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Although posthumously famous for the bloody barbarians Kull and Conan, many critics feel that Howard's most memorable hero was this dour Puritan adventurer. Solomon Kane was in fact one of the first series characters created by the prolific pulp writer, who virtually single-handedly created the subgenre of heroic fantasy. Set in the 1600s, these tales are a striking combination of horror and fantastic adventure that remain among Howard's most intense. A lone swordsman on a mission to rid the world of evil, Kane wanders across Europe and Africa, endlessly fighting mad villains, winged vampires, and black magic. Originally published in the legendary pulp magazine "Weird Tales," the stories have been collected in several variant editions. More recent editions have striven to publish the tales as the author originally composed them--utterly merciless and without any hint of light reaching into Howard's unique vision of darkness. --Stanley Wiater