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Clark Ashton Smith


ISFDB entry, Wiki entry


(illustrations by incomparable Sydney Sime, 1867–1941)

"The Abominations of Yondo"
(Zothique)
© The Overland Monthly, Apr 1926
--fantasy series : 1996 Locus /12
--/ third place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ shock value


"An Adventure in Futurity"
© Wonder Stories, Apr 1931
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"The Charnel God"
(Zothique series)
© Weird Tales, Mar 1934
Zothique, 1970
--/ cool dark f story
--/ emotion award
--/ shock value

"The Dark Age"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Apr 1938
--/ third place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ style award
--/ emotion award


"The Dimension of Chance"
© Wonder Stories, Nov 1932
Tales of Wonder, Win 1941
Startling Stories, Spr 1946
--/ third place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ style award
--/ adventure award
--/ idea award
--/ awesome scale


"The Dweller in the Gulf"
(also as "The Eidolon of the Blind"
and "Dweller in Martian Depths")
© Wonder Stories, Mar 1933
Unabridged - in
The Dweller in the Gulf, 1987
--/ third place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ idea award
--/ shock value


"The Eidolon of the Blind"
(also as "The Dweller in the Gulf"
and "Dweller in Martian Depths")
© Wonder Stories, Mar 1933
--/ third place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ idea award
--/ shock value


"The Empire of the Necromancers"
(Zothique)
© Weird Tales, Sep 1932
--/ fourth place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ shock value


"The Escape from Mlok"
(also as "The Visitors from Mlok")
© Wonder Stories, May 1933
Tales of Wonder, Win 1935
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"The God of the Asteroid"
(also as "Master of the Asteroid")
© Wonder Stories, Oct 1932
Tales of Wonder, Sum 1940
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ style award


----------------


(left: art by Ian Miller; right: letter from Clark Ashton Smith to H. P. Lovecraft, via)

"I Am Your Shadow"
(also as "Strange Shadows")
© 1940-1941(Weird Tales)
Strange Shadows: The Uncollected Fiction and Essays of
Clark Ashton Smith, 1989, Greenwood Press
--/ fourth place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ humour award
--/ style award


Shadows, clearly misbehaving! This marvelous story was not even published back in its day - it was perhaps intended for the "Weird Tales" magazine when it was written by legendary Clark Ashton Smith in 1940-1941 (it certainly has that special entertaining "weird pulp fiction" feel, plenty of good-natured humour and some appropriately sinister atmosphere). Not sure why it did not end up on pages of "Weird Tales" in the 1940s, but as we have it now, the story exists in three different versions - and in all of them human shadows have a ball mutating, morphing into independent creatures of half-light, mischief and very dubious intentions.

I immensely enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek, perfect noir concoction, and highly recommend it to any fantasy fiction enthusiast as an example of the lighter side of Clark Ashton Smith's work. When he chooses to paint in dark tones, he lays it on really thick and there is enough morbidity to compete with the best of Edgar Allan Poe - but when he switches gears to Henry Kuttner's sort of humour (while retaining his trademark baroque, highly esoteric vocabulary and sophisticated style) - his fiction turns into a sort of treat that would be impossible to put down.

This story is available online for free, so read it here. As a bonus, you can read all three different versions of this story, tracing the development of characters and the evolution of the plot - catching a rare glimpse of a writer's kitchen.
(review by Avi Abrams)

----------------

"The Invisible City"
© Wonder Stories, Jun 1932
Tales of Wonder, Win 1939
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"The Isle of the Torturers"
(Zothique)
© Weird Tales, Mar 1933
Keep on the Light, 1933
--/ fourth place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ shock value


"Marooned in Andromeda"
© Wonder Stories, Oct 1930
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award

"Master of the Asteroid"
(also as "The God of the Asteroid")
© Wonder Stories, Oct 1932
Tales of Wonder, Sum 1940
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ style award


"The Metamorphasis of Earth"
(also as "The Metamorphasis of the World")
© Weird Tales, Sep 1951
--/ third place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ style award
--/ idea award
--/ awesome scale


"Phoenix"
© Time to Come, ed. A. Derleth, 1954
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"The Plutonian Drug"
© Amazing Stories, Sep 1934
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ style award


"Quest of the Gazolba"
(also as "The Voyage of King Euvoran")
(Zothique)
© Weird Tales, Sep 1947
--/ third place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ shock value


"The Scroll of Morloc"
(with Lin Carter)
© Fantastic, Oct 1975
--/ cool f story

"The Seed from the Sepulcher"
© Weird Tales, Oct 1933
Tales Of Science And Sorcery, 1964
--/ second place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award: jungle
--/ idea: alien plants
--/ shock value
--/ emotion award
--/ style award
--/ rare find

"Strange Shadows"
(also as "I Am Your Shadow")
© 1940-1941(Weird Tales)
Strange Shadows: The Uncollected Fiction and Essays of
Clark Ashton Smith, 1989, Greenwood Press
--/ fourth place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ humour award
--/ style award


"To The Chimera" -poem
© Weird Tales, 1941

"The Tomb-Spawn"
(Zothique)
© Weird Tales, May 1934
--/ fourth place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ emotion award
--/ shock value
--/ rare find


"The Visitors from Mlok"
(also as "The Escape from Mlok")
© Wonder Stories, May 1933
Tales of Wonder, Win 1935
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"The Voyage of King Euvoran"
(also as "Quest of the Gazolba")
(Zothique)
© 1933, unabridged - in
The Double Shadow and Other Fantasies,
Auburn Journal 1933;
abridged - in
© Weird Tales, Sep 1947

--/ third place f story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ shock value


"The Witchcraft of Ulua"
(Zothique)
© Weird Tales, Feb 1934
--/ cool f story
--/ wonder award

"Xeethra"
(Zothique series)
© Weird Tales, Dec 1934
Zothique, 1970
--/ cool dark f story
--/ wonder award
--/ emotion award


(illustrations by Sydney Sime via)

--------------------

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EXPLANATION OF THE RATING SYSTEM:

"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.


All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

Our PERSONAL AWARDS (ratings) are highlighted in RED and PURPLE:
--/ first place :
--/ second place :
--/ third place :

--/ fourth place :

--/ cool : (equal to fifth place)
ALL "BEST OF" LISTS ARE LOCATED HERE

These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
- series :
- novella :
- story :
- collection :

Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
exhilarating plot, excitement / action

--/ style award
outstanding literary qualities, inimitable style

--/ romance award
intense and beautiful love / relationships

--/ humour award
funny and cool

--/ emotion award
touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

--/ shock value
altogether wild

--/ awesome scale
mind-boggling; further enhances sense-of-wonder

--/ rare find
very hard to locate, mostly from old pulps, never reprinted, etc.

Again, please feel free to leave your own review or comment under every writer's entry; also recommend us other stories you liked.