Letter to William N. Austin

From Clark Ashton Smith

Auburn, Cal.
July 19th, 1949.

Dear Mr. Austin:

Luckily, I got your card in time and am mailing you today some of the pictures specified as possible favorites: The Basilisk, Racornu, Avalzant, and the otherwise unnamable Monster from an Alien World. I hope you will like them.

The copy of The Double Shadow and Other fantasies is a gift. If you could sell any copies of this pamphlet, I'll be glad to supply you with them at .50¢ apience. You could add whatever the traffic will bear. I find that I have an extra of The White Sybil, which was full of misprints and bound up with a yarn by Dr. Keller; also, an extra of The Immortals of Mercury. You can have these for whatever they are worth to you.

The Double Shadow pamphlet contains two yarns, The Double Shadow itself, and A Night in Malnéant, which, in slightly abridged form, were included later in Out of Space and Time. The Maze of the Enchanter, also pruned of a certain amount of purple verbiage, you will find in Lost Worlds under the title of The Maze of Maal Dweb. The Voyage of King Euvoran, reduced from 9000 to 6000 [next word typed out] words, appeared two or three years ago in Weird Tales as Quest of the Gazolba. The Willow Landscape you will find, with little or no alteration, in Genius Loci. This tale, by the way, received two magazine printings--the first being in the Philippine Magazine in far-off Manila, and the second in Weird Tales which had previously rejected it three or four times! Incidentally, most of the other yarns in the pamphlet were eventually used by Farnsworth Wright after he had fired them back with some meticulous criticism! I never could sell him The Devotee of Evil, however; but even this tale finally achieved magazine printing in a short-lived periodical called Stirring Science Stories.

The Maze of the Enchanter (original version) was selected for use some years ago in a text-book designed for supplementary reading in junior colleges. I've never sen the book and can't be sure of recall its exact name, which was some title as Modern American Literature.

Clark Ashton Smith


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