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The End of the Story (The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, Vol. 1) by Clark Ashton Smith

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The first of five volumes collecting the complete stories of renowned “weird fiction” author Clark Ashton Smith. “None strikes the note of cosmic horror as well as Clark Ashton Smith. In sheer daemonic strangeness and fertility of conception, Smith is perhaps unexcelled by any other writer.”—H. P. LovecraftClark Ashton Smith, considered one of the greatest contributors to seminal pulp magazines such as Weird Tales, helped define and shape “weird fiction” in the early twentieth century, alongside contemporaries H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, drawing upon his background in poetry to convey an unparalleled richness of imagination and expression in his stories of the bizarre and fantastical.The Collected Fantasies series presents all of Smith’s fiction chronologically. Authorized by the author’s estate and endorsed by Arkham House, the stories in this series are accompanied by detailed background notes from editors Scott Connors and Ron Hilger, who in preparation for this collection meticulously compared original manuscripts, various typescripts, published editions, and Smith’s own notes and letters. Their efforts have resulted in the most definitive and complete collection of the author’s work to date.The End of the Story is the first of five volumes collecting all of Clark Ashton Smith’s tales of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. It includes all of his stories from “The Abominations of Yondo” (1925) to “A Voyage to Sfanomoë” (1930) and an introduction by Ramsey Campbell.


Reviews (7)
Whitesmasher
Clark Ashton Smith is one of the great writers of horror and dark fantasy, a contemporary, dear friend and literary equal of HP Lovecraft. The Collected Fantasies ia a multi-volume collection of all his short stories. It was previously available as lmited edition hardcovers which sold out quickly and are now only available for exhorbitant prices. The kindle version allows you to have access to those stories if you missed out then. CAS's weaves a marvelous tapestry of language, and his stories even with all their dark content often have a sliver of wicked humor that makes them stand out. Highly recommended to all fans of literary horror in the vein of Lovecraft.
Samugul
Clark Ashton Smith remains my favorite fantasy author, even over such authors as Tolkien and Moorcock. His style of prose and the sheer wild creativity in his stories brings the reader quickly into another world. I was originally introduced to him through his association with H.P. Lovecraft - but his work is very different, generally lighter toned, even when the subject matter is dark.

I highly recommend not just this book, but the series, in both audio and prose forms.
Yellow Judge
Though Ive long considered myself a fan of pulp era fiction, Ive increasingly realized how limited my experience among the true pulp masters really was. Somehow I had never heard of Clark Ashton Smith untill just a few months ago when I first noticed this series. I was so impressed at the scholarship, time and quality that went into producing it, much like the recent Robert E Howard collections, that I was sure the stories within must be worthwhile. "Worthwhile" was a complete underestimation of Smith's fiction. I devoured this volume in two days, and will no doubt have re read it fully by the time Volume 2 arrives. I have the rest of this series on order and I can not wait to become even more lost in Mr Smith's wierd fantastical immagination.
Kagrel
This is a great introduction the CAS' works. He was a contemporary of and much admired by H.P. Lovecraft. There are quite a few gems in here.
Legionstatic
Very recommended, so descriptive, yet fluid writing. Poetic style with a fast pace, wish I could write like him. FANTASTIC!
Samugor
This apparently is book one of the collected works of Clark Ashton Smith. I'm familiar with some of his works having read them in small anthologies years ago but this is the full collection spanning the four or five books. It's nice to have all of his works in print and in chronological order so the reader can see how, as he continued writing, his style would mature over the years. A collection well worth having for those interested in weird and horror fiction that has a hint of Lovecraft wafting through it's pages.
Kulalbine
I've been an avid CAS reader for over 30 years. I happened on the Ballantine Books "Fantasy Series" paperback edition ZOTHIQUE when it was first released in the 70s, and have long wished for a compendium of his work.

CAS's style is very dense, and reflects very careful construction of prose as well as plot. His style is as evolved as Lord Dunsany, Morris, and Tolkien, and is entertaining in it's own right. Don't let this scare you off - his stories are all eminently accessible to casual readers, and numerous wry turns of phrase indicate a well-honed (but bone dry) sense of humor.

When compared to his better-known contemporaries, H.P. Lovecraft (Cthulu) and Robert E. Howard (Conan) I find CAS to be more a "readers writer." CAS is a master of phrasing surpassing HPL - his stories are less eerie than HPL, and don't slather on the dread as heavily. CAS is (usually) less swash-buckling blood-and-gore than REH, but doesn't shrink from characters hacking each other to bits when the story requires.

The only fault I can find with this series is that stories are ordered by date of publication. (Perhaps this was required by the copyrights issued to the three Ballantine collections assembled by Lin Carter.) My preference, though less academic, would be to collect the tales by story cycle to facilitate READING rather than STUDYING. Nevertheless, these volumes are without question well worth the investment - like a collection of Poe, you will find yourself returning to them many times.
I previously said:
"I would give the hard cover versions of the Collected Fantasies five stars, but was very disappointed with the Kindle versions. None have a Table of Contents. There was a particular story I wanted to re-read but I couldn't remember which volume it was in. I was shocked that the Kindle versions don't list the stories at the beginning of the books. Sure, one could do a search, but try remembering the spelling of some of the proper names!"

However, the books now have a regular interactive table of contents just as Kindle books should. I am not sure if the publisher put them in and they appeared because of an auto-update or if they did not appear in my old Kindle because it was a now discontinued model. The old Kindle broke when run over so I can't check. The old Kindle did show the TOCs of other Kindle books. Anyway, I have changed my review to 5 stars and highly recommend all the Collected Fantasies volumes.

The Kindle versions are very reasonably priced and allow you to read a LOT of GREAT stories by an amazing writer.

ISBN: 1597800287

Rating: 4.7/5

Votes: 228

Other Formats: lrf azw mbr doc

ISBN13: 978-1597800280

Publisher: Night Shade Books; First Edition, Second Printing edition (January 1, 2007)

Language: English

Subcategory: Genre Fiction

Pages: 272

The End of the Story (The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, Vol. 1)
Literature & Fiction
Author: Clark Ashton Smith
Title: The End of the Story (The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, Vol. 1)