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review The Door to Saturn Õ eBook or Kindle ePUB · ➱ [Read] ➬ The Door to Saturn By Clark Ashton Smith ➼ – Published in chronological order with extensive story and bibliographic notes this series not only provides access to stories that have been out of print for years but gives them a hIa fantasy grimdark sword and sorcery contemporary urban fantasy steampunk alternative history and horror zombies vampires and the occult and supernatural and much While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller a national bestseller or a Hugo or Nebula award winner we are committed to publishing uality books from a diverse group of author. Not his best stories a few of them are boring and a few of them are really good The first volume was better

Clark Ashton Smith ¶ 3 read & download

Stories creating a definitive preferred text for Smith's entire body of work This second volume of the series brings together of his fantasy stories Skyhorse Publishing under our Night Shade and Talos imprints is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction space opera time travel hard SF alien invasion near future dystop. Since the book is called The Door to Saturn and since that's the first story that appears in the collection I should probably deal with that one first It's a bit odd coming to it as a HP Lovecraft junkie In Lovecraft's stories Tsathoggua is pretty similar to the other Great Old Ones a creatue of nameless fear worshipped in secret by formless things that crawl along the black channels in lightless N'Kai deep below the surface of the earth Lovecraft obviously took that from The Tale of Satampra Zeiros but he put his own spin on it and I read Lovecraft's work first so coming to The Door to Saturn and have Tsathoggua portrayed as essentially a wizard's demonic familiar who shows up makes ironic comments and shares cosmic wisdom was pretty jarring Even though that's a minor part of the story the whole tone of The Door to Saturn has a kind of ironic wink behind it from the prophecy uttered by Hziuluoigmnzhah on Saturn to the straight ripoff of the Blemmyes as a Saturnian race And then right when it seems to be getting interesting it endsThat's a problem with a lot of the stories in this book actually Take A Rendezvous in Averoigne That story is one of Smith's most famous and reprinted stories and I can kind of see why just from the language alone HereBut when he thought to reach again the spot from which he had heard that shrill unearthly scream he saw that there was no longer a path; nor indeed any feature of the forest which he could remember or recognize The foliage about him no longer displayed a brilliant verdure; it was sad and funereal and the trees themselves were either cypress like or were already sere with autumn or decay In lieu of the purling brook there lay before him a tarn of waters that were dark and dull as clotting blood and which gave back no reflection of the brown autumnal sedges that trailed therein like the hair of suicides and the skeletons of rotting osiers that writhed above themThat is fantastic The mood that the story sets from the gloomy forest to the shadowed and unhallowed castle to the inhabitants who should not be all of it is extremely creepy and evocative And that makes it all the frustrating that the story slowly builds and builds and then solves itself in like three paragraphs the end I think that's why I rated The Door to Saturn only three stars While the writing was uniformly good across the board and there was a lot of really evocative language there wasn't actually that much that stuck with me after I read it Many of the stories ended much earlier than I would have liked and seemed to spend 90% of the time setting up a problem only to solve it in an instant An Adventure in Futurity The Red World of Polaris and A Captivity in Serpens no eldritchdarkcom links for those were all stories of that typeThere were two main stories that stuck with me One was The Testament of Athammaus another Hyperborean story like The Tale of Satampra Zeiros and one that actually tells the past of the city that Satampra and his companion visit That one was uite creepy though I thought the mood was a bit undermined by how clinical the tone was Despite describing hideous and terrible events the protagonist has a rather blasé attitude towards the whole thing and even has the distinction of being the last person to remain in the city before its ultimate abandonment He is an executioner true but he still doesn't have that much experience with ultra mundane beings like Knygathin Zhaum and I would have thought that the experiences of dealing with such an entity would have affected him deeplyCome to think of it that's my problem with most of the stories here There's no emotional weight to the characters' actions even if the words of the narrative themselves are forboding or gloomy or eerie or horrific I rarely get the sense that the characters actually feel that way The one story where I really felt like the characters weren't suare jawed Heroes was The Return of the Sorcerer And actually for the longest time I thought this was one of Lovecraft's stories because I originally read it in one of those books that's half filled with Lovecraft stories and half filled with stories by other authors and then has Lovecraft's name all over the cover to help sell it This is probably the moodiest story in the entire book with palpable emotion expressed by all the characters contained therein and it's absolutely worth reading even if you don't read any of the other stories Also in reference to my review of The End of the Story where I mention Smith's use of Latinate words there's a uote from a letter Smith wrote to Lovecraft in the appendix of The Door to Saturn where he saysI was told the other day that my ‘Door to Saturn’ could be read only with a dictionary also that I would sell stories if I were to simplify my vocabularyWhich I did find uite amusing though I admit that the stories here would lose a lot of what made them great if the language were simpler Many of them don't have much to recommend them in terms of plot but the language makes them worth at least one read Well some of them I wouldn't recommend An Adventure in Futurity or The Letter from Mohaun Los at all but The Return of the Sorcerer or Told in the Desert are definitely a good readPrevious Review The End of the StoryNext Review A Vintage from Atlantis

free download ç eBook or Kindle ePUB ¶ Clark Ashton Smith

The Door to SaturnPublished in chronological order with extensive story and bibliographic notes this series not only provides access to stories that have been out of print for years but gives them a historical and social context Series editors Scott Conners and Ronald S Hilger excavated the The Door PDF or still existing manuscripts letters and various published versions of the. The Door to SaturnPart of CAS' Hyperborean cycle the Door to Saturn has an interesting premise A party of inuisitors storm the wizard Eibon's tower hoping to bring him to justice for heresy Eibon has a contingency plan however and a magic panel presented to him from his otherworldly patron Zhothauah to escape to Cykranosh Saturn The chief inuisitor Morghi discovers the trick and follows Eibon They discover that the planet isn't especially hospital to human life and they put aside their differences in an effort to survive their incomprehensible new environment While event and locale driven than plot driven the pair have an amusing adventure that reads very much like the kind of tale that Jack Vance would later writeThe Red World of PolarisThis story is a straight science fiction tale with a ship of explorers pulled down to the surface of a planet orbiting Polaris after drifting too close They encounter aliens who have replaced their bodies with mechanical shells and their hosts are homicidally offended when the humans rebuff their offer for a similar upgrade While a lot happens in this story apart from some vivid description there isn't much of interest here Like The Door to Saturn it's another story about characters trapped in a strange land but it lacks the humor and whimsy of the previous taleTold in the DesertThis story returns to one of Clark Ashton Smith's favorite themes loss A desert wanderer tells his camp mates about his chance discovery of an isolated oasis and the charming young woman he romanced there A callow individual he takes his simple lifestyle and devoted paramour for granted and leaves the oasis He realizes his mistake too late and wanders the deserts searching in vain for the oasis There aren't any big surprises in this story but it's a simple fable well toldThe Willow LandscapeWhile the previous story had an Arabian setting this one takes place in ancient China It involves an art collecting courtier who has fallen on hard times He supports himself and his much younger brother by selling off pieces of his collection until he eventually has to part with his absolute favorite piece a wall scroll depicting a idyllic glen with a rustic hut and arched bridge and a small figure of a beautiful woman The new owner a fat man who refreshingly is not depicted as greedy or cruel graciously allows the impoverished courtier one last night with the painting He is rewarded for his love and devotion over the years by a mysterious voice who welcomes him into the world of the scroll where he lives happily ever after with the maiden in the painting As an art lover I enjoyed this story a great deal It seemed a bit like a reversal of Pygmalion both feature protagonists who are rewarded for their devotion to a work of art but instead of Galatea becoming flesh and joining Pygmalion as his wife the courtier whose heart is native here but alien to all the world beside is absorbed into the art This is a beautiful charming storyA Rendezvous in AveroigneThis story is a classic but probably for the prose than the plot It's a nice vampire story but there's not much in the way of dramatic tension The protagonist finds himself in a creepy atmospheric situation but it's resolved pretty smoothly all things considered Everything goes according to plan with the vampire slaying and I can't help but think the story would be stronger if there had been obstacles or setbacks along the way Still the story is beautifully toldThe GorgonThis story about the caretaker of Medusa's head could easily have been written by Lovecraft of Clive Barker There aren't any major twists or reveals but it has a nice creepy toneAn Offering to the MoonThis story didn't work too well for me The core premise of an archaeologist basically going native and attacking a colleague while investigating an ancient sacrificial site had promise but the framing could have been betterThe Kiss of ZoraidaI tend to like CAS' Arabian Nights style stories and while straightforward this is an effectively written story of a jealous husband's revengeThe Face by the RiverNot particularly notable or memorableThe GhoulAnother Arabian Nights tale this one is clever take on the theme of an average person burdened with a horrible task by a monster Darkly poignantThe Tale of Sir John MaundevilleThis story about a valiant knight starts off in an exciting and atmospheric manner but the ending is absurdly anti climactic A literal conueror worm king imprisons the knight for trespassing into the kingdom of the dead andwordlessly peacefully releases him after a reasonable period of incarceration I would have liked to read Robert E Howard's take on this premise he would've given it a much worthier ending for sureAn Adventure in FuturityWhile involving time instead of space travel the second half of this story is almost a retelling of The Red World of Polaris with an advanced society being overthrown by a slave uprising combined with biological warfare I found it hard to summon up much sympathy for the future humans given that they kept slaves in the first place This story also felt entirely too long compared to PolarisThe Justice of the ElephantWhile set in India this story has a similar flavor to the Arabian Nights style This story makes an interesting pair with The Kiss of Zoraida as it's the lover who gets revenge on the murderous cuckolded husband That he makes use of the very same weapon used to kill the executed wife adds a nice symmetryThe Return of the SorcererThis story with a secretary hired to assist a reclusive and harried looking occultist starts off uite a bit like The Devotee of Evil from Volume 1 Fortunately it takes a wildly divergent path after the initial setup is established and culminates in a grisly ending that Edgar Allan Poe would have greatly appreciatedThe City of the Singing FlameThis tale inspires uestions than it answers It's framed as an abandoned diary from a vanished colleague so it's easy to guess the narrator's fate but the mysterious otherworld is described in an extremely compelling manner A Good Embalmer It's easy to predict where this story is headed after the opening paragraphs but this story stands out as one of the obviously humorous of CAS' talesThe Testament of AthammausAn executioner deals with a monstrous criminal that refuses to stay dead This story has an interesting premise and some creepy exposition but otherwise doesn't stand out too muchThe Amazing PlanetThis is an unusually action packed story for CAS Mistaken for animals a pair of space explorers are captured by aliens and put on display at a zoo Unable to communicate through any means but violence the pair escape their cage and kill waves and waves of aliens until they're recaptured and shot back into space in the direction of the initial planet The story has an interesting desperate premise but the execution doesn't uite live up to itThe Letter from Mohaun LosI'd grown a bit tired of time travel stories by the time this one appeared but this one had an interesting twist The universe is always in motion so if you travel far enough forward or backward in time you can't count on remaining in the same spot As a result the protagonist ends up traveling not just through time but into outer space and even to other planets He and his stereotypical Chinese servant encounter a variety of strange societies make an alien friend and end up settling in the far future One repeating theme in CAS' fiction seems to be that you can't go home again When protagonists journey to strange lands they usually stay there permanently either voluntarily or otherwiseThe Hunters from BeyondWhile than a bit reminiscent of Lovecraft's Pickman's Model something CAS readily admitted himself this is a fun creepy story to end off the volume with After glimpsing an otherworldly monster a struggling writer of weird fiction visits a sculptor cousin who regularly summons these creatures and uses them as inspiration for his art The resulting plot doesn't have much in the way of surprises but it's evocatively told