Tuesday, March 01, 2011


By Clark Ashton Smith

This collection from Arkham House showcases short stories by Clark Ashton Smith over a period ranging from the 1910s to the 1950s. The tales are apparently arranged by length with some long space opera yarns up front and shorter Oriental fantasies in the back.

If you are a CAS fan, then this is a must read. The sf tales are fairly basic stuff. They are picaresque shoot-‘em-ups on strange planets. They don’t compare to his much more polished fantasy and horror, though "The Immeasurable Horror" is a good sf-action thriller.

The shorter works manage to pack a punch (not surprising since they lean and mean). The standouts in this collection are "Told in the Desert", "An Offering to the Moon", "Monsters in the Night", and "A Tale of Sir John Maundeville". CAS is rather hard to find these days and relatively little of his work is in print. That’s a pity, but as long as libraries still have copies of his books, you’ll be able to get ‘em on interlibrary loan.
-Dave Hardy

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