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If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Aillas (IP Logged)
Date: 21 May, 2012 02:28AM
If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?

I've yet to read everything by CAS, so I can't quite make a list of my own yet.

I want to get people I know into CAS and will point them over to the most frequently mentioned stories that are to appear in this thread. I understand that it might be tough to pick just five or ten stories, but try your hardest!

Thanks.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Avoosl Wuthoqquan (IP Logged)
Date: 21 May, 2012 04:45AM
I'm not sure what a recommendation from a complete stranger is worth, but as I love lists, here are my ten favourites, in chronological order:

* The Abominations of Yondo
* The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan
* The Seed from the Sepulcher
* The Double Shadow
* The Isle of the Torturers
* The Death of Malygris
* The Coming of the White Worm
* The Seven Geases
* The Chain of Aforgomon
* The Treader of the Dust

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Absquatch (IP Logged)
Date: 21 May, 2012 10:04AM
A older but closely related thread that you may find of interest appears here.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 21 May, 2012 02:47PM
I'd find it difficult to narrow it down to five or ten, but Avoosl's list is a good start. Instead, I'll list a handful of what I consider CAS's total duds, as what to avoid recommending to new readers of his work. Keep in mind that I adore the vast majority of his stories, so take my criticisms with that in mind :-):

"The Return of the Sorcerer" - This is uninspired stock Weird Tales boilerplate of the lowest order. Some people seem to like this one; such people are what I like to call "crazy".

"The Supernumerary Corpse" - Should have been entitled, "The Supernumerary Tale".

All of the Captain Volmar/Polaris stories - If one doesn't even drive a car, attempting to describe spaceships and space travel is probably a bad idea.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 21 May 12 | 02:48PM by Radovarl.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Robert Gibson (IP Logged)
Date: 28 June, 2013 11:35AM
My list (in no particular order):

The City of the Singing Flame
The Immeasurable Horror
The Immortals of Mercury
The Demon of the Flower
The Monster of the Prophecy
Xeethra
The Chain of Aforgomon
The Holiness of Azedarac
Vulthoom
Master of the Asteroid

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 28 June, 2013 12:09PM
The first 8 are easy for me. In no particular order -

* The Maze of the Enchanter
* Xeethra
* The Dark Eidolon
* The Last Hieroglyph
* The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan
* The Double Shadow
* The Death of Malygris
* The Coming of the White Worm

After that, the next two out of the ten are much more difficult - "The Plutonian Drug" or "Master of the Asteroid", "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros" or "The Testament of Athammaus", "Sadastor" or "A Night in Malneant", "The Last Incantation" or "The Chain of Aforgomon", and what of the original versions of "The Beast of Averoigne" and "Necromancy of Naat" (both with the manuscript text but the NEW endings, one of those peculiarities which makes a choice of definitive text so difficult in some cases).

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 28 June, 2013 12:11PM
And I see that I have left out "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis" along with many other favorites.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 28 June, 2013 08:52PM
I would have to add Genius Loci, Schizoid Creator, and Mother of Toads -
unforgettable from first reading to the thousandth.
And, the Black Abbott of Puthuum,as originally published, not the expanded re-published edition -

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Scott Connors (IP Logged)
Date: 29 June, 2013 01:36PM
The City of the Singing Flame
The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis
The Dark Eidolon
Xeethra
The Last Heiroglyph
The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan
The Double SHadow
The Beast of Averoigne
The Maze of the Enchanter
Genius Loci

Managed to get most (but not all :( ) of these into the Penguin book.

This leaves off so much that is also first rate: The Death of Malygris, The God of the Asteroid, etc.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Draugen (IP Logged)
Date: 29 June, 2013 03:30PM
Very tough, I could have an entirely different story selection based on my mood, and I'm sure there are some I haven't read in a while that I'm not considering:

The Abominations of Yondo
Xeethra
The Death of Malygris
A Voyage to Sfanomoë
The Demon of the Flower
City of the Singing Flame
The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis
The Double Shadow
The Maze of the Enchanter
The End of the Story

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 29 June, 2013 07:40PM
Not quite the same thing: my favorite CAS tales (not the "best"; I'm not qualified to say that without serious study):

1) The City of Singing Flame; pure Fortean genius

2) The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis; I love the Martian atmosphere

3) The Charnel God; Poe raised to the 100th power

4) The Second Interment; Poe raised to the millionth power

5) The Devotee of Evil; I like CAS's everyday settings just as much (or more) than his otherworldly settings...

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: ThinkerX (IP Logged)
Date: 30 June, 2013 10:59PM
The 'Return of the Sorcerer', with an introduction by Gene Wolfe did something like this. Those tales are:

1) The Return of the Sorcerer (more Lovecraft than Smith, I thought)
2) The City of Singing Flame (dang good)
3) Beyond the Singing Flame (I was hoping for this to turn into a series)
4) The Vaults of Voh-Yombis
5) The Double Shadow
6) The Monster of the Prophecy (interesting twist)
7) The Hunters from Beyond
8) The Isle of the Torturers (made me wonder about the 'King as sole survivor' theme of Zothique)
9) A Night in Malneant
10) The Chain of Aforgomon
11) The Dark Eidolon
13) The Seven Geases (I really liked this, thought the protagonist should have survived)
14) The Holiness of Azedarac
15) The Beast of Averoigne
16) The Empire of the Necromancers
17) The Disinterment of Venus
18) THe Devotee of Evil
19) The Enchantress of Sylaire

Yes, it be more than ten tales...but most of CAS's tales are on the short side. Even with 19 stories, 'Return of the Sorcerer' checks in at a mere 350 pages.

For a list of my own...I'd suggest several books, each containing fifteen or eighteen stories grouped by catagory: a 'Zothique' set, a 'prehistory' set, and a contemporary/historical set.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: zimriel (IP Logged)
Date: 14 November, 2019 08:46PM
Here's my list, in no particular order :
* The Abominations of Yondo
* City of the Singing Flame
* The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis
* The Colossus of Ylourgne
* The Coming of the White Worm
* The Empire of the Necromancers
* The Isle of the Torturers
* The Charnel God

I'm with the majority that CAS hit on something amazing in Zothique.

Per Radovarl, here is my LEAST favourite. If ThinkerX will allow me :

3) Beyond the Singing Flame (I was hoping for this to turn into a series)

Smith had indeed planned a trilogy; he just didn't finish the third story, "The Rebirth of the Flame". This might have redeemed "Beyond the Singing Flame". For my part I hated "Beyond" to such an extent, that I wrote "Cult of the Singing Flame" to supplant it.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 14 November, 2019 11:18PM
calonlan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... the Black Abbott of Puthuum,as originally
> published, not the expanded re-published edition -


What expanded edition was Calonlan referring to here? The Necronomicon Press version? If so, then I must have missed it being largely different from earlier prints.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 15 November, 2019 07:05AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> calonlan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > ... the Black Abbott of Puthuum,as originally
> > published, not the expanded re-published edition
> -
>
>
> What expanded edition was Calonlan referring to
> here? The Necronomicon Press version? If so, then
> I must have missed it being largely different from
> earlier prints.

He may have been referring to this very limited publication: [jito.home.xs4all.nl]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15 Nov 19 | 07:08AM by Martinus.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 15 November, 2019 11:33AM
Martinus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Knygatin Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > calonlan Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > ... the Black Abbott of Puthuum,as originally
> > > published, not the expanded re-published
> edition
> > -
> >
> >
> > What expanded edition was Calonlan referring to
> > here? The Necronomicon Press version? If so,
> then
> > I must have missed it being largely different
> from
> > earlier prints.
>
> He may have been referring to this very limited
> publication:
> [jito.home.xs4all.nl]
> ion/the-black-abbot-of-puthuum.htm


Thank you, Martinus.

Quote from [Fine Press Chapbooks]:
"This chapbook [printed 2007] presents, for the first time, Smith′s story from the unaltered original manuscript (1935). Included is a reproduction of the long thought lost illustration of Virgil Finlay (from the story′s first published version in the famed magazine Weird Tales)—here, for the first time in its original coloration."

Quote from WorldCat ([isfdb.org]): "Complete version, from a manuscript found in the collection of Robert H. Barlow, of a story originally published in an abridged version in the May 1936 issue of Weird tales."

Interesting. I didn't know of this version. Surely it is the same that was later published in The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, in which the restored parts are described as "unsuccessful attempts at romantic comedy".

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 15 November, 2019 02:38PM
My best "7" from what I have read by C. A. Smith so far is:

The Primal City
Genius Loci
Murder In The Fourth Dimension
The Double Cosmos
The Second Interment
The Uncharted Island
The Supernumerary Corpse

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Yluos (IP Logged)
Date: 19 November, 2019 12:51PM
I think this topic still has use for other people who have yet to read CAS, even if it's somewhat of a "What are your favorite stories he wrote" thread.

Rather than make a list, I'd like to consider what five or ten of his best stories best display Smith's talent across multiple styles and fields, so as to vary the reading experience and perhaps entice people to read more of his work without the impression that he only writes horror, science-fiction, fantasy, satire, etc., unless it's specifically a "Best horror/sci-fi/fantasy/satire of Smith" collection.

An absolute must is Genius Loci, with its mundane setting expanded so viscerally and insidiously into its own weird world. Easily his finest horror story. Another must is Ubbo-Sathla, which is not only significant as a "Cthulhu Mythos" story but also as an example of how he uniquely marries the genii of fantasy and science-fiction through such seamless prose and ideas. A Zothique story or two are definitely necessary, as without a doubt they represent some of Smith's best fantasy. In the field of "scientifiction", as Smith occasionally called it, I'd probably aim for his satirical Monster of the Prophecy, or maybe A Star-Change or Double Cosmos. And for a mix of fantasy, grotesque humor, and steamy horrible sex, I think The Mother of Toads is an absolute, all-capitalized MUST.

I'd also love to include his poetry in verse and prose, as I think that really rounds out the CAS experience (plus maybe a cover based on one of his paintings or drawings), but I suppose that's not what this thread is for. :)



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 19 Nov 19 | 01:08PM by Yluos.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 19 November, 2019 01:30PM
I think I just solved your mystery. The original printing, in Weird Tales, May, 1930, says "in November, 1789". Looks like someone transposed the last 2 digits by accident.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: D.M. Ritzlin (IP Logged)
Date: 27 November, 2019 10:10AM
jimrockhill2001 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> ...and what of the original
> versions of "The Beast of Averoigne" and
> "Necromancy of Naat" (both with the manuscript
> text but the NEW endings, one of those
> peculiarities which makes a choice of definitive
> text so difficult in some cases).


I wasn't aware there was an alternate version of "Necromancy in Naat." How different is it from the common one? I assume that version was published in the Night Shade collections, but was it printed anywhere else?

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: kojootti (IP Logged)
Date: 1 December, 2019 01:49AM
D.M. Ritzlin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jimrockhill2001 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> > ...and what of the original
> > versions of "The Beast of Averoigne" and
> > "Necromancy of Naat" (both with the manuscript
> > text but the NEW endings, one of those
> > peculiarities which makes a choice of
> definitive
> > text so difficult in some cases).
>
>
> I wasn't aware there was an alternate version of
> "Necromancy in Naat." How different is it from the
> common one? I assume that version was published in
> the Night Shade collections, but was it printed
> anywhere else?


I have two books containing "Necromancy in Naat"; LOST WORLDS and the Night Shade collection. In the appendix of the latter, it states that their version is Smith's original manuscript with only a few changes he made for publication, and this version is a LOT richer in detail, with several paragraphs existing just to describe the world, atmosphere, and emotions. I assume the version in LOST WORLDS is the edited Weird Tales print, because many of these paragraphs are either shortened or missing. No mention is made of Yadar's adventures before he ended up on Naat (a good several paragraphs of travel and heroics), which I think is a shame, because even if it may seem "pointless" to the plot I think it nicely expresses the immense span of time and distance from his home, not to mention his fierce dedication. And many long and poetic sentiments are gutted down to nearly their most basic form of expression. Unfortunately, it seems the version on this website is the Weird Tales print.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 1 Dec 19 | 02:14AM by kojootti.

Re: If you were to compile a CAS "best of" anthology, which five or ten stories would you include in it?
Posted by: Kipling (IP Logged)
Date: 12 January, 2020 05:13PM
1.The Double Shadow, The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis, The Dark Eidolon, Xeethra, Necromancy in Naat, The Planet of the Dead, The City of the Singing Flame, The Disinterment of Venus, A Rendezvous in Averoigne, The Letter From Mohaun Los



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