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CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: charaina (IP Logged)
Date: 5 February, 2021 10:06PM
Which of Smith's unfinished stories would you all like to read in completion were it possible? I wish he'd been able to complete The Infernal Star, and Ascharia sounded very cool from Smith's synopsis and fragment...

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: casofile (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2021 10:24AM
The last entry in Smith's log of completed stories is "Eviction by Night" but only the first few pages have been found. I've always wondered what happened here; was the story in fact completed and the ending lost or misplaced? Or did Smith simply anticipate finishing this tale before adding it to the list? There is apparently a large batch of miscellaneous pages among the Smith papers at Brown University and I've often wished I could go through this folder searching for the missing pages . . . but Providence is a long ways from Calif!

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2021 02:50PM
I think Smith wrote a good amount of stories, they are re-readable, and I couldn't ask for more. I read "The Infernal Star" fragment a long time ago, don't remember it now in detail, but it was very evocative. I liked it a lot. I am not frustrated that it was never completed. There is a charm, rather, in this, for the missing finalization teases and stirs the imagination. Like one of the glorious sunsets Lovecraft witnessed, it evokes a delicious sense of adventurous expectancy.

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2021 04:13PM
There isn't enough to his ideas that makes me wish he had finished them, even if two or three extra magnificent tales from him would be welcomed.

Perhaps the only one that truly interests me is "Mnemoka", if only because I always found his Martian/Aihai cycle fascinating, with its Lovecraftian sensibilities mixed with mystic exoticism on an entirely different planet.

[eldritchdark.com]

But he wrote just enough of this story to present its setting, characters, and premise, and it sounds to me like it would have gone in a direction vaguely similar to "Aforgomon" and "The Hashish-Eater", so knowing this I don't think it desperately needed to be finished either!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 14 Feb 21 | 04:14PM by Hespire.

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2021 06:24PM
Does anyone know if his notes/fragments were used in part to gauge interest in the publishers?

Did he send these notes/fragments around to see if anyone was interested enough to make it worth his while to develop and submit them?

Trying to work forward from the assumption that he really didn't enjoy writing these stories all that much, it then makes one suppose that the notes/fragments were a way to build a store of "bankable" ideas.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: charaina (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2021 06:50PM
Interesting. I didn't know there was still a large batch of Smith papers still unaccessed at Brown. Now I'm very curious as to what it contains!

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2021 08:16PM
So then every Smith folder at Brown was not investigated during the preparation The Collected Fantasies.

The wonderful thing about the United States is that you can go explore exotic places, travel through different climates and geological cultures. From Lonely Hills to Dawnward Spires. And it will only cost gas.

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: charaina (IP Logged)
Date: 14 February, 2021 08:30PM
Hmmm, I wonder if anyone knows if that is the case - if there are still known folders of Smith's yet to be investigated? I know that the Robert E. Howard Foundation just recently finished going over all the available material from his trunk of papers....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 14 Feb 21 | 08:32PM by charaina.

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: casofile (IP Logged)
Date: 15 February, 2021 12:06AM
Apparently there are more pages to the story "Mnemoka" among the Smith papers at Brown, but they are damaged with burned edges, etc. I don't have a copy, but I believe that in his updated "Reader's Guide to CAS" Steve Behrends has completed this tale (more or less) . . . I'll have to get the new updated Guide myself and check it out, this interests me as well!

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: casofile (IP Logged)
Date: 15 February, 2021 12:18AM
I was only able to research the Smith papers a bit and this was quite tedious. You have to specify exactly what information you're interested in and where it might be found, then contact Brown and pay for photocopies, then wait god knows how long to receive them. Of course you'd have to have a listing of the holdings before you could even begin to do this. I was able to complete the Juvenile tale "The Red Turban, which was included in the Miscellaneous Writings in this fashion. I've asked some friends on the East coast to look for "Eviction" for me if they ever get the chance, but nothing so far.

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: casofile (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 10:05AM
Received my copy of Steve Behrends Readers guide to CAS and just finished reading his "completed" Mnemoka. Apparently he began filling in missing lines and paragraphs a few pages in, and after a few more pages there was nothing left of Smith at all, leaving Behrends to complete the tale himself. While this cannot be considered a complete CAS story, there was still enough indication of plot for Behrends to bring it to a logical conclusion. While it was fairly easy to discern where Smith left off and Behrends took over, all in all Steve did a good job chanelling the shade of CAS and the result was a satisfactory ending to an intriguing tale.

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 01:37PM
This sounds fascinating. I don't plan to order that book just to read one good story, so how did it go exactly?

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: casofile (IP Logged)
Date: 26 February, 2021 11:15PM
This story, as Behrends completed it, reads more like "The Plutonian Drug" or "Murder in the Fourth Dimension" than a story set among the Aihai on Mars. In his efforts to re-live his memories of his first love, Space Alley Jon (a name I simply cannot believe Smith thought worthy or even appropriate) is doomed to a predictably spectacular failure. Having said this, I still rather enjoyed reading this conclusion and we'll have to find some way to include it here on Eldritch Dark.

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 27 February, 2021 04:52PM
I agree that "Space Alley Jon" is a name I wouldn't expect from CAS. It belongs in those cliched sci-fi thrillers with ray guns and green swashbuckling Martians! Maybe it was a placeholder, or maybe he thought it would appeal to the average reader.

What you describe of Behrends' continuation sounds pleasing enough to me. CAS' plots aren't usually known for their dynamic turns, so I wouldn't be surprised if such a simple premise can still be written wondrously. Even so, I'm slightly surprised by the direction Behrends took. From the warnings of the Aihai dive-keeper, and perhaps my unfair expectations of the Aihai cycle, I imagined an increasingly surreal trip in which the horrors and regrets of his past keep eclipsing his attempts at re-experiencing his first love, to the point that she keeps slipping away while his shadows engulf him, and mingle with his nostalgia, and then seep into his present surroundings, until reality practically shatters in that dark and looming Martian city! A bit like "The Chain of Aforgomon" with some of the chaos of "The Hashish-Eater".

I always thought the Martian stories, and the city of Ignarh itself, felt funereal enough for this kind of gloomy, haunting premise.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 27 Feb 21 | 04:56PM by Hespire.

Re: CAS's unfinished tales
Posted by: casofile (IP Logged)
Date: 28 February, 2021 06:43PM
Wow . . . Well said . . . Perhaps you should have been the one to complete ths tale rather than Steve Behrends!!



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