- Series: Planet Stories Library
- Paperback: 220 pages
- Publisher: Paizo Publishng Inc. (March 25, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1601250819
- ISBN-13: 978-1601250810
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,135,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Northwest of Earth: The Complete Northwest Smith (Planet Stories Library) Paperback – March 25, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The volume opens with the first Northwest Smith story--the darkly sensual "Shambleau" which made her a star when it was published in 1933, just eleven months after Howard's Conan. It ends with the poignant vignette "Song in a Minor Key" which, in the words of writer/editor Karl Edward Wagner, packs a punch "Bruce Lee would have envied."
In between are tales full of adventure and strangeness waiting to bring CL Moore to a much deserved new audience.
The way I've heard it described, with Northwest Smith being a Han Solo prototype, I was expecting good pulpy action with rayguns and gross monsters. It's more like Han Solo nearly getting seduced/killed by Lovecraftian beasties (often disguised as women) and just barely surviving. The writing is much better than I expected, like Michael Moorcock at his pulpy best. The stories are fairly creepy and held my interest. The one gripe I had was that many of them are fairly similar in plot and structure.
In conclusion, creepy: yes, action-packed: no.
The NW Smith stories consist mostly of description. Not much happens, but the inaction is luxuriously described. Here's a taste. "...it was truly dreadful. Dimly he knew it, even as his body answered to the root-deep ecstasy, a foul and dreadful wooing from which his very soul shuddered away--and yet in the innermost depths of that soul some grinning traitor shivered with delight. But deeply, behind all this, he knew horror and revulsion and despair beyond telling, while the intimate caresses crawled obscenely in the secret places of his soul--knew that the soul should not be handled--and shook with the perilous pleasure through it all."
It's like that for pages and pages and pages, all nameless horror and soul-shuddering revulsion and despair, until about five pages from the end NW finally pulls his ray-gun and blasts the obscene perilous crawling ancient evil into smithereens.
Most stories have just four characters:
(1) NW himself;
(2) a female story hook, always aluring and exotic, usually alien, always a slave to, or herself the
(3) indescribable and yet comprehensively described nameless ancient horror;
and (4) NW's best friend and partner in crime, who sometimes shows up at the end to help rouse him from the thrall/sleep of the dreadful eons-old soul-sucking obscenity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
With 'Shambleau', her very first published story in 1933, C. L. Moore (Catherine Lucille Moore: 1911-1987) not only published a classic, but would become a rock star. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mark Louis Baumgart
I'm so glad that a lot of the older science fiction are finally being reprinted. C. L. Moore is one of my favorites, and her Northwest Smith stories are the best of the best! Read morePublished on April 13, 2012 by Bookwyrm
Who killed Northwest Smith? It was John Campbell, who upon becoming editor of ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, created modern science fiction and put an end to weird science fantasy... Read morePublished on February 4, 2012 by David K. Taggart
Northwest of Earth is just a great, entertaining story. I really appreciate the publishers for bringing these stories back into print in the Planet Stories Series. Read morePublished on September 28, 2011 by R. Daniels
This book (we really should try to award Paizo Books for giving these classics of pulp era another lease of life) begins with the ultimate combination of fantasy-horror-science... Read morePublished on September 24, 2011 by RIJU GANGULY
Northwest Smith is one of the true greats of science-fiction characters, he's archetypal. That said, there are some people who will not appreciate these tales as much as I (and a... Read morePublished on September 4, 2010 by John Lees
WARNING: Mild spoilers follow.
After reading about the works of C.L. Moore in a thoroughly obsolete but ceaselessly readable and still useful s-f guide, I found the... Read more
Northwest of Earth is a collection of short stories that loses by repetition. C.L. Moore published several stories in the 1930s featuring Northwest Smith and taken individually,... Read morePublished on July 27, 2010 by Jeremy
Northwest of Earth
This is science fiction by way of H. P. Lovecraft, where ancient evils meet ray guns and iron will. Read more