I have always enjoyed sword & sorcery fiction, particularly in my youth. Franky, though, I haven't read all that much. Of course, I've read the Conan stories, originally in the Ace editions, then later in their original form. It may be some form of blasphemy but in my youth I enjoyed the non-Howard stories in the collection as well. I also read some of the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories by Leiber and a bit of Elric by Moorcock. I enjoyed his Corum stuff better.
Recently I have been trying to expand my readings with some of the other characters I've been hearing about through the years in order to gain some inspiration for my gaming. I have started reading Gardner Fox's tales of Niall of the Far Travels that were published in The Dragon magazine. I also purchased two volumes recently republished in electronic editions. One is by John Jakes and contains two Brak the Barbarians books.
Young Thongor contains short stories about Thongor's early adventures. The majority of the book are Carter's original stories but there are a couple of tales written by another author.
I've only read three of the stories so far but find they are written in an interesting style that runs in a slightly different direction than my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I have been enjoying the stories but there are some peculiarities. One is that Carter keeps referring to other, particularly later, time periods. For example, he refers to a building that is larger than the Egyptian pyramids which chronologically won't be build for millenia. I find this to be a bit jarring and it breaks the flow of the story for me..
I often hear that an rpg or a setting is based on such-and-such with the serial numbers filed off. I hear this a lot in reference to BoL. Let me tell you though, BoL's author Simon Washbourne filed very lightly when creating this game. It is my understanding that his original version was actually a Thongor game but he couldn't get permission from Carter's estate to run with it. But BoL is the closest you can come without actually having one. I think Mr. Washbourne did an excellent job capturing the feel of the stories and sword & sorcery in general. This only makes me appreciate the game more.