade was great! Karl Edward Wagner's best fantasy novel is not Kane but his Conan pastiche, The Road Of Kings.
 

Strom

Mongoose
Chef, try and pick up the Kane book Death Angel's Shadow! Includes my favorite Kane tale 'Reflections for the Winter of My Soul'.

8)
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Strom said:
Chef, try and pick up the Kane book Death Angel's Shadow! Includes my favorite Kane tale 'Reflections for the Winter of My Soul'.

8)

Is that story collected in The Midnight Sun hardcover? I've got that ordered from Amazon on the cheap ($27) as well. Should be here any day now.
 

Strom

Mongoose
Iron Chef - it sure is. That is the definitive Kane collection and really unless you like the cool covers on the paperbacks, the Midnight Sun is all you need. I also really liked "Cold Light". Have fun!
 
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