"Out of Space and Time" by Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961) [2014-04-15 Fantasy - authors collection - 519]
Before I make any comments about this excellent collection of Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) stories a big thank you to the University of Nebraska Press and Bison Books for issuing this long out of print edition. The book itself is a trade paperback with a sturdy glossy cover, solidly bound with decent size fonts. This is no shoddy reprint just to make a buck on a book long out of copyright - this is a handsome edition.
The collection "Out of Space and Time" only U.S. publication, prior to the Bison (2006), was in 1942. Candidly the market for exotic fantasy stories in the 1930's was an acquired taste fancied by few readers.
I have red both Bison CAS collections, this one and "Lost Worlds" and can summarize for inquisitive readers my impressions and opinions - concerning Smith's style and the general subject matter of his stories.
· Smith never attended high school but was a self-taught master of language. He employed than knowledge of arcane words throughout his fiction. In fact his stories are peppered with words that will expand your vocabulary to say the least. · Some may be put off by the strange phraseology and word usage Smith employed. · His leisurely paced stories unfold with nuanced details and extensive descriptions. · Occult themes and gruesome descriptions of evil entities and dismemberment are common in his stories.
There are eighteen stories in this collection - all were first published between 1931-37 in pulp magazine. The majority were published in Weird Tales.
I relished reading this collection. As an admirer of Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard I was in familiar territory - in fact CAS was in correspondence with both of these authors.
Highly recommended if you are an devotee to these type stories
Pretty fantastic and glad to have read and learned of CAS. The book is overwhelming in its scope and the size of this man's imagination. He draws each world, each story, each person with incredible depth. An amazing introduction can be found here as well of unusual words. And I think there are few writer's I've ever read that actually put a smell of something awful, the thing you turn your eyes from if you can, that boiling in one's stomach so fully described as to be experienced. His forerunner stories are the sort that always catch my attention (Andre Norton wrote some of my favorites). The deep ideas behind the layers of worlds, the thin veil between them, the unimagined ages and civilizations before ours. The idea of rooms which "exhale a medley of half-forgotten superstitions", poets "regarded as no less anomalous than double-headed snakes or five legged calves", the "vertigo ineffable before the vastness and diuturnity of the cycles of being" - all seem to tell a bit of CAS himself. Where early imaginative books like those of Verne have tried my patience, I found CAS's work to be an impressive collection and a door opened to a early age in this genre, full of "eldritch terrors and forebodings that still murmur in [t]his brain."
Clark Ashton Smith is by far my favorite writer these days and this is a great collection of his work! I have Out of Space and time on my end table next to H.P. Lovecraft's collection of Bloodcurdling tales of horror and the macabre... A perfect combo for that late nite read ;-)
(check out my collection of macabre jewelry and art on [...])
OK, I confess I do not have this book. Even maniacs like me can't afford everything. What I am doing is reproducing the table of contents so potential buyers can compare and see how this collection will fit into their plans. I cannot vouch for the editorial scholarship compared to the Nightshade Books edition. I just gave it 5 stars because, heck, it's CAS!
CLARK ASHTON SMITH: MASTER OF FANTASY XV
OUT OF SPACE AND TIME The End of the Story A Rendezvous in Averoigne A Night in Malneant The City of the Singing Flame The Uncharted Isle
JUDGMENTS AND DOOMS The Second Interment The Double Shadow The Chain of Aforgomon The Dark Eidolon The Last Hieroglyph Sadastor The Death of Ilalotha The Return of the Sorcerer
HYPERBOREAN GROTESQUES The Testament of Athammaus The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan Ubbo-Sathla
INTERPLANETARIES The Monster of the Prophecy The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis From the Crypts of Memory The Shadows
For comparison, here are the contents of A Rendezvous in Averoigne from Arkham House. Of course all the weird tales should be available in the Nightshade Books edition.
The Holiness of Azédarac The Colossus of Ylourgne The End of the Story A Rendezvous in Averoigne The Last Incantation The Death of Malygris A Voyage to Sfanomoë The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan The Seven Geases The Tale of Satampra Zeiros The Coming of the White Worm The City of the Singing Flame The Dweller in the Gulf ["Dweller in Martian Depths"] The Chain of Aforgomon Genius Loci The Maze of Maal Dweb The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis The Uncharted Isle The Planet of the Dead Master of the Asteroid The Empire of the Necromancers The Charnel God Xeethra The Dark Eidolon The Death of Ilalotha The Last Hieroglyph Necromancy in Naat The Garden of Adompha The Isle of the Torturers Morthylla