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Old 05-20-2015   #41
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

I love this man's work. It seems incomprehensible for a human mind to have such vivid imaginations let alone put them into words the way he did. I originally found a lot of his stories off-putting due to their rather abrupt often ironic endings rather than Lovecraft's more tragic endings. I grew to appreciate them though. I've always been fascinated with ancient history, lost civilizations and continents etc since I was a kid so I love a lot of that stuff more than anything. Still my favorite tale of his is "The Nameless Offspring". Incredible atmosphere, sort of reminds me of a Blackwood tale except more visceral. Ghouls were one of his finest creations among many.

I recently bought the audio editions of the Nightshade books from audible.com and was pleasantly surprised. All the readings are great.


Here's a fantastic reading of "The Isle of The Torturers".

“All human thought, all science, all religion, is the holding of a candle to the night of the universe.” –Clark Ashton Smith

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Old 05-21-2015   #42
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Are there any decent horror (rather than dark fantasy with maybe some horror elements) tales of Smith's that I'm missing? I've only read the ones in Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos and the recent(ish) Penguin Classics collection. Genius Loci impressed me quite a bit.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 06-27-2015   #43
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

There's always the poetry, which some people feel was his real strength.

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Old 06-27-2015   #44
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Agony Column Podcast

I've never listened to the whole thing but here's Donald Sidney-Fryer reading out CASmith, Nora May French and George Sterling. Extremely flamboyant.
I've always meant to listen to it soon but I find it difficult to fully comprehend the words with just readings and no text to look at.

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Old 07-26-2015   #45
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

I'd somehow never before read The Colossus of Ylourgne, but what a beautifully twisted fabulist's nightmare I have just witnessed. I am propelling it straight to the top stratum of my CAS rankings, up there with The City of the Singing Flame, The Dark Eidolon, The Double Shadow and The Maze of the Enchanter. I wonder if Clive Barker had read 'Ylourgne' before he wrote his brilliant In the Hills, the Cities.

Do other CAS fans rate this tale highly? The lack of an organised fandom in the manner HPL has makes it hard for me to see any consensus as to his best stories. The Penguin Classics edition achieved a solid approximation, although I'd have included The Isle of the Torturers and several others.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay

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Old 08-29-2015   #46
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

from Night Shade Books:

Night Shade Books is proud to announce that this September we'll be kicking off the publication of brand new trade paperback editions of The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, featuring the complete short fiction of the legendary weird fiction author.

Many of the hardcovers in this series, first published between 2007 and 2011, have been long unavailable since the original printings sold out, and over the years have become quite pricey on secondary markets. Nigh Shade continues to get more inquiries regarding availability of this series than any other title we've released. Now, we're excited to announce that we've come to an agreement with the estate to release new paperback editions of all of Smith's fiction, which includes volumes one through five of the original series, plus the additional sixth volume of miscellaneous writings.
. . . . .
The Collected Fantasies series presents all of Smith's fiction chronologically. Authorized by the author's estate and endorsed by Arkham House, the stories in this series are accompanied by detailed background notes from editors Scott Connors and Ron Hilger, who in preparation for this collection meticulously compared original manuscripts, various typescripts, published editions, and Smith's own notes and letters. Their efforts have resulted in the most definitive and complete collection of the author's work to date.

Here are the announced publication dates for each volume:
Volume One: THE END OF THE STORY--September 2015
Volume Two: THE DOOR TO SATURN--January 2016
Volume Three: A VINTAGE FROM ATLANTIS--May 2016
Volume Four: THE MAZE OF THE ENCHANTER--September 2016
Volume Five: THE LAST HEIROGLYPH--January 2017
THE MISCELLANEOUS WRITING OF CLARK ASHTON SMITH--May 2017

"We work in the dark -- we do what we can -- we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."
--Henry James (1843-1916)
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Old 08-29-2015   #47
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

That's great news Wilum! Any plans to do the same for the Manly Wade Wellman five volume series? The Wellman and Smith sets are my favorite books from Night Shade among an impressive oeuvre.
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Old 08-31-2015   #48
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Just ordered #1 and pre-ordered #2! Refuse to miss out this time!
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Old 09-09-2015   #49
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Picked up the Stephen Jones edited Emperor of Dreams from a secondhand bookshop the other day. Looking forward to reading it.

The Mask Behind the Face, Pendragon Press 2005
Shards of Dreams, Double Dragon eBooks 2004
Spare Parts, Rainfall Books 2003

Stuart Young\''s blog: http://stuartyoungwriter.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 10-14-2015   #50
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Beyond the Singing Flame commits the cardinal sin of dissipating the mystique of the original story. I was so bothered by it that I stopped going through Smith's stories for a long while (I have finished all his fantasies and only have some science-fiction tales left), but this evening I went for a walk to the lake, leaving my house for the first time in a while, and read through Smith's poetry with true diligence rather than treating it as an afterthought after I was done with his fiction.

I fell under Smith's spell utterly. Through my obsessions with writers such as Poe, Aickman or Ligotti I have come to view weird fiction as being at its best when its narratives resemble poetry, and I think that Smith's short stories can be too rigidly defined by pulp conventions to quite match that description. It is in his prose poetry and verse that Smith's art, free from the demon of pulp compromise, is most consistently at its purest and personal , although the best of his short stories are still exceptional fantasies. The Hashish-Eater, From the Crypts of Memory and The Dark Eidolon show his excellence in each of the three forms. It is for jewels such as these and others that I choose to primarily remember Smith for, rather than many of the pulpish sci-fi yarns he wrote to sustain himself and his family financially.

I now need a volume of his collected poetry.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay

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