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The Ultimate Weird Tales Collection - 133 stories - Clark Ashton Smith (Trilogus Classics)

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133 Weird Tales-era works of horror, science fiction and fantasy have been gathered here into one volume, all written by Clark Ashton Smith, who was the third member of the literary circle that included authors Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft. Excluding only fragmentary notes, excerpts and synopses he never finished during his lifetime, this is perhaps the largest sing 133 Weird Tales-era works of horror, science fiction and fantasy have been gathered here into one volume, all written by Clark Ashton Smith, who was the third member of the literary circle that included authors Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft. Excluding only fragmentary notes, excerpts and synopses he never finished during his lifetime, this is perhaps the largest single collection of all his published and unpublished fiction.


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133 Weird Tales-era works of horror, science fiction and fantasy have been gathered here into one volume, all written by Clark Ashton Smith, who was the third member of the literary circle that included authors Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft. Excluding only fragmentary notes, excerpts and synopses he never finished during his lifetime, this is perhaps the largest sing 133 Weird Tales-era works of horror, science fiction and fantasy have been gathered here into one volume, all written by Clark Ashton Smith, who was the third member of the literary circle that included authors Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft. Excluding only fragmentary notes, excerpts and synopses he never finished during his lifetime, this is perhaps the largest single collection of all his published and unpublished fiction.

30 review for The Ultimate Weird Tales Collection - 133 stories - Clark Ashton Smith (Trilogus Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Evgeny

    Lichen, mistletoe, aloft In the dying croft, Leaf the winter trees. Abandoned Plum-Orchard Clark Ashton Smith Clark Ashton Smith was a poet (see above), sculptor, painter, and writer. Speaking about Clark Ashton Smith the writer, he was one of the three major contributors to Weird Tales magazine; the other two being H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. For those completely unfamiliar with his works they can be compared to horror and bizarre offerings from the latter two. This is a full collection of Lichen, mistletoe, aloft In the dying croft, Leaf the winter trees. Abandoned Plum-Orchard Clark Ashton Smith Clark Ashton Smith was a poet (see above), sculptor, painter, and writer. Speaking about Clark Ashton Smith the writer, he was one of the three major contributors to Weird Tales magazine; the other two being H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. For those completely unfamiliar with his works they can be compared to horror and bizarre offerings from the latter two. This is a full collection of his prose; to be really hardcore I even included his unfinished fragments and synopses - yes I read all of them; my ebook has 2000+ pages. I need to be fair and mention that I read two books of the author before so I skipped about 45 of the short stories. To try to give some outline of the stories, or even the most general idea for a book of such length would be an exercise in futility. The short stories belong to multitude of genres: horror - first and foremost, science fiction, fantasy, historical (leaning more to alternative history), romance, mystery, and any combination of these. Heck, I even found a story which can be loosely qualified as a spanking erotica. All of his work took quite a lot of imagination to create and this is probably the only thing in common they all have. Imagination is something Smith had in spades - just read his descriptions of weird and bizarre alien worlds or ancient wonders of forgotten civilizations; he never repeats himself. Something else really stands up because of this - the sense of wonder. I forgot the last time I had it reading a book. It can be horrific and strange, but it is still wonder nonetheless. Modern literature does not aim for wonder substituting it by shock value. His writing style might be described as that of Lovecraft, but I found Smith to be easier read as he does not use as many archaic or exotic words as his better known colleague and friend. At this point the most obvious and natural question comes up: if Smith is such a good writer how comes he is not as popular as his contemporaries and peers I mentioned above: Lovecraft and Howard? I pondered on this for a really long time. My only - and most probably not completely true - explanation would be in creating interesting recurring characters. Howard had Conan the Barbarian who practically became a household name. Lovecraft had Cthulhu and all the related mythology that once again practically became a household name. Smith had none. This is not to say his characters are completely flat and lacking any depth. He created some good ones that get development - as much as it can be done in a short story and that feel 3-dimensional. They still feel like throwaways because none of them appear twice in different stories - I can only recall one exception and in this case the same three guys appeared in only two connected stories. I would really like to see what other reasons for lesser fame of Smith people can think of. The rating for such a diverse and huge set of stories is equally hard to do. There are some really great ones as well as some forgettable ones. I think that on the average it is fair to give 4 stars to his complete prose writings. Sufficient to say I did not get bored reading this mammoth of a book - I read it with only minor interruptions too. I strongly recommend any of his tales to all the fans of H.P. Lovecraft: run, do not walk to get a sample of them. All of his works - poetry, prose, paintings, sculptures, etc. - are available from his official page http://www.eldritchdark.com/. Give his a try if you have not done so before.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Love of Hopeless Causes

    Stories 1 A Copy of Burns 2 A Good Embalmer 3 A Night in Malneant 4 A Platonic Entanglement 5 A rendezvous in Averoigne 6 A Star-Change 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Ward

    I won't even pretend to have read all 133 stories in this collection, but I did read perhaps 33 -- enough that it started to feel repetitive. A small number were quite good, and a few will stick with me, because some of Clark Ashton Smith's ideas are just that weird and decadent. A vengeful dwarfish necromancer unleashes a colossal version of himself made from hundreds of reanimated corpses. An ancient statue of Venus is unearthed at a Benedictine monastery, and her sensual pagan power corrupts I won't even pretend to have read all 133 stories in this collection, but I did read perhaps 33 -- enough that it started to feel repetitive. A small number were quite good, and a few will stick with me, because some of Clark Ashton Smith's ideas are just that weird and decadent. A vengeful dwarfish necromancer unleashes a colossal version of himself made from hundreds of reanimated corpses. An ancient statue of Venus is unearthed at a Benedictine monastery, and her sensual pagan power corrupts the brothers, and lures one monk to a gruesome death. The secretary to an overwrought esoteric scholar assists with an ancient Arabic translation, and later witnesses the return of the man's brother -- in several pieces. In fact, after reading this last story, "The Return of the Sorcerer," in an anthology of weird fiction, I was impressed enough to seek out more; hence, this collection. What will stick with me longer, however, is the fact that CAS is even purpler and more abstruse than his buddy Lovecraft. His indulgence in overwrought, arcane imagery makes much of his work difficult to take seriously, and I frequently laughed aloud when I was meant to be uneasy. In one story, "the gloom was clogged with intangible fear, with webs of stifling oppression." In another, characters drink "a strange wine that was red and dark as if with disastrous sunsets of lost years." And if he can find an archaic synonym, he'll play it; among the gems I highlighted: divagate, enmewed, veridical, energumen and invultuation. Also? The almost entirely extinct adverb "ruthfully." (I once had a professor who jokingly promoted the "Society for Underused Positives," of which "ruthful" was one, so you can see how that might crack me up.) Also problematic for me is that CAS doesn’t develop a strong mythology of his own; though there are some locations and rare magical texts that appear in many of the tales, they don't aggregate into even one proper mystery-shrouded cult. Instead he relies on a vague Orientalism, and the more standard fare of ghouls, madmen, necromancers, vampires and "satanic" worshipers to wreak most of the havoc. Granted, he daringly goes to darker and more ghoulish places than many of his contemporaries, even as far as to suggest cannibalism and necrophilia among the nameless blasphemies in his stories, but it doesn't feel particularly original. It feels like somebody put early Lovecraft and The Monk in a blender and then garnished it with Poe. In the end, any fan of weird fiction should probably be familiar with some of the tales in his prodigious output, but I fear a little bit of Clark Ashton Smith goes a long way.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    Clark Ashton Smith was one of the prominent writers of Weird Tales magazine. Clark Ashton Smith is not as well known as his friends and fellow writers H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, but he should be. Clark Ashton Smith was an excellent prose stylist and his best stories are highly imaginative. This is a complete collection of his stories. While many were good to great, I found others to be minor. The main reason this gets a four star rating is that there are some typographical errors in th Clark Ashton Smith was one of the prominent writers of Weird Tales magazine. Clark Ashton Smith is not as well known as his friends and fellow writers H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, but he should be. Clark Ashton Smith was an excellent prose stylist and his best stories are highly imaginative. This is a complete collection of his stories. While many were good to great, I found others to be minor. The main reason this gets a four star rating is that there are some typographical errors in this production. All in all though, at $1.99 for the Nook or Kindle, it is a great value.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    Plugging a hole in my knowledge of weird fiction. I kind of doubt I'll get through all 133 stories in the collection. At this point, I've read three. So far so good! So, yeah, it turns out 133 is just too many for me to digest, so having read 30 or so, I'm calling it quits for now. But I really enjoyed the stories I read--very imaginative, very action-packed, and way less racist than I feared from a pulp writer working in the 30's.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Isen

    As the name suggests, the book contains 133 stories by Clark Ashton Smith, presumably the entirety of his prose career. I came across the author via Lovecraft's essay, as I suspect most people today would, so I will not abstain from comparing the two in this review. In short, Smith comes out very well. What strikes me most about the collection is the breadth of genre it encompasses. There are medieval horrors and arabesque fantasies. There are tales in the distant future of a dying earth, and the As the name suggests, the book contains 133 stories by Clark Ashton Smith, presumably the entirety of his prose career. I came across the author via Lovecraft's essay, as I suspect most people today would, so I will not abstain from comparing the two in this review. In short, Smith comes out very well. What strikes me most about the collection is the breadth of genre it encompasses. There are medieval horrors and arabesque fantasies. There are tales in the distant future of a dying earth, and the forgotten past of Hyperborea. There is science fiction ranging from the planet hopping expedition variety, to the mad scientist's garage inventions. There is the Lovecraftian staple of a twentieth century man stumbling upon something he really shouldn't have. There are even a couple of love stories. And, with the exception of the romance, they are all masterfully executed. This is perhaps the first author I came across who exhibits such flexibility. He can write anything. Next there is the language. Perhaps this is the author's poet background coming into play, but he manages to write prose that is extremely florid yet never excessively so. The vocabulary is heavy, the metaphors dense, but it's always the right word, and the right metaphor. There is little to criticise. And reading 133 of such masterful compositions back to back is enough to disillusion anyone who fancies himself a good writer. It's so good it's depressing. Finally there is the seemingly inexhaustible imagination. Lovecraft's most successful horrors tend to be nameless, shapeless, inconceivable, as if to give them any concrete description would break the spell over the reader. Smith scoffs at this. All his monstrosities are described in depth. Sometimes he teases the reader by saying something is too terrible to be described, but then proceeds to describe it anyway. And somehow, with some literary legerdemain, this works. His monsters lose nothing by being given concrete form, and the fact that he can do this for 133 stories with very little repetition is staggering. I don't know how to call the feeling when you expect to be disappointed, but are not, but I felt more of that in this book than in anything else I've ever read. So given all that I clearly believe Smith is the superior author, how do I account for him being obscure in comparison to Lovecraft? A boring name is part of it, but I think the main issue is world building. To be sure there are plenty of memorable worlds in this work, but the trouble is they all feel complete. Reading Lovecraft it is easy to feel dissatisfied by something or other, and be motivated to improve on the setting by penning your own edition. And so the Cthulhu mythos gave rise to video games, roleplaying settings, comics, and spinoff tales by other authors (including Smith himself). On the other hand, Smith's stories are already good. Trying to stick your shitty self-insert into them will only show you how shitty your self-insert is. And so Zothique and Hyperborea are consigned to the dustbin of history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    "The sand of the desert of Yondo is not as the sand of other deserts; for Yondo lies nearest of all to the world's rim; and strange winds, blowing from a pit no astronomer may hope to fathom, have sown its ruinous fields with the gray dust of corroding planets, the black ashes of extinguished suns. The dark, orblike mountains which rise from its wrinkled and pitted plain are not all its own, for some are fallen asteroids half-buried in that abysmal sand. Things have crept in from nether space, w "The sand of the desert of Yondo is not as the sand of other deserts; for Yondo lies nearest of all to the world's rim; and strange winds, blowing from a pit no astronomer may hope to fathom, have sown its ruinous fields with the gray dust of corroding planets, the black ashes of extinguished suns. The dark, orblike mountains which rise from its wrinkled and pitted plain are not all its own, for some are fallen asteroids half-buried in that abysmal sand. Things have crept in from nether space, whose incursion is forbid by the gods of all proper and well-ordered lands; but there are no such gods in Yondo, where live the hoary genii of stars abolished and decrepit demons left homeless by the destruction of antiquated hells." This the opening paragraph of 'The Abominations of Yondo' - and it summarises one part of Clark Ashton Smith' work - the fantasy horror stories he wrote. There's some other stories - some Arabian Nights-like and some taking place in what seems to be contemporary Earth - but I usually skip those so I can't tell much about them. His fantasy-horror stories are to me unparallelled by any other writer, provoking images of strangne worlds and places. Beware though: The stories of Clark Ashton Smith are not for every reader's taste.

  8. 4 out of 5

    erika garner

    A wonderful collection. As an avid reader, short story collections are a prize for me and a good collection an ever-sought treasure. In my personal library of thousands of books, my collections have always held special place for me. This collection is certainly ranked amongst my favorites and those I find myself revisiting. They tie in quite nicely with H.P. Lovecraft's works, as well as other authors of that time, and expand the Hyperborean mythos. Whether one reads a story or two occasionally A wonderful collection. As an avid reader, short story collections are a prize for me and a good collection an ever-sought treasure. In my personal library of thousands of books, my collections have always held special place for me. This collection is certainly ranked amongst my favorites and those I find myself revisiting. They tie in quite nicely with H.P. Lovecraft's works, as well as other authors of that time, and expand the Hyperborean mythos. Whether one reads a story or two occasionally or devours great chunks of the collection at each sitting there is much joy to be had and pleasure to be taken.

  9. 4 out of 5

    D.M. Dutcher

    Massive collection of stories from a writer who is unique, but not particularly good. An awesome value, but the stories are even more repetitive than HP Lovecraft. Clark Ashton Smith writes weird tales of science fiction and fantasy, but what is unique is the air of decadence that tends to waft through his work. It's most apparent in his sword and sorcery fiction, but even his science fiction and his mundane tales have it. His tales tend to fall into types though, and maybe illustrating one might Massive collection of stories from a writer who is unique, but not particularly good. An awesome value, but the stories are even more repetitive than HP Lovecraft. Clark Ashton Smith writes weird tales of science fiction and fantasy, but what is unique is the air of decadence that tends to waft through his work. It's most apparent in his sword and sorcery fiction, but even his science fiction and his mundane tales have it. His tales tend to fall into types though, and maybe illustrating one might help. His fantasy tends to star necromancers or other sorcerers, both light and dark, either trying to get their revenge on others, or prevent a horrible revenge on themselves or the world. Very rarely do sword-wielding barbarians or pious priests have any role to play, and sometimes only evil can stop evil, or good win based on evil destroying itself. Sometimes evil wins no matter what, and it would have been better not to do anything at all. That fantasy can be incredibly compelling with some weird and beautiful imagery. A giant white worm floats from the frozen north on a giant iceberg to kill all of humanity; our only salvation is one of the sorcerers it has enslaved. A dwarfish necromancer seeks revenge on the kingdom who persecuted him by animating a gigantic colossus with his soul. In vaguely arabic lands, lamia and vampires prey on the living, cults that devour the dead are mercificul to the living but deadly to their foes. Cursed lands abound, and woe to anyone who enters them, for they will not survive the night. Debauched kings and dead loves combine with drugs, necromancy, black sorcery, and fate to make dark and weird tales. These themes run through even his science fantasy tales. On another planet, a God-plant rules supreme. Woe to the people who try to slay it, for they might lose more than they gain. A particularly chilling tale is just the story of what happens to three mutineers that are exiled on a new planet, and the horrors they face. A man can discover an entirely new dimension, but his first thought is to use it to dispose of the body of a man he murders; getting out may be tougher than he thinks. A gigantic plant on Mars selects some men to spread its gospel, and the price of refusal may be more than anyone can bear. However, this is pulp work, and Ashton Smith doesn't have the style of Lovecraft. His fantasy has a lot of ponderous medievalisms and weird names, and he's not a particularly skilled writer. His strength is in the weird idea and the indolent atmosphere, but beyond that his work is mostly junk. He also lacks the unified mythos of Lovecraft, so as you read the repetition builds a lot faster and the characters blur together. This is definitely an anthology you want to sample instead of read chronologically. There's also some out of place stories which are prosaic, and mostly centered around cheating wives and husbands-possibly early work for more realistic pulps. It's still a good value, and while there are formatting and editing mistakes, the sheer number of stories in the book tend to make such understandable. However, keep in mind this is an uneven collection of a pulp author a bit below Lovecraft, Howard, or Burroughs and adjust your expectations accordingly.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy Wolf

    Still really like Clark Ashton. His "weird tales" are always infused with creepiness, as with sentient plants & mysterious portals to other worlds. He has a bit of a Latinate style, but definitely worth reading. Beware The Goat With A Thousand Young!! Still really like Clark Ashton. His "weird tales" are always infused with creepiness, as with sentient plants & mysterious portals to other worlds. He has a bit of a Latinate style, but definitely worth reading. Beware The Goat With A Thousand Young!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pearce Hansen

    If you don't buy this for your Kindle you're missing out.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael J. Martens

    CAS is my absolute favorite of the Weird Tales writers and I've read most of them!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  15. 5 out of 5

    JMB

  16. 5 out of 5

    Johan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Pittman

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bill Edwards

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Mcletchie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  21. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  22. 5 out of 5

    Evan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Talbot

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ukamikazu

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark Gewiss

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Andrus

  29. 4 out of 5

    mel toland

  30. 4 out of 5

    Colin Gagnon

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