The Return Of The Sorcerer: The Best Of Clark Ashton Smith by Clark Ashton Smith
I'm just going to mention my favorites in this short story collection.
The Return of the Sorcerer - I can appreciate that this came before some of my favorite horror films, Evil Dead, Lord of Illusions, but I'm stunned to see how many themes and tropes have carried over the years to be embedded so firmly in our horrific psyche. This story is rife with oblivious misunderstandings, but who cares... it's supposed to play upon our greatest horrific imaginings, and if it is heavy, it can be excused because it is a short story. It's also from 1931. It feels pretty damn modern, though. Kudos!
The City of the Singing Flame - So pretty. Missing that taste of other worlds and strange creatures in an alternate reality, full of huge moths, pilgrims in an occult dimension, and an awe-some fraternity of inconceivable life and mind? This is such a pretty story of discovery and sight-seeing. Once more into the flame!
There's a lot of tales that feature necromancy and devils and other kinds of dark gifts. Pretty decent, and even rather modern in flavor, so I'm rather surprised that it came out so long ago.
They ARE very hammy, though, and quite amusingly so, but nothing more deep than, say, a D&D game or one of those EVIL B-Movies of yore. EVIL! EVIL! lol
The Dark Eidolon - This one was probably the most turgid prose I've ever read. Yes, Turgid. Like the biggest glowing evil member of fallen humanity and dark gods. It says a lot that the least evil character is the ancient emperor seeking immortality through necromancy is the most innocent among them. :)
Very b-movie stuff. So much necromancy, so much EVIL! Pretty fantastic, all told, but only if you're a fan of the horror. No suspense, really. Just outright, unhidden, horror. :)
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