Letter to H. P. Lovecraft

From Clark Ashton Smith

[3] [26 November 1929]

Dear H.P.L. :

By far the best news in your last letter is the intimation that you may do some new original work. I think you would be wise to do this, for more reasons than one; and I hope you will loan me copies of the results, which I am indeed eager to see. I haven't really enjoyed anything in the realm of weird writing since your "Call of Cthulhu" and "The Dunwich Horror". As I said in a letter to Wright,[1] no one else living has your command of primordial and abysmal horror.

[. . .] I have been re-reading most of Poe lately: his best things seem even better, and his poorer ones worse, after a lapse of years.

I am quite elated over the placing of my longest story, "The Venus of Azombeii", for which Wright is offering me 75 bucks. I enclose a carbon of "Satampra Zeiros" [2] which you should like. I have two sizeable affairs under way, one of them a brand-new conception with illimitable possibilities, which I am calling "The Monster of the Prophecy" [. . .] The Antarean adventures of the poet will, I think, be something absolutely novel in interplanetary fiction. He ends up, after incredible perils and experiences that bring him to the verge of insanity, as the lover of an ennuid princess with three legs, five arms, and an opalescent skin, and realizes that, even though he is universally looked upon as a monstrosity, he is no worse off in this respect than he was in his own world. For once, I think, the side-lights of satire will not detract from the fantasy.

I bought a copy of Amazing Stories not long ago, and was appalled by the increasing pedantry of its contents. I wish there was a real weird magazine, with you, Long, Wandrei [3] and myself on the permanent staff of contributors!

Write me when you have the time. And don't forget those stories, for the sake of Ahriman, Taranis, Iblees, Malik Taus, Beelzebub, Adamastor, Alastor, Asmodeus and Lucifer! ! ! !

As ever,

p.s. [. . .] The atmospheric conditions here strike me as being genuinely abnormal: among other things, our sky (though the stars are very bright) has a peculiar iron blackness at night which I have never seen before. And a woman friend of mine tells me that she saw the noon sky actually whiten the other day, as if there were some intense momentary radiation. That sort of things gets one's imagination working.


  1. Farnsworth Wright, editor of Weird Tales; also referred to as Satrap Pharnabosus, Pharnbeezer, etc., by Smith and Lovecraft. Satrap signifies a petty or secondary ruler.
  2. Smith's "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros" (Lost Worlds (1944)).
  3. Frank Belknap Long and Donald Wandrei, fellow contributors to Weird Tales.

From: Clark Ashton Smith: LETTERS TO H. P. LOVECRAFT, edited by and footnotes by Steve Behrends (July 1987) Necronomicon Press.

Printed from: www.eldritchdark.com/writings/correspondence/13
Printed on: January 21, 2019