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Howard, Robert E.
THE MOON OF SKULLS {Jeff Jones cvr}
1969 abridgement of 1968 book
cvr art:
cvr price:
Jeff Jones
VG+ to near-Fine

A nice copy of the first of 3 collections (in the Centaur Books presentation) of Howard's stories about Solomon Kane - The Moon of Skulls. There have been 3 or more presentations of the "Solomon Kane" stories in book form: the first was a fabulously rare 1968 hardcover (containing 14 novelettes & stories & poems) from Donald M. Grant titled Red Shadows. That had 2 small printings (the 2nd in 1978 was completely reset - with different artwork by Jeff Jones.) Anytime I see one of these on eBay it goes for $100 or more.)

This was divided into 3 paperbacks in 1969-71 by Centaur press: The Moon of Skulls, The Hand of Kane, and Solomon Kane - 2 covers for those were reprints of the cover from the first printing of Red Shadows (or an interior illustration from that book.)

Then Bantam did a 2-volume paperback edition: Skulls in the Stars in 1978, followed by The Hills of the Dead. [All 4 stories from The Hand of Kane (1970) are included in The Hills of the Dead. Any stories that were previously unfinished by Howard were completed by Ramsey Campbell for the Bantam editions.]

[Character introduction - from the back cover of one of the Bantam editions]: "In a world ruled by piracy, stalked by vampires, peopled by cities of the inhuman, he stood tall amid the terrors of the Dark Continent. Kane, a man of savage and unconquerable courage, strode deep into the jungles, forever slashing his diamond-edged rapier as evil guided the creatures of the night toward him. Wicked whispers of death touched him. Haunted horrors of the world beyond life reached for him. But Kane never halted his march, for he would never rest until the final, epic duel between light and dark was waged… and won."
Although I haven't read this volume - I can affirm from the handful of books that I have read by Robert E. Howard, that he was a great storyteller. His stories are fast paced, exciting, and very readable.

Contents for The Moon of Skulls (1969)
(Introduction )
The Moon of Skulls
Skulls in the Stars
The Footfalls Within

"Skulls in the Stars" had been previously collected in Skull-Face (1946). The other 2 have their first appearance in a Howard collection - in Red Shadows (1968.) All originally appeared in Weird Tales, from 1929 to 1931.