H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard: Where next?

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So I've more or less devoured the work of these fellows. A few more odds and ends to finish reading re: Smith, but I think I've read almost all of the Lovecraft in print and all of the Conan & Solomon Kane stories. I'd like to borrow from my uncle the volumes of Lovecraft's letters that I don't have, but until then those are pretty hard to come by.

Who else is good from this era? Moorcock's a bit later, and I've found him to be hit or miss (i.e. i don't care for much outside of the Elric stories.) What little experience I have with Fritz Leiber's stuff has been positive. Maybe I should try to find my White Wolf paperbacks from when I was in middle school.

Special Agent Dale Koopa (orion), Monday, 24 October 2005 15:40 (sixteen years ago) link

If you want more Cthulu mythos stuff, August Derleth's your man.

I do feel guilty for getting any perverse amusement out of it (Rock Hardy), Monday, 24 October 2005 16:56 (sixteen years ago) link

Lord Dunsany seems a natural next step.
There's an excellent introduction to him on Eric Walker's "Great SF & F" site: Lord Dunsany. He's got a great introduction to Mervyn Peake as well, incidentally.

I suppose Ambrose Bierce could be of interest, but he's rather earlier.

Can't say I know Leiber well. I found his classic science fiction novel "The Big Time" to be a pretty useless locked room mystery and it's sort of killed my interest in exploring him further. His short story in Dangerous Visions, "Gonna roll them bones" or something like that, was really quite good though.

Øystein (Øystein), Monday, 24 October 2005 17:08 (sixteen years ago) link

if ya like conan style action sword n sorcery, his Fafhrd & Grey Mouser stories are fun. Those are the only ones I've read, though. And only a few volumes.

I tried reading Dunsany when I was thirteen or so and wasn't getting it. Maybe I try again now.

Special Agent Dale Koopa (orion), Monday, 24 October 2005 17:32 (sixteen years ago) link

Dunsany fantasy stories pretty much are the template for Clark Ashton Smith. Lovecraft's Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath is an homage to Dunsany. Don't overlook Jack Vance either. His Dying Earth stories might as well be Clark Ashton Smith's or Lord Dunsany's. Dunsany and Vance are pretty much the only ones outside the big three Weird Tales guys you mention I'd say for sure check out. Some of what George MacDonald and William Morris wrote in the nineteenth-century is pretty gothic and tripped out. You'd have to use your own discretion at a library or a bookstore though. And if you haven't yet, you might want to check into ER Eddison's Worm Ouroboros, Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, Joy Chant's Red Moon and Black Mountain, Philip Jose Farmer's The Stone God Awakens, David Lindsay's Voyage to Arcturus, and Michael Moorcock's Time of the Hawklords.

Milton Hoberman, Monday, 24 October 2005 20:08 (sixteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
If you want more Cthulu mythos stuff, August Derleth's your man.

he is false Cthulhu Mythos.

DV (dirtyvicar), Sunday, 13 November 2005 02:26 (sixteen years ago) link

one month passes...
I got a Clark Ashton Smith anthology at the junk shop today; sadly not that nice arkham one that's OOP. It is called "The City Of The Singing Flame." It's got stories set in four or so worlds. I started to read the first one on the train, and it is about dimensional travel and I am psyched!

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Tuesday, 10 January 2006 03:00 (sixteen years ago) link

six years pass...

In 1933 Smith began corresponding with Robert E. Howard, the Texan creator of Conan the Barbarian. From 1933-1937, Smith, Howard and Lovecraft were the leaders of the Weird Tales school of fiction, and corresponded frequently although they never met. The writer of oriental fantasies, E. Hoffman Price, is the only man known to have met all three in the flesh.

one dis leads to another (ian), Saturday, 17 March 2012 04:35 (ten years ago) link

Are the Del Rey editions the best, most-definitive REH collections? Hardcovers seem expensive-ish (largely unavailable i think?) and the softcovers are... well, they would get worn out by me, i think, ultimately. paperbacks get damaged in my hands fairly easily. carting them around tears covers ,creases pages, risks water damage.. shudder

one dis leads to another (ian), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 22:29 (ten years ago) link

gollancz put out a definitive edition of his conan stories a couple of years ago - its 'the complete conan' or similar - in hardcover that i picked up used for $5. i think the best omnibus collection of his stuff i could find was an ebook collection w/100 stories on it for $2.

Lamp, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 22:35 (ten years ago) link

fuck an ebook!
that complete conan book looks tempting, but, and this maybe sound like the most lame complaint, i don't really enjoy lugging around or even reading books of that size/length. i'd prefer a set of smaller hardcovers (del reys are mostly OOP) or maybe even the decamp-and-carter-mutilated paperbacks that ace/lancer did; still have a few of those, used to have most of them as a kid.

one dis leads to another (ian), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 22:42 (ten years ago) link

in the last week i've ordered the three available volumes of smith's collected fantasies, plus the volume of his Captain Volmar stories. so much reading to do..

one dis leads to another (ian), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 23:24 (ten years ago) link

part of my impetus to ORDER NOW ORDER NOW is that the first two volumes of CAS's fantasies went out of print and sell for triple digits. stupid. (the complete conan hardcovers from a few years back also sell for stupid money.)

one dis leads to another (ian), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 23:25 (ten years ago) link

yeah i dont have an ereader but the howard omnibus ebook is def the best value for money i could find. i think the only portable ones are those softcovers but ime those tatter really easily sorry buddy

but have you heard of/read any of the robert lynn asprin edited 'thieves' world' story collections? they were published all through the 80s and despite some questionable stuff theyre mostly dope as fuck including the best marion zimmer bradley story ive ever read

Lamp, Friday, 23 March 2012 20:09 (ten years ago) link

also i guess this isnt the thread for it but if you have tipz on any other like late 70s/early 80s 'were spinning our homebrew ad&d campaign setting off into a collection of novels' stuff send em my way

Lamp, Friday, 23 March 2012 20:11 (ten years ago) link

lol, lamp, you don't really want to be reading dragonlance or shannara novels..

one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, 23 March 2012 22:54 (ten years ago) link

to be really real tho, i got heavy into some of those david eddings books as a pre-teen.
and even MORE into the Raymond E. Feist stuff, beginning with Magician..

one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, 23 March 2012 23:19 (ten years ago) link

haha im always kinda tempted by the DRAGONLANCE novels cuz theyre so often available at goodwill but ive so far resisted. although there was an r.a. salvatore trilogy in glorious hardcover once that i hemed and hawed abt picking up and didnt and then regretted (there were some p sweet looken spiders on the cover of one) becuz when i went back for them someone else had snatched those right up

i reread the eddings maybe 5 years ago and it was just drippy as hell despite the many other objections it really lacked any conflict or action it was like an epic fantasy series about ants at a picking up or forgetting to pick up yr dry cleaning

Lamp, Friday, 23 March 2012 23:57 (ten years ago) link

i have the first paperbook in a weiss & hickman trilogy called THE DARK SWORD or something like that, it was p terrible but i liked the final fantasy 6 magic system

i was hoping for more stuff like the thieves world books are michael scott rohan's 'the sword of winter' trilogy which has some p questionable ideas about race/'savagery' but was p dope

Lamp, Saturday, 24 March 2012 00:00 (ten years ago) link

i read not only the weis/hickman dragonlance books but also their seven-book 'the gate cycle' or whatever it was called, i was really into it, somehow i had played a terrible shovelware pointandclick version and found out it was based on SEVEN BOOKS by THE DRAGONLANCE GUYS and i was like mind, blown

i have also read at least one trilogy about drizzt do'urden or whatever he was called

i kind of wonder how much 'our ad&d setting' there stuff was until TSR figured out how to milk that particular cow, though

thomp, Saturday, 24 March 2012 12:35 (ten years ago) link

i played the weiss hickman dos RPG also.
i also read looooooots of dragonlance books as a kid. lamp i will mail u some when i get them from my dad's attic.

one dis leads to another (ian), Sunday, 25 March 2012 18:23 (ten years ago) link

haha thatd be pretty rad actually. i would send you some of thieves' world books but ive become kinda precious about keeping my 'collection' together. i do have piers anthony's incarnations of immortality...

Lamp, Monday, 26 March 2012 21:00 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

wow, Clark Ashton Smith got a volume in the Penguin Classics series this year!

ian, Saturday, 18 October 2014 15:59 (seven years ago) link

I am pretty impressed, good work Penguin.

ian, Saturday, 18 October 2014 16:00 (seven years ago) link

Got it. Still haven't read it though. It is in the long queue.

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 18 October 2014 16:28 (seven years ago) link

There is another Smith collection around, but without the Joshi scholarship.

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 18 October 2014 17:38 (seven years ago) link

from current I FALL...What Are You Reading thread:

Clark Ashton Smith, The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies - New penguin classics collection so I thought I'd check him out. About six stories in and wishing there was more of this type of stuff, from the back cover: "Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams; I crown me with the million-colored sun/ of Secret worlds incredible, and take/ their trailing skies for vestment when I soar." So far there's been a few too many stories that take place in realistic settings. I think its a chronological survey so maybe he wrote the more cosmic strange stuff when was older?

Anindita Banerjee, We Modern People: Science Fiction and the Making of Russian Modernity - Bit of a slog through the first 30 pages of methodology/theory review, but its starting to pick up, excited to hear more about electric trains connecting st. petersburg and beijing, underground through the himalayas and caspian sea, as imagined by random russians in the mid 19th century.)

― hobbes, Saturday, 4 October 2014 06:26 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

dow, Saturday, 18 October 2014 18:11 (seven years ago) link

of course edited by s to fucking joshi

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Saturday, 18 October 2014 22:40 (seven years ago) link

Hasn't he got the market cornered?

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 18 October 2014 22:49 (seven years ago) link

well, yes

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 19 October 2014 00:34 (seven years ago) link

there have been many smith collections issued over the years. arkham house did some and continue todo some. his poetry & and translations of poetry are available in a complete three volume set. nightshade books issued his collected stories in 5 volumes, but the first two volumes went quickly out of print.

ian, Sunday, 19 October 2014 02:26 (seven years ago) link

annnyway, i like smith a lot. it's strange how in some types of fiction i have no tolerance for complicated sentences and extraneous description, but i can't get enough of smith.

ian, Sunday, 19 October 2014 02:29 (seven years ago) link

One I was talking about was The Return of the Sorcerer: The Best of Clark Asthon Smith

Thus We Frustrate Kid Charlemagne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 19 October 2014 02:30 (seven years ago) link

I know exactly what you mean. I used to dismiss all ornate baroque overwriting out of hand, but in recent times I've come to appreciate Jack Vance, who really knows how to do it convincingly.

Thus We Frustrate Kid Charlemagne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 19 October 2014 02:36 (seven years ago) link

smith, vance and gene wolfe all do it wonderfully, but they aren't writing crime novels about tough guys.

ian, Sunday, 19 October 2014 02:40 (seven years ago) link

Still haven't got on the Gene Wolfe bandwagon.

Thus We Frustrate Kid Charlemagne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 19 October 2014 03:05 (seven years ago) link

Just pasting something I wrote on the Ligotti forum...

I have the following collections..

Collected Fantasies Of Clark Ashton Smith 1-5
Miscellaneous Writings (kind of a 6th volume to the above series)
Complete Poetry And Translations 1-3
Nostalgia Of The Unknown (prose poetry)
Sword Of Zagan
Red World Of Polaris
Black Diamonds

I thought that was all the prose and poetry but looking at Internet Speculative Fiction Database, there's a lot more, I think. The contents of the poetry collections haven't been updated yet but it seems like some of his later short stories are only in books like

Strange Shadows: The Uncollected Fiction and Essays of Clark Ashton Smith
The Klarkash-Ton Cycle: Clark Ashton Smith's Cthulhu Mythos Fiction

Can anyone tell me if these are collected in anything else, if they are any good or if they are variants of earlier pieces?

As usual I'm getting ahead of myself, as I've only read a tiny amount of his work

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 22 October 2014 23:39 (seven years ago) link

It's weird but I don't think the complete poetry series collects any prose poetry, which isn't even that much.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 22 October 2014 23:41 (seven years ago) link

There's a ligotti forum?

a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 23 October 2014 01:03 (seven years ago) link


I was hesitant to join at first because I haven't read much Ligotti and am less enthusiastic about forums revolving around one author, but it seems that not everyone there is a Ligotti fan but the attraction is that it's by far the best forum for horror/weird I've seen, also lots of in-depth discussion of philosophy and religion. Lots of poetry too. I've seen some fascinating stuff there.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 23 October 2014 01:38 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

black diamonds and sword of zagan are both pretty plodding reads iirc. i sold my copies... anyway, that's neither here nor there.

but i came to post that the first two volumes of smith's "collected fantasies" are back in print, as paperbacks, in case you're like me and missed out on them before they were selling for $200+

ian, Monday, 15 February 2016 17:12 (six years ago) link

five years pass...

Does anyone rate Ashton Smith's poetry? Joshi does, but then he would.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 10:22 (seven months ago) link

C.L. Moore's Jirel ov Joiry is apparently thee earliest (almost only?) sword & sorcery female chop-chop artist---stories I've come across in anthologies are mind-blowing---def. quality over quantity---wiki sums up: Contents (of original s/t collection)
"Jirel Meets Magic" (Weird Tales 1935)
"Black God's Kiss" (Weird Tales 1934)
"Black God's Shadow" (Weird Tales 1934)
"The Dark Land" (Weird Tales 1936)
"Hellsgarde" (Weird Tales 1939)
A sixth story, "Quest of the Starstone", written in collaboration with Henry Kuttner, teamed Jirel with Moore's science fiction hero Northwest Smith. It was finally collected with the other Jirel stories in the 2007 Black God's Kiss.[1][2]

Algis Budrys noted that while the Jirel stories were among Moore's earliest work, they remained effective more than thirty years later because "the events which occur to Jirel, as she struggles with the half-understood forces of darkness in her quasi-medieval world, are all things that play on the heart of what being you and me is all about."[3]
Aye, and that includes asskicking.
You really can't go wrong with C.L. Moore, it seems, and she had quite a range.

dow, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 17:12 (seven months ago) link

(almost only?) sword & sorcery female chop-chop artist Can't recall having read RAH's Red Sonja stories, though think there's a collection, and a movie.

dow, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 17:17 (seven months ago) link

And I second this, from way upthread: f ya like conan style action sword n sorcery, his Fafhrd & Grey Mouser stories are fun. Also see recent discussion of Jack Vance's sketchy rover Cugel etc., over o the 5000 Posts thread.

dow, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 20:36 (seven months ago) link

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