The Hyborian Age

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Title: The Hyborian Age
Creator: Robert E. Howard
Date(s): First part published 1936
Fandom: Conan the Barbarian
Language: English
External Links: Wikipedia

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The Hyborian Age was an essay by Robert E. Howard that set out the rules and lore for his Conan the Barbarian series. It was never printed in Howard's lifetime, but it has since been reprinted numerous occasions, both professionally and in fanzines.


Part one of The Hyborian Age was first printed in installments by fan magazine The Phantagraph in 1936.[1]

One 1938 zine printed by Los Angeles-New York Cooperative Publications[2] (also titled The Hyborian Age) seems to have included material on Howard himself along with the essay:

I had never read The Hyborian Age when it appeared in fan magazine form, and so last night I settled down and had a very delightful time. It's a very engaging and very powerful one — as Lovecraft noted. Let me compliment you and your colleagues, both the editors and the mimeographers, for a very able bit of publishing. The introductory matter is well chosen, and the outline of Howard something that every one of his admirers would be delighted to possess. The outline of Conan's career strikes me as careful and scholarly, and it is interestingly combined with the bibliography. The format is dignified and simple, and -- above all--- clear. The mimeographing is a pleasure to inspect.

Fritz Leiber, in Voice of the Imagi-Nation issue 1, page 4 (January 1939)

The 1938 LANY fanzine was issued in part by the LASFL, as Leiber addresses their letterzine directly, and another letter in the same issue mentions seeing a sheet in Imagination! advertising a "Robert E. Howard Memorial Volume", for which the writer enclosed 35 cents.[3]


  1. ^ The Hyborian Age on Wikipedia
  2. ^ The Hyborian Age on Wikipedia; editor's introduction in VotIN confirms that Leiber's letter was addressed to the "LANY Co-op"
  3. ^ "John A. Bristol" in Voice of the Imagi-Nation volume 1, page 10 (January 1939)