Other Things: Weird Fiction and Clark Ashton Smith

Anyway, in order to try and keep up the momentum of updating the good old LJ I thought I’d post about other things I’ve been getting up to, instead of just grousing about one thing in my life thats pissing me off lately.

So recently I’ve been doing prop making for Hill 936, which seems to be going okay (fingers crossed), I’ve also been reading an awful lot of really random stuff. Mostly I’ve been going through the two volumes of short stories – Out of Space and Time written by Clark Ashton Smith that gifted me with a while back, and it must be said I’m enjoying reading it for the first time in much the same way I enjoyed reading a lot of Lovecrafts work when I was younger.

I can see the stuff that other people have nicked from this, and I can see more of the back and forth between him and HPL, but also I’m just enjoying reading this weird fiction where I have no idea what’s coming next :) And that’s something to really appreciate. Quite often when I read HPL inspired work I can sort of guess where they’re going with it, because they want to stay within Lovecraft’s framework. However reading Smith is good because he’s much fresher to me and hence the stories still have that feeling where I’m reading them and just about any damn thing can happen

In particular volume 2 opens with The Last Hieroglyph, which (despite some rather overt racism) is a fantastic tale featuring all kinds of wierdness, reading like some kind of strange trip. It’s not a complicated tale, and some of the others beat it for style, I just quite like the ending, the sheer strangeness of it was really rather nice :)

3 thoughts on “Other Things: Weird Fiction and Clark Ashton Smith

  1. mr_jez

    Hussah! Grand to hear you’re enjoying ’em!

    CAS has left us with a rich bouquet of decadent weird tales that nicely complement HPL.

    And having read some you may appreciate ‘Our Lady of Darkness’ by Fritz Leiber, in which the hero purchases a CAS notebook from a run down wee secondhand bookshop in San Francisco… ;o)

    1. mostlyfoo

      Compliment is indeed about right, I like how the style of Lovecraft seems more run down, like the whole world is sort of thread bare and worn out (this reminds me a lot of Chambers King In Yellow actually) whereas for CAS everything seems to be much more fresh, but alien and distorted.

      I do need to read more Leiber, I’ve only really read his Lankhmar stuff, which is excellent and reveals a lot of the bits that were later stolen by other authors style-wise.

      1. bodybag_pilgrim

        Can wave a collected short stories at you. I used to have Our Lady of Darkness, double-packed with Conjure Wife (oh… yeah. Leiber swung between really respectful of women anf having some serious issues.) but that’s buggered off somewhere; regrettably, the same seems to be true of ‘s copy.


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