Hyborian Tales

A Collection of Classic Sword & Sorcery Fiction by Robert E. Howard


I wanted to read some Howard stories and looked around online. Much to my surprise I found that Project Gutenberg had transcribed quite a few stories that had passed into the public domain. Total win!

But reading Howard in plain text or ugly HTML just didn't seem right: I wanted to read these stories in a "properly typeset" format instead. Years of experience with LaTeX meant I knew a way to get exactly that, so I started converting the plain text files to LaTeX and designed the basic layout for a "serious" book.

Eventually it dawned on me that others might also enjoy a properly typeset collection of Howard's brand of Sword & Sorcery, so I started thinking in terms of a "definite public domain edition" instead of just a temporary crutch until I was done reading. So I started collecting more of the public domain stories as well as some of the art from the original publications. It's still not quite finished, but it's getting there.


Here are the current goals for the project:

  • Produce a properly typeset edition of all Robert E. Howard Sword & Sorcery stories available in the public domain.
  • Keep to a classic layout/design, don't go overboard with graphical/ornamental elements.
  • Include the original artwork for the stories as far as possible.
  • Do only the minimal editing required for proper typesetting, do not rewrite Howard in any way.
  • Target primarily the 6in x 9in hardcover format supported by lulu.com as POD.
  • Support other layouts as far as possible without sacrificing the primary 6in x 9in layout; layouts suitable for a variety of tablets would be nice.

I am sure these will evolve, but it's roughly what I'd like to stick to at this time.


Here are some "rules" for the LaTeX internals:

  • Avoid unicode in the source files, stick to traditional LaTeX commands for producing the "exotic" characters required by some of the stories.
  • Define commands to take care of certain repetitive layout issues (we're off the mark a little on this right now).
  • Use the appropriate dashes and quote marks throughout.

There's probably more but it'll evolve over time.

I am only using stories and art that are in the public domain. I am crediting the sources as well as the original artists, but this is not meant to imply endorsement by those sources or artists. In particular my mention of Project Gutenberg does not imply that the compilation itself is part of Project Gutenberg.

As for the compilation itself, the work I put into this project, I've chosen to use a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. All contributors must agree to work under that license as well.