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To the east was the Hudson. The house had been on a hill, and even the cellar would afford a place of ob- servation. Dust settled down. A few figures moved here and there, bending over, darting in and out of the remaining buildings. She stacked all the rubble she could find around the outside of the cel- lar, reinforced the walls, and piled the porch timber by the door.

Only when she was satisfied that the cellar was well camouflaged did she go inside to wait the month through as they had planned. She knew that others also waited, in caves and debris-ridden shadows, that they purged themselves, nursed their hatred, while outside the bomb dust was night-thick. They would not emerge until hope was dead; until the weak were devoured by the strong, until chaos boiled and despair was daily bread.

For the month Olive and Migma were closed in together. Cast out Olive. Before she could lead the others, she must conquer herself. In the morning, coolly, she made her plans. Olive loved animals. Migma went outside and crouched by the cellar door. She whistled softly, between her teeth, waiting patiently until a small dog slunk across the rubbish, and stood, whimpering. She held out an open can of ham- burgers.

And quick, quick as he circled the can, she stabbed him, and stood staring as the body went limp. Methodically she took out a handkerchief and forced herself to watch as her fingers cleaned the knife of blood. Olive screamed un- til consciousness was nothing but her pain, her tragic bewilderment.

Migma was triumphant. Half-mad, she turned and left the dog there in the open so she would not forget. Looters came like locusts crawl- ing over the dead body of the city. Migma frightened two gangs away, but the third was more desperate, and they barged down the cellar stairs, hooting. She had seen them for days, in the shadows, surveying the cellar, and judging the strength of her defenses. It was twilight when they came.

She heard their muffled voices outside, and hid be- hind the washer, her gun ready, breathing softly. The oth- ers stood unbelievingly, looking from her to the body. They ran, shoving against each other, and she winged one just as he reached the door. When they left she looked down at the body, at the brown, muddy hairs that leapt upward from the blood-filthy shirt. He had been. A taxi driver, a salesman? The delicate mechan- ism of his anatomy was forever shattered.

He had breathed in and out only a few moments before. He had been conscious of what? Her figure in the darkness, the nearness of food, the sound of his footsteps on the cement cellar floor. Tears wet her lashes. Then she remembered her purpose.

She hung it on a post, by the dog. Bobby was already waiting out- side when Cynthia arrived at the school. She tried to make him hur- ry, but he was trading marbles and cried when she took his hand. Cars were lined up at the curb, and horns blowing. Someone threw a snowball. It hit Bobby, and he cried, and dropped his marbles in the snow. They crossed the street just as the light changed, and were halfway down the block when someone screamed, and the flash came. With- out thinking, she threw Bobby down in the gutter and shielded him with her body.

There was a moment before time closed in; a sucking up of creation before the blast shattered itself and the street to fragments. A tree fell on the other side of the sidewalk. The living room was still there. She laughed, crazily, and ran to the kitchen for water. Cold water would bring him back to consciousness. It would, it would, she whispered, refusing to accept his stillness.

The kitchen ceiling lay in heaps on top of the refrigerator and stove. It blocked the doorway. Outside the world pulsed, shrank, exploded again. This is the time to remember. The day of vengeance. Release your memory , her mind said.

Angrily she shoved the thought away. What a foolish thing to think, with Bobby sick, and needing her. Her baby needed her. Shall I tell you a story? She coaxed and pleaded and told him more stories and combed his matted hair. She bent over and listened for his heartbeat. When she touched him she began screaming. Two days passed. Her husband never came home. Rise and cast out Cynthia. She hummed, loud, to blot out the words. She counted, slowly, to a hundred, she recited the alphabet.

But her mind had more strength. Release your memory , it com- manded, and finally, when she could fight it no longer, she re- membered the initiation, and all the meetings in between up to the present. But it had all happened so long ago.

Her world was gone. There was nothing left to fight for. Olive would know what to do. Olive was the only person she had left, and Win. If they were alive. The streets were mazes of debris. People called out to her as she ran. Hands grabbed out toward her, but she hastened her footsteps, and shoved them away. She and Olive had sipped coffee and watched from the porch. And where was the house now? And how could you tell one rub- bish heap from the other?

She stopped crying long enough to poke around in the debris. The cellar door was hidden. But it had to be there. She pulled Cynthia inside, quick, not speaking. Her dress was ripped, bloodstained, and her del- icately boned face pale. Are your. Go there and stay there. Get a hold of yourself. She made the words bitter to hide her own weakness. Cynthia shrank back against the wall.

Dead, Olive! You are Fion, reborn in the sisterhood with a new name. Stop it! You are Fion now. By the middle of the month, the radio went dead. The United States, England, Russia, all these were less than names, syllables car- ried on the wind with no mean- ing, to be merged in the mind with the fables of Atlantis and Babylon. The erratic screams no longer rent the air with demoniac punctuation.

Silence dropped down upon the mouth of Albany like a hand smothering all breath. And when the month was through, Migma was ready, purged, hate-strong, a sorceress, and about her neck the chestnut beads. It is an act of cruelty , an act of hatred against the darkness. She spoke the words aloud and prepared to leave. The air was crisp, and the ruins were still. She took her ri- fle, pistol, a kit of supplies and looked back once to where the house had been, the porches and green lawns.

Here and there broken towers stuck up like deformed claws. Bodies in various stages of decom- position littered the landscape. A jeep was what she wanted. It took three hours for her to find one that was usable, and this in a garage.

The streets yielded only empty hulks, dead chrome beetles with headlights staring upward. The roof of the garage was bashed in, but she found gas and drove the jeep out from underneath the rubble. The garage collapsed in a heap behind her. VI There had been no time for an exodus. There was no evidence of refugees on Route 9W.

For the first time in years the road was silent, uneasy, wondering what had hap- pened to the tourists that sped, in past times, to Saratoga Springs, Saranac Lake, and Montreal. The gasoline stations that lined the highway were quiet. The motels had no guests. Here and there a few deer crossed the white road. Ten miles above Albany Migma left the road and drove across country toward the river. The meeting place was on a hill. She parked the jeep and surveyed the land. Her footfalls crunched dry leaves; chipmunks scurried for shelter, and here and there a few patches of snow showed through the pines.

Below, in the Hudson, gray water rushed beneath thin layers of December ice. She could be herself now for the last time. Cynthia and Win arrived in the morning. Migma wanted to rise up and greet them, recall their old friendship, the quiet ritual of their days. But she sat, impassive, star- ing, and when they approached, she stood up. What are you staring for? But then none of us do. I waited.

Then she slapped her, hard, and stood staring as she sprawled on the ground. The Olives and the Cynthias are dead. I am Migma, the Bundu, the She-Devil. She stood as straight as Migma, her face scarred, staring rigidly for- ward. Her head was completely bald, and her brows singed. They stared at each other a moment, a circuit of strength between them. The three women sat down. Between Migma and Hesta the silence was complete.

They knew, without speaking, that they were united in strength and purpose. Cynthia bit her lips and plucked bits of grass and pine from her dirty skirt. Hesta looked up. He was nearly six. I was going to ask you both to his party. I got him a new suit. You should have seen it. His daddy.

Make yourself useful. They drank the black liquid from tin cups, and opened a can of pork and beans. When Cynthia fell into an exhausted sleep, Migma and Hesta sat up, talking, but restrained, unsure of the new relationship. They came, the others, in twos and threes all during the week. They squatted in the forest, weary- eyed and lean, disheveled and for- saken, these women who had been impeccably dressed housewives, clerks, secretaries and teachers.

They drank old supermarket cof- fee from tin cups, guzzled cans of pork and beans, made beds from prickly pines and slept in the open — these women accustomed to feather mattresses, immaculate kitchens, and quiet rooms.

Their eyes were listless, their faces scarred and broken. They had come because there was no other place to go. And one by one, in that first week, they were put to trial. But Migma most of all, for it was she who must com- mand them, who must bend them to her will. And those who did not pass the trials were stoned and banished, and Migma knew this was a death sentence, and forced herself to throw the first stone.

Even against Fion, when the third night came. As the ceremony began, Migma stood before them and chanted the necessary words. We must be purged and beaten dry. Only hate at our bosom lie. Hat our heart , deny our breast Till vengeance only bring us rest.

Blood of bat, entrails all, Between our teeth the bitter gall. Hate alone will make the earth Regurgitate its dead to birth. And Cynthia stood, trembling, in the center of the circle. In her faltering fingers a knife flashed, and before her a trapped kitten spat.

She looked at them, at the hard-set, bitter-worn, sorrow-froz- en faces, and her hands fluttered, and she looked down at the kitten, and back at them again. Then, with a strange courage of her own, she dropped the knife. The cat meowed, leapt up, scratched her face and sprang down. Her hand reached to her face and there was blood on her fingers. She stood there unbelieving, Cynthia who could not change, and they chased her, jeering, to the end of the forest, and threw her a kit of supplies and left her there.

After, Migma walked past the several huts they had already con- structed. Huddled together, in groups, the others watched her as she passed. Hesta disentangled her- self from one of the gatherings. But Migma gestured toward the city. There is no room for weakness in this world. Hatred must purify us. We must wreak our vengeance upon man, drive him on with ha- tred. You know that. Purge yourself. And so did I. And Migma turned in anger.

To- morrow she would give orders for supply groups to start out, for the traps to be laid. Tomorrow they would be ready for the stragglers, the survivors, and already the huts were built that would house sep- arately the men and the women. Her training was over. Now she could lead them through vengeance until once more the hearth fires burned. And she sat alone, Migma, the Bundu, the She-Devil, fingering her chest- nut beads.

In a poignant September song, Mr. Young's sensitive mind contem- plates the future of the prestige car , the philosophical bartender, the little red teleschool, and man's inhumanity to androids. She made Danby think of desks and erasers and autumn leaves; of books and dreams and laughter. The proprietor of the little second- hand store had adorned her with a gay-colored dress and had slipped little red sandals on her feet, and she stood in her upright case in the window like a life-size doll waiting for someone to bring her to life.

Danby tried to move on down the spring street to the parking lot where he kept his Baby Buick. Laura probably had his supper all dialed and waiting on the table for him and she would be furious if he was late. But he went right on standing where he was, tall and thin, his youth not quite behind him, still lingering in his brown, wistful eyes, showing faintly in the softness of his cheeks.

His inertia annoyed him. Danby tried to face the question. Did he want a schoolteacher? Well hardly. Antiques of every description were scattered about the interior of the store. The proprietor was a little old man with bushy white hair and gingerbread eyes. He looked like an antique himself. But forty-nine ninety-five!

And she could cook and sew too! Brand new batter- ies, brand new motors. Her tape6 are good for another ten years yet, and her memory banks will prob- ably last forever. Danby helped the old man push it out of the window and into the store. They stood it by the door where the light was brightest.

The old man stepped back ad- miringly. Funny the way you can always tell. The activator was a tiny button, hidden behind the left ear lobe. Show us how nice you walk. Then she returned and stood wait- ing by the door. Danby found it difficult to talk.

The living room was preempted by a pink- coated pitchman who had invited himself in via the " screen and who was loudly proclaiming the superiority of the new Lin- colnette convertible. A school- teacher. George, are you crazy? What does she know about teleducation?

They — They used to hit kids! He was delighted at the way she responded to his instructions as to which buttons to push, which lev- ers to raise and lower, which in- dicators to point at which numer- als — Supper was off the table in a jiffy and back on again in the wink of an eye, all warm and steaming and delectable. Even Laura was mollified. Danby decided he could have done far worse. He put his finger under her chin and kissed her. Glancing up from the table, he saw his son standing in the doorway, staring balefully at Miss Jones who was busy with the coffee.

Danby laughed. The other half could be taken care of later. But he gave Miss Jones a wide berth as he walked into the kitchen and took his place at the table. Romeo Montague twisted a ciga- rette with deft fingers, put it be- tween sombrero-shadowed lips and lit it with a kitchen match. Then he guided his sleek palomino down the moonlit hillside to the Capulet ranch house. He had noth- ing against rewriting the classics but it seemed to him that the re- write men were overdoing the cat- tlemen-sheepmen deal.

They were hunched forward in their viewchairs, gazing raptly at the " screen. So maybe the re- write men knew what they were doing at that. Even Miss Jones seemed inter- ested. She couldn't be interested. No mat- ter how intelligently her blue eyes might be focused on the screen, all she was doing, really, was sit- ting there wasting her batteries.

There was an element of cruelty in depriving her of life, even temporarily. Now there was a ridiculous no- tion, if ever a man had one. By the time he regained it, Romeo had scaled the wall of the Capulet rancho, had crept through the orchard, and was standing in a gaudy garden be- neath a low balcony. Juliet Capulet stepped onto the balcony via a pair of anachronistic french doors. She was wearing a white cowgirl — or sheepgirl — suit with a thigh-length skirt, and a wide-brimmed sombrero crowned her bleached blond tresses.

She leaned over the balcony railing, peered down into the garden. He remem- bered suddenly what the propri- etor of the secondhand store had said about her responding to scenes and situations as well as words. Both Laura and Billy, he noticed, had turned from their visual re- past and were regarding Miss Jones with disbelieving eyes.

The moment was a critical one. He cleared his throat. You see, nobody would watch it in the original, and if no one watched it, what would be the sense of anyone sponsoring it? The disbelief in her eyes had been replaced by furious re- sentment. Hastily he returned his attention to Miss Jones. People like them, so naturally sponsors sponsor them and writ- ers go way out of their way to find new material for them.

He felt ashamed somehow as he walked over to where Miss Jones was sit ting and felt for the little button behind her left ear. She regarded him calmly, her hands resting mo- tionless on her lap, her breath com- ing and going rhythmically through her synthetic nostrils. It was like committing murder. Danby shuddered as he returned to his viewchair.

He looked at the screen, tried to become interested in the play. It left him cold. The next program featured another play — a whodunit entitled Macbeth. That one left him cold, too. He kept glancing surreptitiously at Miss Jones. Her breast was still now, her eyes closed. The room seemed horribly empty. He stood up. He backed the Baby B. It stood for some- thing he had lost somewhere along the line, something indefinable, something intangible; something he desperately needed now — Danby wheeled the Baby B.

The place was crowded but he managed to find an empty stall. Inside, he slipped a quarter into the dispenser and dialed a beer. The stall was stuffy and smelt of its last occupant — a wino, Danby decided. He wondered briefly how it must have been in the old days when barroom privacy was un- heard of and you had to stand el- bow to elbow with the other pa- trons and everybody knew how much everybody else drank and how drunk everybody else got.

Then his mind reverted to Miss Jones. There was a small telescreen above the drink-dispenser, and be- neath it were the words: got trou- bles? Danby slipped a quarter in the coin slot. Be with you in a min- ute. Not too bad. You guessed it. And then I thought she — this is a special schoolteacher, you understand, Fred — I thought she could help Laura around the house. Things like that. His voice trailed away as he raised his eyes to the screen. Friendly Fred was shaking his friendly face solemnly.

His pink jowls waggled. You get rid of that teacher. Get rid of her. Those android teachers are just as bad as the real old-fashioned kind — the kind that really breathed, I mean. You know what, George? They usta hit kids. He finished his beer and left. Did everybody hate schoolteach- ers? Danby pondered the paradox all next day at work. Fifty years ago it had looked as though android 37 teachers were going to solve the educational problem as effectively as reducing the size and price of the prestige-cars at the turn of the century had solved the economic problem.

And how could you ap- propriate enough money to build new schools when the country was in constant need of newer and better super-highways? When you came right down to it, you had to take your hat off to the cereal companies. In introduc- ing teleteachers and teleducation, they had saved the day. But the best part of the whole ingenious system was the happy fact that the cereal companies paid for everything, thereby absolving the taxpayer of one of his most onerous obligations and leaving his pocketbook more amenable to salestax, gas tax, tolls, and car- payments.

And all the cereal com- panies asked in return for their fine public service was that the pu- pils — and preferably the parents, too — eat their cereal. A schoolteacher was an anathema because she symbolized expense; a teleteacher was a re- spected public servant because she symbolized the large economy-size package. But the difference, Dan- by knew, went much deeper. While schoolteacher-hatred was partly atavistic, it was largely the result of the propaganda campaign the cereal companies had launched when first putting their idea into action.

They were responsible for the widespread myth that android schoolteachers hit their pupils and they still revived that myth occa- sionally just in case there was any- body left who still doubted it. Danby was an exception. Unless Androids, Inc. Androids, Inc. Look at what excellent service station attendants they made.

Look at what fine ste- nographers, waitresses, and maids they put on the market. Of course neither the average man starting out in business nor the average householder could af- ford them. He had never seen her cheeks so pinched, her lips so thin. Danby whitened. Miss Jones apparently had gone on an intellectual rampage from the moment Laura had turned her on in the morning to the moment Laura had turned her off.

Accord- ing to Miss Jones, everything in the Danby household was wrong, from the teleducation programs Billy watched on the little red TV set in his room and the Morning and Afternoon programs Laura watched on the big TV set in the living room, to the pattern of the wallpaper in the hallway little red Cadillettes rollicking along in- terlaced ribbons of highways , the windshield picture window in the kitchen, and the dearth of books.

Billy was watching his lessons du- tifully, sitting at his little desk as nice and quiet as you please, ab- sorbed in the efforts of the cow- boys to take the Indian village of Troy, when all of a sudden Miss Jones swept across the room like a mad woman, uttered her sacri- legious remark about the alteration of the Iliad , and turned off the set right in the middle of the lesson. That was when Billy had begun to scream and when Laura had burst into the room and found Miss Jones gripping his arm with one hand and raising her other hand to deliver the blow.

Why, she might have killed him! Then I shut her off and closed the cover. The heroine of the Western Hour was a dance hall girl — a blonde named An- tigone. Seemed that her two broth- ers had killed each other in a gun fight and the local sheriff — a char- acter named Creon — had permit- ted only one of them a decent buri- al on Bpot Hill, illogically insist- ing that the other be left out on the desert for the buzzards to pick at.

He got behind the wheel and drove down to the boulevard, then up the boulevard, with all the windows open and the warm wind washing around him. The hot dog stand on the cor- ner was nearing completion. He glanced at it idly as he turned into the side street. He had quite a few beers, standing there at the lonely little bar, and he did a lot of thinking.

The blue eyes regarded him un- waveringly, the lashes fluttering at rhythmic intervals, the pupils grad- ually adjusting themselves to the living room lamp Laura had left burning. I believe the clause is in my guarantee. His voice felt thick and his words kept running to- gether.

He swayed a little, weaved back into the living room on rubbery legs. He watched her step out of her case and walk across the room. There was something odd about the way she walked. Her step was no longer light, but heavy; her body no longer delicately balanced, but awry. With a start, he realized that she was limping. She sat down on the couch and he sat down beside her. Then, subtly, the redness dis- sipated before the dawning realiza- tion that here in his hand lay the very weapon he had needed: the psychological bludgeon with which he could quell all further objection to Miss Jones.

But a little of the redness still remained and it was permeated with regret. I was quite astonished today when I learned that those horrid programs that he watches consti- tute his entire educational fare. His teleteacher is little more than a semi-civilized M. I can understand now why your writers have to revert to the classics for ideas. Their creativity is snuffed out by cliches while still in its embryo-stage.

He had never heard anyone talk that way before. But sitting there beside her, watching her lips move, seeing her lashes descend ever so often over her blue blue eyes, it was as though September had come and sat in the room. Suddenly a feel- ing of utter peace engulfed him. The rich, mellow days of Septem- ber filed one by one past his eyes and he saw why they were differ- ent from other days. The moment was so poignantly sweet that Danby never wanted it to end. The very thought of its passing racked him with unbear- able agony and instinctively he did the only physical thing he could do to sustain it.

She did not move. It was a burlesque, really — tawdry, cheap, the beauty of the lines cor- rupted and obscured. At the close of the bal- cony scene, when the two lovers are parting, Juliet says, ' Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow! And Romeo answers: ' Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast! Would 1 were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!

Shay — say the lines again please, Miss Jones. He could see Laura well enough, anyway, from where he was sit- ting. Laura standing in the living room doorway in her new Cadil- lette pajamas and her bare feet that had made no sound in their sur- reptitious descent of the stairs. The two-dimensional cars that com- prised the pajama pattern stood out in vermilion vividness and it was as though she was lying down and letting them run rampant over her body, letting them defile her breasts and her belly and her legs And he realized with sudden shocking clarity that in the world in which he lived Septem- ber had been dead for decades, and he saw himself in the morn- ing, loading the case into the Baby B.

Is something wrong? Laura had begun speaking to him by then, and the world, while not quite the same as it had once been, had at least taken on some of the aspects of its former self. It was a clear June night and the stars were crystal "pinpoints high above the fluorescent fire of the city. The hot dog stand on the corner was finished now, and open for business.

Several customers were standing at the gleaming chrome counter and a waitress was turning sizzling wieners over a chrome charcoal brazier. There was something familiar about her gay rainfall of a dress, about the way she moved; about the way the gentle sunrise of her hair framed her gentle face — Her new owner was leaning on the counter some distance away, chatting with a cus- tomer.

He had reached the section of the counter where the owner was standing and he was about to lean across the polished chrome and slap the smug fat face, when he saw the little cardboard sign propped against the chrome mus- tard jar, the sign that said, man wanted. A hot dog stand was a long way from being a September classroom, and a schoolteacher dispensing hot dogs could never quite compare to a schoolteacher dispensing dreams; but if you wanted something bad- ly enough, you took whatever you could get of it, and were thankful for even that.

He donned the apron the owner handed him and joined Miss Jones in front of the charcoal brazier. She turned her head and the blue eyes seemed to light up and her hair was like the sun coming up on a hazy September morning. Howard Phillips Lovecraft , who was lucky in so few things in this life, was at least fortunate after death in his literary executor.

Us place in American letters. In this story the collaborator was inspired to introduce, as the protagonist of a projected Lovecraft story, the author himself. Shaping the figure lovingly from personal memory, strengthening it with excerpts from H. This, like the house on Angell Street where Phillips lived, had be- longed to his grandfather.

Phillips was then thirty, and in indifferent health, though this was but a continuation of the sickliness which had so often made his child- hood miserable. Phillips had become a writer for the pulp mag- azines, and had eked out a spare living by undertaking in addition the revision of countless almost hopeless manuscripts of prose and verse by writers far more amateur than he, who sent them to him, hopeful that through the miracle of his pen they in turn might see their work in print.

His sedentary life had weakened his resistance to disease; he was tall, thin, wore glasses and was prey to colds and once, much to his embarrassment, he came down with the measles. He was much given on warm days to wandering out into the country where he had played as a child, taking his work outdoors, where often he sat on the same lovely wooded riverbank which 45 had been his favorite haunt since infancy.

This Seekonk River shore had changed not at all in the years since then, and Phillips, who lived much in the past, believed that the way to defeat the sense of time was to cling close to unaltered early haunts. As a result of these diurnal ex- cursions, Phillips worked far into the night, and the lamp, because he had long ago given up the use of electricity to conserve his meager income, would be of use to him, for all that it was of an odd shape and manifestly very old.

It had once been the property of a certain half-mad Arab, known as Abdul Alhazred, and was a product of the fabulous tribe of Ad — one of the four mysterious, little-known tribes of Arabia, which were Ad of the south, Tha- mood of the north, Tasm and Jadis of the center of the peninsula. It had been found long ago in the hidden city called Irem, the City of Pillars, which had been erected by Shedad, last of the despots of Ad, and was known by some as the Nameless City, and said to be in the area of Hadramant, and, by others, to be buried under the age- less, ever-shifting sand of the Ara- bian deserts, invisible to the ordi- nary eye, but sometimes encoun- tered by chance by the favorites of the Prophet.

It may bring pain on the same terms. It is the source of ecstasy or terror. It was meant for burning oil, and seemed to be of gold. It had the shape of a small oblong pot, with a handle curved up from one side, and a spout for wick and flame on the other. Many curious drawings dec- orated it, together with letters and pictures arranged into words in a language unfamiliar to Phillips, who could draw upon his knowl- edge for more than one Arabian dialect, and yet knew not the lan- guage of the inscription on the lamp.

Nor was it Sanskrit which was inscribed upon the metal, but a language older than that— one of letters and hieroglyphs, some of which were pictographs. Phillips worked all one afternoon to polish it, inside and out, after which he filled it with oil.

That night, putting aside the can- dles and the kerosene lamp by the light of which he had worked for many years, he lit the lamp of Al- hazred. Ordinarily, however, the archaic ap- pealed to Phillips. He had an idea of im- personal pageantry and time-and- space-defying fantasy which had al- ways from his earliest consciousness been so inextricably bound up with his inmost thought and feeling that any searching transcript of his moods would sound highly artifi- cial, exotic, and flavored with con- ventional images, no matter how utterly faithful it might be to truth.

Always in his mind was a picture of himself at three, looking across and downward from a railway bridge at the densest part of the city, feeling the imminence of some wonder which he could neither describe nor fully conceive — a sense of marvel and liberation hiding in obscure dimensions and problematically reachable at rare in- stances still through vistas of an- cient streets, across leagues of hill country, or up endless flights of marble steps culminating in tiers of balustraded terraces.

But, however much Phillips was inclined to re- treat to a time when the world was younger and less hurried, to the eighteenth century or even farther back, when there was still time for the art of conversation, and when a man might dress with a certain ele- gance and not be looked at askance by his neighbors, the lack of in- 47 vention in the lines over which he struggled, and the paucity of ideas, together with his own weariness, soon combined to tire him to such an extent that he found it impos- sible to continue, and, recognizing that he could not do justice to these uninspired lines, he pushed them away at last and leaned back to rest.

Then it was that he saw that a subtle change had come upon his surroundings. The familiar walls of books, broken here and there by windows, over which Phillips was in the habit of drawing the curtains tight so that no light from outside — of sun or moon or even of the stars — in- vaded his sanctuary, were strangely overlaid not only with the light of the lamp from Arabia, but also by certain objects and vistas in that light.

Wherever the light fell, there, superimposed upon the books on their serried, shelves, were such scenes as Phillips could not have conjured up in the wildest recesses of his imagination. But where there were shadows — as, for instance, where the shadow of the back of a chair was thrown by the light upon the shelves — there was nothing but the darkness of the shadow and the dimness of the book on the shelves in that darkness. Phillips sat in wonder and looked at the scenes unfolded be- fore him.

He thought fleetingly that he was the victim of a curious optical illusion, but he did not long entertain this explanation of what 48 he saw. Nor, curiously, was he in want of an explanation; he felt no need of it. A marvel had come to pass, and he looked upon it with but a passing question, only the wonder of what he saw. For the world upon which he looked in the light of the lamp was one of great and surpassing strangeness. It was like nothing he had ever seen be- fore, nor like anything he had read or dreamed about.

It seemed to be a scene of the earth when young, one in which the land was still in the process of being formed, a land where great gouts of steam came from fissures and rocks, and the trails of ser- pentine animals showed plainly in the mud. High overhead flew great beasts that fought and tore, and from an opening in a rock on the edge of a sea, a tremendous animal appendage, resembling a tentacle, uncoiled sinuously and menacingly into the red, wan sunlight of that day, like a creature from some fantastic fiction.

Then, slowly, the scene changed. The rocks gave way to wind-swept desert, and, like a mirage, rose the deserted and hidden city, the lost City of the Pillars, fabled Irem, and Phillips knew that, while no human foot any longer walked the streets of that city, certain terrible beings still lurked among the an- cient stone piles of the dwellings, which stood not in ruins, but as they had been built, before the peo- ple of that ancient city had been FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION destroyed or driven forth by the things which came out of the heav- ens to lay siege to and possess Irem.

Yet nothing was to be seen of them; there was only the lurking fear of a movement, like a shadow out of time. And far beyond the city and the desert rose the snow- capped mountains; even as he looked upon them, names for them sprang into his thoughts. And he enjoyed keenly bestowing names upon these landscapes, for they came to him with' ease, they sprang to his mind as if they had always been lingering on the peri- meter of his thoughts, waiting for this moment to come to being.

He sat for a long time, his fas- cination unbounded, but presently a vague feeling of alarm began to stir in him. The landscapes passing before his eyes were no less of the quality of dreams, but there was a disquieting persistence of the malign, together with unmistak- able hints of horrible entities which inhabited those landscapes; so that finally he put out the light and somewhat shakily lit a candle, and was comforted by its wan, familiar glow.

He pondered long on what he had seen. What Phillips had seen, he was convinced, were landscapes known to Alhazred. But how inadequate this explanation was! And how perplexed Phillips grew, the more he thought of what he had seen! He turned at last to the work he had put aside and lost himself in it, pushing back from his aware- ness all the fancies and alarms which clamored for recognition. Late next day, Phillips went out into the October sunlight, away from the city. He took the car-line to the edge of the residential dis- trict and then struck out into the country.

He was less than three miles from the heart of the city, and yet basked in the primal rural New England of the first colonists. Just before sunset, he climbed the hill by a precipitous cartpath bor- dering an old wood, and from the 49 dizzy crest obtained an almost stupefying prospect of outspread countryside, gleaming rivulets, far- off forests, and mystical orange sky, with the great solar disc sinking redly amidst bars of stratus clouds.

Entering the woods, he saw the actual sunset through the trees, and then turned east to cross the hill to a more familiar cityward slope which he had always sought. From some of the hidden interior meadows — remote from every sign of nearby human life— he secured truly marvelous glimpses of the remote urban skyline — a dream of enchanted pinnacles and domes half-floating in air, and with an obscure aura of mystery around them.

The upper windows of some of the taller towers held the fire of the sun after he had lost it, affording a spectacle of cryptic and curious glamor. His route across the plateau was varied — sometimes through the interior— sometimes getting toward the wooded edge where dark valleys sloped down to the plain below, and huge balanced boulders on 50 rocky heights imparted a spectral, druidic effect where they stood out against the twilight.

He came finally to better-known ground, where the grassy ridge of an old buried aqueduct gave the illusion of a vestigial Roman road, and stood once more on the fa- miliar eastward crest which he had known ever since his earliest child- hood. Before him, the outspread city was rapidly lighting up, and lay like a constellation in the deep- ening dusk. The moon poured down increasing floods of pale gold, and the glow of Venus and Jupiter in the fading west had grown in- tense.

The way home lay before him down a steep hillside to the car-line which would take him back to the prosaic haunts of man. But throughout all these halcyon hours, Phillips had not once for- gotten his experience of the night before, and he could not deny that be looked upon the coming of darkness with an increased antici- pation.

The vague alarm which bad stirred him had subsided in the promise of further nocturnal adventure of a nature hitherto un- known to him. He ate his solitary supper that night in haste so that he could go early to his study where the rows of books that reached to the ceiling greeted him with their bland as- surance of permanence. This night he did not even glance at the work which awaited him, but lit the lamp of Alhazred at once. The soft glow of the lamp spread yellowly outward to the shelf-girt walls.

It did not flicker; the flame burned steadily, and, as before, the first impression Phillips received was one of comforting, lulling warmth. Then, slowly, the books and the shelves seemed to grow dim, to fade, and gave way to the scenes of another world and time. For hour upon hour that night Phillips watched. And he named the scenes and places he saw, draw- ing upon a hitherto unopened vein of his imagination, stimulated by the glow from the lamp of Al- hazred. He saw a dwelling of great beauty, wreathed in vapors, on a headland like that near Gloucester, and he called it the strange high house in the mist.

He saw an an- cient, gambrel-roofed town, with a dark river flowing through it, a town like to Salem, but more eld- ritch and uncanny, and he called the town Arkham, and the river Miskatonic. He saw the dark brooding sea-coast town of Inns- mouth, and Devil Reef beyond it. And for the rest of that night, by candlelight, abandoning the monotonous revisions he had planned to do, he turned instead to the writing of short tales, in which he called up the scenes and beings he had seen by the light of the lamp of Alhazred.

All that night he wrote, and all the next day he slept, exhausted. For many nights Phillips did not light the lamp. The nights lengthened into months, the months into years. He brought Arkham into reality, and delineated the strange high house in the midst; he wrote of the shadow over Innsmouth and the whisperer in darkness and the fungi from Yuggoth and the horror at Dunwich; and in his prose and verse the light from the lamp of Alhazred shone brightly, even though Phillips no longer used the lamp.

He took it out, and at once all the old enchantment and wonder were upon him, and he polished it anew and set it once 52 more on his table. In the long years which had passed, Phillips had grown progressively weaker.

He was now mortally ill, and knew that his years were num- bered; and he wanted to see again the worlds of beauty and terror that lay within the glow of the lamp of Alhazred. He lit the lamp once more and looked to the walls. But a strange thing came to pass. For there, once again, were the glades of childhood ; there were the familiar coves and inlets where he had spent his tender years; there was once more the bower he had built in homage to great Pan; and all the irresponsi- bility, the happy freedoms of that childhood lay upon those walls; for the lamp now gave back his own memory.

And once again it was as if he saw as through a door. The scene invited him, and he stumbled weakly to his feet. He hesitated only for a moment; then he strode toward the books. The sunlight burst suddenly all about him. He felt shorn of his shackles, and he began to run lithely along the shore of the See- konk to where, ahead of him, the scenes of his childhood waited and he could renew himself, beginning again, living once more the halcyon time when all the world was young.

It was assumed that he had wandered away into the woods, and been taken ill and died there, for his solitary habits were well known in the Angell Street neighborhood, and his steady decline in health was no secret. Though desultory searching parties were organized and sent out to scour the vicinity of Nentacon- haunt and the shores of the See- konk, there was no trace of Ward Phillips. The police were confident that his remains would some day be found, but nothing was dis- covered, and in time the unsolved mystery was lost in the police and newspaper files.

Almost twenty years ago , in one of the great pioneering s. Now, after two decades of further study and research on his own part and of advances in the science of linguistics itself, de Camp returns to the theme, to look more deeply into the nature of language as it affects future probabilities, and to give readers and, one dares hope, writers a lively new understand- ing of How to Talk Futurian t y L.

Hero gets down from his time machine, or climbs out of the vacuum bottle in which he has been preserved, alive but inert, for hundreds of years. And right away he runs spang into the language- barrier. But du are mung to- warishes no. Whur iccidi hist? Then he turned to the two others who were following him and spoke to them in a strange and very sweet and liquid ton- gue.

Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky Sometimes, even when the lan- guage is plain English, Hector finds the spelling changed. Any amateur spelling-reformer could do better. For instance Sprague de Camp, The Continent Makers Anyone planning a foray into the future had better give thought to the problem of speech. If you're going to Iran you can learn Per- sian, but there is no grammar of Futurian.

Well, when Hector arrives, what will people speak? How can the time-traveler get ready to cope with the language-problem? What can the story-writer take for granted about Futurian? First, is the world soon likely to take to one language instead of the two thousand it now speaks?

The answer is no. On the other hand, the number of living lan- guages is getting less. This sounds as if I were contradicting myself. On the other hand, wherever enough peo- ple speak a language to give them a feeling that they are an important group with their own national destiny, they try to keep up their speech and get others to speak it.

This is part of the cult of national- ism. If the language has no litera- ture, they try to give it one. If it has faults or queernesses that make it hard, these are prized as cultural heritages to be defended to the death.

Where nationalistic groups have no distinct speech of their own, they try to get one if they have to invent it or bring it back from the tomb. Thus the Boers of South Africa try to convince the world that their Dutch dialect, Afrikaans, is a lan- guage in its own right. They refuse to speak or read English even when they know how, though Af- rikaans has a negligible literature.

And the Zionist Jews in Palestine, before it became Israel, made a living language of Hebrew, which a century ago was practically extinct save as a sacred churchly speech like Latin in the Roman Catholic Church or Sumerian in Babylonia. In Norway, a century and a half ago, there was no national lan- guage.

Scandinavia spoke many lo- cal dialects shading into one an- other without heeding national boundaries. The ruling classes spoke two literary languages: Swedish in Sweden and Danish in Denmark and with a distinctive accent in Norway. When they came under the spell of nationalism, Norwegians decided they must have their own language. They have quarreled ever since over its form : whether it should be one local dialect or another, or a mix- ture.

They have even tried to purge it of Danish influence, which is a little like purging English, a tongue of German origin, of Germanic in- fluence. This is a musical tongue with an involved grammar and an eccentric system of spelling. But they started too late. The only natural Gaelic- speakers were a half-million peas- ants and fishermen, one-sixth of the people in the Free State, dwell- ing along the west coast.

But Gael- ic-speakers continue to give up Gaelic and take to English. The children of the rest of the Irish Republic learn Gaelic in school, but in the same spirit in which American children learn French, and probably forget it as fast. Let us call such a group of people a glossa.

As a result of education, travel, and electrical means like radios for reproducing speech, people in one glossa tend to sound more and more alike. It may take centuries till all the variations are flattened out in glossas so huge as the Eng- lish or Spanish. But there is reason to think that American soldiers, for instance, tend to lose extreme features of their local dialects dur- ing their service. Besides these forces, there are several languages which other peo- ple try to learn because they are so widely spoken as to be useful.

One of course is English, spoken by many people in North America whose native tongues are French, Spanish, or an American Indian language. It is also used by the ruling caste of American-descend- ed Negroes in Liberia, and in many other parts of the world. French is widely used as a second language in Europe, Latin Ameri- ca, and the Arabic-speaking coun- tries. Spanish is not only spoken in most of the Latin-American countries but also is learned by American Indians in those coun- tries as a second language.

These are international or su- pranational languages in the same 57 sense that Latin was in the Roman Empire and medieval Europe. Is any of these becoming a world-language? Not today. One finds there such traditional character s as rajahs, caliphs, grand viziers, fakirs, eunuchs, and courtesans Smith's first horror tales, published from 1 on, are at first sight very conventional.

We find here the influence both of the English "Gothic" novel and of Poe, with whom Smith shares a marked taste for the macabre and the necrophilic. They are often written in the first person, and the narrator relates a particularly horrible incident: an encounter with living skeletons in "The Ninth Skeleton, " with the ancient Medusa in "The Gorgon," or with monsters from outside in "The Hunters from Beyond.

Conversely, very few ghost stories are to be found. Smith's tale "The Willow ,. Nevertheless, it is Lovecraft's influence which predominates both in form and in substance. His most recent horror tale s come very close to science-fiction, as in "Schizoid Creator" where a mad scientist employs a complicated mechanism to summon the Devil and to make himself undergo a treatment himself of schizophrenia, the modern version of absolute Evil. They plunge us into a past more or less far-away or, indeed, into the future, and their setting is decidedly exotic or totally imaginary: "The Willow Landscape" takes place in China, "The Venus of Azombeii" in Africa, "The Seed from the Sepulcher" in Guyana, and "The Root of Ampoi" in Malasia.

We also find tales of explorers lost in fantastic lands, or who discover fabulous cities, vestiges of vanished civilizations, such as "The Invisible City, " "A Vintage from Atlantis, " and "The Primal City. Finally, some tales escape all conven- "Monsters in the tions, such as Night," where a we rewolf by mistake attacks a robot which he takes to be a human being.

Clark Ashton Smith has given his creative imagination full rein in another series of much more original tales which are organized by cycles around imaginary lands. The strangest of these are the tales of the Averoigne cycle, whose setting, characters, and situations are inspired by French fable, mediaeval epic, and Arthurian legendry. Some of these tales are indeed fairy-tales for adults In the tales comprising the Zothique, Hyperborea, Atlantis, and Xiccarph cycles, Smith abandons all reference to a known universe.

The civilizations he evokes, in spite of their resemblance to the Middle East vast exoanses of desert traversed by caravans of camels, cities of Islamic architecture, intrigues in harems, etc. These imaginary places are, in addition, peopled with monsters, and prodigies occur there which transport us well away from the real world.

We are here fully in the region of "heroic fantasy," whose setting and characters recall those of science -fiction but where sorcery replaces modern. Smith is situated at the antipodes from "hard science-fiction": he does not explore scientific probability, and the technological apparatus he uses is described in a What infashion. They evolve in worlds whose description makes us think of stupefying surrealistic tableaux where all known norms are abolished.

Clark Ashton Smith's Personal Mythology Smith learned very early to free himself from the influence of his contemporaries and create a personal world of fantasy. Already in the framework of the Cthulhu Mythos, in which he took part, he created his own deities - -Tsathoggua, Abhoth, Ubbo-Sathla, and Atlach-Nacha. He added the Book of Eibon to Lovecraft's imaginary library.

Following Lovecraft's example, he created out of whole cloth a mythical world which was entirely original with him. He did not, moreover try to create a unique system: his myths are organized according to parallel schemas which each have their own internal coherence but are not interrelated. Averoigne, Zothique and Hyper bore a are hermetic worlds which have their own culture, their own legends, and their own , gods.

Averoigne is situated at the centre of a known land--i. In spite of some place-names with vaguely familiar echoes, like Vyones, the capital, Malneant, theFrenaie, or again abbey of Perigonat the convent of Averoigne is an enimaginary land corresponding no known region of France. This the Sainte - Zenobie , tirely to land of the Christian tradition, but the deities worshipped here are the maleficent ones of the Cthulhu Mythos.

It is a land of sorcery which overflows with evil places -- the castles of Malinbois or Ylourgne haunted by vampires, or the ruins of the castle of Fausseflammes where a lamia is hidden. In the forest of Broceliande which covers threefourths of the land, the wandering traveler can encounter sorcerers, is a vampires, werewolves, and even satyrs.

Averoigne is a mediaeval world, since most of the tales are set in the twelfth or thirteenth centuries; but it is situated outside of history, for the author carefully avoids making allusion to known historical events. In spite of its unreal character, the world of Averoigne is perfectly consistent since the same place-names are found in all the tales and the topography is very precise. Xiccarph is not even a part of our world, since it is an imaginary planet, just as Lophai is in "The De mon of the Flowe r " or Yondo in "The Abominations of Yondo.

The two other s have long belonged to the cultural inheritance of mankind. At- Hallowmas lantis is that fabled isle upon which Plato located his ideal republic, and Hyperborea is an imaginary conti- nent situated in northern Europe, to which Pindar attributed a temperate climate and which later received the name of the Kingdom of Thule.

Start- ing from the se legendary continents, Smith create s a fantastic world, making allusion to other imaginary lands Lemuria or the vanished contiThese lands are situated nent Mu. The same place-names reappear, and sometimes the same characters are found in several tales, like the like sorcerer Eibon in the Hyperborea Each land has its own mythits own gods: Mordiggian and Thasaidonare the deities of Zothique, while Ubbo-Sathla and Tsathoggua belong to the Hyperborean cycle.

In regard to these lands Smith employs a completely fantastic nomenclature. While the names of the cities in Averoigne must satisfy the norms of the French language those of the cities of Zothique or Hyperborea no longer correspond to any known linguistic criterion, and the , same is true for the names of char- Clark Ashton Smith, like acters.

Lovecraft, is fond of imagining bizarre, even unpronounceable names like Puthuum, Knygathin Zhaum, Loquamethros, Xexanoth, and Avoosl Wuthoqqan- -and the se are only some examples there are dozens of others. In "The Door to Saturn" the message of the god Hziis recorded thus: "Iqhui dlosh odhglongh"- -reminiscent of the celebrated incantation in "The Call of Cthulhu"; " Ph'nglui mglw' nagl fhtagn. Finally, Clark Ashton Smith's fantastic lands are peopled with flying dragons, speaking birds, vampiric flowerwomen, and other monsters more bizarre still.

It is sometimes dif- ulquoigmnzah lusion, as in from il"The Abominations of Yondo," and this utes tale ficult to distinguish reality to the blurring contriban emphatically dream-like character. Smith's science-fiction tales seem like a sort of extension of his heroic fantasy tales. The planets described there also have strange names and are peopled with monsters. In contrast to what he has done with Hyperborea and Zothique, Smith has not tried in this field to construct a coherent and unique framework.

The planet Mars, for example, which is the setting for several tales, is each time described under a totally different aspect, and each tale is entirely autonomous. Clark Ashton Smith's Literary Artistry Clark Ashton Smith' s work scarcecorresponds to the definitions customarily given to the genre of the fantastic.

In fact, only in a small number of tales like "The Hunters from Beyond" can there be found that "strange, almost unbearable irruption into the real world" which Roger Caillois has mentioned. This is particularly true in the tales of the Averoigne, Hyperborea, and ZoThe reader enters thique cycles.

Where other authors are content for the most part to suggest, Smith is fond above all of describing with a riot of detail rarely equalled. His extraordinary lands peopled with disquieting monsters, hisDantesque abysses, his evocations of danse ity, that uncertainty which according to Todorov is the central condition of authentic fantasy.

Moreover, if we agree with Lovecraft that fan- macabres his cosmic visions stamped with a strange poetry raise him to the level of the great creators of Fantasy, and he sometimes tasy is inseparable from pain and horror, we must acknowledge that Smith places himself well within this chances, in this precise regard, to surpass his mentor and friend Love- conception. He excels, in fact, in descriptions of macabre or horrible Although he belonged to Lovesmall coterie and was subas we have seen, to his influence, Clark Ashton Smith does not belong to any school.

His fantastic work is probably unique in its field, and if his tales have not left very profound traces in the literary history of the twentieth century. Smith himself regarded them merely as a means of gaining income preferring to devote the majority of his time to painting and poetry. The tale s he has left us nevertheless testify to a great creative imagination, a vast culture, and a perfect mastery of the English language.

His elegant and slightly archaic style explication of the narrated events scenes like the drowned and halfeaten corpses who come back to life in "Necromancy in Naat, " or the hordes of mummies, skeletons, and decomposed corpses who emerge from their tombs in "The Empire of the Necromancers. Smith, however, never reaches the limits of the unbearable - -in contrast, for example, to Stoker- -and he never founders in the cheap eroticism of a good number of his contemporaries.

Clark Ashton Smith' s literary art , craft. Clark Ashton Smith is above all an enchanter, and his fantastic world belongs to the domain of the marvelous, i. Smith is, one might say, the Bosch or the He has Dali of American fantasy. Smith's unpublished stories include both fantasies and ironic nonfantastics.

A handful of manuscripts in the latter category are still with us andean be found in the Smith Paper s Collection at Brown University still "A Copy of Burns," "The Pawnbroker's Parrot," "Checkmate," "The Flirt, " "A Platonic Entanglement, " "The Expert Lover," perhaps others , but the majority of the unpublished weird tales--which this article dis- cusses--are missing.

In contrast to the numerous syn- opses and fragmentary opening paragraphs in Untold Tales the works outlined below repre sent substantial efforts on Smith's part: a tale that Smith completed or carried for quite , a distance is naturally a more elaborate and detailed affair than a handful of notes.

Also, Smith thought enough of these particular plot- germs them into stories their ideas were close to to flesh perhaps his heart e. Either way, whatever we can discover about these missing or unpublished works should haps he simply felt contribute to our understanding of Smith as a writer of weird fiction.

The bulk of our information concerning these stories has come from Smith's letters to his writer -friends, but I would also like to acknowledge the information and help given me by Glenn Lord, Rah Hoffman, Don Fryer and Roy Squires in this regard, and to thank Mr. This ending may be hinted at in the following salutation: "Greetings and valedictions from the outer moon of the Red World, in the hour following the collapse of the atomic vault, the outbreak of the metal-eating monsters from the subterranean realm, and the downfall of the last Sabelian tower of the Zophratars?

As other stories based on similar notions began to appear in the science -adventure magazines, he grew pessimistic about "The Red World's" salability. Writing to Lovecraft in mid-October , Smith mentioned that he was "lagging over a scientific horror Like Mohammed' s Tomb. The anti-gravitation mechanism was put to good use, I think. Rah Hoffman, who read the tale in manuscript, remarks "I recall the story as dreadful, embarrassing, etc.

As I do not even [Smith's] 'The Phantoms of the Fire,' 1 truly suspect this story concerned such a phantom face by the river" Hoffman to Behrends, August 23, Regarding the eventual fate of Smith's own drafts. Price writes: "When the scripts he gave me had served their purpose, of course I scrapped them. Scripts were not sacred relics" Price to Behrends, June 9, Smith's Completed Stories log tells us that "Discord" and "Monoceros" were originally 6, and 5, words in length, respectively; Price's efforts brought them to 9, and 7, words.

At the moment we have only the Price versions to examine, since no draft, fragment, or synopsis by Smith has turned up for either story and the stories in print read nothing like Smith -this is especially true of "Monoceros". The reader is referred to "The. Both were handed over to E. Hoffmann Price, who rewrote them for publication in Spicy Mystery Stories, where they appeared unde r his own name, "Dawn of Discord" in October , and It's. Hallowmas Price-Smith Collaborations" elsewhere in this issue for synopses of these tales.

According to a third story was given "There were three stories; alas, I have no recollection of unpublished 3, neither Mr. Could it have been "The Face by the River"? He tells the subsequent story to the friend who rescues him from his. The existing manuscript mentions scheduled for inclusion in the second issue of Lin Carter's Y oh- Vombis and may also appear This is , as a limited pamphlet from the private press of Roy Squires.

Major Unfinished Stories Smith's invented tome, The Testaments of Carnamagos as does his "Xeethra" and "The Treader of the Dust" , Hyperborea, Zothique and the Necronomicon It also features the same "Avalzant, Envoy of Cosmic Evil" pictured in The Fantastic Art of Clark Ashton Smith A character which had yet to appear in the story by the time Smith stopped work on it is the subject of another painting: describing a portrait he had sent to Robert Barlow, Smith explained, "Malanoth, concerning whom you inquire, is a master wizard from the world Pnidleethon, which revolves about Yamil Zacra, central sun of evil, and its dark companion,.

It mixes wizardry and necromancy with the latest scientific theory of 'radiogens, or atoms of sun-fire, burning at a temperature of Centigrade in the human body. I am using the innocuousness of the hero's normal personality as a foil to that which he temporarily assumes beneath the influence of an amulet that stimulates those particles in his "The tale ' 1 Yuzh" CAS to RHB, September 10, Smith had planned this novel as a serial for Weird Tales, and when Wright discouraged him he set it aside; but, as with his "Master of Destruction," he toyed with the idea of finishing it in the late s and showed the fragmentary draft to August Derleth in February in hopes of an eventual Arkham House release.

It is titled 'The Dark Star It is his first novel, and he wants to write it exactly as he wants, without any editorial changes. Consequently he hopes to publish it as a book, and if this does not work out, he intends to include it in another Arkham House collection. With some effort, however, the first 2, words can be entirely reconstructed, with fragments totaling words extending beyond. Thematically the tale is similar to "The Chain of Aforgomon, " in which a character calls upon the Lurking Chaos Xexanoth to achieve the same end.

Also recall "The Last Incantation," wherein Malygris the mage seeks to resurrect his first love, and to recapture his innocent past. But unlike these two stories, the main character is not someone we can sympathize with: he is "Space-Alley Jon," a murderer and drifter of the space-lanes, who purchases the illicit Mnemoka from the Aihai Pnaglak, hoping to relive some hours with his first love Sophia remember "Last Incantation"?

Unfortunately, Jon is also haunted by far less pleasant memories, memories of a brutal murder he had committed. After taking the drug, some physical manifestations of his memories appear in the present, and time seems confused. Here the story breaks off. Little is known regarding "Mnemoka s" composition; references to it have yet to appear in Smith's correspondence. An attempt has been made to com- plete this story.

Since no synopsis has yet come to light, I've drawn the extant beginning and fragments towards a conclusion of my own devising. Lovecraft' Cthulhu Mythos. They range from the inconsequential and doubtfully classified tale of Averoigne, s , "The Satyr, " to the overwhelmingly cosmic "Ubbo-Sathla.

Lovecraft when he read it in manuscript, that he immediately incorporated Smith's toadgod, Tsathoggua, into the pantheon of the Mythos. Despite Smith's many contributions to the canon, very few of these are typical Mythos stories. That is, few are set in the modern world and involve the traditional Lovecraftian themes of threatening entities from Out There.

Two exceptions are "The Nameless Offspring," itself unusual because it is set in modern England, and "The Hunters from Beyond, " which is a tale about soul-devouring Elementals from another dimension. You won't find Cthulhu or Yog-Sothoth in a Smith story, although they are mentioned once or twice under variant spellings like Kthulhut and Y ok- Zothoth. No, most of Smith's Mythos stories are set in medieval Averoigne, o r further back in time in his stories of the prehistoric Polar continent of Hyperborea.

Oddly enough, none of his stories of the future continent of Zothique can be classified as belonging to the Mythos, although there is no apparent reason why some of them couldn't have been worked into it. Zothique is as much of a land of magic and fantasy and horror as Hyperborea, and even if it weren't, the Cthulhu Mythos is no stranger to modernity- -or even to science fiction. A more macabre kind of horror infuses Smith's Mythos yarns, one laced with magic and mocking humor.

Not a shred of his scientific There wonders materialism, or whatever one wishes to call Lovecraft' s world view. And no brooding New England farmhouses. Smith presents his view of the Mythos in earlier ages, where the line between fantasy and reality is not as clearly drawn.

As such, there is significantly less impact to his Mythos entities. When Tsathog- gua emerges, black and furred and possessing a viscous plasticity, from his bowl in "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros," he is a horrible figure, but because Smith describes him in detail, referring to his batlike and toadlike attributes, this entity does not provoke the awe of a Cthulhu, or even an Azathoth, whom Lovecraft carefully never described. He is even less horrible to the reader than the impossibly ophidian Knygathin Zhaum, the supposed descendant of Tsathoggua who stalked Hyperborea in "The Testament of Athammaus.

Smith's alleged Mythos stories are chock full of such beings. This creature speaks in a sardonic, but very human voice, and its motives are rather mundane. It watches over the treasure in order to feast on unlucky treasure hunters, which itdoes to Avoosl "in a leisurely and methodical fashion" at the story's end. Can you imagine C. I cannot. Shaikorth it's a measure of the lack of awe Smith's entities generate that one's reflex is to treat their names like Christian narties- -ever hear anyone call YogSothoth "Sothoth"?

Despite this nonanthropomorphic appearance, he speaks in a too-human voice and possesses a disappointingly cliche hunger for the flesh of his worshippers. A worshipper of the worm learns of his imminent fate and disposes of Shaikorth with a bronze short sword, although in dying, the entity vanquishes his killer in a torrent of black and terrible like face blood.

Headless, without organs or members, sloughed from its oozy sides, in a slow, ceaseless wave, the amoebic forms that were the archetypes of earthly life. Horrible it was, if there had been aught it to apprehend the horror; and loathsome, if there had been any to feel loathing. About it, prone or tilted in the mire, there lay the mighty tablets of star-quarried stone that were writ with the inconceivable wisdom of thepre- mundane gods.

And there, to the goal of the forgotten search, was drawn the thing that had been --or would sometimes be--Paul Tregardis and Zon Mezzamalech. Becoming a shapeless eft of the prime, it crawled sluggishly and obliviously across the fallen tablets of the gods, and fought and ravened Ubbo-Sathla. It's Londoner Paul Tregar- It's an appropriately cosmic sto- Hallowmas ry, but there is still that element of ironic humor in Smith's Worm Ouroboros- style ending which sets this story, like all of Smith' s, apart from the distinctly sober Lovecraft brand of Mythos excursion.

Lovecraft thought enough of to include in his stories, or for that matter in the genealogy of Mythos entities reproduced on page of Selected Let Strictly ters IV, was Tsathoggua. Smith's stories are excellent, but later, less talented contributors to the Mythos are more in line with Lovecraft's concepts.

This is not a criticism, but merely one person's assessment. Smith, in his own way, was an original thinker. What he lacked in terms of Lovecraft' s world view, he more than made up for with his own unique brand of imaginative conceits.

Perhaps it's time to recognize Smith's achievements for what they are: offshoots of the And perMythos, not a part of it. Some may rankle at this suggestion. A Mythos story is a Mythos story, after all. So let's split the difference and call Smith's twenty- six Mythos stories a kind of sub- set to the canon. A mythology that compares to the Mythos the way the myths Romans compared to Greek myths: the Clark of the the earlier Ashton Smythos.

Camera ready copy. And don' t make it look too amateurish. Cerasinsi, Murray, and Price. Fabian cover. Try something a eldritch for a change. Jason C. Eckhardt has haunted strange, far places and can now offer these depictions to the public. Kingsport outspread frostily in the gloaming witchlittle. It would be much more interesting, say, to have a list of the stories that the author himself considered his finest. Smith never gave us such a list; and while he did select his best work for inclusion in Out of Space and Time he commented at the time that the "choice seems pretty difficult, since, after a few outstanding items such as 'The Double Shadow' and 'A Night in Malneant,' I seem to find dozens or scores of fairly equal merit" CAS to August Derleth, Sep, tember 5, put did and his In an effort to bridge the gap between arid scholarship and some of these comments have been gathered tolight entertainment, gether, along with tional tidbits, and pertinent "The Abominations of Yondo"[l] "I think it was mainly Lovec raft's interest and encourage- ment title other informaappear below the in the gives that story's place in the Completed Stories log.

This ordering has been followed as much as possible, despite minor disagreements with date s from othe r sources told, many protests from the readers. Unfinished to ['Yondo'l, , was following, spiced-up Smith chronology. A date in brackets indicates a date of completion, unle s s noted, and a number in parentheses before a me that led which appeared in The Overland Monthly " and "evok[edl I Still, while he may not have them down in one place, Smith have opinions about his stories frequently expressed them to pen-pals.

Red World' doesn't seem bad. It is not my natural genre, and may not even Have the dubious me rit of being salable. I don't want to run it into the ground! As far as I know it is the only at- more from Beyond'], tempt to convey the profound disturbance of function and sensation that would inevitably be experienced by a human being on an alien world.

But I had to it over so much that it stale on me, somehow. It "One of my own favorites. If the thing could e ve r be filmed He considered it "a first-rate interplanetary. The one redeeming feature is the final paragraph, which takes a sly, underhanded crack at the benefits? It is unusually poisonous and exotic " "I seem to have slipped something over on the PTA. Lane would read the story more carefully, he would find some very nasty satire on the Protestant Work Ethic in the tale.

The prose is some of the most musical in all Lovecraft, I think. Lane's remarks concerning HPLand homosexual undertones in his fiction. For at least one instance that he cites, the handsome young man with "the fascination of a dark god or fallen archangel" from the Dream-Quest , one can point to a literary source. An uninhibited homosexual, Beckford consciously stocked his novel with attractive young men. I suspect the naive Lovecraft derived the image of the boyish Nyarlathotep from Beckford, without realizing the homoerotic implications.

The Lord Vooth Raluorn, a member of the minor nobility of Hyperborea and twenty-ninth hereditary High Constable of Commoriom, succeeded to his inheritance at an unusually premature age, when his father, an inveterate huntsman, succumbed to the fangs and claws of one of the lesser dinosauria. As his official duties were largely ceremonial, Vooth Raluorn enjoyed both the leisure and the income to indulge in his principal enthusiasm, whichwas the perusal of antique grimoires and the mastery of the arts of wizardry.

In this hobby, he was assisted, albeit posthumously, by his grandsire, for the twenty- seventh hereditary High Constable had been unremitting in his persecution of the interdicted cultus of the' demon Tsathoggua and his loathly ilk, and his tireless persecutions had resulted in the accumulation of an enviable library of demon - worshippers, The it seemed, had ensconced themselves abandoned manse which reared in an its terraces on the esplanade of the Yrautrom canal, where they engaged furtively in their unlawful rituals those seasons of the year when the star Algol is in the ascendant.

Accompanying the constabulary troop, in order to lend the legality of his office to their nocturnal raid, Vooth Raluorn was among the first to gain entry to the semi- ruinous edifice, and while the robed celeduring brants were bound and searched, he examined with interest the altarlike luxuriated in the best of both the intellectual and the voluptuous spheres, and from these studies and pleasures he was but infrequently roused by the call of his constabulatory duties.

It was strewn with a number of inte resting ritual objects, unique among these being a singularly abhor rent eidolon hewn from glinting obsidian, which depicted a swagbellied and corpulent entity with batlike wings and the splay-footed hindlegs of a monstrous toad. Face it had none, save for a grisly beard of slithering tentacles which obtruded from the frontal portions of its repellantly mis- shapen skull. Before accompanying his raidingparty and their prisoners to the One such occasion took place early in the reign of Queen Luthomne a conventicle of demon-worshippers nearest gaol, Vooth Raluorn revoltedly shattered the eidolon to ringing shards with the bronze-shod maul of having been discovered in the southernmost suburb of the capital, Vooth Raluorn was forced to extricate himself from the embrace of his leman, the supple -limbed and sable-tressed Y sabbau, in order to respond to the his office.

His leisure thus divided between scholarly pursuits and the lascivious pleasures of his rank, Vooth Raluorn. Nightly thereafter were the dreams of VoothRaluorn made hideous by an umbral apparition of menacing aspect which resembled in eve ry detail evening, aware had so imprudently riven asunder.

None of the wizardly volumes in the library of his grandsire served to render again wholesome his slumbers, and even though Vooth Raluorn dared employ the redoubtable exorcisms of Pnom, at first the Lesser and then in turn the Greater, he found no means whereby to extirpate the shadowy and obscene apparition from his dreams. With despair and more than considerable trepidation, Vooth Raluorn the repellant idol he at length consulted those of his colleagues in the Art Sorcerous with whom his relations were mutually friendly.

One such, a saintly sep- tuagenarian yclept Zongis Furalor, succeeded in identifying the cult- object as an image wrought in the likeness of a demonic entity whose name among men was Zvilpogghua; so obscure was the repute of this Raluorn. Of the wise Y zduggor, whom the wizards of Commoriom held in courts had , the highest repute, it was rumored that he, as a former devotee of the obsolete and interdicted cultus of Zvilpogghua, was privy to the sace rdotal lore of that entity, and moreover, that Zvilpogghua, as firstborn of the spawn of dreaded Tsathoggua, begotten by the Black Thing upon a female entity named Shathak on far and frozen Yaksh the seventh world, was a demonic personage of the most primordial lineage, and very greatly to be feared.

Thereupon, and without dalliance, did the dream-haunted Vooth Raluorn forthwith eloign to the Eiglophians search of the remote and secluded dwelling of this Yzduggor. Alas, his wizardly colleague either knew little concerning the demon or refused to impart his knowledge thereof; he had, however, a word of advice for the hapless Vooth that the such time II. In these central regions of the continent, the land grew wild and perilous, and it was only prudent of the High Constable to venture thither accompanied by two stout guards of his retinue, Yanur and Tsangth.

They journeyed, clad in garments of saurian-leather with accouterments of bronze, and both warriors bristled with blades and barbs, for fear of the furry and prehuman Voormis who haunted the peaks, to say noth- ing of the mires. Alone and unaided did Vooth Raluorn assail the glassy scarps of volcanic obsidian, the scoriae cliffs of time -riven basalt, avoiding the fumaroles and crevasses wherein might well lurk not only the savage Voormis, but the cockatrices and basilisks rumored to favor such darksome lairs.

Above him as he toiled upwards towards the cell of the repentant eremite, the cloudless blue ascended to a zenith of flawless sapphire. With difficulty, he made safe crossing of beds of black lava like motionless rivers of stony knives, and, entering upon a scruffy stand of gnarled juniper s, which meagerly flourished from patches of fetid black loam, he entered a narrow cleft between vast, tumbled blocks of levin- shattered basaltic boulders, huge as the toy blocks abandoned by the careless hands of Titan- children.

Through this winding and teneb rous labyrinth he went, finding himself at last upon a flat and level tableland whe re a tongue of rock thrust out over a vertiginous and bottomless abyss. Thereupon he spied a hovel whose walls were made of boardings hewn from Jurassic conifers, roofed over by the palm -like fronds of cycads. Before this miserable hut, upon a bed of sanguine coals, a cauldron of black iron steamed and bubbled. And crouched upon the door - stoop, he spied a gaunt and wretched figure.

With a friendly halloo, the High Constable approached the eremite and addressed him by name. But to this friendly greeting the lean hermit returned no reply, not even deigning to recognize the approach of a fellow-human. Thin lips revealof a ing all-but- toothless gums, where yet remained the discolored stump of a worn fang or two, mumbling prayers or adjurations in a hoarse and croaking voice, the eremite continued at his devotions, ignoring the very presence of the young noble, and all the while with talon-thin fingers he counted the beads of an un- couth rosary seemingly fashioned from human knuckle -bones At length, his devotions concluded, Yzduggor, for it was in sooth he, granted his supplicant the benison of a sour glance of unwelcome from yellow eyes bleared with rheum.

Undaunted, Vooth Raluorn opened his leathern wallet and produced those gifts he had hopefully assumed one so long sequestered in this wilderness, far from the habitation of men, might covet above all else: dried meats, sweet jellies, ripe swampfruits, a fat black bottle of firehearted brandy from Uzuldaroum, and a bag of fragrant snuff. One by one he laid these offerings before the bare, and bony, and very dirty, feet of the eremite.

His appetite appeased, the eremite grudging reply to his entreaties, and erelong did the young Commorian learn from Y zduggor's reluctant lips that presently Zvilpogghua resided on far and frozen Ymar, a world circumambient about the green star Algol, and might be called down to this world by his worshippers during those months of at length yielded year when the constellation Pe rseus is in the heavens, whereupon it his grisly wont to feed upon the flesh and to drink of the blood of men, wherefore is he known to sorcerers as the Feaster from the Stars.

With all ready to hand, the sun westering, Perseus in the ascendant and Algol a fervent eye of green fire in the firmament, the young wizard repaired to a hilltop in the precincts athwart his manse, hitherto occupied only by tombs and sepulchres, and prepared to exorcise foreve r the demonic entity whose disapproval he had, however accidentally, incurred. He traced the circles and built the fire and cast thereinto the required substances. Vapors occulted the moon's cold eye, but Algol glared burningly down upon the scene.

With cold globules of per spiration bedewing his furrowed brow, Vooth Ral- uorn intoned the versicles recom- mended by the eremite. A silence upon the gloom - shrouded eminence; the wind died; cold stars leered down from above. A black shadow descended. Swag-bellied, toad-like with batwings and splayed, webbed feet it was; entirely lacking in forelimbs, the head featureless, a writhing fell III.

His return from the Eiglophian range was more difficult and hazardous than had been the way thither, lacking his two stalwart guards. Vooth Raluorn was forced to lone battle against the beasts of forest and swamp, with his wizardry and his swordsmanship, and fortunately he came out of each contest the vicReturning home to the ancient tor. This involved considerable expense, as it required rare spices, costly perfumes, expensive chemicals, dangerous narcotics, and such , , mass of tentacles or feelers, the obscene black shape swept down on the huddled, shrieking form on the headland, and bore it aloft in webbed claws.

Nor was it ever again seen by mortal men. And far to the south, beyond jungle and swamp, foothills and mountains, on a spar of jutting rock where stood a c rude hovel, a gaunt and fam- Hallowmas ished eremite groveled before a crude image. Grant me forgiveness for having deserted thy 1. The 4. It was Lovecraft who came up with the notion of a "Child of Tsathoggua" in his excerpt from Of Evill Sorceries, one of the fragments which Derleth incorporated into The Lurker at the Threshold.

HPL failed to specify its gender. He also adds the information that the child was begotten on a female entity named Shathak upon the planet Yaksh Neptune by Tsathoggua, before he descended to this earth. In lieu of contradictory data, I presume Zvilpogghua to be male. All of these names were coined by Smith and listed for future use in his notes. Please note that of the twentyfour proper nouns in this story, only one Ymar was invented by myself.

And all that he had done was to cheat on the powdered opals. When all of the cultists are executed, the demon must exact its own vengeance on the magistrate. Published hereby arrangement with the Estate of Clark Ashton Smith. Smith regularly mailed manuscripts to his friends Lovecraft, Derlethand Wandrei, and took much of their criticism to heart; but suggestions came also from his editors, and from the Auburn acquaintances to whom he would show his early drafts By far the greatest influence was exercised by Lovecraft, reflecting both that writer's intense interest in the theory and structure of fantastic stories, as well as his own great imaginative powers.

A handful of examples of Lovecraft' s hand in Smith's stories are documented in volumes, the Selected Letters and references in Smith's letter s toHPL hint at a few more. We will first list these examples, then examine influences from other sources. In a letter to HPL dated November 23, , Smith outlined a plotgerm that was to grow into "The Return of the Sorcerer, " involving a murderer who dismembered his vic- tim and is being haunted by the severed parts of the corpse.

Lovecraft thought to provide an explanation for the haunting, and simultaneously to expand the story's scope, by introducing a sorcerous background for the two men. This suggestion was adopted by Smith and led eventually to the introduction of the Necronomicon into the tale. Around the same time, HPL supplied Smith with the idea of finding an ancient manuscript and in one's own hand, before he had incorporated it into "The Shadow out of Time" see Selected Letter Smith included this idea inhis unfinished novelette, "The Master of Destruction, " and may in English have been deterred from completing the yarn, in part, because Lovecraft had gotten around to using the notion And it may be, as Derleth himself!

The main character in the story, a Sir Roderick, is spiritually linked to an ancestor who was burned at the stake. He reads a record of the crimes and punishment of this ancestor, his consciousness is propelled backward, he experiences the burning death, and awakens from the "dream" to find that his ankles are scorched. Lovecraft mentioned to Smith that he might have people in the crowd swear they'd seen the figure at the stake disappear, and that this "ru- mor" might make it into the old rec- ord that the contemporary Sir Rod-, erick reads.

Smith loved this suggestion, thinking that it "made" the story. So, if you crack open your copy of Other Dimensions, you'll find that in the amended story this "rumor" was old document to the. His hosts perform an operation which transfigures his senses, permitting him to tolerate his surroundings. He eventually escapes to the earth, where these new sense-abilities cause him to perceive everything around him with horror. On the margin of the letter ca. However, in the story as Smith wrote it, the hero understands from the first that he has reached the earth.

Beyond Lovec raft, a few othe r instances are known in which Smith took the advice of others for his fic- The horrific spice added to the of "The Resurrection of the Rattlesnake"- -finding bloody rattles in the author's fist- - came from a girlfriend.

Harry Bates, editor of Strange Tale suggested the repetition. And unknown modifications to the ending of "The Maker of Gargoyles" came from Derleth. In all likelihood, Derleth was too haughty to consider making any changes to his work, and Lovecraft was probably too depressed In an article of this sort it seems natural to mention for completeness Smith's acknowledged collaborations, of which there are three.

The Planet Entity," as by Smith and E. Johnston, he worked with a plot by Johnston entitled "The Martian, " which had won second place in the Wonder Stories Quarterly in. And for "The Nemesis of the Unfinished," evidence indicates that Smith first fleshed out one version of this story fram a sketch by Don Carter, and later went on to write a variant version of his own devising, keeping only the character of the frustrated writer see the note to this story in Untold Tales.

Hoffmann Price is uniquely distinguished among members of the so-called "Lovecraft Circle" in one important respect: he was the only writer to collaborate with both H. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. This fact is not generally known even among Smith aficionados even though there were two published PriceSmith collaborations to the single Price - Lovecraft story. The story Price wrote with H.

Although according to technique one of Lovecraft's revisions, the result was so Lovecraftian that it is grouped with the rest of his canon. It is practically the opposite with the Price-Smith stories. Here it was Price who revised the Smith stories, sold them as his own, and took complete credit for himself.

This was just as Smith wished it. The story behind this unusual arrangement is this: in , Smith turned over to Price two stories the former had been unable to sell as written. As reported in Roy A. Both stories were given to Price with the explicitunderstanding that Price revise them and sell them where he Squires' 11 could. Possibly there was a financial arrangement attendant to this. In any case. As a group, the Spicy pulps were light reading, mildly risque, and so stylistically homogenized that even if Clark Ashton Smith had considered selling his work there, his vocabulary alone would have made that impossible although Smith's marked sexual themes would have been perfectly at home in the pages of the Spicies.

Accordingly, E. Hoffmann Price's reworking of both stories had to be extensive, so extensive that it amounted to a sal- vage job. John King, disturbed by the outbreak of World War II, has developed an unique approach to abolishing war: War, King had reasoned, was an insane habit that some bird- Hallowmas brained primitive had devised as a substitute for judgment or intelligence; and thus, a man of the twentieth century, without any illusions as to the glory of strife, might direct the first warrior chief into a happier channel.

If these people of the Golden Age, drunk by the novelty of Iron and Power, could see what evolution had finally made of war, they might sober up. War had once been an adventure, but it had long since lost whatever redeeming quality it had possessed.

Failing that, Foma is beaten and King tortured. Enter Ania to the rescue. But there are complications. These include mutual antagonism between Ania and Foma who has turned against Jurth and really wants to hook up with King this time , King 's discovery of Jurth' "infra- r jnic war-vibration machine," which is causing all the strife in the Golden Age, and the effect that machine is having on King' s mental bal- ing under the evil sway of the first in history, Jurth.

Jurth controls an army equipped with telepathic wristbands, paralysis scepters, and iron tridents. Having taken ance. He decides to wreck the machine and assassinate Jurth for the good of future generations. This story is so trite, it's impossible to destroy the surprise by revealing the ending. King fails to accomplish either of his aims, and just as he's about to take Ania back with him to the present, she and the sultry Foma get into a cat fight.

King leaves without either of them, gives up his pacifistic ideas, and decides to go after the shapely blonde who over Jhagger, Jurth works Armed with this dubious pacifist philosophy. King builds a bathysphere-shaped time machine and sets the dials for this "dawn of discord," and just happens to land near the city of Jhagger just as it is comwar lord countryside, looting is sweeping the other settle- ments and taking prisoners.

One of them, a blonde slave -girl named Ania, is the first person King encounters. She's escaped the city, and when Jurth and his boys come along. King has to tangle with them. In hand-to-hand combat with Jurth, the formerly peaceful King finds him self enjoying the battle. He can't figure it out, not even after he loses the fight and ends up in the prison turret of Jurth's castle. Ania escapes. While in the cell. King is visited by the black-haired Foma, who describes herself as "one of Jurth's discarded wives.

King doesn't turn her down. Their dalliance takes place, in true "Spicy" style, offstage. End of story. Not a shred of Clark Ashton Smith's actual writing seems to have survived the revision. Unless you count the word "alembic, " that is. Most likely, Price took the idea, some of the plot development and characters, and retold the story in own style.

The one thing we can say about Smith's original story is that it clearly betrayed his concern over the conflict then breaking out in Europe. The hero's failure is rather Smithesque as well. One of the chief elements Price seems to have introduced into "Dawn of Discord" was the conflict between the virginal blonde and the darkhaired temptress.

This is also standard "Spicy" material. In fact, it's central to "The Old Gods Eat" as his well. It is essentially a hard-boiled private eye yarn set in England and laced with a wisp of fanDetective Jim Dale tells the tasy. He's called to the surf-pounded Cornwall town of Pengyl by Lord Treganneth because, as he explains, "A monster was eating the peasants.

A mono- A sea creature with a uniforehead spike. Peasants have been disappearing from the area They of Lord Treganneth's castle. Dale doesn't believe a word of it, but then the Lord's dark-tressed housekeeper, Emily Polgate, leads him into ceros. The ghost of the monoceros? Dale thinks it's something he ate, or that it was done with mirrors. But the peasants keep disappearing. Dale sees one being led to his doom by a dancing nude blonde.

Is she the same unclothed girl he discovers imprisoned in a turret cell yes, another turret cell who claims to be Diane Rolley, Treganneth's secretary? She tells the confused Dale that the Lord is keeping her a prisoner until the monoceros business is over with, after which they will wed. Dale is very suspicious. But he needn't have been if he had read back issues of Spicy Mystery Stories. Blondes are never--or almost never- -the guilty party in a Spicy story, especially when a blackhaired wench lurks somewhere in the plot.

The story ends in the expected cat fight. Emily falls over the wall coping and ends up impaled on the horn of the ancient skeleton of the monocerous. But both Diane and Jim Dale know they've twice seen a very much alive monoceros in that foggy pit. As he explains his presence in England: I had sort of a reputation wished on me.

I'd come to London to embezzler; bonding company business, you know. The nail an gent couldn't run further, so he hung himself with the cord of his bath robe. The papers made a play of me hounding the man to his death. That musthave pleased Treganneth, so here I was.

Well, what can you expect from a magazine where a typical story would start with the sentence: "What surprised Reeves most, when he found himself in Atlantis, was that the relationship between the sexes was very much like that in the New York which he could remember only dimly. It is unfortunate that two of Clark Ashton Smith's later stories should have met with such a fate the original versions of both texts are not known to exist.

But this should not be counted against E. Hoffmann Price, who after ail, has never claimed that his best work appeared in Spicy Mystery Stories It was a collaboration of convenience done for a lesser market, and the result was a pair of curiosities. It is in that light that they should be read. Champagne and AlsaceLorraine, likewise forested and remote, yet fail to make a convincing realms match.

Clark Ashton Smith's several mythic worlds stand as testimony to His stohis capacity as an artist. Yet for all artistry lavished upon these the worlds that never were. Smith's alchemy never flowed more purely than it did in his tales of medieval adventure and sorcery in the land of Averoigne. A remote and mysterious province of France, Averoigne was the abode of vampires, satyrs and lamias, a stage where monks, magicians, and lovers were the actors.

Half-pagan in his poetic zest, Smith was the one modern American who could have recreated a world of medieval romance such as Averoigne. But did Smith have a real locality in mind when he created his Averletter to Smith oignian stories?

A from H. Lovecraft provides the clue. Besides the similarity of names, what evidence modern times the Dome supports this connection? Smith's Averoigne was an isolated mountain country covered by magical forests and springs, a center of Druidic worship from time immemorial. In the medieval period its castles were peopled by witches and monsters.

This description fits the fact and folklore of Eastern France has always stood at the crossroads of Latin and Germanic culture and of political disturbance. Provincial Auvergne, in the quiet center of France is much more in the spirit of Smith's creation.

A glance at the map will show that Auvergne abuts upon Provence. How do the geographies of Au, vergne and Averoigne compare? Vyones, the capital of Averoigne, must of be identified with the chief city Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand. Vyones, Clermont-Ferrand Like stands at the heart of the province and boasts of an excellent cathedral --although, unlike Vyones, Clermont-Ferrand does not house an archbishop.

The town of Ximes, often mentioned by Smith, should be sought in one of Auvergne's other cathedral towns--St. Flour or Le Puy. O r the two, St. Flour's claim is favored, since, like Ximes, it is also the site of a Benedictine abbey. The Benedictines were preeminent in both Averoigne and Auvergne. Smith but seldom mentions any other order, and while Permonstratensian, Ciste rcian and Augustine monasteries flourished the length and breadth of medieval France, all the great abbeys of Auvergne were Benedictine.

Smith's Perigon Abbey, the setting of several stories, is to be identified with either Aurillac or La Chaise Dieu, both monastery towns.

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