The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith 1915

Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961), perhaps best known today for his association with H.P Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, is in his own right a unique master of fantasy, horror and science-fiction. Highly imaginative, his genre-spanning visions of worlds beyond, combined with his profound understanding of the English language, have inspired an ever -increasing legion of fans and admirers.

For most of his life, he lived in physical and intellectual isolation in Auburn, California (USA). Predominantly self-educated with no formal education after grammar school, Smith wore out his local library and delved so deeply into the dictionary that his richly embellished, yet precise, prose leaves one with the sense that they are in the company of a true master of language.

Though Smith primarily considered himself a poet, having turned to prose for the meager financial sum it rewarded, his prose might best be appreciated as a "fleshed" out poetry. In this light, plot and characters are subservient to the milieu of work: a setting of cold quiet reality, which, mixed with the erotic and the exotic, places his work within its own unique, phantasmagoric genre. While he also experimented in painting, sculpture, and translation, it is in his written work that his legacy persists.

During his lifetime, Smith's work appeared commonly in the pulps alongside other masters such H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, and E. Hoffmann Price and like many great artists, recognition and appreciation have come posthumously. In recent decades though, a resurgence of interest in his works has lead to numerous reprintings as well as scholarly critiques.

The Eldritch Dark is a site to facilitate both scholars and fans in their appreciation and study of Clark Ashton Smith and his works.

Last 5 Eldritch Words Discussion Forum posts:

6 Jan, 2019 7:46PM by jdworth

“I hope you enjoy it.

On another front... I need to issue a correction. Somehow (don't ask, as I really do NOT know) I managed to conflate Simak and Jack Williamson (author of The Humanoids). My comments about City stand, and there are indeed other things you might be interested in; but obviously you need to… ”

6 Jan, 2019 2:18AM by Minicthulhu

“Thank you.

I came to know this author only a few days ago by reading his short story "The Street That Was Not" which impressed me so much I have started to look for more stuff by this writer. "City" looks really promising and has been booked. :-)… ”

6 Jan, 2019 12:37AM by Chipougne

“Out of Their Minds (1970) cannot be considered a horror story, but (minor spoiler here) I remember that as a young Lovecraft fan I was quite surprised to see that the Great Cthulhu makes a brief but noticeable appearance in the novel.… ”

5 Jan, 2019 11:45AM by jdworth

“I don't know of any supernatural horror stories by Simak (though they may exist), but various of his science fiction stories might well be considered as horror or terror tales, from portions of City (an episodic novel originally a set of short stories, as with several of his works), to "With Folded Hands", the final… ”

5 Jan, 2019 11:36AM by Minicthulhu


Does anybody know if the well-known science fiction writer Clifford D. Simak wrote horror stories?… ”

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